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Aggressive dog- Need Help

813 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  Kathyy

I have a 2 year old rescue, named Indiana, I think he's a Chihuahua Terrier mix. He's generally super sweet, but can be aggressive. He is very aggressive towards other dogs, whenever he sees one he goes crazy, barking, jumping, lungeing at them. Even though he only weighs 8 lbs, I have trouble controlling him when he goes crazy. He also always barks when people come close to my front door. He seems to be afraid of legs as well. If feet/legs get too close he growls, and bites the legs. I'm at a lose of what to do, we've been in training but I would say it's not helping at all. He can sit and leave it but when there's another dog or he feels threatened all bets are off and he become Cujo. I'm just not sure what to do! Any suggestions?
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Read through the resources in the reactive dog sticky thread at the top of this sub forum. Loads of help, many of us have gone through or are going through the same thing.

Manage him. He isn't allowed to make the poor decision to approach and bite people! Even with a bitty ankle biter you are in for a law suit. Put a leash on, put him in a crate or behind a secure door, pick him up and so on. Tell people he bites and if they tell you they love dogs put your hand out to block that naive person! I have slip leads at the door, a gate that can close off the front hall, a door to the main hall, he can go in a bedroom and so on.

My Bucky sounds a whole lot like your dog, just 13 pounds so a bit bigger. I have trained him to a muzzle, use a leash, keep away from scary people, reward him when he behaves the way I like and so on. He is actually crying because he wants to play with the dogs we see but that is still not okay but he will attack people if given the chance.

Figure out his safe distance and stay outside the danger zone. I make a loop around my wrist so I cannot drop the leash. He definitely behaves better when he has no extra leash for charging dogs and scary people so usually he gets only a couple feet out of the 6' leash. When we go for walks I hide behind cars and bushes or turn the other way to avoid getting too close to other dogs. When *I* see one I hide behind a car and do obedience exercises giving him praise and treats when he happily sits, comes and all that. When we are at a distance and he alerts I start treating and it's easier to pick him up. It took a while but he went from barely knowing cheese was going into his mouth to sucking on it like a pacifier to looking at the dog then getting cookie and now sometimes I can have him on the ground and reward him looking at me rather than the other dog. No time table, no expectation that he will pick up where he left off, work with the dog in front of me! Some days are better than others. Some minutes are better!

At home I've gone through Karen Overall's Relaxation Protocol and when people are over he is leashed and I'll do some of the protocol never allowing him close enough to make contact or get scared. He is calmer but not relaxed and he isn't barking. Do look it up and work through it. Whether it helps when something is actually going on or not it will help train him.
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