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Old 11-29-2012, 08:37 PM
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My Dog's Aggression Problem

I have two Goldens, brother and sister. Ginger, the female, extremely well behaved. Diego, the male, has a few problems. He used to pull, but I have trained him loose leash walking, except when he sees dogs on walks. There are some times when he shows aggression towards big dogs. I let him meet, usually it's face to face, and he will bark like crazy if he isn't friendly. Anybody know why? I've read things where dogs do not show dominance, so is this a form of fear or something? He wasn't socialized as a puppy, I was really little when we got them. So I understand why he is this way. Other big dogs he's fine with, others not so much. Like today, these two dogs came our way and he walked right up to them and started barking constantly. It was very deep and really got me nervous. I'm a teenager so when I'm in these situations I forget to look at his body language and such. Any advice? I'm going to go to a professional trainer's house sometime soon for a private lesson.
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:27 PM
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It sounds like Diego is a little afraid and is barking to make the other dog go away. Lack of socialization when a pup is young can lead to them being a little nervous when they get older. For now I would avoid all on leash meetings with other dogs, especially new ones. A dog on leash knows he can not run/move away, so he will bark at or confront another dog, because he is afraid. And repeated exposure to dogs he is uncomfortable with, can make him more fearful, and more likely to react to them. Diego's anxiety towards other dogs should to dealt with using positive reinforcement and counter conditioning. Diego is already unsure, and he needs help to change how he feels about other dogs.
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Old 12-01-2012, 03:44 AM
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I think you will enjoy working with a professional who can share some info with you about how dog's behave. It is very important you don't rely on a trainer who isn't certified to work with dogs using counter-conditioning and similar methods. If they tell you to use verbal or physical corrections, force the dogs to meet or talk about dominance/leadership choose another one.

Leash reactivity is a very very common issue, especially if undersocialized and if your dog is highly aroused or anxious (ie. pulls a lot on leash).

It is always a good idea to not let dogs meet while on-leash, ever. Leashes don't allow dogs to behave as they would normally and they can't get away if they want to. For a dog who is unsure and can't get away this will result in them upping their behaviour to get the other dog to go away.

Keep us updated!
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:46 AM
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Great advice so far. I would add that meetings should not be face to face. I would try to encourage face to rump meetings... it's more natural for dogs!

Best of luck and keep us posted!
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:37 AM
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Is Diego neutered?

It is very hard for humans to accurately read dog/dog communication and not being able to do that means you have no idea why he reacts poorly to some dogs and not to others.

In this situation, with this dog, with an inexperienced handler on the other end of the leash, I would also avoid leash greetings. Management (meaning not letting him meet other dogs while on leash) may be the solution to the problem.

If you want to change his behavior, find a trainer as recommended above.
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:51 AM
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The person I am going to does positive reinforcement. JaneTrains | Florence, Alabama Alot of people really like her, I think she used to be a dolphin trainer as well. I will keep everyone updated. I think I am going to try and schedule a lesson this week. If I stay consistant with the training, and keep taking him to classes, do you think it will completely change his thinking of other dogs on walks? He's never been off leash with another dog sadly, do you think he would be different if he was? I don't want to try it, I'm just curious if it is only on our walks. Because last time I was at the vets office and he met this pitbull and was fine until the dog started whining and really getting in his face. Diego did a short growl. I just moved him across the room. I really liked one one said about not letting them meet head on, face to face. I did that with two of my friends dogs and he has never been aggressive. Even one of their dogs growled and he was still wagging his tail with a really relaxed body at them. I'm going to stay confident that he will do well.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:30 PM
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The trainer looks great!

If your dog has never met another dog off leash than it is perfectly normal for him to be unsure around dogs. He has never learned how to really communicate with dogs.

I think if you continue to work with a professional you will be able to learn to make your dog less fearful.

An undersocialized dog will always retain some off the behaviour you are seeing but that doesn't mean he won't be a happy dog, if you are committed to working hard and managing him well.

Let us know how training goes!




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Old 12-08-2012, 07:23 PM
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Just letting everyone know I'm sick and that's why I haven't taken my boy to Jane yet, but I'm hoping we can shoot for Monday or Tuesday. Check out their blog! fluffygoldens.tumblr.com
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