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A rescue dog I took in was extremely timid at first shaking in a corner of her kennel for weeks and not looking at anyone. Using the pack mentality she came out of her shell and played with the other dogs. Now she has gradually developed a sneaky aggressive attitude towards them and behind my back because she knows its wrong bites them on the neck to the point I had to put her on an overhead so the other dogs could get away from her. Because she does it on the down low I only hear it when its over so cannot correct immediately and when I go out there to check on the dogs after the incident she runs and hides knowing she did wrong. She gets exercise and equal treatment with the other 4 dogs. She never does it in front of me. Im stumped on how to fix this.
 

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I read where you're looking to punish bad behavior, but I didn't read how you're rewarding good behavior/interaction. Punishing owner absent behavior is a fruitless task IMO, especially if you aren't actively teaching the dog what behaviors are preferred. So you're fix is to install the behaviors you're looking for, both in quiet and when around other dogs. If you're expecting it to just happen, and have a punishing mind frame, you'll likely exacerbate the problem than remedy it. So, flip flop your approach.
 

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Biting the neck during play is very normal. During play, dogs practice all the life skills...chase, takedowns (biting on the neck), sex, dominance and submission....that's all good play especially when the dogs reverse the roles (on top then on bottom; chaser/chasee, etc.).....that's nothing that should ever be punished.
 

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In an effort to save space I neglected to say that yes the dog is rewarded for good behavior however I fail to see that rewarding the dog for sitting for food or stopping barking when told to do so relates to viciously biting the other dogs in the juggler. I was always told training was act specific and that to train a dog not to attack another dog you needed to punish and reward THAT behavior not sit stay fetch behavior for instance. Since the dog plays nicely when Im around it gets the same pets and treats and voice rewards as the other dogs during good play behavior. Since it only attacks the other dogs behind my back Im having trouble attending to that behavior. It is not done in play. The dog growls, attacks and I hear the other dogs yelp in pain and that is how I know the act was performed. Now the other dogs are gun shy and dont want to pass her in the yard or share the same space. They are afraid of her. If not on an overhead she chases them down to attack them. Its like the small child that knows Mommy will disapprove of his behavior if he slaps his little sister so he does it when shes not in the room to the point that she cries. Then pretends when checked on that hes totally innocent.
 

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There's aggressive behavior, play behavior and bully behavior. Aggressive is usually going for the legs or underbelly with no warning....clear intent to kill or maim. Intense staring...no growling...just a lightning fast attack. Bully behavior can be caused by many things....poor socialization, poor playmates or poor training (ie; inappropriate corrections around other dogs).
 

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We're trying to explain the different mentalities...what they look like....what else might be happening. True aggression is quite rare....these are dogs that have zero socialization....almost feral....they're killers. You say this is what you're dealing with...but, there are other possibilities. If this is true aggression, you need professional help from a behaviorist right away.
If it's bully behavior, then we need more background on her socialization besides hiding in the kennel for several weeks. What did you do to overcome her fear responses? How did the socialization process turn out?
Does she really, truly play nice (role reversals...exhibits submissive behaviors around other dogs...respects their territory/desire to not play...or, does she seem to show alot of fear...false charges/backing up/barking)
We can't help until we know what you're dealing with.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
To overcome her fear :
1. we just spent time sitting with her to get her to trust people.
2.We walked her for about 45-1hr ea day.
3.We tried talking to her to see what kind of response we got with what kind of tones and language.
4. We walked her with another dog to see if she did better with companionship.
5.We introduced her gradually to new people. Each time we did that they gave her treats that she was too scared to eat.

She responded best to walks. She responded well to having other dogs around. We took her out of the kennel and put her in the yard with the loose dogs and she gained confidence and seemed happier.

When we played with the other dogs we always included her even if she seemed to want to be aloof. She was always fed with the other dogs and got treats when they did. There was never a need to reprimand her because she did nothing wrong she was just scared. We would sit with her in her cot bed and pet her and the other dogs would come up to us also to get attention and we would try to socialize her with the other dogs by her seeing that they liked us and we were OK. Eventually the tail came out from between the legs and she started playing with the other dogs and would come when you called her and greet people she knew happily.

She started barking at strangers. She saw some of the other dogs do this but also probably started feeling at home the longer she was here. She would charge, back up and dart sideways. She would stop barking when asked to do so just like the other dogs.

She would always play in the background for instance if another dog wanted the ball she would let him have it. If another dog vied for attention she would stand back. She would share her bed with other dogs but eventually started being more possessive about the bed. She would stand her ground and sometimes wiggle her butt to get them to leave. She still plays in the background but is not shy about asking to go for a walk. She doesnt bully for food. She doesnt need to be the first dog to be fed or try to gobble up her food before everyone else or snap at you to take food fast. If the dogs play too rough, ie. jumping and running like football players she will stand aside and watch and try to get human pets rather than play with the dogs at that point.

If she asks for pets she usually gets them. Sometimes its still hard to get close to her and we have to get low and be patient and call her until she comes. Sometimes she gets confused and we need to pull gently on her lead so she has direction and then usually she comes but belly crawling all the way. She does not charge, bark at or nip the other dogs in play. She doesnt growl when she plays. She acts like the baby brother that wants to be accepted however knows that his older brother would rather hang with friends his age than babysit the kid but he really wants to belong. The other dogs are usually pretty open minded about a new dog and will invite them to play with them and cuddle at night and intertact in the day.

However recently with her biting them they are giving her a wide birth. One old dog is terrified of her and will no longer go near her space even if we call her and show her we are restraining the problem dog. Two other dogs no longer want to play with her but dont avoid her. When she goes to bite them she runs after them with a purpose and lays into the first part of their body she can catch to the point they yelp in pain and the one time I actually caught her doing it I could see the skin stretch as the bitten dog tried to break free. Someone else a few days ago saw her go for the neck with the same purpose. This is not the same behavior as her barking at intruders. She seems to eye her prey and kind of run low to the ground and is fixed on the point of impact. It appeared to me that her biggest breakthrough in socialization was when she was moved from the kennel to the yard with dog companionship and this now is the very thing that is causing concern but I dont just want to toss her back in a kennel because thats not fixing the problem but I need to fix it soon before something gets hurt badly. Fortunately shes the smallest dog in the yard and the other dogs up until now have run from the experience not retaliated. Also I dont know if this kind of behavior will escalate or if it will be turned on humans at some point. I can teach dogs to sit and stay and shake hands and walk on a leash but I seem to have some mental block when it comes to this kind of behavior.
 

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Your description describes a dog that is still very fearful and it looks like shes doing preemptive strikes....keeping the other dogs at bay. She's also afraid of humans....belly crawling to come to you.
You need to fix the fear(s). I don't think shes comfortable around the other dogs....she really doesn't know how to interact/play appropriately. Human interaction must be done at her own comfort level....no coaxing or pulling (even gently) on the lead.
To change her perception of both humans and dogs just toss treats...no talking/no looking directly at her. You're trying to change her attitude...that good things happen around other dogs/people.
Here's the test/proof of what I believe is happening is true....when shes playing with other dogs does she do the role reversals (chaser then chasee; on top then on bottom; offers playbows/invitations to play). If you see all of those things from her, then I'm way off base.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
you are not off base
if we are dealing with a fear based reaction i can take the ball and run with it from here.
thanx
 
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