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Thread: Fear Aggression?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Default Fear Aggression?

    Roxie barks at other dogs whenever she sees one. She was clearly never socialized. I tell her no, leave it, sometimes she listens, sometimes she goes absolutely mental, screams likes she's being murdered, pulls, barks, runs. Really crazy.

    When she does this, I stop, tell her no, get her attention and make her sit and stay until she calms down. She always does, even if it takes a few minutes (When I'm walking her with friends, they always take off, embarrassed. Then Roxie carries on because she is being left behind. It drives me mental).

    Normally this is at dogs behind fences. The other day we came across a dog walking, and the owner waited until she calmed down before passing. As soon as the dog got near her, she was silent and cowered.

    She has never snapped, never bitten, even out of fright (though she's never been *that* scared with us). She is scared of the doorbell sometimes, not the phone though. When she is scared she immediately finds an exit and runs. I'm not sure how she would react being cornered, I'm definitely not going to test it, I imagine she would defend herself if she had to.

    Can this behavior be considered aggressive? How can I fix it? I'm trying to socialize her more, once she's met a dog for more than two minutes they are the best of friends, but we've basically met every dog we know and new people aren't too keen on helping.

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009


    There could be lots of reasons behind it - removed from the litter too soon, only one or two in the litter, poor socialisation from the crucial 3 wks old period etc etc.

    It sounds like a combination of fear and excitement combined with her lack of social skills and how she should go about greeting other dogs.

    I do the walk in and walk out. I explained it in another post today and I wouldn't push her too close to the other dogs or if you do you basically have to wait and so does that other person/dog have to wait with you until there is a positive change in her, visibly relaxed and quiet.

    Otherwise she may see her behaviour as what drove away the scary other dog.

    I've had 7 kids in the house today and have a monster headache so hope the scratchy details made sense.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Melbourne, australia


    Do you go to dog school?
    SPR fosters:Rowland, Matrix, Mia, Arizona, Romeo, Wrinkles, George, Molly, Su Lin, Ellie, Charlie, Charlotte, Lulu, Montana

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Lala Land!!!


    You just need to teach her that other dogs are a good thing. Dogs have something called critical distance, it is the point where their awearness of the stimuli (the other dogs) turns into a reaction. With Roxie, it sounds like she has a huge distance in which she thinks is her personal space and if anyone comes into that space then she gets worried. Just watch her closely, get her to where she is happy to watch the other dogs, and praise her, give her treats. If she is to tense to eat you are too close, if she starts to growl or bark then you are too close, if she does anything other than watch them then mover her in the oposite direction and dont get her so close next time.
    Just remember to keep your cool, dont get flustered and dont tell her its all ok, you will just be telling her there is something to worry about.
    Just be happy, let her know that meeting others is a happy thing and always take her away while she is happy. It might mean that you can not walk around lots of other dogs for a while but altering your route is a little price to pay for her happyness in the long run Good luck with her!

    Breeding, Showing, Training and general crazy making!!!
    If you seek understanding listen to the music, not the song.

  5. #5


    Good Luck its not an easy one i know from experience.

    My little mix breed has had the same issues since i got him at 8 weeks. I was really lucky with the dog school i go to it has a behavourist and does naughty but nice classes. I found clicker training excellent for him we play the look at the other dog and get a click and a treat game all the time.

    You could try to struggle along yourself but if you can i would try to find a behaviourist to point you in the right direction it will save you a lot of time

  6. #6


    My dog used to go crazy at other dogs. Not because of fear, but because I didn't know much about training and puppies when we got him. But hey... I was like... 12 or 13.
    Anyway the past 2 months when we go for walks (which hasn't been a lot due to rain and me being sick, having dentel surgery etc) I've taken heaps of treats. Every time we saw or even heard a dog, I immediatly would give him a treat. Then another one. And just kept going with that until the other dog was past. I've ran into a few problems, like when that dog came running up to us (atleast it wasn't aggressive and didn't react when my dog went crazy) or those few times we ran out of treats (I usually just made him sit and look at me if the dogs were far enough away or turned the other direction).
    So far he's not perfect, but he is getting there. He no longer needs it to rain treats when he sees a dog. I use the treat as a distraction and only need to give him a few. Now that he's not as bad with other dogs I like to make him focus on the treat for a few seconds before giving it to him. And the other day I took him for a quick walk without treats and he only whined when we saw other dogs, rather then the screaming and lungeing he used to do. Mind you he would of lunged a bit, but I just distracted him with praise. So he's gotten a lot better, and is much more easy to walk when we go past dogs. But I'm still going to be using treats for a while. I need to get to a stage where he doesn't lunge or show any signs of aggression, and then slowly decrease the distance.

    Good luck!

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