Aggressiveness to other dogs on leashes


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Old 04-03-05, 08:42 AM
baileyj
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Aggressiveness to other dogs on leashes

My 5 1/2 year old golden retriever is normally an extremely friendly, loving, playful dog. He gets along well with people and has never shown aggressive tendencies at the off-leash dog park or in day-care/boarding playing leash-free with other dogs. However, about a year and a half ago he developed a terrible habit of aggression towards other dogs on leashes (not all dogs, just sometimes). It doesn't matter if he is on a leash or not, and there are never any problems when the other dog is off-leash, it's only when the other dog is on a leash. We can't figure out what the trigger is for his aggressive behavior (growling, lunging, biting) or why it is only toward certain dogs. Can anyone help?
 
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Old 04-03-05, 02:16 PM
kaybyrd's Avatar
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Has your dog ever been attacked or had another dog be aggressive toward him while they're on a leash? I'm wondering since its only the leashed dogs and only certain ones as well.

This has peaked my curiosity.

Kay
 
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Old 04-03-05, 06:42 PM
baileyj
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He has been attacked, but the other dogs have been off-leash at the time. As far as we can recall he's never been attacked, growled at, or had aggressive behavior shown toward him while the other dog has been leashed.

It's a strange situation. I've read all the dog training manuals I can find, but none of them seem to answer this particular situation.

Thanks!
 
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Old 04-03-05, 09:13 PM
R
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Hi-
What is the behaviour of the other dogs like? Is there any common denominator in the other dogs' appearance? Does he lunge at both males and females? Has he ever actually injured another dog? How close does the other dog have to come before your dog reacts?
 
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Old 04-11-05, 07:41 AM
baileyj
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The other dogs are usually pretty mellow at the time Bailey gets aggressive. We haven't noticed any common denominators among the other dogs - other than that they're always medium-large to large size dogs - but I'll pay more attention. It is both males and females that he's aggressive toward. I'd say the aggression starts when the other dog gets about 30 feet away, unless it's a dog that he has a history with in which case he starts acting up much earlier, pretty much as soon as he sees the other dog.

He's never really hurt the other dog, but we're afraid it's only a matter of time.
 
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Old 04-11-05, 04:07 PM
T
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Typically, dogs who display aggressiion do so out of fear, territorialism, dominance, or feeling the need to protect the owner. Never punish the dog for aggressive behavior as this may compound the problem. The dog needs to know that the owner is in control and that he/she is not the dominate one in the relationship with owner. If dog is fearful, soothing the dog may reinforce the behavior. Having a good relationship with the dog and training so that dog knows owner is in control is important. Walking dog on a leash or leash with head collar places the owner in a position of control. Dog must be trained to follow owner's commands. If dog does not, then owner will not be in control when other dogs are around. Perhaps, the following article will be helpful: You will have to copy & paste address because link is not active in this forum.

http://www.pethealthcare.net/html/bo...ggression.html
 
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Old 04-11-05, 10:59 PM
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Hi again-
It's also worthwhile remembering that while dogs are social critters, they aren't necessarily going to like every other dog that they ever meet, and we shouldn't expect them to (at least not until we like every person we ever meet). Dogs communicate with each other by a variety of signals, some very subtle, including eye contact, ear, head, and tail position, hackles, lip curls, posture, and voice.

Snarls, lunges, snaps and growls are also very normal parts of the canine vocabulary. If your dog has been involved in a number of these scraps but has never injured another dog, it is likely that he has good bite inhibition. However, it is also possible that he may have simply learned that it is fun to bully other dogs, and if they are leashed he can get away without retaliation.

I'd recommend that you try to let your dog play only with his buddies and avoid letting him approach leashed dogs when he is loose. Even if he does not physically damage the other dog, he can certainly frighten it and its owner badly, and a few experiences like this can make a dog very defensive towards strange dogs approaching it. This happened to my whippet female, who would hard-stare and growl to warn away any strange dog that attempted to come within her 'safe' zone. She had learned that strange dogs sometimes attack and that strange dogs are even more often rude in their approach, charging roughly into her and trying to goose her. I have worked on that by rewarding her for remaining calm close to strange dogs and by physically preventing rude dogs from getting in her face uninvited. She is much better and will now walk past a (leashed) strange dog without batting an eye.

Here's some more good info:
http://www.sfspca.org/behavior/aggression.shtml
 
 

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