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Discussion Starter #1
My staffy is a great dog. Super friendly with other dogs and learns really quickly. The only behaviour which concerns me actually seems pretty normal but still creates problems. When other dogs become aggressive with him he'll grab them and not let go. This is understandably distressing for the other dog and owner and often leads to puncture wounds.

Any suggestions on how to Train him to react differently to aggression from other dogs?
 

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I'm not sure I understand. Under what circumstances do other dogs become aggressive, and why can't you prevent this from happening?
 

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I'm not sure I understand. Under what circumstances do other dogs become aggressive, and why can't you prevent this from happening?
So far it's happened twice. Once it was a pug cross at the park that he was playing with happily who suddenly became defensive of his owner when my dog approached him. The other time my brother's dog out of the blue became defensive of me and stacked my dog when my dog came up to be to say hello
 

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It might be just a couple of isolated incidents but I'm personally quite firm with keeping some strange dogs away from mine by body blocking them (depending on their body language as they approach).
 

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Thanks, I've enrolled in a local dog club. I figure maximising his exposure to other dogs is the best way to ensure that any antisocial habits are nipped in the bud
 

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It might help, but be prepared that it might not. From what you said he only retaliated when the other dogs went for him first, so he was only defending himself.

But if he is the instigator, the chances are likely that other dogs make him anxious and he is trying to warn them off. If that is the case, maximising his exposure will raise his tension, not lower it.
 

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It might help, but be prepared that it might not. From what you said he only retaliated when the other dogs went for him first, so he was only defending himself.

But if he is the instigator, the chances are likely that other dogs make him anxious and he is trying to warn them off. If that is the case, maximising his exposure will raise his tension, not lower it.
Thanks, as you say I've never seen him instigate it, my concern is that his mechanism to defend himself is harming other dogs. My hope is that I can change it somehow...
 

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Maybe just be vigilant - there is a very fine line between desensitising and sensitising.

Desensitising is where he becomes accustomed to other dogs and happily ignores them. Sensitisation is when the stimulus is repeated, but to the point of annoyance. Like a colleague who has a habit of clicking a pen - most days you can tolerate it or ignore it, but one day, maybe in an important meeting where everyone is pressured and maybe you have other stresses going on, you haven't slept and you have a headache, and he is click - click - clicking. You have had enough, so you lose it and take the pen from him and snap it. He can't believe what happened, he has always done that and you never reacted before. So just watch your dog's body language to make sure he isn't being sensitised.
 
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