Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I'm new here, but I was wondering if anyone could help me out with the problem I've been having with my adopted pit bull. I wouldn't exactly classify it as aggression, it seems more like a dominance thing or something. When I walk my dog on leash, she has a very calm attitude (will walk by my side) but when we come across other dogs, she gets funny. The hair on her back will go up and she will sniff the other dog, wag her tail, etc. But she also changes to a more dominant stance, and it worries me. Today, we came across a rather over-excited dog and he got my dog a little more exicted then she lashed out and tried to bite him. It wasn't an attack because it was just one attempt to settle him down or something.. I don't know. She appears really focused on other dogs when she meets them (very still sometimes). I keep myself calm so she doesn't feed off me being nervous but it doesn't seem to affect her behavior.. Any training suggestions/tips to make meeting other dogs more enjoyable for both of us? Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,710 Posts
Hi, I'm new here, but I was wondering if anyone could help me out with the problem I've been having with my adopted pit bull. I wouldn't exactly classify it as aggression, it seems more like a dominance thing or something. When I walk my dog on leash, she has a very calm attitude (will walk by my side) but when we come across other dogs, she gets funny. The hair on her back will go up and she will sniff the other dog, wag her tail, etc. But she also changes to a more dominant stance, and it worries me. Today, we came across a rather over-excited dog and he got my dog a little more exicted then she lashed out and tried to bite him. It wasn't an attack because it was just one attempt to settle him down or something.. I don't know. She appears really focused on other dogs when she meets them (very still sometimes). I keep myself calm so she doesn't feed off me being nervous but it doesn't seem to affect her behavior.. Any training suggestions/tips to make meeting other dogs more enjoyable for both of us? Thanks!
define dominant stance...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
her head/neck goes up and tries to kind of look down on them no matter what size the other dog is. however she also does this while shes playing so I never know what to expect. Its just very different from the way she carries herself when I'm leading her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,224 Posts
I think I can get a pretty good mental picture of this situation...
The raised hackles is a sign of arousal, tail wagging is willingness to interact, although not always in a friendly way. The stiffness/stillness might be a red flag. It almost sounds like your dog is interested but unsure and on guard. The bite to the overexcited dog sounds like she was just giving him a correction probably to back off.

I'm not crazy about on leash greetings between dogs because leashes don't allow dogs to interact normally, some dogs feel restricted, and tight leashes cause tension which sometimes leads to aggression. Therefore, my suggestion is to keep the leash as loose as possible and only allow the dogs to "greet" for a few seconds. Quickly redirect her focus to you while moving away from the other dog at the first sign of stiffness/forward stance, or hard stare. Even if the dogs are friendly with one another, breif greetings are best while on leash IMO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
shes bit (correction:meant to bite) an overexcited dog once before, the other dog was off-leash and she was on leash, he ran up on her and i attempted to redirect her focus/move the other dog out of her space and when she went to bite, my leg was in front of her mouth... i understand how the leash can cause problems while meeting new dogs.. Also, I was wondering if it could help break her focus with touch? She responds well when i use my leg in front of her chest to just tap her... Also, in the case of the over-exicited dogs we come across, do you think it would help if i pet the other dog first? like if her biting is due to trying to protect me? The noise she made when she went after the dog today sounded and appeared VERY vicious, however she didnt touch him.. it was quick and it was over, I don't know if she tries to be intense from the start to avoid needing to bite for real?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
617 Posts
I cant say why your dog is being aggressive but I can maybe give you a bit of advise thru my APBT.
I rescued him about 8 months ago he showed no signs of aggression in the pound or around my 2 dogs. His aggression showed up with the first trip to a park for a walk.
Recently I figured out his aggression is fear based. He is not mean or vicious but feels he needs to attack first or be attacked. This is a work in progress.
I take him out to social places such as parks stores and on walks where there are other leashed dogs or dogs behind fences.
When we walk sometimes we will stop in front of the fence where dogs are barking and practice sitting walking then sitting again. We go to petco or a park and walk on leash around other dogs. The more he is around dogs with me and not being attacked the more relaxed he gets. When he gets focused on a dog I redirect. Like at the fence with sit I do the same at a park or store. We practice sitting and I pull his attention with pets or a treat.

This is not an over night fix but rather a long term issue that needs work.
I would avoid any direct contact or interaction with other dogs. At least until she can calmly walk past an outside dog. It comes down to over coming that fear and trusting you.
Redirect and avoid direct contact. Gaining trust and attention are key.
Generally I personally don't interact with other peoples dogs. I want my dogs to be aloof to everyone and everything but me. I want 100% of their attention all the time. I have a dog that wont even go to someone else that calls her. Instead she comes to me and looks for the ok signal. Once that is given only then will she go up to someone. Her recall is 100% because her attention is always focused on me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,224 Posts
Also, I was wondering if it could help break her focus with touch? She responds well when i use my leg in front of her chest to just tap her...
Yes, I think touch can help as long as you don't have a dog that tends to redirect aggression. I use touch and body blocks.

Also, in the case of the over-exicited dogs we come across, do you think it would help if i pet the other dog first? like if her biting is due to trying to protect me?
I'm not sure about that. If your dog is guarding you, your touching the other dog could make things worse.

The noise she made when she went after the dog today sounded and appeared VERY vicious, however she didnt touch him.. it was quick and it was over, I don't know if she tries to be intense from the start to avoid needing to bite for real?
In normal dog interactions there is usually plenty of warning before any harm is ever done. True fights occur when one dog doesn't back off. You're last sentance is right on target.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top