Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I adopted a mixed breed dog from our local animal services shelter and it was quite a bit to nurse him back to health - sometimes I see his old pictures and cannot believe that he is so healthy now. From the beginning, he has been very affectionate with everyone and loves to play with other dogs. BUT, if a dog his size or bigger gets too close, he goes on attack mode and I cannot control him - this happens with 90% of big dogs regardless of gender and passivity. I can keep him controlled on all situations other than this one. When he get's like that I have made him sit, tried to distract him, made him lay down, taken him for a walk to try to reduce his energy level, given him treats, petted him, talked to him in a harsh tone, talked to him in a soft tone, etc. I've tried it all separately and in combinations to no avail. He is a mid-sized 30lb dog and some dog parks require him to be in the big dog section. The closes park to our house has a pond that he loves to swim in, but dogs of all sizes roam there and I am always cautious when big dogs get too close. Most of the big dogs at that park are very sociable and many of their parents have tried to help me calm him down and get used to their big dogs, but again, it does to work and often times I would have to leave the park. On a couple of occasions, when I tried to remove him from the other dog, he has actually tried to bite me (got me once). I don't know what to do. Any tips or advice on how to get him to be friendlier with the bigger dogs?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
547 Posts
Pepper is terrified of bigger dogs. He used to totally flip out when he saw one particular dog - a Bull Mastiff who is probably the sweetest dog on the face of the earth.

What I did was bring treats with me on our walks. When the Mastiff (Scotty is his name) would come close enough to freak Pepper out, I'd give Pepper a treat to show him that Scotty being close was a reason for good things. When he finally got calm, I'd pick him up and put him nose-to-nose with Scotty so he could sniff him (it worked for us, but I don't know if it would work for you or anyone else.)

It took a month, but now Pepper actually looks for Scotty each time we go out.

I would never take Pepper to a dog park. He would get overwhelmed. I'm not a fan of them myself - I think that for too many dogs, its just overwhelming.

I prefer to keep Pepper socialized by walking him 4x a day and letting him meet and play with the dogs in the neighborhood.

It sounds to me that your dog should not be at a dog park. He is a danger to himself and other dogs. At least until you get him past his fear and aggression.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I don't think that he's a danger to all dogs. He gets along great with the small ones and in the parks that allow him in the small dog section we have never had an issue. Where we live there are dogs in practically every house and once a Yorkie ran out his house to attack him and he ran away from it. We recently found a Rack Russel Terrier and took him home with me while I found his parents, and they were the best of friends. Had him for 5 days and the only issue I had was stopping them from playing at 3am while I tried to sleep.

I tried the treat thing and it did not work.

I just want to get him to a place where he can get along with the bigger dogs if they get close to him. And that's the thing - if they get close to him. He generally ignores them as long as they don't get close for long, even allowing them to sniff him (but only for a short time).

He really is a great dog and I would like him to be able to get over this fear/aggression to bigger dogs who get close to him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Since my last post, things are getting better with his big dog aggression. Troy is now able to get along with most big dogs, one of his good friend is an Afgan Hound that he loves to run with. The only time he becomes aggressive is when the big dogs keep their face close to his for a long period of time. I've been told that this is a sign of aggression on the part of the other dog and that Troy is reacting to that. Whenever I see him starting to get like that, I try to distract him and call him over to do other things. I've learned to *not* grab him to get him away from the cituation as that causes him to snap immediately. Also, whenever we get to the dog park, I walk him around once so that he can get calm down a bit before interacting with other dogs. This seems to help as well.

Also, whenever we pass by houses that have big dogs and he tries to run at the house to get to the dog (this does not happen with all big-house dogs though), I stop him in front of the house and work on getting him to calm down by diverting his attention and then getting him to sit and lay down. Only after he is calm do I start walking him again.

It's still a work in progress but at least we are making some headway even if it's very slowly :)
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top