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Is this Aggression?

Discussion in 'General Dog Forum' started by Eva1, Sep 20, 2020.

  1. Eva1

    Eva1 Member Registered

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    Hi,
    Need advice about my wee Cleo again. She’s brilliant, picks new commands and tricks up so well, her recall is very good already so can be off the lead. She also loves people and is very friendly and soppy towards them. She’s such a sook haha.

    The only problem is around other dogs. She’s met a lot of dogs now just from her walks etc. She has a wee friend called Bailey who she loves to play with and run around with. However she can sometimes be quite snappy with other dogs. For example, today on her walk at first she was on the lead and met a female dog and was fine had a sniff lay down next to her etc all good, then at the end of the walk she off the lead, I was teaching her stays etc in a field. She saw this other male dog off lead and ran over. Initially they sniffed each other then she just got very growly and showed her teeth, pretty sure her hackles where up. She’s growled when she’s been on the lead beofre when a dogs approached as think she feels redirected. I’m just unsure of this behaviour. It seems likes it just random dogs she does this with. Some days she great with dogs a wee sniff and we are off and the next she can be a wee devil.

    She’s currently teething right now with her adult teeth pushing through and i was maybe thinking it’s males she maybe doesn’t like but she’s played with males dogs before and never reacted like that, just all play. I really don’t know what to do but want to nip this soon as don’t want her acting like this. I try to take her out of the situation as maybe she is scared and reacting to it. She was always very timid around dogs when we first got her and now she either loves playing or gets growly.

    She uses her paws a lot in play but so do a lot of other dogs I’ve noticed so she can play ruff sometimes but I don’t know how to stop this or calm her down.

    Any help would be great as other than this she’s amazing.

    Thanks,
    Eva
     
  2. lurcherman

    lurcherman Well-Known Member Registered

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    I’m a no nonsense person so my dog would get a slap on the snout, quick and no other antics , back on lead and total me not happy mode, no most on here are different and that’s fine ,
     
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  3. Jan Woodhall

    Jan Woodhall Active Member Registered

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    I'm on my first dog in 38 years so don't take what I whaffle on about too seriously, however, I am guessing they are like humans and all other animals really, it is NOT unusual to take a dislike to another - just by gut feeling! If it is not unfriendly to all dogs then clearly it has possibly good taste in a nice dog or a not so nice dog and the growling and barking is the way your dog expresses its feelings. This is not necessarily a bad thing, however, it could, I'm thinking get a little out of hand! So perhaps some form of diversion when it occurs might not be a bad thing, and certainly do not make a big event of it, because that will imprint it more. Best of luck! :)
     
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  4. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    I like dogs to be dog neutral. That means if my dog is indifferent to others, he can be more focussed on me which is always a good thing.

    I agree with Jan's comment, if she is unsure of another dog, get her out of the situation. And, learn all you can about canine body language because that will help you a lot in anticipating problems before they start. She is a collie I think, so read about the collie 'stare' and I'm sure there will be pictures and videos online.

    You may also find these links helpful -

    Body Language

    Dog Reactivity

    I wouldn't recommend a slap on the snout - partly because the snout is a sensitive part of a dog's body, and mainly because I don't think it's right to punish her for this. What she is doing is telling the other dog she isn't comfortable and to get out of her space. If you felt anxious - let's say about spiders and you squealed when you saw one - if I slapped you every time you might stop squealing but you wouldn't feel less anxious about them. In fact you'd probably feel more anxious because you know that the sight of a spider is accompanied by a slap.

    You should also never reprimand a growl, it's an important communication that your dog is unhappy about something. Stopping her from growing would be like taking the battery out of a smoke alarm.

    So lurcherman is quite correct when he says there are people who will disagree! ;)
     
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  5. Eva1

    Eva1 Member Registered

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    Im working on the AOA and trying to get her focused on me on walks. If we have her ball she couldn’t care less about what’s around her just me and the ball. But I’m working on her focus on me.

    I don’t think it helps her either that on almost every walk we take that’s at our local park it seems every dog there just runs up to us. All the dogs are great but can be frustrating as if she’s on the lead and a couple dogs run over she is sometimes fine but sometimes doesn’t like and with growl. Going to maybe look out different places to walk her.
     
  6. Eva1

    Eva1 Member Registered

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    Yeah it’s just random dogs it seems, or one day she won’t be in the mood and react, so I can’t find out where it comes from. Definitely is her way of expressing how she feels and sometimes she been snappy then back off and after a couple seconds they’ll both be playing with one another no growling or anything. Just have to watch for her signals and move her away if I feel she might snap.
     
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  7. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    AOA? Sorry, I don't think I know that term?
     
  8. Eva1

    Eva1 Member Registered

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    Art of Attention, so getting her to focus on me and me be the source of her fun. It also looks at like her giving me eye contact before she gets any treats etc etc
     
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  9. Hemlock

    Hemlock Well-Known Member Registered

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    It isn't random dogs, it's rude dogs that she is warning to mind their manners. Dog communication is mainly body-language, and we humans take a while to learn about it. But just the same as we don't like certain people and certain approaches, nor do dogs. She is quite within her 'rights' to do this in dog terms, but in a human world, we are best to avoid it. You need to be her protector so she doesn't feel she has to deal with other dogs, and this involves being PRO-active not RE-active. Move her away before things kick off and don't let her run up to other dogs by teaching her: see other dog, return to owner, get rewarded and if you can't trust her to stay with you - I wouldn't as she is still very young - pop the lead on, have her to the side of you that is furthest from the other dog/s, and walk away.

    Walk her places it is less likely to happen because her stress levels will rise every time another dog stresses her. As a separate exercise, you go to the park without her, and study all the dog/dog interactions. This will teach you the signals dogs give off when they approach other dogs.
     
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  10. Linz1012

    Linz1012 Member Registered

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    I think this is very telling. Imagine going to a bar and literally everyone there came over to "say hi". Whether they knew you or not, they think "Ooh! Person! Must meet!" [​IMG]

    First couple of strangers you'd be polite, and probably say "hi" back. But the 20th? 50th? 100th?

    At some point, you'd snap, and tell them to shove their "hi's" where the sun don't shine and leave you alone. You only came out for a quiet drink with a friend, for god's sake! :rolleyes: ;)

    Now imagine your friend witnessed all this. He or she can do one of 2 things:

    1) Smack you around the head and tell you the strangers are only "being friendly", so settle down and accept it, or I'll frog march you out of here, put you in a cab and that'll be the end of our catch-up.

    2) link your arm with theirs, and say "How about we get out of here and go get something to eat instead, eh?"

    Which would you prefer? ;)

    I know you never suggested hitting your dog, but I had to address Lurcherman's comment that his dogs get a smack on the nose for showing normal behaviour. Going somewhere quieter - or even, go in to the park at quieter times is for the best.

    Glad I'm not the only one.
     
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  11. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    This would be really helpful - anywhere with lots of dogs will be arousing for her, whether because she really wants to play, and gets excited in play, or because she's nervous of the other dogs. The more calm, incident-free walks she has, the more she'll mature to be calmer and less interested (in either way) with other dogs, and be more focused on you.
     
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  12. Eva1

    Eva1 Member Registered

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    Reading you reply makes it make sense and maybe she just is just stressed about dogs constantly approaching, when walking her this morning she was on lead but now when she sees a dog she just stares and kinda waits. She had one interaction with an off lead dog who couldn’t have cared less about her but Cleo had a sniff and that was it so maybe it gets too much for her at times.

    When I think about it if a dog comes bounding over all excited that’s when she normally reacts.

    With definitely from now on will just keep on her lead and take her at quieter times or quieter places as I would much rather she was neutral with dogs, she has a few dogs she plays with fine but other than that she doesn’t need to be friends with them all
     
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  13. Eva1

    Eva1 Member Registered

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    Yeah for sure, I think the less these moments happen where she reacts due to nervousness will hopefully show her dogs aren’t that interesting lol. I’m reassured to know she’s not aggressive thou as was worried she was and know if I keep letting it continue it might develop more.
     
  14. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    Maybe try to distract her before she stares too much - a lot of dogs find the 'collie stare' quite unnerving and that in turn might make their body language either defensive or aggressive (sayng back off).
     
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  15. Eva1

    Eva1 Member Registered

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    Yeah I’ll defo try that next time we are on a walk, cause she’s still young on walks she doesn’t always listen as she’s too intrigued but birds, dogs, people and anything that moves tbh haha but will keep working on it and be aware when a dog approaches to distract before she notices. I’ll also research the collie stare also
     
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  16. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    Can I add having worked in rescue where dogs come in 'having snapped at a child' it's always the hands and little fingers- and I'd put money on the dog having been slapped on the muzzle for discipline. The only thing this teaches dogs is that hands are weapons. But I do have a reactive dog and do try the distraction method which usually works...when it fails it's because I haven't judged the situation in time,:confused: which does happen.
     
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  17. Tinytom

    Tinytom Well-Known Member Registered

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    Do you still Drag your women into your cave too ....:p:p:p:p
     
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  18. Hemlock

    Hemlock Well-Known Member Registered

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    "Aggression is a behaviour not a dog".

    All of us have felt aggressive at some time, and all of us have been the victims of another person's aggression. It's a natural behaviour albeit an unwanted one. So the very best way to avoid aggression is to observe everything that goes on around you (no using the mobile when you walk your dog) and use pre-emptive behaviour any time there is a chance of it. Even if it means turning around and going another way. As dogs mature, and as our behaviour teaches them that they can trust us to protect them, they become more confident and so more dog-neutral.

    Sometimes other people make ignorant comments when we move away and body-block their ill-behaved dogs. Treat it as mind over matter. You don't mind and they don't matter.
     
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  19. lurcherman

    lurcherman Well-Known Member Registered

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    Tiny Tom, they never escape the cave as they are chained up , anyway my slap on the snout is mainly a distraction and I will do it again, I am the boss, as said before I don’t have these problems 90 % have with dogs so like I’ve said I’m giving my opinion on what I do with great rewards, people who know me do see the results, and for the ones who think the dogs nose is hanging off with blood dripping you need to just calm down and chill.
     
  20. Linz1012

    Linz1012 Member Registered

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    My pet peeve. :mad: It's just asking for trouble.

    A knee to the groin doesn't result in blood and gore either, but still hurts like heck. ;)
     

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