Golden Retriever Dog Forums banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 5 yr old female golden retriever (Abbey), occassionally picks a fight with other dogs. Almost all of them are male dogs and it's on or off leash she does this.

She is adopted from a family that didn't have much time for here. I believe there were some issues from her past with behaviour.

Lately she seems to be picking fights. Is it spring or what?

Last week at while sitting at the vets office waiting for our appointment, on leash, minding our own business, a male Collie comes out of the office with his owner and Abbey starts up with him. And just this afternoon while we were playing at the beach off leash, which we go to almost daily after our walk, she goes down to say hi to another golden and as soon as I walk down to get her, she starts fighting with him. She was really going at it today and I had to jump in and break them up and had a hard time pulling her off of him.

She was okay until I came up to them. Is this territorial or protection of something?

Abbey is starting to limit her freedom right now and I'm getting rather embarrassed and frustrated.

My other golden, Samantha, is the same age is totally in control. She loves everyone, comes when she' s called, she's excellent off leash and playing with other dogs. I have no concerns with her.

Any advice?

Bummed out at Bluewater Beach

:( :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
This was once answered in DOG FAQS:

There are a couple of things to do.

First, don't let your dog go
after another dog. The more he does it, the harder it will be to keep
him doing it again. He needs to be under physical control/leashed
when out in public.

Second, socialize him. Get him around other dogs in a controlled
situation, ones that are nice and that won't be a problem. He needs
to know the proper way to act with dogs and he'll never learn if he
doesn't interact with other dogs. Group training classes are good for
this since you are around other dogs, but in a controlled environment.
You may or may not have classes in your area, but there should be some
way to start introducing him to nice dogs.

Third, train him. That way when he starts to go for another dog, you
can give him a command and stop him. This works better if you give
the command before he is in full attack mode.
Pepe
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
I've had a similar problem with my Jessie in the past.
When Jessie came to live with us we also had Bonnie, a border collie, and Bandit, an elderly cattle dog.
Jessie and Bonnie 'clicked' and became best mates........played nicely together, etc etc.......until.......

Shadow came here as a puppy, to live. Right away Jessie 'dumped' Bonnie, and became close to Shadow. It was Jessie, and Shadow, Shadow, and Jessie, the golden duo!!

Then one day, I let the dogs out after arriving home........there was Jessie and Shadow and Bonnie, all excited about being let out from under the house where they stay when we're out.
All of a sudden Jessie just went for Bonnie. I don't know what triggered it, perhaps Shadow and Bonnie started playing together, I really don't know, it all happened so fast.

Jessie had Bonnie by the throat and really meant business. I literally had to lift her up off the ground, and get one of the kids to grab Bonnie, and put her somewhere safe. Thankfully no broken skin, but since then Bonnie has been sooo timid around Jessie. Avoids all eye contact, and slinks around as though she's going to be beaten. Awful to see.

It happened again a week or so later. Shadow started playing around with Jessie, and Bonnie wanted to join in........so again, Jessie just went for Bonnie!

I called in a dog trainer, from Bark Busters, who sat down with us, and observed both Jessie and Bonnie. Told us how to handle the situation should it happen again.

And it did, so Bonnie [who is my eldest stepdaughter's dog], was given to friends for a while. They were going away for a weekend, and asked if I could keep her here to look after her, feed her etc.
I hesitated, but agreed. BAD MOVE!

Bonnie was let out of the car, and Jessie was brought up to meet her again.......all of a sudden, once more she attacked poor Bonnie!!! This time old Bandit, the cattle dog, and even Shadow got in on it all.......sheeeshhhhh!!! It took superhuman strength to stop it all, and Bonnie went back to the friends house, and a neighbour popped in each day to feed and water her.

To this day I simply don't know what has gone wrong with their once good friendship. Perhaps Jessie is jealous that Shadow may want to be friends with Bonnie, I don't know. Jessie is respectful of Bandit, the older cattle dog, but I can see that she, Jessie, wants to be the alpha of them all. Shadow is just Shadow, a lovable glutz of a boy!

Jessie has never bitten any of us, and has shown no sign of that anger that she exhibited to poor Bonnie girl. I did notice though that other dogs seem to react to Bonnie in that same way now......she just slinks around, looking frightenend, which is so sad to see. I think she is better being in a single dog family at the moment.

And I know that I am relieved that Jessie has not shown that side of her since then!! If we are out, and meet other dogs she is also fine. Curious, and smells them, but other than that, not a problem. For some reason it's just Bonnie!

Sorry to take over your posting here, but I can appreciate what a scary time it has been for you Margie.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
414 Posts
How long have you had her?

Have you any idea what those past issues were?

What Pepe said sounds good. It could be just the lack of socialization and training.

Have you had her long enough to know if this is something new? In the Vet did she go right in with hackles up ready to fight or could the male dog have done something to trigger her reaction?

On the beach you say she went to say hi and she was OK until you went to get her. Could it be she is upset when another strange dog come near you? Just bouncing ideas here but you may want to look for a pattern.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Timberwolfe.

I'm looking for the pattern as well. I believe it has something to do with her past.

I have had Abbey since October 2002 and wouldn't trade her for anything.
She is 5.

I have done alot of work with her and it was hard at first.
The trust factor was a big issue. Just getting her to trust me was hard. And you have to let them come to you when they are ready.

I don't know alot about her past other than the family didn't have much time for her and that she was a handful so they didn't let her socialize with them much. She had also gone to trainers etc. and the family said nothing seemed to work. But we all know it's up to us to reinforce the training daily and let our dogs know we are the head of the pack. There is a time to play the leadership role and a time to play the Mommy role. Maybe I'm in Mommy role too much. (Saw that on Oprah yesterday. She has same problem with her dog and called in a specialist)

I did bring Abbey for training when I first got her and she was great. He could tell she did have training and she obeyed and passed and it was almost like she knew the program too well and just went for the treats at the end of each exercise.

We don't live in a busy area where there are lots of dogs to socialize. That could be the problem. She does have several "dog friends", male and female and she's fine with them when we see them because she knows them.

She did only attack the dog on the beach when I approached her to get her. Before that she went down the beach and layed down on her belly wagging her tail. The lady met her and she rolled over for a rub. Then she almost came when I called her, I was 15ft away by then, and she was on her way to me and I was praising her..."good girl Abbey" etc. and then she did a 180 and went right to this older male golden and started in on him.

At the Vet's office, we were sitting there and out came the male Collie. Both sniffed each other and then ignored each other. They did that 2x and then 2 seconds later she took one last sniff and started barking and getting in his face.

To me I think it's territorial and she is also doing the protector thing. I also see that it's when she might be in a nervous situation. She does get nervous and shys away too.

Other than this, she is good as gold, a real sweetheart and loves my other dog Samantha, that I've had since a puppy and who doesn't have time in her day to get all huffy because she is so happy and content.

I'll have to start showing her who's boss again and reinforce the "come" and "stay" commands.

Oh, no teeth show when she's mad or anything. Her ears perk up a bit and she freezes in her stance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,684 Posts
It does sound like its something to do with you, could it be your giving her too much freedom, and not applying enough control so as she knows who the boss is in the family? It could be also something she's picking up on you that would cause it. Is anything coming to mind?

Really, she shouldn't feel the need to protect since that would be your job! Territorial would be more if it were on your property, where as this is happening on neutral territory. I'm really not sure, just trying to bring in some idea's here too help you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Hi There
I Can Totally Sympathise With You. My Male Nearly 5 Year Old Reacts Badly To Dogs He Doesn't Know ,too. That Was The Reason He Was Sold By His Breeder. I Have Had Him A Year Now And He Is Better As An Only Dog . In The Beginning I Was Ready To Give Him Back As He Was So Antisocial,strangely Enough On The Dog Training Ground He Was Never A Problem, When I Was Working With Him.he Would Run At Other Dogs If He Was Off Lead Even If They Were Well Away From Us.i Had Trouble Walking Past Other Dogs In The Street,as He Would Create Trying To Get To Them. He Is Now Much Better As I Distract Him With Food And I Take Him For Walks With Dogs That Are"safe" Although I Never Really Quite Trust Him. I Would Love To Hear What Advise You Get Maybe It Will Help Me Too. I Would Not Miss Him Now Any More But I Just Wish He Was A Littlwe More Social.
Conni
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,719 Posts
Don't believe everything you see on Oprah, particularly advice about dog training. Her "Dog whisperer's" training methods are seriously outdated, based on short-term research done on a wolf pack in the 40's that made conjectures that were later disproven, and then applied these conjectures about wolf-wolf behavior to human-dog behavior.

I would recommend a "nothing in life is free" program, which establishes you as the leader in ways dogs really do understand. True "alpha" dogs (as well as wolves) are leaders because they control the resources - food, sleeping places, freedom, playing, etc. So you hand-feed her and before each handful, she has to sit, down, make eye contact, touch your hand, whatever short behaviors she knows. You keep her in a crate whenever you can't 100% supervise her to keep her from "stealing" reinforcements like finding food or jumping on the couch. ALL GOOD THINGS COME FROM YOU. You keep her on a leash to keep her from jumping on the furniture or visiting other dogs or running around free at will. If you want her on the bed, ask her to sit first. If you want her to see other dogs or run free, ask her to sit before you take off her leash, and frequently call her to you (if she's running free alone have her on a long line so you can reel her in if she doesn't come, if she's playing with other dogs the line could cause tangles so lure her out with a treat) then praise, give her a treat IF she came voluntarily, ask for a sit, and let her go play again. If you want to play with her, ask her to sit first. Before you go out the door to potty her (ON LEASH of course), ask her to sit. No toys are out except for chew bones in the crate, but you can give her a toy for supervised play if you ask her to sit first.

Gradually (after at least two months) you can introduce more freedom. Usually the first step is to replace the leash with a lighter line, and only crate the dog at night. Then you can start having her off-leash in the house, then if you have a great recall you only have to use the leash for reasons of responsible dog ownership. But you should continue to ask your dog to sit before letting her outside, petting her, or feeding her. She needs to look to you for all good things forever.

http://www.goof.com/~pmurphy/NILIF.html
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top