Terrible teens

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Joined:Thu May 24, 2007 7:30 am
Terrible teens

Post by Ocelot0411 » Mon Jul 06, 2020 6:30 am

Hi all,

Me again! This new pup of mine / going to a multi dog household has certainly been a learning curve!

So, Berkeley this time. Now just over 10 months, the humping has all but stopped (hurrah!) but of course this means he has reached maturity and his behaviour has started to change and as with most adolescents, not for the better.

He has started to display aggression (although I think its just noise and display at the minute) towards some dogs he doesn't know. I *think* almost all of these dogs have been other entire males. There is one dog in particular that he HATES but this dog is an entire male, has no manners and basically tries to mount Bella right under Berkeley's nose. I am not condoning his reaction but I have to say I take his point. This dog is allowed to roam freely whilst his owner chats with her friends. She has no idea where the dog is or what it is doing and then when it basically challenges Berkeley she is a good few minutes away and I am left to deal with the situation on my own. Not good so I am simply avoiding running in to her and her dog wherever possible.

However, there have been three other occasions where Berkeley has been downright obnoxious with other entire male dogs, one of them yesterday was only a puppy and I was horrified. He was on the lead so no harm done (no harm on any occasion) but he growls and basically puts his paws on their back trying to assert his newfound manhood (is my guess)? He is fine with any dog he does know and is out with my dog walker today having a whale of a time with two entire male dogs he knows. Little weirdo.

So my thoughts are (and I hope I am right) he is not generally dog aggressive but just being an obnoxious little so and so with male dogs as he has reached sexual maturity and is testing his boundaries. I really hope I am right here as I would hate him to be a generally aggressive dog, as that would feel like a huge failure on my part. Maybe I am over reacting......

But in any event I am unsure how to play this. I have simply been putting him on the lead when I see a dog I don't know for safety's sake but then I am concerned that by keeping him away from other dogs am I exacerbating the problem?

In short I am not sure how to deal with this and also I am very much looking for reassurance that this is a phase that he will grow out of / can be trained out of if its done correctly.

Any thoughts / ideas gratefully received.

Joined:Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:20 pm
Location:Dorset, UK

Re: Terrible teens

Post by JudyN » Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:56 am

Jasper was exactly the same. The bad news is that he'll occasionally have a bit of a grump at entire males, but it is now no more than that. He met a very bouncy playful 11-month-old husky cross the other day and had a Grrrr and put a paw on his back. I do think the paw is an 'I'm the boss round her mate' thing - he hates it if a young whippersnapper does it to him!

He also only ever picked on dogs who were easy-going/submissive - never one that was likely to respond by attacking him.

How I addressed it was to put him on lead every time I saw a dog I didn't know (unless I could see it was female/neutered) and walk the other way while giving a treat. If I felt we were far enough away I could change direction without needing to put him on lead. We did avoid certain places for a while - maybe even a couple of years - if the chances of bumping into a dog were too high, sticking to quiet areas with good visibility. Giving treats when seeing another dog became pretty much the norm, and even now he'll look at me and ask for a treat if we walk past a dog he has no interest in snarking at at all - and that's fine by me. Thinking 'If I see a dog I'll go to Mum and get a treat' means he's less likely to go up to the other dog.

I do think it's important that a dog is happy to be on lead, so make a point of still letting Jasper do his thing on lead - and recalling him, putting him on lead, giving him a reward and letting him off again, is important to stop him being reluctant to come back. A great recall in general is good - on occasion I was able to recall him when he'd just started duffing up another dog.

I never like the term 'aggressive dog' - it's dog who shows aggression in certain circumstances. In Jasper's case - and possibly Berkeley's too - I'd call it bullying or intimidation rather than 'proper' aggression.

If you think Berkeley might actually bite another dog, though, it would be wise to fit him with a muzzle to be on the safe side.
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

Joined:Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:48 pm

Re: Terrible teens

Post by jacksdad » Sat Jul 11, 2020 10:54 am

Ocelot0411 wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 6:30 am
In short I am not sure how to deal with this and also I am very much looking for reassurance that this is a phase that he will grow out of / can be trained out of if its done correctly.

Any thoughts / ideas gratefully received.
do not leave it to chance and the hope "he will grow out of it". This allows "life" to potentially reinforce the wrong thing thus the unwanted behaviors become "default" behaviors.

Be proactive, use training and management to increase the odds he will. I would encourage starting with Judy's advice.

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