Aggression and walking help

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Aggression and walking help

This is a discussion on Aggression and walking help within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; We're having two issues with our Shepherd Cross and I think it's long past due to address them. The first issue is that we are ...

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Old 08-25-2017, 12:48 AM
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Aggression and walking help

We're having two issues with our Shepherd Cross and I think it's long past due to address them. The first issue is that we are looking to have a child in the next while, and though King has been great with kids of all ages we are concerned about him pulling when we come to other dogs (not aggressive but to say 'hi'), we are worried that if only one of us is walking him he may pull too hard and knock over the stroller. How can we help him walk yh as calmly as he does normally when distractions like other dogs or sometimes people are around? Usually what I do is stop walking until he is calm beside me before continuing ... sometimes i yank him back

Secondly, and more importantly he occasionaly shows aggression. 99% of his interactions with other people go really well, but occasionaly he will jump at and growl at strangers who are trying to say hi. I usually have him sit when greeting strangers and say hi happily to them so he knows they are friends. I'm really not sure what makes him aggressive and it often is unexpected. How can I help him?
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Old 08-25-2017, 07:50 AM
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This post resonates with me as I was going through a similar (not exact) situation with my dog Oreo who we've had for just over a month now. This is what has worked for us. First you must determine what is causing these issues. Is your dog excited, scared, protective...? In the case of my dog, he's fine with most other dogs but he would growl at strangers. Knowing his background having had only one owner but being around other dogs, we learned he was scared of people he didn't know. Now, though, with exposure to more people, we notice he has relaxed quite a bit & he no longer growls. With walking, you must establish dominance. My dog is much smaller than yours so I don't have a problem controlling the pulling so much. However, regardless of the size of the dog, walking should be simple if you use the right technique. Your dog should be walking beside you, not in front of you. He shouldn't be pulling you & you shouldn't be tugging at the leash. The right collar (nothing constrictive) could make all the difference. A loose relaxed hold is what you want. If your dog does try to pull, give a short quick tug on the leash to redirect your dog to walk beside you. You don't want to tug continuously. As for the aggression, your dog may be picking up on nervous energy. If your dog & another dog or person are calm, & you're calm, it's more likely the meeting will go well. However, if the dog or person or owner is nervous, there may be a slight confrontation. It's important that you read your dog's body language & if necessary correct the behavior right away. Also observe the other dog or person. If, for example with a dog, the tails are wagging, there's a good chance the meeting will go well. If the tails are down or one or both of the dogs starts growling, you'll want to be more cautious. With approaching strangers who want to pet your dog, make sure you tell them to approach slowly, & read your dog's body language. As for walking with a baby carriage, you might want to start practicing that now to get your dog used to the idea before the baby arrives. First master the dog walking beside you, then introduce the carriage. Remember, good behavior earns praise. I hope this helps. Please keep us posted on how things go and best wishes for the baby to come!
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