Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
259 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I've had Jax for just over 5 months now, and he's roughly 11-12 months old. Today was the 5th of 6 classes as we take the basic training class at Petsmart. For the price ($109), I figured it was worth a shot with little to lose. I'd spoken with the trainer several times before and listened in several more times as she spoke with others around the store, so I was comfortable going into it with her abilities and experience.

Anyway, the first 3 weeks of the class, no issue. Jax was the star student. As I suspected, we were arguably the furthest along to begin with. Still, I have personally learned a great deal in how to go about training him further, and of course, we have picked up a few new things he didn't already know.

Come week 4, suddenly he has a little bit of an issue with Aerial, the Norwegian Elkhound mix (can't recall the owners saying but I do believe she's also ACD). And despite Jax being Husky x (mutt), she's the closest look-a-like to Jax than any dog I've ever seen (and I've tried to find some online lol). Last week there was a little bit of seemingly aggressive barking from Jax towards her, causing me to step out of the room with him several times. Today, all you-know-what broke loose. More than once. He was fully intent to get at her, aggressively barking, fighting me to get away, hackles raised and all. I've never seen any more than a "curious" bark or two from him towards any other dog. Maybe a single growl.

He hardly has an aggressive bone in his body, and even in a few hour-long classes the trainer has figured it out as well and was pretty well speechless today. She gave me some advice on calming him down and to try to keep him turned away from her when back in class, avoiding eye contact between the two, trying to keep his attention on me. Yeah... easily said... She also suggested a "gentle leader" collar, which I happened to have tried early on with him to no avail (gave up after 2-3 times with it because he would fight it so horribly as to even started leaping into me in attempts to get it off). Fortunately, as I thought, I had it in the car still so we gave it a try. Aside from looking pitiful, he calmed down quickly once he realized what was to happen if he turned to Aerial.

In any case, I'd really love to come to a better solution than simply putting a gentle leader collar on him. Though there's only 1 class remaining, I'd love a little better of a solution for future reference if ever needed. He does great at the dog park with dogs of any and all sizes. He's had a 7 month old Golden at home the past day (dog sitting for the weekend, we've had this Golden with us once before so they're no strangers) and they wrestle and play well. Even dogs that have turned and become a touch aggressive towards him, he has never escalated it but left it be rather quickly. I'm just really hoping for any sort of advice or input, as it really bothered me when we were doing an activity around the store, he saw Aerial clear across an aisle and became aggressive, and it was the first time a child has ever come by wanting to pet him and a parent has sternly turned them clear because of my "angry" dog.

Norma, the trainer, did suggest that he is at "that age" where he's maturing, finding his voice a bit more (which is about true through the past month or so), and becoming a bit more protective of his own space. But even she was still somewhat dumbfounded, being that he's been fixed, the other dog was female, there's never so much as a growl from him, etc etc. But at the same time, we went straight to the dog park afterward and same as usual...no problem what so ever. It's just this single dog, and while I know not every dog has to love each and every other this is definitely an extreme for Jax.

Anyone? Anything? Lol Thanks in advance!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,619 Posts
Mike and our neighbors' dog Odin had a good first meeting. We took them to the lake and they ran together etcetera. Nothing happened to suggest they might not like each other other than Mike feeling a little bit intimidated by Odin sometimes.

The next time they saw each other, it was war. And judging by their behavior towards each other, it will be a cold day in hell when that war is over.

Odin is the only dog Mike shows this... I dunno... 'hatred' towards. He's fine with other dogs. It's really just this single individual.

Mike is taking training classes as well and when I asked about this issue, our trainer told us that yes, it is absolutely possible for a dog to hate another dog. Dogs have personal preferences too. It's just unfortunate that the one dog Mike truly doesn't like, happens to be the one living next door.

So far, we've not found any solution other than keeping them away from each other.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,406 Posts
So, I wonder if Aerial may have been staring at Jax. The Petsmarts in my are have tee-nincy little training areas with little room to take the pressure off of dogs and that can create problems. Rather than just keeping the dogs for making eye contact, I've had much better results with Leslie McDevitt's "Look at That" game from her book "Control Unleashed". http://clickerleash.wordpress.com/2...itive-approach-to-dealing-with-reactive-dogs/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
259 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Hmmm, I'll definitely take a look at "Look at that!" (hehe). It is indeed the same way at this Petsmart; a relatively small rectangular area in the middle of the store that's walled-off. Fortunately, our class doesn't have but maybe 6-7 dogs and Jax is nearly the biggest with one boxer a little larger, Aerial and usually a Husky mix that are a little smaller, and a few small dogs so it's not too crowded.

Norma did make the same thing clear, though, about the fact that not every dog likes every other. And I wouldn't have thought as much anyway. Dogs are very much like people with all sorts of personalities and preferences. I don't believe this has been a case of Aerial making eye-contact with Jax, unless it was a time or two early on and it's just set him off ever since that she did it previously. We can be the only ones sitting in the class and if she walks in...Or like during the activity where she was at least 100 ft away, walking across the store and he saw her from across an aisle and went crazy. It was a small relief that it did seem that Norma was very aware of the fact that Jax does not seem to ever act this way otherwise, that it's not a normal thing for him, but she was pretty well stumped by it other than the fact that he obviously simply "hates" Aerial and that it was indeed aggression seemingly to the point of "it's like he wants to eat her face off." (yeah...)

Fortunately, She's a bit smaller than him, and where they sit in the class is against one of the 2 long sides, but directly beside Norma's extra-large kennel that is covered up and her massive GSD kept in (you never hear a peep out of him, to the point that you honestly don't know if he's there or not. Sometimes he is, sometimes he isn't lol) so being that both husband and wife are there, the husband turns his back to the class and they can quite well keep Aerial out of sight of Jax or from her looking his way. And once I put the gentle leader on him, he was quite easily kept from looking her way as well.

We were the last ones left in the class today, and I was apologizing for their troubles. They didn't mind, as again, they said she doesn't hardly act like that herself, and while not as bad as Jax, she obviously wasn't ever pleased to see him either. All was good till I let Jax up to leave, and we all stood talking for a minute. The moment she could be seen...Off the wall he went lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
291 Posts
I have had that a number of times in my classes. For no reason 2 dogs just take a dislike to each other. We train in an open yard so have plenty of space to allow the dogs to move away and cool down. We preach "Control Unleashed" as a must read for all dogs especially if you are thinking of doing any dog sport.
Also an absolute must that you teach him his name so that when you call it he focuses back on you no matter what the distraction.
We also recommend the Gentle Leader head collar for use whilst training. ie put it on when you do a short training session but take it off as soon as you are finished. In this way your dog knows when the GL goes on it's treats time.
If you want more control whilst you are walking I would recommend the Gentle Walker harness.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top