Act of aggression?

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Act of aggression?

This is a discussion on Act of aggression? within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hello everyone! I'm in desperate need of advice. My dog, who is 1.5 years of age, has been doing something weird for a while now. ...

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Old 05-29-2019, 11:41 AM
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Act of aggression?

Hello everyone! I'm in desperate need of advice. My dog, who is 1.5 years of age, has been doing something weird for a while now. First off, she is dog friendly, never had any encounter where she's been aggressive towards another. I take her to the pet store and dog park regularly. But here's my issue.. We live in apartments and it has a large community of different dogs. When I take her outside to go potty, which is either right outside our apartment or fairly close and she sees another dog, she starts growling and raising off the ground because she's pulling so much. Sometimes her hair is raised and others, it's not. But her tail is always wagging. Now this even happens with dogs shes encountered and been friendly with before.

I don't know if this is something she has learned and thinks is okay.. Our neighbors downstairs have two terriers who constantly do that to her, even before she had started this act. So I'm wondering if she learned it from them? If that's possible..

We've also had a dog come up to her while she was growling because the dog was off leash and she did nothing to them. Just stopped and kept wagging her tail while sniffing the dog.

I'm not sure what to do it how to stop it. It freaks people out that have the dogs and since she looks aggressive I don't want them to complain to our building management because she really isn't.

Sorry for being all over the place as well and thank you for your time!
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Old 05-30-2019, 08:18 PM
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Tail wagging does not always mean happy!

Hi there! Thanks for coming here to seek help for your dog!

Is your dog on leash when she is growling at the other dogs in your complex?

If so she may have leash reactivity
. She may be anxious about the other dogs for some reason, or frustrated that she cannot always meet them at times.

Also she could be more "sensitive" or reactive because she is near her home as opposed to more neutral territory like a pet store or park. My dogs tend to get that way near my house, it is pretty common.

Also, next time she wags her tail, look closely at the tail positioning and the way she is wagging it! Tail wagging does not always mean happiness or friendly. It could signal fear or anxiety or stress or frustration or other things.

I find that studying up and learning dog body language and calming signals really, really helps me to understand my dogs... and what they are feeling in so many different situations. Then I can make a plan to help them feel better about stressful things so they will be less prone to react negatively or aggressively. You can study about about dog body language online for free.

I can see that, indeed, you would want to help your dog to not act reactively since you live in a an apartment and have to share common areas at times. I'm sure your dog will appreciate the help... and so will your neighbors!

I counter condition all my dogs to seeing other dogs, no matter where we are, so they will not be reactive or stressed. This really helps us!!

Last edited by AthenaLove; 05-30-2019 at 08:21 PM.
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