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I own a boxer who will be 5 in october, and have just recently bought a bullmastiff when she was 10 weeks of age. The bullmastiff is now 9 months old and the boxer has been showing some out of the norm behaviors. First off when I took them to a dog park he attacked a large lab, he didn't bite the lab he just jumped on them and growled and kept going for the lab. Once I got into an open field with him and the Bullmastiff he was fine with all the dogs. He was playing and enjoying it. Then we went back home, as we were leaving there is a trail and 2 large dogs, they looked half bullmastiff half great dane were walking and he ran up to them where they began sniffing him, He let them sniff and then attacked again. He usually is very docile, he will bark at strangers and sometimes go after them to warn, but he has never bitten anyone and usually lays around the house, he is neutered. The female I plan on breeding, I don't know if he was attempting to protect the Bullmastiff or how this can be seen. The only pattern I put together was the dogs were bigger then he was, I don't know if he was showing dominance or if he has issues with larger breeds. The other thing was it was on a straight and narrow trail, I don't know if maybe it was the head on meeting of the dogs, and finally I don't know if the other dogs were male or neutered. I have read that unuttered males can be a problem for neutered males. Those are the only few things I can think of. I am not so much worried about my dog because he was able to grab on to the dog, but did no damage. Therefore I know he would not be the one that cause any serious issues, but if he jumps on the wrong dog I am afraid a serious fight might ensue and considering its larger dogs he is after, I am sure I will end up with either a hefty vet bill or a dead companion. I don't know what else to read into, lately I have been taking him with a shock collar on and I will zap him if he goes near any other dogs before we get into the field, but I just want him to be able to be open and sociable. The bullmastiff is wonderful, but he has just had some issues. If anyone has any ideas or could shed some light onto what could be causing a 4 year old neutered male to become aggressive in certain situations with other dogs, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you in advance.
 

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Seriously ditch the shock collar!!!
Just to clarify, I'm not anti-e collar if they are used correctly and carefully. I've actually read up on them a lot to understand why they are so controversial, and believe that they can in some cases be good tools, but from everything I've read this is absolutely NOT the situation to do it! You're potentially setting yourself up for some major unintended consequences....he may very well come to see other dogs as the reason for the stim, not his actions. If that happens you're very likely to make the matter worse since he may see other dogs as the cause of the pain and want to attack even more, or could just end up completely fearful of other dogs and shut down. Both of these possibilities are, in my opinion, very poor outcomes and could actually cause further aggression.
You really should consider talking to a behaviourist, or at very least a good trainer with lots of experience dealing with more complex issues.
That's my two cents, I'm sure others will have some more insights into possible causes for the issues.
 

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Woops... You've got some strong breed on your hands. Did you research any dog behavior documents of any sort or go speak to a behaviorist? These behaviors can mean multiple things: your dog is acting aggressively out of fear and feels the need to protect (more like defend) himself. He could be posessive over you and your other dog, or he has just not been socialized. One thing is for certain: you are not his dominant 'pack' leader. He does not trust you to control the situation and did what is natural to dogs and wolves - he took the leader position. If he is scared aggresive (I haven't seen him so it's difficult to tell, watch for tain between the legs, ears back and large eyes) he needs to be given a 'boss' person so as to stop his natural instinct to take a position that has not been provided to him. I agree with the above: the e-colar is not bad if used in the correct context. In this case I would get him on a leash, don't pull backward but sideways (if you have to pull. Being relaxed when there is nothing wrong is of utmost importance) and teach him to submit to your leadership. You should not accept unwanted (in other words 'unbalanced') behaviors and correct them before he reaches a level of unreasonability. This is where you need to learn the signs. No rough punishment is needed, for a large breed it is better in any case to redirect with minimalistic corrections e.g. small sideways tug, turning him with his back facing the dog so he learns to calm down and ignore their prescence, firm voice distraction ("hey"), or, as some would, use a toy of his to play your way through things. It can be any or all of these things, but you need to learn the body language so you can spot 'negative' tension before it has the chance to get of hand. It's basically you as a pack leader saying: "hey, stay calm. There's nothing wrong, I'm in control." Which is not a request, it should be definite in your mind so you can transfer this to your dog 100% and stay focussed and confident regardless of mishaps, which will happen! It takes repitition, so don't take anything personally and keep focussed on being the leader. Contact a behaviorist or watch documentations on Youtube about dog behavior and remember, there is a difference between dog psychology and dog training (obedience) courses. They are also good but more based on human systems made to teach a dog sit, lie down, paw etc. Whilst dog psychology is purely an insight on how your dog naturally behaves in a balanced pack. Good luck!
 

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Stop taking him to the dog park. Stop using a shock collar. Seriously re-think your desire to breed your Bullmastiff.

I'm sure others can elaborate
 

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Stop going to the dog park....

why do people risk so much to take their dogs to the dog park?

Why even take him if you are just going to zap him for interacting with other dogs?
 

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Well lets build a couple possible scenarios (out of many) # 1. you shock the dog and he yelps, this in turn causes a dog near him to attack him and this can happen if dog gets scared, yelps and runs away from you or towards you cause either way when he runs he has become prey for any dog.

# 2. you shock dog and it enrages/scares him and attacks any dog near him out of a misread of collar shock. # 3. The dog when shocked not only turns towards you and also bites you.

None of the above things may happen but believe it or not they are possible.
 

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One thing is for certain: you are not his dominant 'pack' leader. He does not trust you to control the situation and did what is natural to dogs and wolves - he took the leader position.
really? all i can do is laugh when i hear things like this.....
 
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