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Recent dog aggression - help!

Discussion in 'Dog Behaviour and Training' started by megf.h, Aug 1, 2018.

  1. megf.h

    megf.h New Member Registered

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    Hi,
    I have a 5 year old rescue cross-breed (our guess is Jack Russell / Staffy) and she's suddenly become aggressive towards other dogs in the past couple of weeks. She used to be friendly with all dogs, but now growls and snarls at dogs who are far away as soon as she sees them, and lunges at dogs which we cross paths with and it only seems to be getting worse.

    I have tried training techniques such as distracting her with treats, which doesn't work because she is too focussed on other things in her surroundings, trying to walk on, telling her off... none of which is helping.

    She always walk on the lead, as she isn't very obedient. I try not to tense up on the lead because they say the dog can sense it, but I feel as though I have no choice as she chooses to lunge anyway. She hasn't had any bad experiences with dogs recently, my only guess is that she had a bad experience before we adopted her but I don't know why there has been a sudden onset of apparent aggression.

    Also, I met with a friend and her dog to see if a formal greeting with a well behaved dog would help, but she continued to be aggressive and once she sniffed the other dog, she actually bit her (the other dog is absolutely fine) which absolutely broke me as this is something she never would have done in the past.

    If anyone has any advice whatsoever PLEASE suggest it, because things are just getting worse and I'm worried for the future.
    Thank you.
     
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    A sudden change like this is usually caused by a medical rather than behavioural problem so a vet check would be your first step. She may be in pain which in turn makes her highly intolerant of other dogs.
     
    leashedForLife likes this.
  3. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    I second the full vet check, including bloodwork. How long have you had her for?
     
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  4. MrCW

    MrCW New Member Registered

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    Sounds a familiar story going through it myself, your not alone but would be interested to how long you have had her as JudyN said.
     
  5. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    Apart from ruling out health issues, if you have other helpful dog owners don't take your dog to meet their dogs, get the laid-back dog and yours to walk - you and friend just keep walking - best is somewhere with lots of smells such as woodland etc. Don't stop, don't talk to them- talk to your human companion and insist the dogs trot along with you as if you were doing a brisk dash to catch a bus. Once the reactive dog starts to focus on sniffing the flowers or whatever, you can allow a quick pause as reward. It's not foolproof but often a dog will decide to enjoy the walk rather than have a row! If it can get used to walking with other dogs then meetings are less sensitive.
     
  6. megf.h

    megf.h New Member Registered

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    We’ve had her for about 6 months now
     
  7. megf.h

    megf.h New Member Registered

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    We tried this recently and it wasn’t too successful. She seemed calmer after about 5 minutes but then as we stopped she immediately went for the other dog. I just feel a bit hopeless at the moment, but I won’t stop until it improves at least a little bit!
     
  8. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    Don't stop then!- keep walking and when you split up walk in different directions- it's not an instant fix but nothing is. It's a gradual de-sensitisation to the presence of other dogs.
     
  9. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Violet Turner likes this.

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