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Questions on behavior towards other dogs

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Hello i have a 11 month old bc and she is great around people but she gets aggressive towards other dogs when we are playing ball in the park. her hair will raise on her neck and back and sometimes she will lunge at other dogs who are just curious to see whats going on etc.

 

some dogs (mostly other bc's or Aussies or as i put it "smart" dogs) she is fine with and will lick their mouth and let them sniff her. she only gets aggressive towards "dumb" dogs who she doesnt really care to play with.

 

what corrective actions should i take when i see her hair raise and see her start to get aggresive towards other dogs.

 

Currently i tell her no anytime she gets aggressive and i will put the ball away so she will not be so obsessed over it. I really want her to be friendly with all other dogs.

 

Thanks

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Hello i have a 11 month old bc and she is great around people but she gets aggressive towards other dogs when we are playing ball in the park. her hair will raise on her neck and back and sometimes she will lunge at other dogs who are just curious to see whats going on etc.

 

some dogs (mostly other bc's or Aussies or as i put it "smart" dogs) she is fine with and will lick their mouth and let them sniff her. she only gets aggressive towards "dumb" dogs who she doesnt really care to play with.

 

what corrective actions should i take when i see her hair raise and see her start to get aggresive towards other dogs.

 

Currently i tell her no anytime she gets aggressive and i will put the ball away so she will not be so obsessed over it. I really want her to be friendly with all other dogs.

 

Thanks

 

I"ve got a similar problem with Brodie -- I put it down as fear as he hadn't seen that many other dogs...he gets a stern correction when he lunges and barks at other dogs...I tell him I"m the only one allowed to bark....he's getting it.

 

I also don't allow other dogs within four feet of him -- the amount of space you're supposed to give other dogs at AKC events (I read it in their rule book because I'm taking an AKC obedience class). He can learn to tolerate that much. I'm not shy about telling other people to keep their dog away either.

 

There's been some interesting conversations about the "snob" effect in Border Collies -- they know they are the smart ones, but that doesn't mean they can't display good manners, or at least tolerate, other breeds.

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I think it all depends on why she's acting that way....is she nervous, is she being posessive of the ball, does she just not like certain dogs in her face?

 

My BC does not tolerate hyper type dogs in her face being bouncy or overbearing. She may snap at them and I do not correct this because the other dog is being rude. She is a bit less tolerant if another dog is in her face and she's trying to play with a ball - she just wants them out of her space so she can continue fixating on a toy and playing in peace. She will occasionally turn and snap at a dog who's too close when she's fixating but its not a posessive thing, its just a matter of her not being tolerant to other dogs in her personal space when she's "working" aka fetching.

 

My aussie will get posessive if he has a toy or stick if another dog approaches him. He will raise up his hackles and growl and snarl at them while continuing to hold his posession... in which case we tell him to knock it off and take the posession away - sometimes DH picks him up (if the other owner has no control over their dog) so he can't continue to be a jerk and it takes him out of being in control of the situation. Otherwise we leash him and he doesn't get to play with any toys anymore and we swiftly walk away with him on a short leash (not the flexi) to get the point across that being posessive means end of the fun and games.

 

If she's nervous, I'd try keeping the other dogs out of her space and definitly not correcting her (I did with my nervous BC and now she's more likely to snap or bite with absolutly no warning because when I got her I didn't know better and corrected her for growling - so she never growls now, just goes to the next step). You could also start giving her treats when another dog approaches so she associates it with pleasent experiences.

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I really recommend Patricia's McConnell's booklet "Fiesty Fido." It has a lot of really good tips for working with reactive dogs, and keeping your dog safe when there's a reactive or dumb dog around/charging at you.

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There are several possible reasons why your dog is doing this. Since it seems that she is fine with some dogs but not all, I would start paying attention to the body language of the dogs she does not like. What are they doing? Are they coming straight into her space? Are they giving her direct eye contact? Are the offering typical jerk behaviour and putting their heads over her shoulders? It could quite possibly be that they are just being rude. Simple as that. Remove her from the situation and be done with it. You can also place your own body between hers and theirs (if there is a safe distance, not if they are already side by side) to split them up and cut off whatever signals are going on between the two dogs.

She could also be possessive of her toy. If that's the case, then I would suggest just taking the ball away when she acts this way and do something else.

 

If you are at a dog park when this usually happens, then I would say that there is just too much adrenaline going around. Dogs get so hyped up when they are at the park that most times it's a recipe for disaster anyway unless you are totally vigilant. Seeing her hair standing up doesn't really mean much. I've seen lots of dogs do it when they are super excited or aroused, not only when they are angry. I would only use this as a sign that there is just too much stimulus (of whatever type) for your dog and remove her from the situation.

 

There are a lot of books that you can read to find out useful training techniques to keep your dog calm under stress and around other dogs. Control Unleashed, Click to Calm, Feisty Fido, The cautious canine, Mine, Fight, How to right a dog gone wrong, On talking terms with dogs etc. If you search them on this board you can find other instances where they've been referenced and what people are using them for.

 

I do not think you should correct a dog for acting this way. They usually only stop displaying what ever they were doing and move on to the next step, like BCJetta said and the next step is usually just biting. You don't want that. It's best to keep dogs out of her space unless they look like they are going to have a good interaction. If not, just be neutral and remove both of you from the situation.

 

Good luck.

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I've got a reactive dog, and it's all come down to management for me. Since I can't control all the situations in which we meet other dogs, I can't control Buddy's being exposed to rude dogs, which are the ones he'll discipline. So, I just keep my leash with me, leash the dog up, and call ahead, "My dog might not be friendly!" If the other owners let their dogs charge mine, it's their responsibility when their dogs get scolded with a snap or snarl.

 

As the previous poster mentioned, for my dog, it's all about personal space. Used to be he needed a bubble of 25 feet of personal space or he got very fearful and reactive. That bubble is literally down to an inch now - as long as the other dog is standing at least an inch away, Buddy will sniff and be fine. But the slightest lunge forward as if to charge, and he still reacts. The space bubble does get larger when Buddy has a high-powered treat; I don't give him any toys or good food around strange dogs.

 

I worked for years to desensitize Buddy to meeting humans. Treat. Treat. Treat. And I never let him be approached by humans who didn't want to work with his fear. So, he's gradually come to see that approaching humans are a good thing, full of the potential for treats, though he doesn't love the species, still. With other dogs, I am unable to ensure that all meetings end up safe... so it's been really hard to get Buddy happy to see strange dogs approaching.

 

I don't think a dog park would ever be an option for my dog. It's got all the elements that make him fearful: chaos, lots of rapid movement, doggie roughhousing, and a constant stream of new dogs in his face.'

 

Mary

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I think it's probably less of a 'smart' and 'dumb' thing as a body language and space thing. Bcs don't seem to take well to certain types of dogs. In your face dogs are just rude.

 

I have a papillon that I can pretty much predict if she's going to like a dog based on breed. The only breeds she likes are other papillons, border collies, and german shepherds. Some aussies and shelties but most are too bouncy for her and they scare her. The bcs she tends to like I think because they're more likely to respect her space. The worst dogs for her are schnauzers and dachshunds. She's never reacted favorably to them. I've been working on her reactivity for a while but mainly you have to just manage it. I have to tell people to keep their dogs away. She'll never be a dog park dog though.

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It sounds like ball possessiveness to me. I have no idea how to correct it, but I've done a pretty good job of managing Daisy's ball fixation. If you really want to go to the dog park, make sure you go when it's not crowded. Fewer dogs in the park means less adrenaline and general craziness. But it also means that Daisy can communicate with all of the dogs there right off the bat. I've found that the problem with having lots of dogs (say, more than half a dozen) around is even if the first few dogs recognize and accept Daisy's "back off" signals, there are always more to come up and try her patience. Eventually that patience wears thin and we get into trouble. But with just a few dogs around they all get the message pretty quick and seem to come to an agreement.

 

Also, you really have to be on the lookout for those dogs that want to interfere with fetch. Sometimes when Daisy is dancing excitedly at my feet and waiting for me to throw the ball other dogs will come up to see what she's so excited about. In those cases I will either pre-emptively grab her collar and try to shoo the other dog away, or I'll just throw the ball quickly in the opposite direction so that Daisy goes chasing it and ignores the other dog completely.

 

Usually after 5-10 good long throws she's done with fetch and ready to go play with other dogs, but I try to be vigilant in watching not only her behavior but other dogs. It's important to figure out which dogs are likely to set her off so that you can create distractions early in the interaction before anyone shows any signs of aggression.

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