"Is my dog dog-aggressive?"

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Stormi
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Re: "Is my dog dog-aggressive?"

Postby Stormi » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:01 pm

Just judging by your description, it sounds more like your pup may be experiancing a little barrier frustration and over excitement. If greeting a dog is rewarding to him, that's really the exact opposite of "aggression". I'd certainly have to know a lot more about your situation to make much of a judgement, but I'd say if he find tennis balls highly rewarding, why not use that instead of food? Teach him to control his own impulses in exchange for some time with his trustee tennis ball.

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Re: "Is my dog dog-aggressive?"

Postby TacoFlavoredKisses » Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:55 pm

Taco only attacks males. Is fine when on a leash around dogs but off leash he approaches males holding his head above theirs and when they challenge or react he attacks. If allowed to run out a door and a dog is within proximity he will attack. He is also food aggressive. Does not mind the attention I give other dogs. He does show signs of being leash reactive but only with a male and if they are aggressive. He has played off leash with a male when he was six months and it went fine until Taco tried to hump him and that ended in a fight. Dogs barking through fences barley faze him. And when walking him and the few times we have been approach by off leash dogs he has not yet shown aggression, but I never let them get close enough to know for sure.

What would he fall under?

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Re: "Is my dog dog-aggressive?"

Postby Stormi » Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:27 pm

Well, first define "attack". That's one of those words that is loaded with human emotional baggage, but gives zero physical description as to what the dog is actually doing. Growling, lunging, physical bite damage barking, pinning...? The off leash move you described can also be a play gesture, but you're right that if the other dog interprets in incorrectly that it could resort in an altercation, or it could just be normal rough bully play. Its hard to tell with what you've posted. What specific bodyanguage does he have durring these interactions? Is he bouncy and all over the place, or stiff and calculated with his moves?

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Re: "Is my dog dog-aggressive?"

Postby TacoFlavoredKisses » Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:14 pm

When I say attack I mean he runs out (has busted down a door) without hesitation and jumps on a dog, with growling, pinning, mouthing, and biting.

When he approached Ron his tail is straight except moves from side to side at the end. His posture is stiff and his head is held high while he looks down. but moves quickly when the other dog moves, he walks forward and if the dog growls or nips within a split second that dog will be flipped over.

I know how he plays and it is rough but he never bits down and he does not flip a dog on its back. He lived with another dog for a year and he adored her and was rough but gentle.

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Re: "Is my dog dog-aggressive?"

Postby bterz » Fri Jun 18, 2010 9:27 pm

Stormi! This is just an amazing thread and is super helpful!!

I have a few questions/comments regarding my dogs but wont have time until tonight!

Look forward to talking with you and thank you so much for your efforts.

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Re: "Is my dog dog-aggressive?"

Postby Stormi » Mon Jun 21, 2010 12:38 am

I'd say with Taco you're definately looking at resource guarding and potentially male-to-male issues, as well as maybe some barrier frustration, play skill deficits and/or socialization deficits and prior experiances. Without actually doing a whole evaluation on him its tough to pinpoint things exactly, obviously. Were you wanting to work with him on these issues? I could try to suggest a behavior consultant or two in your area to help you and Taco.

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Re: "Is my dog dog-aggressive?"

Postby diana247 » Mon Jun 21, 2010 11:17 am

This is a great post. I have a 6 month old female that I’ve been taking to puppy training since April. Her first class she was fine. The class I’m in now is for older puppies and she gets along fine with a couple of the puppies, 2 of which are Great Danes. There is one Great Dane that is much larger than her and last week she pulled towards her and was growling. I pulled her back and the teacher came over and corrected her (told her enough and yelled at her). The other dog had nothing to provoke Maggie and just wanted to play. I’ve seen Maggie do this once before when someone was walking their pit-mix and it started to bark at her. The owner said he didn’t like other dogs. But Maggie was not afraid, in fact she tried to get at this dog barking and growling. She didn’t do that until the other one started barking at her. She gets along with my other pit that’s 14 and other dogs we’ve had her around, 2 of which are bigger than her. Just not sure if I need to be concerned or if it’s just certain dogs bigger than her, especially being that she's only 6 months. She is not fixed yet either so I don't know if that is an issue (she is scheduled for September).
Thanks!

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Re: "Is my dog dog-aggressive?"

Postby Stormi » Mon Jun 21, 2010 12:25 pm

First off, if you've got a "trainer" that's yelling and correcting for a dog showing an emotional response, RUN. Find a new trainer that understands behavior and how to de-escelate a situation. That response is not much different than yelling at a child afraid of the dark. It doesn't address the underlying motivation for their behavior, and it certainly doesn't make them feel any safer about it. What is her early socialization history like? How old was she when she was taken from her littermates? How much dog interaction has she had since then? Were there any resources (keys, a toy, whatever) that could have prompted her reaction?

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Re: "Is my dog dog-aggressive?"

Postby diana247 » Mon Jun 21, 2010 1:00 pm

We got her when she was 10 weeks and she was with her mom and dad and litter mates until then. Like I said, we have a 14 yr old dog in the house so that was her first interaction with us. Since then, she's been socialized with the dogs in her classes, and our friend's dogs (lab, boxer mix, jack russell) and she's played great with them. There were no other distractions when this happened in class. We had just arrived and she always gets super excited when we first get there. I would love to find a trainer/class that specializes in bully breeds, but not sure how to find one in our area. Any suggestions? The main reason I have her in training is for the socialization aspect of it.

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Re: "Is my dog dog-aggressive?"

Postby bterz » Wed Jun 23, 2010 6:52 pm

Hello!

I have two males, Angus and Brutus, who I am concerned about...

I adopted Angus as a puppy from the pound. Took him everywhere with me and he was well socialized with humans but didn't get equal attention with other dogs.

I adopted Brutus about a year later when he was about 10 months. He was given to me by somebody who adopted the dog about a week before me. The only info I was given was "the dog was supposed to be used for fighting but they didn't want him because he wasn't mean"... :eek: ... I was so thankful to get this big guy because I knew he was nothing more then a big sweetheart. Although obviously neglected, (very thin, awful teeth, mange, clipped ears, etc).

Although I lived in a two bedroom condo, I couldn't resist but bring the dogs home...I have a small yard, and I promised myself I would take them both out everyday...

Once I got both dogs, it was more difficult to take them out at the same time, I became a full-time student while working a part-time job..no excuses, but, the dogs were not receiving the socialization they needed..

Angus clearly has a Barrier Frustration issue. He grew up in the condo and we had a green-belt behind the yard.. This awful lady (two of them, actually) would seem to intentionally walk circles behind my yard...just allowing Angus to get frustrated..I tried many approaches to getting him to calm down, none of which seemed to calm his frustration.. (and now i understand why). He also has a little bit of Resource Guarding, as when he is playing with toys he chews them up and wants to be the only one chewing them up..Although often, he will try to share his toy with Brutus by sticking it in his mouth or just flat out dropping it in front of him.

Brutus, on the other hand, seems to have issues with Fear and Resource Guarding. He seems to be very timid around his food and usually hangs his head low around the food dish. I separate the bowls a good distance and I have had no issues...When he gets a toy, he'll prance off all happy and go lay down with it.. if anybody comes by he'll hang his head low and look up at you..........The fear issue is my fault, and I honestly feel like I may have stressed my dog mentally to the point he wont forget it.....Shortly after getting him neutered, I came home and he started to pee on the floor. I yelled NO, took him outside and showed him the correct spot to go to the bathroom..unfortunately he was peeing uncontrolably.....The next time I come home, same thing..My mother whom I was living with at the time is very proud of how clean she keeps the house, and the last thing I wanted was her getting frustrated because the dog pissed on the freshly installed carpet. I repeat my previous actions, while scolding, not knowing the issue..

I came here and I got inside scoop...Brutus was submissively pissing, and I was doing nothing but making matters worst.. This was a very stressful time for me as it continued, but slowly got better, and slowly went away. Its amazing what just turning the other way can do...if I only knew that the first time I saw this action.

Anyways, skip forward about a year and I have finally moved. I am now finally on a beautiful ranch-like house that is semi-gated and has 20 acres for the dogs to explore.

The dogs have loved all the exercise, and it really has seem to been great for getting them to be not nearly as anxious. In fenced section of the backyard, the dogs got in a very bad fight. I was inside when it happened, and I instantly ran out and go in the middle of them. I grabbed them by the collars and they literally had each other by the mouth. I remained calm, stuck my hand in Angus's mouth and separated them for about 3 seconds, before they tied to latch onto each other..I got in between them and started screaming. Brutus got low to the ground and scared, Angus put his ears back tail down and cowardly backed down. I was so fricken pissed and upset and I couldn't believe it. I had blood on my arms, scratches on my chest, and cuts on my bare-feet....what a mess, but i'm more concerned about my dogs.

Angus got Brutus pretty good under the chin. It got swollen for about 3 days almost like a golf ball or as if he had his wisdom teeth removed. The wound itself cleaned itself up and is looking very healthy now. For the few days that Brutus was obviously very sore, he was also very very timid, and very pissed off at Angus. I kept a very close eye on them and obviously separated them when I wasn't around. Angus had completely forgave and forgot, whereas Brutus was still upset and seemed to take it to heart.. They just weren't the good goofy friends they're used to being.

Its been about 5 days, and the dogs are doing good. They're sleeping with each other like old times, playing, rough-housing, you name it..

I'm scared this is going to happen again. Why did it happen the first time? I never thought it would before then...but now what am I supposed to assume? There seems to be something in the yard they like to chase when I open the door. As soon as they hear the sliding door open they run out back to a certain corner of the yard, almost like a race to see who gets there first..I am assuming they know a squirrel or something is hiding out, a lizard, anything...I believe this is what is going to start the fight if it happens again, and possibly even the fight the first time.

My dogs need more socialization,more obedience, and overall more TRUST in me......I have all the free time in the world that they may need, I just need direction.....

I live in the Inland Empire, California, but am willing to travel to find somebody who fits my dogs needs.
I used to be in contact with RED but I am unsure where she has been? Hopefully ok!

Thanks for the awesome thread! :clap :thumbsup:

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Stormi
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Re: "Is my dog dog-aggressive?"

Postby Stormi » Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:35 pm

Since you weren't there to see what happened- there's no telling why it did. I can tell you this much though; leaving two dogs prone to resource guarding unsupervised together is NOT a good idea. Resource guarding doesn't just pertain to toys or food, it can be a location, and interesting smell, ANYTHING that the dog finds valueable at that moment. Leaving two dogs together unsupervised period is not a good idea because things happen (be it accident or not) and if you aren't there to do anything about it, who knows what could happen. Even if you're just inside and can run outside, breaking up a fight like that can be very dangerous to you and your dogs. You need to from this point foward supervise, supervise, supervise. If you cannot have your eyes on them, they need to be seperated. They may be able to mingle again in the future, but right now they really need some cool off time. I might try sending Red a PM if you've worked with her in the past, although there's only so much that she can do. Management on your part is going to be vital for these two, especially if they've already proven their conflict resolution skills and bite inhibition aren't so great.

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Re: "Is my dog dog-aggressive?"

Postby bterz » Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:01 pm

Sounds like you're more upset then happy to hear from me, and I feel like every time I come here for help I'm looked down upon. I'm sure this wasn't your point, but I can't help to feel otherwise.

Obviously I need to keep my eyes on them at all times from here on out. This is something I know, but that isn't really the direction I was referring to. I'm looking for a way to fix the problem, not avoid it & ignore it...maybe that's not possible, but I refuse to give up that easy.

Thanks anyway.

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Re: "Is my dog dog-aggressive?"

Postby Stormi » Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:20 pm

No, that wasn't my intention at all. Concidering you didn't see what sparked their scuffle there's really no way to pinpoint how to "fix" it, at least with the info you've provided. Considering they've both got a history of resource guarding, that would be my best guess, but again, there's no way to know for sure. I would definately suggest having a qualified professional such as Red come out and physically observe and work with them, I'm simply trying to illistrate the point that behaviors such as this aren't fixed with the snap of fingers (which I'm sure you're probably aware of), and do require oodles of management to assure nothing else occurs in the process. I don't generally view dog-dog resource guarding as a type behavior that is fixable vs manageable. There are certainly a great many ways you can train your pups to read each others signals and turn away when the other has a resource, but its never fullproof without management. Its a very natural, normal dog behavior that many many dogs exhibit that even with the greatest consistancy in training isn't entirely eliminated.

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Re: "Is my dog dog-aggressive?"

Postby bterz » Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:53 pm

I suppose that was more the type of answering I was looking for, I appreciate the time you've taken to respond greatly and will be consulting somebody I can work with.

Are there any other southern california professionals you can suggest? I am going to try getting in contact with RED, last time I had no success.

Thanks again!

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Re: "Is my dog dog-aggressive?"

Postby pitXgsd » Sat Jun 26, 2010 1:46 am

:goodpost:


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