Golden Retriever Dog Forums banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I took my dog to my friend's house. Mistake. They had family over and a red-zone aggressive dog with them. She attacked my dog multiple times over the course of a day and a half. He is very good natured and recovered right away when they were separated. He is a service dog and has never exhibited aggression before. This morning the puppy was trying to climb over his back to get to the kitchen and he jumped over and snarled. He did not pursue her, so his reaction was a startle response, not a purely aggressive reaction. He behaved this way consistently when tested. I am left unshure what to do because I cannot responsibly take an aggressive dog into public. How do I go about addressing this issue?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,192 Posts
I agree that you cannot take an aggressive dog in public, however if this behavior resulted from a puppy climbing on his back, his reaction is fairly normal. I know Goldens are a tolerant breed, but I would not be surprised if either A) your dog’s back is sore from being attacked multiple times or B) it simply was telling the puppy not to crawl on its back and setting boundaries

If this behavior never escalated into chasing the puppy or initiating when the puppy was doing nothing wrong, I would be less concerned.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,391 Posts
I agree with Tagrenine, from your description it does sound like your dog was giving a vocal correction to a puppy that did not respect personal space ( typical of puppies). I would monitor all interactions closely, and also let him meet only dogs that are known to be good play mates.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,929 Posts
I took my dog to my friend's house. Mistake. They had family over and a red-zone aggressive dog with them. She attacked my dog multiple times over the course of a day and a half. He is very good natured and recovered right away when they were separated. He is a service dog and has never exhibited aggression before. This morning the puppy was trying to climb over his back to get to the kitchen and he jumped over and snarled. He did not pursue her, so his reaction was a startle response, not a purely aggressive reaction. He behaved this way consistently when tested. I am left unshure what to do because I cannot responsibly take an aggressive dog into public. How do I go about addressing this issue?
First: it's unfortunate that the other dog was allowed to attack yours "multiple times". After the first time, they should have been separated permanently, or one of you should have left if that wasn't possible. It doesn't matter how good-natured your dog is, recurrent attacks are going to have an effect. If a "red-zone" dog had attacked mine, it would not have been given a chance to do so again.

Second: your remark that "he behaved this way consistently when tested" is a bit concerning. Do you mean that, after he had jumped away from the puppy and expressed discomfort, you kept putting him back in the same situation to see if he would do it again? If so, you may inadvertently have reinforced his reaction. Growling at impolite puppies is normal. Generally, it will happen sporadically, when the puppy isn't respectful. The worst thing you can do is to treat it as an abnormal reaction and reproduce the situation multiple times in a short period. It's asking for trouble.

Ffcmm's advice is good. Find a couple of dogs that are good playmates and arrange one-on-one play meetings. In the meantime keep him away from unknown dogs. Monitor interactions with the puppy. Let him discipline the puppy normally (growling or snapping when the puppy is disrespectful) and don't intervene unless it's clear that he intends to hurt the puppy. If you intervene in normal discipline, you're undermining his position, making him insecure and increasing the likelihood that he will learn to dislike the puppy.

From your description, it doesn't sound as if you have an aggressive dog. It sounds as if you have a dog that is on the defensive because his humans mismanaged a couple of situations. If you avoid that in the future, he's likely to be fine.

Best of luck!
 

·
Puddles
Joined
·
4,020 Posts
As a puppy raiser for an organization it is very important to NEVER put your service dog in this position. The goal of a service dog is to have ultimate trust in the person they provide a service to. You violated this trust by not protecting your pup. And sounds like he feels the need to protect himself.

As far as playing with other dogs, this was never a priority... in fact this organization wanted their pups to never be allowed to ruff house with other dogs. They were taught that they were working when the vest was on but without it was still a one on one with the family. Their logic was interaction between dogs should never happen (the 1st year) and avoiding this made the training easier.
Being a service dog is a job and the pups were considered "in training" from the very beginning. They expect their dogs to be in a crowded elevator (or anywhere) and not even sniff anyone or anything. Service dogs are not family pets.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,595 Posts
Your dog is not doing anything wrong. You failed him by allowing the other dog to attack him even ONE time. If he is your service dog, it's your job to protect him. If he is now reactive to other dogs that's not his fault, it's yours.

But, correcting a puppy that is not respecting his space and walking on him is not aggression. It is normal, and appropriate, dog to puppy communication. AND it's your responsibility to stop the puppy from doing that. It's bad manners, and you personally need to prevent the puppy from doing it so your service dog doesn't have to correct the puppy. He is not doing anything wrong, but you need to protect him so it isn't necessary for him to correct the puppy.
 

·
Kate
Joined
·
22,652 Posts
About the only thing going through my head is fool me once, shame on you.

Fool me multiple times.... shame on me.

After the first instance of the other dog correcting YOUR dog for climbing all over him/her/whatever.... you should have put your pup on leash and kept the dogs separate.

If you are truly raising a "service dog", the dog should have been on leash at your side.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top