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Advice re, aggression

Discussion in 'Dog Behaviour and Training' started by AmandaP, Jun 20, 2021.

  1. AmandaP

    AmandaP New Member Registered

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    Hi, thanks for reading. I have a 3 year old neutered labradoodle. He was neutered when he was 1. He’s a beautifully behaved dog except one thing which has appeared over the last 6 months. He has randomly snarled and charged at a few dogs when we have been out on walks (only when he’s been off lead, he’s not at all
    Reactive on lead?) He’s off lead sometimes in the park (if there are doggy friends we know there or no dogs around) I always try and get him on a lead when there are other dogs on leads. My husband walked him today and didn’t get him on the lead in time when someone came round the corner. My dog went up to the dog on the lead (I’ve given my husband a right rollicking don’t worry!) and my off lead said hello to the on lead dog but then something changed and my dog growled and lunged at it. It was over in a second and my dog came back when called looking very sheepish. We can walk past a thousand dogs and he’ll ignore them when he’s on lead. No biting occurred and it was a lot of noise but I’d be pissed off it I was on the receiving end. I never let my dog interact off lead with dogs we don’t know (as we’ve met some unfriendly or nervous ones) This was a mistake but I’m confused why my dog did this when he was the one off lead? I do feel it’s fear (the other dog I’m told was a youngish dog and was excitable) I know my dog likes very placid calm dogs (not excusing I though) Just could do with some insight. I understand the importance of not letting off lead dogs go up to on lead ones (please don’t roast me as it was my husband) dog is always on the lead now and only off with dogs he knows. Thanks and sorry for rambling.
     
  2. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    You're doing all the right things - with the best will in the world, slip-ups happen. And at least your dog came straight back, which many wouldn't have.

    I wouldn't be at all surprised if the other dog was an unneutered male. It's common for dogs who are generally fine with any other dog to dislike young unneutered males intensely. If this isn't the case, it could be that the other dog responded defensively to your dog's friendly overtures, which is then what triggered him.

    I would work on not letting your dog approach any other dog without your permission - when you see another dog, get his focus on to you and give him a treat, and pop him on lead if necessary either till the other dog has passed or introductions have been made.

    You might also find some useful info here: Dog Reactivity
     
  3. AmandaP

    AmandaP New Member Registered

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    Thank you appreciate you responding. I think my dogs always been a little socially awkward and is much more a people person. He has some doggy friends and is happy to walk last and ignore other dogs. My husbands had a ticking off and will be more in control (I’ve told him the dogs done this before and I think he thought I was being a drama queen!)

    it’s interesting as it’s only happened with off lead greetings (my dog almost seems better on a lead, which I thought was a bit weird) I think he doesn’t like not being in control of what’s going on and gets fearful and is on the offensive as a defence. We’ve had such a lovely few months where he’s been so good and chilled - it just sets things back when this happens. He’s such a loving boy and was trained the “look at me” when dogs are near and still looks for treats when we walk past dogs so will re focus on and be more vigilant, thanks again
     
  4. Inka

    Inka Active Member Registered

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    .....and that could be the reason, it is not an 'excuse' it is you trying to work out why.
    Your dog is an adult and wants 'balanced' known dogs around it, adults dogs will 'tell off' pups, fearful or excited dogs as dogs see them as 'unbalanced' and 'dangerous', it potentially could also be a mixture of habit and picking up on handler 'fear/concern' because he knows you are keeping watch for other dogs and then putting him on a lead....

    A couple of things you can do with that, is put him on a line and let it trail, so you can step on it quickly so you have control without any signal to him so BEFORE you call him and do lots of 'praising' each time you pass any dog ( known or not) so he gets lots of verbal rewards to break any potential habit he is getting into...in general dogs like to please us, so verbal rewards will boost his self confidence and reduce your concern so you don't pass your concern on to him and he doesn't 'misinterpret' that concern thinking you are fearful of 'said dog'
     

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