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Hi! Newbie looking for help with first-time dog ownership

82 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  begemot

My name is Jon and my girlfriend and I have recently got a black lab/beagle mix from one of her friends. Her name is Akira and she's 3 years old. Unfortunately, her previous owners did not do a good job training her so we've been starting from scratch basically, but with a 3 year old dog. Mostly, she's been doing well, but she is a highly anxious dog. My girlfriend had tried taking her to the dog park today and just called me to tell me the news. She bit another dog. This is behavior that we cannot tolerate as she has a 20 month old son. How can we: a) teach her to not bite other dogs (I'm under the assumption that it means she may bite people as well, though she has not yet)? and b) help her to not be as anxious?

Any help or direction at all would be most appreciated. Thank you for your time.
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Dog aggression is different than human aggression, but I would still work on training to prevent a bite to anyone. I definitely suggest getting a trainer or behaviorist, though I am sure someone else will offer some better advice.
I think we'd need more information to give you proper advice. Any background info on her? As LilasMom said, dog aggression is different from human aggression. I definitely suggest getting a trainer or behaviorist as well. If you seek out a trainer, make sure they use positive training methods, as anything else will probably make her more anxious.

Don't take her to the dog park again. Many dogs are not well suited to dog parks. They are uncontrolled and sometimes dangerous environments, and not meant for dogs that don't have excellent manners with other dogs.

And like LilasMom said, aggression towards other dogs is totally separate from aggression towards people. But, as with all dogs, you should always be in the room when the dog is interacting with the child. Children that young often behave inappropriately with animals. Don't allow the child to "play rough" with the dog. Encourage gentle, low-key contact, and no shouting or running.

The anxiety is something you need to start working on ASAP. Like LilasMom said, you need a professional (a behaviorist that uses positive methods, not just a trainer) to help you. You can learn a lot online by reading up on why dogs get anxious, and what makes it worse. But the bottom line is that a behaviorist is going to help you more than anyone online could.
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