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Thread: Nervous Aggression

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Default Nervous Aggression

    Following a post in the General forum, it was recommended I post here. There may be similar posts that would help so please feel free to direct me to them.

    I have an 8 month old rescue pup - mastiff X - maybe? Long story short, after trying training days, small training classes and one on one training, I ended up with a consult at a behaviour vet. Indi (the recue pup) was diagnosed with a mental disorder leading to anxiety. This has manifested itself as nervous behaviour when meeting new people and this is slowly escalating into barking / growling. Note that following an introduction I can get Indi to relax and even to start playing with the strangers, but there is obvious stress to Indi and for most people her barks and growls (and size - she is 32kg and jet black) are very frightening

    She has also started displaying aggression towards other unknown dogs. I also have a mini dac at home and they have now been separated following a fight where Sam (the mini dac) was injured. At one of the training classes, another dog growled at Indi and her reaction was intense, lunging, growling and barking. I was able to keep control and following unsuccessful attempts at calming her I removed her from the class and went home.

    The behaviourist has perscribed medication and behaviour modification training including walking on a halti, calm on command, crate training and following the NILIF principle. I am not keen on the medication but feel it is probably necessary in order to modify her behaviour.

    It should be noted that she is beautiful at home, very firendly to my family, we can remove food from her, she sits and stays on commands, even knows how to roll over. Once outside and there are distractions present she will not follow any commands, even food treats won't entice her. At the large group training classes, it got to the point where she was choking herslef attempting to get to the other dogs. I am starting the management methods for her today and right now it all looks very difficult.

    Any advice is appreciated

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Kurrajong / Hawkesbury


    S: It is not uncommon for dogs to have missed the development of the social skill in which they learn to meet people and or dogs with the correct social etticut.

    This often, when combined with anxiety leads to fear aggression, which may be the problem in your case.

    At times medicating is neccessary but in all honesty, very few cases that come through us end up with any drug therapy. One of the main reasons for avoiding drugs is that at times it can inhibit new learning making rehabilitation more difficult and in some cases, impossible.

    As your working with a behaviourist, I would stick with that course if you trust the information and care your getting. You will have no success if you dont trust the advice your given and follow it to the letter.

    If you dont trust this advice, get a second opinion.
    Steve Courtney, K9 Pro - The K9 Professionals

    Official Forum Trainer and Behaviourist

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