Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a first time dog owner and our new puppy Lilly is about 4 months old. We adopted her from a shelter 2 weeks ago and she has been an absolute joy. There is only one problem She is wonderful with people but is VERY aggressive when she sees another dog. She gets very excited and will charge at them- often times nipping. I have taken her to a few puppy socialization classes and she acts very dominant for such a little girl. It does not matter how big the dog- she has NO fear. I try and get her to calm down a bit before introducing her, but often times the other dog wants no part of her. The other day she got so excited during the playtime at Petco she peed 3 times within an hour! I take her for walks around a lake/park area where there are lots of other dogs. The other day we approaced a guy walking his 7 mo old bulldog mix. Lilly got very excited and wanted to meet him. I asked the owner if it was Ok and he assured me he is great with other dogs. I tried to have Lilly approach him slowly and she nipped him right in the face!! :mad: The other dog handled it quite well but I was mortified! I apologized profusely and forunately the owner was pretty cool about it. Yesterday I was at the same park and we met a HUGE doberman that was so docile and Lilly was all over her-licking nipping smelling etc and the doberman did not budge. I could not get over it. The owner said Lilly could bite her ears and the doberman wouldn't attack. It was so cute to see her interact with this gentle giant.

I do plan to get her into some type of obedience/training class, but in the mean time what should I do about approaching other dogs?

Any advice is greatly appreciated! :)
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
296 Posts
She's adorable!
Ideally what you need is a strong established pack w a strong alpha owner like cesar's pack.
It sounds like she's had poor socialization and that when uncomfortable she goes aggressive instead of withdrawing and submitting.
Its tricky. On one hand you want a dog to kick her butt so she'll learn, but that could also make things worse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,615 Posts
What does the trainer at your class "SEE" when Lily is playing like that? Are you sure it is aggression or could it be rough play? Lack of proper socialization before 12 weeks can be an issue here so her communication skills may be weak and overexcitement can LOOK like aggression.

I'm only saying this because many new dog owners think their pups are aggressive when really they have simply very few doggy manners. When she nipped the bulldog, did it leave a mark or draw blood?

What I do with "overwhelming" pups during socialization is let them play, but with rules. Any time the rules are broken, people are told to "get their pups", put them on lead and wait (negative punishment, meaning they lose their "freedom"). After several seconds (if the infractions are minor) the pups are allowed back into the fray.
The rules are:
No collar grabbing
No extended hanging on to throats, ears or cheeks/mouth.
No excessive barking, growling is allowed..since in puppy play vocalization is NORMAL.
If the other dog is overwhelmed (repeatedly tries to retreat but not allowed to) the play stops for that session. This means the overwhelmed dogs learn their owners will protect them and the overwhelming dog learns that all fun ends when they get out of control.

Puppies learn best from other dogs how to play, what is too rough and when to back off. It's a fine balance for the humans to deal with and please be sure to use your trainer's insight into when to allow the behaviour, what it means and how to redirect your pup if she is out of control.

If your trainer cannot help you with determining whether this is true aggression, bad manners, fear based behaviour or lack of socialization based on the body language your dog shows, you should find a more experienced trainer.

The first time I saw puppies playing together I thought they were trying to kill each other..so I understand your fears..but puppy play IS rough and properly managed can be the ticket to a well behaved and well socialized dog.

What I would do for the time being is work on a "sit for greeting"...helping to teach impulse control by making sure she sits before greeting anyone, people, kids, other dogs etc. This will, over time, become a ritual that causes a calmer dog, instead of a launching missile. Praise and treat for all good behaviour.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,761 Posts
I do plan to get her into some type of obedience/training class, but in the mean time what should I do about approaching other dogs?
Add distance between your dog and the other. You have a dog that hasn't learned how to play fairly, and is a nuisance to other dogs. By inviting your dog to interact with unknown dogs, you are facilitating the dog's propensity to behave this way.

What your dog needs now, really, is the help of a certified dog trainer to give you the intense basic training your dog needs.
http://www.apdt.com/po/ts/default.aspx
http://ccpdt.org/rstr/index.html

He needs bite inhibition work, he needs to be taught cues that interrupt the "attack" sequence, and he needs to learn how to better cope with the presence of other dogs. All things a certified trainer would be in a better position to teach you than what you will gain from this forum. The risk and your facilitation would dictate this to be the better course.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,423 Posts
Excellent reply Cracker....as usual!
One other thing to be aware of...Lilly is just coming out of puupyhood (the 'puppy license' is about to expire). Under 4 months of age, puppies can get by with murder. Their brashness, lack of 'respect' and bad manners are usually tolerated by older dogs but, that will come to a swift, and sometimes harsh, end once they come of age.

Teach her some self-control. Make her wait to meet and greet other dogs. You greet them first...petting them, saying HI while she sits politely for her turn to say Hello. Show her that YOU make the rules of engagement...she doesn't get to make up her own rules.

I know that's far easier said than done. She'll be bouncing around at the end of the leash with great excitement. You have to practice cutting her off/restricting her access to the other dog...make her sit/wait. You might have to practice the sit and wait at some distance from the other dog. Eventually though, she will get the message that you go first...she follows (self-control).
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top