fear agression

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nettyjen
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon May 09, 2016 4:14 pm

fear agression

Post by nettyjen » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:17 am

i am fostering a 4 year old staffie x rottie, she is an amazing girl considering her bad start in life.
when on a walk she is great until she sees another dog. she barks, snarls,growls, lunges forward and then backs up. she goes crazy i have found holding her harness helps to stop her jumping all over the place. the vet says it is fear aggression.
i have tried to distract her with her favourite toy or treats but nothing gets her focus off the dog. once the dog has gone past i can usually get her attention again and walk the other way but she still keeps looking back for the dog.
does anyone have any suggestions please

JudyN
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Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:20 pm
Location: Dorset, UK
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Re: fear agression

Post by JudyN » Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:55 am

You need to increase the distance between you and the other dog(s), to a point where your dog is comfortable. If your dog sees another dog from this distance, give her a treat and move in the other direction. The message is that seeing another dog is great because she gets a treat and doesn't have to worry about getting too near, but this will ONLY work if she's in her comfort zone. You want to get to a point where when your dog sees another dog, she looks at you in happy anticipation of a treat. Then, you can start reducing the distance, always staying in her comfort zone.

This is a great website which gives more detail: https://www.training-your-dog-and-you.c ... ining.html

Hope that helps, but I'm sure others will come along with more ideas.
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

nettyjen
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon May 09, 2016 4:14 pm

Re: fear agression

Post by nettyjen » Tue Feb 19, 2019 4:07 pm

thank you. i have read the link. problem with april is i cant drag her away from a dog that is walking towards us, they walk quicker than me. i do have mobility problems. if i take her and a dog is walking our way i have nowhere to go so neither does april.
even in my flat if she sees a dog down the street she goes crazy. the dog doesnt have to be close.
i only ended up with her because of the terminal illness of her fosterers, so we are hoping she goes back to him soon. there are dog walkers in place over there. its such a shame because she is fantastic in every other way.

JudyN
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Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:20 pm
Location: Dorset, UK
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Re: fear agression

Post by JudyN » Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:59 am

It is difficult, as you can't control when other dogs are going to appear. Is it possible for you to walk somewhere quieter? I know someone who used to walk their dog at 5am to avoid meeting other dogs. I'm not sure I could cope with such early starts though!

If you're on Facebook, there's a group called Reactive Dogs UK https://www.facebook.com/groups/1633448230248202/ I'm not a member, but I've heard really good things about it from other people so it might be worth joining, even if only to lurk for a while. Bear in mind, if there's any suggestions to 'correct' April, it's not as good as I've been led to believe!
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

nettyjen
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon May 09, 2016 4:14 pm

Re: fear agression

Post by nettyjen » Wed Feb 20, 2019 7:07 pm

i have spoken to the ones who run the rescue and the suggestion of a thundershirt to help with her anxiety.
i have asked to join the facebook group, having read the rules i think they are a good group they dont advocate the shock collars and other stuff like that. so i will give ask in that group if they have any suggestions.
thank you

jacksdad
Posts: 4879
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:48 pm

Re: fear agression

Post by jacksdad » Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:55 pm

I spend a lot of time working with fearful dogs. I am not impressed with the thundershirt. the evidence that it works is....well a bit thin shall we say.

I much more prefer working with Desensitization and Classical Conditioning, combined with teaching the dog skills that will help them either learn that scary isn't scary after all or her do this thing when scary is around rather than "freak out".

https://positively.com/forum/viewtopic. ... 3737dc97e8

here is another facebook group that I KNOW is sound...I have actually met Debbie on two occations, and I am fairly active in the group.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/fearful ... =bookmarks

I trust Judy so it's not that I am disagreeing with her facebook suggestion, but she did indicate she wasn't active in the group.

She is spot on about "corrections". Even people not using shock collars can think a fearful dog needs their behavior corrected, and still advocate an aversive based approach, even if it isn't with a shock collar. There is no place in working with fear for aversives. period, there is no debate on this point.

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