Aggression or play?

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Aggression or play?

This is a discussion on Aggression or play? within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; I have a 4 year old medium sized dog that seems to have anxiety around other dogs. She was in a pretty bad fight with ...

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Old 04-20-2018, 06:23 PM
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Aggression or play?

I have a 4 year old medium sized dog that seems to have anxiety around other dogs. She was in a pretty bad fight with my parents dog over a year ago and hasn’t had much interaction with dogs since. Even going on our walks if a dog barks at her through a fence she wants to go the other way. We recently just adopted an 8 year old pug mix into the family due to sad circumstances with the previous owner. My 4 year old pup seemed a little uneasy at first but now she seems alright with him. Sometimes she’ll growl when he takes her toys from her but she’s getting better. But when I throw the ball around the house for them to play with, if he’s about to grab the ball and she tries to get it first he growls and snaps at her a little. She then hunches down in place and I yell at him due to my anxiety with dog fights (I tried breaking up the fight she had with my parents dog and I got bit pretty bad so I’m automatically over responsive to growling). I’m not sure how to help them get along. They do fine until it comes to playing with a toy together. And sometimes I can’t tell if she’s ready to attack or just back down when he snaps at her. Any ideas as to how to fix this situation? I want them to get along and be friends.
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Old 04-23-2018, 04:46 PM
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What you describe tends to make me think that your personal anxiety is making it harder for your four year old to adapt. She is anxious because you are; and, she may have some resource guarding issues in addition to the anxiety. You could get some training so that you don't feel anxious and you can help her to relax. I also think doggie day care, and dog parks help dogs learn to socialize in groups.

In most cases, I'd just let the two dogs work it out; but, taking both of them for group play might be the ticket. If you're not comfortable with that, then I'd take the younger one to classes where you can get help.
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