How to Train Your Dog to Not Attack Other Dogs

Medium
1-6 Months
Behavior

Introduction

You’re walking through gorgeous green fields, the sun is out, your canine friend is bounding around sniffing everything — but then, they turn rigid, their tail drops, and all of a sudden, they leap across the field to lunge at another dog. Your stomach turns and you charge after your dog, hoping to prevent a battle. It is a wholly embarrassing situation and one that can leave everyone involved feeling emotional.

Dogs that attack are often misunderstood. Fear and protection instincts often drive dogs to attack, but the effects can be devastating. Firstly, your dog or another dog may be seriously injured, causing pain, discomfort, and hefty vet bills. In some states, dogs that attack other dogs or humans are required to be put down. Getting a handle on this behavior is essential for the protection of both your dog and others. 

Defining Tasks

Training your dog not to attack other dogs might sound relatively straightforward, but it can actually be extremely challenging. This type of behavior is often a result of underlying issues that can be difficult to address. Therefore, successful training involves obedience, taking steps that reduce unsupervised physical interaction with other dogs, plus a number of other measures.

Rectifying aggressive behavior in puppies will be quicker and easier than changing the habits of older dogs, but it's absolutely vital if you want to avoid serious injury to your own dog and others. Dogs that attack other dogs can even go on to attack humans, so it's even more important you address any signs of aggression as soon as possible.

Consistency is key with this type of training, so you need to be prepared to be patient and put in the hours. It could take anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months to fully train aggression towards other dogs out of your canine friend.

Getting Started

Before you get going with the methods below, you'll need to gather a few things. A secure collar and leash will be required. Make sure the collar is comfortable. You may also want to invest in a harness that allows you to have good control without the collar pulling on your dog's neck.

You'll also need a quiet place to train without too many distractions that isn't overpopulated with other pups. Treats or your dog's favorite food will also be needed to incentivize and reward them. Small, tasty training biscuits and pieces of cheese often go over well. Once you have these things and a proactive attitude, you’re ready to get to work!

The Sitting Pretty Method

Most Recommended
2 Votes
Step
1
Go to the park
Invite a fellow dog owner to an open area, such as a quiet public park. Avoid off-leash dog parks as they can exacerbate your dog's aggression. This activity is best done at a park with a dog-friendly walking trail.
Step
2
Treats count
Don't forget to bring plenty of high-value treats! (We also recommend doing this shortly before dinnertime so both doggos have an appetite.)
Step
3
Sit pretty
Put your leashed dog in a sit-stay position several feet off the trail and let the other dog walk by. Reward your buddy with a treat and praise each time they maintain a calm sit-stay without lunging or growling.
Step
4
Patience
Continue the exercise, Each calm session deserves a high five and a food reward. However, this may take several tries. The other dog will likely need to pass by several times, so be patient.
Step
5
Repeat and increase the intensity gradually
This step is a common theme in conditioning training. Once your dog understands what you want them to do, decrease the distance gradually. Continue your training and your buddy will be ready for a pup playdate before you know it!
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The Counter Conditioning Method

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0 Votes
Step
1
Take a walk and add treats
This method builds on the threshold concept from the Establish a Threshold training method. For your next walk, stash some of your dog's favorite treats in your pocket and head out for your walk. You can also work on counter conditioning if you have a large open space, like a big backyard, and a friend with a well-trained dog. If you're training at home, keep sessions short at first and be patient.
Step
2
Start counter conditioning
Counter conditioning teaches your dog that staying calm around other dogs earns them a tasty reward. Once you've reached the threshold distance and your pup sees the other dog, start feeding them treats and giving praise. It's important to start slow and to always use positive reinforcement. If they get aggressive, take away the treats and move to a safe distance.
Step
3
Walk and walk again
Remember, this process will take some time. You may need to go on dozens of walks or host several training sessions before the concept sinks in. Never punish your dog by yelling at or hitting them; this will only perpetuate the behavior and make them fearful of you. If they react calmly, continue lavishing them with treats and praise so they know they're on the right track.
Step
4
Repeat
Repeat step two as many times as necessary. Eventually, your dog will associate seeing another dog at the threshold distance with getting a treat. This is known as a conditioned emotional response. Once your pup is consistently calm, decrease the distance gradually and assess your dog's reactions. Over time, once your pup is able to walk calmly past another dog, you may want to add another dog to the mix. Continue to build on this skill by increasing the time and decreasing the distance.
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The Establish a Threshold Method

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0 Votes
Step
1
Brush up on obedience training
Working on obedience is the first step to conditioning your dog to associate other dogs with good things, like treats, praise, and pats. A dog with knowledge about behavior is a wonderful thing. Make sure your dog is willing to heel and sit-stay on cue. Use positive reinforcement during this process.
Step
2
Take a walk
Once you're confident that your pal will follow your commands, leash up and take a walk in an area where you'll pass other dogs, but keep your distance. Think of this walk as an experiment. You want to establish a "threshold" distance. Notice roughly how far away the other dog is when your dog starts showing signs of aggression.
Step
3
Double the threshold distance
If your dog starts growling or lunging at a distance of 20 feet, move them 40 feet away at the very first sign of aggression. (This includes the stare-down that often precedes aggressive behavior.) This teaches them that you'll protect them from what they perceive as danger. Never force your dog to interact with other dogs if they're fearful or protective.
Step
4
Mind your body language
Your dog will pick up on your emotions. Tensing up or gripping the leash tightly might make them more fearful or aggressive. Maintain a calm yet firm demeanor to let your dog know there's no danger.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Doug
Corgi
7 Years
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Doug
Corgi
7 Years

My dog has become aggressive towards puppies in particular. He had one negative experience, and now seems fearful/will nip and bite at dogs when around them.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kate, See if there is a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area you can join with pup. Those classes are designed for dog aggressive and reactive dogs. The dogs are intensively socialized together in a structured environment while wearing basket muzzles for safety, to help overcome reactivity and aggression issues more quickly under the guidance of the trainer. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Kana
Tamaskan
9 Years
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Kana
Tamaskan
9 Years

We adopted 2Tamaskan rescue dogs that are grown. They are very strong and have a CRAZY STRONG prey instinct. We bought harnesses to control them better. If they become excited at squirrel/rabbit/cat we stop and make them sit and talk to them calmly. Sometimes we block their view with our body. Sometimes they just go nuts and we have to drag them away.

They are improving but still would prefer to eat everything wild in the park.

Suggestions?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sharon, First of all, spend time teaching them basic obedience commands like come, sit, heel, down, and stay. Once they can do those commands at home where it is calm, then I would highly suggest enrolling them in an intermediate obedience class where there are intentional distractions like outdoor environments, people, and other dogs where you can regularly practice their obedience around distractions. You won't be able to remove their prey drive but you can teach them to be responsive to you around high level distractions which will come through intentionally practicing their obedience, especially "leave it" and "heel". Look for a trainer who also does off leash training and has experience working with more independent and prey driven breeds like husky's, sight hounds, and other sleddog type breeds. Also look for a trainer who uses fair correction as well as positive reinforcement with a lot of emphasis on positive reinforcement. Your dog's would benefit from the premack principle, which is where you teach the dog that the quickest way to get what he wants, ie to investigate a street squirrel, is to obey you first. Training with the distraction as a reward sometimes will create a lot of reliability around those types of distractions. For a class you will either need two people to attend so that one person can focus on one dog or you will need to attend to separate classes, one for each class. Do not attempt to handle both dogs yourself in one class or you will not be an effective trainer during the class time. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Sadie
Puggle
8 Years
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Sadie
Puggle
8 Years

Hello, so my dog used to be very good and friendly towards other dogs we would take her to dog parks and she would run around with the dogs happily.
Recently she has just been really aggressive towards other dogs and try’s to nip or scratch them. She usually wants to say hello and is okay with them for a minute or two, then out of nowhere she gets really aggressive. I really don’t know what to do about it and what I can do to help her.
She is always really friendly and sweet to any human and loves playing with anyone, what do you suggest o do

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Zoe, First, I would ask your vet if there could be something like arthritis going on that's causing her pain, discomfort, mental issues, vision or hearing issues, or something else that could put her on edge. If the behavior is only recent, then it could be related to age, and addressing the cause is important with your vet. Once the cause is addressed, advocate for your dog. She might be snippy with other dogs because she feels overwhelmed by them now. Don't let every dog greet her, limit it to dogs that are polite and calm, and be the one to end interactions after 3 seconds by having her follow you away. Absolutely don't let younger dogs jump on her, pester her, or not leave her alone when she indicates she wants to leave. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Shamus
Mutt
2 Years
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Shamus
Mutt
2 Years

Shamus (2 years old. Lab-Collie-Australian Shepherd-Husky mix)

Our dog Shamus tries to viciously attack any dog he sees that he does not know. He's a good dog that listens well and loves people, kids and even gets along with our cats and bearded dragon. We adopted him and his brother Angus as puppies from a shelter. He gets along with dogs that he has met before but that's it. He doesn't trust any new dogs.

When Shamus and Angus were younger we did everything we could to socialize them with humans and other dogs. They went on tons of walks, did doggy-social events, and went to doggy daycare regularly and played with the other dogs. They did that for several months until one day Angus got spooked and bit another dog causing both of our dogs to be isolated when they played. At around the same time they often got into fights with each other at home over random things like toys, food, or even when they were just tired and cranky. We also noticed during this time they started snarling at other dogs when we took them on walks which was unlike them. Since they were not being allowed to play with other dogs at daycare we stopped taking them and decided to just let them have regular play dates with our friends dogs.

Over the last year Shamus and Angus have learned to respect each other more and their aggression towards each other has stopped. They love going places and on walks and swimming, but their hate for other dogs has seemed to grow. We tried introducing them to a new dog belonging to a friend and Angus nipped at the dog while Shamus repeatedly tried to attack and wouldn't listen to us at all.

Here's what's weird... on walks they won't bark at other dogs they see, even if they get barked at. Shamus will just ignore it and behave. Unless the other dog is approaching him. If another dog on a leash approaches him he will snarl and try to attack. When he gets in that mode there is no listening to us. We've tried to train them to associate positive things with behaving around other dogs but it doesn't work as they are not food or treat motivated dogs. If they are offered treats they don't take them.

I'm writing this mostly about Shamus since he is the most anxious of the 2. He is also the most aggressive. Angus generally will trust other dogs until they give him reason not to, but Shamus goes straight into attack mode. If we were ever to take them to a dog park Angus may nip at other dogs but Shamus would try to savagely attack every other dog he sees. We have just generally accepted that they don't get along with other dogs so we avoid unfamiliar dogs for safety. His anxiety and aggression toward unknown dogs seemed to pop out of nowhere. Is there anything we could try to get him to trust other dogs again? (that doesnt involve treats as rewards).

Thanks

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Justin, Check out Jeff Gellman from SolidK9Training and Shaun O'Shay from The Good Dog. Both trainers have free videos and information online and specialize in anxiety and aggression. You need professional help from a trainer who is very experienced with many types of aggression (not just fear-aggression, although that too). You need a trainer who uses a combination of positive reinforcement and careful corrections, to be able to interrupt his arroused state (carefully) and also reward a calmer state when his aggressive state has been interrupted. This should involve a lot of obedience work, boundaries, and generally setting the tone for calmness and following you first. This has to be done very carefully. Done wrong, many dogs will transfer their aggression to whatever is nearby or in their space (another dog or person) and you or Angus could get bite. You also need some new structure for both dogs around the house so that they are generally calmer there too and looking to you for directions instead of each other. I suggest getting him used to wearing a muzzle for your safety, so that you can use it in certain training scenarios to be safe. Use a basket muzzle so that he can still open his mouth while wearing it. Use his own dog food to get him used to it over a couple of weeks slowly, letting him eat his food off of it, get a piece of food when he sniffs it or touches it, and eat food from inside it when he puts his face inside. You want him to like the muzzle before you try to buckle it, so that the muzzle it's self will just be like a harness or collar and not stressful. Go slow and make it fun for him. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Navidson
Mutt
6 Years
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Navidson
Mutt
6 Years

Hi! My fur baby is a Lab/Pit/German Shepherd mix and was the runt of his litter so I’ve had him almost his whole life. The mother rejected him so for all intensive purposes, he sees me as his mother.
I spent the first few years of his life socializing him to death! I took him everywhere and he was great with all kinds of people and other dogs. I should also add, my roommate got his sister so he always had another dog around at home.
I moved back home with my parents who also had a dog and a large fenced in yard. However, I then moved to Florida and it took me nearly 2 years to move him down here with me.
My parents are wonderful animal owners, but they did not socialize him. Their dog passed away so eventually it because him alone with the same people, in the same place all the time.
He was thrilled to be back with me when I brought him to Florida but his social skills have vanished. He barks and sometimes growls at women. He chased my female friend out of my house and recently had an aggressive dog park experience.
I must note he has NEVER so much as put a scratch on a person or dog but his breeds make his bark quite intimidating.
He was doing better at the dog park with a decent streak of successful visits but after the most recent one I’m afraid the anxiety of the situation will return for both of us if we go back.
He needs the exercise and the socialization badly but I live in a part of the world where people have a lot of pride and money and I’m terrified he will have a bad day around the wrong people. I’ve had him here for a year now and while there are some improvements, the lack of playtime with other dogs and real exercise has me concerned for him.
I want my dog to have his best life but I’m stuck! Any advice?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kelsey, First, I suggest looking for a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area. This class is designed for dog reactive and dog aggressive dogs to help with social skills. All of the dogs wear basket muzzles to prevent fights and they are intensively socialized together to really speed up the training process. Second, I suggest teaching him to use a treadmill in your home, to simply help take the edge off exercise wise. Check out the video below for information on how to teach this. You may even be able to find a second hand treadmill for less money somewhere like a thrift store, craigslist or Facebook trading group - of course take safety precautions when meeting someone unknown to buy second hand if you go that route. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJ5l5LEBYD0 Check out the video linked below to work on reestablishing trust and respect in your relationship and lay the foundation for dealing with the aggressive outbursts. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxEfqnuN0ic If there is fear aggression happening in general: https://youtu.be/mgmRRYK1Z6A I highly recommend not returning to the dog park. Social interactions with people and other dogs is important but for some dogs the highly arousing environment of a dog park, where there are often other unsocial dogs, pack mentality, highly exciting and anxious energy, and an almost complete lack of control of the dogs by the owners because of the environment. All of these things can make a dog that is struggling worse. Instead, see if there are meetup.com or obedience club groups that do structured walks or hikes together, where you can practice a structured heel, dog training classes, or canine sports you can attend. Attend with a basket muzzle if needed. Think about how Service Dogs are well socialized with other dogs, but their interactions after puppihood are calm, structured interactions to maintain their socialization. The treadmill should help with some of the daily energy needs. Teaching new commands, working on structure, obedience, and tricks can help wear a dog out also by stimulating them mentally. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden,

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Riot
German Shepherd
2 Years
0 found helpful
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Riot
German Shepherd
2 Years

We have two male dogs, Rufus and Riot. Riot is a German Shepard, and Rufus is a Australian Shepard mix. We have to separate them because of their fighting behavior. We have neutered them (November 2019) to try to release the hormones, but it didn’t work.They had recently got into a fight and we pulled them away very quickly but came out with minor injuries.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Hannah, I highly suggest hiring a professional trainer who specializes in aggression to help you. Check out Jeff Gellman from solidK9Training. He has a free Youtube channel also, and specializes in aggression. You can learn more about aggression there, but I do highly suggest working with a professional in person for this issue. In the meantime, teach both dogs Place, crate train both, give a lot of structure and boundaries to facilitate a calm home environment and build pups' trust and respect for you calmly, and get both used to wearing a silicone basket muzzle. Muzzle introduction video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw&list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a&index=6&t=0s Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Charlie
German Shepherd
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
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Charlie
German Shepherd
2 Years

We just moved Charlie away from the rest of our family dogs (including his brother) and moved to another state. The house we moved into already has another dog living there. The two dogs seem to be perfectly okay with one another outside but as soon as we go into the house, Charlie will attack, lunge, and bark at the other dog. I hold him back and try to get him to focus on me, but as soon as the other dog comes near him he looses it. We took him to a dog park and at first he was okay, but when a dog came to sniff him, he would growl and attack again. I need help knowing what to do when he acts out and how I can train him to be calm around other dogs that try to interact with him.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Katie, I suggest hiring a professional trainer who can work with your dog at your home around the other dog, and also at a facility around lots of new dogs. Look for someone who is very experienced with aggression, comes well recommended, and has access to lots of well behaved dogs for training sessions (such as several of the trainers' dogs who work there). Since the behavior is only happening inside and not in the more neutral territory, part of the issue is probably possessiveness and anxiety - which is being handled through him trying to control and behave aggressively to get the other dog away. Even though he has been with your family's dogs, if he is not used to meeting strange dogs, then he probably doesn't know how to respond correctly and feels nervous around them, or was dependent on other dogs in the family to make him feel secure. If other dogs are being pushy and rude toward him or subtly threatening him through stares and posturing, then he also might be reacting to that - since he doesn't have the experience to know how to handle that situation correctly. Pay attention to how the other dog in the house behaves toward him and what the body language and energy is. Be sure to teach both dogs to give each other space - especially when one indicates they want to be left alone; teaching a Place command for this and have both dogs practicing staying on Place around each other and simply being calm. Check out the video linked below for an example of a nervous dog being socialized. I recommend NOT going to the dog park with him anymore. Dog parks are often full of rude, pushy dogs, who can make nervous and aggressive dogs even worse, or if your dog is a bit of a bully, your dog will have the opportunity to practice bullying there too, which makes things worse for him and the other dogs. Dog parks can be fun but only for dogs who have the temperament and socialization to be able to handle them. Some dogs simply do not do well there. You want to practice calm, structured interactions with other dogs, like obedience classes, structured heeling walks, three second sniffs, and simply getting used to coexisting in a room with another dog with both dogs doing something like a Down-Stay Nervous - aggressive dog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTwNWWFhkAs Place command: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-place-command-the-good-dog-training-tips/ Without witnessing your dogs encounters with other dogs in person, seeing his body language, and what the other dog was doing, I cannot give accurate training advise. I recommend hiring a trainer who is very experienced with aggression to evaluate what's going on and develop a training protocol for you, who also has access to a lot of other dogs that your dog can practice the training protocols around. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crttenden

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Brisa
mixture
2 Years
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Brisa
mixture
2 Years

We adopted Brisa when she was 4 months. She was a really sweet dog that loved to play with other dogs in the park. But around the time when she was 1 year she started fighting with other dogs and now we can't take her to the park because she attacks every dog. She has a few dogs friends whom she loves, also, in the school she behaves correctly and loves every dog, it seems that she has those behaviors when she is with her family

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Salome, Dog parks are very unstructured and highly arousing. They promote a pack mentality - where dogs gang up on other dogs. Some dogs are socially intelligent enough or calm enough to do well there, but dogs that tend to lack impulse control or have stronger temperaments often shouldn't go. The more opportunities she has to practice aggression, the worse it will get. At the school she is being given consistent leadership, is kept calm, and isn't allowed to practice her aggression. If she does well around other dogs when firm leadership is present, then she simply needs to only interact with other dogs in that way with leadership. One-on-one walks, heeling with other dogs. Obedience drills with other dogs, and structure when simply hanging out with other dogs, like both dogs being on a Place bed, being told where to go in the room, and any possessive or dominant behavior quickly dealt with before it can escalate. She should never go back to the dog park and shouldn't be allowed to play rough with other dogs. Instead, she should do calmer, more structured activities around other dogs with people present who can provide calm leadership. Dogs do not need to play rough to be happy in life. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Audrey
German Shepherd/ Hound Mix
3 Years
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Audrey
German Shepherd/ Hound Mix
3 Years

Hey there, we just adopted Audrey about two months ago from a previous owner. At first she couldn’t be left alone in the house and would scratch the door but then she calmed down when our roommate got his dog! She’s very territorial of toys. She won’t let our other dog get them when we play fetch and she runs after them. She will even try to fit two toys in her mouth at once so our other dog can’t get them. We have taken both of them to the dog park and when our other dog plays fetch Audrey just runs behind him and bites his ankles. Whenever Audrey sees another dog on the street she gets up on her back legs and scares the other dog. Recently we went to the dog beach and when we took them both off they leash she ran after a smaller dog and when we called her she ran back then did a circle and went after the small dog again this time nipping at it’s foot. It was really embarrassing and I’ve noticed she doesn’t listen when she’s outside. Her previous owner said she was more of an inside dog but I’m trying to socialize her and take her out more. Any ideas on how I should go about training her as it’s been a tough time getting her to listen mainly outside.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Madi, For right now I would avoid the dog park with her. I suggest joining an intermediate obedience class and work on commands using long leashes, around other dogs. For practice, take her places like parks and areas with people and dogs and using a long leash practice commands like Come, Heel, Watch Me, Down-Stay, and Sit. Reward her for ignoring others and focusing on you. A basic obedience class teaches dogs the meaning of commands. Intermediate and Advanced Obedience works on teaching the dog how to do a command around distractions like other dogs, then off leash during advanced. You have to work up to advanced though - practicing using long training leashes first - so that your dog can get further away, you give a command, then reel the dog in and enforce the command if they disobey. For the chasing behavior it sounds like a combination of possessiveness of the toys and possibly herding instinct. Some dogs are also just bullies quite honestly - they think it's fun to pick on other dogs. A Solid Come, Out command, and Leave It command should be practiced. You can also practice teaching her how to honor another dog's retrieve - something that's done in hunting dog training - where one dog has to stay seated and watch as another dog fetches something, this is called "teaching a dog to honor a retrieve". I would work on teaching that and letting the dogs take turns fetching - this is going to take a lot of practice and a very solid Sit-Stay. Teach both dogs to only go when their name is called so that they can take turns fetching. I wouldn't let them run after a toy together though - that's only tempting a fight. Work on teaching skills to better manage their interactions so their are more boundaries, like leaving other dogs alone and coming when called. Out command - which means get out of the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It command: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Come command using the Reel In method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Rogue
Mastiff
3 Years
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Rogue
Mastiff
3 Years

She has become aggressive toward other dog on walks an now has started to turn on the dogs she has grown up with in our home

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Tracey, I do highly suggest hiring someone to work with you in person. Someone needs to be able to evaluate pup's body language around the other animals, the boundaries and structure and interactions in your home, and how pup responds to training. Safety measures like distance, back tie leashes, or basket muzzles should always be taken into account to depending on the situation - to avoid potential bites from redirected aggression, that can sometimes happen. Look for someone who specializes in aggression, comes well recommended by previous clients who have needed help with aggression, and has the resources - like access to other trainers or dogs to practice the training around, and can work with at your home for at least part of the training as well. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Daisy
Labrador Retriever
1 Year
0 found helpful
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Daisy
Labrador Retriever
1 Year

She has attacked both are older dogs to the point 1 almost died she got him by his jugular, now he’s at my moms for good but now she’s attacked are 10 year old basset as soon as we come home from work 1st my husband came home and as soon as he walked in door she attacked him , then I came home an hour later and she tried but had muzzle on other wise she would, she will also try and attack the cat you see in picture that just started also we’re at a loss on what we can do

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Careen, You need professional help from a trainer who specializes in aggression. I suggest looking up Jeff Gellman from solidK9Training and seeing if his training facility is within traveling distance from you for the aggression rehabilitation board and train. If he is not close enough to travel too, then check out Jeff's youtube trainer and videos on aggression and see if you can find someone with that level of experience close enough to you. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Apollo
Mix
7 Months
0 found helpful
Question
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Apollo
Mix
7 Months

We got him a little over a month ago. He was a hyper dog when we got him. We have three other dogs that he lives with. Recently the smallest dog has been growling and bearing his teeth at Apollo which leads to Apollo reacting. But as soon as Apollo starts to fight for some reason the alpha female joins in and takes his side. Apollo recently injured the small dog and I think he didn't mean to because he's so big. I want to be able to train him so he stops before it happens. He's a bigger dog more hyper and maybe it could be pent up energy I just don't know how to stop the dogs from fighting and picking sides. The only time they really fight isn't with me but when my mom is watching them with me they usually stop fighting one I'm outside but with my mom they all go after the smaller dog which is hers. I don't know how to fix the situation where they fight when my mom's around because I can't always be home to fix it. What should I do? Should I train Apollo a command so my mom can stop him. I just don't understand why they fight only with my mom and stop when I walk outside. Except for the fact that I give them food and watch them more often.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ivie, They may not fight when you are around because they respect you more and trust you to handle issues between them. When your mom is around they may view her more as an equal and feel like they can get away with bullying and making their own decisions. If your mom is willing, have her work with the dogs on commands that help build their respect for her, so they don't feel like they can just do whatever they want when she is there. The small dog is likely antagonizing the other dogs or giving off nervous energy, then Apollo is bullying and teasing because he finds it fun, and your third dog is jumping in and "correcting" whoever she feels is the least worthy of respect - your small dog due to his behavior and energy. Dogs tend to gang up on one another during a fight - that's one of the things that makes large groups of dog's playing together dangerous when a fight breaks out - everyone tries to join in. First, work on teaching the dogs the following commands - more on why in a minute: Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Out command - which means leave the area - read the entire article: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method for teaching Leave It command: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Crate training - Surprise method combined with crate manners video linked above too: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Have your mom help with the training to build their respect and trust for her. The dogs really need structure. You need to keep Apollo from bullying your small dog so he doesn't feel like he has to use aggressive to get Apollo to leave him alone - you be the one to handle any issues so the dogs don't, and especially help your mom. Decide what your house rules are for the dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem, you and your mom be the ones to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if one dog comes over to your other dog while he is trying to sleep, tell the dog who came over "Out". If he obeys, praise and reward him. If he disobeys, stand in front of your sleeping dog, blocking the other dog from getting to him, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until he leaves the area and stops trying to go back to the sleeping dog. The Out article linked above has a section on pushiness that details how to do this. If your small dog growls at Apollo, make your small dog leave the room while also disciplining Apollo for antagonizing him if needed. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your smaller dog to handle things himself - you want him to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for Apollo to learn to stop bullying because you have taught it to him and not because your small dog has resorted to aggression. Have all dogs practice being on separate place beds in the same room and staying on them for 1-2 hours calmly - this should be very helpful for your mom when things are tense. You can give them a food-stuffed chew toy on the place bed and they can move around to get comfortable but they can't get off until given a release command - don't put the bed too close together with food present. They need to have time where they are simply just calmly coexisting, and Place is also a good way to teach them impulse control and calm respect for you and how to cope with the other dogs being around better. When Apollo gets too excited or agitated around your smaller dog, give the dogs a break by either tethering him to yourself with a 6-8 foot leash or crating one or both dogs separately. Feed both in separate locked crates so there is not competition for food or anxiety from the other dog hovering nearby waiting. If Apollo is hard to physically handle right now, keep a 4-6 foot drag leash on him while you are home to supervise, so that you can simply pick of the end of the leash and enforce his obedience if he ignores you without drama. Check out VirChewLy leashes for a chewproof leash if he chews normal leashes. Your attitude in the household needs to be very calm and confident. You should mean what you say and enforce the rules but be very calm and not angry, anxious, or loud - I know that's a lot easier said than done! You and your mom's attitudes help set the tone for the dogs being calmer and feeling like you are taking care of things and leading though. When the dogs are being calm around each other and relaxed, you can give them a treat but try not to let the other dogs see you doing it so they don't rush over too. Simply place the treat between their paws while they are lying down, then walk away so they don't get super excited. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Jambo
Labrador Retriever
10 Years
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Jambo
Labrador Retriever
10 Years

Jambo has always been a friendly dog, but for the last 4-5 years He’s become increasingly aggressive towards other dogs when out on a walk. But if a dog was to come to our house Or we go to another dogs house he is absolutely fine, if anything he’s the scared one if the other dog growling. He can actually sometimes walk past a dog fine or even play with one, but then the next time launch himself, growls and become aggressive. Hes a big boy so its very scary for the other owners. There seems to be no rhyme nor reason with it. My husband is very confident walking with him and he still acts the same to him. It has now become such a unpleasant experience and a chore to take him out. Especially when im on my own with two young kids in tow. Please help!! Thank you.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jeri, Is sounds like pup has leash reactivity - which is where the confinement of the leash or an association with something bad happening while out on a walk is primarily triggering the aggression, but pup does fine up close, off-leash, like in the house, with other dogs. Since pup is more nervous around dogs at home, the reactivity might be defensive and anxiety related partially. I do suggest hiring a professional trainer to help you with this. Look for someone who has access to other well-mannered dogs, who can safely set up training scenarios around other dogs, controlling the distance between the dogs, and practicing calm passes - rewarding calm responses and body language. Watch body language here - look for signs of stress and try to reward pup while they are still calm and relaxed because you want to condition pup to feel calm around the other dogs, in addition to just not lunging. Depending on what you are using now, you may also need to use different training equipment during walks, and especially training sessions, simply to make sure that pup cannot pull you over while this is still an issue being worked through. What you use will depend on pup, gentle leaders, no-pull front harnesses, and prong collars are some options - but each needs to be used and worn in a specific way, so make sure you are fitting and using each correctly. What works best, depends a lot on your specific dog. I do not recommend a choke collar though because they can damage the trachea. Enforce training equipment by connecting it to pup's usual collar by another leash or Carabiner for added security with strong dogs. Also, see if there is a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area. A G.R.O.W.L. class is a class for dog aggressive/reactive dogs, who are all intensively socialized together while wearing a basket muzzle, in a structured environment. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Karno
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
2 Years
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Karno
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
2 Years

When I'm out with him .and he see another dogs he wants to attack the other dogs but he on a lead.so i tend to try avoid him attacking other dogs

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I suggest hiring a professional trainer to help in person with this. Look for someone who specializes in aggression, comes well recommended by previous clients who dealt with dog aggression in their pups, and has access to other well-mannered dogs to practice practice training exercises around. See if there is a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area and join one if you can. Those classes are for dog reactive/aggressive dogs, who all wear basket muzzles (more comfortable) and are intensively socialized together in a structured environment. Muzzle introduction video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw&list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a&index=6&t=0s Finally, work on the structure of your walk to set the tone for calmness and respect and trust toward you. Do the following only with the direction of a qualified trainer or behaviorist. Some dogs will redirect aggression to whoever is closest while aroused, so a basket muzzle or other precautions might be needed while training to keep you and others safe. You want pup to be working during the walk - having to stay behind you, focus on you, perform commands periodically, and not have his mind on scanning the area in search of other dogs. The walk should start with him having to exit your home very calmly, performing obedience commands at the door if he isn't calm. He should wait for permission ("Okay" or "Free" or "Let's Go") before going through the door instead of bolting through if that's an issue. When you walk he should be in the heel position - with his head behind your leg. That position decreases his arousal, reduces stress because he isn't the one in charge and the one encountering things first. It prevents him from scanning for other dogs, staring dogs down or being stared down, and ignoring you behind him. It also requires him to be in a more submissive, structured, focused, calmer mindset - which has a direct effect on how aroused, stressed, and aggressive he is - it makes him feel like the responsibility is on your shoulders not his around other dogs. Additionally, when you do pass other dogs, as soon as he starts staring them down, interrupt him - Don't wait until pup reacting really aggressively, refocus before they are highly aroused and full of adrenaline and cortisol, and to keep the dog in a less aroused/calmer state to begin with. This also makes the walk more pleasant for him in the long-run. Only do interruptions with the help of a trainer for safety reasons. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Murray
Boxer
3 Years
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Murray
Boxer
3 Years

Our sweet 3 year old boxer/pit mix Murray jumped our fence yesterday and attacked the neighbors 7 month old pup they rescued a week ago. We have 2 dogs, Murray and then Monty who is an 8 year old beagle mix, both rescue dogs we've had since they were pups. They get along great and Murray is the most loving and affectionate dog towards people.
I had let the dogs both out like normal, they were out there no more than 15 minutes when the neighbor came running to my door because he jumped our 6' solid wood fence and was attacking their dog. I ran over and got him off the dog, had to carry him back home, and put him in his crate. They took the other dog to the vet and thankfully he was ok other than cuts and put him on antibiotics. I'm not sure what made him do this. She was out there with the pup so saw it happen and reacted immediately, thankfully or it could have been so much worse. Now I can say that he has had a few incidents with squirrels in our back yard and even a cat but he's never just gone after something like this and the fact he jumped over the fence. I'm scared to death now on what he'll do or how we even go about helping him. It breaks my heart, he's like one of my kids. We do have 2 boys, 11 and 13, which they adore their dogs. We aren't letting him out in the backyard without a leash for now but any suggestions on what we can do? We do have a harness that I had on him with a tie out. I was standing out with him, he wouldn't move on the tie out, when our other dog started barking and ran to the fence. He bolted and somehow got out of the harness. Luckily I was standing right there and grabbed him quickly. He will be on a leash from here on out, I don't think I can even trust the tie out with me being right there. I hate to get rid of him but I also don't think I can live with the fear of what might happen next. Please any advice would be appreciated.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sarah, I am so sorry this happened. It could be prey drive, territorial behavior, or dog aggression you weren't aware he had (getting along with another family dog doesn't really effect whether a dog gets along with dogs outside the family). Without working with you in person and evaluating him in the situations I can't say for sure what's going on. You need to hire professional help for this. What I generally recommend for dogs that will go over a six foot fence is two fold. First, work with a trainer who uses remote collar training, a lot of structure and boundaries, as well as positive reinforcement combined with it. Ask questions and read reviews or ask to speak to their previous clients. Make sure this trainer is very experienced with different types of aggression and with behavior issues - many only focus on obedience and the skills and knowledge are two different things, so you need a trainer with both types of knowledge. Second, I suggest an electric fence - not in place of your 6 foot fence but in addition to it. I suggest burying an electric fence two feet in front of your regular fence so that the dog is corrected if they approach the regular fence. For many dogs this does two things. 1. It interrupts the dog during their aroused state when they start charging the fence. 2. It keeps the dog far enough back from the fence that they can't try to climb it. This works for most dogs but could fail without additional training. With additional training to deal with the real issue, so the dog's desire to go after the other dog is lowered, the electric fence will normally be enough of a deterrent for the dog not to even attempt an escape from the yard. I really believe you need someone to help you in person but James Penrith from TaketheLeadDogTraining and Jeff Gellman from SolidK9Training are good resources to learn more about teaching avoidance, dealing with aggression, and remote collar training. They both have channels on YouTube with tons of videos on aggression, cat chasing/killing (prey drive), ect... Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Dillon
Pitbull/lab mix
8 Years
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Dillon
Pitbull/lab mix
8 Years

I was wondering if these methods work for an older male dog who is extremely dog aggressive?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sellene, In your case, I absolutely would NOT recommend any of the methods from that article. Instead, hire a professional trainer who specializes in aggression and behavior issues and comes very well recommended by previous clients' whose dogs also struggled with aggression. Look for someone who has access to lots of other dogs and probably a at least one other trainer or staff member to facilitate the types of interactions you will need to practice. Getting your pup used to wearing a basket muzzle is a good idea however. Check out Jeff Gellman from SolidK9Training. I do not recommend doing the training yourself though. Many aggressive dogs will redirect their aggression to whoever is close-by if you are not careful, when the dog is in a highly aroused state, so aggression needs to be worked with carefully. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Dobby
Alaskan Klee Kai
5 Years
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Dobby
Alaskan Klee Kai
5 Years

Whenever we go to the dog park in our building where we live, he’s on edge. We know shyness is indicative of their breed. He’s accepting of most dogs as long as their calm, the ones who run up and try to play, he lashes out at. He’s very much a “do it at my pace” kind of dog. A huge hurdle and one that really bothers us, is when other dogs are either playing fetch or walking out of the dog park with their owner, he’ll lash out at them. We know some of it is learned behavior from his sister who is a husky, but is no longer in the picture.
We know this is a complicated situation given that Klee Kais are such difficult breeds. What are some things we can do to try to eliminate this learned behavior?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Austin, First, this won't be what you want to hear but you need to stop going to the dog park when there are other dogs there. That environment, the opportunity for him to practice his aggression, and the types of interactions he is having with other dogs is very likely making the aggression worse. Also, his reactions toward the other dogs can actually cause fear-aggression in other dogs, not to mention potential injury. Some dogs shouldn't go to the dog park period. Dog parks are also never a good place to deal with aggression issues for a variety of reasons. With that said, there are other things you can do with him to socialize but it's not going to look like a dog park. First, see if there is a structured obedience class you can join or a group of friends who want to create their own. Practicing structured obedience around other dogs would be a good way to socialize him. The following commands could be used to create your own obedience class with a calmer atmosphere and more structure (or just join a current class that seems calmer and more structured): Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Leave It: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out - which means leave the room: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Once you have done some foundation work via a class, see if there is a dog walking or dog hiking group in your area that you could join with pup for regular socialization and exercise. Having him practice a structured, focused heel, where he is walking behind your leg and focused on you in the presence of other dogs would probably be really good for him, something less stressful and very enjoyable for him, and at the same time - socialize him around other dogs in the way you want him to be - helping him associate other dogs with pleasant, calm things. You could also see if there is a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area, which is a structured class for dog-reactive and dog- aggressive dogs who all wear a basket muzzle during class for safety, and are intensively socialized around each other. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Jaxson
Beagle Shepherd
2 Years
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Jaxson
Beagle Shepherd
2 Years

I’ve had Jaxson since he was old enough to be away from his mother. I always had him around other dogs and people, and he never seemed to have an issue. When we moved in with my boyfriend, he was put in close corridors with two other dogs. Tanner, a 5 year old German Shepherd, and our Shepherd puppy. He will go long periods of time being okay with both of them. He will play with the puppy all day, and the older Shepherd and him are fine being around one another. However, every once in a while he just snaps on either of them. I’m not sure what is causing this or how to stop it. He’s a great dog, he just can’t seem to figure it out.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Katie, Unfortunately, without being there to ask a lot of questions and see the dogs interact together I can't really tell you what's going on either. You need someone who is very experienced with behavior issues and aggression and really good at reading canine body language to work with you in person to figure out what the trigger is. It might be a resource guarding issue - of people, food, space, or objects. It might be pup is telling the other two that he wants to be left alone through stares or body language and they are not honoring that. He might have a really low threshold in general. The attacks could be coinciding with something else and he is redirecting agitation or fear of something else toward the other dogs - such as seeing another dog outside that's he is aggressive toward and turning on your dog instead. It could be a lot of different things. I suggest finding a trainer with lots of experience in this area - ask questions about how they train and their experience ahead of time so ensure they are a good fit for your needs. Have that person come to your home and evaluate the dogs together, asking you lots of questions about their interactions to give clues. You may even be able to use someone remotely if there isn't a good person in your area, via Skype and you taking videos and sending them to someone. In person will be best however - expect it to take a few sessions for the trainer to get a good in-person evaluation in since the dogs will be focused on them when they are new at first, and not each other. The first sessions will probably be mostly talking about the issue, evaluating and offering advice to try, tweaking the training advice as you learn what signs to look for in pup, and see how pup is responding to the training. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Howie
Bearded Collie
18 Months
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Howie
Bearded Collie
18 Months

Hi,

I have an 18 month old Beardie called Howie. He is extremely friendly with 99% of other dogs and loves to play. He is neutered.

lately though he has been showing random aggression. I don't know what is triggering it but he will say hello to another dog, they will sniff each other and then out of the blue Howie will lunge and snap at the other dog.

This usually happens when he is on a lead and the other dog is not.

Any advice would be appreciated as I am really nervous he will hurt another dog.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sarah, First, understand that the situation is a lot of the issue. When a dog is on leash it can create frustration and make it so that a dog can't greet another dog in a proper-dog way. Direct face to face interactions without the dog being able to turn sideways, walk away or sniff another dog's bottom is very confrontational. A dog who runs up to your dog and gets in his face when he feels trapped is acting very rid in terms of canine social order. Your dog's anxiety level is probably high in those situations, his ability to manage the interaction very low, and he may have a low threshold and tolerance level in general. Him acting that way now might be due to that type of situation being repeated often and changes in mental maturity that takes place between 1-2 years and can include more territorial behavior, dominance changes, and wanting to play and interact with other dogs differently than he used to (puppies play differently than dogs). With all that said, the first order of business is to try to advocate for him and prevent other dogs running up to him as much as your can. Avoid areas where that is constantly happening and never take a dog on-leash into a dog park - that is extremely dangerous! When he does have to meet another dog and it can't be avoided, try to relax as much as you can and give slack in the leash to reduce pup's anxiety. Let the dogs say hi for two seconds, then quickly tell your dog "let's go!" In as cheerful a voice as you can and start walking away. As soon as pup follows praise and give a treat - carry treats in your pocket during walks. This is called the 3 second rule. Keeping greetings under three seconds can help prevent aggression by letting the dogs say hi just long enough to remove curiousity but ending the encounter before either dog can start competing or getting pushy. The other dog may follow for a bit but just keep moving and try to stay cheerful, since the other dog alread yet your dog he will typically get distracted by something else after a bit and leave. Work on teaching pup to look to you to handle things instead of handling it himself. Protect him from other dogs in bad situations when you can (going on structured heeling walks with other dogs with space between them is a better way to socialize). Check out the videos linked below. Work on teaching pup a structured heel. Start your walk off with pup paying attention to you and calm, waiting at the door threshold before going outside, walking slightly behind you at heel and focused on you, interrupt any staring at other dogs, not heeling, ect... When you pass another dog, calmly praise pup and give a treat when he looks at you for direction, ignored the other dog, or generally stays calm and doesn't fixate or tense up - don't reward if staring, tensing up, ignoring you, pulling ahead, or acting aggressively - interrupt instead until he is doing better and you can reward. Place - good for building respect and trust for you in general: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Some examples of more extreme issues if needed. If pup is behaving aggressively when just passing another dog also, I suggest hiring a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues to help also. Aggression video: https://youtu.be/mgmRRYK1Z6A More aggression videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIJoEJfTS-E Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Dali
Pointer mix
3 Years
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Dali
Pointer mix
3 Years

Dali is a sweet dog, we adopted her at 4 weeks (she was left outside the dog shelter). At 1yr old, I had her off leash to take the trash out and practice commands. She saw a small white dog walking with owner and ran after them and attacked the dog; she broke skin and the dog bled near its neck. I was able to quickly grab her collar and take her away.
We started dog training, and that seemed to help, although we have two other dogs (Australian shepard, now 11 yrs, and a mini australian shepherd, now 6 years old; they lived together previously and are very attached to my partner), and a cat, and there are dogs that live on every side of our property (we are fenced in, but they all tend to run along the fence and bark at each other -- we have trained her to stop when we call her, but she will still go other times and start barking).

Around age 2 year, she started playing rough/attacking our mini aussie. She would nick her ear and cause it to bleed sometimes. It is clear she is anxious about being left out, the two aussies are a pack and she is only sometimes part of that.

This past year, our older Aussie has been diagnosed with a heart valve issue, and is clearly aging and slowing down. The cardiologist says that she has 8 months to a year left.

Dali has attacked her several times. Drawing blood by nicking her ear or near her eye.This past week she has attacked her three times, with the last time being vicious with multiple wounds near the eye, paw, and face.

We have implemented a muzzle, and at first she seemed to like it as we gave treats as it was put on. She now is not interested in it even with a treat. She looks very sad and nervous about being around the other two dogs, she knows she has done wrong.

She weighs nearly 70 pounds compared to 40 pounds and 18 pounds with the other dogs. Her weight alone is intimidating to the other dogs and when she attacks very hard for them to defend themselves.

The three dogs have played with each other, best when we are in an open park and chasing balls.Although we are now in the position of keeping them separate throughout the day, and slowly reintroduce going on walks together before we let them together again and risk another injury to our older dog.

Looking for suggestions on how to best use the muzzle, how often; and, strategies for the three dogs living together.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Holly, I suggest having pup work for her food by having to interact with the muzzle and earning a piece of food each time she does. Over the course of a couple of weeks (how fast you go will just depending on how she is responding - that's just an estimate of time), gradually work her up to wearing it more and more using the technique I go over below. The goal is to desensitize her and to motivate her with her own hunger. If she is an extremely picky eater and has weight or blood sugar issues you will have to do this differently, but I am assuming those things aren't an issue. Also, purchase a silicone basket muzzle for her to wear. That type of muzzle will be more comfortable and still let her open her mouth up while wearing it - if you don't already have that type. To introduce the muzzle, first place it on the ground and sprinkle her meal kibble around it. Do this until she is comfortable eating around it. Next, when she is comfortable with it being on the floor with food, hold it up and reward her with a piece of kibble every time she touches or sniffs it in your hand. Feed her her whole meal this way. Practice this until she is comfortable touching it. Next, hold a treat inside of it through the muzzle's holes, so that she has to poke his face into it to get the kibble. As she gets comfortable doing that, gradually hold the treat further down into the muzzle, so that she has to poke his face all the way into the muzzle to get the treat. Practice until she is comfortable having her face in it. Next, feed several treats in a row through the muzzle's holes while she holds his face in the muzzle for longer. Practice this until she can hold his face in it for at least ten seconds while being fed treats. Next, when she can hold her face in the muzzle for ten seconds while remaining calm, while her face is in the muzzle move the muzzle's buckles together briefly, then feed her a treat through the muzzle. Practice this until she is not bothered by the buckles moving back and forth. Next, while she is wearing the muzzle buckle it and unbuckle it briefly, then feed a treat. As she gets comfortable with this step, gradually keep the muzzle buckled for longer and longer while feeding treats through the muzzle occasionally. Next, gradually increase how long she wears the muzzle for and decrease how often you give her a treat, until she can calmly wear the muzzle for at least an hour without receiving treats more than two treats during that hour. In the meantime I suggest crating her and only letting her out when the other dogs are put away - rotating who is out to prevent fights. I also suggest teaching a Place command and working on some structured obedience with her. It sounds like she lacks impulse control and bite inhibition, which is obviously very dangerous for your other dogs as you know. I would hire a trainer who specializes in aggression and uses both positive reinforcement and fair corrections to help you. Check out Sean O' Shea from the Good Dog and Jeff Gellman from SolidK9Training on YouTube for videos talking and showing work with aggression. I would hire help before implementing what they do on your own though. \ Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Mazie
Pit
6 Years
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Mazie
Pit
6 Years

She is so loving to people. I adopted her from an animal control Two months ago. She had a URI,25 lbs under weight, and has heart worms. She didn’t seem to have a problem with the dogs at the shelter or the vet that treated her and two weeks later spayed her. When she first got to my house she was fine with my old big dog but then attacked him twice in 24 hours. She growls at my other two. I keep them all separated at all times, but it is so exhausting!!!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Tamara, I highly suggest hiring a professional trainer who specializes in aggression, comes well recommended by their previous clients whose dogs dealt with aggression, and can come to your home or work with all of the dogs together. Hello Isabel, First, I do suggest hiring a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues and aggression to help you with this. Look for someone who has a lot of experience in this area, comes well recommended by previous clients, has a staff of trainers or assistants who can practice the training with pup as "strangers", and who has access to other well mannered dogs - such as the trainers' dogs. To help manage the dogs together, you can start by teaching the dogs the following commands. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Check out Jeff Gellman from solidK9Training, Thomas from the Canine Educator, and Sean O Shea from The Good Dog Training. These trainers have their own YouTube channels and all specialize in aggression and reactivity and fear. Be aware that an aggressive dog can redirect their aggression to whoever is closest while highly aroused. Working with pup while he is in an aggressive state is a bite risk. I do recommend hiring a professional trainer with a staff of trainers who can practice being "strangers", and who has a lot of experience with aggression and comes well recommended by their previous clients. Feed all the dogs in separate locked crates as well. No free feeding or feeding without confinement when Mazie is around. I wouldn't even leave food bowls down between meals. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Clementine and Remy
Beagle bull
5 Months
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Clementine and Remy
Beagle bull
5 Months

I'm crate training pups and every time I return from walking one, the other attacks their sibling. There's only one of me so I can't handle taking both at once. What might be the cause, and how can I stop it.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Dan, I suggest hiring a trainer who can evaluate the situation in person to watch pups interact. This could be aggression, but what is super common at this age is for one pup to jump out at another and want to wrestle with the puppy who just came in - it's a game, and many pups get great enjoyment from ambushing the other puppy who couldn't see them coming because they were outside. If that's what's going on and it is playful (even if rough play), it is completely normal and nothing to be concerned about - pup's are practicing hunting skills, social skills, and entertaining themselves. However, if might not be fun for you to have to deal with each time, so I do suggest teaching each pup an Out, Place, and Leave It command and working on building the pup's ability to obey those commands with distractions around. Once the pups are good at those commands you can decide when it's okay for them to rough house and when they need to be calmer around each other and not wrestling and running through the house. Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo If there is true aggression going on or you are unsure, hire a professional right away to evaluate what's going on, see the situation to figure out the triggers, and work with pups with you. If there is real aggression, don't wait to hire someone since aggression is best treated early. Watching videos of dogs playing together might be a helpful way for you to get an idea of whether pup's are playing rough (mock fighting) or truly fighting. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Max
Belgian Shepherd Cross
6 Years
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Max
Belgian Shepherd Cross
6 Years

When we acquired Max recently, he was terribly overweight so we need to walk him to lose weight. There are a lot of dogs in our street either behind fences or on the street. When we walk Max and these dogs start barking and acting aggressively, he wants to fight! I can't hold him as he is too heavy and too strong! Have tried controlling him on a choke chain and using treats if he sits but he still wants to fight everyone! So I can't walk him and he isn't losing weight!!!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Judi, For dog reactivity I would hire a professional trainer who specializes in aggression and leash reactivity to help you with this because there is a risk of a dog redirecting aggression to whoever is close-by while highly aroused, and thus a bite risk to you even though pup may not normally have any human aggression - that's always a risk with aggression while a dog is highly aroused. With a qualified trainer's help, first work on teaching pup a structured heel. This can be started in your own backyard or quiet culdesac. Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo When you begin your walk, work on pup's respect for you, following and calmness before you ever leave the front door. Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Once pup is outside, he should be behind you and not allowed to be scanning the horizon, tensing up, and moving ahead of you. Those things will get him more aroused and more likely to react. He needs to be in a following, relaxed state. This means his muzzle should be behind your leg during the walk - it might seem strict but dog's who struggle with leash reactivity have to have structured walks. Finally, he will need to be interrupted at the first signs of a bad reaction. That means as soon as he stiffens up, starts to try to pull ahead, stares intensely, growls, ect...Don't wait until he has a full explosion or it will be harder to regain his focus. Teach him while he is still in a mindset to make the switch back to calm. Practice at first from across the street - not right next to the fence, and when he finally gets to the point (through probably a lot of repetition and practice for a while) where he can remain calm while walking by THEN you can reward focus on you, calmness, and tolerance to help desensitize him more to the other dogs emotionally. This second part is important for desensitizing and gaining lasting results but often the interruptions and structure are needed first. Again, hire someone qualified who can do this training with you to ensure it's all done effectively and safely - once pup is doing better, you can probably continue a lot of the training on your own to fully desensitize pup. Here are a few examples of interrupters and dog aggressive or dog reactive dogs being worked with - different tools often work for different dogs. A good trainer can help you find what works best for you guys. Reactive dog - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY8s_MlqDNE Aggressive dog - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfiDe0GNnLQ&t=4s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZbdrQd--wo&t=316s I will say I do NOT recommend a choke collar. I prefer prong collars, gentle leaders, halters, martingale collars, and e-collars all over choke collars when those tools are used correctly. The reason is, a choke collar is hard to use effectively for training results and can easily damage the dog's trachea because of the way it puts hard pressure on the front of the dog's throat. A prong collar looks more harsh but when fitted and used correctly is actually a lot safer because it distributes the correction all the way around the neck and requires a lot less pressure for the dog to respond. A gentle leader can also be a good option for many dogs but isn't necessarily less adverse than a prong collar because some dogs find their vision being interrupted more adverse than other methods - it depends a lot on the dog what tool works best. The videos above will give some examples of some of these tools being used. Fitting a Prong collar properly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23zEy-e6Khg Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Jimmy
Labrador Retriever
5 Years
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Jimmy
Labrador Retriever
5 Years

He does great with my dogs at home, he is a foster, but has recently gotten into it with a neighbors dog, lunged at another dog and has started showing more aggression at dogs during adoption events. What gives? He is extremely well behaved, listens and never causes issues in my home or even on walks.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Thank you for the question. It's a tough one; it is hard to say why Jimmy is showing this aggression. He may feel a lack of confidence and perhaps some anxiety when outside your home; being a foster dog is never easy because it's a lot of upheaval for the dog. As well, you do not know Jimmy's story before he came to you. I would speak to the head of the foster organization to see if they are associated with a behaviorist. Because he has already had issues with other dogs, you are right to want to help get the problem solved now. Jimmy will not be adoptable until the issue is taken care of. You can look at Robert Cabral's website in the meantime while you check into a trainer through the foster organization. He trains shelter dogs and has many videos. You may find something to help: https://www.robertcabral.com/ I would hesitate to try and fix the problem without onsite intervention and training. All the best to you and to Jimmy!

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Cody
Mutt
6 Months
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Cody
Mutt
6 Months

We’ve had Cody since he was about 2 months old. We don’t really know what he is, he’s definitely a mix!

He is such a sweetheart. Loves people and he LOVES the attention. He has never bitten anyone. He’s the type that will run up to you trying his best to lick your face and give you kisses. He is such a cuddlebug and loves cuddling with his sister (Sunny the GSD).

When we first got him, he was OK with other dogs. He did bark at them but now he weighs about 45 pounds and if he sees another dog he will drag me towards the other dog. Sunny is better leash trained she will also try and say hi. Cody will attack on side. He starts barking like a mad man and he will start drooling and he shows teeth and his eyes bulge out. Once he drags me to the dog he won’t even sniff at them he just attacks. It’s the scariest thing. I don’t try to stick my hand in there in fear of him biting me. I manage to pull him away every time I’m just worried he will continue to get worse. We know he’s still young which is why we wanted to train him before he starts to get older and bigger. He hasn’t been neutered yet so maybe that will help? We also had a choke collar on him and now we are considering getting a harness since the collar isn’t doing much (the collar worked great for our German shepherd, Sunny). Should we get him a muzzle? I don’t want him to feel more anxious than he already is. The hair on his back stands up straight whenever this happens. He is very good with the whole sit, wait, paw, stop, no, eat commands he will not listen to me when this happens. Training classes near our area are very pricey and My husband and I would much rather prefer to train him on our own for bonding purposes and if that isn’t effective, I’m not sure you would recommend. Cody is loved by everyone, so we want to help him very badly.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Liliana, First, you need to improve management so that he cannot drag you toward another dog to start with. I do suggest desensitizing him to a basket muzzle and using something like a gentle leader or prong collar to give better control. Do NOT use a standard back-clip harness or he will be able to drag you even easier. To introduce the muzzle, first place it on the ground and sprinkle his meal kibble around it. Do this until he is comfortable eating around it. Next, when he is comfortable with it being on the floor with food, hold it up and reward him with a piece of kibble every time he touches or sniffs it in your hand. Feed him his whole meal this way. Practice this until he is comfortable touching it. Next, hold a treat inside of it through the muzzle's holes, so that he has to poke his face into it to get the treat. As he gets comfortable doing that, gradually hold the treat further down into the muzzle, so that he has to poke his face all the way into the muzzle to get the treat. Practice until he is comfortable having his face in it. Next, feed several treats in a row through the muzzle's holes while he holds his face in the muzzle for longer. Practice this until he can hold his face in it for at least ten seconds while being fed treats. Next, when he can hold his face in the muzzle for ten seconds while remaining calm, while his face is in the muzzle move the muzzle's buckles together briefly, then feed him a treat through the muzzle. Practice this until he is not bothered by the buckles moving back and forth. Next, while he is wearing the muzzle buckle it and unbuckle it briefly, then feed a treat. As he gets comfortable with this step, gradually keep the muzzle buckled for longer and longer while feeding treats through the muzzle occasionally. Next, gradually increase how long he wears the muzzle for and decrease how often you give him a treat, until he can calmly wear the muzzle for at least an hour without receiving treats more than two treats during that hour. The attacks need to stop first. Be aware also that a dog aggressive dog will sometimes redirect that aggression toward whoever is closest while highly aroused - meaning that a dog that normally is great with people may bite their owner in that specific situation. That is one reason why a basket muzzle temporarily could be a good idea. If you introduce it correctly at home ahead of time over at least two weeks, it shouldn't be a cause for a lot of stress during the walk - what you don't want to do is associate the muzzle only with times around other dogs. Second, see if their is a G.R.O.W.L. class anywhere within driving distance of you. A G.R.O.W.L. class will be cheaper than private training and that class is specifically designed for dogs who are dog aggressive or dog reactive. Third, check out Thomas from the Canine Educator on YouTube. He specializes in aggression and behavior issues - you need help from sources that deal with aggression successfully very often - not all trainers specialize in it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-giTlfidjws In calm locations without other dogs around, begin working on pup's responsiveness and respect for you surrounding the walk. Pup has to be calm before leaving your home. He needs to let you go through the doorway first and wait until given permission. He should walk at a heel behind you while on leash - his muzzle should not pass your leg. A dog with reactivity or aggression needs a lot of structure on a walk - no forging ahead or sniffing and scanning the horizon unless you release him from the heel command to go potty. Don't allow early signs of aggression - such as scanning the horizon looking for other dogs, tensing up, moving ahead of you while heeling, ect...Reward when his body language is calm and he is focused on following you. Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Tank
German Shepherd
6 Years
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Tank
German Shepherd
6 Years

Ironically, Tank is great at off leash dog parks and in informal situations when he is off leash. However we have problems when Tank is on leash. Initially a complication is that at times Tank does not react at all, other times he will just keep an eye on the other dog and then there are the times he does have a reaction. The second issue is with the reaction. Sometimes his noise and body language indicates that he wants to explore and play but other times, his behavior is definitely aggressive. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello John, What you are describing sounds like leash reactivity. I do suggest hiring a professional trainer to work with you in person for this. Look for someone who comes well recommended by their previous clients whose dogs struggled in this area. Look for one who is very experienced with aggression and reactivity - not all trainers have experience with behavior issues, aggression, or reactivity. Start by adding more structure to your walk. Pup needs to start the walk out calmly and respectfully - sitting for the leash to be clipped and waiting to exit through the door behind you. Pup needs to be walking behind you at a heel, not being allowed to scan the horizon, and following you. His focus needs to be turned to you and working during the walk - no opportunities to tense up and scan for other dogs. Incorporate a lot of obedience and focus exercises into the walk. Interrupt any moving ahead of you during the walk, scanning the horizon, and tensing up early - don't wait for a full explosion. Be aware that a reactive or aggressive dog can redirect their aggression to whoever is closest while aroused - if that may be an issue in your case, definitely do this with professional help and incorporate the right safety measures like a basket muzzle, that pup is introduced to with treats ahead of time to make the muzzle seem normal for him. Pay attention to your own body language - are you confident and calm during the walk? Are you tightening the leash, tensing up, and acting nervous as you approach another dog - it's hard not to subconsciously do those types of things when your dog is reactive, but it can communicate to pup that they should get tense and confrontational, and make training harder for you. Practice and knowing what to do with the help of the right trainer can help you actually feel confident and calm during a walk also - which in turn also helps training. Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo When pup does do well around another dog - stays calm, focuses on you, and follows you - reward with a treat. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Fiona
Pit bull
5 Years
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Fiona
Pit bull
5 Years

My family and I are keeping a friends dog until he can find a place of his own , we have kept his dog before and had no problems. She got along with our chihuahua, but now they will be fine for a few minutes and then she try’s to attack him . I don’t know what to do

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Caitlin, I suggest starting with a lot of structure and boundaries. Crate train the new dog and work up to teaching a two hour place command. Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s A lot of different things could be going on here. Pup might be resource guarding people, places or things. This could be the smaller dog challenging the new pup in subtle ways and the new dog reacting to that. There might be a general issue with dog aggression that the dog's owners didn't disclose or weren't aware of - that could be related to a traumatic effect that's happened with another dog, a lack of socialization, genetics, ect...The type of aggression it is will effect how to address it. It the situation is very temporary, I suggest focusing on safe management and structure via crate training, tethering pup to something secure and working on a long place command, and desensitizing pup to wearing a basket muzzle. Reward tolerance and calmness when the dogs are in the same room, be sure that the small dog is not antagonizing the other dog by acting dominant, staring them down, or being generally pushy, and don't allow the dog's together without safety measures and supervision. If this turns into a longer term situation, you will need to hire a professional trainer who evaluate the situation in person to see exactly when and why the outbursts are happening, and whether this is a general issue with dog aggression that needs to be addressed, an issue between those specific dogs that needs to be tackled - depending on the triggers, fear, or resource guarding. Feed both dogs in separate locked crates to avoid resource guarding around food, remove food bowls after meals - don't leave them sitting around. Pay attention to what other items might be being guarded. Muzzle introduction video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw&list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a&index=6&t=0s Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Surprise method - crate introduction: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Anakin Skybarker
Black Mouth Cur Mix
2 Years
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Anakin Skybarker
Black Mouth Cur Mix
2 Years

I adopted my dog about 9 months ago. He has severe aggression problems towards other dogs, not all only some, so much that if he were to get out of his leash he would bite them. While on his leash he will growl and lunge. I have to pull him away for him to stop once,he stops its like it never happened. He also has an issue with children. I have to muzzle him for fear that he hurt someone or another dog. Again it's not every dog he plays with a few dogs, but there are some dogs that he just gets really aggressive with.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Bryan, For what you are describing you need to hire a professional trainer to help you in person. Look for someone who specializes in aggression and behavior issues, has the resources needed to practice safe training protocols - like a controlled environment, access to other social, well behaved dogs, and a team of trainers they work with who can handle the other dogs during training sessions while your trainer works with you and your dog. Not all trainers are set up to handle aggression or experienced to do so, so ask a lot of questions, look for someone who has dealt with aggression successfully a lot in the past, and check into previous client reviews and referrals - specifically from those whose dogs dealt with aggressive behavior. Make sure the trainer has a full history of your dog - including a bite history with other dogs, kids aggression incidences, any redirecting of aggression toward other people, or other forms of aggression. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Sampha
Border collie - lab mix
2 Years
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Sampha
Border collie - lab mix
2 Years

Hi! I have a two year old border collie-lab mix named Sampha. (Neutered). He is sweet, cuddly, very obedient and wicked smart. He loves people, children, cats and gets along well with most dogs. He loves small dogs! Sampha tends to get possessive and aggressive during fetch when other dogs approach us at the park. (Fetch is his favorite thing in the whole world). He’ll basically snap and become aggressive at any new dog that tries to take the ball or interfere with the game basically. (Unless the dog is smaller than him. He only seems to mind when the dog is his size or larger). Wondering what I can do to resolve this? If we’re at the park, and a dog approaches but doesn’t try to take his ball, he’s happy as can be. Help, haha!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Abbie, It sounds like resource guarding with the ball - many dogs get very intense while playing fetch and may become aggressive if interrupted by another dog. First, I suggest teaching him to honor another dog's retrieval. To do that, you practice with a friend and their dog, having the dogs take turns sitting, staying and watching the other dog retrieve, and then switching off so that they retrieve while the other dog watches. This is a great game to build self-control also. Second, I wouldn't play ball with another dog right now unless they are taking turns - don't let the resource guarding get worse, AND since this is happening with stranger's dog's where you can't control that at times, work on a really solid recall with your pup so that you can call them back as soon as you spot another dog approaching. Check out the come article linked below and work on a come using the Premack Principle with a long leash using a ball as the reward pup earns for coming - to teach pup to stop whatever they are doing and come first in order to continue the game while playing. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-to-come-when-called/ More details on the Reel In method (use a padded back clip harness while pup is on a long leash for safety reasons, practice shorter distances first to avoid pup hitting the end of the training leash at a fast pace): https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Third, while practicing honoring with retrievals, reward your dog for calmly allowing the other dog to retrieve the ball, run past, and generally be doing what your dog wants to do when it's their turn to wait, to help your pup associate another dog having the ball as something good. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Sig
husky/collie
1 Year
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Sig
husky/collie
1 Year

Sig does really good with other dogs. I think he actually prefers dogs over people. We rescued him at 6 months old and has come a long way. However, today, while we were playing ball, another dog we were with got to the ball at the same time as him and they got in a big fight. How do I work with Sig to prevent him from being protective of items like the tennis ball? He is not protective of his water and is getting much better with food. The ball is something we came across today. Thank you!!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jessica, First, I suggest teaching him to honor another dog's retrieval. To do that, you practice with a friend and their dog, having the dogs take turns sitting, staying and watching the other dog retrieve, and then switching off so that they retrieve while the other dog watches. This is a great game to build self-control also. Second, I wouldn't play ball with another dog right now unless they are taking turns - don't let the resource guarding get worse or forward progress will be extremely difficult. Third, while practicing honoring with retrievals, reward your dog for calmly allowing the other dog to retrieve the ball, run past, and generally be doing what your dog wants to do when it's their turn to wait, to help your pup associate another dog with the ball as something good. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Rogue
Pit bull
2 Years
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Rogue
Pit bull
2 Years

We adopted Rogue as a puppy and have worked very hard with her training. She listens to my sit and stay commands just fine in the house and on the trail usually. My first question was when we leave our house she screams she’s barking and just making as much noise as possible when we leave our house. She doesn’t listen to my commands and pulls until we get off of my street and then she is fine. We were also walking the other day and she gets very excited to meet other dogs whining and wagging her tail so a golden retriever was approaching us from behind and we stepped to the side because she pulls very hard when she sees other dogs and the owner said it was alright if she wanted to meet her. So I let her go and meet the dog and she snapped was growling and tried to really hurt the dog. This was the first time she’s ever done something like that so I was a bit worried, was this a one time thing that I’m over reacting about or should I keep her away from seeing dogs on trails? I believe there might have been something to do with size cuz this dog was bigger than her so should I just avoid letting bigger dogs meet her? I don’t want anything bad to happen just because everyone already thinks the breed is so terrible and she’s such a great dog. Thank you so much.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ashlyn, It sounds like possible leash reactivity, since there was so much excitement and adrenaline beforehand. I suggest working on calmness around other dogs in general. If she is less aroused to begin with, there are less chances of an issue. When classes open places again and it's safe to do so, I suggest looking for a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area, which is a class for dog aggressive or dog reactive dogs, who all wear basket muzzles and are intensively socialized together in a structured environment to help with with calmness around other dogs. For the pulling, I suggest working on the structure of your walk first. You want pup to be working during the walk - having to stay behind you, focus on you, perform commands periodically, and not have his mind on scanning the area in search of other dogs. The walk should start with him having to exit your home very calmly, performing obedience commands at the door if he isn't calm. He should wait for permission ("Okay" or "Free" or "Let's Go") before going through the door instead of bolting through if that's an issue. When you walk he should be in the heel position - with his head behind your leg. That position decreases his arousal, reduces stress because he isn't the one in charge and the one encountering things first. It prevents him from scanning for other dogs, staring dogs down or being stared down, and ignoring you behind him. It also requires him to be in a more submissive, structured, focused, calmer mindset - which has a direct effect on how aroused, stressed, and aggressive he is too. Additionally, when you do pass other dogs, if starts staring them down, interrupt him. It is far easier to deal with reactivity when you interrupt a dog early in the process - before they are highly aroused and full of adrenaline and cortisol, and to keep the dog in a less aroused/calmer state to begin with. This also makes the walk more pleasant for him in the long-run. Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo There are a couple of routes you can take with the separation anxiety. The first step is to work on building his independence and his confidence by adding a lot of structure and predictability into his routine. Things such as making him work for rewards like meals, walks, and pets. Working on "Stay" and "Place," commands while you move away or leave the room, and teaching him to remain inside a crate when the door is open. Change your routine surrounding leaving so that he does not anticipate alone time and build up his anxiety before you leave - which is hard for him to deescalate from, and be sure to continue to give him something to do in the crate during the day (such as a dog food stuffed Kong to chew on); this is the general protocol for separation anxiety. It is gentle but can take a very long time on its own for some dogs. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Another protocol involves teaching the dog to cope with their own anxiety by making their current anxious go-to behaviors unpleasant, giving them an opportunity to stop those behaviors long enough to learn something new, then rewarding the correct, calmer behavior instead. This protocol can feel harsh because it involves careful correction, but it tends to work much quicker for many dogs. If you go this route, I suggest hiring a trainer who is very experienced using both positive reinforcement and fair correction. Who is extremely knowledgeable about e-collar training, and can follow the protocol listed below, to help you implement the training. Building his independence and structure in his life will still be an important part of this protocol too. First, check out this video from SolidK9Training on treating anxiety. It will give a brief over-view of treating separation anxiety more firmly. This trainer can be a bit abrupt with his teaching style with people but is very experienced working with highly aggressive, anxious, and reactive dogs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Make sure you are implementing what he teaches there in other areas of his life too. Second, purchase a remote electronic collar, e-collar, with a wide range of levels. I recommend purchasing E-Collar Technologies Mini Educator or Garmin Delta Sport or Dogtra for this. If you are not comfortable with an e-collar then you can use a vibration collar (the Mini Educator and Garmin should also have a vibration mode) or unscented air remote controlled air spray collar. DO NOT use a citronella collar, buy the additional unscented air canister if the collar comes with the citronella and make sure that you use the unscented air. (Citronella collars are actually very harsh and the smell - punisher lingers a long time so the dog continues to be corrected even after they stop the behavior). The vibration or spray collars are less likely to work than stimulation e-collars though, so you may end up spending more money by not purchasing an e-collar first. The Mini Educator has very low levels of stimulation, that can be tailored specifically to your dog. It also has vibration and beep tones that you can try using first, without having to buy additional tools. Next, set up a camera to spy on him. If you have two smart devices, like tablets or smartphones, you can Skype or Facetime them to one another with your pup’s end on mute, so that you can see and hear him but he will not hear you. Video baby monitors, video security monitors with portable ways to view the video, GoPros with the phone Live App, or any other camera that will record and transmit the video to something portable that you can watch outside live will work. Next, put the e-collar on him while he is outside of the crate, standing, and relaxed. To learn how to put the collar on him, check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLxB6gYsliI Turn it to it's lowest level and push the stimulation button twice. See if he responds to the collar at all. Look for subtle signs such as turning his head, moving his ears, biting his fur, moving away from where he was, or changing his expression. If he does not respond at all, then go up one level on the collar and when he is standing and relaxed, push the stimulation button again twice. Look for a reaction again. Repeat going up one level at a time and then testing his reaction at that level until he indicates a little bit that he can feel the collar. Here is a video showing how to do this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cl3V8vYobM A modern, high quality collar will have so many levels that each level should be really subtle and he will likely respond to a low level stimulation. It's uncomfortable but not the harsh shock many people associate with such collars if done right. Once you have found the right stimulation level for him and have it correctly fitted on him, have him wear the collar around with it turned off or not being stimulated for several hours or days if you can (take it off at night to sleep though). Next, set up your camera to spy on him while he is in the crate. Put him into the crate while he is wearing the collar and leave. Spy on him from outside. Leave however you normally would. As soon as you hear him barking or see him start to try to escape or destroy the crate from the camera, push the stimulation button once. Every time he barks or tries to get out of the crate, stimulate him again. If he does not decrease his barking or escape attempts at least a little bit after being stimulated seven times in a row, then increase the stimulation level by one level. He may not feel the stimulation while excited so might need it just slightly higher. Do not go higher than three more levels on the mini-educator or two more levels on another collar with less levels right now though because he has not learned what he is supposed to be doing yet. For example, if his level is 13 out of 100 levels on the Mini Educator, don't go past level 16 right now. The level you end up using on him on the mini educator collar will probably be low to medium, within the first forty levels of the one-hundred to one-hundred-and-twenty-five levels, depending on the model you purchase. If it is not, then have a professional evaluate whether you have the correct "working level" for him. If he continues to ignore the collar, then go up one more stimulation level and if that does not work, make sure that the collar is turned on, fitted correctly, and working. After five minutes to ten minutes, as soon as your dog stays quiet and is not trying to escape for five seconds straight, go back inside to the dog, sprinkle several treats into the crate without saying anything, then leave again. Practice correcting him from outside when he barks or tries to escape, going back inside and sprinkling treats when he stays quiet, for up to 30 minutes at first. After 30 minutes -1 hour of practicing this, when he is quiet, go back inside and sprinkle more treats. This time stay inside. Do not speak to him or pay attention to him for ten minutes while you walk around and get stuff done inside. When he is being calm, then you can let him out of the crate. When you let him out, do it the way Jeff does is in this video below. Opening and closing the door until your dog is not rushing out. You want him to be calm when he comes out of the crate and to stay calm when you get home. That is why you need to ignore him when you get home right away. Also, keep your good byes extremely boring and calm. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Put a food stuffed Kong into the crate with him. Once he is less anxious he will likely enjoy it and that will help him to enjoy the crate more. First, he probably needs his anxious state of mind interrupted so that he is open to learning other ways to behave. Once it's interrupted, give him a food stuffed Kong in the crate for him to relieve his boredom instead of barking, since he will need something other than barking to do at that point. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Ripley
Whippet mix
6 Years
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Ripley
Whippet mix
6 Years

When other people walking dogs walk by Ripley loses her mind. She runs back in front of the window trying to attack. She's causing damage to our house from this aggressive behavior. I understand that she is telling them to go away but the behavior is hard to stop. I can usually get her to stop but I have to chase her down and get between her and the window. How do stop this behavior? I've tried blowing a whistle it will stop her. But she continues daily.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ian, First, pup needs to be confined to a crate or room without windows that overlook where the dogs are when you aren't home to train - you need pup to not practice the unwanted behavior when you aren't there to intervene or it will make the training methods I am about to suggest very difficult and less effective. Second, pup needs to be desensitized to the other dogs' presence. You will probably need to recruit a friend with a dog to help initially, so that you can control the distance of the other dog from the window and how long the other dog stays there. Have the other dog approach the window from a distance that your dog notices them but can stay pretty calm - that might need to be really far away at first. Have the person with the other dog simply sit outside or stand there with their dog for a long period of time at first - not leaving (pup probably thinks their barking is what makes the dogs go away), and not approaching and making your dog more stressed either. Boring is the goal here. Practice obedience exercises like heel with lots of turns, Sit-Down-Stand in fast succession, Attention, and other things that require your dog to really stay engaged with you while the other dog is out the window. You will need to act confident, up beat and probably move pup through the training quickly, with rewards for focus on you and calmness about the other dog (don't reward reactivity toward the other dog), to keep pup's attention with the other dog there. If pup is barking like crazy, the other dog is probably too close still. Practice the above often, until pup finds that dog very boring and barely acknowledges them. When pup is calmer, have the other dog either move closer to your home by a few feet, or stay at the same distance but slowly walk back and forth at the same distance to your dog as they were before - the decrease in distance or movement will make things harder again for pup again - but they need to learn to slowly handle the challenge. Practice your training exercises like before with the new challenge, until pup also finds the dog boring again. As pup begins to calm down with each decrease in distance and addition of movement, slowly decrease the distance of the other dog and add in movement more and more until finally, that dog can go right past your window, where other dogs tend to pass by and pup ignore them. When pup gets to that point, keep the bottom of the window blocked off routinely so that pup can't spot dogs out the window before you do. When you spot a dog through the top half of the window, remove the blockage, and practice your method with pup and the random dog out the window. You want to initiate the training to keep pup calmer and focused on you before pup sees the other dog there - to prevent pup from becoming highly aroused before you intervene. If pup gets overly aroused during training and you loose all their focus and can't get it back through obedience, then you can spray a small puff of air from a pet convincer at their side to interrupt them, then continue your heel training, with lots of turns, changes in pace, and quick succession obedience drills until pup's attention is back on you, and they are calm enough to reward for obedience and calmness again. Also, know that if you lost pup like that, something about the other dog's movement or distance, or another factor may have been too much and you need to go back a step if this keeps happening. If pup has ever redirected their dog aggression toward you - you will need to take additional safety measures while doing all of this, like having pup wear a basket muzzle, to prevent a bite. If the behavior doesn't improve over the next two months, gets worse, or you feel overwhelmed, I suggest hiring a trainer to help you with this in person - especially since much of this training is distance, timing, attitude, and body language to be most effective. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Misha
Alaskan Malamute
5 Years
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Misha
Alaskan Malamute
5 Years

My dog used to be very friendly with other dogs, the only “bad” trait she has is jumping on any other human other than myself. One day we were walking and two pit bulls came out of a house and attacked her. Ever since then, she now attacks dogs, without sniffing them, straight attack bite and pins them down. She is okay with random dogs. There’s no pattern and I don’t know what to do. The dogs she has attacked didn’t even provoke her in the slightest and the breeds vary. Please help. I don’t know what to do. :(

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Lovely photo! I am sorry that this happened to Misha. It is difficult to overcome a problem like that and the fact that she has now attacked another dog is unfortunate. I will give you a few guides to read with methods for getting Misha to greet other dogs calmly but you most likely will need the help of a professional, one on one, to be sure that you won't encounter a problem you cannot handle. https://wagwalking.com/training/be-calm-around-other-dogs https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs https://wagwalking.com/training/get-along-with-other-dogs. This website has many videos and the opportunity for online training: https://robertcabral.com/

I also forgot to add. She’s a mix. Mostly Alaskan malamute and American staffordshire then rest is white Swiss shepherd, lab and Samoyed.

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Tinkerbell
Cane Corso Crossed with Bull Mastiff
5 Years
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Tinkerbell
Cane Corso Crossed with Bull Mastiff
5 Years

Tinkerbell has had a very hard life, wrongly accused and put in a cell for 3 years of her life. After rescuing her two years ago, she has built trust with us and is happy and content. However recently on walks she has been pulling on her lead and trying to push towards other dogs / animals. We are unsure to how she would react if we allowed her to go close and being such a large dog, we don’t want to take the risk.
Out for a walk earlier, a dog walked past and I was stood in front of my sister and Tinkerbell, as I was in the way of the other dog and Tinkerbell. Tinkerbell banged into my leg and bit me twice, almost nearly breaking the skin. I know it wasn’t her intention to hurt me, but does this mean she would hurt other dogs?
We want to train her as she is fine with our other family dogs.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Fay, What you described is called redirecting, where a dog redirects their aggression to whoever is closest while highly aroused. Since she bit you, she is likely to bite another dog while in that aroused state - at least on leash. Off-leash could be different with arousal, but I don't suggest finding out for obvious reasons. I would contact a trainer who specializes in aggression and leash reactivity. I don't suggest working on this on your own since she is redirecting aggression toward people. That doesn't mean it can't be improved with the right help and safety measures during training, but I suggest getting professional help from a trainer who specializes in aggression and comes well recommended by their previous clients who also dealt with aggression and reactivity with their pups. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Nala
Mastiff
2 Years
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Nala
Mastiff
2 Years

My dog keeps attacking my staff who is 12 years old when someone knocks at the door and scares her so now she’s scared of the mastiff

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, this is a tough situation. The 12 year old deserves respect from the younger dog. And a Mastiff can be big and strong, not realizing their own strength. You may need to bring in a trainer to get the younger dog under control. It is worth the time and effort to keep the older dog safe and happy in their senior years. In the meantime, work on the obedience commands that you have implemented for the younger dog (I think that is Nala?). Teach Nala that no means no, and do not permit her to attack the other dog. Be firm but not in anger. She really needs leadership. Group classes are an option, too, and are not expensive. Read these guides through: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you and https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/. I suggest that you get a dog gate to give the older dog a safe haven on the other side on the gate, but let him still see you so he doesn't feel punished. Give him a nice soft bed and safety behind the gate until you get your Mastiff under control. Look here for helpful videos: https://robertcabral.com/. All the best.

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Huggy
possibly a Cur/Mix
1 Year
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Huggy
possibly a Cur/Mix
1 Year

We adopted her from someone that was bringing her back to Animal Control because it did not work out. I am sure she had a very tough life and was 4 months when we adopted her. After a few months, we noticed her growling at my other dog "Piglet" One day she was laying under our bed and darted out viciously and attacked Piglet and no matter what we did she would not let Piglet out of her grip. That is when we debated returning her but we knew after being returned 3 times she would be euthanized. She is so lovable and sweet to humans outside and loves to play outside with Piglet and never a fight in the yard. What we have tried so far:
1. Bought a swinging door baby gate and they are not allowed in our bedroom together.
2. Huggy sleeps in her kennel at night.
3. We have a wooden spoon ready to put in her mouth to keep her from biting during the fight because she will never let go. She has a death grip.
The bedroom is the hotspot but Huggy wants us to herself and fights for blood. We both have been bitting trying to pull them apart. Today is the last straw. They came in from outside and I was holding Piglet and my husband had huggy but she got away from him and darted to Piglet and attacked for no reason. We were both bitten in the process and my husband got it pretty bad! HELP, we love her so much but anything can set her off!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Valery, I highly suggest hiring a professional trainer who specializes in aggression to help you in person. You need someone very experienced to work with you in person. Check out Jeff Gellman from solidK9training on Youtube, and Thomas from the canine educator. I would also introduce her to wearing a basket muzzle for everyone's safety while working on this issue. Done right, the muzzle doesn't have to be stressful for her. The basket type will still allow her to open her mouth while wearing it. Jeff Gellman: https://www.solidk9training.com/ Muzzle introduction video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw&list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a&index=6&t=0s Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Mylo
Pomeranian
2 Years
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Mylo
Pomeranian
2 Years

We rescued Mylo but we noticed when he gets around other dogs, he becomes aggressive..at dog parks, when friends come over with other dogs too..he snaps at them and growls really hard and mad. When we got him from the pound, we learned he was given up twice . We asked why he was given up twice and they said he was too big but he wasn’t even ! He only weighed 18 lbs when we got him . But now I am beginning to think that maybe this is the reason why they return him but he is such a sweet and lovable dog to us . What can we do to fix his behavior? Thanks

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Carina, I suggest looking for a G.R.O.W..L. class in your area, which is a class for dog reactive/aggressive dogs, where all the dogs are intensively socialized together in a structured environment while wearing basket muzzles for safety, under the guidance of the class instructor. Building pup's respect for you can also help with management. Check out the article linked below. Having pup work for life rewards like the Working method mentions, working on obedience that builds self-control - like Place, Down-Stay, Out, Wait, Heel, and Leave It, and having clear boundaries and rules that are enforced day-to-day at home - like no being pushy or demanding, no guarding things, getting off furniture or out of spaces when told to, ect... https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Ophelia
shepard/pitbull
1 Year
2 found helpful
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Ophelia
shepard/pitbull
1 Year

My friend and I adopted Ophelia a couple months ago. We knew she was going to come with difficulties, expected since she was picked up in middle of no where and put in a shelter till we got her. The only problems she had in the beginning was she wasn’t house trained and she didn’t listen to commands. But, we have got her to sit and lie down now and she is much better on a leash. Unfortunately, last weekend she attacked a dog that previously was a good friend of hers. Given there was a lot of people around she probably was having bad anxiety. Today, she attacked another dog in the backyard wth plenty of space. We don’t know how to go about this, we don’t want to give up on her quite yet, but we can’t keep having this happen.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Brandy, First of all Ophelia shouldn't be outside unless she is on a leash or in a physically fenced in yard - not an electric fence because other dogs can enter that and many aggressive dogs will bolt through them when they see another dog. The attacks are dangerous for other dogs but they are also making the problem worse for Ophelia every time that they happen - you didn't know before but now that you know tackle that first. Look online in your city and see if there is a G.R. O.W.L. Class in your area within driving distance. A growl class is a class for dog aggressive or reactive dogs who all wear muzzles during the class and are intensively socialized quickly with a trainers' help. These classes are one of the fastest ways to address most aggressive dogs' issues. If she drew blood when she attacked either dog, that is a more serious issue. If she draws blood when she attacks, then you may not be able to rehabilitate the aggression but you can work on her focus on your, her response toward other dogs while on leash, and her obedience - making her a lot safer. You can essentially get the aggression under control so that it does not impact your life as much and you can enjoy and live with her more safely, but you should never trust her off-leash with another dog. I suggest attending a G.R.O.W.L. class or hiring a trainer - dog aggression can be hard to tackle by yourself. There is a good chance she was attacked multiple times while on the street and that is the source of her aggression. The aggression could also be a genetic trait or a dominance issue. The type of aggression will partially determine how to treat it. Dominance-based aggression needs respect established without too much confrontation so that she will learn to let you handle problematic situations yourself, instead of resorting to aggression. Genetic aggression can usually only be managed not cured, but you can teach things like high-distraction "Come" and "Leave It" to call her back in emergency situations, and a high distraction "Heel" to keep her focus on you and not other dogs while walking. Fear-based aggression can be managed and you can also work on socialization and changing her emotions toward other dogs so that she doesn't feel the need to defend herself as much and is more tolerant. Fear-based aggression is easier to work with and improve than many other types...A G.R.O.W.L. class will help with that type a lot. You can also check out Jeff Gellman from SolidK9Training. He has a YouTube channel with several videos about aggression. Most of the dogs that come to him have aggression other than fear-based, look for videos where he is working with fearful aggressive dogs specifically - he will address the root cause more in those videos. He can be a bit blunt and gruff in his teaching style but he is very experienced working with highly aggressive dogs that others have not been able to help. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Louie
Yorkie
10 Years
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Louie
Yorkie
10 Years

I rescued Louie when he was about 3. He was being neglected and left alone often. I have no idea what experiences he’s had with other dogs but from the moment I brought him home he was loving and easy to train. He loved having a new bed and being groomed and especially taking for walks. The problem is every single time he sees another dog no matter where or the situation he goes in for the kill. He doesn’t try to sniff them or just growl at them he is in total attack mode and I have to get away from the situation as soon as possible. He has attacked my daughters dog when we tried to get them together. It is a nightmare going for walks is so stressful I’m always avoiding other dogs when I see them coming in the other direction. I could never take him to a dog park or to any friends or family’s house that has a dog. It also seems like he is even more aggressive towards larger dogs. I am in constant fear if he ever got away for me and went after a larger dog he could be killed. I never let anybody else take him for a walk or take care of him if I have to go away or when I’m at work. Do you think he can ever stop this behavior?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Paula, Unfortunately, I cannot diagnose pup's training outcome without working with you in person. However, I suggest contacting a trainer who specializes in aggression for an evaluation. Check out Solidk9training.com Often, aggression this severe cannot be gotten rid of entirely (to be able to do something like a dog park ever) but with the right training and management it likely could improve to where pup could be in the general proximity of other dogs, like on walks on leash and in certain brief unexpected situations, without you having to feel afraid. Getting to that point will probably require more in-depth training with an expert than just following this article's advice on your own though. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Darcy and Rosie
French Bulldog
11 Months
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Darcy and Rosie
French Bulldog
11 Months

My two dogs become very aggressive when encountering other dogs. We usually take them on seperate walks, cross the road when we see another dog, or block their view of the dog. However, in our neighbourhood a particular owner lets his dog go off leash down the street, and it usually approaches my dogs when I am walking them. My dogs become very aggravated and start trying to attack the dog. I have to pull them away but it is hard when the dog is off leash. What should I do in this situation? Also, if my dogs do attack another dog, what should I do?

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Molly
Rottweiler
1 Year
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Molly
Rottweiler
1 Year

Molly was very socialized as a puppy to about a year old. She is a year and a half now. Recently she’s been home all the time and have started reacting negatively to the presence of other dogs. I am curious how I can work on that with her without putting other dogs in harms way.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
221 Dog owners recommended

Hello. I am going to send you some training exercises you can use to help make your walks or outings a bit more peaceful. You can also apply the same methods for inside your home when you have visitors. The first step is to reframe what an oncoming dog means to your dog. From a safe distance — your dog determines the distance, not you — have your leashed dog view another dog. As the new dog comes into view, drop a lot of enticing meat treats just in front of your dog’s nose. Ignore any hysterics for now, but back up and create more space if your dog is unwilling to eat. This part is hard for humans — I understand. It helps to see your dog’s behavior for what it most likely is: fear vs. disobedience. The training reinforcer MUST be a great one, such as real meat. It is critical that the appearance of the new dog causes meat to fall from the sky. When the other dog is out of your dog’s view, all treats stop. We want your dog to predict that other dogs near him means that YUMMY FOOD will appear! As you are reframing your dog’s opinion of seeing other leashed dogs, be careful where you take your dog, and be protective of what he is exposed to. One fight can create a reactive dog. Consider not walking your dog for 30 days as you reprogram his opinions of other dogs. Instead, sit on your front porch or in your garage with your dog on leash, and practice treating every time another dog comes into your dog’s line of sight. During this time, engage your dog’s mind with mind puzzles, obedience work, and fun stuff like games in the house or yard. You know you have made great progress when your dog sees another dog, and he turns his head away from the once-threatening dog and looks into your eyes, expecting a treat. Once your dog is looking at his (former) trigger and then looking expectantly up at you for a treat, you can begin to put this skill on cue. Tell the dog, sit, "watch me" or whatever command you want to use for this exercise. Remember to go slowly. You will see a significant change in his behavior after a month of consistent practice.

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ned
Terrier mix
6 Months
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ned
Terrier mix
6 Months

we just got him from crete as a stray dog and whenever we go on walks he becomes very aggressive towards other dogs on the walk (growling, barking etc) he doesn’t seem to stop!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Gracie, First, I do suggest hiring a professional trainer to help in person with this issue. See if you can find a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area, which is a class for dog reactive/aggressive dogs. Where all the dogs wear basket muzzles and are socialized in a structured environment. I suggest working on the structure of your walk. You want pup to be working during the walk - having to stay behind you, focus on you, perform commands periodically, and not have his mind on scanning the area in search of other dogs. The walk should start with him having to exit your home very calmly, performing obedience commands at the door if he isn't calm. He should wait for permission ("Okay" or "Free" or "Let's Go") before going through the door instead of bolting through if that's an issue. When you walk he should be in the heel position - with his head behind your leg. That position decreases his arousal, reduces stress because he isn't the one in charge and the one encountering things first. It prevents him from scanning for other dogs, staring dogs down or being stared down, and ignoring you behind him. It also requires him to be in a more submissive, structured, focused, calmer mindset - which has a direct effect on how aroused, stressed, and aggressive he is - it makes him feel like the responsibility is on your shoulders not his around other dogs. Additionally, when you do pass other dogs, as soon as he starts staring them down, interrupt him. Don't tolerate challenging stares at other dogs. Remind him with a fair correction that you are leading the walk and he is not allowed to break his heel or stare another dog down. It is far easier to deal with reactivity when you interrupt a dog early in the process - before they are highly aroused and full of adrenaline and cortisol, and to keep the dog in a less aroused/calmer state to begin with. This also makes the walk more pleasant for him in the long-run. Be aware that any aggressive dog can redirect their aggression who whoever is closest when highly aroused, be careful to avoid a bite. If pup tends to redirect aggression, they may need to wear a basket muzzle while training and around other dogs also. When pup is calm, focused on you, and obedient, you can reward with a treat from a small baggie or treat bag that you carry on your person during a walk. Do not reward while tense, ignoring you, or acting aggressive - reward the attitude and behavior you want pup to give more of. Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Example reactive dog - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY8s_MlqDNE Outside of the walk you can work on building pup's trust and respect for you in other ways too. The following commands and exercises are also good for that: If nervousness is ever an issue - Agility/obstacles for building confidence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elvtxiDW6g0 Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M A long down stay around distractions is a good thing to practice during walks periodically. I suggest doing the above with the help of a trainer in person. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Cody
toy poodle
1 Year
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Cody
toy poodle
1 Year

How do I get my dog to stop being afraid of other dogs? I know that that is what is leading to his aggressive behavior because when he was very little he was scared of a dog and that dog was bugger than him and the dog ran up to him and hit him with his paw on accident trying to play with him. So ever since than he’s been aggressive to other dogs except our other dog. Please help he attacked a dog today and I need to figure out how to end all this. Him lunging and growling at other people and dogs especially. Thank you.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
221 Dog owners recommended

Hello. I am going to send you some training exercises you can use to help make your walks or outings a bit more peaceful. The first step is to reframe what an oncoming dog means to your dog. From a safe distance — your dog determines the distance, not you — have your leashed dog view another dog. As the new dog comes into view, drop a lot of enticing meat treats just in front of your dog’s nose. Ignore any hysterics for now, but back up and create more space if your dog is unwilling to eat. This part is hard for humans — I understand. It helps to see your dog’s behavior for what it most likely is: fear vs. disobedience. The training reinforcer MUST be a great one, such as real meat. It is critical that the appearance of the new dog causes meat to fall from the sky. When the other dog is out of your dog’s view, all treats stop. We want your dog to predict that other dogs near him means that YUMMY FOOD will appear! As you are reframing your dog’s opinion of seeing other leashed dogs, be careful where you take your dog, and be protective of what he is exposed to. One fight can create a reactive dog. Consider not walking your dog for 30 days as you reprogram his opinions of other dogs. Instead, sit on your front porch or in your garage with your dog on leash, and practice treating every time another dog comes into your dog’s line of sight. During this time, engage your dog’s mind with mind puzzles, obedience work, and fun stuff like games in the house or yard. You know you have made great progress when your dog sees another dog, and he turns his head away from the once-threatening dog and looks into your eyes, expecting a treat. Once your dog is looking at his (former) trigger and then looking expectantly up at you for a treat, you can begin to put this skill on cue. Tell the dog, sit, "watch me" or whatever command you want to use for this exercise. Remember to go slowly. You will see a significant change in his behavior after a month of consistent practice.

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Lola
Labrador Retriever
3 Years
-1 found helpful
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-1 found helpful
Lola
Labrador Retriever
3 Years

Lola has started attacking other dogs, usually when off lead. Before I have a chance to grab her. I also have an older lab 7 who bounces and barks at anyone even on a lead but doesn't bite.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
221 Dog owners recommended

Hello. I am going to send you some training exercises you can use to help make your walks or outings a bit more peaceful. The first step is to reframe what an oncoming dog means to your dog. From a safe distance — your dog determines the distance, not you — have your leashed dog view another dog. As the new dog comes into view, drop a lot of enticing meat treats just in front of your dog’s nose. Ignore any hysterics for now, but back up and create more space if your dog is unwilling to eat. This part is hard for humans — I understand. It helps to see your dog’s behavior for what it most likely is: fear vs. disobedience. The training reinforcer MUST be a great one, such as real meat. It is critical that the appearance of the new dog causes meat to fall from the sky. When the other dog is out of your dog’s view, all treats stop. We want your dog to predict that other dogs near him means that YUMMY FOOD will appear! As you are reframing your dog’s opinion of seeing other leashed dogs, be careful where you take your dog, and be protective of what he is exposed to. One fight can create a reactive dog. Consider not walking your dog for 30 days as you reprogram his opinions of other dogs. Instead, sit on your front porch or in your garage with your dog on leash, and practice treating every time another dog comes into your dog’s line of sight. During this time, engage your dog’s mind with mind puzzles, obedience work, and fun stuff like games in the house or yard. You know you have made great progress when your dog sees another dog, and he turns his head away from the once-threatening dog and looks into your eyes, expecting a treat. Once your dog is looking at his (former) trigger and then looking expectantly up at you for a treat, you can begin to put this skill on cue. Tell the dog, sit, "watch me" or whatever command you want to use for this exercise. Remember to go slowly. You will see a significant change in his behavior after a month of consistent practice.

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Myles
French Bulldog
7 Years
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Myles
French Bulldog
7 Years

Hello!
I am reaching out because our French Bulldog is very aggressive toward other dogs. It is almost impossible to taking him on a walk in our neighborhood without him lunging/pulling toward other dogs. He was attacked by another dog when he was two years old and as he has gotten older he has become more aggressive. I'm at a loss of what to do and I'd love some advice.

-Shannon

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
221 Dog owners recommended

Hello. I am going to send you some training exercises you can use to help make your walks or outings a bit more peaceful. The first step is to reframe what an oncoming dog means to your dog. From a safe distance — your dog determines the distance, not you — have your leashed dog view another dog. As the new dog comes into view, drop a lot of enticing meat treats just in front of your dog’s nose. Ignore any hysterics for now, but back up and create more space if your dog is unwilling to eat. This part is hard for humans — I understand. It helps to see your dog’s behavior for what it most likely is: fear vs. disobedience. The training reinforcer MUST be a great one, such as real meat. It is critical that the appearance of the new dog causes meat to fall from the sky. When the other dog is out of your dog’s view, all treats stop. We want your dog to predict that other dogs near him means that YUMMY FOOD will appear! As you are reframing your dog’s opinion of seeing other leashed dogs, be careful where you take your dog, and be protective of what he is exposed to. One fight can create a reactive dog. Consider not walking your dog for 30 days as you reprogram his opinions of other dogs. Instead, sit on your front porch or in your garage with your dog on leash, and practice treating every time another dog comes into your dog’s line of sight. During this time, engage your dog’s mind with mind puzzles, obedience work, and fun stuff like games in the house or yard. You know you have made great progress when your dog sees another dog, and he turns his head away from the once-threatening dog and looks into your eyes, expecting a treat. Once your dog is looking at his (former) trigger and then looking expectantly up at you for a treat, you can begin to put this skill on cue. Tell the dog, sit, "watch me" or whatever command you want to use for this exercise. Remember to go slowly. You will see a significant change in his behavior after a month of consistent practice.

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Rocky
Black Labrador and blue cattle
8 Years
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Rocky
Black Labrador and blue cattle
8 Years

Rocky will not stop growling or running towards a dog or a cat to try an attack them. I own 3 cats and rocky is fine with them but when it comes to other cats he’s not fine at all and I’m a bit worried as when I’m home he’s a good dog but when he hears people or smells them he starts growling and I’m worried he might accidentally attack people. If you can help me and give me advice that would be great thx

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
221 Dog owners recommended

Hello. I am going to send you some training exercises you can use to help make your walks or outings a bit more peaceful. You can also apply the same methods for inside your home when you have visitors, or apply this to any other potential trigger. The first step is to reframe what an oncoming dog means to your dog. From a safe distance — your dog determines the distance, not you — have your leashed dog view another dog. As the new dog comes into view, drop a lot of enticing meat treats just in front of your dog’s nose. Ignore any hysterics for now, but back up and create more space if your dog is unwilling to eat. This part is hard for humans — I understand. It helps to see your dog’s behavior for what it most likely is: fear vs. disobedience. The training reinforcer MUST be a great one, such as real meat. It is critical that the appearance of the new dog causes meat to fall from the sky. When the other dog is out of your dog’s view, all treats stop. We want your dog to predict that other dogs near him means that YUMMY FOOD will appear! As you are reframing your dog’s opinion of seeing other leashed dogs, be careful where you take your dog, and be protective of what he is exposed to. One fight can create a reactive dog. Consider not walking your dog for 30 days as you reprogram his opinions of other dogs. Instead, sit on your front porch or in your garage with your dog on leash, and practice treating every time another dog comes into your dog’s line of sight. During this time, engage your dog’s mind with mind puzzles, obedience work, and fun stuff like games in the house or yard. You know you have made great progress when your dog sees another dog, and he turns his head away from the once-threatening dog and looks into your eyes, expecting a treat. Once your dog is looking at his (former) trigger and then looking expectantly up at you for a treat, you can begin to put this skill on cue. Tell the dog, sit, "watch me" or whatever command you want to use for this exercise. Remember to go slowly. You will see a significant change in his behavior after a month of consistent practice.

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Milo
Bull arab
7 Months
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Milo
Bull arab
7 Months

Every time my dog sees other dogs fighting or play fighting, my dog wants to get in between the two dogs and fights with them

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sweet, I suggest working on a high level Come command. Some dogs naturally become more highly aroused or have more prey drive. These traits tend to be genetic, so I recommend working on a high level of off leash obedience to make it more manageable. If you are going place like the dog park, your dog is also likely a dog who simply needs to not go there due to highly arousing, competitive, unstructured nature of a dog park. That type of environment can actually make the behavior get worse. Instead, look for things like canine sports and group dog walks or hikes to join through local obedience clubs, rescues, meetup.com, and friend groups. Reel In method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Premack Principle and entire article: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-to-come-when-called/ Out: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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leicester
border x
6 Years
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leicester
border x
6 Years

my dog was attacked by a staffie whilst on the leash at 2yrs,he now 6yrs and he will approach another dog,they get nose to nose,then he goes for them.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Karen, I suggest looking for a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area, which is a class for dog reactive/aggressive dogs. All the dogs in that class wear basket muzzles and are intensively socialized together in a structured environment over the course of the class, to help dogs overcome their issues more quickly with the trainer's guidance. Check out the video linked below for how to introduce the muzzle in a more fun way. Most dogs will need this training broken up into several sessions over the course of the week. Muzzle introduction video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw&list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a&index=6&t=0s If you cannot find a G.R.O.W.L. class, I do suggest hiring a professional trainer who specializes in aggression and has well behaved dogs to practice introductions and desensitization with. The training will likely still involve a muzzle. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Jaxon
Pit bull
3 Years
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Jaxon
Pit bull
3 Years

my dog is aggressive towards other dogs outside of the home. If he gets lose he will attack the first dog he comes in contact with immediately. He is not aggressive towards the dog in our home though. We brought her home about 9 months ago and he is fine with her.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
221 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Your dog needs to learn new behaviors to quell his fear. First we reduce his fear around new dogs, and then we begin adding cues such as “watch me” or “sit.” Research tells us that most leash reactivity is caused by fear, not by aggression. Dogs bark and lunge at other dogs to warn, “Go away! Go away!” Dogs fear other dogs because of genetic reasons, lack of socialization, fights when they were puppies, or any scary (to the dog) interaction with other dogs. Sometimes having low thyroid levels contributes to unwanted canine behavior. During this time, avoid any punishment for reactivity. Doing so will make her concerns even bigger. Dogs learn by making associations, and you want your dog to associate other dogs with pleasant things — never punishment. The first step is to reframe what an oncoming dog means to your dog. From a safe distance — your dog determines the distance, not you — have your leashed dog view another dog. As the new dog comes into view, drop a lot of enticing meat treats just in front of your dog’s nose. Ignore any hysterics for now, but back up and create more space if your dog is unwilling to eat. This part is hard for humans — I understand. It helps to see your dog’s behavior for what it most likely is: fear vs. disobedience. The training reinforcer MUST be a great one, such as real meat. It is critical that the appearance of the new dog causes meat to fall from the sky. When the other dog is out of your dog’s view, all treats stop. We want your dog to predict that other dogs near him means that YUMMY FOOD will appear! As you are reframing your dog’s opinion of seeing other leashed dogs, be careful where you take your dog, and be protective of what she is exposed to. One fight can create a reactive dog. Consider not walking your dog for 30 days as you reprogram her opinions of other dogs. Instead, sit on your front porch or in your garage (or somewhere out of the way if those two options aren't possible) with your dog on leash, and practice treating every time another dog comes into your dog’s line of sight. During this time, engage your dog’s mind with mind puzzles, obedience work, and fun stuff like games in the house or yard. You know you have made great progress when your dog sees another dog, and he turns his head away from the once-threatening dog and looks into your eyes, expecting a treat. Once your dog is looking at his (former) trigger and then looking expectantly up at you for a treat, you can begin to put this skill on cue. Tell your dog "watch me" every time you see another dog approaching. Your end goal is for your dog to see another dog, and remain calm, looking at you for guidance. And this will be either continuing your walk, or being allowed to interact with the other dog. Please let me know if you have additional questions. Thanks for writing in!

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Abby
Lab mix
5 Years
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Abby
Lab mix
5 Years

Hello, I just got a new puppy she’s about 7 weeks old.. I have two other dogs already. I have a pitbull he is 11 and a lab mix and she is 5 years old. We have had the puppy for about 3 days now. Yesterday outta no where the puppy went to approach my 5 year old lab mix and she snapped at the puppy and made her bleed and she’s pretty scared now.. What can I do to help her not be aggressive to our new puppy ?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Shyann, If you feel overwhelmed, things are getting worse, or there is another bite, then I would seek professional help. Aggression is something best addressed immediately or it can get worse, so if you feel good about working through it yourself you can try the below suggestions, but if you are not seeing improvement or feel overwhelmed by it, then you may want to hire someone who is very experienced with aggression to come to your home and help one-on-one with you (obedience classes aren't enough - you need someone who has a lot of experience with behavior issues to address it with the dogs and teach you how to manage it in real time). In the very least, your older dog may need to be desensitized to wearing a basket muzzle, and wear that around puppy right now, until they are doing well together. Work on taking the pressure off of both dogs to be in charge and in control by mediating situations for them, work on commands that improve calmness and self-control, and make and enforce the rules so that the dogs are not working it out themselves - you are telling them how to react and behavior in a calm but firm way. I suggest teaching all the dogs Out (which means leave the area) and Place - which is similar to Stay but on a certain spot and they can sit, stand, or lie down but can't get off the spot. Practicing Place with the dogs in the same room on separate place beds can help facilitate calmness around each other and respect for you. Out is great for giving direction and giving a consequence of leaving the room when there is pushiness or mild resource guarding. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo I also suggest crate training both dogs so that they can have a calm place to chew on a chew toy away from each other when things are tense, or one dog is pestering the other, or you are not home to supervise while they are still getting to know each other. Crate training is an important potty training and safety measure for a young pup also. An open crate while you are home can also serve as an additional Place to practice, and feeding both dogs in separate locked crates can prevent food resource guarding and remove stress around mealtimes! Crate Manners - great calmness and gentle respect building exercise : https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Surprise method - for introducing crate for first time: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Decide what your house rules are for the dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem, you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your other dog when she is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If she obeys, praise and reward her. If she disobeys, stand in front of your other dog, blocking the pup from getting to her, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your other dog. If your older dog pushes pup or gets between you and pup uninvited, tell your older dog Out and enforce her leaving. When she is waiting for her turn patiently, then send pup to place and invite Abby over - no demanding of attention right now from either dog. Make them wait or do a command first to work for your attention if pushiness is an issue, and make them leave if being pushy or aggressive. If your older dog growls at pup, make your older dog leave the room while also carefully disciplining pup if pup antagonized her. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your dogs - you want them to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for them to learn respect for each other because you have taught it to them and not because they have used aggression. When pup first enters the room, give your older dog a treat without pup seeing so pup is associated with good things for your older dog - treats stop when pup leaves. When your older dog is being calm, tolerant, and friendly without acting dominant and pushy toward pup, you can also calmly give a treat. Keep the energy calm when interacting with the dogs. Don't feel sorry for either dog but give clear boundaries instead. Don't expect them to be best friends right now - the goal is calm co-existence. When puppy matures and they have learned good manners around each other, they may decide to be friends as adults, but calmness, tolerance, and co-existence comes first. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Reyna
Golden Retriever
6 Years
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Reyna
Golden Retriever
6 Years

My dog got “jumped” by another dog that we have. They are both female and both “alphas”. After this encounter she’s become really frustrating on walks. Every time she sees another dog she starts barking and lunging forward. She tries pulling and hopping. I stopped tightening her leash, I don’t yell at her, but I also don’t know how to get her to stop. I started just saying no and she’s beginning to sit and bark instead of lungs and bark, but I don’t want her to be doing that either.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
221 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Your dog needs to learn new behaviors to quell her fear. First we reduce her fear around new dogs, and then we begin adding cues such as “watch me” or “sit.” Research tells us that most leash reactivity is caused by fear, not by aggression. Dogs bark and lunge at other dogs to warn, “Go away! Go away!” Dogs fear other dogs because of genetic reasons, lack of socialization, fights when they were puppies, or any scary (to the dog) interaction with other dogs. Sometimes having low thyroid levels contributes to unwanted canine behavior. During this time, avoid any punishment for reactivity. Doing so will make her concerns even bigger. Dogs learn by making associations, and you want your dog to associate other dogs with pleasant things — never punishment. The first step is to reframe what an oncoming dog means to your dog. From a safe distance — your dog determines the distance, not you — have your leashed dog view another dog. As the new dog comes into view, drop a lot of enticing meat treats just in front of your dog’s nose. Ignore any hysterics for now, but back up and create more space if your dog is unwilling to eat. This part is hard for humans — I understand. It helps to see your dog’s behavior for what it most likely is: fear vs. disobedience. The training reinforcer MUST be a great one, such as real meat. It is critical that the appearance of the new dog causes meat to fall from the sky. When the other dog is out of your dog’s view, all treats stop. We want your dog to predict that other dogs near him means that YUMMY FOOD will appear! As you are reframing your dog’s opinion of seeing other leashed dogs, be careful where you take your dog, and be protective of what she is exposed to. One fight can create a reactive dog. Consider not walking your dog for 30 days as you reprogram her opinions of other dogs. Instead, sit on your front porch or in your garage (or somewhere out of the way if those two options aren't possible) with your dog on leash, and practice treating every time another dog comes into your dog’s line of sight. During this time, engage your dog’s mind with mind puzzles, obedience work, and fun stuff like games in the house or yard. You know you have made great progress when your dog sees another dog, and he turns his head away from the once-threatening dog and looks into your eyes, expecting a treat. Once your dog is looking at his (former) trigger and then looking expectantly up at you for a treat, you can begin to put this skill on cue. Tell your dog "watch me" every time you see another dog approaching. Your end goal is for your dog to see another dog, and remain calm, looking at you for guidance. And this will be either continuing your walk, or being allowed to interact with the other dog. Please let me know if you have additional questions. Thanks for writing in!

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Zeus
German Shepherd
3 Years
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Zeus
German Shepherd
3 Years

Hello, my parents got our dog 3 years ago but they never bothered to enroll him in obedience lessons until last year. We were only able to keep him in lessons for a few months but due to money issues we couldnt continue. My dog is extremely aggressive and lunges at anyone he sees, we barely invite people over because of this. He also barks constantly at the window if he sees someone outside to the point that hes broken three windows. We often dont walk him because he pulls too much and again lunges and becomes super aggressive. He is so sweet at home and we tend to just play and let him run around in the back, but I want to be able to walk him like any other dog owner is able to walk their dog. Since im only a teen and have no income there is no way for me to enroll him in obedience lessons myself but I want to train him because im always worried that he will attack someone one day and we will have to put him down. Do you have any suggestions on where i should start? Also with the previous training we did they used those electric collars, I hate it but it did seem to work when we did it consistently, but please let me know what you think the best training method should be.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
221 Dog owners recommended

Hi there. Your best bet is to start with the visitors coming in your home. Then you can transfer the skills he has learned to outdoors when you are walking. You won’t be able to solve your dog’s overprotective behavior in one day. In the meantime, you don’t want to put your life on hold. You can still invite guests into your home as long as you prioritize managing your dog’s behavior. You’ll need a short-term strategy to start showing your overprotective dog what behavior is unacceptable while also keeping your guests safe. There are a few ways to do this. Leash: Keeping your dog on a leash while friends are visiting gives you control over your dog’s actions. Leash him up before the doorbell rings and keep him close as you greet your guests. During the visit, you can let the leash drag and only use it if you have to. Muzzle: If you feel his behavior warrants the use of a muzzle for the time being while you work on solving this problem, then it may be a wise choice. Separate Room: Your dog won’t get better without practice, but sometimes you have to weigh the risks versus rewards. If your overprotective dog is in the beginning stages of training, keeping him separated from guests might be best. You don’t want to put a friend’s safety at risk or needlessly stress out your dog. As long as you keep working toward stopping the behavior, separating an overprotective dog from company is a temporary management solution. Start Obedience Training Obedience training is a must for every dog, and it’s especially important for overprotective dogs. Working with your dog on things like “sit-stay,” “down-stay,” and “heel,” will help build his impulse control. He’ll start seeing you as a capable leader and will turn to you for guidance. A mistake many pup parents make is stopping obedience training once their dog masters the basics skills. Being well-trained is about more than knowing how to sit when a person holds a treat in front of their face. It’s a lifetime lesson, and even senior dogs need regular training. Commit to training your dog several times a day for short periods of time. Make Your Dog Work for Affection You can’t help but smother your dog with love every time he’s within petting distance, but that isn’t always what’s best for him. He will start to feel entitled to your attention, and that’s part of the problem. To remedy this, initiate a “work for it” program that allows you to show your dog affection as long as he earns your attention in appropriate ways. Make him sit, stay calm, and do whatever else you ask before doling out whatever it is he wants. If he’s excited for dinner, make him sit and leave it before digging in. If he wants in your lap, ask him to do a trick first. Never give your dog attention if he rudely nudges your hand or barks in your face. He needs to know polite behavior, and polite behavior only, is how he gets what he wants. You ignore everything else. Involve Other People in the Dog’s Life Most overprotective dogs choose to guard only the person they feel closest to. It’s usually the same person who fills their food bowls, takes them on walks, and handles training. They become obsessively attached, and a strong bond gradually mutates into overprotective behavior. Putting some space between you and your dog will help him learn to trust other people. Enlist the entire family’s help and take a step back in your role as primary caregiver. Have someone else feed the dog a few times a week, and encourage other people to engage her in playtime. This will help him be more comfortable with different people. Socialize Socialization is best done during the puppy stages, but even adult and senior dogs benefit from new experiences. Exposing your overprotective dog to new places, experiences, and people, will help him learn that not everyone is out to hurt you. Make sure each new experience is positive, and encourage your dog without forcing him to interact. If your dog is afraid, you don’t want to make things worse. Take socialization at the pace he’s comfortable with. If he seems overwhelmed, back up and try something a little smaller. These are some general ideas and they can be modified to fit your dynamic. These behaviors do take time, I am talking months, to correct. And sometimes the behaviors get worse before they get better. So just push through that time if that starts to happen. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thank you for writing in!

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Cheech
Pit bull
2 Years
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Cheech
Pit bull
2 Years

We live at an apartment complex and when we let him out and there is another dog he violently yelps as much as he can to get their attention and then tries to pull and he slipped out of a harness this morning gladly I had two leashes on him but I NEED to fix this ASAP.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
221 Dog owners recommended

Hello! It sounds like he has some excitement based anxiety going on. Your dog needs to learn new behaviors to quell his reactions to other dogs or people. First we reduce his excitement around people on walks, and then we begin adding cues such as “watch me” or “sit.” Keep in mind before starting, that punishing him while he's in this state of emotion isn't ideal. Doing so will make his concerns even bigger. Dogs learn by making associations, and you want your dog to associate strangers with pleasant things — never punishment. The first step is to reframe what a stranger means to your dog. From a safe distance — your dog determines the distance, not you — have your leashed dog view another dog. As someone comes into view, drop a lot of enticing meat treats just in front of your dog’s nose. Ignore any hysterics for now, but back up and create more space if your dog is unwilling to eat. This part is hard for humans — I understand. It helps to see your dog’s behavior for what it most likely is: excitement vs. disobedience. The training reinforcer MUST be a great one, such as real meat. It is critical that the appearance of the stranger causes meat to fall from the sky. When the stranger is out of your dog’s view, all treats stop. We want your dog to predict that other dogs near him means that YUMMY FOOD will appear! Consider not walking your dog for 30 days as you reprogram his opinions of strangers. Instead, sit on your front porch or in your garage with your dog on leash, and practice treating every time someone comes into your dog’s line of sight. During this time, engage your dog’s mind with mind puzzles, obedience work, and fun stuff like games in the house or yard. You know you have made great progress when your dog sees a stranger, and he turns his head away from the once-threatening or excitable person and looks into your eyes, expecting a treat. Once your dog is looking at his (former) trigger and then looking expectantly up at you for a treat, you can begin to put this skill on cue. Tell the dog, "sit" or "watch me" or whatever command you want to use for this setting. After he starts automatically sitting or watching you when he sees a stranger approaching, you know you have success! Remember to go slowly! It could take up to a month or longer of consistent practice before you see an improvement with his behavior.

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Jaxon
Yorkshire Terrier
1 Year
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Jaxon
Yorkshire Terrier
1 Year

I have tried training my dog with tasty treats when we walk and however, when he sees another dog, person or car he is not interested in the treat until the object is out of his view. I have gotten him neutered in hopes that this will calm him down but, it made him more aggressive. He is not growling or has his tail tucked. He is just barking aggressively and trying to run towards the object. It is very hard walking with him and we often leave him home while we walk our other doggie which makes me really sad because he loves being outside. Please help.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Mesha, Do you know how pup does with dogs up close or off-leash? (If not I don't recommend finding out without professional help). This type of aggression can either be related to general aggression toward other dogs, or specific to being on leash - called leash reactivity, where the dog reacts aggressively on leash but is fine up close or off-leash with other dogs. I recommend working with a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues on something like the following. I suggest working on the structure of your walk first. You want pup to be working during the walk - having to stay behind you, focus on you, perform commands periodically, and not have his mind on scanning the area in search of other dogs. The walk should start with him having to exit your home very calmly, performing obedience commands at the door if he isn't calm. He should wait for permission ("Okay" or "Free" or "Let's Go") before going through the door instead of bolting through if that's an issue. When you walk he should be in the heel position - with his head behind your leg. That position decreases his arousal, reduces stress because he isn't the one in charge and the one encountering things first. It prevents him from scanning for other dogs, staring dogs down or being stared down, and ignoring you behind him. It also requires him to be in a more submissive, structured, focused, calmer mindset - which has a direct effect on how aroused, stressed, and aggressive he is - it makes him feel like the responsibility is on your shoulders not his around other dogs. Additionally, when you do pass other dogs, as soon as he starts staring them down, interrupt him. Don't tolerate challenging stares at other dogs. Remind him with a fair correction that you are leading the walk and he is not allowed to break his heel or stare another dog down. It is far easier to deal with reactivity when you interrupt a dog early in the process - before they are highly aroused and full of adrenaline and cortisol, and to keep the dog in a less aroused/calmer state to begin with. This also makes the walk more pleasant for him in the long-run. Leading the walk this way can actually boost a dog's confidence in the long run around other dogs because the dog feels like you will handle the situation so they can relax. Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Reactive dog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY8s_MlqDNE Once pup is doing better, also reward pup for calmness by carrying treats with you and giving it to pup as they respond calmly, focus on you, and generally do well; don't reward only not lunging and barking but pup still being on edge and aggressive in more subtle ways - you want to reward true calmness to condition that emotional response. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Caesar
Border Collie/ Lab mix
4 Years
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Caesar
Border Collie/ Lab mix
4 Years

My dog just started socializing with different dogs in May. He has done well for the most part, but occasionally he will growl and go to snap at other dogs (mainly males). My dog is fixed, so I never thought it was a problem. Recently, he snarled and went to bite a much larger husky male. He also snapped at a puppy for trying to play with him and his toy. I am not sure what training steps to take, but I really want to be able to have him around other dogs without the fear of him possibly attacking them. For the most part, he enjoys playing with other dogs he is accustomed to being around. I just want him to not be so aggressive when new dogs are around. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Courtney, I recommend looking for a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area. Which is a class for dog reactive/aggressive dogs, who are intensively socialized together in a structured environment while wearing basket muzzles, which are introduced ahead of time. Muzzle introduction video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw&list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a&index=6&t=0s I also recommend practicing the Passing Approach and Walking Together methods from the article linked below with lots of different friends and their well socialized dogs, one at a time if pup is safe enough to walk with another dog - if not wait until pup is doing better after a G.R.O.W.L. class then you can continue their socialization with walks. https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Finally, advocate for your dog also. Your dog has a low-tolerance for other dogs right now it sounds like, and dogs who are challenging, trying to dominate, or acting really pushy and rude around your dog are very hard for them to handle. Try to pursue environments where pup can be around other dogs with more calmness and structure - like obedience classes, one on one play dates, group dog walks and hikes, ect...opposed to places like a dog park where things are highly aroused and pup is likely to be challenged or harassed (You didn't say you are going to a dog park, but use that as an example - for some dogs dog parks are fine, but for others that type of environment can make things worse). Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Grace
Golden Retriever
3 Years
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Grace
Golden Retriever
3 Years

My dog is very friendly and loves other dogs but can get very possessive and aggressive to other dogs when we have an item she wants in the equation, the other day when hunting with my friend and his dog we got done and she got in a fight with the other dog when the other dog was drinking water from her bowl like big fight grabbed the other dog by the back of the neck and was biting and wouldn’t let go until after I gave her a good smack on the nose . This is the third time something like this has happened . She gets very defensive and will attack immediately if another dog nips or growls at her

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
221 Dog owners recommended

Hello! It sounds like you have your hands full. This can sometimes be a typical adult behavior problem with Golden's that people don't say enough about. They seem to be the perfect family or sporting dog, and somewhere along the lines, they can suffer from pretty severe aggression issues. It sounds like she has some territorial aggression going on. Protective yes, but territorial in the sense that she is guarding herself and her items. Because this behavior is complex, I am going to send you a link to a really good article that I send my personal customers. It is backed with background information and tons of solutions. I hope this gives you insight and helps you. https://www.petplace.com/article/dogs/pet-behavior-training/inter-dog-territorial-aggression/

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Stella
McNab
4 Years
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Stella
McNab
4 Years

Stella was adopted two years ago from Canines for a Cause where dogs are trained as service animals for Veterans. Before Stella was rescued by "Canines" she was in a shelter where she was attacked by another dog. She also had a litter of puppies and developed a serious infection. She is the sweetest, most well behaved dog, but she has an agression towards most dogs. She is pretty aggressive towards other dogs now, but is able to warm up to and has made "frends" with a few neighbors dogs. She is easily trained and extremely smart. Will it ever be possible to bring another dog into our home? If so, what is the best way to do this. She's fine with my mom's little dog, with only a couple agressive snaps at her and only recently...my mom's dog is 16 and doesn't function very well. Stella is wonderful with kids, loves people and car rides and camping trips and knows more tricks than I've seen from a dog. She has the sweetest heart and I hope and pray this is something we can overcome. Any help or advice is very appreciated!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Amanda, Since Stella has warmed up to a few dogs overtime, it might be possible to add another dog, but it would take a high level of management in the home, to ensure everyone was safe, especially during the first year while the dogs are adjusting to each other. Ideally, there would be a dog that you could practice regular heeling walks with overtime to see if they could get along and get used to each other, before trying them in the home together. The Passing Approach and Walking Together methods is how that would generally be done, but it would be through frequent walks over a 2-4 weeks at least. Very slowly closing the distance between them as they both were truly relaxed around each other. Once in the home together, both would need to be crate trained and to know a solid 1-2 hour place command. Life would need to be very structured and dogs played with and fed separately, to avoid competition early on. Basically home would be very obedience class-like when they were together, to prevent potential fights. It would also depend on the temperament of the other dog/puppy. You would want a well balanced dog who was neither overly dominant/pushy, nor timid/shy. A pup who is fairly adaptable, amiable and medium energy/dominance to increase their chances of getting along. A shy pup is more likely to be picked on by your dog, and a dominant one lead to clashes. Essentially, there is a good chance you could add a second dog if it was the right dog, but you won't be able to just throw them together like another dog could handle. It would take work, obedience, and a lot of structure and supervision for a while. A basket muzzle would probably be involved some for safety too when they were off leash. A muzzle could be introduced ahead of time with treats to make it normal for your dog and not a source of stress - silicone basket muzzles are what I generally recommend for comfort. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Armina
Rottweiler pit bull bull mastiff
6 Years
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Armina
Rottweiler pit bull bull mastiff
6 Years

She attacks neighbors dogs and even small puppies.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
221 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Your dog needs to learn new behaviors to quell her fear. First we reduce her fear around new dogs, and then we begin adding cues such as “watch me” or “sit.” Research tells us that most leash reactivity is caused by fear, not by aggression. Dogs bark and lunge at other dogs to warn, “Go away! Go away!” Dogs fear other dogs because of genetic reasons, lack of socialization, fights when they were puppies, or any scary (to the dog) interaction with other dogs. Sometimes having low thyroid levels contributes to unwanted canine behavior. During this time, avoid any punishment for reactivity. Doing so will make her concerns even bigger. Dogs learn by making associations, and you want your dog to associate other dogs with pleasant things — never punishment. The first step is to reframe what an oncoming dog means to your dog. From a safe distance — your dog determines the distance, not you — have your leashed dog view another dog. As the new dog comes into view, drop a lot of enticing meat treats just in front of your dog’s nose. Ignore any hysterics for now, but back up and create more space if your dog is unwilling to eat. This part is hard for humans — I understand. It helps to see your dog’s behavior for what it most likely is: fear vs. disobedience. The training reinforcer MUST be a great one, such as real meat. It is critical that the appearance of the new dog causes meat to fall from the sky. When the other dog is out of your dog’s view, all treats stop. We want your dog to predict that other dogs near him means that YUMMY FOOD will appear! As you are reframing your dog’s opinion of seeing other leashed dogs, be careful where you take your dog, and be protective of what she is exposed to. One fight can create a reactive dog. Consider not walking your dog for 30 days as you reprogram her opinions of other dogs. Instead, sit on your front porch or in your garage (or somewhere out of the way if those two options aren't possible) with your dog on leash, and practice treating every time another dog comes into your dog’s line of sight. During this time, engage your dog’s mind with mind puzzles, obedience work, and fun stuff like games in the house or yard. You know you have made great progress when your dog sees another dog, and he turns his head away from the once-threatening dog and looks into your eyes, expecting a treat. Once your dog is looking at her (former) trigger and then looking expectantly up at you for a treat, you can begin to put this skill on cue. Tell your dog "watch me" every time you see another dog approaching. Your end goal is for your dog to see another dog, and remain calm, looking at you for guidance. And this will be either continuing your walk, or being allowed to interact with the other dog. Please let me know if you have additional questions. Thanks for writing in!

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Winnie
collie x
8 Years
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Winnie
collie x
8 Years

My dog has attacked another dog and now I’m terrified of walking her in case it happens again. I keep her leashed as much as possible but she needs to run to get proper exercise. Even when leashed I’m scared that other dogs will approach.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
221 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Your dog needs to learn new behaviors to quell her fear. First we reduce her fear around new dogs, and then we begin adding cues such as “watch me” or “sit.” Research tells us that most leash reactivity is caused by fear, not by aggression. Dogs bark and lunge at other dogs to warn, “Go away! Go away!” Dogs fear other dogs because of genetic reasons, lack of socialization, fights when they were puppies, or any scary (to the dog) interaction with other dogs. Sometimes having low thyroid levels contributes to unwanted canine behavior. During this time, avoid any punishment for reactivity. Doing so will make her concerns even bigger. Dogs learn by making associations, and you want your dog to associate other dogs with pleasant things — never punishment. The first step is to reframe what an oncoming dog means to your dog. From a safe distance — your dog determines the distance, not you — have your leashed dog view another dog. As the new dog comes into view, drop a lot of enticing meat treats just in front of your dog’s nose. Ignore any hysterics for now, but back up and create more space if your dog is unwilling to eat. This part is hard for humans — I understand. It helps to see your dog’s behavior for what it most likely is: fear vs. disobedience. The training reinforcer MUST be a great one, such as real meat. It is critical that the appearance of the new dog causes meat to fall from the sky. When the other dog is out of your dog’s view, all treats stop. We want your dog to predict that other dogs near him means that YUMMY FOOD will appear! As you are reframing your dog’s opinion of seeing other leashed dogs, be careful where you take your dog, and be protective of what she is exposed to. One fight can create a reactive dog. Consider not walking your dog for 30 days as you reprogram her opinions of other dogs. Instead, sit on your front porch or in your garage (or somewhere out of the way if those two options aren't possible) with your dog on leash, and practice treating every time another dog comes into your dog’s line of sight. During this time, engage your dog’s mind with mind puzzles, obedience work, and fun stuff like games in the house or yard. You know you have made great progress when your dog sees another dog, and he turns his head away from the once-threatening dog and looks into your eyes, expecting a treat. Once your dog is looking at her (former) trigger and then looking expectantly up at you for a treat, you can begin to put this skill on cue. Tell your dog "watch me" every time you see another dog approaching. Your end goal is for your dog to see another dog, and remain calm, looking at you for guidance. And this will be either continuing your walk, or being allowed to interact with the other dog. Please let me know if you have additional questions. Thanks for writing in!

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Diesal
Boxer and Australian Shepherd
1 Year
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Diesal
Boxer and Australian Shepherd
1 Year

He tries to attack every animal he sees. It dont matter how far away the other animal is as long as he can see it.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
221 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Your dog needs to learn new behaviors to quell her fear. First we reduce her fear around new dogs, and then we begin adding cues such as “watch me” or “sit.” Research tells us that most leash reactivity is caused by fear, not by aggression. Dogs bark and lunge at other dogs to warn, “Go away! Go away!” Dogs fear other dogs because of genetic reasons, lack of socialization, fights when they were puppies, or any scary (to the dog) interaction with other dogs. Sometimes having low thyroid levels contributes to unwanted canine behavior. During this time, avoid any punishment for reactivity. Doing so will make her concerns even bigger. Dogs learn by making associations, and you want your dog to associate other dogs with pleasant things — never punishment. The first step is to reframe what an oncoming dog means to your dog. From a safe distance — your dog determines the distance, not you — have your leashed dog view another dog. As the new dog comes into view, drop a lot of enticing meat treats just in front of your dog’s nose. Ignore any hysterics for now, but back up and create more space if your dog is unwilling to eat. This part is hard for humans — I understand. It helps to see your dog’s behavior for what it most likely is: fear vs. disobedience. The training reinforcer MUST be a great one, such as real meat. It is critical that the appearance of the new dog causes meat to fall from the sky. When the other dog is out of your dog’s view, all treats stop. We want your dog to predict that other dogs near him means that YUMMY FOOD will appear! As you are reframing your dog’s opinion of seeing other leashed dogs, be careful where you take your dog, and be protective of what she is exposed to. One fight can create a reactive dog. Consider not walking your dog for 30 days as you reprogram her opinions of other dogs. Instead, sit on your front porch or in your garage (or somewhere out of the way if those two options aren't possible) with your dog on leash, and practice treating every time another dog comes into your dog’s line of sight. During this time, engage your dog’s mind with mind puzzles, obedience work, and fun stuff like games in the house or yard. You know you have made great progress when your dog sees another dog, and he turns his head away from the once-threatening dog and looks into your eyes, expecting a treat. Once your dog is looking at her (former) trigger and then looking expectantly up at you for a treat, you can begin to put this skill on cue. Tell your dog "watch me" every time you see another dog approaching. Your end goal is for your dog to see another dog, and remain calm, looking at you for guidance. And this will be either continuing your walk, or being allowed to interact with the other dog. Please let me know if you have additional questions. Thanks for writing in!

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Akila
pitbull
3 Years
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Akila
pitbull
3 Years

My dog has been escaping under the fence to attack neighbors dogs that are passing by. It’s getting out of hands and I’m quite desperate (see fence / road picture).

Akila is very well behaved and cuddly at home and understands a lot of commands. My mother got a little female rescue Since three weeks and Akila has been in love with her since day one (see thug of war picture)

She’s usually friendly with other randomly encountered dogs when we walk (see picture) , I say usually because with some of them they decide to have a stare down contest and lounges at them, which gets quite unpredictable.

She met other dogs ( on leash) and when the excitement would go down everything would go wonderfully as she is super sweet and playful.

I’ve been walking with one of the neighbors dog regularly to decrease the aggression and that has been successful, they walk side by side now although she pulls on the leash like crazy just to be in front of him.

She has a lot of energy, so I make her run in the garden a lot hoping that would keep her in a calm state of mind, but the moment she sees a dog on the road on the other side of the fence she goes to get them and doesn’t answer to me at all.
I really don’t know what to do, I am devastated to know that my dog can injure others. For now no dogs have been injured but it has to stop.

I have contacted a trainer who told me to basically create a visual blockage at the fence and that’s all.

I’ve started not allowing her on the sofa or bed anymore so that it could help her understanding her place in the household.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you very much!

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
221 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Your dog needs to learn new behaviors to quell her fear. First we reduce her fear around new dogs, and then we begin adding cues such as “watch me” or “sit.” Research tells us that most reactivity is caused by fear, not by aggression. Dogs bark and lunge at other dogs to warn, “Go away! Go away!” Dogs fear other dogs because of genetic reasons, lack of socialization, fights when they were puppies, or any scary (to the dog) interaction with other dogs. Sometimes having low thyroid levels contributes to unwanted canine behavior. During this time, avoid any punishment for reactivity. Doing so will make her concerns even bigger. Dogs learn by making associations, and you want your dog to associate other dogs with pleasant things — never punishment. The first step is to reframe what an oncoming dog means to your dog. From a safe distance — your dog determines the distance, not you — have your leashed dog view another dog. As the new dog comes into view, drop a lot of enticing meat treats just in front of your dog’s nose. So you will have to set this up in your back yard with her on leash and hope for dogs to come by. Ignore any hysterics for now, but back up and create more space if your dog is unwilling to eat. This part is hard for humans — I understand. It helps to see your dog’s behavior for what it most likely is: fear vs. disobedience. The training reinforcer MUST be a great one, such as real meat. It is critical that the appearance of the new dog causes meat to fall from the sky. When the other dog is out of your dog’s view, all treats stop. We want your dog to predict that other dogs near him means that YUMMY FOOD will appear! As you are reframing your dog’s opinion of seeing other leashed dogs, be careful where you take your dog, and be protective of what she is exposed to. One fight can create a reactive dog. Consider not walking your dog for 30 days as you reprogram her opinions of other dogs. Instead, sit on your front porch or in your garage (or somewhere out of the way if those two options aren't possible) with your dog on leash, and practice treating every time another dog comes into your dog’s line of sight. During this time, engage your dog’s mind with mind puzzles, obedience work, and fun stuff like games in the house or yard. You know you have made great progress when your dog sees another dog, and he turns his head away from the once-threatening dog and looks into your eyes, expecting a treat. Once your dog is looking at her (former) trigger and then looking expectantly up at you for a treat, you can begin to put this skill on cue. Tell your dog "watch me" every time you see another dog approaching. Your end goal is for your dog to see another dog, and remain calm, looking at you for guidance. And this will be either continuing your walk, or being allowed to interact with the other dog. Please let me know if you have additional questions. Thanks for writing in!

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Cha Cha
Labrador Retriever
1 Year
0 found helpful
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Cha Cha
Labrador Retriever
1 Year

We are in a "trial" phase of adopting Cha Cha (lab mix). She is so sweet to people and has never been aggressive. However, she is very aggressive towards my other dog, Charlie (female, GSD mix, 9 years old). Not sure how to stop this aggression. We have already fallen in love with Cha Cha and do not want to let her go.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Breyana, Do you know how she does with other dogs? Is she dog aggressive in general, or is the behavior just with your other dog? I would hire a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues like aggression to work with you in person, coming to your home to work with the dogs together. If she is aggressive in general, a G.R.O.W.L. class may help with the general dog aggression by working on socialization skills with other dogs. I would work with a trainer for specifics, but start by giving a lot of structure to both dogs, especially Cha Cha. Check out the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you I would start teaching commands that can help with management, like Heel, Place, Out, and Leave It. As well as crate training Cha Cha if they aren't already, and crating when you can't supervise the dogs together. Crate Training: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate/ Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite If there is resource guarding going on, you will need to work on counter conditioning Cha Cha to your other dog being around when they have something they are trying to guard. This is generally done using food rewards, safety measure like leashes, and enough distance that you can get a good response out of Cha Cha and slowly decrease distance as they improve. I would definitely do this part with your trainer. Not on your own. You also need to dogs observed together, to see if your current dog is doing anything to subtly instigate a fight also - like staring Cha Cha down, standing over Cha Cha, guarding things, or generally challenging or intimidating Cha Cha in some other way. If they are, you will need to work with your other dog on their behavior also. Overall I would hire someone highly experienced with aggression, to at least evaluate the dogs together and perhaps give you an idea of how complicated of an issue this is or not. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Bruno
Alaskan Malamute
7 Years
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Bruno
Alaskan Malamute
7 Years

I am looking to adopt him the rescue says he attacks other dogs. and that the last owner just kept him outside without socializing him with other dogs. he does good with adults and kids just not dog they say he just fights them

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, it is good that the rescue is honest about Bruno's personality. You have to consider what you are getting into, and make sure that you are ready for the challenges. If you have a large yard as well as a place to safely take Bruno on outings (not around other dogs for now) then you should be able to work things out. Call a trainer in your area used to working with dogs who are aggressive with other dogs to get their input. Discuss the training options they can offer. I recommend that if you adopt Bruno, that you enroll him in training and work through many levels (his keen brain needs the mental and physical stimulation that training brings). Read up a lot on the breed and get ready for plenty of walks - this will be good for both you and Bruno. All the best!

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Hoppie
Pit bull
5 Years
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Hoppie
Pit bull
5 Years

Pit is Hoppie,Charpe is Peanut. They've been together 3+ years. Over the last 6-8 months they've gotten aggressive with each other. It started as small tiffs in the morning when we'd wake up and I'd pet them they would change their body language and then go at it, but at this point they were easy to separate. When they were alone with eachother they would warn the other but didnt fight seems to only be around myself and my daughter.this happened about 4or5 times in the morning. Then one evening my daughter and I were both in the hall with them, I was down by Peanut and my daughter was behind Hoppie again the body language changed and they went at each other. I grabbed Peanut's harness and my daughter grabbed Hoppie they were locked on each other mostly Hoppie, she wouldn't let go of Peanut. We've had them separated since then it happened about 6 weeks ago. What is happening. Why did they change?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Robyn, It sounds like one or both dogs are actually possessive of you and your daughter - which is when a dog is resource guarding like they would with food or a bone, but the thing they think they own and are guarding is a person. I would hire a professional trainer to help you with this in person. Look for someone who specializes in behavior issues like aggression and resource guarding. I would also desensitize both dogs to wearing a basket muzzle for everyone's safety. The training will probably involve helping the dogs associate each other with good things again, while also building their respect for you and your daughter so there is less guarding, and giving a lot more structure and boundaries - a 2 hour place command, crate training if not already done, heel, directional commands - having pups work for everything they get for a while and be very structured at home. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Bruno
Lab Cross
5 Years
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Bruno
Lab Cross
5 Years

Brilliant once he knows the dog and in controlled inviroment even off lead. But second another dog taken by surprise even in distance thats it he's gone straight to attack and no command listened ends straight into a fight. At home he's great but once around a dog he doesn't know even in garden it's straight to attack and defend. If it's lead and controlled he whines and just wants to say hello but too risky as other dogs and owners take it as aggression

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
221 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Excitement can sometimes be fear based. And based on your description, it does sound a little bit like anxiety and he just doesn't quite know how to communicate! Your dog needs to learn new behaviors to quell his fear. First we reduce his fear around new dogs, and then we begin adding cues such as “watch me” or “sit.” Research tells us that most leash reactivity is caused by fear, not by aggression. Dogs bark and lunge at other dogs to warn, “Go away! Go away!” Dogs fear other dogs because of genetic reasons, lack of socialization, fights when they were puppies, or any scary (to the dog) interaction with other dogs. Sometimes having low thyroid levels contributes to unwanted canine behavior. During this time, avoid any punishment for reactivity. Doing so will make his concerns even bigger. Dogs learn by making associations, and you want your dog to associate other dogs with pleasant things — never punishment. The first step is to reframe what an oncoming dog means to your dog. From a safe distance — your dog determines the distance, not you — have your leashed dog view another dog. As the new dog comes into view, drop a lot of enticing meat treats just in front of your dog’s nose. Ignore any hysterics for now, but back up and create more space if your dog is unwilling to eat. This part is hard for humans — I understand. It helps to see your dog’s behavior for what it most likely is: fear vs. disobedience. The training reinforcer MUST be a great one, such as real meat. It is critical that the appearance of the new dog causes meat to fall from the sky. When the other dog is out of your dog’s view, all treats stop. We want your dog to predict that other dogs near him means that YUMMY FOOD will appear! As you are reframing your dog’s opinion of seeing other leashed dogs, be careful where you take your dog, and be protective of what she is exposed to. One fight can create a reactive dog. Consider not walking your dog for 30 days as you reprogram his opinions of other dogs. Instead, sit on your front porch or in your garage (or somewhere out of the way if those two options aren't possible) with your dog on leash, and practice treating every time another dog comes into your dog’s line of sight. During this time, engage your dog’s mind with mind puzzles, obedience work, and fun stuff like games in the house or yard. You know you have made great progress when your dog sees another dog, and he turns his head away from the once-threatening dog and looks into your eyes, expecting a treat. Once your dog is looking at his (former) trigger and then looking expectantly up at you for a treat, you can begin to put this skill on cue. Tell your dog "watch me" every time you see another dog approaching. Your end goal is for your dog to see another dog, and remain calm, looking at you for guidance. And this will be either continuing your walk, or being allowed to interact with the other dog. Please let me know if you have additional questions. Thanks for writing in!

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toffee
Chow chow x labrador
3 Months
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toffee
Chow chow x labrador
3 Months

hello,im her owner i owe you to my life cause i need to descipline my dog for anything that what it is

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Blesangeline, I recommend teaching pup the Leave it command. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out - which means leave the area https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ I also recommend looking for opportunities to socialize pup with other puppies through puppy play. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/puppy-classes-when-to-start/ You van download the free pdf ebook After you Gey Your Puppy below, for more information of socializing and raising pup to be well mannered and friendly later. www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Zahra
Rhodesian Ridgeback
2 Years
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Zahra
Rhodesian Ridgeback
2 Years

Exactly what you describe above. Off her leash , if she sees a dog in the distance she will bolt over to it , ignoring my calls , to play but play rough & frighten the dog and it’s owners. If it’s a protective dog, there would be a squabble. She Doesn’t bite but a lot of aggression & noise. On walks on a leash, she will do the Fixed stare at a distance ( despite my trying to keep her attention) & attempt to lunge across the road at the unsuspecting dog. She’s even pulled me over. I have since bought a halter which has stopped that. A harness would not have worked. She’s too strong & fast. I genuinely believe she wants to play most of the time , although I am now thinking it’s turning more aggressive) When she plays , it’s way too rough and all the dogs get frightened of her , are submissive & don’t like her. Even her Labrador friend From when she was a puppy won’t have anything to do with her now. I am having to resort to walks in remote places at odd times of the day to avoid other dogs. If I see a dog Ahead. on our path, I have to get Zahra off the path by about 10 feet and hope that the other dog is on a leash. If it isn’t I am , I am ready to apologise to the owner for what might happen next! Any help gratefully received!

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
221 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Your dog needs to learn new behaviors to quell her fear. First we reduce her fear around new dogs, and then we begin adding cues such as “watch me” or “sit.” Research tells us that most leash reactivity is caused by fear, not by aggression. Dogs bark and lunge at other dogs to warn, “Go away! Go away!” Dogs fear other dogs because of genetic reasons, lack of socialization, fights when they were puppies, or any scary (to the dog) interaction with other dogs. Sometimes having low thyroid levels contributes to unwanted canine behavior. During this time, avoid any punishment for reactivity. Doing so will make her concerns even bigger. Dogs learn by making associations, and you want your dog to associate other dogs with pleasant things — never punishment. The first step is to reframe what an oncoming dog means to your dog. From a safe distance — your dog determines the distance, not you — have your leashed dog view another dog. As the new dog comes into view, drop a lot of enticing meat treats just in front of your dog’s nose. Ignore any hysterics for now, but back up and create more space if your dog is unwilling to eat. This part is hard for humans — I understand. It helps to see your dog’s behavior for what it most likely is: fear vs. disobedience. The training reinforcer MUST be a great one, such as real meat. It is critical that the appearance of the new dog causes meat to fall from the sky. When the other dog is out of your dog’s view, all treats stop. We want your dog to predict that other dogs near him means that YUMMY FOOD will appear! As you are reframing your dog’s opinion of seeing other leashed dogs, be careful where you take your dog, and be protective of what she is exposed to. One fight can create a reactive dog. Consider not walking your dog for 30 days as you reprogram her opinions of other dogs. Instead, sit on your front porch or in your garage (or somewhere out of the way if those two options aren't possible) with your dog on leash, and practice treating every time another dog comes into your dog’s line of sight. During this time, engage your dog’s mind with mind puzzles, obedience work, and fun stuff like games in the house or yard. You know you have made great progress when your dog sees another dog, and he turns his head away from the once-threatening dog and looks into your eyes, expecting a treat. Once your dog is looking at her (former) trigger and then looking expectantly up at you for a treat, you can begin to put this skill on cue. Tell your dog "watch me" every time you see another dog approaching. Your end goal is for your dog to see another dog, and remain calm, looking at you for guidance. And this will be either continuing your walk, or being allowed to interact with the other dog. Please let me know if you have additional questions. Thanks for writing in!

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Bruno
Pit bull
7 Years
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Bruno
Pit bull
7 Years

He chases other dogs he doesn’t know but he plays with dogs he knows .

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, this presents a challenge for sure. Bruno has to learn that this is not acceptable behavior. Keep him on the leash so that he cannot chase other dogs in case it leads to an altercation that may not even be his fault. Work on introducing Bruno slowly to dogs he does not know, as with the Introduction Walks Method described here: https://wagwalking.com/training/get-along-with-other-dogs. This may be easily done by joining a walking group with a trainer who has dealt with dogs that have aggression toward unfamiliar dogs. You can also take him to training classes (explain to the trainer what the problem is) or have a trainer come to the home and give you tools and knowledge to work with. You'll be surprised what one or two sessions can do to help you manage Bruno and ensure that he is not a danger. In the meantime, practice his obedience and listening skills, fine tuning them until he listens without hesitation: https://wagwalking.com/training/obedience-train-a-doberman and https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you. Good luck!

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Keylie
Pit bull
3 Years
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Keylie
Pit bull
3 Years

We used to have a little dog he was very old but she was raised with him unfortunately he passed and she has been very lonely and we were thinking of introducing a puppy however she had one bad experience with our neighbors dog and she doesn’t trust other dogs now is there any advice you can give we want her to have friend who can keep her company and have fun with

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
221 Dog owners recommended

Hello! The best thing you can do when bringing home a new dog is to approach everything as a team effort. Showing too much attention (whether good or bad) to either dog will throw off the dynamic. Dogs are fairly good about sorting boundaries out on their own. It might not be smooth at first. It can usually take up to a month for dogs to adjust. But in the mean time, you can make sure that you are walking them together, playing with them together, feeding together, etc.

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Denver
Tennessee Treeing Brindle
4 Years
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Denver
Tennessee Treeing Brindle
4 Years

Denver has become more aggressive with dogs she doesn’t know. It’s to the point where I am nervous any time another dog is nearby. She starts out fine, just with a hesitant demeanor and a tucked tail. Then her hair stands up and she starts growling when they come near her. She typically only growls and at the very most, she will bark at the other dog. but today she actually went after another dog and it scared me. She looked like she wanted to attack and I had to hold her back and got my arm kind of scratched up. I don’t know what to do or how to handle this change in aggression. We did recently move and maybe it’s a mix of the new environment as well as the new dogs? I just want her to be able to socialize.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
221 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Your dog needs to learn new behaviors to quell her fear. First we reduce her fear around new dogs, and then we begin adding cues such as “watch me” or “sit.” Research tells us that most leash reactivity is caused by fear, not by aggression. Dogs bark and lunge at other dogs to warn, “Go away! Go away!” Dogs fear other dogs because of genetic reasons, lack of socialization, fights when they were puppies, or any scary (to the dog) interaction with other dogs. Sometimes having low thyroid levels contributes to unwanted canine behavior. During this time, avoid any punishment for reactivity. Doing so will make her concerns even bigger. Dogs learn by making associations, and you want your dog to associate other dogs with pleasant things — never punishment. The first step is to reframe what an oncoming dog means to your dog. From a safe distance — your dog determines the distance, not you — have your leashed dog view another dog. As the new dog comes into view, drop a lot of enticing meat treats just in front of your dog’s nose. Ignore any hysterics for now, but back up and create more space if your dog is unwilling to eat. This part is hard for humans — I understand. It helps to see your dog’s behavior for what it most likely is: fear vs. disobedience. The training reinforcer MUST be a great one, such as real meat. It is critical that the appearance of the new dog causes meat to fall from the sky. When the other dog is out of your dog’s view, all treats stop. We want your dog to predict that other dogs near him means that YUMMY FOOD will appear! As you are reframing your dog’s opinion of seeing other leashed dogs, be careful where you take your dog, and be protective of what she is exposed to. One fight can create a reactive dog. Consider not walking your dog for 30 days as you reprogram her opinions of other dogs. Instead, sit on your front porch or in your garage (or somewhere out of the way if those two options aren't possible) with your dog on leash, and practice treating every time another dog comes into your dog’s line of sight. During this time, engage your dog’s mind with mind puzzles, obedience work, and fun stuff like games in the house or yard. You know you have made great progress when your dog sees another dog, and he turns his head away from the once-threatening dog and looks into your eyes, expecting a treat. Once your dog is looking at her (former) trigger and then looking expectantly up at you for a treat, you can begin to put this skill on cue. Tell your dog "watch me" every time you see another dog approaching. Your end goal is for your dog to see another dog, and remain calm, looking at you for guidance. And this will be either continuing your walk, or being allowed to interact with the other dog. Please let me know if you have additional questions. Thanks for writing in!

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Daisy
Swiss shepherd
2 Years
1 found helpful
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1 found helpful
Daisy
Swiss shepherd
2 Years

We have 3 dogs. One is our swiss shepherd who doesn't like the other 2. We've had the other 2 longer than her. The swiss shepherd usually snarls or nips at the other 2, but recently she attacked 1 of the dogs and caused some bleeding. She's never done that before and it was pretty scary, we don't know what to do with her..

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Susan, For this issue I highly recommend hiring a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues like aggression and will come to your home to work with all the dogs together and evaluate the dynamics in your home, and create a training plan tailored to you. You may also need to desensitize pup to wearing a basket muzzle. Muzzle introduction video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw&list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a&index=6&t=0s Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Charlie
American Staffordshire Terrier
3 Years
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Charlie
American Staffordshire Terrier
3 Years

Hi,

We've had Charlie since she was eight weeks old. She's three now and for the past year she's become more and more reactive to other dogs. She's attacked multiple dogs without being provoked whatsoever. An example of this is once about a year ago she darted out the door while I was opening it and attacked the neighbor's dog while it was on it's own porch. She got off her leash the other day and attacked a dog during a walk. Luckily, my partner was able to break up both fights without anyone getting injured. There have been more unprovoked attacks. We've been working with a trainer for the whole year and nothing about Charlie's reactions to other dogs has changed. She has recommended that we walk her in a neighborhood that is less dense than our own so she doesn't get exposed to dogs so much and has the opportunity to learn something new. We did that for eight weeks and she didn't really change. She just got exposed less. I had to walk her in the neighborhood the other day and thought a short walk (we were only out for 10 minutes) might be okay. I'll get her a muzzle now but is there anything else I might be able to do? I'm starting to think our only choices may be to move or rehome her. Her reaction is so strong and happens so quickly. We have to be hypervigilant all the time.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Bethany, Check out the trainers' video channels I have linked below. Both specializes in aggression and reactivity. https://www.youtube.com/user/AmericasCanineED https://www.youtube.com/user/SolidK9Training Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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HARVEY
Working Cocker Spaniel
5 Years
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HARVEY
Working Cocker Spaniel
5 Years

Hello, Harvey recently had a limp from slipping in mud. (he had first developed a limp over a year ago and went to the vet. Nothing was found from feeling and manipulation and after taking joint supplements the limp stopped). This time Once the limp stopped we started to take him out for short walks. He is usually not aggressive at all but in the last couple of years he no longer likes to play with other dogs and has on occasion growled at a dog that has been sniffing around him. I always call him away so interactions are short. However a couple of days ago he attacked a dog that had come over to him a couple of times. It followed us far from it's owner and then suddenly Harvey very aggressively attacked it and I had to pull him off. I believe this could be due to the fact that he is still in pain as this was completely out of character. I just don't know how to move forward with this and if I will be able to let him off the lead again.
Any advice greatly appreciated.
Thanks

Sally

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sally, I would start by speaking with your vet. Him being in pain could lead to aggression that's out of character, and there may even be some nerve or arthritis that needs addressing in general. I am not a vet so speak with your vet. Once he is feeling better again, check out the video I have linked below. I would practice something similar, passing other dogs from a distance and rewarding any good responses to work on helping pup feel less defensive about other dogs again, and to like them being near again. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3n_fPKPLA2g I would also consider working with a professional trainer in person if you don't see improvement or things get worse. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Nelson
Shiba Inu
7 Years
0 found helpful
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Nelson
Shiba Inu
7 Years

In the house he wants to fight with other dogs when there’s food or play toys

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
221 Dog owners recommended

Hello. It sounds like he is being territorial over resources. I am sending you a link because dealing with this behavior issue is quite complex. This link is full of information on why this happens, and how to fix it. https://www.petplace.com/article/dogs/pet-behavior-training/inter-dog-territorial-aggression/

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Beatrice
French Bulldog
7 Years
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Beatrice
French Bulldog
7 Years

Beatrice cannot be out the same time our other dogs are because she tries to attack them. She gets a very mean bark. She also barks at any noise she hears. It’s very embarrassing when she tries to attack other dogs and also I know it gets her worked up. She never attacks people though.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Trudie, I recommend looking to see if there is a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area, which is a class for dog reactive/aggressive dogs, who wear basket muzzles and are intensively socialized together while practicing obedience under the trainer's guidance. Another option would be to find a training group that specializes in behavior issues like aggression, and has several well mannered dogs to practice gradually desensitizing pup to other dogs while practicing structured obedience around the other dogs to keep pup focused more on you and calmer while the dogs are in the distance, gradually decreasing the distance between them as pup improves and is rewarded for calm body language and focus and obedience with you in their presence. This would need to be practiced with various different dogs, one at a time, to help pup generalize the training to all dogs, like the trainers' various own dogs. For the barking, check out the Quiet method and the Desensitize method from the article linked below. Addressing pup's aggression toward dogs will likely make the biggest impact on the barking also though, since there is a good chance that that is why pup often barks while outside if it's happening in the presence of other dogs. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Barking videos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAA4pob0Wl0W2agO7frSjia1hG85IyA6a Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Scoit
black mouth cur
4 Years
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Scoit
black mouth cur
4 Years

Our 4 year old has become more aggressive on the leash and lunges and barks when he sees another dog and sometimes at people. I thi I its fear based. He was a shelter dog and will cower away if a stranger tries to pet him

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Riki, For aggression that's towards people and other dogs, I recommend hiring a professional trainer to work with you in person. Look for a trainer who specializes in behavior issues like fear and aggression and understands things like counter conditioning and thresholds. Ideally, look for someone who works with a team of trainers or staff and has access to other well mannered dogs, like the trainers' dog, so that training scenarios can be set up to practice socialization, counter conditioning (helping pup associate what they are afraid of with good things), with lots of repetitions at a distance that you can control so pup can learn without being so aroused that they can't pay attention. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Tucker
miniature poodle
7 Months
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Tucker
miniature poodle
7 Months

Tucker was attacked by a pit bull 2 weeks ago. I have found that because of his experience he is more aggressive towards our other dog when it comes to his food. He also now growls at some people when they give him attention that he does not desire at the time. How could I train this aggression out of him?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Faylee, Often fear aggression can be improved, but I would seek out the help of a professional trainer or animal behaviorist who specializes in behavior issues like fear and aggression, and who has access to other well mannered dogs and a training staff so pup can be counter conditioned with a variety of other people and dogs to help them associate people and dogs with good things again and address the underlying anxiety and trauma associated with the attack. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Sketch of smiling australian shepherd