Dog Agression - appropriate correction?
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Thread: Dog Agression - appropriate correction?

  1. #1
    Tanya is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultDog Agression - appropriate correction?

    So Tundie is great with 95% of dogs. But seems to dislike the other 5%. It's not been anything that cannot be handled and I leave (out of respect to the others) when certain dogs come to the park. I'm getting better at telling who he will and will not get along with. And let me just note that "not getting along" does NOT mean he hurts them. But his behavior remains unacceptable.

    It seems to be younger, male, unfixed dogs who are larger in size and darker (black/tan but mostly black). One of these is just over a year now, a bernese mountain dog (not neutered). I have heard that this boy has had a few issues with some others dogs (though I have not seen it). There was one meeting and it was immediate hackles and chasing/growling. Bernese left. He also goes ballistic at any Bernese we see walking around town.

    The other main target is more peculiar. again, young, shepherd/rottie mix (??), not neutered but VERY docile. Tundie will go up to him, sniff him and the other dog will walk away. Tundie then chases him, barks/growls and nips.

    My question - how do i correct this behavior? I can call him off and he will come to me but continue to bark/growl/whine. I do not go to the park if I see either of these dogs. I leave if they come. Both owners are good people and understanding.

    It's bizarre as he gets growled at by many other dogs and nothing. he just walks away. he's great with younger puppies nipping and going at him. great with all other dogs.
    Charlie (foster) and Rocky

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  3. #2
    kaytris is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Dog Agression - appropriate correction?

    Unneutered males are a trigger for many dogs. I'd continue calling him over and leaving, or if you can redirect him to another game or play with a 'safe' dog, even better.

  4. #3
    Tanya is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Dog Agression - appropriate correction?

    Quote Originally Posted by kaytris
    Unneutered males are a trigger for many dogs. I'd continue calling him over and leaving, or if you can redirect him to another game or play with a 'safe' dog, even better.
    Just call him? No correction at all?
    being a cattle dog, even though he will come to me he does NOT forget and remains focused on the dog in certain cases. redirecting on a game of fetch has helped with a few dogs. I'm much better at seeing if redirecting will help or not.

    I guess I feel bad because it looks and sounds really bad (even though tundie does NOT hurt the other dog at all) so now ALL the other owners think Tundie is SUPER aggressive. I've had other dogs snap at tundie and people blame TUNDIE saying he's going after the other dog

    there are two dogs parks I go to, all "spats'' occurred at the one closest to me, I have never had a problem at the second park
    Charlie (foster) and Rocky

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  6. #4
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    brody is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Dog Agression - appropriate correction?

    if he'll redirect I too would redirect - or simply leash and/or leave - for most dogs losing the play time is a consequence they'll note - I growl I get leashed... hm maybe I'd better learn to get along...

    correcting dogs for growling can backfire badly as growling is simply a warning - get out, get away, I don't like you

    if you supress the ability to say - blech I don't want to be friends - you can actually create a very dangerous dog who knows he cant growl so doesn't but then eventually gets pushed over the edge and completely looses it doing some serious damage - I've sene it more with small children allowed to torture a dog - dog reacts is punished then torture continues til dog simply cna't take it anymore

    ("torture" is dog dependant not event dependant- with my own home dogs some love playing dress up and willingly walk along on leashes in the house (the 95 pound lunk is the most willing to play along) - others grumble at the kids if they look like they might stick a hat on them ...)

    I'm sure there is a large group here who will suggest some strong corrections but be aware of what you might be doing..(cattle dogs are pretty tough often - a scolding is unlikley to have much meaning)
    http://andrea-agilityaddict.blogspot.com/

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    Tanya is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Dog Agression - appropriate correction?

    Quote Originally Posted by conrad
    (cattle dogs are pretty tough often - a scolding is unlikley to have much meaning)
    MY GOSH that is an understatement!!

    Ok I understand that "correcting" could only get Tundie the think "that dog = I get corrected" which can lead to even more aggression. I'll just call him, leash him gently, and leave. (with him leaping and growing away!)
    Charlie (foster) and Rocky

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    DefaultRe: Dog Agression - appropriate correction?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanya


    Just call him? No correction at all?
    Yep, that's right. You don't ever, ever, ever want to call your dog to you then correct them. Coming to you needs to be safe and happy even if you are not very happy with them at the moment. It can sometimes be a real test of the willpower of the handler not to strangle the dog then and there. If you feel you need to correct the dog, go to him, do not call him to you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanya

    I guess I feel bad because it looks and sounds really bad (even though tundie does NOT hurt the other dog at all) so now ALL the other owners think Tundie is SUPER aggressive. I've had other dogs snap at tundie and people blame TUNDIE saying he's going after the other dog
    Dogs talk alot and sometimes it sounds a lot more furocious than it really is. You said no one has gotten hurt so my guess is this is all talk, no action at this particular time. If Tundie had been serious, there definitely would be blood shed. Tundie is merely trash talking, stating his opinion about the other dog, making sure the other dog knows Tundie is king. The other people could be right as well that Tundie is starting it. You have to read the body language of the dog and watch their interaction closely. If Tundie is dominating the other dog (standing over him, puffing up, putting his head over the other dog, etc) and the other dog has had enough, it is quite possible that dog will snap at Tundie to tell him to back off. If all you see is the other dog snapping, you aren't seeing the whole picture. This is why diagnosing behavior issues over the internet is very difficult.

    You are doing the right thing by removing him from the situation because it could easily go to the next level if one of the dogs choses to dispute that.

    I really don't see any point in correcting Tundie for this behavior. Dogs, like people, do not get along with everyone. These dogs may be giving signals to Tundie that they want to dominate him (like young unneutered male dogs tend to do) so he's just setting the situation straight. You know he doesn't like black, unneutered male dogs and correcting him isn't going to change that fact. In fact, it could make him hate them more because he gets in trouble whenever they are around.

    You can work on desensitizing him to black dogs by introducing him to well behaved black dogs. Start with females first, then submissive males, and work up from there. I had to do this my male Rottweiler after he was attacked by another male Rottie when he was a year old. At first he hated the sight of all black dogs male or female and wanted to make sure he got the first bite in even if they weren't interested in him in the least. Then it was only black and tan dogs. It took years of working with him just as I described but I was finally able to get him to accept all other black dogs except male Rotties. I never got him over that one. That one was personal.

  9. #7
    Tanya is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Dog Agression - appropriate correction?

    Thanks

    i am very cautious with tundie and if I sense trouble (I can always see this coming) I call him and we leave (HAPPILY, with treats). part of the issue is "the others". if they see you just leave and not 'correct" you dog they think you are letting them get away with murder. But i won't let what others think rule what i do with my dogs!

    he does start it some of the time, but not always. I've seen Tundie just walking back to me with his ball or just peeing and another dog comes up to growl at him. He just continues towards me and ignores me (or gives them a glance and leaves0 I am not making excuses for his bad behavior, but he isn't always the instigator.
    Charlie (foster) and Rocky

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