Can anyone offer any advice - I have 2 male Labradors a 1 year old black and an 11 month yellow. They are both fantastic in the house (other than chewing) no aggression issues with us or each other but when I am out with the Black one he has occasionally taking an instant dislike to another dog. There is no pattern to this we meet many dogs and most he is perfectly fine with most of them. He has been growled at by Dogs and Bitches and not reacted at all. But over the last 6 months we have had 3 incidents one with a cairn terrier who snapped at him first (so I wasn't too worried) then one with another Lab who lives up the road which I could find no reason for and finally last night he was introduced to a 5 month old bitch who was just wagging her tail all friendly and suddenly he just snapped. He has never shown any aggression when off the lead just when on it. Does anyone have any ideas why he does this and what I can do to stop him reacting this way. I have taken him to puppy training classes and he never showed any sign of it there and when we have been to dog shows he was as good as gold. Why does he only sometimes react like this??
My lab went through the same thing, and always only on a lead. Sometimes it was only against other male dogs which made me think his ablls had something to do with it. He has also been attacked on a lead twice so they didnt help. I know neutering doesnt always guarentee changes in dogs but i swear it stopped the lead aggression in mine.
Strange that being a male he attacked a female (and a puppy), that is certainly not normal behavior. How exactly did he "snapped"? did he actually attacked the pup and bit her?
Some dogs are leash aggressive, the trainer told me there are usually two types of leash aggressive dogs: Type A is thinks he is stronger and feels very secure because he´s "tied" to the human and thus assumes a dominant position and gets out of control with other dogs. This type is controled through training and making him understand that the human is the one taking control.
Type B is a fearful dog that reacts to dogs approaching him and the leash doesn´t allow him to escape a possible attack.
Misha went through a leash aggressive phase when she was around that age, it all begun because a stupid neighbor walks his aggressive german shephard unleashed and she always launches when she sees Misha. First she reacted submissive and a fight never broke, but at some point she decided to fight back and when the GD launched she attacked back. She really ment business and the GD retreated, but still they always get aggressive when they see each other (the guy now walks the dog leashed, probably got into a fight). After that she´s always wary around other dogs when she´s leashed, but perfectly friendly when unleashed.
I am very firm with her and never let her escalate aggression. Signs to notice are a tense body, hackles up and rigid tail. I always distract her when I see those signs because the next step is to launch and bark aggresively. So far I´m pretty successful with this training, except for the GD, which I just think never will correct, they just hate each other.
Attacking an opposite sex and a pup is not something normal, I´d look for professional help, maybe he just needs more socializing
By Snapped I mean he just went to nip but as the puppy we had met was just tiny and he is a big lad I had him in a restraining position already so he was unable to do any harm thankfully. This does only ever happen when on a leash so I think the leash aggressive is a good description but as for what type he is I'm not sure. He lives with another male who is a month younger but there have never been any dominance issues nor was there with our 16 year old staffy before he died. When he has been off the lead and another dog growled at him he just looked at them like they were stupid and walked off but not in a scared way just in a why are you doing that way. He has never growled at any of us (me, Husband, kids of 16, 10 and 1) although when walking him in the dark he does not like people approaching us but I am not sure if he is protecting or frightened. Also he doesn't do this to every dog he meets on a lead just happened these 3 times and been introduced to about 30 dogs and bitches. So there is no pattern he has been introduced to all sorts from chihuahua to great dane (male & female) pups to old dogs and the 3 he disliked were small terrier (not sure on sex or age) but older - Male lab about the same age - female Visla 4 or 5 months old. I want to get this sorted as we walk in lots of areas that are highly populated with Dogs and I don't want to have to keep him leashed and away from other dogs. Thank you for you help so far.
Just to add the strangest thing just happened while out with both dogs today (I had just put their leashes back on) the Lab from up the road came running over and mine just played no aggression whatsoever. When his owner caught up we let them off to play together and then walked home together. I watched his behavoir carefully and although he lunges forward it seems he just mouths a play bite. Could he just be trying to encourage play as he never has any hackles up or growls? If this is the case how do I stop him doing it as it is very frightening for smaller dogs.
From your description it sounds like it could actually be playful biting (you know sometimes their growls sound mean but they are just playing). Might have been that the pup approached your dog too rambuctious and your dog was just telling the pup to behave (which is also quite common and it´s really not aggression).
What can be of more concern is his nervousness when you walk him at night, he seems to be feeling insecure.
I´d recommend you take him to group training lessons where he will socialize a lot with other dogs and with people, and they should be able to teach you how to deal with him when he gets nervous and help him overcome it.
From your description it doesn´t sound like this is an aggressive dog at all, rather a guy that´s somewhat insecure. It´s also common for pups to have "fear" periods during their growth, and 8 to 12 months is a fear stage.