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6 weeks ago I began fostering (and just adopted (I'm a terrible foster parent)) a 1.5 year old 32# Corgi mix (probably Rhodesian, Boxer, Pit Bull, etc). He was not socialized/trained by his previous family and was rotting away in a shelter for 6 weeks. For his age and circumstances, he is generally quite well behaved and training is going very well (all basics in home, progressing in public). We frequently take him to several off-leash urban dog park where he has been doing well and his dog-dog behavior and confidence have improved dramatically.

Except for one circumstance. When he is on a leash and a puppy or severely-unsocialized dog approaches him and does not obey doggie protocol. He goes from alert (standing still, ears up, tail up and wagging) to a vicious snarling that will get us kicked out of any cafe or pet store in a split second. Usually the puppy and new (often first-time) dog owner back away terrified, but once or twice the other dog also has reactive aggression and it looks nasty. It's not terribly important, but most bystanders give us a look of disgust for having a dog who hates cute "innocent" puppies. We recently started using a harness, which actually seems to trigger more aggression, so we're reverting to the collar experimentally. We are working on general reactive-aggression, but I'm mainly seeking issue-specific advice in addition.

1) How can I control the situation? Or should I avoid/ignore puppies?
2) How can I improve his temperament/forgivingness when I cannot control the approach (e.g. his leash is on our table at a cafe and a puppy rushes up)?
3) If an incident occurs, is calming ("shh", walk away), correcting ("NO"), or forceful-correcting ("NO", yank leash) the best approach?

Thanks everyone!
 

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How is he when he's offleash?
If he's just like this when on a leash, it sounds like it could be leash reactivity/barrier aggression,and I imagine putting more restraint on him would make it worse

1: Start by teaching him a 'watch me' command and 'leave it'. Read up on the 'look at that game' as it's very good to calm reactivity. Start teaching these in a controlled environment before using them out in public. When seeing another dog, give him the 'leave it' command. If he just ignores you, turn around and walk away.

3: Yes, just walk away. Correcting him can make the situation worse and it'll just be better to turn and walk away from the situation.
 

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Why do you need to meet strange dogs on leash, ever? (aside from accidents)

Adding leashes to the equation frequently equals reaction or aggression in dogs and IMO is best to be avoided so that they don't get into the habit of having scuffles because of the tension and becoming reactive. My dogs are not allowed to meet dogs on leash, as a rule. Off leash is a different story. When they are put in the position without trying, I just keep it quick and lighthearted and keep talking. Silence IME leads to dogs trying to figure out what to do and issues arising.

So if a dog ran up to one of my dogs on a leash and they were all of a sudden greeting, I'd get up/pay attention say "OK! Thanks, good boy buddy!" and move on instantly. The longer they're together, the more likely one will react and the other will react to the reaction, if you know what I mean.
 
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