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Thread: American staffy recently developed attitude towards other dogs

  1. #1

    Default American staffy recently developed attitude towards other dogs

    My male American staffy has recently been showing aggressive behaviour towards other dogs. He is 17 months old and walks without lead. We have been home for a week since holidays he came with, parents had there dog with as well. On hols our dog killed a possum and woke us when fighting with other dog after. Any ideas why he has changed, and how to help him walk without lead again

  2. #2

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    Just one occasion

  3. #3

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    If he had just killed a possum it sounds like he was guarding his catch.

    I would not worry too much about it except to watch for resource guarding in future.

  4. #4

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    walk him every couple of days along the beach in an off leash zone, has been doing this since he was 3 months old. Just dont want to put him back on lead. Likes to bolt off and play with other dogs. Just made my wife panic, spose he would have picked that up to.

  5. #5
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    Likes to bolt off and play with other dogs.
    He's a big scary dog. And he's just hit the end of doggy adolescence - where he's trying himself out as an adult dog - so he will take less crap from other dogs, and clearly doesn't mind a fight.

    Other dogs and people may be quite frightened of him. You need to have perfect recall - so he will come back to you immediately when you call. No putting some other dog in its place first and then returning. It would also be a good idea to make sure you have other dog owner's permission before you allow him to go play with their dogs.

    You don't know when another dog might be recovering from injury or just frail or had some bad experiences with dogs like yours... and "play" might not be a good idea.

    I've had some problems with my dog recently - not tolerating "rude dogs". She would probably tell a dog like yours to "back off", and then there would be a fight. If a dog gets told to "back off" by a human or another dog - there shouldn't be a fight. The "playful" dog should "back off".

    If you're not sure what your dog might do... maybe invest in a muzzle and train him to enjoy wearing it - eg muzzles mean food and walks... that way you limit how much damage he can do if he does get in another fight. He can still seriously hurt another dog or human just by jumping on them or barging them over. You still need control.

    As long as other owners are ok with yours playing with theirs - all good - otherwise - you're going to need to keep him away.

  6. #6

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    I'm sorry but I'm going to disagree with everyone else here it seems. If you own a powerful breed (and amstaff ticks that box) and you believe there is a chance that your dog will attack another, it is not fair to anyone to just let the dog off-lead around other dogs that you don't know and don't control and just, hope for the best. It is not easy to break up a dog fight, even when one of the dogs doesn't want to be fighting. Even experienced dog handlers do their upmost to avoid this situation because it is never simple to deal with.

    I have known dogs that were killed by staffies (and other powerful breeds) and many that were badly injured (my dog is one of those, he nearly lost an eye) and it is not something any pet owner should have to experience or even worry about. In all of these cases, it was allegedly the first time the staffy had badly injured or killed another dog. It's not good enough.

    You need to have your dog on lead and organise to meet up with another dog owner prepared to work with you. You need to assess your dog's behaviour. Staffies can be very high drive dogs. If your dog has identified fighting as a way of satisfying his drives, you will need to address this.

    Your dog is 17 months old. Has he been neutered? Mine is an entire male and round about 2 years of age he started to really become an adult. It does change their behaviour and they can become more confident and assertive, especially if they're entire. My dog will not tolerate other large males (small dogs he ignores no matter what they do luckily) trying to dominate him. This can cause fights. Through training, I can read and control my dog so I can have him off lead. If I spot a dog that I think will be a problem - for example, male, walking with its head and tail high and rigid and scaring other dogs, I call mine, get him out of the way and then put him in a down stay and wait until the dog has passed. I won't let the other dog come near my dog. But my dog is 4.5 years old and I know him very well because we have done so much together, including training in a variety of sports, under all conditions and we have been through these situations with other competent dog handlers who have helped me to get to where I am today with my dog.

    As another poster has said, there is a responsibility that comes with owning powerful breeds and if your dog does not have a reliable recall at least (preferably a good stay as well) and has demonstrated a willingness to fight with other dogs, you need to respond accordingly. Maybe consider getting a long rope so your dog can still have almost free run, but if you see another dog, you have some control over your own. I've seen a lot of staffy owners do this and I am extremely grateful.

    Anyway, thanks for asking about it rather than just winging it. I live in highly populated areas and have seen so many staffies try to destroy other dogs. I have seen them be successful and I have nearly lost my own dog to one more than once. They're the most popular dogs and every second dog seems to be one which is fine, but people just need to be mindful of the fact that their dogs are powerful and can cause devastating damage to other dogs.

  7. #7
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    I have to agree with 99Bottles. I have a dog reactive Staff that is very especially reactive with other staffies and any other dogs her size, especially if they are female. She is built like a little tank and I think she would do a lot of damage.

    Consequently, I never have her off lead and I have her on a longer lead so she can still sniff around but is under my control. I also have her in a front harness because she knows how to shake her self out of her collar.

    I think she is too far gone to try to re-socialise her and I think it would be too dangerous and irresponsible for me to do so.

    For the record, we have a pretty good recall but once she has honed in on another dog she is very driven and has selective hearing.

    She is my first dog-reactive staff and my other staff boy is so very social and well behaved with other dogs. I think Serena is just a bitch.

    My advice, keep your dog on the lead at all times because if something goes wrong, it can go very wrong.

    Good Luck!

    cheers

    Adrian

  8. #8
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    My male American staffy has recently been showing aggressive behaviour towards other dogs
    while there might have been just one fight over food / resource guarding - you really don't want to risk it happening again. Especially not in a public place where people are less forgiving of bad behaviour.

    The opening post doesn't read like a one off incident.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brendan View Post
    My male American staffy has recently been showing aggressive behaviour towards other dogs. He is 17 months old and walks without lead. We have been home for a week since holidays he came with, parents had there dog with as well. On hols our dog killed a possum and woke us when fighting with other dog after. Any ideas why he has changed, and how to help him walk without lead again
    I would prefer a more complete explanation. Is he showing aggression to other "dogs" or was it "one dog" after a possum kill. I have 2 males (Border collies) who will fight each other on occassion, but are non aggressive to most other dogs unless the other males show aggression or eyeball first, and they are completely non aggressive to females, it is more an in house male competition thing.

    I have known lovely staffies and I have known aggressive staffies. A friend of mine has a generally well behaved unsterilised male staffy but she keeps an eye on him when he has his ball as this can trigger a situation with other males. He is fine with females.

    Powerfull dogs do carry responsibilities and you need to work out what exactly is going on so you can be prepared to deal with it.

  10. #10

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    I think in this instance maybe play it better safe than sorry and have him on a 'long lead' until you are very sure your boy isn't going to start flexing his new found reaction muscles . It needn't be forever.
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