I really need some advice with my dog

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loza123
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I really need some advice with my dog

Post by loza123 » Thu Dec 15, 2011 11:48 am

Hello,
I have written about my dog’s behaviour many times, but I am stuck at what to do currently.
My dog Bob is a 4 year old lab cross either with collie or GSD, we got him from a rescue centre 18 months ago, were he was the longest staying dog there. Before he went to the rescue he lived with another dog, a border terrier. The rescue assured us that bob wasn’t aggressive with other dogs. In fact all it said was ‘loves to play and loves his toys’.
Now when we got him home he did used to bark, lunge and pull at other dogs, we tried a number of things such as halters, harnesses and having two leads on him for better control. Awhile ago we went to a trainer who deals with aggressive dogs. It started off by him having an assessment and seeing his reaction when another dog was present, we worked on getting him calmer around other calm dogs between the fence and having bob calm while walking up to the fence. We did go away for the weekend a few months ago and the trainer had him for 4 days, when we came to pick him up with was playing with the trainer’s rottie, which was brilliant to see. We believe bob has been hit with his lead in the past aswell, he is a big dog and sometimes I have just put his lead over his back so he won’t trip up but he shy’s away from it and doesn’t like it. Bob , we believe has been with some dogs, maybe in his other home as he does know not to bite but when he has been playing and nipped me I make a high pitch noise and he does release and I reward him. When we are out walking we carry hot dogs and when we see a dog to feed him normally he responds well, no more than pulling. He is worse in the dark; he is an anxious dog anyway so been in the dark makes him worse
Well that brings me onto today really. Bob was doing well through there is always one house down a side street we go down that always will scratch at the window and bark when bob goes past he reacts as well, pulling toward this other ***** Lucy. Well today he looked to see where she is and luckily for us she wasn’t at the window barking but just as we were walking past the drive way which has a metal gate I saw Lucy coming running out the drive way , the gates were open, her owner wasn’t in sight . There was quite a bit of ‘all teeth’, bob was on his lead. It all happened so quickly it’s hard to remember but somehow Lucy’s bum was facing Bobs mouth and it looked like he was nipping her but holding on to the fur near her tail, so more of the fur covering her lower back. Lucy was squealing and Bob held on a little more, I can’t remember whether I pulled him away by his lead or whether he let go. The owner eventually came running out and Lucy had her body and head low, I can’t blame her but normally she is the confident dog, so it was strange to see her like that. The owner said that he thought bob just nipped her , but bob had a bit of her fur in his mouth. By now my legs were shaking and i told bob off. His currently in the dog house ( The kitchen) I was a wreck. I was frustrated that no one put the time into socialize him, and its sad that we now how a large powerful dog who doesn’t really know how to greet dogs. I don’t know if he is fearful and that comes out as aggression or what...

emmabeth
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Re: I really need some advice with my dog

Post by emmabeth » Thu Dec 15, 2011 9:56 pm

Its hard in the heat of the moment but I wouldn't have told Bob off for that, though the reaction is a bit extreme, this dog has given him some aggro every single time he has walked past, and from his point of view this time he was walking past completely innocently and she came flying out.... to do what? he has NO idea but he already associates this location and this dog with aggro so even if her approach was polite (and if she came running out at high speed it won't have been polite!) you can hardly blame him for acting first, thinking second!

I would avoid this route for now and if possible when y ou go back to it, cross the street before this house.

This was an unfortunate accidnet and it wasnt yours or Bobs fault, it was the other dog owner for allowing his dog to be loose with an open gate, a great many dogs WITHOUT Bobs issues would have reacted badly in his situation.
West Midlands based 1-2-1 Training & Behaviour Canine Consultant

Flyby
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Re: I really need some advice with my dog

Post by Flyby » Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:07 am

My Pippin changes character a little at night too. He's not perfect, but reasonably socialised with other dogs, but I have to confess his fuse is definitely shorter when it's dark. It's not a drastic change, but 'noticeable'.

I don't know if it's him lacking confidence because it's dark and he's a little anxious, or instinctive heightened awareness/readiness to attack with dusk and early darkness being a 'good' time for hunting, perhaps a little of both, with it also being a fairly rare occurence too.

I think you have to remember that a dog being well socialised however immensely beneficial and predictable, is never fool proof. In similar terms, unless you see a regular pattern of aggression you're concerned about, I wouldn't dwell too long on one 'disagreement'. Don't overreact, learn what you can from it, and be on your guard for similar circumstances in future.

If your rescue centre reckoned he wasn't aggressive, and your trainer reckoned he wasn't aggressive, there's also a possibility it's your own anxiety that your Bob is reacting to rather than his own aggression. How do you react when you see another dog approaching?

loza123
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Re: I really need some advice with my dog

Post by loza123 » Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:21 am

The rescue said he wasn't agressive with other dogs however the trainer did say she found it hard to believe bob didn't show any agressive towards other dogs while he was in the rescue and he was there for 6 months. I am normally the calm one when waling him, i dont tend to get anxious. When i see another dog i will cross over if its on the same side as us and when were over the other side i will fed him while he looks at the other dog and normally he isn't as reactive as he was, he used to be barking pulling, lunging, and he would stand on his back legs , constantly looking back at the other dog. Now he will just pull and look around. My mum is the one who gets nervous, my mum wont take bob out on his own and my dad wont either. But bob is always on alert when he is out walking , he always pulls when we set of on a walk , looking around every corner, he can be easily starled if someone comes out of there house then he will be on alert then. The only time he does really slows down is when he knows he is going home. He does love to play fetch and i would happily play fetch will him but because there is no fenced off playing fields i cant take the risk of him seeing another dog when he doesn't know how to politely say hello.

Me personally i think he wasn't fully soicalize as a puppy which has lead to fear and now he is anxious and agressive.

bendog
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Re: I really need some advice with my dog

Post by bendog » Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:59 pm

Emmabeth I have to say it is REALLY hard not to shout at the dog in that situation. I've been there, and it is just instinctive to yell, you just panic.

Though of course it is the wrong thing to do!

Flyby - I think Borders are notorius for being anxious/reactive around dogs. Ben was nervous around dogs, but unreactive until he was about 5 then he got into a scuffle with a black lab (it was dark and both dogs were off lead so I've no idea who started it) and since then he's been incredibly reactive to most dogs.

Loza, I think you are right not to risk letting him off lead. Personally I do let my reactive dog off, but only when I am sure there are no dogs around, and he has a very good recall so he will come back. Keep going with the training and his reactivity will hopefully continue to improve, but he may stay aggressive to that one dog since it seems like she really winds him up.

jacksdad
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Re: I really need some advice with my dog

Post by jacksdad » Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:52 pm

bendog wrote:Emmabeth I have to say it is REALLY hard not to shout at the dog in that situation. I've been there, and it is just instinctive to yell, you just panic.
This is one of the reasons it's often suggested that people assume until conclusively known otherwise that their reactive dog is fearful and really, really accept and understand your dog is NOT being bad it's reacting from fear. the more you accept and believe this, the less likely you will slip in to the thinking your dog is being bad. I think that and embarrassment and thinking you "NEED" to show your in control are the two top reasons people slip yell at your dog.

it's not easy for some, but I strongly encourage everyone to work on getting past this. when people look at me funny I just say "it's classical conditioning, you know the pavlov thing. for him (meaning my dog) since he is scared of dogs, I treat him when he sees a dog. this builds an association dog = good and he looks from the dog to me". Some people get it, others pretend they do but suddenly I go from looking "out of control" or "misguided" to someone with a plan "doing something about their dog". for other times I finally reached a point where I have a %$#%^ their opinion attitude. It's my dog, I know what I am doing works, and I know it will take some time, so who cares if they think I am doing it wrong. of course that became a bit easier after some of my neighbors, people who I have never met, or had a conversation with suddenly started commenting to me how much Jack has improved.

So I get it, but I do really encourage you to work on not slipping and yelling at your dog.
loza123 wrote:The rescue said he wasn't agressive with other dogs however the trainer did say she found it hard to believe bob didn't show any agressive towards other dogs while he was in the rescue and he was there for 6 months.
Well that assumes someone at the rescue knew what to look for. It also assumes that he wasn't shutdown due to being around in close quarters the others dogs.

loza123
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Re: I really need some advice with my dog

Post by loza123 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:08 am

Update i have just taken bob for his walk as i do. First we were coming around a corner, i said he wasn't friendly and turned away to cross the raod, once we were across the road, bob saw the other dog and there was no pulling, barking, lunging etc so i kept feeding him treats and carried on. When we was going down a side street there was a young puppy jumping along so i managed to get bob onto the other side of the road and fed him though he did pull towards this dog, he shaked and carried on. Then as we were coming back down our street on the same side of the road i spotted coming towards us the first dog we had met, bob spotted him to. So i quickly crossed the road as bob was pulling and lunging i got him on the other side of the road, trying to feed him but he was too focused on this other dog. I don't know if he did pull me over but i ended up on my knee's and either bobs full body weight ( 30kg) or my body weight or both went all onto my right foot, I was really angry at him, i know i shouldn't be but i was, i limped home, bob went straight onto his bed and i am on mine, with a very painful foot :(

Not the best walk i have had.

Erica
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Re: I really need some advice with my dog

Post by Erica » Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:17 am

Cyber hugs for you. :( I know how it feels when you have a completely rubbish walk. Would it be possible to take him for more frequent, but shorter walks? The more walks you have where nothing happens, the better it is. The fewer dogs you see in a walk, the more chance he'll be calm about it (rather, it's the other way around - the more dogs you see, the less chance he'll be calm, but whatever!). This thread will help explain stress levels in dogs, and is well worth a read. Some days I've taken Ami on ten or twelve really short walks because we're hemmed in by barky dogs in their yards, and if he was having a bad day he wouldn't want to deal with them.
Delta, standard poodle, born 6/30/14

loza123
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Re: I really need some advice with my dog

Post by loza123 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 6:09 pm

Thank you for that, we dont really take him for long walks really, his a big dog and i know he does need alot of exercise but he gets 3 10- 30 mins walks per day. When i do have time i will arm myself with treats and go for a long walk, and we can be out for up to 2 hours just walking and he does like it clearly, but he does pull an awful lot, i was thinking of teaching him not to pull but i doubt everyone in my family would keep it up and he does pull alot when he sees another dog, again the only time he real relaxes is when he knows he is going home and i can't blame him for been anxious on the lead. He is an fearful, anxious big dog and he has been attacked twice by two other dogs while he was on his lead and they were off, both times the dog came flying out, ears up, teeth showing etc.

When we took him to our trainers for 4 days ( we were in london, we didn't want to put him in kennels) by the 4th day she had bob playing with her dog. We want bob if we could to get along with other dogs. Sadly we tried to put him with our trainer as were going away on boxing day but her other half had sorted out a holiday we she didn't know about so bob is having to go into kennels.

Thanks for your advice.

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Nettle
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Re: I really need some advice with my dog

Post by Nettle » Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:35 am

So far as the pulling goes: it's a pain when the rest of the family won't comply, but dogs are smart and they learn that there are people they can pull with and people where they have to walk nicely. Mr. Nettle lets his terrier pull, but she walks on a loose leash with me :wink:

So it is very much worth teaching your dog how to walk nicely. :) Have you seen our pinned thread on how to?
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

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