3yo Starting to show aggression twards other dogs
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Thread: 3yo Starting to show aggression twards other dogs

  1. #1
    Unclelab1's Avatar
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    Default3yo Starting to show aggression twards other dogs

    Hi all,

    My 3yo Lab Annie is starting to show aggression twards other dogs when out walking or at the dog park. When another dog approaches her or goes nose to nose she will growl, snarl and show her teeth. I got her as a rescue a little over a year ago so I don't know her history in the first 2 years other than she was kept in a barn. I took her right to a basic obedience training with in the first two months I got her, which she did great at and this aggression has only showed up in the past 4 months or so.

    My 1yo Pup Rubin does play with her kind of rough and she bits his hind leg when they run together. I've thought of taking her to advanced training but I'm wondering if letting them play rough is causing the problem? or how do I stop the rough housing? Thanks for any feedback or further training advice.


    Annie Roses 8/11/10 Rescued 4/21/12 (was living in a barn)
    Rubin Hunter 7/12/12 Gotcha 8/1/12

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    Tanya is offline Senior Member
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    another class would be good.

    did you work on socialisation when you got her? how many dogs did you have her meet? How much have you tested her with other dogs?

    Rough play shouldn't "create" aggression.

    what do you do when she growls at other dogs? What is the other dog doing? Is it all dogs or some dogs?
    Charlie (foster) and Rocky

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    Dog Paddle is offline Senior Member
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    ^^ Yep. And if I can add to Tanya's questions: Are either or both dogs on leash when it happens?

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    Unclelab1's Avatar
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    Yes when I took her to the beginning class there were about 7 other dogs in the class and no problems. This was all the basic commands and she does well with those. I had her to an "easter egg hunt", put on by my vet this past spring with about 30-40 other dogs all on leash.

    She did fine for the first hour and then after that when a bigger dog (she's 65lbs) approached her and wanted to go nose to nose just as a greeting, she would grown and snarl. One was a Doberman, Golden retriever and can't remember the last one but I ended up leaving with her after that. I would just say NO NO and tug her away with the leash.

    We just got new neighbors with two dogs one is 130 and the other about 70 and looks like it has some lab in it. They were meeting for the first time the other day and the 70lb one went nose to nose (thru the fence) and Annie growed, snarled and showed teeth again twards it. Annie was off leash and the other dog was on leash. I'm thinking about signing her up for the advanced training class. No problems with my other dog Rubin whatsoever.

    Oh it just seems like bigger dogs than her. Not all dogs.


    Annie Roses 8/11/10 Rescued 4/21/12 (was living in a barn)
    Rubin Hunter 7/12/12 Gotcha 8/1/12

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    Dog Paddle is offline Senior Member
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    One dog on leash and the other off leash is a set up for misgiven and miss read body language. It sounds like that might be part of it. The leashed dog may feel trapped and display defensive body language which can be misinterpreted by the off leash dog as aggression. Or the leashed dog may indeed present aggressively and threaten or intimidate the off leash dog.

    FWIW I think a better reaction from you at the Easter Egg hunt would have been to attract Annie's attention to yourself and have her work on a little obedience. That would help Annie learn that YOU are in charge of who is a threat and YOU will decide what to do about it. From what you say Annie has done nothing more than snarl and growl. She hasn't lunged to bite or attack anyone. If she is not comfortable meeting lots of other bigger dogs then so be it and since all were leashed there is no need for it. She was good for a whole hour, that's encouraging. I understand you didn't know then, but for future.

    I would definitely taken her to the advanced class. If it happens there then hopefully you will have some more experienced observers to guide you. It's awfully hard for you to monitor your own dog and see what other dogs are doing as well. Some other dogs might provoke by staring and you wouldn't notice. We had such a dog in our class. He was the problem, not the dogs who reacted to him, though we all got a good dose of paying more attention to our own dog.

    There's a very interesting article by one of my favourite doggy writers here. He Just Wants To Say "Hi!" | Suzanne Clothier Do think any of this might apply?

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    slackercodemonkey is offline Senior Member
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    ^^ I agree with the previous comment.

    Your dog needs to take your lead at all times. If your dog has taken it upon herself to decide when there are "threats" and when there are not "threats" then she isn't taking your lead. You fix this positively by working boundaries. Look for places where your dog tends to fail and work just outside of those boundaries and reward her for acting correctly. The boundaries will shrink with repetition and so will the problem.

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    Ok all sounds good to me. Yes Dog Paddle I read your artical and I do believe that is some of what is going on with Annie. I also enrolled her in the advanced dog training class which starts in Sep. Thanks all.


    Annie Roses 8/11/10 Rescued 4/21/12 (was living in a barn)
    Rubin Hunter 7/12/12 Gotcha 8/1/12

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