dog seems aggressive to certain dogs

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CaraN
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Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2018 2:20 pm

dog seems aggressive to certain dogs

Post by CaraN » Sat Nov 17, 2018 8:25 pm

Hi Everyone-

Looking for some advice. I have a 2 yo female Anatolian Shepherd dog. She is typically a relaxed dog. Generally speaking, good with people and the majority of dogs. But I have noticed that certain types of dogs really trigger her. Typically, these are dogs that I can see are maybe not the saviest communicators (maybe she is not either). Normally, I am fairly diligent at the dog park about making sure to check her body language when a new dog is arriving but I lapsed today. A new dog came and she ran over to it and the dog just stuck its nose in her face and I think maybe nipped her and being a dog she growled an lunged at it. The thing is, since she is so big its really quite frightening. I immediately removed her from the park. Is this the correct maneuver? On leash walks, she will lunge at some dogs and completely ignore others. Its very unpredictable. I don't let her meet any dogs on leash for this reason and have been using counter conditioning when any dogs appear whether she really bothers with them or not. She typically loves the dog park and loves playing but I want her to learn to ignore dogs she doesn't like for whatever reason. Any advice...

JudyN
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Re: dog seems aggressive to certain dogs

Post by JudyN » Sun Nov 18, 2018 3:41 am

It sounds like you're doing the right things. I like that you're using counter-conditioning regardless of whether she reacts or not, as so many people just use treats to 'reward good encounters' rather than to make the link that just seeing a dog is a GOOD THING.

My dog was very similar at her age - the dogs he didn't like were young unneutered males, and also any dog that looked confident, cocky and bouncy. If they bounced right up to him that was even worse, and these were often labs and retrievers, who don't rate highly when it comes to dog manners and etiquette. Oh, and pointers. He really didn't like pointers for some reason. And boxers...

He has got MUCH better as he's matured - he used to be very much an angry young man but now he'll tend to just ignore dogs who bounce around him, or maybe let out a low, soft growl. But sometimes he's a bit more proactive and I'll still pop him back on lead and take avoiding action if I see a dog I think he won't like.

I would carry on managing the situation as youve been doing, and work hard on recall as well as the counter-conditioning. Try always to keep her at her 'happy distance' from other dogs, and keep trying to work out what sorts of dogs she doesn't like (age, breed, stance, squashy face like a boxer, size, colour [dogs often don't like black dogs], bounciness...). It might be possible to walk her somewhere there are fewer times, or walk her at a time there are fewer dogs about. The more opportunities she has for 'good' walks where she doesn't react, the more this will become a norm. Each time she lunges at another dog, it will reinforce that behaviour.

If you think she may progress to biting another dog, as you can't control the environment 100%, you might want to consider muzzling her to be on the safe side. Hard as it is, try not to worry about what other people think ad assumptions they make based on her breed.
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

CaraN
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2018 2:20 pm

Re: dog seems aggressive to certain dogs

Post by CaraN » Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:56 pm

Okay, thanks for the tips. I guess there is really is not much more I could be doing. Its fairly easy for me to tell which dogs are going to be a problem for her. Like your dog she is not a huge fan of dogs that just bounce up to her but those are not the ones that she is really bothered by as she will just ignore them, giving them fairly effective calming signals, or else after a short time decide they are not too bad after all and play with them. I know some of it is due to immaturity and I have already noticed she lacks interest in more dogs then she used to.

Funny, I have noticed that she does not like boxers or bulldogs. I am not certain why. In the dog park its dogs that when she approaches stick their face straight up to hers that set her off. I believe that this behavior scares her as she got nipped in the face about a year ago to the point of bleeding. At the time she ran away but I am guessing it scared her and she really wants to prevent it. I am not worried about her really getting into anything too major, I just don't want her to be able to keep practicing. As far as the leash walking goes, I have already noticed its dwindled and really only happens at night now. In the dog park its very obvious to me which dogs will trigger her, but its harder on leash walks so I just keep distance and give treats. Aside from the counter conditioning with dogs, I have also taught her Look which she pretty good with depending on the distance of the dog (or other stimulus). I will just keep plugging away and be vigilant.

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Nettle
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Re: dog seems aggressive to certain dogs

Post by Nettle » Tue Nov 20, 2018 5:11 am

Boxers, bulldogs and other squash-faced breeds are often disliked by more conventional dogs. Squash faces don't show expression properly, and look as if they are already snarling. Coupled with a forward-leaning stance, these look very antagonistic towards other dogs, who feel they should send Go Away signals.

Boxers in particular are very bouncy and in-yer-face, and many dogs don't care for that.

If the dog tells you one thing and the owner tells you another, always believe the dog. Keep your dog safe and don't worry about what other people think.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

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CaraN
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Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2018 2:20 pm

Re: dog seems aggressive to certain dogs

Post by CaraN » Tue Nov 20, 2018 11:12 am

I have often noticed boxers really not knowing when to let up. I didn't realize that about the smush faces dogs not being able to give the right signals. Interesting...my friend's labrodor also frequently takes issue with bulldogs in particular. I a very much into the keeping her safe and really not letting her get into a situation where she feels she needs to defend herself. With her, I think she gets a bit offensive when she is scared. Thanks guys!

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