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Thread: Help with Aggressive Dog

  1. #1

    Unhappy Help with Aggressive Dog

    A year ago, I adopted a 6yo kelpie x German Shepard. She is a very very smart, active dog. She is also very dog aggressive. She got out today (due to a builder at the premises not latching the gate) and attacked a small white dog that was on lead. The owner kicked my dog as hard as he could to get her off - it was the only way (they are both fine).

    I cannot trust her around other dogs. When I'm around, she is fine, sweet as pie and not aggressive at all. We go to weekly dog training classes, to address this very issue, and have been for nearly a year. She is an angel at training. I'm at a loss of what to do. She gets walked for 40 minutes every morning, and five days a week we go for an 8km jog.

    I have at this stage three options, I believe at this stage anyway (ideas welcome).

    1) tethering her while I'm at work in the back yard with a stake in the ground so she cannot hang herself - she will be able to reach grass, and under cover cemented area and will be on a chain about 8m long. Will also get a kennel.

    2) crate training her - I have a 'shed-like' cage at the back of the property, 3m x 2m, fully enclosed and fully cemented. I can stand up fully in this space, but it's pretty yuck.

    3) muzzling her, but don't feel I can do this for 8 hours at a time when I'm at work.

    I'm not sure the electric containment systems will work - she has a very high pain threshold and when she goes into her prey drive I think she would switch off and ignore it.

    She isn't overly bored, she doesn't try to get out unless the gate is unlatched or the fence falls down (cue her getting out two weeks ago) and is overall a really great dog - when I'm around. but e nature of life means I can't always be around. I'm after ideas, advice. I'm getting close to having to make a really really hard decision - I cant have a dangerous dog.

  2. #2
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    Having had an anti-social dog myself, I feel your pain. My dog never actually bit (ie. broke skin) another dog but she would often charge at them in a very aggressive way and growl, nip, stand over them, etc. More bullying then aggression as such, so I never was forced to take drastic action.

    I would advise seeing a dog behaviourist if you can. I saw one at our local RSPCA (for another matter - attacking kangaroos) and I found them quite good. They deal a lot with dog aggressive dogs themselves. I did also see another behaviourist about her anti-social behaviour and found their advice a bit lacking though. They were from a Bark Busters type company and I found their advice a bit too general to be useful. They focused on recall and training on a long lead, which wasn't really what I needed.

    Sorry, I'm waffling a bit! I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you can get a recommendation from someone for a good behaviourist who will really assess your dog and give you advice specific to your dog, that could be really useful.

  3. #3
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    I would also suggest you go and see someone to help you. there are all sort of matters to be seen by the person helping you, which cannot be done over the forum. The little dog may have initiated the aggression or maybe not. This needs to be seen and checked. Also if the dog is good whilst you are there, that is promising. But again seek help form an experienced person.

    Now on a positive. You can often help a dog if you are willing to spend the time ( sounds like she is getting lots already)and with lots of help. I did that with my Annabelle, so I can give you possible hope.

    Also if you need a secure enclosure, can you maybe make a yard to go with the enclosure. We have a safe Kennel run for our dogs, as we often get misfit rescues, that need to be safe.

    I hope you can get some one to one training. the fact that you go to training is fabulous, It means you will have good leadership already. That is possibly why she is good when you are around.

    You may just need that help from someone to get you past her issues. Maybe she needs to have confidence when you are not there to protect her.

    Good luck and keep us updated
    Pets are forever

  4. #4
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    I would use the pen you have, safer than tethering, if she is good when you are around you are not going to change what she does when you are not, so all you can do is keep her safely contained at all times.

    Good luck

  5. #5
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    She cant be that dog aggressive if she is fine at training sessions with other dogs IMO

    Apart from making that annoying comment I cant be of any assistance. My wee one is aggressive to other dogs and we just dont go where other dogs are....not so much because Im worried she will hurt another dog but coz I am worried she will start something that she hasnt got a shit show in hell of finishing LOL

    Good luck

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lala View Post
    She cant be that dog aggressive if she is fine at training sessions with other dogs IMO
    It's a fair point. Maybe it's more an overdeveloped prey drive than aggression? My sighthound used to think chasing fluffy white dogs was the next best thing to chasing rabbits when I first got her. She actually did get over that - must have finally realised that they were dogs too - and she ended up being really good around little dogs. Except Spaniels. For some reason she hated their guts. Never found out why, but I just always called her back when I spotted one.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lala View Post
    She cant be that dog aggressive if she is fine at training sessions with other dogs IMO

    Apart from making that annoying comment I cant be of any assistance. My wee one is aggressive to other dogs and we just dont go where other dogs are....not so much because Im worried she will hurt another dog but coz I am worried she will start something that she hasnt got a shit show in hell of finishing LOL

    Good luck
    That might be because she is under control........And maybe Noodle has good Leadership and the dog is following her guidance. And she might also have attacked the little dog, because it was aggressive or she is aggressive when she is not guided/controlled by Noodle. That is why it would be good for someone experienced to see her around other dogs.
    Pets are forever

  8. #8

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    Thanks for all the replies guys.

    The trainer we have weekly classes with is a qualified dog behavouirist. At training, she is great - we've had another dog jump her and she just sits there and doesn't react. This is why its so frustrating!! When I walk her, she tenses up with another dog coming towrads her, but a quick check or 'no' and she's calm and quiet again. If I just let her go I'm sure she would rush the dog. Same senario while walking past a fence if the dog is barking at us. Sometimes its hackles up, sometimes its happy tails wagging in a friendly manner.

    Whether it is dog aggression or an overactive prey drive, she is still attacking smaller dogs, when I am not there to reprimand her. She is tied up at home today, and I'm hoping I don't get a call from the council.

  9. #9
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    I think it could be a territorial thing at home. You probably need to run the same drills and rewards that you do at class, at home as well and have a brave someone with a decoy SWF (or ugg boot on a string) to practice distractions.

    If there are people that are going to leave your gate not properly latched - you need to either lock the gates so they can't do that or build a dog run or separate area for your dog that they don't access and keep that locked. When I'm out my dog stays locked in my house where it's harder for bad people to do bad things to her. Call me paranoid.

    Unlucky people have come home to find their dog has been let out, and then picked up by the council ranger, and if the dog attacked anything in between - including the ranger it ends up on death row really quickly. And if the council does find the owner (they usually try if the dog is microchipped and registered), they will require the dog be kept as a dangerous dog - ie the locked dog run in the yard and muzzled on lead when out in public...

  10. #10

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    Lots of good advice here.Padlock the gate so it cant be left open. spend the money to fix the fences. If you have a tun use it or spend they money to fix it and bring it up to standard. How much is your dog worth to you? I'm sure you would spend the money on vet bills if needed. If your dog gets out and actually hurts someone or their pet not only are you going to feel bad but your council may seize your dog and it may be PTS. You have to look a what is the worst possible outcome and what you can do to make sure that doesn't happen.
    Last edited by clubsprint; 09-16-2011 at 10:27 AM.

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