Our dog reacts to aggressive dogs... Looking for advice

Go Back   Dog Forum > Keeping and Caring for Dogs > Dog Training and Behavior

Our dog reacts to aggressive dogs... Looking for advice

This is a discussion on Our dog reacts to aggressive dogs... Looking for advice within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hello, We have a 2 year old Shepard mix. She is very submissive and sweet at home and she loves going to the dog park. ...

User Tag List

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-03-2019, 04:00 PM
  #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Our dog reacts to aggressive dogs... Looking for advice

Hello,

We have a 2 year old Shepard mix. She is very submissive and sweet at home and she loves going to the dog park. She gets along with most dogs at the dog park. She usually just wants to be chased.

The problem that we are having is that she isn't very good at introducing herself. She will sprint up to other dogs, paw at them and try to get them to give chase. Well evidently some dogs don't like that. There have been two occasions where she's ran up to another dog and for whatever reason that dog barks at her or lunges at her.

This is where things tend to shift. Once another dog behaves aggressively toward her, our dog will return the aggression and lunge, snap and tussle with the other dog. Even after separating her, she will continue to act aggressively to the next dog that we bump into if that dog is not interested in playing or chasing her. It's like once she's set off by another dog she can't come down, and her frustration with other dogs not wanting to play turns to aggression.

I don't plan on going to the dog park until we can resolve this issue. It's a bit frustrating because most of the time she has a great time and there are no issues. But I don't want these reactions to become a habit for her.

That all said, does anyone have any advice on how we can solve this issue?
Miker206 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2019, 07:20 PM
  #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 550
Mentioned: 42 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
How important is going to the dog park for yall? There's alot of people avoid them for the very reasons you're describing, myself included. I dont have any advice for " fixing " it. Best I can tell you is with shepherds ( I've owned several ) aggression is part of the breed and alot of them just dont do well in a dog park type of environment. And typically the more these incidents happen the more defensive your dog is going to get. You might want to just arrange some play dates with stable dogs your dog knows and avoid the dog park scene.
Sthelena is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2019, 07:57 PM
  #3
Senior Member
 
Shadowmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Cambridge MA
Posts: 1,277
Mentioned: 50 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
I trained my dog to avoid and stay out of fights at the park with a combination of lots of his favorite bacon treats and praise whenever he came to me and putting his leash on and timeouts if he did get into any scuffles. It took a few months and I was very consistent. You have to watch your dog every second, know your dog's body language very well and be able to basically predict and know their every little move and expression. No talking to other people or being on your cell phone but really watch your dog. Fights happen in a split second.
You have to have a never ending supply of their favorite treats, not crappy pnes but very high value ones that they'll do anything for. And it helps to leave a comfortable harness on the dog that you can quickly grab her with if she doesn't listen immediately.

My dog used to be a young thug who would race into any scuffle that started like a teenage boy at a high school recess.
I don't have a big yard and he loves meeting other dogs. He needs his time at the park or he gets visibly depressed and also will start taking off and be s nightmare to handle. I also have a good park near by with a lot of regular people that I e known for years who are all pretty good and reasonable people and experienced dog owners. He has a lot of good dog buddies there. So maybe it's unusual compared to all the negative fog park stories I read about on here.
Most people are willing to work with each other. There's one dog who my dog absolutely hates. The other owner and I have tried to get our dogs to peacefully coexist for over two years now. They were fine with only a couple of minor scuffles and no injuries until December then had one bad fight that got my dog and the other owner injured
Won't risk that again but haven't seen them since.
So if your dog really loves the park you could try training her but you have to be consistent. Maybe keep her on a long line so she learns not to go after other dogs.
My dog is one who won't chase or run but only wrestle. Be also won't usually play with new dogs only his buddies. He never barks, just sniffs the other dogs and walks away. Will only growl if they hump him or really harass him.
If she'd attack for that avoiding behavior she might need a trainer. If she'd fight back when attacked first but not hurt or draw blood that sounds a bit more reasonable. If she's still ramped up then I'd put her leash on and maybe walk her or have her do some commands or sit with you to calm her down before letting her loose again to make sure the adrenaline rush is done.

Now my dog will usually run to me and hang out at any sign of any scuffle or any dog he doesn't want to interact with. If I see him even put his nose over another dogs back I tell him to knock it off because he's thinking of humping which can lead to a fight. Once he starts humping he doesn't listen as well as before he starts so I've learned the warning signs. If he looks like he starts to fixate on anything I call him to distract him. He lives wrestling so I let him unless the other dog looks stressed. I don't play fetch or with any toys unless we're alone. He's not usually possessive but if a dog he doesn't like anyway steals the ball right out of his mouth he sometimes will growl or give a warning snap. That could lead to a fight. And other dogs have attacked him if they're possessive and he doesn't back down from other males so why risk it.
All things to know about your dog and their individual preferences and tendencies. You definitely have to train your dog to make dog parks safer and more fun and you definitely can avoid some dogs as well, and people.
Shadowmom is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Old 02-11-2019, 09:18 PM
  #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Thank you both for the replies. I appreciate your input
Miker206 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2019, 04:22 PM
  #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Texas
Posts: 851
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Practice lots of polite calm dog greetings with NO playing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miker206 View Post
The problem that we are having is that she isn't very good at introducing herself. She will sprint up to other dogs, paw at them and try to get them to give chase. Well evidently some dogs don't like that. There have been two occasions where she's ran up to another dog and for whatever reason that dog barks at her or lunges at her.

This is where things tend to shift. Once another dog behaves aggressively toward her, our dog will return the aggression and lunge, snap and tussle with the other dog.
Hi, sorry for the late reply.

What I do with my Puma pup is to do tons and tons of gentle calm polite dog/dog greetings. I want her to be able to see dogs--- and not necessarily actually meet them up close.

And if we do meet another dog, I want Puma to be able to meet them in a very chill calm polite way. No rambunctious playing while attached to a leash on a walk, thank you! She is still a pup, but 54 lbs of happy excitement when she sees other dogs at times is not always polite for a dog that we just are meeting for the first time!

Like today, we saw a big dog in our parking lot at work. I immediately start our counterconditioning game of "where's the doggie?" As Puma is looking at the other dog at a distance, I am giving her high value treats as I talk happily about seeing the other dog.

Then the lady with the dog starts walking towards us, thinking we want to do a meet n greet. She asks, I say no, we are working on seeing dogs at a distance, not meeting all dogs we see. I keep giving Puma small chicken bites to let her know that I looove seeing other dogs, but staying with me will be rewarded.

I ask the lady if she will let us practice seeing her dog at a smaller distance. I then toss treats to the other dog (with permission) to show Puma that we share, the other dog is no threat, I love to hang with other dogs, we still can see dogs but not actually meet etc.

Finally, after about 5-10 minutes of this, we agree to let them do a quick sniff n greet. Her dog is way older, and a bit shyish so I esp want my Puma to be really polite and gentle in the greeting. All went well. We let them sniff 3-4 more times. And then immediately rewarded each polite greeting.

Then we parted ways. Everyone was happy. No playing, no roudy behavior, no aggressive displays by either dog for unwanted behavior. Success!

I do this anytime other people will let us practice!!

(And FWIW, we do not ever go to off leash dog parks. Too many unknown dog temperaments, and too many owners not paying attention to their dog's behavior. I don't want to deal with it, or take any chances with my dogs. Just my opinion.)

Maybe you could do this conditioning/training method for a while to teach your dog to meet other dogs in a chill calm way? Some dogs simply do not like overly playful greetings, which will, like you have found out, result in unwanted behavior (aggression or overstimulation) by your dog or both dogs.
AthenaLove is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2019, 05:57 PM
  #6
Senior Member
 
Shadowmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Cambridge MA
Posts: 1,277
Mentioned: 50 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
It really depends on the dog. My current dog is friendly and loves to meet other dogs. He's polite with sniffing and very social and curious.
Out walking on the leash, he'll pass other dogs at a distance if I'm determined and say heel but he's so miserable about it, with whining and looking back so that if they're friendly it's kinder to him to let him sniff them for a second. Once he meets and politely sniffs then he's still limited but won't try to play on the leash and usually doesn't play with strange dogs
If I don't let him meet and sniff on the leash, he fixated as long as he can see them with whining. The allure of the unknown I guess
Obviously if the other dog isn't friendly I wouldn't try to have them meet.
He'll go with me and not drag me around but he's obviously unhappy.
He does the same thing at the dog park, he has to go sniff and meet every dog that comes in, then once he meets them he pretty much ignores them. But the difference in his overall happiness, energy level, appetite, demeanor, and controllability walking and reactivity to everything is night and day when we go daily for an hour or two vs when we miss a few days. Even when we go at night when no one's there as opposed to earlier when there's a lot of dogs and people there.

It's really sad to see someone post about how to safely go to dog parks and say their dog loves going and have people repeatedly bash dog parks as a whole. Play dates and groups and trainers can be negative too. Having a play date with someone who knows nothing about dogs or a poorly trained dog can be worse than a dog park. The head behaviorist at the shelter I got my dog from gave me bad advice and didn't know what she was talking about. A couple of trainers I've asked questions to said they had no clue. There's good and bad in every way of having dogs. Keeping them isolated in a backyard or property doesn't socialize them very well if they only see their family and no dogs or very few dogs. At the very least dogs who go to dog parks regularly learn how to socialize and handle being around other dogs. Truly aggressive dogs don't last long in environments like that. Sure some people know less than others and make mistakes. Just like everyone else, including trainers.

Now my last dog had no desire to meet any dogs but loved people so I had to be that person yelling out he's not friendly, keep your dog away!
Shadowmom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2019, 06:06 PM
  #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Texas
Posts: 851
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadowmom View Post
It's really sad to see someone post about how to safely go to dog parks and say their dog loves going and have people repeatedly bash dog parks as a whole.
I'm not bashing dog parks, and I am totally happy that your dog does well there and you guys have a great time!! I am sure many dogs and their owners have a wonderful time at the dog parks. For the dogs that do well there, I would assume it is very good exercise for them as well as good socialization time for the dogs. And if the owners stick some training in there, like you do, bonus!!

But, having said that, I am still not a fan of them for my own reasons. Too risky for me and my dogs. Not enough folks paying attention to the dogs, too busy on their phones, etc. Most people have no idea about dog body language. Etc. Which is certainly not exclusive to dog parks, right?? So many people take their dogs on a walk and are on their phone the whole time. Not safe and not great interaction/ bonding time with their dogs.

And like I mentioned before, I mostly just worry about having so many dogs in one space with so many different temperaments (just like the owners! Ha!)

And what if one of my dogs gets in a fight or bites another dog for whatever reason in the dog park?? We have a 3 strikes rule here in our city and they can put your dog down if it is "aggressive" which can mean a dog bit, even if it wasn't the dog's fault. My beloved Athena dog (now in dog heaven) got falsely accused of biting, got a bite record (one strike) and this made me really think hard about putting my future dogs in what I call "risky" situations.

Honestly, sometimes I think it might be fun for my dogs to go to a dog park, but then I rethink it and vote no. My doggies don't get a vote on this one, even tho they may like to

Maybe I'm just an overprotective or over worriesome dog mom, but at this stage in life, I just rather avoid risk and take my dogs to places that I feel way more comfortable. And....if I wasn't comfortable there or I was nervous I think that would easily transmit to my dog which would not be so great.

Please don't think I am trying to put a damper on your fun time with your dog. Sounds like you guys really have fun at the dog park
AthenaLove is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2019, 01:09 AM
  #8
Senior Member
 
Shadowmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Cambridge MA
Posts: 1,277
Mentioned: 50 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
I meant no offense to you personally. Lots of dogs do get in little scuffles but they're usually verbal and provoked by owners bringing toys and balls in. They're quickly stopped and people are reasonable. The toy or ball in question is removed and no incidents are ever reported that I know of. So no bite records. If a dog bites another dog or person hard enough to draw blood that can be reported depending on whether the owner chooses to have dog professionally treated or not.
My dog has had cuts a few times. He also has at doggy daycare, sometimes play us too exuberant and sometimes it's from a scuffle or occasionally a fight if it escalated. I train him as best as I can and prevent everything I can but can't prevent everything.

I only reported one other bite to animal control and that was only because the unneutered dog tried to mount my dog on his sore hip. My dog growled and gave him a warning so he lunged and bit my dog in the face drawing blood and left gashes over both his eyes, very close to one eye. My dog didn't even fight back. I had told the owner who's a psychiatrist daily for months that my dog hates being mounted and to either neuter his dog pr stop it and control him. My dog has snapped at him several times and the other dog never stops or cares. If I had seen him that day I wouldn't have gone in. Even after my dog was bleeding and I pointed it out to the owner who saw the whole incident, the guy didn't care or apologize and even let his dog try to do it again.

So I quickly got my dog and took him home and reported it along with sending pictures of his cuts. I didn't like that the owner didn't care or see a problem with his dog biting other dogs to the point of drawing blood. They quarantined the dog for ten days and I haven't seen him since.

My last dog got reported for at least two or three alleged bites on people in the twelve years I had him. One time he didn't do it and the policeman, EMTs and emergency room doctors all corroborated that the man didn't have any injuries that looked like bite marks, he might have had one scratch but it didn't seem to have been caused by a dog. So my dog was quarantined anyway but cleared.
The other time he bit a neighbor of my mom's that she absolutely hated after she told him not to touch the dog repeatedly. He ignored her and walked over and petted him over the head which the dog didn't like so he snapped at him. No marks but the guy then got "scared" and called 911. He made up all kinds of fake illbesses all the time and tortured my mom, long story. Animal control said the dog was protecting my mom who had terminal cancer and he could smell it, which was true. Since she repeatedly told the guy not to touch the dog, he was cleared as protecting her from someone harassing her and it wasn't counted as dangerous. There might have been a third one I don't remember. But nothing ever counted as dangerous and my dog was never counted as aggressive. In my city the dog bite law clearly says that if a dog bites to protect itself when it's being tortured or hurt it won't be blamed for it.
But dogs do communicate with growls and barks and sometimes if they need to they'll snap or show their teeth. If they do a light warning snap at another dog to make a point and don't break the skin, as in resource guarding or to stop another dog from harassing them by being pushy or mounting them, I guess the consensus in my area and the dog park is it's not ideal but they're dogs and they're socializing each other. As long as no dog or person is getting hurt or overly scared, no blood drawn, that sort of thing. That sort of thing I can't imagine getting reported and animal control here has been around a long time and can be reasonable.
It's different if the dog is drawing blood and acting truly aggressive.

Yesterday my dog stole a squeaky ball that a German Shepherd adolescent was carrying around. I tossed it for him a couple of times since the gsd didn't seem to care. As my dog was running after it and almost had it a different dog raced in and basically stole it right out of his mouth. This particular dog has numerous times stolen balls right out of my dog's mouth literally before and is pushy and hyper and doesn't have the greatest manners. A kid brings him in a couple of times a week who says he's dog sitting and I get the feeling the dog gets no training or exercise other than occasionally from this kid.
My dog never had any incidents with this dog before but never seemed to like him much either, just avoids him. This last theft must have been the last straw because when the dog stole the squeaky he went after him and it looked he snapped at him. Other dog dropped the ball, my dog trackled him and scared him because the other dog yelped. I quickly yelled at my dog to leave him alone while racing over there. He left the other dog alone before I got there and the kid took the dog and left immediately before I could even apologize or ask if the dog was ok. My dog has never left a mark on any dog before and he's never had resource guarding before. I don't bring squeaky toys in when there's other dogs there just to be careful. He went back to play with the ball he stole and I took it from him and found the owyand asked her to keep it hidden to avoid future issues.
So I could freak out about it but he doesn't usually resource guarding and that dog has pestered him for years and age four is late to develop that behavior. He wouldn't even approach his dog buddy who was playing with a stick later. And he's not touching the little dog's squeaky toy in my place. Even when the little dog was squeaking it and carrying it around before.
I'm not at all condoning nipping or biting or saying it's a desirable behavior, but it does happen between dogs as one way they communicate.
I think if you went to dog parks you might see that. And at different times of day you could be completely alone there with your dog or dogs or you could be there with one or two or three other people and dogs. They're not at all always crowded. It's very rare for me to see more than five or six dogs there. And there's six dog parks I could go to within a fifteen or twenty minute drive of my house. One is my favorite that I go to the most. At lest three or four more fields within a five or ten minute radius.
Shadowmom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2019, 08:02 AM
  #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 550
Mentioned: 42 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
I'm not against dog parks per se, I just meant that some dogs dont have a good temperament for them. My previous dog was a good example of this- she was happy to play with strange dogs....but her temperament was such that she'd fight in a heartbeat in response to some perceived slight. It wouldnt be fair to other people to have her in the dog park. For very social dogs that have good manners and you dont have to worry about fighting I think they're just fine.
Sthelena is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2019, 03:16 PM
  #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Texas
Posts: 851
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sthelena View Post
I'm not against dog parks per se, I just meant that some dogs dont have a good temperament for them. . It wouldnt be fair to other people to have her in the dog park.
I totally agree with this! My shy cautious Gracie dog is like this. It would be totally unfair to her and others if I brought her to a dog park. So I do not bring her to dog parks or off leash areas to keep her and others comfortable and safe.

But the problem is that some dog owners/dog sitters are simply not aware of this at all. Whereas @Sthelena, you are knowledgeable about your dog and dog behavior in general, and can recognize that your dog is not a great fit for a dog park, so many other people are so unknowledgeable!!

They bring in dogs that are totally not suited for this type of interaction just hoping that the dogs will work it out on their own. Some actually do, and all is cool. But.... some unfortunately do not and that is when, in my mind, it becomes risky or dangerous and the dogs fight or bite another dog, or human that has to break up the fighting dogs.

Plus so many people bring their dogs into dog parks full of ramped up energy, wanting an easy convenient way to drain the energy of their dog. But, actually it is advised to not do that, but instead exercise your dog before going into the dog park so that your dog is not obnoxious and hyper and over rowdy, which some dogs can perceive as rude behavior.

Plus I hear that before taking a dog to a dog park the dog should have excellent recall. HA! How many people at these parks actually have a solid recall? I bet only a handful, if that. Mine don't, just being honest here.

Dog parks just aren't for everyone. I'm cool with that. Plenty of other places to take doggies if a dog park isn't in the cards
AthenaLove is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
My dogs are aggressive with each other around other dogs MsLisa12882 Dog Training and Behavior 2 02-07-2019 03:32 AM
Will I ever be able to keep my dog from lunging at other dogs? marcy2254 Dog Training and Behavior 2 09-30-2018 06:45 AM
Dog Park Madness DracoGSD General Dog Discussion 25 02-28-2017 08:31 AM
Dogs can't go outside | no excercise -Need help- Ando Dog Training and Behavior 30 08-19-2016 11:44 AM


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:06 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd. Runs best on HiVelocity Hosting.