Help with dog-aggressive behavior?

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Help with dog-aggressive behavior?

This is a discussion on Help with dog-aggressive behavior? within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; Hi there, I'm looking for advice on how to correct my dog's aggressive behavior toward other dogs. Let me clarify that she isn't at all ...

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Old 12-09-2014, 05:57 PM
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Help with dog-aggressive behavior?

Hi there,

I'm looking for advice on how to correct my dog's aggressive behavior toward other dogs. Let me clarify that she isn't at all aggressive toward people, and she absolutely adores children. She's going on 3yrs old now, and is a mix breed (coonhound for sure, likely with blue heeler). I've had her since she was a few weeks old, and she didn't always display the behavior.

As best I can remember, it started during her puppy obedience training. I was with her and know for a fact that she wasn't attacked or anything like that. What happens is that whenever another dog is within about 5ft of her (on leash), she tucks her tail and growls, sometimes lunging at the other dog unprovoked. I understand that tucking the tail is probably fear/anxiety related, but I have no idea how to go about helping her.

She lives with two dachshunds at home, and generally behaves well with them. Does anyone know what I could do to eliminate this behavior?

Thanks in advance!

(P.S. I realize I posted this in the wrong place; I can't figure out how to move it on mobile.)

Last edited by HarleyD7; 12-09-2014 at 06:03 PM.
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Old 12-09-2014, 07:15 PM
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Welcome to Dog Forum! It does sound as though your pup may be fearful. Here are some resources you might find helpful:
Reactivity, On Leash Aggression, and Barrier Frustration
Growling...
Calming Signals (for learning more about body language)
Care for Reactive Dogs
Debbie Jacobs' fearful dogs
Donna Hill counter-conditioning

Lots of folks here are dealing with reactive dogs - there's a very long thread where people share their successes, set backs, and strategies: Reactivity; progress, techniques, and suggestions

Good luck!
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Old 12-09-2014, 07:24 PM
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Just curious, when you say 'a few weeks old' does that mean that you adopted her prior to 6-8 weeks? I know that this can be a common problem in dogs separated from their litter early. I agree with cookieface in that this does sound like something genetic, or a product of her environment as a young, young puppy. It's very unusual to see a puppy display true fear-aggression, as you describe.

If at all in your budget, I'd consider contacting a qualified veterinary behaviourist to get their take on it. But from what you report about her behaviour around people children and your other dogs, it sounds like training oriented toward management (i.e., getting her to ignore other dogs, not necessarily be gaga over them) would be a good goal.
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Old 12-09-2014, 08:17 PM
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Thank you guys!

As for your question, I'm actually not sure of her exact age when I took her. I actually took her and her siblings (I believe there were 4 puppies total, and I found homes for them a month or two later) because I was worried they might be dumped, since they were mixed breeds. She had her siblings for a good while, but I coudnt tell you exactly how old they were when they were separated.
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Old 12-10-2014, 06:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kelly528 View Post
If at all in your budget, I'd consider contacting a qualified veterinary behaviourist to get their take on it. But from what you report about her behaviour around people children and your other dogs, it sounds like training oriented toward management (i.e., getting her to ignore other dogs, not necessarily be gaga over them) would be a good goal.
Ah, yes! In the midst of my computer crashing and rebooting, I neglected to retype the comment to consult a qualified trainer or behaviorist. Excellent information here: Finding a Trainer, Behavior Consultant, or Behaviorist
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Old 12-10-2014, 05:47 PM
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Great advice from the others. I just wanted to point out that the behavior you are seeing is on leash. I would be very curious to see how she behaves around strange dogs when not on leash. Dogs can behave remarkably fearful and aggressive when on leash, and completely opposite when not leashed. If she has a true case of leash aggression only, your best bet is to reward for for ignoring other dogs, and work progressively closer as she gets more comfortable. As Kelly points out, there really is no reason that she needs to interact with other dogs on leash, she just needs to be comfortable ignoring them.
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