How to Train Your Dog to Stop Growling at Other Dogs

Medium
3-6 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

Going out for a walk or to the local dog park with your four-legged friend should be a lot of fun for both of you. But the fun can suddenly come to an end when your pup takes it into his head to growl at other dogs in a menacing way. It can only get worse if your dog and one of the other dogs decide to get into a fight, as the situation can easily turn dangerous. While growling is more than just a nuisance noise, there are times when it is appropriate and times when it is not.

In most cases, your pup growls simply because he is trying to communicate. He might be trying to tell you he is afraid of the other dog or he may be verbally staking his claim on "his territory." Most owners quickly become upset when their pup growl and quite often their first reaction is to scold or punish their dogs. In most cases, all this does is make your dog more anxious and growl even more. The only way to move past this is to teach your pup that this type of behavior is simply unacceptable. 

Defining Tasks

The idea is to teach your dog to behave in a more social manner towards other dogs while you are out walking, in the yard, or at the local dog park. You need to be able to take your dog out for a walk or to play in the park as he needs the exercise, plus it will help him to burn off excess energy and become more balanced and calm.

While teaching your pup not to growl at other dogs is the idea behind this training, you also need to train yourself. "What," you say, "why do I need to train myself?" If your dog is already growling at other dogs, chances are good that you become nervous and anxious any time it looks like your dog is going to get close to another pooch. Your dog will pick up on this fear, which will only make him more protective and more likely to growl. Teach yourself to remain calm in the face of the "enemy" and your pup will learn to copy your behavior. 

Getting Started

There are several ways you can go about training your dog to not growl at other dogs. When it comes to this type of training, you don't need much in the way of supplies. However, you will need the following:

  • Treats: Keep a steady supply of your pup's favorite treats on hand to give your dog as a reward.
  • Leash: To take your dog out for a walk
  • Another dog: See if you can arrange for a few friends to bring their dogs over for training sessions.
  • Space to work: Whether it is in your yard, the dog park, or on the sidewalk, you need space to work.
  • Patience: As with any other type of training, you will need plenty of patience. Never get over-excited or angry with your dog, it will only make the training harder and less likely to succeed. 

Remember that your dog will pick up on your emotions (dogs are funny that way), so no matter how frustrated you get, remain calm and keep on training. 

The Positive Reinforcement Method

Most Recommended
8 Votes
Step
1
Start on a leash
Clip your dog on his leash and remain as calm as possible, he will pick up on your vibes and calm down as well.
Step
2
Go for a walk
Take your dog for a walk in an area where there are other dogs, give him a little extra leash to start with.
Step
3
Every time he growls
Every time your pup growls at another dog, use the 'quiet' command. When he obeys and stops growling, give him a treat. When he doesn't, make him lie down until the other dog has passed.
Step
4
Repeat this process
Continue having your dog lie down each time he growls. This will help to teach him that this behavior is simply not acceptable. Every time he remains quiet laying down, reward him and give him a treat.
Step
5
Keep practicing
It can take a few weeks of practice to get your pup to stop growling at other dogs. Remember, the more you socialize your pup with other dogs, the less he is likely to growl at them. Be patient, the payoff is more than worth the effort when you can take your dog for a walk and not worry about how he will behave.
Recommend training method?

The Signs of Aggression Method

Effective
1 Vote
Step
1
Signs of aggression
Pay attention to the early warning signs such as whining, ears pointing forward, pulling on his leash, raised hackles, or staring the other dog in the eye. These are all signs of aggression that are likely to be followed by growling and more aggressive behavior.
Step
2
No rewards
Giving him a treat or praising him for this aggressive behavior is simply not acceptable, all this does is teach him to behave in this manner. It also means not giving him any attention whatsoever as this will also serve to reinforce the behavior.
Step
3
Avoidance is better
When you see another dog coming your way, take your dog across the street, or if this is not possible, walk at an angle perpendicular to the one the dog is coming from. In time, your dog will learn that avoidance is better than being confrontational.
Step
4
No leash pulling
Simply walk away in the other direction. Just do it, don't pull on the leash, your dog should automatically follow you. Give him a treat if he does.
Step
5
Use positive reinforcement
Each time your dog follows you without growling, reward him with a treat and praise. Each time he doesn't, don’t punish him, just go back and repeat the training.
Step
6
Slowly cut the distance
Slowly cut the distance between your dog and the others, rewarding him each time he passes another dog without growling. With practice, your pup will soon learn to be in the company of other dogs or walk past them without growling.
Recommend training method?

The Desensitization Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Have guests
Arrange for one or more "guest" dogs your pup does not know to come to your home.
Step
2
Create a blind
Since your pup growls when he sees other dogs, you need to keep the other dogs out of sight at first. The easiest way to create a blind is to park two cars end to end with a gap between them.
Step
3
Walk on by
Have your friend walk his dog slowly past the gap while you stand 20 feet away from the gap. If your dog starts to growl, give him the 'sit-stay' command to distract him. If he obeys and stops growling, praise him and give him a treat.
Step
4
Rinse and repeat
Have as many people as you can arrange to walk their dogs past the gap. Each time your dog starts to growl, make him sit. Reward him when he complies.
Step
5
Move closer
Move the spot you and your pup are standing on half the distance to the gap and repeat the training. Be sure to use lots of treats and praise when he gets it right.
Step
6
Practice
Keep repeating this training until your dog no longer growls at the dogs walking by him.
Step
7
Out on the street
Take the training out on the street by taking your pup for a walk. Start by cutting a wide path around the oncoming dog and reward your pup when he doesn't growl. Keep working him in closer until the two of you can go anywhere without having to worry about whether or not he is going to growl at any dog you might happen to come across.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Daisy
Terrier of some kind
8 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Daisy
Terrier of some kind
8 Years

My son was transferred to Japan for 3 years. He left his wonderful family dog Daisy, and 2 cats, with us. My husband is disabled. Daisy is great company and a comfort to us while my son and his family are so far away. Daisy loves running across the street to the city lake, where we currently live. She goes to the edge of water and will play with

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Maggie, It looks like your message explaining your problem and question was cut off and not finished when you submitted your question. Please let me know exactly how I can help you, and I would be glad to reply to your question. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Daisy's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Sami
miniature poodle
5 Years
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Sami
miniature poodle
5 Years

Sami generally gets on well with other dogs. However, when we're at the dog park there are a couple of dogs who want to play ( he's not much for playing). He will warn them by growling, but very often they will continue to pester him. I try to get him to follow me to another part of the dog park but most of the time the other dogs follow and after a time he just gets fed up with them being in his face and goes for them. I give him credit for warning them over and over with the growls, but I'm afraid one of these days he might actually bite one of them. What else can I do?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Elizabeth, When the other dog bothers him, you either need to block the other dog from getting to him and herd the other dog out of his area by walking toward the dog until it leaves, or you need to leave the park. If you were outside of a dog park you would do the same thing, but you could also give Sami treats being tolerant to create a positive association between him and the other dog. Inside of a dog park giving out treats is very dangerous because of food possessiveness and potential fights. It is also typically banned. By keeping the other dogs away from him when he has had enough you are increasing his trust in you and you are decreasing his defense drive, which is leading him to finally attack. If he feels like you will handle the situation, then he will be less stressed out by the other dogs and feel less of a need to attack. If he attacks anyway, then correct him and leave. The goal should be to prevent him from attacking the other dogs in the first place. He shouldn't have to put up with being harassed over and over. There are many young dogs in a dog park who simply haven't learned how to be respectful of another dog's space yet. There are also many insecure dogs that are constantly trying to dominate other dogs. Truly dominant dogs have nothing to prove. If he is constantly feeling the need to defend himself, then his unpleasant view of other dogs and his aggressive tendencies are likely to get worse. The best course of action is for you to take charge, or to remove him from the situation entirely if that does not work in a particular case. When you herd the other dogs away by walking toward them, only do that if you feel like you can do it safely with a particular dog. Also, it does not have to be harsh or offensive looking to the other owners. You can simply tell the other dogs "Ah-Ah. Out" and point away from your dog, and then calmly get between the other dog and your dog and walk toward the dog so that you are blocking him from getting to your dog and making your dog more boring. Imagine that you are a firm brick wall when you do this. Your body language when you do this is telling the other dog that Sami belongs to you and this is your space. You are demanding that the other dog respect your dog by respecting you. Dogs understand body language very well when it is done correctly. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Sami's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Bonita
Labrador
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Bonita
Labrador
1 Year

Bonita got into a dog fight with a dog at home now all she does is growl and lunges on the leash when she sees other dogs at home and xuring walks. How do we stop this behavior?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Denise, You need to find a training facility that does Board and Train, and is setup to do aggression management and rehabilitation training. Look into doing Private sessions with trainers at that facility then at your home. The reason you want somewhere that does Board and Train is so that there are plenty of other dogs on that property for you and the trainer to work with her around. Bonita needs an experienced trainer to work with her and you. She needs someone to correct her aggressive behavior while she is wearing a muzzle and to reward her calming signals and her tolerance of other dogs in the area, to help her re-associate dogs with pleasant experiences. If there was no blood drawn during the fight, then you might be able to find a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area to attend with her to reintroduce her to dogs in a positive way again, and to deal with her reactions in a safe environment under the instruction of a trainer. If Bonita drew blood during the fight, then I would look into Private Training right away and not try to handle the situation on your own. While you are looking into training options, start by purchasing a soft silicone basket muzzle for her. Get her used to wearing that by giving her treats whenever you show it to her, touch it to her, and eventually, put it on her. Do this gradually over the next few weeks. If introduced properly, wearing a muzzle should not be a negative experience for her. Having her wear a muzzle will allow you to get her close enough to other dogs during training exercises to deal with her behavior. This will need to be done prior to many other training exercises. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Bonita's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Jazz
Miniature Schnauzer
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Jazz
Miniature Schnauzer
3 Years

Hi, our dog Jazz is becoming increasingly agressive to dogs we meet out walking. She crouches, stalks and then lunges at them growling - and then casually carries on as though nothing has happened. Some dogs cope but some don't (and neither do their owners!) It's becoming a real problem and we have reached the point where we have to do something about it because it's taking the fun out of our walks. We wondered whether we should simply walk her on a lead for a while and then praise and reward her when she calmly walks past another dog? Any thoughts? We do appreciate this chance to ask an expert.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Claire, If she will calmly walk past some dogs, then praising her and rewarding her for paying attention to you and ignoring the other dogs is a good start. It will likely not solve the underlying aggression issue, but it should help to manage it. I suggest hiring a professional trainer in your area who has a large enough facility with dogs at their disposal, and a safe environment for introductions to work on conditioning her response to other dogs. She needs to be taught respect, dependence, focus, and trust for you and whoever else is walking her. She needs to be taught what to do around other dogs and be rewarded for the appropriate response to other dogs, and for calm body language and calm energy levels. She needs to be appropriately and clearly corrected when she starts to get into an aggressive mindset, to interrupt her behavior to create an opportunity to reward a correct response and emotions towards other dogs. All of this can be hard to do on your own with aggression. Aggression is an issue that I almost always recommend working with a trainer on. The sooner you start to deal with aggression before habits are formed and fights happen, the better results are likely to be. Look for a place where the trainer has access to lots of other friendly dogs that she can expose your dog to and get your dog close to while your dog is wearing a soft silicon basket muzzle when she is ready to meet dogs. These up-close interactions will ultimately be needed to deal with the real problem. You can teach your dog to focus on your during walks, which is a great place to start, but that alone will not solve the underlying aggression. The crouching and stalking behavior should be taken seriously if your dog is not giving a play bow when she does it. That sounds like aggression and not just leash reactivity. To learn more about dog to dog aggression check out Jeff Gelhman from SolidK9Training's YouTube channel. He is an trainer who specializes in managing and rehabilitating aggressive dogs. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Jazz's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Marley
Mastiff
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Marley
Mastiff
3 Years

When Marley got to 1.5years she started growling at the dog park and on walks towards new dogs. Basically it was just let her sniff. She will growl and then she’s all happy and you could keep going or let them play. The last few months it’s gotten worse. Started snapping more at dogs. She also tries to hump new dogs which I correct straight away but a new dog turned around and attacked her for it. And she fought back (she is always muzzled). Then the next day she fought the dog again. And the other day a greyhound grabbed my younger pup and Marley went ballistic, lunging and snapping at any dog. And also snapped at me. She was socialised extremely well as a pup. She’s quiet and calm and will only play with dogs if she starts it. She would rather hang around the people. Everyone at the dog park is fine with her and are fine with me using their dogs as ‘practise’. But I don’t know where to start or what to even research.

She’s always on a lead unless she’s being good.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jordy, First of all Marley needs to stop going to the dog park immediately. It is likely making your problem worse every time that you go. Look online to see if there is a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area, which is a class for dog reactive dogs who are muzzled, together, and intensively socialized and their behavior and view towards other dogs dealt with in real time. She would also benefit from working with a trainer who is very experienced with aggression and powerful breeds, especially if there is not a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area. Her behavior is possibly partially due to reaching mental maturity, where her desire to dominate has increased, her protective instinct has increased, and her tolerance for rude or energetic dogs has decreased. Put simply she no longer views herself as the bottom dog and no longer wants to put up with other dogs messing with her. She may have learned that she can control situations through aggression and that belief is simply continuing. She needs someone who can teach you how to gain her respect and trust so that she will let you handle situations more. Her interactions with other dogs need to change. She needs to practice safe, boring, brief interactions, or very structured, purposeful interactions, like walks while focused on you and heeling. The dog park is not a good place to do that right now with her particular issue. Look for groups you can practice walks with and have a trainer teach you how to handle her during the walk and make the walk very structured and focused on you, so that she is following you. Check out Jeff Gellman from SolidK9Training on YouTube for examples of the type of walk and interactions I want you to practice around other dogs, but get a trainer who will use both positive reinforcement and fair punishment with an emphasis on learning to help you. Ask for references from other clients. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Marley's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Mimi
Husky
5 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Mimi
Husky
5 Months

I took my puppy from a dog foster home about a year ago. I love him to bits; he has a great personality, and I feel that he loves our family so much. BUT, whenever I take him for a walks, we have problems. My husband and I were thinking about taking him to 'doggy school', but then again, it’s extremely expensive, and the nearest 'doggy school' is far away from us. Maybe you have some advice? THANK YOU!!!!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jennie, What types of problems is he having on walks? Are you referring to pulling on the leash, barking or growling at people or dogs, putting on the breaks out of fear, or something else? If the issue is normal pulling due to excitement, then check out this article that I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel If the issue is reactivity or aggression toward other dogs or people, then I would recommend getting professional training help and not waiting because the issue will be a lot easier to address while he is still a puppy. It will get more complex and expensive if you wait a few months before addressing it. If the issue is stopping or trying to run from things due to fear, then spend a lot of time taking walks with. Whenever he encounters something scary, act happy, silly, and confident yourself. Sprinkle treats around the scary thing if it's safe to do so, or simply feed the treats directly to him if you cannot sprinkle them. Praise him in a confident tone of voice for being brave and exploring the new thing, then when he is ready, continue your walk and repeat it again the next time he spots something scary. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Mimi's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Fifi
Corgi mix
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Fifi
Corgi mix
2 Years

Fifi has been very defensive of us ever since she came home from the adoption center. We have gotten her comfortable with new people coming into the house, but she still has major problems with new dogs. Fifi will growl at any dog she sees. If they get close, she growls and barks and snaps at them. She hasn't bit any but she gets very close. I think she is just being defensive but it seems impossible to distract her from being aggressive to other dogs. She is still working on listening and following commands and when we are outside she will not focus on me at all. I don't know what to do. This is the first time I've ever had a dog. She won't really even listen at all unless I have a treat.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Whitney, Look online to see if there is a G.R.O.W.L. class anywhere in your city or surrounding areas. If there is, then I highly suggest attending one with her. Her aggression likely stems from a lack of socialization and possibly negative experiences with other dogs. Those experiences may have involved being attacked or they could have been circumstances that taught her to be the bully. A G.R.O.W.L. class will work on socialization and her reactions towards other dogs in a class filled with other reactive dogs that are all muzzled and being trained quickly around each other in a safe environment. If you cannot find such a class in your area, then look for a training group that has access to a lot of different dogs, including friendly-calm dogs, like the trainer's dogs. With the help of a trainer Fifi can be desensitized around a lot of different dogs while you are present, and the trainer can teach you how to respond to her when she is reactive, and how to work on her listening skills. For the listening, check out the article that I have linked below. Since she is new focus especially on the "Obedience" method. Dogs need to learn what commands mean first, then those commands need to be practiced around gradually harder and harder distractions for a dog to be able to listen. The dog also needs to learn to respect you through your own consistency, enforcing of rules fairly, and teaching. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Fifi's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
shiloh
HUSKY X MALAMUTE
8 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
shiloh
HUSKY X MALAMUTE
8 Months

Hi my huskynis 8 month old. Shw gets on with my other husky 2 years old there bro n sister but from different litter she growls and barks and any dog that passes or she sees. Looking for some tips and advice. Shes loves people and kids.

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

Very cute! Work with Shiloh by using the Passing Approach Method and the Walking Together Method: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs. The Walking Together Method involves joining a walking group and is an effective way to socialize Shiloh in a neutral setting. I strongly suggest obedience training; if Shiloh cannot be in a group yet, then take private lessons too get her started. For more focus when on walks, train her to heel (very effective for concentrating on you and not on the other dogs). https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel/. All of the methods are good! All the best!

Add a comment to shiloh's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
lila
Lab mix
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
lila
Lab mix
2 Years

When seeing another dog in the distance my dog pulls the leash and starts this almost barking sound

Add a comment to lila's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Ting, Tong, Solo & Blacky
German Shepherd
5 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Ting, Tong, Solo & Blacky
German Shepherd
5 Years

We all live together on land in Cambodia. Most dogs in province do not have vaccinations so I try not to introduce mine to others.
Blacky the baby of Ting & Tong is almost 2 yrs and he continually growls at Solo (3yrs) his older brother. Most is jealousy of me I think. They are all with me 24/7. Ting is the boss so they dont growl at her, but the other 3 boys all growl at each other a bit.
They all get lots of love but had little training & only on a lead when going to the vet. As this is a in house family issue I dont think you previous answers are relevant to this situation. I would love some advise please.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Trevor, You need to add more structure and work on the dogs' respect for you so that they look to you to make and enforce the rules and are not allowed to compete with one another. Check out the article that I have linked below and follow one or more of the methods from that to teach them to respect you better. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you You also need to decide on some house rules for all of the dogs to follow and be the one to enforce those rules rather than letting the dogs enforce them for one another. For example, such rules might include: "no dog is allowed to take something that another dog has", "no dog is allowed to act aggressively toward another dog", "no dog is allowed to push another dog out of the way to get someone's attention", "no dog is allowed to act pushy to get your attention", "all dogs have to wait until they are given permission before they can eat", "all dogs must leave other dogs' food bowls alone", ect... Work on teaching all of the dogs the "Out" command, which means leave the area. Anytime one dog is pestering another dog tell that dog out and make him leave the area, rather than the dog he is pestering having to do it. If you see a dog attempting to break a rule you be the one to correct that dog rather than another dog doing it. Teach each dog at least three commands in addition to "Out" and whenever one dog is acting disrespectful attach him to a leash and have him quickly run through those commands for you over and over again without treats. You can praise him at the end or very calmly during but the goal is to work him mentally and physically without being too confrontational to adjust his attitude. Think of it like doggie pushups like a drill sergeant would have his caddets do. To teach out, work with one dog at a time. Call him over to yourself and toss a large treat at least five feet away while you also point that hand's index finger where you toss it. While you do this say "Out". If your dog does not go to the treat then walk him over to it or toss another treat near it while he is watching you. After he gets the treat, tell him "Okay" and encourage him to come back over to you. Practice tossing the treat while pointing and saying "Out" and then telling him "Okay", and repeating the whole thing again when he comes back over. Do this until you can point and say "Out" and he will go where you point BEFORE you toss the treat. When he does that, then quickly Todd the treat to him for following your instruction, but now it will be a reward for obedience. Practice that until he can consistently go where you point when you say "Out". Once he has learned the meaning of the word at this point, when you use it in real life, if he disobeys your command, then walk toward him to make him back out of an area, until he is where you originally told him to go. When you walk away from him if he follows you back into the area, then repeat walking toward him. Do this until he will stay out of the area until you tell him "Okay" to invite him back. While he is still getting good at this command if he obeys you willingly through first time you tell him "Out" then toss him a small treat like a piece of dog food. Next, work on teaching the next dog the "Out" command, and then use the command whenever one dog needs to give another one space, is being pushy or disrespectful with you, and is about to get himself into trouble by getting too close to another dog's food or something. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Ting, Tong, Solo & Blacky's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Ivy
Mini Goldendoodle
20 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Ivy
Mini Goldendoodle
20 Months

Hello, Thank you helping. We got Ivy when she was 8 weeks old. My wife and I did two years of research on breed and breeder. We read many training books. We started trained Ivy as soon as we got her. She is very smart. By year one Ivy knew sit, stay, down, down stay, heel, fetch, and much more. Hours of training lesson in basement. Ivy was also enrolled in a Six week canine class with other dog and a 3 week socialization class. OK...So here is our situation. Two things; See is very shy with people. She backs up when people come at her.She does not spook, just backs away. Once I give her a command she is fine. Is that normal? I see other dog just roll over for people. Second, she does not give other dog the time of day. She will smell them and then back away. If the other dog continues to engage Ivy will do a quite growl. Ivy will do that even when the other dog is just trying to play with her. However, Our neighbor's dog who is about the same size as Ivy play like they are best friends. Ivy will see the red truck in the driveway and know the dog is out and will wine to go out and play. Why is she Okay with some dogs and not others. Ivy has never shown aggression. What do you think. I feel like she does not play with other dogs like a puppy. One last thought, I remember Ivy sitting right next to me in the socialization class when all the other dogs were off leash playing. Many Thanks.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Tom, Assuming that Ivy has not had a fearful experience with other dogs and people, and especially since it sounds like her behavior toward other dogs was similar to how it is now even as a small puppy, her aloofness towards others is probably an inherited personality/temperament trait. As long as she is in no way aggressive toward other dogs, but simply communicates when she wants to be left alone and leaves the area herself to avoid confrontation if the dog does not listen, her behavior is fine. Some dogs have more shy and serious personalities. Dogs can also pick and choose who they like. It sounds like she may not like rude, overexcited, or dominant dogs, but enjoys the company of more polite, submissive dogs. That's probably a preference based on her personality. Even though she is only around two years of age she may already have a more serious personality. Although that is less common for her breed, many other breeds are naturally that way even when younger, and even within a certain breed you will have things that fall outside of what's common for that breed personality/temperament wise. I would highly suggest pairing the presence of other dogs with praise and rewards. When she sees or finishes interacting with another dog and is calm give her a treat, and praise her right when she notices the other dog and is being tolerant. She does not have to go play with all other dogs, but just make sure you prevent any true aggression from beginning by continuing to make other dogs being in the area a fun and relaxing thing for her. Do the same thing for her with people. Try to recruit calm people to greet her. Have them approach her and stand about five feet away from her and tossing her treats until she chooses to come over to that person to say hi. The fact that she will relax when you give her a command to greet is wonderful. Continue giving her that command when she is uncertain. That means that she may be naturally shy on her own but she is trusting you to tell her who is safe and that is a good way to manage that shyness. Continue to do that and have people she thinks are strangers calmly toss her treats at your home and when you go places with her. Also, advocate for her with other dogs. A dog can be rude toward another dog even if that dog is simply excited. If a dog does not leave another dog alone when that dog indicates that it's finished interacting, if the other dog is right in your dog's face without backing off, is following your dog around constantly, jumping on your dog, not letting your dog sniff it's bottom back, or approaching your dog with lots of jumping, energy and being in your dog's face, then that dog is being rude toward your dog. Many playful, more submissive dogs will tolerate it, but it sounds like your dog does not appreciate another dog being rude and is trying to correct that dog. She has a lower tolerance for certain types of behavior than some dogs. When you spot those behaviors gently but firmly advocate for your dog by herding the other dog away from your dog with your body until he decides to leave. This will help your dog to relax more and look to you to handle confrontation rather than having to resort to aggression herself when the other dog won't listen. Do that but also work on rewarding your dog for simply being around other dogs when you are on a walk or in public locations with her. You want the presence of other dog's to be nice so she will also relax more. If she gets too snippy with the other dog you can correct her but only while also making the other dog leave her alone. Additionally, continue to let your dog meet other dogs who you feel are safe, but you can minimize her snippy behavior by keeping the interactions to three seconds while on a leash. This gives the dogs a chance to say hi without letting them get competitive and become more likely to fight. You want to keep her socialization up around other dogs, so don't stop taking her around dogs, but it is okay to keep things short to keep interactions positive for her and the other dog. With dogs that she likes continue to let her play. Reward her for her tolerance of other dogs also. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Ivy's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Waffles
Pit bull
9 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Waffles
Pit bull
9 Months

Hello! I rescued my tripod Waffles from the shelter in May when he was about 5 months old. This was right after one of his legs was amputated due to extreme neglect from his previous owners, however he had not shown any signs of trauma or fear from his past during the first few months I had him. Within the past few weeks though, he has become increasingly more aggressive towards other dogs at the dog park and now even on walks. He seems to either get in fights with alpha dogs that "egg him on" or with a dog he is playing with and it just seems to escalade to fighting. On walks once he sees a dog he stops, bows and pounces once the dog gets close and has begun growling and lunging at the dog on a walk. I'm so confused because he has always been so submissive and I don't know what would bring on this behavior or how to correct it. I feel terrible thinking that people could be scared of my sweet boy! Do you have any training tips for this?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Alyssa, There are possibly two things going on here. The first is that he has reached an age where he is transitioning out of puppyhood and into adulthood and instincts like being the alpha dog, fighting for resources, and generally competing are increasing with mental maturity and hormones. The second thing that has likely happened is that he has learned poor social behavior form the other dogs at the dog park. Either he has gotten away with being a bully himself, has been on the receiving end of bullying in some form, or is generally picking up on the unstructured, competitive experience of the dog park. I would highly suggest that you stop taking him there for his own sake and the sake of the other dogs. Dog parks are very unstructured and many of the dogs there are not properly socialized and respectful, which can lead to issues when your dog is learning from those dogs. Some dogs are able to learn to avoid confrontation and have enough of a foundation of socialization themselves from other experiences to cope with the negatives, but many others are effected in a negative way. Instead of going to the dog park anymore look for a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area. A G.R.O.W.L. class is a class for aggressive but non-dangerous dogs who all wear muzzles and are intensively socialized together so that you can deal with the aggression and underlying causes in real time in the presence of other dogs safely, with other owners who are understanding because they have their own dogs with similar issues. If there is not a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area, then you will need to find a private trainer to help you. Look for someone who is a part of a group that has a facility where other dogs are on property so that your dog can train on that property with you and the trainer and be exposed to a large number of dogs under the safe guidance of a trainer. Waffles would also benefit from learning to wear a soft-silicone-basket-muzzle so that he can safely get close to other dogs during training under the trainer's guidance and control. When introduced right, a muzzle should not be a negative experience for your dog. A basket one will allow your dog to open his mouth while wearing it still, and you can even give him treats through the holes. A silicone one will be more comfortable also. Choose a trainer or training group that has a good reputation in your community for dealing with aggression. Not all trainers are knowledgeable about aggression. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Waffles's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Rio
Chihuahua
5 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Rio
Chihuahua
5 Years

I have 3 dogs. The one above (small 8 lb chi/terrier mix), another chihuahua (5 lbs) and a 110 pound german shepard. The norwich terrier likes to start barking and growling at the GSD when he gets up and moves. She snipped at his ankle and I thought the GSD was going to bite her. How do I get her to stop chasing and biting at him

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Janean, Teach Rio an "Out" command, which means get out of the area, and a "Leave It" command. When Rio goes to both your GSD, get in front of her, blocking your GSD, and tell Rio "Out" and point to where you want her to go, then firmly walk toward her, making her back up, until she leaves the area. Defend your GSD and show Rio that you are in charge and not her, so that your GSD does not have to enforce the rules. Once she knows the "Out" command, if she is still persistent about bothering your GSD when you walk toward her whenever she bothers him, then you can get her used to wearing a high quality remote training collar, tell her "Out" when you spot her going over to bother your GSD, and if she disobeys that command that she now knows, then you can correct her remotely with the collar remote. You want the correction to simply be enough to deter her, not a high level correction. I suggest purchasing a high quality collar with at least forty stimulation levels and vibration option. That way you can use the lowest stimulation or vibration that she will respond to. E-collar technologies, Garmin, Dogtra, and SportDog make nice collars. Do not use a cheap, less well known brand, because cheap collars can be dangerous and abusive because of faultiness. Start by simply using the vibration as a correction because that's all that you may need most of the time if she is sensitive. Tell her "Out", vibrate the collar, and then get between her and your GSD and walk toward her until she leaves the area. As soon as she walks away stop vibrating the collar. Do this to show her that the vibration is happening because of her disobedience, and the way for her to get it to stop is to leave the area and obey. If she will not respond to the vibration, then use the stimulation, but use the lowest level that she will respond to and also teach her what it means like I mentioned doing above with the vibration. This level that she will respond to is called her "Working Level". Use the collar on that level or only one level higher than that when needed. Check out the video below to learn how to found her "Working Level". Also, once you have spent the time teaching her what the stimulation or vibration means, then you can simply tell her "Out" from across the room when you see her trying to bother your other dog, and then correct her with the remote if she disobeys your command. If you are consistent, then she should eventually learn to bother your GSD less and less. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cl3V8vYobM Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Rio's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Frank
Shar Pei
9 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Frank
Shar Pei
9 Years

Hi there, I want to thank you in advance for this forum. I've read through all of the questions and responses, and not only are the responses helpful, but it is helpful to know others are having similar issues.

We recently began fostering-to-adopt a 9 year old Shar Pei, who is a huge sucker for lounging around the house and cuddling with people. However, when he's on a leash, he may as well be a 2 year old with all the energy and strength he exhibits. The first issue is pulling. We have only had him a week (which my husband would tell me is too soon to be on a forum), and he has shown improvements, but there is hardly ever slack in the leash. He is very keen on getting to the next smell, or person, or dog...or critter (the most exciting). We've been trying positive reinforcement, stopping when he pulls, walking backwards to have him follow, doing 180 degrees, etc., then rewarding with a treat. It has helped, but 5 seconds later, he still pulls with all his might. So I feel that we are being duped and he knows he will get what he wants if he behaves for 5 seconds :)

Leash pulling is not too terrible to handle, except for when we come across another dog(s) or a squirrel/rabbit/bird/anything small and fast. With dogs, he is very excited to meet them and cannot be distracted from them once they are in his sight. He pulls, barks, howls, whines, drools, etc. Even if I try and stand between them or try and walk away. If he does get to meet them, he usually sniffs for about 5-7 seconds and then is done and moves on. But rarely are owners comfortable with him approaching, for obvious reasons. However, if they are able to meet and the dog pursues after the sniffs are done, he growls. From what I've read above, this is normal behavior and should not be "punished". Does simply removing him from the situation help with this? Or is there more we can do? We also live in an apartment building on the 35th floor and I have so far successfully avoided being in the elevator with another dog, but I worry such tight quarters would be too stressful for him, or cause aggression more serious than growling. If I see another dog on the elevator, I wait. If one gets on, I leave. But I would love it if we didn't have to do this. And I don't want him to not be comfortable around other dogs, or plant the seed that we shouldn't be around dogs (making meetings more stressful).

Lastly, but most importantly/impactful is his prey drive. He whines and barks/howls if I do not let him move toward any small animal. If people are near, they are very frightened, as his bark and slobber can be perceived as scary. Nothing will get him distracted. We've tried treats, having one of us stand between, and also removing him from the situation. It's almost as if he has the strength of 10 dogs with how strongly he pulls.

I feel really guilty because he is such a sweet boy and shows no aggression aside from occasional (1 in 10 dogs) growling. But I am worried with the new close quarters of an apartment building full of dogs, it has the potential to become more serious. I also would like to go for a walk without the mental and physical exhaustion of pulling and being worried about what animal will next throw him into a tizzy.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Marisa, I am so glad you have found the forum helpful! Congratulations on getting a new dog. For the pulling, check out the article that I have linked below. You can continue with the treats, but also work on teaching respect through following. Focus the most on cutting in front of him at a ninety degree angle as soon as his nose starts to move past your knee. He will need to be a bit behind you for this, but walking with that type of structure will also lay a good foundation for reactions around other dogs. There are other turns and stop and changes of speeds you can use and it sounds like have tried, but cutting in front of him is communicating that that's your space and that he should be paying attention so focus on that the most. Follow the "Turns" method from the article below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel For the dogs, work on structured heeling during walks. Also, take him to places with a lot of open space, like a park, and work on drilling his obedience, like Sit, Down, Heel, and attention in quick succession. Stay far enough away from the other dogs that he can still focus on you if you keep him busy with commands. You want him to notice the dogs but for them to become boring background noise after a while. As he improves, gradually decrease the distance between him and other dogs while you work on training with him. The training is to build his focus on you and respect for you, but it is also to give him something other than the dogs to focus on. After puppihood, service dogs are taught to simply coexist with other dogs nearby, not to expect interactions unless given permission. They play a lot during puppihood to learn important things, but calmness is emphasized later on. I want that to be the goal for Frank. Also, see if you can recruit any friends with calm dogs to help you work on his introductions. Check out the article that I have linked below and follow the "Passing Approach" method or the "Walk Together" method. Expect it to take several sessions before he is calm enough to meet the dog up close. That is alright. He only gets to meet when he is not pulling. Also, keep greetings to three seconds unless they are walking together. This is a good rule for him with all dogs. To deal with anything past those types of reactions, I recommend finding a training facility that has access to lots of dogs, especially calm dogs, like trainer's dogs, where they can practice up close extended muzzled greetings. This needs to be done in a very specific way though, where both dogs have to stay calm and your dog is corrected in real time as needed and rewarded for his calm behavior too. This is taught by being able to read a dog's body language and facilitate live interactions in a controlled environment. Unfortunately, it is not something I can teach here, since it will depend on your dog's real time reactions. Another, equally as good option is to attend a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area if you can find one. These classes are for reactive and aggressive dogs who have never seriously hurt another dog. The class is an intensive socialization time, where the reactions are dealt with in real time around a bunch of dogs. Things like heeling around the dogs are also typically incorporated. If you can find one of those classes, that will be cheaper than private training. Sirius Dog Training offers these classes if there is a location near you. Start with those things, if you the pulling does not start to improve some within a month or two, then check out the video below. You may want to try this collar but use it in combination with the above training. It will simply give you more control and help with respect. The producer of that video also has several other videos on proper fit and use, watch some of those also because fit is extremely important in order to use it effectively and safely. Training: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzfzVl2dwWA Fit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23zEy-e6Khg&t=663s Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Frank's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Milo
Eurasier
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Milo
Eurasier
2 Years

My dog has started growling,but only at unresponsive dogs who aren't interested in coming to sniff or see him. He is usually very friendly, but I don't know if it's just his age or the fact he's still intact that he's started growling when they don't want to come over to see him and instead just seem disinterested.

Any help would be great!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ann, I suggest correcting the growling. Giving him a command or series of commands one after another quickly and enforcing that commands, like "Heel", "Sit", "Down", "Sit", "Heel". The commands are to get his focus back on you, increase his respect for you with less confrontation, and help him get back into a submissive position following you again. Also, work on rewarding his focus on you and calmness around other dogs. Work on his obedience with dogs in the background and work on him focusing on you while around dogs using rewards for obedience. You want to work him by practicing obedience, reward correct behavior, and interrupt and unwanted behavior and refocus him on you. When you do the obedience exercises after he reacts badly, do them quickly without treats. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Milo's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Kamikaze
German Shepherd
7 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Kamikaze
German Shepherd
7 Months

Hello,

My wife is a vet and together we help rehabilitate/train/foster animals. We brought KaZ home about 3 months ago and because we were out of town we did a board and train program. I felt it did more harm than good because KaZ came back a timid of other dogs. She tends to grumble at our chow mix and she's jealous when he receives attention. We have used techniques in this article and are doing an obedience class to continue to work on her socialization (her first 4 months of life were not very good and she was slated for euthanasia because of parvo, and unfortunately had some complications from it as well). My question for you is what can we do at home to help eliminate the jealous/protective grumbling in the household. She's the most submissive dog we have in the house right now and even when she does run to our chow-mix she just licks him non-stop. She's an incredible, energetic pup (200-300 active minutes a day)... we just haven't had anything that's really worked and i wanted to try consulting outside. Thank you very much in advance.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Daniel, It sounds like KaZ is very insecure. Boundaries, consistency, and confidence building through respect and trust for you are important for him. Try to have short obedience training sessions with KaZ every day whenever you can. Practice teaching him new things, things that are a bit challenging, and things that require self-control, like "Leave It", "Place", "Stay", "Out", and "Watch Me". After you get through obedience commands, you can always teach tricks too, especially useful tasks. At home, decide what your household rules for both dogs are and enforce the rules with everyone, so that there will be less vying for who is in charge or receiving resources like attention and food. For example, "No dogs are allowed to bother another dog when he wants to be left alone", "No dog is allowed to be pushy for your attention", "No dog is allowed to nudge another dog out of the way or block an entrance or hallway", "No dog is allowed to take another dog's toy", "No dog is allowed to hover nearby while he eats or try to steal his food or treats", and "No dog is allowed for bark for attention". When one of the dogs tries to break one of your rules, then have fair disciplines and be the one to enforce the rules yourself, rather than one of the dogs trying to enforce it for the other dog. For example, if KaZ comes over to you while you are petting your other dog and tries to nudge him away or growl at him, then tell KaZ "Out" firmly but calmly, while you point to where you want him to go and walk toward him until he backs out of the area. Having to leave the area completely is KaZ's discipline. When one dog tries to steal another dog's bone, command the thief to "Leave It", then take the bone back, give it to the dog who originally had it, and make the thief leave the room. When you hear complaints or issues starting, act early with a firm but calm "Ah Ah!", and make the offender comply by leaving the area or doing something else that fits the situation, like going to "Place". When KaZ is being tolerant and calm, then you can reward him by going over to where he is and placing a treat on the floor in front of him while you very calmly tell him "Good Boy". Placing it on the floor will encourage him to stay where he is, especially if he is laying down. You can also put KaZ on the "No Free Lunch" program for a bit if he needs extra help. For this, he simply has to work for everything that he gets. Have him Sit before you let him outside. Have him Come before you pet him. Have him "Watch Me" before you throw a ball. Have him "Wait" before you put his food down. Obedience is a great, non-confrontational way to build trust and respect, especially for new or insecure dogs. German Shepherd also need a job to do, so this helps KaZ have a sense of purpose. Continue your socialization while you work on the home manners also. A foundation of trust and respect for you will help him adapt better when you take him places, but lots of exposure to new things in positive ways with treats and praise is very important since he was so sheltered the first half of his life. It sounds like you are doing great and he is lucky to have you. Keep working at it. You can do this. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Kamikaze's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Obsidian
Labradinger
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Obsidian
Labradinger
3 Years

So my labrador mixed boy is my service dog and I thought we were done with his training until recently. He has always kind of had an issue with loosing focus while around other dogs but I quickly correct him and it hasn't ever been that big of a deal. But a week or so ago we saw a hyperactive tiny fake service dog inside of a public place and my dog started to growl at him. It startled me because we have seen other dogs in public before and he does lose his focus a bit but he has never growled. My thought is that since the dog was behaving poorly it may have startle my dog? Is that a possibility?
My dog was attacked and hurt by a dog his same size and for a little bit we had to work on how he was around other dogs because that stressful encounter really messed him up for a bit but I thought we were past it, I guess not... I really need some advice on this... I really don't want to have to wash him out from his service work. He truly helps me and I know he loves to help me. I just need some help on how to fix his reactiveness towards other dogs so I don't have to worry about bringing him places <3 Thank You <3

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Carolina, I suggest joining a class, such as a CGC class to practice his focus and positive associations around other dogs. A CGC class should work on teaching a dog to be close to other dogs and ignore them. Even though Osdinian probably already knows all of the commands, he needs to be somewhere with dogs under control, where he can practice being close to other dogs and focusing on you, with lots of positive reinforcement around the other dogs for correct behavior, to help him relax around them too. A high quality advanced or intermediate obedience with the right trainer is another option. Find a trainer you trust who does high level obedience, offers classes, and also is familiar with behavior issues like aggression and fear, and ask for a class recommendation or training option that will practice him focusing on you and being rewarding for calmness around other dogs in a close up environment. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Obsidian's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Olly
Golden Retriever
12 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Olly
Golden Retriever
12 Months

Our Olly has been well socialised as a puppy and was always happy to play and walk past all dogs without any problems.

At about 9-10 months old, he suddenly started to growl at another male dog who he had previously played quite happily with. I thought it was just one dog, however over time we’ve found him to growl at more and more male dogs while on the lead walking.

Is this ‘normal’ behaviour for a in tact male dog of this age and how do I diffuse the situation, so it doesn’t become a common reaction into adulthood.

We’re looking to get him neutered and have heard that this potentially may also reduce this kind of behaviour. However, would also like to know what training we can do to stop his growling.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Emma, If his response is only toward other males, then neutering him might help, but as you touched on it's also a behavior issue and may continue even with neutering if not addressed behaviorally. Since the behavior does not sound fear-related from what you have told me (I don't know all the details so I could be wrong), and is only toward males, it sounds like the response toward other males needs to be corrected by giving him more work to do on walks -- focusing on you and walking right at your side with a lot of structure, by showing him that you are taking care of situations and leading the group, and that his attitude toward other dogs is unacceptable, and rewarding him for paying attention to you, relaxing around other males, and not posturing toward males (something with body language that dogs do to compete with another dog they see). He needs his mindset, stares at other dogs, and posturing corrected before he gets into the growling behavior. This can be hard to do without a trainer who knows what to look for present. A trainer should also be able to see when other dogs are challenging him with stares and posturing from further away and work on teaching Olly to focus on you and respond the way you want him to when that happens, instead of engaging with the other dog through aggression. The corrections should also not be done alone or that can just cause frustration. Corrections need to be clearly communicated - so that he understands what he is being corrected for, and paired with positive reinforcement for doing the correct behavior - which can be as simple as staying relaxed around a dog. He also needs his obedience addressed and to work on his trust and respect toward you in general so that he will look to you to handle the walks and dog encounters. Look for a trainer who has experience with aggression, who uses fair corrections, lots of positive reinforcement, and can implement structure and more boundaries for Olly to generally adjust his attitude and help him trust and depend on you more. You want a trainer who also understands aggression that is NOT fear-based. Many trainers understand how to treat fear-based aggression, but this is likely aggression related to hormones and personality - not just fear, so it needs to be treated a bit differently than fear-based aggression. Ask the trainer lots of questions to get a feel for whether they can help you and are experienced in this area. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Olly's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Ambet
Shar Pei
8 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Ambet
Shar Pei
8 Years

My dog was attacked 2yrs ago.She growls,snaps and pulls when a dog is a few feet away.I've tryed to walk the other way but she pulls me.She some time growls at people of they go to clap her on her head.cOm at my wits end what to do.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Fiona, Check out the video that I have linked below for leash walking: https://youtu.be/BGofhEc1YPg See if there is a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area. It's sounds like fear-aggression from being attacked and never learning to re-trust. A G.R.O.W.L. class would be a wonderful, structured environment for her to learn how to be calm around other dogs who also struggle with other dogs - so you wouldn't be interrupting a typical obedience class or putting others in danger, you would have dog-to-dog specific training and socialization, with all of the dogs wearing basket muzzles to keep everyone safe (which are more comfortable muzzles and let the dogs still open their mouths). She needs to learn how to relax around other dogs and look to you for direction. If you cannot find a G.R.O.W.L. class, look for a training facility where there are other dogs present that a trainer could work with you and her around, exposing her to them while helping to change her response toward them and how she feels about them. You want somewhere that you can practice training in a controlled setting, so that you can control how far she is from dogs, safety aspects, and encounters with other dogs. I also suggest working on her respect for you. Check out the article that I have linked below and work on adding more structure to her life while at home too. You want to build her respect and trust for you and set the tone as calm in general so that when she is in more tense situations it is easier for her to follow your direction instead of simply acting on her emotions. Be careful anytime you work with her around other dogs. Some dogs when aroused are less aware of who are touching them or near them and more likely to accidentally bite the wrong person. Pay attention to the obedience method specifically. Although there are great things to learn from all of the methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Ambet's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Sonny
English Staffordshire Bull Terrier
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Sonny
English Staffordshire Bull Terrier
2 Years

Sonny has recently become snappy at other dogs when on the lead. When we go for a walk and encountered by a dog they will sniff each other and he will snap at there face if they come too close to his.
He is not an aggressive dog in any sense and he is more than happy walking beside other dogs it is just when their faces meet. What can I do to stop this snapping? He loves it when we get in his face for cuddles, it is just other dogs! I look forward to hearing from you.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Teisha, First of all keep all greetings to three seconds or less. Anything longer gives dogs a chance to start competing and makes it more likely they will get into a fight. When he greets other dogs keep your own body language relaxed and confident and make sure the leash is slack. Tell him to "Say Hi", let him briefly greet, then quickly tell him "Let's Go!" In a cheerful - confident tone of voice and start walking away. As soon as he turns toward you to follow, praise him and give him a treat. The snappiness might be due to age. Issues like aggression, dominance, fear, and other behavior issues often become most obvious when a dog reaches maturity around two years of age. Now that he is older, the way he interacts and plays with other dogs is also changes from a puppy to an adult. He is likely less tolerant of other dogs pushiness and is also asserting his own dominance. Reward tolerance, be the one to protect him from dogs being too pushy so that he doesn't feel the need to deal with it himself, and generally work on his respect and following of you so that he is more willing to let you handle situations with other dogs and looking to your leadership on walks. When he is behaving calmly around other dogs in general, be sure to reward him for it calmly to help him relax around other dogs even before he meets them. His walks should be very structured, heeling beside you and focused on you and not other things. This will help him defer to your leadership and stay more relaxed leading up to greetings. Be aware that he is also likely less tolerant off leash too right now, so take that into consideration during any other types of interactions. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Sonny's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Annie
Lab mix
7 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Annie
Lab mix
7 Months

We adopted Annie when she was about 4 months old. She is very sweet with people. However, when other dogs sniff her face she starts to growl and has even tried to lunge a couple of times. We have another dog at home that she growled at when they first met, but they get along great now. When they are at the dog park together she is fine and keeps away from the other dogs, but when it's just Annie at the dog park she will growl at other dogs and try to lunge sometimes. How can I stop this behavior?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jennifer, First of all, stop taking her to the dog park. Because dog parks are so unstructured, not all the dogs there are well socialized, and there are so many - which creates packs, dog parks can actually make aggression a lot worse for certain dogs. It can increase fear - it sounds like she is very insecure around other dogs and fear-aggressive possibly. The parks can encourage bullying, rude behavior, and dominance issues in other dogs (which she might have or she might experience from other dogs - which increases fear and bad associations with other dogs. If she aggresses toward another dog she can also create fear-aggression in someone else's dog who used to be social. - Dog parks aren't for dogs with dog issues. You other dog might be totally fine to go but they are not for every dog. She does need to be around other dogs though. Look online to see if you can find a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area. A G.R.O.W.L class is a wonderful class for dogs who have varying degrees of aggression or reactivity toward dogs. All of the dogs wear a muzzle - I suggest a soft silicone basket muzzle because they are more comfortable. The dogs are then socialized together intensively with the help of the owners and trainer. Going on group walks with other dogs can also help change her perception of dogs. The walks remove the direct confrontation of a loose dog running up to her and instead give all of the dogs something else to focus on while together. They promote calmness if you require your dog to heel and focus on you during the walk, so that it is structured and calm mentally, and when the dogs are in a following mode, there is less competing between them. Having these types of experiences with other dogs can help her learn to relax around other dogs, socialize with less stress, and make other dogs a more positive experience. You can gradually introduce a muzzle for the class with food to make the muzzle pleasant and not a big deal for her to wear. Use her meal kibble at least once per day to get her used to wearing it. First, show her the muzzle and sprinkle food on it so that she will touch it. Next, give her a treat whenever she willingly touches it with you holding it. Work up to her putting her face into it by holding treats inside the muzzle through the holes and feeding her through the muzzle's holes. When she is comfortable holding her face inside the muzzle, buckle it and feed her treats through the holes while she wears it, then take it off again. Gradually work up to her wearing it for longer and longer and space your treats out further apart. Practice having her wear the muzzle around the house casually so that she doesn't associate wearing it with just the class. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Annie's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Olive
Boxer
8 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Olive
Boxer
8 Weeks

We’ve had olive for about 2 weeks now, and I’ve noticed she barks and growls at smaller dog breeds. SHe can meet and get along fine with bigger dogs, but on walks she growls at small dogs who try to meet her. She’s fine if I tell her to sit and let them pass but I’m trying to get her to be social and anytime she “meets” a smaller dog, she barks and growls and the other dog owners see her as “mean and aggressive” the smaller dogs always have a more excited energy, but I’m wondering if there’s a better way to indrosuce her to small dogs? I want her to Be a social dog and accept all types of dogs since she will be a bigger breed and aggression to smaller dogs is not a good mix. Any advice?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lizz, I highly suggest joining a puppy class that has a variety of dog breeds (including small dogs) and has time for off-leash play during the class. The off-leash play should be moderated by the owners and trainer to keep puppies from being bullied and encourage confidence. Having the opportunity to play and socialize with a variety of dogs and learn to adjust her play style to accommodate small dogs should really benefit her...Also, the growling might be due to nervousness around small dogs, so socializing around other puppies and small breed puppies can help build her confidence and deal with any fearfulness now while she is young. Puppies interact with one another differently than adult dogs and puppies do. Puppies can learn a lot of things by playing with one another that they will not learn from adults, and those things that they learn often transfer to adult dogs later in life and the dogs grow together. Many puppies are shy and hide during the first couple of play dates together. That is fairly common and continued exposure should help to build her confidence when she watches the other puppies play and starts to feel left out and want to be included enough to try playing also. She might surprise you and feel confident right away too, but don't be discouraged if she takes a couple of weeks to warm up - that is a sign that she needs the class exposure even more and continuing is important. For safety, look for a puppy class that is held indoors and the floor cleaned with a cleaner that kills Parvo and Distemper right before each class. If the area is gated off where older/potentially un-vaccinated dogs cannot enter, the floor cleaned right before class, and each puppy is required to be up-to-date on shots you can more safely attend at a much younger age. Carry your puppy from the car until you are on the cleaned floor where you know it is safe to put her down - since Parvo and Distemper can be transmitted through feces tracked around or through direct contact with other infected dogs. Here are the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior's recommendation on puppy classes and attendance age: https://avsab.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Puppy_Socialization_Position_Statement_Download_-_10-3-14.pdf Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Olive's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Bamba
Goldendoodle
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Bamba
Goldendoodle
1 Year

My dog does not always bark and pull. Sometimes he does. He Also approaches some dogs slowly then sometimes growls but sometimes does not. It's very confusing and I'm not sure how to handle it

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Allie, It sounds like pup is acting aggressive but also a bit fearful. Dogs are all different and the personality, body language, and manner of one dog may be harder for your dog to tolerate than other dogs - which is why pup only responds that way to some but not all. I suggest finding a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area, which is a class for dog reactive and aggressive dogs, who are intensively socialized together in a structured environment under the supervision of the trainer's guidance. Each dog wears a basket muzzle for safety during class. The muzzle can be introduced ahead of time using treat rewards so that the muzzle isn't something unpleasant for your dog. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Bamba's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Cooper
Dalmatian
10 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Cooper
Dalmatian
10 Months

My 10 month old dal has just recently started to be a little funny with other dogs (mainly when on a lead) he is still entire and goes to doggy day care regularly and has done since a few months old so pretty well socialised. There are a couple of his doggy friends who he has always played with there, but recently when he sees them, his hackles go up and starts to growl! Not sure if he's overwhelmed by all the dogs at once so just wants his own space until he's had a look around and got his bearings! he is also quite bad a scent marking when there and has started to chew some of the doggy beds too! When out on walks I am back to basics as his recall has gotten sloppy and is selective when he wants to come back, which I put down to his age! But when he's on a lead and sees another dog he tries to lunge and bark, which i thought was him wanting to play as really is a clown, but again his hackles go up and can sometimes growl at them, so just make him walk on and focus on me whilst treating him for doing so. I believe dogs do go through a second fear phase and wondered if these behaviours could be down to that and if so will this pass or could it be something more? many thanks x

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Helen, There is a late fear period. He might also be having bad experienced at the daycare with other dogs. Unstructured play can lead to bullying, aggression issues, and fear. Some daycare workers are well trained and manage play sessions well, others are not as careful and the dogs essentially do whatever they want during play - which can lead to issues. It could also be related to dominance. He is reaching sexual and mental maturity and that can cause competing and tension, especially between males. I would look into the daycare and ask questions. The issue might not be out right fights but could be constant intimidation from another dog or him being a bully there and getting away with it - which reinforces and rewards him acting like that more. If the daycare situation is fine, then age or fear could be to blame or multiple things. I suggest enrolling in a G.R.O.W.L. class with him, which is a class for reactive (his issue) and aggressive dogs that works on socializion and being around other dogs. Instead of free play with others right now, going on structured heel walks with others would be better. He should be following you during these walks with his head behind your leg - the following position can help him relax and be more submissive around others and depend on you for his confidence instead of trying to control. Some cities' dog clubs, training groups, or meetup groups have regular pack walks - where several pet parents get together to walk or hike with their dogs. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

I have spoken with daycare and thinking he can be a little bit of a bully as he is now the biggest dog there and don't think the play is structured as you say, but able to do more or less whatever they want! There was recently a retriever there who was aggressive when she had a ball so not sure if he's picked that up from her! He hasn't been to that daycare for a couple of weeks now and getting better!

Add a comment to Cooper's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Olive
“Morkie”
11 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Olive
“Morkie”
11 Months

Hi there! Thank you for posting! I really needed to know this stuff.

So, Olive is the only dog I have and I got her when she was 8 weeks. She stayed away from dogs until she had all her shots and everything. So, after her shots I wanted to get her socialized. At first, and even now, she would let them sniff her, and she’s sniff them. But, after that she’d start growling and barking at them! It’s even worse when I go down to pet the other dog. She is so protective... She’s never tried to bite them (I don’t let it even get that far). But it’s embarrassing! Especially when my friends have dogs that they want to bring over. The only dog she doesn’t have a problem with is my grandmother’s dog, which is her actual sister (same litter)...

Thank you so so much!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kylie, Look online and see if there is a G.R.O.W.L. class somewhere within driving distance to you. I highly suggest attending one with her. A G.R.O.W.L. class is a class for aggressive or reactive dogs. All of the dogs in the class wear muzzles for every ones safety and then they are intensively socialized together with the help of a trainer and their owners. These classes help the re-socialization process go faster and the other owners are also very understanding since they too are there to learn with their dog. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Olive's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Henry
Labradoodle
8 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Henry
Labradoodle
8 Years

My dog has always been a really friendly, happy and playful dog. As he has gotten older he has calmed down a lot but still (even at the age of 8) he was usually very much willing to play with any other dog. However recently within the past couple of months or so, he has begun barking and growling at other dogs. And the main problem with this is that he is very large - about table height so fellow dog walkers get very distressed by his behaviour, understandably. Please help Henry and I, it feels odd now walking him because it does not feel like him!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Fleur, Was he attacked by another dog or had a traumatic of scary experience involving another dog? When he barks does he seem frustrated that the other dogs won't come over to say hi, or like he would attack them if off leash? If he seems truly aggressive toward the other dogs, this is completely recent behavior for him, and he did not have any new or scary experiences with other dogs that could have triggered this, I suggest speaking with your vet to make sure there is not a cognitive, hormone, vision, hearing, or pain issue going on, making him feel more anxious or aggressive toward other dogs. If he was attacked then he needs his confidence around other dogs built up again by practicing obedience with other dogs in the background at a distance he can handle and rewarding him for ignoring the other dogs, being calm around them, and focusing on you, then gradually decreasing the distance between him and other dogs that you practice at as he improves, until he can handle being close to other dogs again. If his issue is more severe, then you will need the help of a professional trainer who is experienced with aggression and trauma to help you counter condition him to other dogs, probably with the help of a training facility where you can take him for sessions around lots of other dogs there and control the distance of the other dogs better. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Henry's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Trooper
Heinz 57
4 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Trooper
Heinz 57
4 Years

I adopted my dog through a rescue group and he had been living with a foster for about 3 months prior to me adopting him. His foster had dogs of her own, and assured me that he got along great with the other dogs in the home, and never had any behavioral issues. I've now had him for about a month, and he had been relatively shy with both humans and dogs, and gradually started coming out of his shell. He never had any behavioral issues inside the apartment, so I didn't do very much training in the first few weeks (in hindsight I realize I should have done more). He's always friendly towards humans, but has recently started growling while passing other dogs that try to say hello on walks. I've scheduled an appointment with a trainer in a few weeks, but do you have any tips for what to do in the meantime?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Amy, It is possible that the other dogs are actually the issue if all he does is growl and not attack. If the other dogs are dogs who are pulling their owners over to him, trying to jump on him or get in his face and sizing him up - they are actually not obeying doggie etiquette and in the world of dogs are being very rude. He might simply be telling them to give him space. If that is the case, I suggest learning about doggie body language so that you can recognize such dogs and telling those owners that your dog is "in training" or something similar, and cannot meet. Advocate for your dog so that they do not feel like they have to defend themselves against pushy dogs, and work on rewarding him for tolerance around dogs you know where you can control the situation. If the other dogs are being polite, he is reacting to dogs that he passes that are not paying attention to him, or he tries to lunge toward or act aggressively toward other dogs in other ways, then that is different and a bigger issue. For the rude/pushy dogs situation, reward him for tolerance, teach him to "Say Hi" and reward him after saying hi when he needs to meet another dog. Keep interactions with other dogs no longer than three seconds to decrease fights having a chance to start. You will need a friend's dog to practice tolerance with. Simply start by rewarding him for being near your friend's leashed dog, then reward him for briefly saying hi to the other dog when he is completely alright being near the dog. While practicing have him initiate the say hi and not he other dog rush him. Do not do this without safety measures like a measure if you do have reason to believe he is aggressive and not simply growling to avoid being rushed by a pushy dog - but has never shown any other form of aggression or followed through. If he is aggressive and has issues with other dogs when they are not being rude or reacts to dogs strongly if they do get close, then I suggest a respect protocol for leash reactivity. Check out the video linked below on leash reactivity. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXLPwyKEjHI Hiring a trainer who is very experienced with aggression and leash reactivity is a great idea, because in this case it is hard to say exactly what is going on without being there to see how he reacts and what is going on. Without knowing what is going on I cannot recommend either training protocol confidently. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Trooper's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Juno
Chihuahua
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Juno
Chihuahua
2 Years

My dog Juno is fairly new in the house, only been here for about 3 or 4 weeks. He has adjusted very well - eating, going outside, knows general rules. The only issue is that whenever my other dog Nick gets too close or comes into my room where Juno 'lives' (we keep him in my room because he barks at any and all outside noise, as well as this issue) Juno barks and snaps seemingly aggressively at Nick. He doesn't seem to actually bite him, and Nick doesn't growl or snap back. Nick is a bigger dog, a border-collie/blue heeler mix that is very friendly and has been with us for many years. They are fine when they go into the backyard together, no growling or bad behavior. I assume this is a territorial thing, and i've tried disciplining Juno, but it doesn't seem to be working. Please let me know what I can do.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Rubi, It does sound like Juno might be possessive of you and the area. If so, he needs to work on his respect for you so that nothing is his to claim and you are making and enforcing rules for dogs, and not him. Check out the article linked below. You can incorporate all of the methods if you want, but at least forcus on the "Working" method with him. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Also, I suggest teaching him the following commands and incorporating those into the day with him, especially when your other dog is around. 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 Teach "Leave It" from the Leave It method from this article: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite When Juno starts acting aggressively toward Nick, make Juno leave the area. Tell him "Ah Ah", "Out", and then walk toward him until he backs out of the area he is guarding. If he is being possessive of you, walk toward him and walk him out of the area you are spending time in. Once he is out of the area, stand firm to block him from coming back, then go back to where you were before. If he comes back without being invited, quickly walk him back out of the area again. Repeat this until he will stay several feet away - out of the area you told him to leave. When you are ready for him to come back, tell him "Okay!", encourage him back over if he wants to come, then have him do a command like sit before petting or paying attention to him again - Only practice the walking toward him if he hasn't shown any aggression toward you. If he does show aggression toward you, hire a trainer to help you with this part to avoid being bitten. If he guards the furniture, work on teaching him the Off command and do not allow him on the furniture right now. I also suggest feeding him in a crate with the door closed when the dogs are together to avoid food guarding and fights too. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Juno's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Honeydew
Chihuahua/Terrier
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Honeydew
Chihuahua/Terrier
1 Year

Hi there!

I've been fostering Honeydew for about a month and this week I will be taking her to meet a potential adopter. She is a sweetheart with every person she meets, very curious and trusting. Around other dogs, however, the same cannot be said. The potential adopter has another dog, and I'm extremely nervous about how that meeting is going to go. When Honeydew first came home, she was extremely timid and had a couple of mild interactions with other dogs during walks, but often would let out a little growl, at which point I would just scoop her up (she weighs 10lbs) and walk away. As she became more comfortable with me, she became more reactive towards other dogs, growling and even barking at everyone. When I got her, she was in heat, which I think contributed to the dramatic shift towards reactivity/aggression. Two weeks ago she was spayed and while things have calmed down a bit, the growling and some barking still happens. Over the weeks, she's gotten much better at walking on the leash it's become easier to avoid other dogs. When we do cross paths, I would say about a third of the time I can get her to walk past another dog without making a sound, or I can distract her with a sit command and some cuddles. When she does growl I pretty much always just pick her up to cut it short.
What can I do to help the meeting with the potential adopter go as smoothly as possible?

Thank you so much for your help!
-First Time Foster

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Rachel, If she is leash reactive then the aggression might be related to her being on leash near you. If she is aggressive even when not on leash that is something more serious that is more likely to effect her living with another dog. I suggest introducing the dogs by walking them together across the street in the same direction, then gradually decreasing the distance between them as they relax around one another. This walk should be structured with the dogs heeling and being calmly rewarded for focusing on you instead of each other. Once the dogs are walking on the same sidewalk together and relaxed, you can let them sniff noses briefly while their leashes are slack, then give them something else to focus on, like moving again. The goal here should be for the dogs to be calm around each other and not to be best friends that play. The later is something that might happen eventually but do not expect or push that now. Check out the "Walk Together" method from the article linked below for more details on how to do a parallel walk with the dogs. https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Be honest with the potential adopters. Even if things look good during the introduction, the dogs will require work together and a lot of separation and supervision until both dogs are completely at ease with each other. Without that, a fight may occur which will only make things worse. Do not pick her up when she growls around other dogs between now and then also. She should be gently corrected in that instant, rewarded when she is calm around other dogs (especially before she has had the chance to act aggressive and still looks relaxed while the dog is far away), and given something else to focus on around other dogs, like working on obedience like heel with lots of turns and stops and treats, to get her attention back on you. Working on her obedience during walks like you have been doing is great. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Honeydew's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Nickel
Aussie Heeler Mix
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Nickel
Aussie Heeler Mix
1 Year

I have two dogs, both aussie/ heeler mixes. One, I have had since she was 4 months old. I took her to the dog park often as a puppy and it really helped her to this day. I walk my two dogs in the forest often and off leash. My female either will kindly approach another dog and sniff and wag or completely avoid a dog she has no interest in. My male on the other hand, lunges and barks at other dogs in the forest. I adopted him when he was almost a year old in October. I have taken him to the dog park twice and he seems to do well there and not bark/ lunge. He is a little invasive when playing but he does very well otherwise. I am not sure why, though, in the forest, he insists on lunging at other dogs. I have tried to get him to sit off trail with me and my female dog when a stranger and their dog passes and distract him with a treat. This works well, but when I do not have a treat he will resort to his usual behavior. I would like to be able to have him address dogs like my female dog and not carry treats on our runs, but he does not seem to take after her actions. I was thinking of taking him and just him on a walk past the local dog park to practice walking past dogs. Do you think this is a good plan?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Laney, Done correctly practicing heel and obedience past other dogs can be great, but only if the other dogs are contained with a fence or leash so that you will not risk having strange dogs approach your reactive dog all the way. If the dog park dogs are inside of a fence, then practicing structured obedience outside of the fence with the other dogs in the background can be good. Avoid going inside the fence to play with the other dogs at this point though. The unstructured, unpredictability of dog parks can make reactive dogs worse. Work on heel especially while around other dogs. You want to incorporate a lot of turns, ensure that he is following right next to you or behind, and not in front - him being behind you puts him in a different mental posture than him being in the front so this can be important for aggression. Check out the turns method from the article linked below. You want to work him hard enough with pace and direction changes that he has to stay focused on you to keep up. When he starts to pull ahead, as soon as his face begins to move past your leg, turn 90 degrees in front of him - if you wait too long you will not be able to turn in front of him. If you are worried about being bitten when he sees other dogs, do not do this - consult a professional trainer to help you and look for a G.R.O.W.L. class to attend. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel When he can ignore the dogs while heeling and practicing commands like sit, down, watch me, and stay, then use a long leash to work on his heel, come, distance stay, and other commands where you are not as close to him but he still has to listen to you. Do this in a spot where other dogs will not be likely to walk by. Also, look online and see if your city has a G.R.O.W.L. class anywhere nearby. In these types of classes a bunch of reactive or aggressive dogs are all socialized together and practice obedience while they wear basket muzzles for every ones safety. These classes can be a quicker way to work through reactivity (which is more what it sounds like he has) an aggression. He also needs to practice obedience on a long leash with other dogs in the distance to increase your level of off leash control around other dogs though. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Nickel's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Charlie
Labrador Retriever
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Charlie
Labrador Retriever
3 Years

Hello, my husband and I recently adopted a 3 year old chocolate lab a little over a month ago. She was very anxious at her new home for the first few days. We have 2 small dogs inside & when we initially tried to introduce them Charlie was growling at our smallest dog as she likes to sniff dogs faces. She snarled & showed her teeth. We have had her in our garage & recently got her spayed. We tried to introduce them again on a walk and for the most part they were all wagging their tails, once again Charlie did a small growl at our smallest dog (Molly) as Molly was sniffing her face. Is this something to be concerned about? I am concerned for her safety and would hate for Charlie to bite her. How can we train her to not growl at our small dogs or potentially become aggressive towards them? Other than this situation she has been a great dog, very mellow & sweet, always wanting to please.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Alicia, Whether you should be concerns partially depends on what her body language was like while growling. Many puppies growl during times of excitement and arousal. It is very possible that the growl was her way of expressing pent up excitement and a desire to play, but that she hasn't learned the correct canine social manners to initiate a play with a play bow instead. This is similar to a dog barking in another dog's face or humping them to try to get the other dog to chase them and play. It's a sort of nervous and excited behavior. That's not to say your other dog appreciated it though. If it was a harmless growl your other dog might have interpreted it as threatening. You would have to watch your other dog's body language to see if they stayed relaxed, acted more submissive, or acted more aggressive in response to the growl. If they stayed relaxed or got playful, they probably understood that the puppy wanted to play. IF the growl was not playful, this is something that needs to be addressed. It either means she needs a lot of socialization around other dogs and there is a degree of fearfulness, or she is a pushy and dominant pup potentially. If pushy, I suggest working with a trainer now to establish structure and rules to prevent future issues from ever cropping up. Ideally, you would have a very experienced trainer evaluate the two dogs together in a similar situation again, and if the trainer is in agreement, also enroll her in a puppy class that has time for off leash puppy play each week. This play time should be a time where the trainer and owners moderate the puppies to keep them from getting too rough or frightened. The exposure when done right can help puppies who bully learn to be gentler and frightened puppies gain confidence. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Charlie's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Gus
Yorkipoo
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Gus
Yorkipoo
2 Years

Hi there! Ok so Gus used to do so well with other dogs, as we started him in training as a puppy. Then one day we were outside in our front yard and our across the street neighbors who have 2 German shepherds opened their front door and even though they claim to be dog trainers the German shepherds ignored commands and ran across the street surrounding my yorkipoo Gus. I probably didn’t help the situation by semi panicking and picking Gus up but I was afraid even though they weren’t showing aggression he might get stepped on or hurt. So of course now he reacts whenever he sees another dog, growling excessively. We recently moved and there are multiple dogs in the neighborhood, one being right next door. We have been trying to help him, getting him back into training. Of course he does ok in class. But as soon as we get home and see a dog it’s back to square one. I’m not sure what to do I feel so bad for him because it makes him seem “bad” and “aggressive” and he’s such a good and sweet pup. Help would be appreciated!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Courtney, I suggest finding a trainer who has access to a number of well trained, calm dogs of various sizes and breeds, who can come to your neighborhood and pretend to be a stranger walking there dog. Read references and reviews and make sure the person is experienced with fear, aggression, and reactivity. Check out the article linked below. I suggest practicing the "Passing Approach" method first, then as he improves, use the "Walking Together" method. If you are worried about safety, then have him and the other dog wear basket muzzles at first until you feel confident he will do well. Practice with the same dog until he is comfortable with her, then have the trainer bring a new dog, or even have a different trainer from the same training facility bring a different dog so that the walker couple is completely new. You want to convince him that other dogs are normally fine by providing enough calm, positive, structured encounters with other dogs that they become boring again. Interrupt him with a correction as soon as he starts to react poorly toward the other dog, and reward calmly when he is tolerant of the other dog passing or walking parallel nearby. Only decrease the distance between the dogs when he is acting calm at the current distance (this often takes a lot of passes and walking parallel before the other dog gets boring enough for them to calm down completely). Expect it to take several sessions for him to be relaxed enough around one dog to be able to move onto the next dog. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Gus's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Meeme
French Bulldog
6 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Meeme
French Bulldog
6 Months

Cries and then barks at other dogs on a walk

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lottie, I suggest joining an obedience or puppy class with her and working on focus on you, heel around distractions, and socialization around other dogs in a calm way in and out of class. The whining and barking sounds like a lack of socialization and also just a need to practice focus on you around others. Reward her when she looks at another dog and stays quiet or looks back at you instead of focusing on them. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Meeme's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Laika
Lab x Kelpie
15 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Laika
Lab x Kelpie
15 Months

My 15 months old Lab x kelpie growls at smaller dogs on walks and at bigger dogs on a walk and dogs she knows. Also, she has started to growl at my 11 years old dog who she attacked last week. My 11 years old dog will sniff her bum or stomach and she will growl.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ella, I suggest working on respect and calmness to begin with.. Check out Jeff Gellman from SolidK9Training. Have Laika work for everything in life right now - food, walks, toys, ect...Command her to do a command that she knows, like Down, before you give her anything she wants. Follow the Working method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Teach an Out command which means leave the area and attach a chew proof drag leash to her while you are home so that you can enforce your command, or use a basket muzzle. When you tell her Out whenever she is being pushy or aggressive you need to be able to enforce it without being bitten. Take precautions to avoid being bitten, not only for your safety (which is reason enough!) but because every time she uses aggression then gets what she wants she is essentially rewarded and the bad behavior continues. Out command how to: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Chew proof leash option: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004HIM4RI/ref=twister_B0058G36O8?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1 Also, work on commands that build respect and improve self-control. When you walk her she absolutely should be right beside your leg or a little behind and not in front AT ALL, even if that means walking her in a cul-de-sac or your yard using the "Turns" method from the article linked below for a while. A walk has a big impact on how a dog views themselves and others and she needs to be following you and not in front looking for dogs to react towards. Whenever she tries to move in front of you, turn directly in front of her at a ninety degree angle. You will need to do this as soon as her head starts to move past your leg - if you wait until she is too far out it will be hard to do. When she is walking she should be a bit behind you so that she is looking at you and not scanning the horizon for dogs. Also, work on the following commands to improve her impulse control, calmness, respect and trust for you - so that she will take directions from you on a walk and let you handle encounters with other dogs more. 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 Finally, I suggest looking for a trainer in your area who is experienced with aggression. Read reviews and ask questions because many trainers are not experienced with aggression or are only experienced with fear-aggression, which is probably not the only thing happening here. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Laika's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Coco
Kelpie X
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Coco
Kelpie X
1 Year

Hello my dog coco was well socialised and very playful with other dogs as a puppy. At about 6 months of age she discovered ball retrieving and is obsessed with it. She’s now 1 years old and has began to snap at other dogs who come up to her in the park while she’s playing ball. Both when she’s running for the ball or has it in
her mouth.
When the ball throwing stops she’s ok socialising again.
Any tips for this behaviour problem?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Serena, If you are playing ball in a dog park, stop. Most dog parks have rules against bringing outside food or toys in because it is known to cause fights and lead to resource guarding. At a normal park, if other dogs are simply off leash and running up to her while you are there, then teach her a stop command that means the game is paused, and stop the game whenever another dog approaches. Put the ball away during this time until the other dog is gone. Practice this with friends and their dogs and pair the presence of other dogs with something else that she loves - like certain types of food, and have her only get that wonderful thing when she is told to "Stop" or "Pause" or "Say Hi" and the other dog appears. You want her stop command to prepare her to shift to doing something else and to make that something else something that she expects to be pleasant and not stressful - which is why you want to pair the change with something rewarding. She will need to practice being able to shift from a high intensity ball mode to a lower key play mode though - this can be hard for driven dogs and needs to be practiced over and over on a long leash with friend's before doing it around unknown dogs. You want to decrease the stress of other dogs appearing and help her learn to make the shift from high intensity to lower intensity quicker. It's important to have a calmer reward for this, so that she enjoys the "red light, green light" type training and doesn't simply feel like you are taking the ball away for no good reason. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Coco's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Hemingway
labrador chow
2 Years
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Hemingway
labrador chow
2 Years

My dog is a young rescue. He loves to play with other dogs so much that one of the foster's condition for me adopting him was that he have a space to play with other dogs. However, whenever I bring him to the dog-run, he gets super excited but then starts growling menacingly at the other dogs that come to greet him. Sometimes I can get him to stop and then enter the park and he plays for hours and is fine. Sometimes, we have to just leave.

Additionally, while my dog is playing with other dogs, if the playing gets too rough, he starts growling again and becomes aggressive. At that point, I completely lose control of him and have to drag him away in a frantic way.

I just adopted him a week ago and he was neutered about 6 weeks ago. I am thinking these two things definitely play a part, but I just have no idea what to do. The absolute last thing I want to do is keep him from the dog park, as it is clear once he calms down that it is his favorite place to be.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Meghan, It sounds like he is getting too aroused. Honestly, what he needs is to be a part of something more structured with other dogs for a while until he gets used to being calmer around other dogs so that the park is less stimulating for him. I suggest checking to see if meetup.com or a local dog club or training group hosts any dog walking groups or dog hiking groups. Practicing a structured heel where he walks slightly behind you and focuses on you while in a group of other dogs can satisfy social needs but do it in a calm way that is challenging him mentally too by requiring him to stay focused on you and calm. It can also giving him a sense of purpose traveling with the other dogs. A calm and purposeful activity with other dogs instead of an unstructured, highly arousing activity can create a calmer mindset in him when he is around other dogs in general after a while. If you cannot find a walking group or create one with neighbors or friends, then doing a group obedience class with lots of other dogs is the next best thing. The issue is him becoming internally over-arousal, so excited play will only make that worse. What he needs is calm activities for a while and a break from the dog park while he practices those calm things, then he may be able to go back to the dog park once he has learned to enjoy interacting with other dogs more calmly. Although over arousal can start as fun, once it gets too heightened it leads to fights, which then creates fear-aggression which means no more playing period. Simply keeping him away from the dog park without doing something else that is calmer and structured with other dogs will likely not help on its own though - he specifically needs to practice being around other dogs in a calmer way while taking a break from the highly arousing things. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Hemingway's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Dolly
Shih Tzu
7 Years
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Dolly
Shih Tzu
7 Years

Hi Dolly is a very friendly dog to humans but when we go for walks and I live on a busy High St we encounter other dogs.
She gets very worked up screaming barking and lurching. I did let her go up to sniff another dog and she bit his ear.
Off the lead she enjoys the company of other dogs, chasing and playing with them.
She has encountered a large dog who wasn’t on a lead and she was. She was pinned under my legs in terror.
How can we all enjoy a walk!

She is a shih tzu cross Maltese

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Emily, What you are describing is leash aggression, and is likely related to fear. First, work on her respect and trust for you so that she feels like she can trust you to protect her again and will listen to commands better. 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 Listening: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Next, see if there is a G.R.O.W.L. class within driving distance of you. A G.R.O.W.L. class will help her get used to being around other dogs on leash again. All the dogs wear basket muzzle's to keep everyone safe and they are socialized together more quickly. If you can't find a G.R.O.W.L. class, then you will want to work with a trainer who has access to well socialized and calm dogs to gradually teach your dog that other dogs are pleasant to be around around. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Dolly's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Bella
German Shorthaired Pointer
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Bella
German Shorthaired Pointer
2 Years

My dog Bella is friendly to other dogs at the dog park but when we are on a walk and meats a new dog then she growls and snarls when we go up to meat then am and her hackles come up how do I stop this behavior and have her meat dog and be friendly

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ashley, When she meets other dogs on leash she is in a vulnerable position. Many dogs are reactive on leash even though they are fine off leash. The leash keeps the dog from being able to move around freely, it prohibits some normal canine interaction - like sniffing bottoms instead of just heads, and it's very direct-face-to-face interaction opposed to a more relaxed introduction. Greeting other dogs on leash too often actually can make leash reactivity worse for some dogs when no done right. Dogs do not all need to meet each other. It can cause issues for some. Instead, focus on going on heeling walks with other dogs, introducing them using the passing approach and walking together methods from the articles linked below: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Also work on generally teaching calmness around other dogs while in the same area like a class or park, and when introductions do need to happen teach a "Say Hi" command, reward your dog dog when they obey the Say Hi command, keep the greeting to only three seconds, then give another command such as "Let's Go" and move on, giving a treat when your dog does well and follows you away. The longer you stay, the more time dogs have to get past the initial meeting and move onto being competitive and defensive. You want to keep introductions short and pleasant and avoid dogs that are rude toward your dog and rush them. The goal is to create a calm/relaxed/focused on you state of mind around other dogs while on leash. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Bella's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Archie
English Springer Spaniel
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Archie
English Springer Spaniel
2 Years

My dog loves being off lead at the beach and in the fields. Recently he has started attacking dogs as soon as they sniff him (either end). His jaws are open and he is angry barking. I now have him on the lead for walks and don't let him near other dogs, but want to get him back off lead.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ailsa, You need to hire a professional trainer who has their own well socialized dogs, to help you with this behavior. This will likely involve her wearing a basket muzzle during training. Look for a trainer who uses both positive reinforcement and fair corrections. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Archie's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Titus
pitbull
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Titus
pitbull
3 Years

Our dog used to be the most friendly dog and would pull or whine to say hi to every dog. We adopted him at age 3 and are unsure about his past but we know that he was attacked in his last time and was relinquished. We have never had a problem with him in the past and brought him to doggie day care, dog parks, and off leash areas. All of a sudden he know growls at other dogs and will occassionaly snarl, lunge, and chase while attempting to "bite." He still runs up to all dogs and wags his tail and will then just start growling and running after other dogs. We do not know when this happen or what triggers it. It went from being rare to now a common occurrence even on daily walks. We no longer take him to the dog park and pull him aside or try and cross the street when passing other dogs. After he acts like this he continues walking and wagging his tail. I am unsure if it is an aggressive behavior or just a more rough play style he has developed. He recently has developed other odd fears such as a fear of loud noises and any objects above him in the home or on the streets. We also just moved to a new apartment complex that he is not acclimating to well. His aggression is worst in the dog park in the apartment although these traits started prior to our move. We cannot afford a private trainer and want to know if we do more training while walking and avoid parks if we can overcome this and it is an odd phase he is experiencing. Thank you.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kaitlin, The tail wagging isn't necessarily friendly. If it is a high and stiff wag, then it can be a sign of arousal and excitement or even dominance. Look for relaxed body language. Most dogs that are playing have relaxed muscles or give a play bow first. Stiffness, freezing, being puffed up, staring, stiff short wags, and trying to look large can all be signs of potential aggression, a fearful dog can also look small with a tucked tail. Check out the three trainers' video YouTube channels. The aggression may have started because of something that happened at doggie daycare or the dog park, or may have come with age and sexual maturity - which is command between 1-3 for dogs that are prone toward it. Regardless of what started it, it's important to know if you are dealing with fear, dominance, possessiveness, or another type of aggression to get an idea of what approach to take. Most aggression needs a combination of structure and boundaries through obedience and consistency, desensitization through positive reinforcement, and fair corrections - done in a safe way so you do not get bitten. Always take safety measures to prevent being bitten when dealing with aggression, safe management, a basket muzzle, remote training, back tie leashes, ect... Sean O Shea from the Good Dog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZbdrQd--wo Jeff Gellman from SolidK9Training: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tiHairtYUc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8juiJ-Hq8dI Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Titus's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Blu and Lui
hound mix - Bichon Frise
7 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Blu and Lui
hound mix - Bichon Frise
7 Years

I have rescued two 7 yr old bonded pair. One is named Blu (hound mix) and the other is named Lui (Bichon Frise). How can I get Lui to stop peeing and pooping in the house. He's peeing all over my furniture legs, table and chairs, sliding glass door track..every where. He's pooping on my patio after he's been let outside in the morning or evening.

Blu is showing his teeth to my golden and little guys (chi mix) and has scrapped with one of the little ones, never breaking skin but now he's the fear in the my little ones. She actually started showing the teeth at first, he would turn around and ignore her but one morning i was preparing breakfast for them and I heard barking, growling and yelping...that was the 2nd day the new guys have been with me and now she is afraid of him and wouldn't come if he was near me.

What can I do to make them get along..he's a good boy and listens very well, as soon as i heard it i told him Ah Ah Out and i put him on the porch for less than a minute and brought him back in and when he came back in i made him sit until breakfast was done being plated.

I want to give them a forever home but not at the risk of my dogs. Oh he also is peeing in the house.....HELP! Debbie

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Debbie, First of all, both dogs need to be crate trained for the peeing and pooping issues. It could also help set the tone for respect, giving your current dogs some space, and building calmness while they are adjusting. Check out the crate training method from the article linked below. Follow the method carefully. Since they are not puppies anymore you can adjust the times in the method, and take them potty every 3 hours while you are home, and up to 6 hours if you have to be gone during the day - once they are trained they should be able to go a little longer than 6 hours if they have to due to your schedule, but if you are home stick to every 3-4 or so hours. After they potty outside, give 1-2 hours of supervised freedom outside of the crate before returning them to the crate until time for the next potty trip. Anytime you take them potty (on a leash) and they don't go, return them to the crate and try again later - pottying outside = freedom. Decrease the amount of time they are out of the crate for if they have accidents during that time. Crate Training method for potty training: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If the peeing is marking and not just needing to go potty, buy a belly band for the male (sling that does over a male dog's private parts to catch urine and stop the spread of scent) and diaper for the female (more likely just to be the male dog who is marking) and have him wear that inside as well. The belly band should discourage him from being able to spread his scent. Also keep him tethered to you with a leash so that you can interrupt him while he is wearing the belly band if he tries to pee. For the aggression, the new dogs should be put in doggie training boot camp, along with any of your current dogs that try to cause issues as well. Work on teaching a Place command and have the dogs work on staying on Place for 1-2 hours. Give them a food-stuffed chew toy some of the times they are on Place - Practicing place can calmly help with respect issues, calmness, impulse control, and prevent situations where there are fights while the dogs are getting acclimated to each other. Don't let the other dogs pester them while they are on place - or have the other dogs also learn place and stay on their place mats too some. Check out the article linked below to help establish some structure and consistency in your routine with the dogs. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Teach all the dogs the Out and Leave it commands. Out means leave the area. Use those commands to tell the dogs when they should give each other space. Out command article: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method from article: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Decide what your house rules are for all 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 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 dog growls at your pup, make her leave the room while also disciplining pup for antagonizing if needed. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of the dog's - you want them to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and to respect each other because you have taught it to them and not because they resorted to aggression. Pay careful attention to Blue and what seems to set him off? Is it a dominance issue, resource guarding people, food, toys, or something else, them being in his space, ect...? Once you know exactly where the issues lie it can help you treat it more specifically too. If it's resource guarding, ect... additional training is likely needed to tackle that particular issue as well. Feed all the dogs in separate locked crates to avoid stress and fights around food. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Blu and Lui's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Raiden
Pit bull
4 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Raiden
Pit bull
4 Years

Hi, my dog is becoming increasingly more and more aggressive with our other dog and cat. He is constantly growling if they even move. We dont think he can see well and he is an anxious dog so we think that a lot of it is just his anxiety. But its still unacceptable and its constant and exhausting. Two fights have started but no blood is shed. However I'm afraid he is going to bite someone. What would you suggest?

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

Hello, I suggest a vet visit first thing to ensure that Raiden is not experiencing a medical issue that is causing the change in behavior. It is very important to rule that out. A round of medication, if needed may solve the issue. Perhaps he needs anxiety medication, too, and there is nothing wrong with that. In the meantime please be sure the cat has an escape route to safety. As well, it is recommended that you separate Raiden from the other two before something serious happens. I believe that a trainer used to aggressive/anxious dogs is the solution to the problem. I imagine you know yourself that this behavior cannot go on. For Raiden's sake too, not just the other pets. Consult a behaviorist/trainer without delay. I hope all goes well for you and your pets.

Add a comment to Raiden's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Gino
Chihuahua x Yorkshire terrier
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Gino
Chihuahua x Yorkshire terrier
3 Years

Even as a puppy Gino had growled at other puppies at a puppy party. He also growls at people he's seen before and has known since he was a puppy. Some dogs and people he is fine with and can walk past them without any trouble. However other times he will growl at them, he is especially wary of children or people who pays attention to him. Also he'll be happy to see me then will growl, usually he's ok with me. When he meets some dogs he will be fine to sniff them and then will start growling. Other than growling and barking Gino is a well behaved dog. What can we do?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Gina, It sounds like the issue is genetic. I suggest hiring a trainer who specializes in aggression to evaluate what's going on. You need someone who can watch his body language and figure out if the growling is him being pushy and dominant, fearful, or possessive of things. Exactly how you train will depend on what else is going on and someone needs to evaluate him in person to answer that and come up with a plan. In general you can work on increasing trust and respect for you with him. There are probably other steps that need to be done, and I would hire a trainer to evaluate him first to get an idea of how to adjust the following training and whether you need to take safety precautions like a basket muzzle while training to avoid being bitten, or if the growling is more an expression of nervous energy or something more minor. Building a dog's trust and respect for you helps a dog trust you to handle situations, and also deals with possessiveness that many aggressive dogs are displaying - where they basically view you as theirs and are trying to keep others away from you, like a dog would do with a toy they are guarding. A structured heel and a solid - long Place command are probably the two most important commands for you to practice as far as obedience goes right now. Your walk needs to start out super structured. No scanning the horizon for others or checking out from your dog. He needs to be slightly behind you, focused and following you, and working during the walk. Place command is a great impulse control building command, and has the bonus of helping to build respect and calmness, plus helps manage behavior when people come over. Work up to him being able to stay on Place for 1-2 hours. How you teach these commands matters - with reactivity or aggression issues, calmness, business-like attitude, and slightly firm is important - but not anger, yelling, or unnecessarily roughness. 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 If he is generally a bit nervous, then some confidence building exercises may also help his overall attitude. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elvtxiDW6g0 The trainer in many of the videos above also has other videos on fear aggression and reactivity. An example of a structured walk with a reactive and aggressive dog: Reactive dog - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY8s_MlqDNE Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Gino's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Chloe
Maltese
12 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Chloe
Maltese
12 Years

Chloe is new to us from a shelter. She growls and bares teeth at our 3 other dogs. Will this behavior improves as she trusts the other dogs? What should we do to avoid returning her to the shelter?

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

Thanks for the great picture! It's understandable that Chloe feels threatened and unsure. Moving into an established household with 3 dogs can be daunting. I would take the 4 of them on pack walks often so that they can all get used to each other on neutral ground. Let them walk apart from each other and after several days, start moving the pack closer together. Before you know it, they'll be friends. Take a look here for tips: wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs-1. And here: https://wagwalking.com/training/get-along-with-other-dogs. She needs lots of positive reinforcement and understanding as she fits into the family. Good luck!

Add a comment to Chloe's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Arlo
Shiba Inu
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Arlo
Shiba Inu
1 Year

My shiba gets along with most dogs however he shows instant dislike to some dogs- especially puppies. He also seems to growl at dogs when my partner and me are around more. For example when we pick him up from doggy day care and another dog comes near us he will get aggressive even though they have been fine all day. Additionally my mum recently got a puppy and arlo growls at him and has even bitten him when I was playing with the puppy and arlo walked by. Would getting him neutered help? I’m lost at what to do as my parents always looked after him but now don’t trust him around their puppy.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Tania, Neutering may help by decreasing certain hormones that can increase competing and aggression - but this is also a behavior problem (many intact males do get along fine with others with the right training). If the aggression is primarily just toward other males, neutering will help more, but since it's toward puppies the most - that's more behavior probably. It sounds like he is resource guarding you - which is actually a respect issue with you. He may think he "owns" you and is being possessive of you and not wanting others around you - like a dog would do with a toy. I suggest hiring a trainer to help you build his respect and trust for you, associate puppies with good things, learn better rules and boundaries in the homes, and correct the aggressive attempts. This needs to be done in a way that keeps other dogs and puppies safe - with the right precautions around them to avoid an attack. You can start by adding more structure and boundaries into his daily routine by having him work for what he gets - especially your attention, by having to do a command like sit first. Practice staying in Place for an hour - gradually working up to that long. Do not tolerate pushiness and demanding your attention - make him leave the room. Practice structured walks where he focuses on you and stays slightly behind you - following you during the walk. When he is in the same room as pup, have him stay on place, attach a leash to something secure nearby or anchor it to an eyehook screwed into a stud in the wall, reward ignoring the puppy and tolerance and relaxed body language while pup is in the room; correct staring intently, signs of aggression, and outbursts. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Working method and Consistency method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you 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 Aggression video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpsEwePWEeQ Place with aggressive dogs - notice the back ties to keep dogs safe just in case. When looking for a trainer ask a lot of questions about how they train and experience with aggression - many trainers are not experienced with behavior issues or aggression other than fear aggression. This is probably more than fear aggression. Read reviews or ask for client referrals from those who have had issues with aggression and were helped by the trainer. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Om_I8ei6pCA

Add a comment to Arlo's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Harlow
Boxer
3 Years
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Harlow
Boxer
3 Years

Harlow is okay with dogs that she sees all the time and plays with them really well. However when we go for a walk or are around other dogs she’s on alert and does okay until the other dog growls then Harlow goes after the dog. She doesn’t bite she just growls and tries to be on top of the other dog. I just don’t understand why she does this. Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Whitney, The aggression could be fear related - a sort of get them before they get you response, or dominance driven and she is responding to their bad energy. Either way you want to encourage focus on you and ignoring them - you want her response to be let you handle situations she finds unacceptable instead of outbursts to deal with it herself. First, pay attention to her energy and the structure of your walk from the start. Walks need to look super structured and business-like for her. Her focus should be on you and not on scanning the horizon for other dogs. Expect a solid heel out of her where she is paying attention to where you are and slightly behind your leg and not in front scanning for dogs and things. Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Second, pay attention to her body language on the walk. Is she tense, relaxed. I suspect when she sees other dogs that aren't growling although she isn't acting aggressive, she is likely tense and waiting to explode if they do the wrong thing. If she is overly focused on other dogs and tense, work on getting her attention back on you while you pass other dogs - before an explosion or bad situation. You can do this a couple of ways. You can give her something else to focus on by running through obedience and a lot of pace changes and direction changes in heel really quick until you can tell she is tuned back into you completely. This is often done fast-paced and almost drill -like. You can also correct staring, tensing up, and general more subtle signs of aggression (look for things like tense muscles, mouth closing, staring, tail changing, and loosing focus on you). Remind her to focus back on you and not worry about the other dog. If she passes another dog calmly and totally ignores them - especially if the other dog is being aggressive, give calm but genuine praise and a small treat if she wants the food. The walk basics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo&t=100s Dog Reactivity and redirecting aggression to owner - Pet Convincer and gentle leader as interrupter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfiDe0GNnLQ&t=20s Dog reactivity - prong collar as interrupter - watch videos on how to properly fit and use also. A prong collar when used correctly shouldn't be a super harsh tool: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZbdrQd--wo Dog reactivity with lots of barking - e-collar as interruptor: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/good-dog-transformations/how-we-work-through-leash-reactivity-with-the-wild-and-crazy-ozzie-2nd-session/ Third, work on commands that build your relationship with her and help her learn impulse-control to give her the skills to depend on you to handle situations and stay calm. 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 Finally, be her advocate. If a lot of rude dogs are allowed to come up to her during walks and overwhelm her, advocate for her and make the other dogs leave if off-leash, or tell owners she is "in training" if their dog's energy is bad (overly excited and rude, aggressive and tense), or you can tell by her body language that she doesn't want to interact calmly. Keep any greetings you do allow with well behaved dogs to 3 seconds, then tell her "Let's Go!" cheerfully and leave; give a treat when she follows to set the tone for wanting to follow you next time too after future interactions with others. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Harlow's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Frankie
miniature dachshund
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Frankie
miniature dachshund
1 Year

when my dog comes close to another dog he growls and lunges at them after approaching them of his own accord. He also backs away when people approach him and barks at them. This is becoming an issue as people see him as aggressive when he isn't at all. He has never done anything to anyone, I just believe he is scared and anxious

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Calvin, See if you can find a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area. Those classes are designed for dog's with dog aggression or reactivity, where all the dog's wear basket muzzles and are intensively socialized in a structured environment together. I also suggest practicing passing other dogs from a distance, doing heel work. Interrupt pup when they stare, tense up, or react poorly. Reward whenever pup is focused on you, ignoring the other dog, and has calm body language. Do lots and lots of passes until both dogs can stay focused on heeling and relaxed while passing. As the dog's improve, gradually decrease the distance between them, but keep them focused on heeling and not on sniffing each other. You want them to both be working and calm while walking, not interacting directly. All of this should be on leash. Passing Approach and Walking Together methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Frankie's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Stella
Black Mouth Cur Mix
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Stella
Black Mouth Cur Mix
2 Years

My dog does great at the dog park and also loves going to doggy daycare but she can not seem to get her walks under control. We live in a very dog friendly neighborhood and she seems to growl at every dog she sees. When we first got her 8 months ago we did leash training and she got better but she seems to be reverting to her pervious behaviors. I can not tell if she is wanting to play or if she is just very anxious/ nervous with the other dogs. On top of that she walks like she is a 14 year old dog, thus I feel like I'm pulling her along with me on our walks. I have been debating getting a prong collar and a muzzle but I feel that may be drastic. Any suggestions?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Carrie, Prong collars and muzzles are great tools when needed, but they also need to be paired with the right training and are not for every dog. It sounds like the behavior is either a form of leash reactivity (acting aggressive but actually fine once close to dogs? - it's generally caused by anxiety, excitement, or frustration), or she is resource guarding you and not wanting other dogs to come close to you - which is a respect issue with you actually. Pay attention to her body language. Does she look confident - ears up, stiff, chest puffed out, tail raised, standing tall? Does she look nervous - ears down, tail stiff and lower (may not be tucked all the way), less tall looking, possibly avoiding direct eye contact with other dogs? Does she look relaxed despite the barking and growling - relaxed muscles, relaxed tail, perked ears or in between being perked or lowered, generally not stiff or tense looking. Confident looking is more likely to be frustration or resource guarding. Nervous might mean that she feels trapped on leash and is reacting to the restraint around other dogs or the environment if something unpleasant happened with another dog while on leash. Relaxed is more likely excitement and protesting not being able to rough-house with the new dog and play. All of these are generals and not guarantees though since I cannot evaluate in person. In all situations you want to teach her that her behavior is unacceptable using a careful form of correction, but what comes next will depend on why she is behaving that way, and whether you need a muzzle will depend on how aroused she is and likely to redirect a bite toward you - when in doubt use a basket muzzle. If she is nervous, then using positive reinforcement once she is calmer again will be important. Whenever she does well around other dog you would reward her, practice passing the same dog with a good amount of distance between them, work on a focused heel, and reward whenever she responds calmly in the situation - to desensitize her to other dogs and build confidence. If she is excited, then manners and respect need to be tackled, to teach her what is and is not acceptable during the walk, work on impulse control and calmness, and help other dogs become a bit more boring - teaching her to ignore them. Check out the article linked below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcwvUOf5oOg If she is frustrated or resource guarding you, having her wear a basket muzzle during training would be a good idea because she may redirect aggression toward you (although a fearful or highly aroused can still redirect too). For these behaviors, desensitizing and working on manners is also important, but a foundation of respect also needs to be laid and the entire training process is a bit more business-like, with a no-none-sense approach. 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 Video - practiced more while not around other dogs first: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Examples of handling dog reactivity situations in real time (with proper safety measures in place as needed!). This trainer also does the above respect building exercises like Place, crate manners, ect... Hire a trainer if you don't feel confident or comfortable doing the training on your own, are not willing to spend a lot of time learning about aggression and reactivity first, or if things get worse and not better: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfiDe0GNnLQ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo To introduce a muzzle use pup's meal kibble and pair it with food a couple of weeks ahead of time. Reward pup first for touching or sniffing it. Reward for placing face in it when you hold a treat through the holes. Reward pup repetitively while pup holds their face in it for longer. Reward for letting you buckle and unbuckle. Reward for tolerating it staying buckled (a basket muzzle should let you pass treats through the holes to pup). Stay on each step until pup is comfortable before moving onto the next step. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Stella's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Sofie
Mix
10 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Sofie
Mix
10 Years

Can you tell me why Sofie growls at small dogs? She's a 70 lb. Goldendoodle and is fine with big dogs like herself but she acts so angry around little dogs. It's really embarassing and I'm sure scary to the small dog and it's owner.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Constance, It could be related to socialization - if she wasn't exposed to a lot of small dogs in a positive way while a puppy she may feel suspicious around them. Perhaps she got into a fight with one at some point and associates all small dogs with that trauma. She could be prey driven toward a small dog - this is not very common though. A lack of socialization is the most likely cause but honestly it could be a number of things. For example, a dog might be socialized around adults during puppyhood but if they are never around toddlers they might be fear aggressive toward toddlers - in the dog's mind toddlers are not the same as adults. Small dogs may be different than big dogs to your dog. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Sofie's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Jasper
Terrier Mix breed
8 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Jasper
Terrier Mix breed
8 Years

I have an eight-year-old mix breed we just got him fixed .. he keeps growling at my pug which is also a male last night he almost attacked my pug I had to hold him so he wouldn’t go after him he would kill my pug he growls we can’t go outside he growls at my other male dog which is fixed also and won’t let him eat

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kathleen, It's time to hire a professional trainer to help you. Look for someone who does private training or board and train and will work one-on-one with you. Check out Thomas from the Canine Educator, and Jeff Gellman from SolidK9Training on Youtube. Both trainers specialize in aggression and have dozens of videos on aggression - going into far more detail and information than what I can here. Look for a trainer with that type of experience if you can find one within traveling distance to you, to work with you in person. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Jasper's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Remy
pit bull lab mix
9 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Remy
pit bull lab mix
9 Months

Hello!
I adopted my dog from a shelter about a month ago. She is a Pit Lab mix and is young at 9 months old. She is generally a total sweetheart and is fairly well behaved in most areas. However, one issue I have faced recently is that she growls and gets overly excited(anxious?) when she sees another dog. In the first few weeks she was actually very good with other dogs, but as time has passed she has started becoming worse. I live in an area with many dogs so its starting to become a bit worrisome that I have to be on constant guard that she doesn't scare someone else and their dog. She tends to pull on the leash a bit and as she gets close she begins to growl and sometimes lunge. I try to pull her back and make her look at me while I say, "No!" multiple times. I then walk away and make sure she follows. I was curious if you had any suggestions as to how to improve her behavior. Thank you

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Nikhil, First, how you start your walk with pup and your overall relationship with pup is very important here. I suggest working on pup's attention on you and calm respect for you at home initially. The following commands and generally being very calm, consistent and a little firm when needed can help build respect without a lot of confrontation, just structure and clear boundaries. 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/ Working and Consistency methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Second, work on teaching pup a structured heel and enforcing that heel when there aren't other dogs around - this not only helps with the pulling, but it also helps pup trust you around other dogs and not be in an aroused state when coming across other dogs - so that pup can stay calmer. A structured heel means that pup walks slightly behind you, with their nose behind your leg, focusing on where you are moving and not scanning the horizon, looking for others. Not pulling is not enough on its own - walking behind you is needed. Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Third, when you start you walk, start it off calm and focused. Make pup sit or wait patiently for you to clip the leash on, make pup wait at the doorway and not go through until they are given permission and actually paying attention. Correct any scanning the horizon and tuning you out. Calmly reward focusing on you - it treats over-excite pup just calmly praise in a soft, calm voice. Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Finally, in addition to the above (which lays the foundation for other training to be effective), check out the videos linked below on leash reactivity and aggression. I suggest hiring a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues, aggression, and leash reactivity, who comes well recommended by previous clients, and uses "balanced training" - which just means both fair corrections and positive reinforcement, opposed to only corrections or only positive reinforcement. Always err on the side of positive reinforcement if you can't find someone experienced and recommended who uses both though. Reactive dog - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY8s_MlqDNE Aggressive dog - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Remy's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Bentley
Boston Terrier
5 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Bentley
Boston Terrier
5 Years

Bentley used to never growl or show teeth at other dogs until about a year or two ago. He was socialized young and has doggy friends in the neighborhood but dogs he doesn’t know now, he goes straight for growling. It’s almost instant. He has never actually done anything to a dog but I know it scares other owners and it’s just upsetting. We got another Boston almost a year ago and since then it has seemed to get worse. The puppy is deaf and does not respond to Bentley when he growls to get him to leave him alone. I don’t know how to stop his behavior and would love tips!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kaitlyn, First, figuring out why Bentley is growling is important. It could be aggression, it could be reactivity (acting aggressive due to frustration or arousal but actually fine with other dogs once they meet), or fear. If it's fear, working on building pup's confidence through things like building respect for you through training, structure and boundaries, and activities that challenge pup to learn new things and overcome new experiences - like agility obstacles and certain types of tricks. As well as helping pup associate the appearance of other dogs with good things. Practicing things like the Passing Approach method from the article linked below with other friend's well behaved dogs pup doesn't already know. Reward pup when he first sees another dog - before he growls or tenses up. Correct pup for staring, scanning the horizon for other dogs, and reacting poorly toward them, remind pup to focus on you instead and follow you. Reward pup for being able to stay calm while passing another dog also. Passing Approach - don't meet the dogs at the end of the training if pup is actually aggressive - just practice passing and a calm response. https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs This approach is also good for a lot of leash reactivity, but a lot of structured obedience and boundaries are also needed: Starting your walk off with pup being calm - having pup perform obedience like sit and down to calm pup down before leaving if needed. Working on waiting at the door instead of rushing out, then practicing heeling behind you - with his head behind your leg, where he can't scan the horizon for other dogs, ignore you, and become as aroused. 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 Work on teaching your younger dog Out - which means leave the area. Since pup is deaf focus on pointing toward where pup should go as a hand signal, instead of the Out command, and enforcing the command with your body language like the article talks about doing for dealing with pushy behavior: Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ I also suggest teaching your puppy to respond to a vibration collar. You can teach pup that whenever he feels the vibration from the vibration collar, that he should look to you - giving a treat whenever he looks at you when he feels it to condition his response. Once pup has learn that vibration means look at you, you can follow that up with a hand signal telling pup what you want him to do next, like Out, Come, Heel, Place, Sit, Down, ect... Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Bentley's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Max
Collie
4 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Max
Collie
4 Years

I got my collie from a puppy. When I lived with my mother. She got a litter ate (female) too. They lived together well until 6 months of age when lily began snapping and max and running at him particularly when it was feeding times. Sadly lily died from meningitis believed to have been contracted before birth.
Fast forward and My collie lived with my mother for 2 years when I had to move and was renting. During this time my brothers dog Malaki (husky alsatian) was living there as well. Increasingly Max began resource guarding his food. They were fed separately but Max will charge at the door to check Malaki is not near it and cannot come in. That’s one issue. This has not escalated to other times and areas around the house Max will suddenly for not obvious reason snarl, growl and snap/charge at Malaki. How do I stop this from happening? I have since bought my own place and Max will be with me and no other animals but I am concerned about this behaviour as he has nipped my mum who stood between them once. Max is otherwise really really affectionate, loves meeting people and other dogs. Is a lease puller and a car chaser but I will also deal with that but for now really worried about the resource guarding despite being separated for meal times and the rising aggression toward Malaki who is an absolute softy.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Siobhan, The resource guarding is something I would hire a professional trainer to help with. I suggest setting up scenarios with other dogs around food and doing a combination of rewarding and correcting Max's responses. The other dog needs to be calm and well mannered ideally. Starting with lots of distance between them and the other dog walking past - rewarding Max when he stays calm and ignores the other dog, and correcting with working level e-collar stimulation corrections (working level is the lowest level your specific dog indicates they can feel the collar - which is determined ahead of time). I would have Max on a back tie leash around the food so that he can't get to the other dog and no person has to be close enough to him to get bitten while doing this. I would also correct with a high quality e-collar instead of something else so that there can be distance between who is correcting and Max while practicing this. Toss treats for every good response and correct tensing, staring, growling, lunging, and any other challenging or resource guarding behaviors. As pup is corrected for this some, normally the dog begins to display the unwanted behaviors less frequently. At that point, continue the training but because pup's responses are better, the training will be more positive reinforcement - desensitizing him to the presence of the other dog with time. Check out the video linked below for an example of a dog who resource guards around people. The training with another dog is a bit different but you can see an example of the dog being corrected for aggression and rewarded with food when doing well. Hire a professional trainer to help you do your training. The situation from the video below is a bit firmer than yours will be because if involves a dog with a history of biting people. https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-out-command/ Follow up with Out training example: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/good-dog-transformations/an-update-on-the-out-command-with-kaspar-the-resource-guarder/ Finally, working on pup's overall respect and trust for you can help. Check out the articles and videos below, including heeling info. Always be very careful when dealing with any type of aggression because you are correct that a dog can redirect their aggression toward someone else who is close by in tense situations. 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 Working and Consistency methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Max's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Hank
Shepherd/lab/collie
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Hank
Shepherd/lab/collie
1 Year

Hi! My boyfriend and I got Hank about 6 months ago. He is such a good dog and is generally very well behaved. We try and bring him to the dog park everyday bc we understand that he needs to exert his energy. Whenever we get to the dog park tho, he starts to whine (it seems to be out of excitement?) and when we get to the dog park he sniffs everybody and has his tail wagging for the most part. He also raises his hair on his back a little when dogs run towards him, but still has his tail wagging. We always bring his ball and throw that around because toys are his motivation and the only interest he has in the world. If another dog goes after the ball and gets there first, generally he just lets them get the ball and turns around. But sometimes when other dogs try to play with him with his ball in his mouth or chase after him in general, he lets out a little growl and a high “yip” and kind of bares his teeth seeming as though to tell them to “back off”. Other times when he goes to play with other dogs, which is seldom, because again, he’s very toy driven, he’ll run w his mouth open and try to yip at them and it doesn’t 100% feel playful to me (but I’m also not a dog). He is not food motivated AT ALL when toys are involved or at the dog park even if it’s a nice treat of people food, and isn’t the best listener at the dog park, but is overall pretty good! I’m just reaching out to see what we can do to minimize these somewhat stressful encounters because he seems to be able to coexist w dogs and doesn’t snarl or growl all of the time, just isn’t the nicest and most well mannered that i would like him to be.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Dana, My answer is probably not what you are looking for but the honest truth is that most dog parks ban toys and food because it creates resource guarding. That's exactly what is happening here and isn't surprising. When he is chasing the ball, he is in an intense, driven state and doesn't want to be interrupted. When another dog interferes, in his mind he is telling them to leave him alone. If you were in your own fenced in yard and this was happening between your dog and a friend's dog, you could teach both dogs to honor the other's retrieval and to not chase after the ball when it's not their turn. In a dog park you can't use the tools, like leashes, to work on that safely - dog parks aren't good places to train! The training needs to be in place before you go to keep all the dogs safe. The mix you described him as is a mix of driven herding breeds. He is "working" when he is going after the ball and doesn't want to be interrupted. The chasing behavior you described is also herding related. Many herding breeds don't play the way other breeds typically do. They desire to control the movement of the other dogs because they were breed to do that with livestock. He is probably trying to control their movement. It's not necessarily mean or aggressive initially, but it's also not typical play. If another animal doesn't cooperate with a herding dog's attempts to control them, the herding dog may escalate his attempts and do things like body slam, nip, or grab another dog to get his point across - again the motivation is trying to control. Another dog isn't likely to appreciate his attempts to control though and in those situations it would probably lead to a fight if he escalated. Finally, his whining, wagging, and hair raised on his back are all signs of arousal, especially if the wag looks rather stiff instead of loose and relaxed. This doesn't necessarily mean happy nor aggressive - it means that your dog is very aroused and on edge. Probably a mixture of stress and excitement for many dogs - but when I see that I do typically watch the dog very carefully until they relax to make sure there isn't about to be a fight with the dog so on edge during initial encounters. It may not even be your dog starting the fight but another dog's response to your pup's body language. It's not a super unusual reaction. I often see dogs enter a group of dogs feeling this way. Some dogs are just more tense and feel more defensive, but it sounds like he overall handles himself well most of the time. With all of this said, there might be better ways to exercise him, that he would actually enjoy just as much or more than the dog park, and it would leave him feeling calmer afterwards. If you want to continue going, I suggest only throwing a ball when the park is empty during off-times. When there are other dogs, I don't recommend using either food or toys at the park. A dog park is also a terrible place to do most training because treats, corrections, toys, and leashes used in the dog park can lead to fights many times. Instead, work on any training that needs to happen in another location with a friend and their dog - where you can control the variables, prevent fights, and keep everyone safe. Some things he may enjoy is joining a canine sport, such as flyball, agility, herding, disk dogs, or dock diving. Going on structured walks and hikes with him - where you implement obedience training into the walk to stimulate his mind, playing fetch in locations without so many dogs off-leash around him or at times when things are less crowded, playing soccer with a softer ball with him, creating your own obstacle course in your yard and training him to go through the obstacles (If you have a yard), teaching tricks that are a bit physically and mentally demanding to challenge him. It would probably be worth purchasing a long training leash so that you have more options with training while still keeping him safe in places that aren't fenced. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Hank's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Nash
Australian Cattle Dog
12 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Nash
Australian Cattle Dog
12 Weeks

We got Nash 12 days ago. Nash came from the humane society. He is now crate trained, potty trained and is working on some basic commands. He understands sit but when he is distracted he doesn't stay seated. He likes people, he is excited to meet our cats but they are not quite ready. We want him to be good with other dogs. We thought that being at the kennel he would be used to other dogs but this is not the case.

We just tried to introduce him to our neighbors dog. She is a boxer and is very calm. Nash was aggressive, barking, growling and lunging. Nash was on a leash and Josie was not. She did keep her distance and you could tell that she really wanted to meet Nash. Unfortunately, Nash was not ready. Do you have any suggestions as to how we should get them to know each other? Both our neighbor and us have 10 acres of land so, I would say that we have the space to let them get to know each other. We really want to be able to bring Nash to a doggie day care, right now he is with my parents during the day but we want to socialize him with other dogs. Any. Help would be appreciated.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kim, Check out the article linked below and follow the Passing Approach method. Once the dogs are passing each other calmly, switch to the Walking Together method, and practice the walking together method until they can walk side by side. Go on frequent walks with the other pup until they are doing really well together. As they do well together, watch their body language and allow some moderated play if things are going well and the aggression is a thing of the past: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs I also really suggest hiring a trainer to work with you guys. I would want to know if pup was truly aggressive or just didn't know how to respond to the other dog and was nervous. At 12 weeks of age the aggressive response can still be improved with the right training and socialization, but if pup doesn't get the proper training and socialization you are probably headed for aggression as an adult and the longer you wait the harder that will be to change. You need someone who works somewhere with lots of other dogs and puppies, who can quickly help pup get to the place where they can be around other dogs and be a normal puppy with other puppies. As soon as pup can safely be around other puppies, enroll pup in a puppy kindergarten class that has time for good, moderated off leash play. Puppy REALLY needs to be playing with lots of other puppies at this age to prevent future aggression as an adult. Playing with puppies is also very different than interacting with adult dogs. Puppies play differently and teach each other different things than adult dogs do, so puppies are really the key at this age and playing is where it's at. The heeling walk introductions are just the first part of the equation to get pup comfortable enough that he can be around other puppies. I can tell you guys are dedicated, keep up the good work! Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Nash's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Rosie
Cocker Spaniel
8 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Rosie
Cocker Spaniel
8 Months

She growls at my 8 yr old cockerspaniel who is quiet but yet she will lay next to her with me on my chair. How do I stop the growling?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Loraine, I suggest teaching both 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 both 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, aggression, 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 - but at least puppy, 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. 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 both 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, no bothering another dog when they want to be left alone, 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 one dog growls at the other, make her leave the room while also carefully disciplining the other dog if they were antagonizing 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. When one dog is being tolerant of another you can give the tolerant dog a treat while the other dog isn't watching. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Rosie's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Hope
Labrador Retriever
5 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Hope
Labrador Retriever
5 Years

She won't stop aggressively barking at my German shepherd who we have had longer then her. When she was 2 she got hit by a car and 3/4 of her legs don't work properly all of the time. But, I feel as if she still should get away with acting the way she does. I don't want to have to bring her back to the shelter but I also think that may be our best choice. So that neither of the dogs get hurt.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Beth, I would first speak to your vet to see if there is some unaddressed pain or nerve damage that needs/could be addressed that is related to the behavior. Once that's addressed, I suggest hiring a professional trainer who specializes in aggression. Honestly the outcome is probably related a lot to how much time and work you are willing to put into training pup, and to whether something medical is going on and getting that managed if so. Pain is a common cause of unexplained aggression but definitely not the only source of aggression - but could be part of the issue. I am not a vet though so 6ou will have to speak to your vet about anything medically related. Check out Jeff Gellman from solidk9training and Thomas from the canine educator. Both have YouTube channels with lots of free videos to get a better idea of what's involved with aggression cases. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Hope's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Chance
Lab mix
5 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Chance
Lab mix
5 Years

My male dog was always a happy dog and loved all people and other dogs. However, over the past two years, he had become more nervous around other dogs and will always growl at them. He is still very friendly with people, but I can’t get him to stop growling and wanting to leave the area another dog is in. He knows it is wrong, but can’t seem to stop.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello David, See if you can find a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area. A G.R.O.W.L. class is a class for dog reactive or dog aggressive dogs, that focuses on intensively socializing the dogs together to help them overcome their issues with other dogs more quickly. All of the dogs wear a basket muzzle in class for every ones safety and the class is very structured to facilitate learning and calmness. You can also work on desensitizing pup to the presence of other dogs - spend time in a location where other dogs are in the background at a distance that your dog can tolerate. Practice high focus obedience with positive reinforcement with pup - such as a very focused heel, sit-down-stand repetitions, Watch Me, and recalls and stays on a long leash. Heel will most likely be the best command to practice the most if you utilize a lot of changes of pace and turns so that pup really has to tune into you and not the other dogs - reward pup with treats or play for focus on you and obedience. Correct and redirect to working with you if he starts to fixate on another dog. As he improves and the other dogs become more boring, position yourself closer to where other dogs are at subsequent training sessions as he is ready - only decrease the distance a couple of few feet at a time to make sure that pup can still tolerate the other dogs and stay focused on you. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Chance's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Gromit
Unknown
4 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Gromit
Unknown
4 Years

We have recently got a rescue dog, we have another dog in the household and they get on really well. On walks he's fine with other dogs, how ever he gets possessive of me if another dog comes and says hello to me. For example we were sat in a park and a dog he's met before and was fine with comes and says hello to me and he starts growling and if the dog persists he'll snap. Not attack but just growl and snap. I ignore him and fuss over the other dog but not sure what I should be doing to show him it's not acceptable. As I said he's fine any other time with dogs.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Claire, I suggest having a boot-camp between you and pup for a while to build their respect and trust for you, while also working on directional commands and getting pup to the point where he can obey them reliably. You want to add in a lot more structure and boundaries for now, working on things like the working method linked below, teaching both a 2 hour long Place, directional commands like Off, Out (which means leave the area), Down, Leave It, and Off, so that you can tell them where they should and should not be in relation to being pushy with you or other dogs. Work on the things below to increase respect for you very calmly - since pup may think they own you to an extent since they are resource guarding you around other dogs, but once pup's respect for you is improved, and pup does respond well when you interact with another dog, you can also reward pup for staying calm - only reward calm body language and attitude though - not tensing up, growling, shoving, or otherwise trying to control the situation and trusting you to handle it. Working and Consistency methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you 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 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/ Keep a drag leash on the dogs when you are present if they won't listen to your directional commands once learned well. Calmly lead the dogs where you told them to go as needed by picking up the end of the leash. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Gromit's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Malachi
Labrador Retriever
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Malachi
Labrador Retriever
1 Year

We rescued Malachi from Humane Society I worked at when he was 6weeks old. He came from an outside unwanted litter that was never handled. They owner of mother was goin I’ll g to abort them and instead brought them to shelter at 6 weeks before she had to start feeding them food. We fostered him and decided to keep him. He was raised in our home with 2 pugs. One of the pugs is a rescue that has no eyes and was in bad shape when we got him. So Malachi has been around them from 6weeks old. He even got in bed with them and slept with them. We take him to doggy daycare, he has been through 3 rounds of training (puppy, intermediate and intermediate 2.0) we have weekly play dates with other dogs, he goes with us to stores and whereever he is able to go.
No matter how much socializing and training he still will not stop jumping on people and growling at every dog. He loves to play with other dogs but he acts like he is going to attack every time he sees a dog. I have to walk through store with water bottle in hand giving him the atat sound and squirt his butt. He growls at our pugs when they walk by. I don’t know what else to do. People give us horrible looks like why did you bring that aggressive dog in here. He is really a well behaved, snuggly, sweet dog and loves to play. The jumping is frustrating but I Don’t know why he has to be so mouthy. When I know what he would really like is to play with them. He starts with a grumble soon as he sees them but then curls his lips back showing teeth and growling starts. His Dna has 12% Each Golden, Eskimo, Bichon and the rest black lab. Hoping maybe you have something we could try.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sena, How does he do when he actually meets the other dogs up close? The answer to that question will shed some light on whether you are dealing with reactivity (fine off leash when they actually meet) vs. aggression. Check out Sean O' Shea from the Good Dog and Jeff Gellman from SolidK9Training. Both specialize in aggression, with Jeff having the most experience but a bit more abrupt teaching type when it comes to the humans. They both have free Youtube channels in addition to other educational resources on their own websites. Their videos include topics on fear aggression, other forms of aggression, reactivity, rude behaviors like jumping, and more. It sounds like you have done a great job socializing. unfortunately certain issues can also be genetic - that doesn't mean all hope it lost but might explain the dog issues despite a lot of effort. A new approach might be needed, which you can hopefully find by learning more from those or other trainers who have more comprehensive resources like videos to demonstrate techniques and methods. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Malachi's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Rusty
Goldendoodle
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Rusty
Goldendoodle
3 Years

My dog is a very sweet dog but when I take him for walks he gets really energetic and growls when he sees another dog. I try to cross the street but he is too strong and pulls. and when I try to introduce a new dog for training, he growls and tries to bite. When i tell him to lie down or offer a distraction, he wont take his eyes off of his target.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Maria, Look online and see if you can find a G.R.O.W.L. class within driving distance to you. A G.R.O.W.L. class is a class specifically for dog aggressive and dog reactive dogs who all wear a basket muzzle during the class and are intensively socialized together with a lot of structure to help overcome their issues. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Rusty's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Rockie
Berger Picard Terrier mix
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Rockie
Berger Picard Terrier mix
1 Year

I have been taking Rockie to dog parks since she was a pup and she has a lot of experience with many sizes and breeds of dogs. Lately however, she turns on some dogs when they come over to do their greet & sniff. She will get right in there to try & sniff them, but then growls and/or barks & lunges when they try to do the same. We have left 2 dog parks in the last 2 days because of this - what could be causing this suddenly and what can I do to remedy this behavior? TIA!

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

Thank you for the question about Rockie. The fact that this is a sudden and unexpected behavior makes me think there may be a medical reason. I would take her to her vet and discuss the problem. It seems that she is sensitive to them approaching her now and because she was always friendly before, you want to make sure her health is okay. How is she at obedience classes? Does she get along with the dogs there? If she hasn't done any training yet, now is the time - a certified trainer who works in the philosophy of positive reinforcement can get to know Rockie and help her through this period if it is personality-based and not medical. Training classes will also help you and Rockie form an even better bond and she'll learn commands that will keep her safe (and also make her feel secure). Good luck!

Add a comment to Rockie's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Olivia
Mix
4 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Olivia
Mix
4 Years

We rescued Olivia about 3 months ago. Not much is known about her background - all we know is that she was found on the street. She was very nervous in the shelter, very shy but eager to get close to us. After we took her home, she adjusted well. We have taught her several commands, she generally knows what she is and is not allowed to do inside the house, and the walks are improving too. She is a nervous dog outside and hypervigilant. This still needs some work but has improved significantly, and we are patient. We now have a new issue. Firstly, when she gets excited, she gets very excited. She loves to play and she plays rough. When she encounters other dogs who do not have the same energy and are not inclined to play, she now growls and barks at them quite aggressively. She goes to sniff them first, the other dog often sniffs back, and then she just goes mad. I am very unsure how to deal with this. I want to ensure she is socialised well but how do I teach her how to play with others? My fear is that she not only does not know how to play with others but that she is becoming aggressive and might bite a dog who does not want to play. She is never off leash because we do not have total recall yet because of her excitement.

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

Thank you for the question and so nice of you to give Olivia a loving forever home. It does sound like she is doing well and that you are taking the time to give her what she needs. Good for you for starting her off with her basic commands. I agree that you keep Olivia on the leash for now until she can adjust her behavior - with your help. You are wise to inquire about socializing; I think that is exactly what she needs. The most effective and safest way (since Olivia is showing aggressive tendencies) is to take her through positive reinforcement obedience classes. Not only will this enable Oliva to learn how to get along with others, but it will also give her the confidence she needs. I would ask other dog owners in your area for recommendations. As well, you can ask Olivia's vet for recommendations. too. Being in a controlled (but fun) environment will give Olivia the tools she needs to succeed (and you will learn how to handle her well in every situation. Good luck and have fun!

Add a comment to Olivia's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Churro
Dachshund
9 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Churro
Dachshund
9 Months

Churro recently started to growl at dogs as we approach. It used to be the odd dog however it turned into all dogs. When he sees them from afar he stops and stares but you cannot break his focus even with treats or trying to get him to walk the other way.

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

Churro is a cute little munchkin! Thank you for the question. There could be any number of reasons for this behavior. Churro could be anxious or protective, or maybe he just does not know how to react around other dogs. He will benefit greatly from positive reinforcement obedience training and this will give him a few things he needs. Socialization with other dogs is one, and the knowledge of commands that will keep him safe is another. Sit, down, stay, come, and heel are essentials in a dog's life and heel will come in particularly handy when he is out on a walk with you and sees another dog he wants to growl at. Attending classes will allow you to meet people and perhaps learn of a group that walks together - this would be good for Churro because he will not be focusing on one dog. He'll also sense the pack mentality and see the other dogs getting along, thus fitting in with them. This is a good article: "How To Train Your Dog To Greet Other Dogs" https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs. Remember this will take time and it is good that you are addressing the problem now. Speak to the positive reinforcement training instructor about it; they will get to know Churro's personality and how to address it in a way that is good for him to pick up easily. Have fun training and enjoy your pooch!

Add a comment to Churro's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Henry
Mini Goldendoodle
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Henry
Mini Goldendoodle
2 Years

Hi there,
I have a 2 year old doodle named Henry. He is GREAT with people, very loving and snuggly. He's wonderful with kids, traveling, social settings; however when it comes to bigger breeds or high energy dogs, he becomes agressive either growling or snarling. He won't bite another dog but he will show teeth and growl. I have socialized him since he was a puppy and even bring him to work but this is still an issue. He has some good dog pals he would never growl at but for strangers dogs it makes me uncomfortable. He has had a couple scary encounters where a bigger dog has tried to pin him down at a dog park and a parade. I'm not sure if this is defense from trauma but he shouldn't do this to all dogs. He is an only 'child' so he doesn't have to share food but he is also defensive about his food to other dogs (not humans he would share his food with me if he could.) He's worse at home setting. If another dog is in the house, the dog can't pass him. Please advise what the best recommendation is for this worried paw parent.

Thanks!

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

Thanks for the question. First off, I do think that Henry's previous traumatic experiences where other dogs have tried to pin him down may explain the behavior. Take a look at this article to start: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs. Importantly though, I think that Henry will benefit from the socialization of obedience classes that focus on learning and fun. It's a great way for your intelligent pup to use his brain and experience being around other dogs. Explain to the trainer what has been happening with Henry so that they can work with him in a knowledgeable way. One on one training is a good idea as well if you prefer that. It is wise of you to want to help Henry now before the problem escalates. Call the vet for recommendations and as well, make some calls and get a feel for a trainer that works with your philosophy (which I can tell is a caring one). All the best and happy training!

Add a comment to Henry's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Ginny
cockapoo
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Ginny
cockapoo
2 Years

Ginny was fine with other dogs when she was a puppy, however had started to growl at other dogs as she has got older. It started when another dog tried to engage her when we we playing with her call at the park and another dog came bounding up and tried to play. Our friend’s dog came to our house and Ginny had the strongest reaction we had seen to date. She growled and tried to jump on her back but didn’t cause any physical harm. What’s strange is that some dogs will Approach Ginny And she’ll be fine with them and others seem to spark a fear/protective nature in her.
She’s with us most of the time so part of it could be protective behaviour but it tends to be worse if the dog is younger and more confident in approaching her.
We’re keen to overcome this challenging behaviour as we’d like her to mix well with other dog and worry that her behaviour could get her hurt with the wrong dog.

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

Thank you for the question about cute little Ginny. It is hard to say why Ginny has developed this behavior after being so at ease when she was a puppy. I like The Introduction Walks Method as described here: https://wagwalking.com/training/get-along-with-other-dogs. I think that giving Ginny the opportunity to mix with a lot of other dogs is ideal - the key point being that she will be in a controlled setting with other dog owners and a trainer who is used to being around dogs that need to learn to feel comfortable in all settings. Look for such a group in your area or ask your vet if they have recommendations. Other dog owners at the park may know of a structured walking group, too. As well, work on Ginny's obedience commands when on a walk or at the park (it never hurts to practice what was learned in class) as a way for her to focus on you and not be so concerned about the other dogs. If you are unable to find a walking group, attend another obedience level class and explain to the instructor the concerns you have. This trainer, Robert Cabral, has Skype training and is very good: https://www.robertcabral.com/. Good luck and all the best!

Add a comment to Ginny's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Itzalana
Spaniel mix
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Itzalana
Spaniel mix
1 Year

I adopted Itzalana 2 weeks ago. She seemed very friendly with everyone and with dogs as well (she used to share the kennel with other dog). However, now, every time I get her outside for a walk or if she sees someone or if she sees some other dog, she will start growling and showing teeth. I am not sure what to do with her. I already tried to calm her down, walk in front of her, avoid other dogs and she is still with that behavior.

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

Thank you for the question. I like the Positive Reinforcement Method as shown on this page. It gives your dog a sense of security when they know you are in control. I suggest enrolling Itzalana in beginner obedience classes right away. She will receive the socialization that she needs and gain confidence in her place in your home. She may be feeling protective and a little unsure as she settles in. Learning her obedience commands will also give you tools for when you are on a walk; if Itzalana is showing aggression you can distract her by staying on the opposite side of the road, having her sit, stay, heel etc as a way to focus on you as opposed to the other dogs. Try and find a group (or round up some friends with dogs) and go on walks in a pack. Have your dog walk quickly and keep her busy so that she does not have time to growl. After repeated sessions, you can gradually slow down and have her interact with the dogs bit by bit. This is also a good guide: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs The Slow Approach Method (and the others) are worth trying out. Good luck and definitely sign Itzalana up for positive reinforcement obedience classes to help her get this issue under control.

Add a comment to Itzalana's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Brother
Chihauhua
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Brother
Chihauhua
3 Years

My 3 year old Chihuahua has dtared growling at my 2 year old pit bull anytime my pit bull comes even close to him for no reason I have both of them since they were born so my Chihuahua pretty much raised the pit bull so I don't understand this new behavior from him why do you think this is happening and how can I stop this

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

Thank you for the question. Because this is a new behavior and the two dogs got along well previously, it makes me think that Brother should be evaluated by the vet. Sometimes a medical issue can cause a dog to growl when they never did before (dental issues, an injury, etc). I strongly suggest a vet visit right away. In the meantime, supervise your dogs and if you have to go out, make sure you separate them. You may find these methods work for training Brother to stop growling but because we don't know the reason it is hard to pinpoint a solution. https://wagwalking.com/training/not-growl You can also work on reinforcing Brother's obedience commands; he may like the attention and mental stimulation as a distraction. As well, take the dogs on leashed walks together often to remind Brother that his canine roommate is still his friend. Good luck!

Add a comment to Brother's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Lucy
Pointer
7 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Lucy
Pointer
7 Years

Going for walks lucy is fine with other dogs and than out of the blue attacked the other dog. No signs what so ever to warn me.
Today another dog came along and as I have 3 I let one after another say hi. All is well and we are on our way. On the way back we see the same dog again. Dog one goes said hi lucy goes sniffing butt and attacks. Other dog was just standing doing nothing. What can I do to help her?

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

Thanks for the question. The first thought that comes to mind is to have Lucy checked by the vet - there could be a medical reason for her new behavior. She may have pain that you are not aware of, so it's best to rule that out right away. The Understand Why Method is good here: https://wagwalking.com/training/stop-growling-at-other-dogs. It's all about determining why the behavior is happening all of a sudden. As well, you could look for a trainer in your area who could meet Lucy and get a feel for her personality. Taking her to brush up on obedience is always a good idea, too. The socialization at the same time will be highly beneficial. Good luck!

Add a comment to Lucy's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Lacey
Whipper
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Lacey
Whipper
3 Years

Lacey is our 3rd Whippet so we are used to habits of sight hounds and Lacey is a great dog good call back at the park and good walking the streets but has changed since having a fight with a FOX in the back garden in the early hours, she was rolling around the garden in a full on fight ended up covered in fox wee !.The following week she was off her food took to her bed now she is a changed dog growls at other dogs on street walks and in the park allows a sniff from other dogs and then wants to fight.
The fight with the fox was a few months ago now and as much as a we try to give her confidence the situation is not getting better.
Would be grateful for any help.

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

Thank you for the question. I am sorry to hear that Lacey had this traumatic experience. Did you get her checked at the vet after the event? There is a chance of a lingering injury and that is why she is not herself. I would have the vet rule out any issues there as soon as possible. You can also discuss anti-anxiety medication if the vet thinks it may help. As well, I would speak to a canine behavior expert in your area who has experience dealing with dogs that have been through a traumatic event. The growling is most likely due to fear. Desensitization is the technique often used and it can be helpful but must be done properly and by someone who knows how to do it. Of course, avoidance of the same thing happening again is critical; I would accompany her outside at all times from now on. You are doing the right thing by trying to re-instill confidence and showing Lacey that you care. All the best and I hope she is able to move on from the trauma soon.

Add a comment to Lacey's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Gracie
Border Collie
4 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Gracie
Border Collie
4 Years

Gracie is a good dog and has been socialized as a pup very well. She had a couple bad experiences- one dog at the dog park attacked her and 2 others harassed her at the family ranch... now when she meets other dogs she will growl and snap when she is up close. Far away she is fine she heels and listens to me, but whenever we meet other dogs she gets tense and aggressive. I don’t know what to do... I feel absolutely terrible because she used to have so much fun with other dogs! She still does sometimes once she gets used to them, but always starts with a growl.. any suggestions or thoughts? Is there still hope for her to get along with other dogs?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kelli, See if there is a G.R.O.W.L. class within driving distance. A G.R.O.W.L. class is a class for dog reactive and aggressive dogs, who are intensively socialized together in a structured way under the guidance of the trainer. All the dogs in the class wear a basket muzzle for safety. Muzzle introduction video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw&list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a&index=6&t=0s Also, be proactive about handling encounters with other dogs when you can safely do so. Work on her recall and response to you, so that she learns to come to you and look to you when she feels insecure around another dog, then you be the one to calmly deal with other dogs, so that she feels more secure around dogs in your presence. Always be careful when doing this in case approaching dogs are aggressive. Staying calm and confident around other dogs yourself is important. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Gracie's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Ash
Siberian Husky
13 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Ash
Siberian Husky
13 Weeks

Both of my puos are timid but the darker one growls and snarls at other dogs. What can I do to help him over come this? I'm not a nerv ous owner so he isn't picking up on me they came from a good home but very nervous around new ppl and dogs.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Samantha, At 13 weeks you still have time but make this a huge priority this month, because it it partially time sensitive. Take pup with you as many places as possible and feed them treats whenever they see a person and don't growl. Recruit friends and family and other 'dog people' to feed pup treats that you carry with you everywhere - you can use pup's meal kibble for this too. Put it into a ziploc baggie and carry it with you - pup can earn meals by interacting with people. Practice touching pup in various locations, like ears, mouth, paws, tail, belly, mouth, collar, ect and give a piece of puppy food each time. Do this for a few minutes each day at meals. When pup tolerates you touching them, recruit people they are a bit comfortable with to do the same. When pup can tolerate more familiar people, then recruit people they know less well who can be gentle. Focus more time on areas pup is sensitive about and always be gentle and instruct people to do the same. You can give the treat while touching an ear for example, or right after the touch - depending on what pup tolerates. Join a puppy play group (some stores like petco offer free ones if you call), or high quality puppy class that offers time for moderates offf-leash puppy play. Pup will probably hide under your chair at first. Don't feel sorry for them or comfort, stay confident and happy and let pup watch the other pups for a couple of weeks. Most puppies will get curious enough they will start venturing out a 2-3 classes in, and begin playing with one other pup at first. If the class has time for "pass the puppies" where people practice handling and rewarding each others puppies, even better! If there is anyone in your home pup is particularly shy atound, have that person teach pup tricks using positive reinforcement and take pup on structured walks to build trust. Reward tollerance and calmness with treats around that person also. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Ash's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Jasmin
Golden Labrador
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Jasmin
Golden Labrador
2 Years

We don't get to socialize her because she has given birth 2 days ago, but before then ( she is a quite timid dog ) she growls and barks and other dogs, but she won't bark sometimes, but most of the time she does. I reward her when she does bark but I don't know what to do when she does bark. I don't want to shout at her because that will make her more stressed but I want her to be able to play with other dogs and be happy and not afraid of them. We have another dog, that is also her son ( not planned ) he is 1 years old and hes fine with other dogs, hes a black labrador. Do you know anyways of getting her to stop growling and barking? PS, she growls at other dogs even when she isn't with her son. Thank you for reading.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Evelyn, Check out the article linked below. I suggest recruiting a friend with a well-mannered dog to practice the Passing approach and walking together methods with you and pup. Start with the passing approach method, and when they can handle being a few feet from each other calmly, switch to the walking together method from a further distance again. If you want to take extra covid precautions, you can avoid having the dogs walk directly together and maintain 6 feet between them but eventually just have them travel alongside one another. The point of this process is to practice the passes from a calmer distance over and over again until pup's excitement gradually decreases because it's the same thing over and over, and then they can be rewarded by decreasing the distance very gradually. When pup is calm again around the first dog, recruit another friend and their dog and practice this with them too. Ideally this would be practiced with a few different dogs, working with one dog at a time, but even if you can only do this with one or two dogs I would still recommend it for now. Passing Approach and Walking Together methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Also, see if there is a G.R.O.W.L. class within driving distance of you. That class is for dog reactive or aggressive dogs. All the dogs are intensively socialized together in a structured environment under the guidance of the trainer, while wearing basket muzzles, to help them overcome underlying fear or aggression issues. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Jasmin's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Samoa
Australian Sheperd/Terrier Mix
3 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Samoa
Australian Sheperd/Terrier Mix
3 Months

Hello!

My boyfriend and I just adopted a puppy about a week ago. Her name is Samoa, she is about 3 months old and is an australian sheperd/terrier mix. At the shelter they said they are unsure of the terrier part, but believe it may be rat terrier or Jack Russell. She is very sweet, cuddly and rather calm for her age. When we adopted her the foster parent said she was well behaved, but had exhibited minor aggression around food and sometimes other dogs. At her foster home she was with 5-6 other rescue dogs of different breeds/sizes and some of them kept eating her food at meal time, making her defensive.

The foster mom made it seem like she would have resource guarding issues, but she is fine with us in terms of her food/possessions. It is when she reacts to new sounds/specific objects. She will growl or bark at pictures of other animals (like on the TV, or the dog on her food bag), or sounds like the washing machine etc. What I am mainly concerned with is that she will growl and bark at any person or animal that passes us on our walks. When she sees someone in the distance, she will start a low growl and as they get closer she will lunge and bark/growl in their direction.

I know we just got her so she is still adjusting, but I want to tackle this issue ASAP while she is still young, so that we can go outside and peacefully walk by other people/animals, hopefully even socialize and play with them. We would like to have the ability to take her to dog parks and play with other dogs eventually.

I should also note that when she first met the other members of my family, she was quietly growling at first when she saw them from a distance, but as she met them one by one she instantly was friendly and let them hold her/pet her.

I eventually want to enroll her in some obedience class, where she can learn to socialize with other dogs and learn how to tolerate them. But for now, while she is still getting all her vaccines I would like to know some exercises or solutions I can try with her on my own. Thank you for reading and helping me!

-Mari & Ariel

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Mari, Check out the article linked below on puppy classes and socialization: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/puppy-classes-when-to-start/ Second, check out the Passing Approach and Walking Together methods from the article linked below. I suggest recruiting some friends with well behaved dogs or other puppies, and practicing heeling around them calmly using those methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Third, check out this article on desensitizing shy dogs to people and dogs - it sounds like some of her aggression could be fearful and defensive. Also don't pet or talk soothingly to her when she acts aggressive - that rewards an aggressive response; instead, act confident, sure of yourself and give clear direction for how to behave instead or redirect her attention and reward when you get a good response. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-socialize-a-shy-dog/ Fourth, check out the video from Kikopup's Youtube channel on counter conditioning dogs (creating a positive response to things they are fearful of or have a negative association with right now) - this trainer has several other videos on their channels with similar object, people, or dog specific topics as well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-CCJxF-9U4 Also, work on getting puppy used to touch and handling. Use puppies daily meal kibble to do this. Gently touch an area of puppy's body while feeding a piece of food. Touch an ear and give a treat. Touch a paw and give a treat. Hold her collar and give a treat. Touch her tail gently and give a treat. Touch her belly, her other paws, her chest, shoulder, muzzle and every other area very gently and give a treat each time. Keep these times calm and fun for pup. Finally, check out the free PDF e-book download "AFTER You Get Your Puppy" that can be downloaded at the link below. You may feel behind on socialization, but don't worry - you rescued pup so circumstances were different for you guys, but the instructions for what to do now in terms of socialization are still valid for you guys. www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Samoa's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Maxy
Labrador Retriever
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Maxy
Labrador Retriever
3 Years

My dog is friendly with other dogs, when we go on the park he has lots of friends who he likes to play with. The problem is, when I’m walking him on the lead say if we are going round the block, he will growl/bark at another dog going past which makes him seem aggressive. Usually it will be a dog he doesn’t know, but sometimes will even do it at dogs he’s played with off lead on the park. Also, if he’s off lead and a dog comes on the park on its lead, he will run over barking and will only leave the dog alone if the other dog tells him off. What’s the best way to get him to stop doing this?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Charlotte, What you are describing sounds like leash reactivity - where a dog acts aggressive only on leash, but is fine when actually meeting a dog - it's often related to frustrations about being on leash, being possessive of you, or a demanding attitude - where they want to go see the other dog and are being rude about it. 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 reactive 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 or pulling ahead. 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 he can relax. Be picky about which dogs he greets. Avoid nose-to-nose greetings dogs who lack manners. A simple "He's in training" tends to work well. Be picky about who and how he meets other dogs. Avoid dogs that don't respect his space, pull their owners over to him, and generally are not listening well - those dogs are often friendly but they are rude and difficult for some to meet on leash. Also, avoid greeting dogs who look very tense around your dog, who stare him down, who give warning signs like a low growl or lip lift, who look very puffed up and proud - that type greeting with a dog is likely to end in a fight since your dog doesn't know how to diffuse that situation. A stiff wag is also a bad sign. A friendly wag looks relaxed and loose with relaxed body language overall. A tense dog with a very stiff wag, especially with a tail held high is a sign of arousal and not always a good thing. 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 Aggressive dog - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo 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. A good way to do introductions with other dogs is to recruit friends with calm dogs and use the Passing Approach and the Walking together methods from the article linked below. After a few practice session of this, when the dogs can calmly walk side by side finally, take pups on walks together with both in a structured, focused heel. This gives both dogs something other than each other to focus on, keeps their energy calm, and helps them associate each other with the pleasant experience of a walk. Repeat this with lots of different dogs, one or two dogs at a time - you want other dogs to be associated with calmness, pleasant experiences, and boring things - not roughhousing, wrestling, nose-to-nose interactions always, or being rushed by them. https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Sometimes you can even find others to practice with through obedience clubs, meetup groups, or hiking groups. When he does greet another dog nose-to-nose, give slack in the leash, relax yourself, and keep the greeting to a max of 3 seconds, then happily tell him "Let's Go" or "Heel" and start walking away, giving him a treat when he follows so that he will learn to quickly respond to that command in the future. Keeping the greeting relaxed and short can diffuse tension and give the dogs enough time to say hi before competing starts. Finally, when pup gets to the point where they can focus on you and stay calm around other dogs - you can then add in treats if you wish, to help pup have a positive association with staying focused on you and calm around other dogs - only give the treats when pup's mindset is calm and more focused on you - and not highly aroused around the other dog. You may need to stay away from the dog park for a bit while working to readjust pup's mindset to more calmness around other dogs - since the dog park is highly arousing. It doesn't sound like you need to avoid it forever just long enough to make some progress with calmness during walks. Structured heeling walks with friends and their dogs would be a good social substitute right now - plus if where you like is social distancing now, that is easier to do on a walk with some one. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Maxy's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Tess
American Akita
5 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Tess
American Akita
5 Years

We rescued our lovely girl, Tess, from the RSPCA last January and she has been a wonderful addition to our family. We owned a large dog previously (an Old English Sheepdog) so we were looking for a larger dog again, but knew nothing about Akita’s until we saw her at the centre. We did a lot of research into the breed and she displays pretty much all of the classic characteristics. Including intolerance of other dogs. I feel we have created an excellent relationship with Tess, she trusts and respects us, and we were very consistent with stamping out any dominance or bad behaviour in the early days. The issue I have is my anxiety surrounding other dogs. Due to the fact she is also a hunter (and will chase anything that moves at the park-squirrels, rats, rabbits etc) she is always walked on a lead. She will walk past all other dogs, whether they’re on or off the lead and pay little or no attention to them as long as they ignore her. When we first had her we would let her interact with other dogs we came across, just by letting them sniff each other for a few seconds, but very often she would growl or snap, so we stopped doing that and feel like, as long as she walks with us, past other dogs without any problems it’s fine. The issue lies in dogs off the lead that approach her and the owners don’t or can’t call them back. In truth I think my anxiety is bigger than the problem itself, as I have seen no evidence of real aggression. I know Akita’s particularly react to same sex dogs, but we have introduced and walked her next to my brothers female Patterdale terrier a couple of times and they’ve been fine. After one walk we went to a pub garden and the dogs were trying hard to get to one another under the table, so my brother and I moved them out into a more open spot (both on leads). My brothers dog is much smaller than Tess, and was bouncing up in excitement. I’m not sure what happened but I don’t think Tess liked it and they ended up getting a bit overwhelmed and tangling me and my brother up in the leads. However, despite Tess being able to easily get to my brothers dog, she did not injure her at all. A similar thing happened on the beach. My youngest son was holding Tess, the beach was empty, and from nowhere a little shitzu ran over to her. My son couldn’t pull Tess back and lots of screaming and shouting and what seemed like aggression from Tess, ended up with the dog not having a mark on her-my husband is convinced Tess ‘head butted’ the dog away. Two days ago we were walking and a young bulldog came bounding over to her. The owners admitted they don’t usually have her off the lead because she doesn’t come back 🙄 as I pulled Tess away she slipped her collar, my husband managed to hold her after a few seconds and the bulldogs owners came over and got their dog, but not before Tess had managed to knock the dog over and kind of pin it down. Again though, no marks at all. The owners said the bulldog just wanted to play, and I’d love it if our dog would too. I’m willing to accept their breed is not known for playing with other dogs or interacting that well-especially with strangers. Also, the fact she was a rescue and we have no information about her past makes it more difficult. I’d really like to teach her to not react, even if another dog approaches her-am I asking the impossible? As I say she never makes the first move towards another dog so we could just carry on as we are. I am going to get her a head collar as I don’t want to risk her slipping her collar again, but other than that any suggestions on what I can/should do? Thanks in advance

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jacqueline, First, know that it sounds like she could have seriously harmed many of those dogs and actually exhibited self-control. That doesn't mean she wouldn't attacked if provoked further but that is a good sign that this isn't typical aggression, but more of a protective and defensive trait - especially since she ignores dogs who don't bother her. She probably will never be a dog who enjoys roughhousing and doggie play with other dogs - and that is completely fine. Many breeds simply don't; however, you do want her to learn what to do in situations where she is approached. I would focus on obedience in those situations, teaching her to let you handle situations with other dogs instead of react herself. She doesn't have to love other dogs running up, but she should learn to tolerate it long enough for you and the other people to take control of the situation on her behalf. This starts by advocating for her where you can. When it's safe to do so for you, calmly shoo dog's like the Shit Tzu away - this will require a certain level of calm confidence from you to get other dogs to respond to you - which should come naturally as your own dog becomes more dependable and you are less worried about her response. Communicate to dog owners as nicely but firmly as you can manage that she doesn't want to meet, ect... Work on obedience like Leave It, Come, Watch Me, Heel and Out around high levels of distractions - that can be used to give her directions when you know you will inevitably be approached by another dog. Come: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-to-come-when-called/ 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 Heel - Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel These methods are good starting points for some of the commands mentioned, but I also recommend enrolling in an advanced, off-leash obedience class, taking intermediate first if pup needs that level of training before being ready for the advanced class - one classes are open again For example, I have a family member with a German Shepherd service dog. As a German Shepherd he is naturally reserved around other dogs and doesn't want to play with others. When approached by rude dogs - which of course happens from time to time when out in public with her so often. Instead of guarding his owner and scaring the other dogs away for her, he has been taught to Leave It, Come if not already close, and heel with her - so that he stays in a working mindset, knows to let her handle the situation, and ignores the dogs while they move away. To get that type of response, you will want to work up to practicing those commands around high levels of distractions on a long leash - essentially working up to an off-leash level. Even though pup will be leashed, you don't want to have to depend on a leash to hold them back - you want the leash to almost be for looks and back up, and for them to be under voice command to the extent that's you aren't worried about being pulled by your strong dog in order to get him under control. With that said, definitely invest in training equipment that helps you keep him secure and managed because it will take a while to work up to the level of obedience needed. Reward him for staying focused on you, obedience, and ignoring other dogs - even when those dogs aren't running up to him. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Tess's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Oscar
Cavachon
5 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Oscar
Cavachon
5 Years

He barks and growls and is quiet aggressive towards larger dogs. He is great will dogs his own size or smaller. its just larger dogs. It is actually getting difficult to control him.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Monica, First, if you can find a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area I suggest joining one of those when social distancing allows again. A G.R.O.W.L. class is a class for dog reactive and dog aggressive dogs, who are intensively socialized together while they all wear basket muzzles for safety, under the instruction and guidance of the trainer in a structured environment. I also 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 careful when dealing with any form of aggression because there is always the risk that a dog will redirect their aggression to whoever is closest - such as you, during times of arousal. For this reason among others, you may want to hire a trainer to help you in person or desensitize pup to wearing a basket muzzle, and have pup wear the muzzle during walks - be sure to desensitize pup to the muzzle ahead of time so that it's not just associated with the other dogs though, if pup ends up needing one. A tense/stressed dog will often look ridged, puffed up, or stiff. The tail may wag but be a very stiff wag; a relaxed, loose wag is friendly, but a stiff wag is a sign of arousal, especially with a tail held high, and not always a good thing. 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 Aggressive dog - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo 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/ A long down stay around distractions is a good thing to practice during walks periodically. A good way to do introductions with other dogs is to recruit friends with calm dogs and use the Passing Approach and the Walking together methods from the article linked below. Start with the Passing Approach. Once pup can stay calm passing the other dog - which will probably take several sessions and lots of passes with the same practice dog, then you can switch to the Walking Together method - starting with the dogs further apart again. After several practice session of this, when the dogs can calmly walk side by side finally, take pups on walks together with both in a structured, focused heel. This gives both dogs something other than each other to focus on, keeps their energy calm, and helps them associate each other with the pleasant experience of a walk. Repeat this with lots of different larger dogs, one or two dogs at a time - you want other dogs to be associated with calmness, pleasant experiences, and boring things - not roughhousing, wrestling, nose-to-nose interactions always, or being rushed by them. https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Sometimes you can even find others to continue practice with through obedience clubs, meetup groups, or hiking groups once pup does better overall. If he does greet another dog nose-to-nose (which isn't recommended at this point, but sometimes it happens anyway, and may be more of an option later), give slack in the leash, relax yourself, and keep the greeting to a max of 3 seconds, then happily tell him "Let's Go" or "Heel" and start walking away, giving him a treat when he follows so that he will learn to quickly respond to that command in the future. Keeping the greeting relaxed and short can diffuse tension and give the dogs enough time to say hi before competing starts. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Oscar's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Arnold
mongrel
5 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Arnold
mongrel
5 Years

We recently adopted Arnold from a family member who couldn't look after him anymore - he was socialised as a puppy and we were told he would growl at puppies but had no other behavioural issues.

We have had him for two months and initially everything was fine. At home he is sweet, affectionate and well behaved - he does tricks and is clever and interactive. When we are out at the park he is desperate to meet other dogs - sometimes this seems playful, at other times dominant - he mainly wants to urinate on things so that other dogs sniff it, or sniff the backsides of female dogs. He would get a bit growly with puppies or dogs that follow him or want to greet for more than a couple of seconds but it wasn't a problem until the last 2-3 weeks - he has been becoming progressively growly at dogs who want to have any prolonged interaction with him and has snapped at two dogs in the park - both young dogs. When he greets other dogs we recognise that he is always in a dominant pose with his tail and ears upwards and he always seems hyperstimulated by other dogs - desperate to meet them, only to start growling.

Luckily he is small and we can distract him easily but we have started walking him on the lead because i'm worried it could easily escalate as he approaches every dog we go past. We are trying to do positive reinforcement, keeping his attention on us and giving him treats however I'm concerned that keeping him on the lead and away from other dogs will ultimately make him worse.

We also need to get him neutered - he had an appointment but it was cancelled because of the pandemic - we will address this as soon as we can.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Donna, Because of the type of aggression he is displaying, getting him neutered may help when that's an option again. Typically other behavior modification would be needed anyway also though - neutering just makes the training easier and more effective without as many competing hormones. For now you can work on just the behavior modification. I wouldn't let him practice constantly meeting other dogs in a challenging way, I would however actively socialize him with social distances measures in place. Practicing structures, calm activities with other dogs can help facilitate a positive association, more respect, and less reactivity. Activities like obedience classes - or practicing obedience commands that require self-control with other social dogs who are doing the same thing outside (like one dog doing come while another holds a down stay). Going on structured heeling walks with other dogs, with space between walking couples outside. Walking together method - modified during covid to keep space between everyone. https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Practicing passing other dogs and pup focusing on you - with a structured heel that utilizes lots of turns, changes in pace, and rewards for focus on you and not the dogs. Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Only reward body language and behaviors you want around other dog. Don't reward when he is staring a dog down, pulling toward them, ignoring you, acting aggressive, or generally has a reactive attitude. You get more of what ever you reward and you don't want to increase arousal even more around other dogs. To get him to the point where you can reward the right behavior, practice lots of structured obedience with him in the presence of other dogs so that the working creates the right attitude in him - that you can then help him associate with the other dogs also through rewards. Interrupt any staring, pulling, ignoring you, or other behaviors that generally lead to outbursts toward other dogs - don't wait until something is full blown. A dog will learn better if you can give them instruction, reward, or correction before they are highly aroused in most cases. Structured walks with other dogs, with lots of obedience and boundaries in place for him to be working during the walk, is the biggest change I would make first. Best luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Arnold's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Gigi
Labrador Retriever
3 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Gigi
Labrador Retriever
3 Months

I have a 3 year old male shih tzu Chipku, who is extremely aggressive towards Gigi. He is very nasty towards other dogs and was at first with my other shih tzu Coco but they are now good friends. Chipku is constantly trying to attack Gigi and is scaring her. She barks back at him but is ultimately quite frightened when he comes near. It is her first week at our home and we have kept them for the most part separate. What is the best way to make their interactions positive and make Chipku less aggressive towards Gigi?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Laleh, I do highly suggest hiring a professional trainer to help in person with this issue. Look for someone who is experienced with aggression and behavior issues - not all trainers are. Choose someone who comes well recommended by previous clients who struggled with similar issues with their dogs. Crate train both dogs using the crate manners and Surprise methods from the article and video linked below. Feed both dogs in separate locked crates at meal times. Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Second, teach both dogs the Out command (which means leave the area) and make whoever is causing issues leave the area as needed - including if pup is hovering around water bowl to guard. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Decide what your house rules are for both 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 he is trying to leave, tell pup Out. If he obeys, praise and reward him. If he disobeys, stand in front of your other dog, blocking the pup from getting to him, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your other dog. If you’re your older dog growls at pup, make him leave the room while also disciplining pup if needed. 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. Teach both dogs the Place command and work up to having them both stay on their separate Place beds calmly for 1-2 hours - especially Chipku! This is a great calming, self-control building, and tolerance exercise. It also helps get them both in a working, more respectful mindset while in the same room as each other. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Finally, work on manners and building respect and trust for you with Chipku. Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Working method and Consistency method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Chipku should be in doggie bootcamp with you for a while - work on increasing their respect, tolerance, listening, and trust in you. You want pup to know that you are running the household and not them, so that they are not trying to manage all the animals. The best way to lead a dog is with calmness, consistency, and confidence. If Chipku is fearful of Gigi, and not just resource guarding or bullying, then you can also give Chipku treats when Gigi first enters the room - before Chipku response poorly, and whenever Chipku is being tolerant and calm around Gigi. Give the treats without Gigi seeing if you can, and when Chipku is not too close, so that food guarding doesn't also trigger a fight. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Gigi's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Marcel
Shepherd Hound
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Marcel
Shepherd Hound
3 Years

Marcel is a very friendly and sweet dog. He loves attention from humans and loves playing with other dogs. He is good playing with them at the park, in the house, in the backyard, at other's houses, out in public, on the leash off the leash etc. However, two issues have started to surface over the last year. We use a lot of off leash areas and if he sees another person he will charge at them howling. He does not do this to everyone, seems random, although he tends to do it to people without dogs. As soon as he gets too them he wants them to pet him. Or he will stand five or so feet away and howl/bark. The second issue happens at home. When he is inside he can see dogs approaching the house from the front door and then walking away from the house via the backdoor. He will start to whine/grumble/growl/bark pacing between doors watching them walk past the house. If we are sitting out back or in the front he does the same thing as soon as he sees them coming down the sidewalk all the way until they are out of eye shot. If he is tied up out front he will run towards them howling until he reaches the end of his rope. However, once he is near the other dog he just sniffs and wants them to play with him and if the other dog shows dominance, Marcel becomes submissive. He was begun to whine and mumble when on walks and he sees other dogs and he wants to meet them. He is on the submissive side in general, not scared but never dominating. When playing gets rough or too much he just wanders away. We have tried a pinch collar which helps him stay focused on walking but he will still be whining under his breath. We make him heel behind our knee on walks. We try positively reinforcing when he quiets down with treats and calming praise but the behaviors are starting to get worse. Yesterday he was tied to a heavy metal lawn chair while I did some gardening. A neighbor walked past with her dog and Marcel pulled the chair across the lawn to get to the other dog. The other dog snipped at him (in my mind rightfully so) and Marcel instant laid down in front of it wagging his tail. He is such a sweet boy but I am afraid he is becoming an aggressive dog. He has never snipped at, bit or tried to harm another dog. When he was about six months old he was attacked by another dog in a friend's backyard. The moment Marcel entered their backyard, the other dog rushed him, grabbed his year and picked him up by it. It took three humans to pry the other dogs mouth open. Luckily there was only a small puncture in his ear that was treated and he did not seem to show any signs of it affecting him. However, 2.5 years later here we are. Thank you for any and all suggestions you may have

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Erik, I would actually enroll him in an advanced obedience class as soon as it's safe and available to do so again. Based solely on your description it sounds like an obedience and reactivity issues more than an aggression issue. It sounds like he needs to learn how to ignore distractions, obey around people and dogs, and practice calmness via obedience practice going past those things. Since he is of leash when this is typically an issue, he needs an off-leash level of impulse control - which is something gained through lots of practice with obedience on a long leash, from greater distances away - via leash length, as he improves. It sounds like he is getting very aroused around the people and dogs - which can look aggressive and could lead to a fight if another dog starts it, since he is being rude in his approach. He needs to practice calm responses - which partially happens by practicing interactions with other dogs in calmer settings with his mind engaged with you, so that he can't just resort to old habits. Some examples of this include, practicing heeling past other dogs, walked by friends who are helping or in a training group, so that you can control the situation and interaction and take your time with it. Passing Approach and Walking Together methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Teaching Come using the Reel In method and Premack Principle: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-to-come-when-called/ In addition to also practicing things like an off-leash heel past distractions, Watch Me, Leave It, and Out off-leash. There is an emotional aspect of his behavior that needs to be addressed with the whining and arousal - but a ton of practice with the level of obedience that leads to off-leash reliability, practiced around the things he is currently struggling with, with lots of structure should have a direct impact on his emotional state too for the better, since structured, focused obedience requires a dog to stay tuned into people better, be in a calmer state for things like a structured heel, and learn to disconnect from things they want to go to in order to respond to their command. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Marcel's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Peppa
Pug
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Peppa
Pug
2 Years

I have had my dog for just over a year. She was very nervous with men and always barked and growled if one came to the house and sometimes on walks. I have to trained her not to do this anymore. However, since lockdown she has started to be aggressive towards any vehicles passing. I have to hold onto her tightly otherwise she would run after them. She can also challenge one of my mum's dogs, who she used to get along with. I ask her to sit and stay but I can't get her attention away from the dog or vehicle. I would really appreciate any advice you can offer. She is very affectionate and playful with me and my children and friends and family.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Elizabeth, I would actually treat the car reactivity similar to dog reactivity, which will include building pup's respect and trust for you, working on the structure of the walk, interrupting pup's fixation on the vehicles, and rewarding calm responses. 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 her mind on scanning the area in search of other dogs or cars. The walk should start with her having to exit your home very calmly, performing obedience commands at the door if she isn't calm. She 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 she should be in the heel position - with her head behind your leg. That position decreases her arousal, reduces stress because she isn't the one in charge and the one encountering things first. It prevents her from scanning for vehicles, fixating on them, and ignoring you behind her. It also requires her to be in a more submissive, structured, focused, calmer mindset - which has a direct effect on how aroused, stressed, and aggressive she is - it makes her feel like the responsibility is on your shoulders not hers around stressors like cars. Additionally, when you do pass cars, as soon as she starts staring them down, interrupt her. Remind her with a gentle correction that you are leading the walk and she is not allowed to break her heel or stare. Try to position yourself so that you are further from passing cars when first practicing this to make this easier for you and her. The goal here is to interrupt her very early in her arousal - before a full explosion. 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 her in the long-run. Check out the reactivity and aggression videos linked below for examples of interrupting an aroused dog. If pup has ever redirect aggression toward you or shows signs that she might, she will need to be desensitized to a basket muzzle ahead of time, and wear that during the walks right now to keep you safe. Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Reactive dog - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY8s_MlqDNE Aggressive dog - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Outside of the walk you can work on building pup's trust and respect for you in other ways too to help her confidence. The following commands and exercises are also good for that: Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ A long down stay around distractions is a good thing to practice during walks in general periodically - but keeping pup moving while around other dogs will be easier for desensitizing when encountering a dog or car. Once pup can stay calmer around the cars during walks, then you can begin rewarding with treats for ignoring the vehicles and staying focused on you and calm. You need to wait until pup's body language is calm before you add in treats through so that you aren't rewarding the aroused, stressed state she is currently in around the cars. Rewarding later is important to help address her overall stress about cars so that improvement continues. For the family dog, a good way to do introductions with other dogs is to recruit friends with calm dogs and use the Passing Approach and the Walking together methods from the article linked below. Use this same approach to introduce the other family dog, as well as practice interactions around other dogs in general if that's also an issue. After several practice session of the Passing Approach or Walking Together methods, when the dogs can calmly walk side by side finally, take pups on walks together with both in a structured, focused heel. This gives both dogs something other than each other to focus on, keeps their energy calm, and helps them associate each other with the pleasant experience of a walk. To help with general calmness around other dogs, repeat this with lots of different dogs, one or two dogs at a time - you want other dogs to be associated with calmness, pleasant experiences, and boring things - not roughhousing, wrestling, nose-to-nose interactions always, or being rushed by them. https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Sometimes you can even find others to practice with through obedience clubs, meetup groups, or hiking groups. Once she and the family dog can do well together on walks, practice Place and Down Stay with both dogs in the same room or yard (yard will be easier due to territory at first most likely), for 30 minutes to 1 hour at a time, to further help the dogs learn how to co-exist calmly around each other. Teach both dogs the Out command - which means leave the area, and moderate their interactions to keep them from pestering each other when they are ready to simply hang out in the same home eventually. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ I would suggest always keeping things structured for both dogs when they are together - when they are at the point where they can calmly co-exist in the same household. When in the same house, keep the dogs separate when not supervising and able to enforce respect between them. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Peppa's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Rudy
collie x husky
2 Years
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Rudy
collie x husky
2 Years

My dog is great with other dogs outside the house. He loves to play chase etc. he is very obedient generally although he has had food issues since a pup as he was the runt of the litter and i think he was being bullied by the others. he is improving with the food issues, and is not really food orientated. My friend moved in 18 months ago with her 2 greyhounds. They are very food orientated. My friend feeds them what she is eating from her hand etc etc. They will try and eat my dogs food and he will snap at them. They are generally disobedient, doing what they want, on the furniture, sleeping on my friends bed. The male greyhound who is 9 and has been castrated can be snappy at other dogs and people. I don't allow my dog on the furniture or to sleep on my bed. My dog snaps at them occasionally in a half hearted way at the backs of their legs. He will also stand in the way of them getting past sometimes. My friend also has other dogs visiting and Rudy snaps at them in the same way, particularly if he has uneaten food in his bowl. My dog is being treated like he is the problem and being told off but I think there is a much more complex dynamic going on here. Please advise what I should do.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Emily, In an ideal scenario all three of the dogs would be your dogs and you could deal with this issue by building all of the dogs' respect for you and being the one to create and enforce the house rules and not let any of the dogs be in charge. Since that is not your reality here are a couple of other suggestions. First, Rudy needs to be fed twice a day and only twice a day and the food should not be left out. Feed him in a secure location, such as an Exercise Pen, gated off area, or room with the door closed, where he can eat in peace without feeling threatened by the other dogs. Give him fifteen to twenty minutes to eat in that area, and then if he is not actively eating it by the end of that time, take the food up and try again at dinner time. At dinner time give him both his dinner portion and whatever remaining breakfast amount there was also. Expect this to take about a week before he will catch on to eating when it is presented. Many dogs will eat more at one meal and less at the other, and that is fine. You can also feed him the entire amount at breakfast and then simply feed him what is left at dinner time also if you discover that he is a bigger breakfast eater than dinner eater. If you are concerned about him not eating at first and you normally come home for lunch, then you can offer it at lunch also at first. It is simply not realistic in your situation to expect the other dogs to leave his food alone, and it is creating unnecessary stress for him. If you can supervise him the whole time that he is eating out in the open, then you could work on the issue by standing five feet away from him while he eats and blocking the other dogs with your body and walking towards them to herd them out of the area while telling them "Ah Ah! Out", in order to communicate that they should leave him alone, but that is only guaranteed to be effective while you are in the room, and he will likely eat more if he is undisturbed in a calm location. Also, if the greyhound has been known to bite people, then you will have to consider your own safety. Help Rudy relax more about the presence of the other dogs by feeding him treats whenever the other dogs come into the area but before they are close enough to come over and beg for a treat also. If Rudy prefers toys and affection, then play with him with a toy and really love on him and make things pleasant for him whenever they come into the area instead of giving him treats. If he finds the toy and affection very rewarding, then that would actually be a better reward for him since the other dogs are so food motivated. As soon the Greyhounds leave the area, stop the fun and go back to being calm so that he will begin to associate the fun with their presence and enjoy them being around more. Ideally, come up with rules for all of the dogs with your roommate. Make these rules practical and something that you can both agree on. A compromise will probably have to be made. See if your roommate will agree to you and her both having permission to teach and gently discipline all of the dogs when one dog breaks a rule. The word discipline means "to teach", not simply punish, so have in mind what type of corrections, communication, and boundaries can you use in different situations to teach the dogs what to do and not do. For example, if one dog is sitting on the couch and growls at a person or a dog who approaches the couch, then that dog must immediately get off of the couch and leave the room. If one dog takes another dog's bone, then a person disciplines the dog who took it and gives the bone back to the original dog who had it, but the dog whom it was stolen from is not allowed to bite the thief. You be the one to handle the situation. If your roommate agrees to this but the Greyhound tries to bite people, then I suggest temporarily using a soft silicone basket muzzle on him until he stops trying to bite when you enforce a rule. You want all of the dogs to respect the people in the house and their rules, and not be allowed to be in charge, make rules for another dog or person, or enforce those rules. Build the dogs' trust in you by being consistent and enforcing the rules for them so that no dog has to be the enforcer. If Rudy is blocking a doorway and not letting another dog through, then tell him "Ah Ah! Out" and herd him out of that doorway by gently but firmly walking into or toward him until he leaves the area. He is not allowed to own the doorways and the greyhounds are not allowed to own the couch, and prevent others from being there. What the Greyhounds do in your friend's room should not effect Rudy so I would not fight the bed battle with her, but you and her will have to decide what you agree on about the downstairs furniture. I personally have no issue with dogs being on the couch IF those dogs are not being possessive of it, will immediately get off when told "Off", and everyone in the house is okay with the dogs being on the couch. Some dogs have dominance and aggression issues and should not be on furniture. Other, generally well behaved, respectful dogs are completely fine being on the furniture if that is what their owner desires and they are obedient when told to get off. You and her will have to evaluate whether or not it is causing any issues and agree based on that criteria if she is willing. When there are other dogs visiting, advocate for Rudy. If another dog is bothering him, then block that dog from getting to Rudy and patiently but firmly tell the other dog to go somewhere else. Make sure he has space of his own when he needs it while other dogs are around, so that he does not feel a need to defend himself. He should believe that you will defend him and that it is your job and not his. It is also okay to encourage Rudy to be polite toward other dogs and to allow them to briefly sniff his bottom and say hi, but they should not pester him if he does not want to play afterwards, and you be the one to interrupt any dominance establishing behaviors. Sniffing bottoms is the dog version of a hand shake and a good canine interaction should involve that and not just nose sniffing, but it should be brief and respectful. Reward him if he allows that and try to act confident, in control, and up beat yourself. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Rudy's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Moose
Chihuahua
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Moose
Chihuahua
3 Years

He growls and gets very aggressive toward our other dogs if they try to get near me. Especially when I am sitting or lying in bed. Yet he is playful and they get along other all other times

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

Thank you for the cute picture of little Moose. It sounds like he is a bit possessive of you - Chihuahua's can have that trait. Is this a new behavior? If so, I always recommend a vet visit to make sure that there is no underlying medical issue causing the change. This guide may help: https://wagwalking.com/training/not-be-aggressive As well, I suggest that you work on obedience commands so that when Moose gets aggressive you can put him on a down or sit position until his behavior changes. Take a look at this excellent guide for tips: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Make sure that you do not mistakenly reward Moose for his behavior by giving him affection immediately after he growls. This is a great article, too: https://chihuahuapower.dog/chihuahua-behaviour-aggression-towards-other-dogs/ Good luck!

Add a comment to Moose's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Walnut and Peanut
Mixed breed
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Walnut and Peanut
Mixed breed
2 Years

I have two dogs. We live in a house with a garden away from the city. So I don’t need take them on walks. They are not allowed in the house. When they get too close to each other or when we’re petting them, they start growling at each other. It sometimes results in fights. They easily hurt each other since they are big dogs. This happens very often. We tried saying “quiet” and praising them when they stop but it’s not working. They are both male and have been together since they were born. They are not sterilized. What do you advise?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Rain, I highly suggest hiring a professional trainer to help with this due to the safety concerns. Be aware that highly aroused dogs can redirect their aggression to whoever is closest - like a person, when in that aggressive state. Always take precautions to stay safe yourself and get professional help with this. I would start with building pups' respect for you. Having the dogs work for everything they get like food, pets, walks, and toys by doing a command first. Practicing regular structured obedience with each, such as Place, Down-Stay, and Heel. Being very consistent about rules and commands and being the one to calmly enforce rules so that the dog's are not competing as much to be running things - you are calmly leading and have earned pup's respect. It sounds like the dogs are resource guarding humans from each other. That needs to be addressed in person with the help of a professional trainer who specializes in aggression, to do it safely. Building respect for you very calmly will be a huge part of that, having pup's work more by doing commands to earn what they get, and creating a lot more structure in the home, like teaching both dogs to remain on separate Place beds in the same room for 1-2 hours at a time and leave each other alone. Neutering the dogs can also help due to increased testosterone, so it may be worth speaking with your vet about that if neither are being shown or bred, but that is usually part of the issue and behavior modification will be needed also. Neutering can make training much easier and more effective many times in these cases though, so it might be worth considering. I am not a vet though, speak with your vet about anything medical. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Walnut and Peanut's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Boris
Shih Tzu
17 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Boris
Shih Tzu
17 Weeks

Hi there, so Boris is perfect in every aspect, toilet training, recall off the lead amazing. But we have noticed that he has started growling and barking at other dogs when we go onto the park. I dont want this to be the start of aggression when he comes into contact with them. We have another dog who he adores and follows round all the time. I am not sure if he is trying to protect her by growling and barking as he goes staright over to Molly to lock her once he has done barking. Any tips I would be grateful.
The situation has been difficult due to lockdown and not being able to socialise him with others friends dogs. So that hasn't helped.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lisa, Unfortunately, social distancing does make this area of training a lot more difficult. If situations change and classes resume in the next two weeks, I do recommend finding a puppy class that has time for moderated play. A fenced in area outside would be a better social distancing option at that point most likely. Until then, I suggest practicing the Passing Approach and Walking Together method with neighbors and friends - keeping a good social distance between you while practicing. That method will go over how to walk past the same dog over and over again to make them boring, then reward pup when pup responds calmly. https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Boris's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Madden
Golden Retriever
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Madden
Golden Retriever
3 Years

I have a 3 year old golden retriever. She is so sweet and loves all people. She loves playing with other dogs at our house if they come over and, if she can tell that I know the owner, she automatically likes the dog. When we go on runs and walks, she growls at dogs that she doesn’t know that we are simply passing. She growls and barks and wants to pull on the leash. I know I am acting anxious when we are near other dogs because I don’t want her to bark but do you have any other insight on how to stop this behavior?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Tori, It sounds like leash reactivity - which is when a dog acts aggressive but its due to arousal and frustration more than actual aggression. 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 her mind on scanning the area in search of other dogs. The walk should start with her having to exit your home very calmly, performing obedience commands at the door if she isn't calm. She 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 she should be in the heel position - with her head behind your leg. That position decreases her arousal, reduces stress because she isn't the one in charge and the one encountering things first. It prevents her from scanning for other dogs, staring dogs down or being stared down, and ignoring you behind her. It also requires her to be in a more submissive, structured, focused, calmer mindset - which has a direct effect on how aroused, stressed, and aggressive she is - it makes her feel like the responsibility is on your shoulders not hers around other dogs. Additionally, when you do pass other dogs, as soon as she starts staring them down, interrupt her. Don't tolerate challenging stares - even if she is stressed. Remind her with a gentle correction that you are leading the walk and she is not allowed to break her 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 her 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. Protect her from other dogs. If she feels nervous and someone wants to let her meet their rude, excited dog, tell the other person no thank you. A simple "She's in training" tends to work well. Be picky about who and how she meets other dogs. Avoid dogs that don't respect her space, pull their owners over to her, and generally are not listening well - those dogs are often friendly but they are rude and difficult for a nervous dog. Also, avoid greeting dogs who look very tense around your dog, who stare her down, who give warning signs like a low growl or lip lift, who look very puffed up and proud - that type greeting with a dog is likely to end in a fight since your dog doesn't know how to diffuse that situation. A stiff wag is also a bad sign. A friendly wag looks relaxed and loose with relaxed body language overall. A tense dog with a very stiff wag, especially with a tail held high is a sign of arousal and not always a good thing. 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 A good way to practice introductions with other dogs is to recruit friends with calm dogs and use the Passing Approach and the Walking together methods from the article linked below. After a few practice session of this, when the dogs can calmly walk side by side finally, take pups on walks together with both in a structured, focused heel. This gives both dogs something other than each other to focus on, keeps their energy calm, and helps them associate each other with the pleasant experience of a walk. Repeat this with lots of different dogs, one or two dogs at a time - you want other dogs to be associated with calmness, pleasant experiences, and boring things - not roughhousing, wrestling, nose-to-nose interactions always, or being rushed by them. https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Sometimes you can even find others to practice with through obedience clubs, meetup groups, or hiking groups. When she does need to greet another dog nose-to-nose, give slack in the leash, relax yourself, and keep the greeting to a max of 3 seconds, then happily tell her "Let's Go" or "Heel" and start walking away, giving her a treat when she follows so that she will learn to quickly respond to that command in the future. Keeping the greeting relaxed and short can diffuse tension and give the dogs enough time to say hi before competing starts. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Madden's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Toby
Mixed breed
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Toby
Mixed breed
2 Years

Hi My dog has started to growl.mor at other dogs while out walking. He never used to he always just once to play with dogs.
I wounfer if this has anything to do with the fact he was attacked by another dog 3 weeks ago tomorrow? How can I get him to stop growling. He does not do it all the time but it is becoming more frequ

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Shirley, Unfortunately, it likes does have to do with the attack a few weeks ago if pup was fine previously. Pup is likely suspicious and fearful do to the attack and now feels defensive around dogs he doesn't know well. 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 reactive/aggressive dogs who are intensively socialized together in a structured environment. Going on heeling walks with well mannered dogs could also help pup. In general, calm, structured activities around other dogs without direct confrontation is what I recommend most. check out the Passing Approach and Walking together methods for how to introduce pup to other dogs in a less confrontational, calmer way, to then get them to the point where they can walk together after a few sessions. Advocate for pup and be picky about who he meets, if he is greeting dogs nose to nose at all. Politely tell anyone with a rude, overly excited dog, or tense stiff looking dog, that pup is in training. Only allow greetings with tolerant and well mannered calmer dogs, to rebuild pup's confidence, and don't allow any greetings with strange dogs until pup is doing better with the above training. keep greetings to 3 seconds to avoid confrontations, then tell pup "Let's Go!" in a happy tone of voice and move away. Reward pup with a small treat from your pocket when he follows to teach him to happily respond to let's go and keep the encounter pleasant. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Toby's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Bob
schnauzer
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Bob
schnauzer
2 Years

I recently got my dog as a rescue, he will sometimes run from other dogs and sometimes growl at them. Is he still trainable to get rid of this behavior even if he isn't a puppy? He seems excited about other dogs but then growls which has caused one dog to try to fight him so far. I am worried this aggressive behavior won't go away.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Rachel, Are the other dogs your own household dogs, dogs at the dog park, or dogs from somewhere else? Pup may never be a dog that I recommend taking to the dog park. With lots of structure, boundaries, and management between household dogs, they can likely learn to get along well, and be calm and tolerant of each other. If pup simply needs to get along with dogs that he randomly encounters while on a walk for example, then pup likely can overcome their fear with help. 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 or dog reactive dogs. Who all wear muzzles and are intensively socialized together in a structured environment under the guidance of the trainer. These classes are often a quicker way to help pups get used to other dogs safely. A good way to do introductions with other dogs is to recruit friends with calm dogs and use the Passing Approach and the Walking together methods from the article linked below. After a few practice session of this, when the dogs can calmly walk side by side finally, take pups on walks together with both in a structured, focused heel. This gives both dogs something other than each other to focus on, keeps their energy calm, and helps them associate each other with the pleasant experience of a walk. Repeat this with lots of different dogs, one or two dogs at a time - you want other dogs to be associated with calmness, pleasant experiences, and boring things - not roughhousing, wrestling, nose-to-nose interactions always, or being rushed by them. https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs There are additional things pup will need depending on what the circumstances are surrounding the interactions with other dogs. Whether the fights are between your own household dogs - the training will need to involve all the dogs in that case. Is at the dog park - pup shouldn't go there because of the highly arousing environment, lack of management and control you have over the interactions to help with proper socialization, and the risk of other dogs who lack socialization or aggressive dogs who could get in fights, intimidate, or bully pup and make their own issue worse. Instead, there are better ways to facilitate the right kind of interactions with other dogs to improve pup's view of other dogs. A lot of dogs with this issue do see improvement with the right help, but it depends on a variety of factors. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Bob's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Miso
Shiba Inu
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Miso
Shiba Inu
1 Year

Miso has always been great with other dogs, but because of the current lock down, she hasn’t really had the opportunity to play with dogs in the neighborhood. Now everytime she sees a dog, she gets extremely excited, starts pulling the leash and she seems to growl at the other dogs to perhaps get their attention. What is the best way to make her stop growling? She’s gotten into two little fights since lock down.

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

Hello, yes this lockdown has been tough. Start making sure that you are giving Miso extra walks - more than ever. (Cute picture by the way!) Buy her mentally stimulating toys such as an interactive feeder and treats puzzles to get her mind working. She's an extra exuberant breed as I am sure you know. Sign her up for obedience classes if they have started in your area. If not, seek out an online trainer or perhaps an in-home private trainer who has experience with dogs who lunge and may show aggression. Don't delay. Until then, work on her obedience commands and her heeling skills when walking and that will keep her focused on walks. Take a look at the Turns Method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel. Work on Miso's listening skills: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you. And as well, practice the methods from here: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Good luck!

Add a comment to Miso's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Harlie
English Springer Spaniel
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Harlie
English Springer Spaniel
1 Year

Hi,
Harlie is a one year springer. She has always been very pleasant and enjoyed playing and chasing other dogs. Just recently since we have moved house and lockdown she is snarling her teeth at other dogs and lunging forward towards them. This results in me pulling her back on her lead and I’m now worried to let her off her lead when other dogs are around. We have dogs either side of our house and the one to the left constantly barks and taps and now Harlie is a barking dog whereas she wasn’t before. She has just had her first season. She Pulls on her lead constantly on walks and I can’t get her out of the habit and jumping up at people. She’s very living with myself and my children (15) and all the basic sit lay paw she still does fine and her recall is 90% good. I feel so nervous about letting her off her lead right now and when I see another dog I automatically call her back and pop her on a lead can you offer any advice as I’m sure it’s something I’m doing wrong thank you

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

Hello, thanks for the great picture. My first advice when a change is sudden (and in this case, drastic) is to have a vet checkup to rule out a medical issue. It could be the move to a new home, the fact that everyone is home on lockdown making her feel more protective, and that, combined with the constant barking in the neighborhood, is making Harlie unsettled. I agree that keeping her on the lead right now is the best idea. Try the Counter Conditioning Method here: https://wagwalking.com/training/not-attack-other-dogs. As well, I suggest putting Harlie through some obedience classes to get her used to other dogs again, helping her gain confidence and letting her get to know other friendly dogs. She'll then remember that other dogs can be friendly. But, first, a vet visit is a good idea. All the best!

Add a comment to Harlie's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Dusa
She’s a mix
4 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Dusa
She’s a mix
4 Years

She’s always been shy, and whenever another dog came too close, she would tuck her tail in and hide behind me. Recently, it’s started getting worse, as when another dog tries to sniff her, she growls and lunges at them. She’s never actually hurt another dog, but it’s starting to worry me because she’s quite a big dog. However, most of the time this only happens when the dog comes up to sniff her, as the rest of the time she calmly ignores the other dog and walks by. What do I do?

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

It seems as though Dusa is timid like you say, but it is also good that you are continuing to socialize her. Do you have a friend with a dog that you could go on walks with to get Dusa more comfortable? Another option is to join a club where dogs walk together (you are there as well) under the guidance of a trainer who has experience with dogs that have issues. Each time a walk takes place, the dogs are placed closer together to have them get used to others. Here are some tips: https://wagwalking.com/training/be-dominant and https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs (try the Passing Approach Method). How does she do at dog training? If the situation stays the same after you train with some of these methods, please consult a trainer who knows how to deal with aggression - one on one instruction can do wonders for Dusa's confidence. Safety is key as well, both yours and Dusa's as well as other dogs. Take a look at this site, there are tons of helpful videos and you can get online instruction, too. https://robertcabral.com/ Good luck!

Add a comment to Dusa's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Jelly Bean
chihuahua mix
8 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Jelly Bean
chihuahua mix
8 Years

Hi. We adopted the sweetest dog named Jelly Bean about 2 weeks ago. She is very well behaved and just happy to be with her people. We were told by her fosters that she gets along well with other dogs and sometimes ignores dogs on walks. That was the case for the first 5 days. Then she began to growl at dogs once they got close to her on a walk. Then, she tried to nip another dog. She wags her tail while they are approaching her (or vice versa), she does the necessary smell tests (still calm), the other dog is calm (not growling, barking, nipping), and then out of nowhere she'll growl and/or try to nip the other dog. We were told she was picked up as a stray in LA. So, we don't have any information on her history prior to us getting her. When we reached out to Jelly Bean's fosters regarding this change in behavior they were surprised and said the problem was on the other side of the leash. Neither my boyfriend nor I have done anything differently while walking her to lead to this behavior. We would appreciate any advice you could provide. Thanks!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello MaryLee, 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 her mind on scanning the area in search of other dogs. The walk should start with her having to exit your home very calmly, performing obedience commands at the door if she isn't calm. She 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 she should be in the heel position - with her head behind your leg. That position decreases her arousal, reduces stress because she isn't the one in charge and the one encountering things first. It prevents her from scanning for other dogs, staring dogs down or being stared down, and ignoring you behind her. It also requires her to be in a more submissive, structured, focused, calmer mindset - which has a direct effect on how aroused, stressed, and aggressive she is - it makes her feel like the responsibility is on your shoulders not hers around other dogs. Additionally, when you do pass other dogs, as soon as she starts staring them down, interrupt her. Don't tolerate challenging stares - even if she is stressed. Remind her with a gentle correction that you are leading the walk and she is not allowed to break her 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 her 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. Protect her from other dogs. If she feels nervous and someone wants to let her meet their rude, excited dog, tell the other person no thank you. A simple "She's in training" tends to work well. Be picky about who and how she meets other dogs. Avoid dogs that don't respect her space, pull their owners over to her, and generally are not listening well - those dogs are often friendly but they are rude and difficult for a nervous dog. Also, avoid greeting dogs who look very tense around your dog, who stare her down, who give warning signs like a low growl or lip lift, who look very puffed up and proud - that type greeting with a dog is likely to end in a fight since your dog doesn't know how to diffuse that situation. A stiff wag is also a bad sign. A friendly wag looks relaxed and loose with relaxed body language overall. A tense dog with a very stiff wag, especially with a tail held high is a sign of arousal and not always a good thing. 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 Outside of the walk you can work on building pup's trust and respect for you in other ways too to help her confidence. The following commands and exercises are also good for that: 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 Any tricks that challenge her mentally, require impulse control, and equal her learning new things successfully. A long down stay around distractions is a good thing to practice during walks periodically. A good way to do introductions with other dogs is to recruit friends with calm dogs and use the Passing Approach and the Walking together methods from the article linked below. After a few practice session of this, when the dogs can calmly walk side by side finally, take pups on walks together with both in a structured, focused heel. This gives both dogs something other than each other to focus on, keeps their energy calm, and helps them associate each other with the pleasant experience of a walk. Repeat this with lots of different dogs, one or two dogs at a time - you want other dogs to be associated with calmness, pleasant experiences, and boring things - not roughhousing, wrestling, nose-to-nose interactions always, or being rushed by them. https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Sometimes you can even find others to practice with through obedience clubs, meetup groups, or hiking groups. When she does greet another dog nose-to-nose, give slack in the leash, relax yourself, and keep the greeting to a max of 3 seconds, then happily tell her "Let's Go" or "Heel" and start walking away, giving her a treat when she follows so that she will learn to quickly respond to that command in the future. Keeping the greeting relaxed and short can diffuse tension and give the dogs enough time to say hi before competing starts. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Jelly Bean's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Cookie
Mixed Chihuahua
6 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Cookie
Mixed Chihuahua
6 Years

My dog doesn’t like to be around other dogs and we are getting a new one so I would like them to get along

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

Very cute! If Cookie is not friendly to other dogs at all, you may want to reconsider. If you really want another dog, then remember it will take time (possibly several weeks) for them to adjust and of course, there is always the chance that Cookie will never be friendly toward the other. Be prepared for aggression and possibly a few tears. Consider working on her getting along with other dogs before you bring another dog home. Work on socializing her and helping her to get over the dislike of other canines. Ask a trainer in your area for walking classes that allow dogs to walk at a distance, getting closer each walking session in the hopes that eventually they can play together. Work on The Passing Approach Method: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs/ and read this guide, too: https://wagwalking.com/training/accept-a-new-dog/. All the best!

Add a comment to Cookie's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Wilson
Bernese Mountain Dog
4 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Wilson
Bernese Mountain Dog
4 Years

My boy is actually a Bernese/Aussie Shep mix. He is very happy and sweet all the time, but in the last year has become very growly around other dogs, no matter if a female or male and even puppies. I can tell he is very possessive of me, but we went to the dog park for many years, and it was off leash and never a problem. Also it's still never a prob when we are walking on or off leash, its mainly at our house, when friends come to visit. He growls which does sound scary because he is a big dog, but I am pretty confident he would not actually bite them, but again, but he gets worked up. I think the puppy that frequently pops by is just so hyper it overwhelms him, but what can I do to help this ?

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

Cute photo! How are Wilson's obedience commands? A brush up on his down stay (https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-to-lay-down and https://wagwalking.com/training/perform-a-long-stay) would be a good idea and will help with the Down and Stay Method here: https://wagwalking.com/training/be-calm-around-strangers. The Wait on Mat Method is good, too: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-visitors-calmly. As well, to have him listen to you, this is an excellent guide:https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-to-listen-to-you. Having Wilson listening to you will enable him to focus and not be so concerned about others. Lots of reading for you. Have fun and all the best!

Add a comment to Wilson's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Cash
English Bulldog
11 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Cash
English Bulldog
11 Months

We have just rehomed our existing dogs brother (same litter) with us. The new dog is growling and barking at our current dog anytime they get to close to each other even though our existing dog is just lying down and submitting. We took them both for a long walk before bringing them into the house and there was an initial growl & bark but then fine the rest of the walk. It’s seems to be as soon as we have come into the house.

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

Hello, keep up the walks consistently. And several times a day. Once Cash gets to know the other dog on neutral ground, all should be well. Use the methods here, such as the Positive Reinforcement Method to get them used to each other: https://wagwalking.com/training/get-along-with-other-dogs Don't let the new dog bully the older one though, it is never to early to start obedience commands and teaching respect for both people and fellow dog household members. Reign in the growling by teaching listening skills: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you. Taking them both to obedience school is a good option as well, to help with the socialization all around. Bring them together - make it a family night and solidify the family bond. Then, each dog will have the same skills, and listening will be consistent. But for sure, reign in the dominance right away. Good luck!

Add a comment to Cash's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Lulu
cockapoo
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Lulu
cockapoo
2 Years

My black Cockapoo has recently just started to growl and fight with our other Cockapoo. I know that she is in her third season but she has never done this before as she loves Lola and even plays with her then all of a sudden she has started to do this. Why?

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

Lovely photos! Please take Lulu to the vet. There may be a medical reason for her change in behavior. It is important for her health and for the relationship between the two dogs to rule out a medical issue that may be causing pain. The fact that they have been fine all along makes a medical issue a possibility. I suggest as well that you brush up on her response to the obedience commands she learned when training. Reinforce them and do not allow her to keep up the behavior. Obedience training also keeps them mentally stimulated (essential with this breed). If you think they will behave, buy two interactive puzzle feeders for additional mental work. Take them for walks together often and work on commands like heel (as seen here: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel The Turns Method). Consider joining an activity like agility - it's an excellent way to burn off aggressive energy. But, the vet visit first. All the best!

Add a comment to Lulu's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Phil
Patterdale Terrier
5 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Phil
Patterdale Terrier
5 Years

When walking my dog he absolutely hates other dogs when he is on the lead, and the shorter I make the lead does not help, he just ends up on his 2 back legs trying to get towards the other dogs barking. The other dog doesn't even need to bark for this to happen. I have tried to just carry on walking but he pulls back trying to get to them. But he is really good with dogs that he knows. Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello, 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. When you pass a dog and pup remains calm, look for opportunities to reward that calmness - but don't reward while pup is tense, staring down other dogs, or reacting poorly. Look for calm body language and being relaxed or focused on you. 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 Recruiting friends to walk their well behaved dogs back and forth on the opposite sidewalk can give good opportunities to practice the above from a distance - so that the dogs are seeing and passing each other from several feet away, then not seeing each other to give a break, then passing again - so that the other dog becomes boring from the repetition and pup gets to repeat the situation for training purposes until he can respond calmer and be rewarded for a good response. Keep the distance further away at first. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Phil's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Bailey
Labrador Retriever
5 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Bailey
Labrador Retriever
5 Months

I have a 5 month old puppy. We’ve had her for a few months now and we just recently got a new dog and she’s the same breed just 14 months old and the new dog keeps growling at my 5 month old what should I do to prevent it

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Alicia, If you feel overwhelmed, things are getting worse, or there is a 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). 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 both 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 both 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 both 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 the older dog 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 the 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. Again, if you are concerned about a bite, things are not improving, or things are getting worse, hire professional help. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Bailey's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Junior
New Zealand Huntaway
11 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Junior
New Zealand Huntaway
11 Months

Junior growls at some male dogs however he is okay with most dogs. he has never lunged or shown any other sort of aggresive behaviour. we are worried as he is a big dog and we are aware that this could be intimidating to other people/dogs. how can we stop this behaviour? he is not neutered as of yet.

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

Hello, I would suggest that you sign Junior up for obedience classes right away, to avoid issues down the road. I cannot stress enough how much socialization does for dogs by allowing them to gain confidence in themselves. They also bond well to the training pet parent (so have everyone practice at home, too) which means a better behaved dog all-around who looks for leadership and guidance. In the meantime, try the Passing Approach Method with Junior when you take him on walks. It is described here: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs. As well, train Junior to heel when on walks. This provides focus and is perfect for good behavior when out and about. Take a look at the Turns Method and the Treat Lure Method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel. Good luck and have fun training!

Add a comment to Junior's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Harley
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Harley
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
2 Years

He seems to be snarling and snapping at some other dogs. He seems scared and it’s when they approach him. He will never run over to another dog unless he knows them and I want to stop anything becoming unpleasant on our walks

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Tracey, First, where it's safe for you to do so, advocate for pup by helping him avoid situations where other dogs are likely to run up to him rudely. Second, seek out calm, structured activities around other dogs, where you can more easily control the variables, desensitize pup, and help him stay in a calmer mindset with other dogs present. G.R.O.W.L. classes are great places to start for this. If pup is safe to do so, joining heeling, leashed dog walking and dog hiking groups where all the dogs are heeling and giving a bit of distance while walking together. Recruiting friends with well mannered dogs to practice the Passing Approach and Walking Together methods from the article linked below, or joining an Intermediate Obedience class - with an instructor who is aware of pup's behavior around other dogs. When pup is calm and tolerant around other dogs - observe their body language, reward pup with a treat to help pup associate the other dogs with good things. If pup has ever bitten another dog and broken the skin or you don't feel confident with this on your own, I highly suggest hiring a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues and aggression to help in person - especially when it comes to the Passing Approach and Walking Together methods with friends - always take safety measures when dealing with any form of aggression or reactivity. Pup may never be a dog who wants to rough house with other dogs and that's fine. The goal should be tolerance and less anxiety around other dogs, and you learning how to manage situations to better advocate for pup to reduce the chances of pup being put in a bad situation. Passing Approach and Walking Together methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Harley's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Petra
Dachshund
9 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Petra
Dachshund
9 Years

Rescue from a outdoor centre.
Behaving pretty well considering only day 2.
Just one of my other dogs she will bear her teeth. my other dog already told her off.
the trigger seems to be if she is near my daughter aged 14. My daughter has been tearful since she arrived because when she growls she feels guilty about our long term dogs. Its all new to petra the rescue so I think she is doing really well. Just appreciate some tips

Add a comment to Petra's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Shadow
Labrador Retriever
8 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Shadow
Labrador Retriever
8 Years

I recently got a new puppy (Loki) and my other dog (Shadow) that I’ve had for 8 years has been so sweet and gentle towards the puppy. The only issue is that sometimes Loki wants to cuddle with Shadow but Shadow begins to growl in an aggressive way. He doesn’t bite or hurt Loki, but he’ll get up very fast and growl if the dog tries to cuddle with Shadow. I don’t know how to teach him to not behave this way.

Add a comment to Shadow's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
King
German Shepherd/Rough collie
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
King
German Shepherd/Rough collie
2 Years

My dog king has been a sweetheart with other dogs since we got him almost a year ago, but recently over the past month or so he started growling at other dogs when he meets them. We really noticed it the first time with a husky a little younger than him on our street, king shoved his face into the huskys and let out this deep menacing growl that would not stop unless I pulled him away, he had a good run recently in with 2 dogs he met when we first got him and he has no problem with his neighbour but today he did the same thing with a Portuguese waterdog a little bigger than him, this time king came up behind him, put a paw on his back and barked twice right into his ear, he also had the fur on the back of his neck stand up, we were hoping a dog park would set him straight and remind him that other dogs are fun and friendly but now I’m to scared to go just in case he bites one of them, leash walking has always been the same with him, he wears a head collar because he pulls non stop and it’s almost impossible to get his attention when he doesn’t have it on, he usually doesn’t pull when it’s on at other dogs, just watches them, when it’s off you can’t control him, he goes wild, he never barks or growls from a distance, he rarely cries too and I don’t know what signs I’m looking for when his head collar is on because it mellows him out, please give me some advice we’d really appreciate it

Add a comment to King's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Sebastian
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
5 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Sebastian
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
5 Months

Recently has become possessive at the dog park with things he finds on the floor, water bowls, etc. Will snark and lunge at other dogs if they get too close.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Alyssa, First, I suggest not going to the dog park right now because of how highly arousing it is and because it's a dangerous place to proactively practice training things related to aggression in such an uncontrolled environment. Instead, I suggest contacting a training group that has access to lots of well mannered dogs and at that location working on desensitizing him to other dogs being around objects he feels possessive of. This will also involve working on pup's trust and respect for you so that they are less possessive in general and in a calmer mindset. Practice things like pup being on Place while other dogs practice obedience around him and do things like Fetch toys while pup observes and holds commands like Down, Place, and Sit. Fixating and aggressive tension should be interrupted, staying attentive with you and having calm body language and obedience should be rewarded in the presence of other dogs working with objects. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Sebastian's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
skye
not
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
skye
not
1 Year

aggressive with one of my other dogs. Nice to one not nice to the other. Guarding a chair and guarding me from my other dog I've had for 13 years

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Melissa, I highly suggest hiring a professional trainer to work with you in person for this. There are certain safety measures that need to be in place with a trainer's help to avoid a potential bite with this type of aggression. Pup's respect for you needs to be carefully build through calm leadership, obedience practice, boundaries, consistency with enforcing rules, and structure. Pup needs to learn to associate the presence of the other dog's near what they are guarding with good things, using a careful combination of corrections with safety measures in place, and rewards for tolerance. Management needs to be in place, such as teaching a Long Place command, things like Out, Leave It, and crate training. The two dogs fighting need to be evaluated in person or at least more questions asked by a trainer to determine if both dogs are behind the issue, the problem is resource guarding, or something else, to be able to address all the sides of that issue specifically. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to skye's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Cino
Havanese/maltese
5 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Cino
Havanese/maltese
5 Months

Cino is really well behaved puppy however he growls and barks at other people and other dogs. We didn't get him until he was 4 months old and he wasn't vaccinated so we couldn't take him out until he was 5 months old, so I guess his socialisation was relatively late. We only started taking him out a few days ago and he hasn't had any direct contact with dogs apart from one. He growled and barked at him initially but then let the other dog sniff him and vice versa and he was fine. All the dogs he saw in the distance he growled and barked at them non stop.
He growls and barks at random people too, even kids. He's fine once he's met them and is really friendly.
I've tried really hard averting his attention with the "look at Me' command before he starts to growl (just as all the online advice says)and on a few occasions he has listened and I've given him a treat but most of the time he's so excited, distracted and wound up that he won't listen or even have the treat offered to him . I live in an extremely hot part of the world so going for walks right now are pretty challenging themselves.
Would love some advice.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
914 Dog owners recommended

Hello Nira, I suggest enrolling pup in a puppy kindergarten class as soon as possible, since this does sound like an issue with socialization and nervousness. Pup needs to be exposed to lots of different people and other puppies as often and soon as you can to prevent a bigger issue later. Reward pup for good responses by carrying part of pup's kibble or small, easy to eat treats with you when out with them. Take pup to lots of places with people and dogs around, where you can control the distance, and work on pup heeling past them, rewarding calmness and curiosity, and having more up-close interactions with other puppies in class. Have people give pup a command and feed a treat when greeting to encourage calmness but also make people fun. Teach pup the Quiet command: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Touch - to encourage pup to greet people for treats: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWSJVwZybwo Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Cino's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Duke
Siberian Husky
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Duke
Siberian Husky
1 Year

Duke used to be very social and friendly , but with quarantine he’s become very intrusive around other dogs . He gets aggressive and grows a lot now , soriems even when he’s walking by; sometimes he doesn’t and he’s able to try and play, but it just depends on the dog for some reason. He has also become very territorial with his bowls as he pretty much tried to attack a dog for drinking out of his water bowl .

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

Hello, because Duke used to be friendly, you may be able to get that trait back. I would take him to obedience classes to work on his socialization skills. As well, he will learn to listen and also gain confidence, which is sometimes the reason for aggression (fear and nervousness). Work on Duke's attitude with other dogs at a distance, too, by using the Passing Approach Method here: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs. Start obedience training him at home before heading to classes: https://wagwalking.com/training/obedience-train-a-great-dane. Classes will be important and will give you an assurance that you can enjoy Duke once again and not be on edge when he is around other dogs. Good luck!

Add a comment to Duke's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Barrow
Long haired chiuaua
7 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Barrow
Long haired chiuaua
7 Months

Barrow is so friendly and kind to dogs we meet out on walks and he is quiet. I took him to my boyfriends home for the first time and introduced barrow to his Australia shepherd and barrow barked constantly and even growled and tried to lunge at the other dog. His tail was wagging a lot at times but at other times not. I thought he was kind with other dogs and now I’m worried

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

Hello, I would try again, this time having the dogs on neutral ground. Take them for a walk first. Keep them busy walking along and separate from each other, gradually getting closer as they move along. Try that a few times until they seem comfortable around each other. After that, you can engage them in a playtime situation and they should be fine. I am sure that Barrow is a kind dog as he has displayed so far - the two dogs just got off on the wrong foot. I would also work on teaching her obedience commands. This gives her confidence and may reduce the chance of her reacting to other dogs. A well-trained dog is a pleasure to own. Help Barrow be the best she can be. Take a look at the Basic Commands Method here: https://wagwalking.com/training/obedience-train-a-great-dane. Effective for dogs large and small! All the best to you and Barrow!

Add a comment to Barrow's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Kaido
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Kaido
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
3 Years

My dog seem to get get irritated when a dog sniff him for too long. he shows his fangs and snaps at them

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
236 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.

Add a comment to Kaido's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Lucky
Shihpoo
8 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Lucky
Shihpoo
8 Months

When my puppy is on the lead and meets another dog he begins to growl then will snap at it repeatedly. We say no and pull him away. However, he will keep trying to go back for more. Off the lead he is usually ok, but will sometimes snap, we then put him back on a lead and keep him walking. How do we stop the snapping?
As it’s been lockdown we haven’t had people to the house. However, the other day my friends came round, Lucky growled at them when they came in. He stayed by my feet, barking/growling. I told him no and ignored him until he stopped. My friend went to touch him one he was lying down and he snapped at her. Could this be overcome by visitors giving him a treat when they arrive?

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
236 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 w