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Fear Related Aggression Reactivity

Discussion in 'General Dog Forum' started by houseof_fraser, Nov 20, 2019.

Is your dog reactive?

  1. No never

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  2. Yes Always

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  3. Yes Sometimes

    100.0%
  4. No but used to be

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  1. Mayblossom

    Mayblossom Well-Known Member Registered

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    I do sympathise with you as our Springer had many issues re barking and screaming at every dog ( apart from her best mate Lily terrier :rolleyes:) we had her at eights weeks old and I started taking her out in my arms to get used to all the sights and sounds out there, every time we saw a dog she would scream! Sounded like she’d been hurt really badly to other dog walkers! This didn’t get any better so rang the breeder and asked if anything had happened to her before we picked her up...she had apparently let the Dad of the pups in with them and he’d had a go at them :( Molly was the only one affected as far as we know, never improved over the years but there was never any aggression from Molly or the other dogs she barked at, they obviously read her body language and for the most ignored her....luckily ;) had all the advice from so called experts to either tell her off, take her to classes with lots of other dogs ( big mistake :D) etc etc , nothing worked so we adjusted our walks around her to avoid the majority of dogs, could never have a conversation with any other dog walkers because of the continual barking, but she was an adorable happy dog for the 9 years we had her, still miss her so much .
     
    houseof_fraser and JoanneF like this.
  2. DixD

    DixD Guest

    The poster above reminds me of something I’d forgotten. We had a little copse of young trees nearby, and I had been training tgefearful dog for agility, before we recognised how anxious he was. He wouldn’t cope with that sort of environment, though he wuldll have been incredible. He was very fast and responsive. I used all the agility commands
    to send him out, and around trees in all sorts of combinations. He loved it, ignored anything in the vicinity, and didn’t bark at all. He had a “job to do”, run round trees, and that’s what he did. It seemed to give him a focus away from his anxiety.
     
    houseof_fraser and JudyN like this.
  3. houseof_fraser

    houseof_fraser Member Registered

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    Thank you, I can relate actually! She is a very high energy collie and has to play a certain amount of ball or do a certain amount of running/playing/swimming a day or she becomes very hyper. The only problem that we have is that we live bang in the center of town so we have to walk to any fields through town or to wherever the car is parked (street parking can be quite hard here so it’s often quite far away) and she reacts on that part of the journey often setting herself up for a bad day as once on high alert she stays there. We play ball at home with an indoor ball and lots of mental stimulation, we play ball outside too.
    After her ball time in the fields if she meets another dog she is often much better! I hadn’t really thought to mention that so far. If only we could get her this calm before leaving the house. One day at a time..
     
  4. houseof_fraser

    houseof_fraser Member Registered

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    Aww she sounds adorable, I know the scream you are talking about I’ve heard that one with nervous springers before hehe.
    Yes sometimes I agree that it’s best just to adapt to the dog, in starting to see that ours will always be the nervous type and so some adapting will be needed to ensure she’s happy and calmer on walks.
    Something may have happened to her when she was a pup too, the breeder fed her on cornflakes and milk so he really had no idea about dogs *rolls eyes*.
    Our other dog Eli is very nervous of men in flat caps hats actually and the man we picked him up from (he was an unplanned litter from a rather unsavoury character) wore a peaked cap. So no guesses what happened there. He’s actually much better with that now as my dad and bro wear those types of hats and have been very kind to him. If he sees a man in one in the street he will see duck behind me though and if they try to touch him to pet him he will cower and back away in fear. It’s sad what can be done to a pup that will scar it for the rest of its life :-(
    Thank you for taking the time to share your experience, I’m glad we are not alone in this xx
     
    Mayblossom likes this.
  5. houseof_fraser

    houseof_fraser Member Registered

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    That’s such a brilliant idea! I wonder if we could find something like this for her to do. We already have an agility course in the garden (cheap Aldi thing) which she’s gotten quite good at so maybe we could get her to weave around trees at our local wood. We often ask her to jump on things and she poses for photos for me for my Instagram which she enjoys, she loves sitting in trees that none of the other dogs can get in to and if the ball gets lost she knows it’s her job (self appointed) to go and retrieve it (from down a hole, in a briar thicket etc) it’s hilarious to see her spring in to action! Collie’s really love having a job huh!
    We recently took our other younger collie mix to a little agility course and he LOVED it. He’s a little nervous of other dogs but friendly unless they try to dominate him so hoping he would be okay in those circumstances? We’d never compete anyway so I guess it would be fine and good for him to see more dogs (obviously with our reactive one it cuts down the times that Eli can socialise as we have to think of her).

    thanks so much for taking the time to reply! I think we may need to think about giving her more ‘purpose’. She would have been an amazing sheep dog I think (on the hill farm she came from) she’s got that intense stare and is very focused when she wants to be.

    all the best
     
  6. houseof_fraser

    houseof_fraser Member Registered

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    This is a great way to look/think of it! I can see now that this is the same for her! If only there was a way to calm her enough to get her from the house to the car (which is often parked a few streets away because we live right in the center of town)...
     
  7. houseof_fraser

    houseof_fraser Member Registered

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    yes I 1000% agree. Collie’s are wonderful and so so clever and affectionate but can be very sensitive too. I’ve found that our labrador trains best in an entirely different way to the collies, he wants me to be very firm with my voice and very snappy with my fingers and abrupt movements. Whereas the collies like a gentle voice, no fast hand movements and just a generally softer approach. Our collie mix boy who’s 2 will respond immediately to me simply asking him to do something, I hardly ever have to raise my voice and if I have to he’s instantly at heal and ‘sorry’. He’s the absolutely sweetest, love him to bits. He also loves the whistle, he must have seen other dogs in his breeding place as it was a farm. When I first brought him home I used a whistle to get him to come to me and he responded before I even trained him! Sorry, off on a tangent about how much I love collies, oops.
    Thank you for the reply, it’s all interesting to know!
     
  8. DixD

    DixD Guest

    I have confidence you’ll get there, but you need to do a lot of lateral thinking, I found! How to associate calmness with being out. With Wolfie, I walked him up and down the road to the golf club in our park, after driving him there. It is such a boring walk, but, for the first while, he used to be really stressy. By the time we got to the golf club, he had begun to settle down. By the time, we were heading back to the car, he was getting into a rhythm, and his tail slowly swinging side to side.

    The fascinating thing I noticed, and I think, for him, it was a major factor, was that he wasn’t in the here and now. He was always scanning the horizon, so, if anything/body suddenly appeared close by, what a fright he got. I started stopping him, and getting him to watch me, to help him interact with his immediate environment, which he began to take notice of, and I think that helped a lot.

    As I said earlier, I think he was actually a neurotic dog, and we decided to just walk him in the quiet area up the road, and drive him there, just to make his life easier because it seemed to be a mentzl health issue. But, I did learn few things along the way!

    Best of luck! :D
     

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