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Thread: Deaf rescue dog with leash aggression

  1. #1

    Default Deaf rescue dog with leash aggression

    Hi everyone. First post here.

    I recently rescued a small (~6kg) 8 year old male poodle/shih tzu cross. I realised soon after that he is very hard of hearing, if not entirely deaf.

    He is an incredibly gentle, placid, low energy and quiet dog, both at home and at the off-leash dog park. At the park, he will happily greet other dogs, and then wander off to "putter around". After a couple of months, his demeanor has relaxed noticeably, and does visual "check ins" with me, and is becoming much more predictable following me around when not on leash. My other dog is a blind 4kg female maltese/shih tzu and they have bonded, with the blind maltese/shih tzu being the more dominant of the two.

    The only exception to his personality is when he has an outburst of leash aggression on a walk. He has learned to walk nicely and leads the smaller blind dog, but if he sees a dog through a fence as we walk by, his entire body tenses up, he stops moving and makes an awful distorted barking/growling sound and will lunge at the fence. If another dog walks by in his field of vision, he will sometimes go on his hind legs and make small warning "nips" in the air. When distracted in this way, he won't make eye contact with me so my only method of communication is getting in front of him, catching his eye contact and then guiding him using the leash to keep moving along the path. Luckily given his small size he has not particularly scared other dog owners, but it still concerns me.

    I can only imagine he is reacting due to some fear or anxiety and potentially defending my other dog or me, but only when he is on the leash. Other than avoiding the situation entirely (walking on routes avoiding houses with dogs behind fences visible to the street), I was wondering if anyone had advice for helping a slightly older dog who cannot hear? He does not care at all about any toys, and is not particularly food motivated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
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    12,537

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    Dogs on a tight leash think their only option when confronted with something upsetting - is to fight. They don't know they can retreat. And they can't think straight enough to know there's no threat.

    Little dogs are very prone to this.

    does he pull on lead? if so - fix this first.

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...87C737FB745168

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyacinth View Post
    Dogs on a tight leash think their only option when confronted with something upsetting - is to fight. They don't know they can retreat. And they can't think straight enough to know there's no threat.

    Little dogs are very prone to this.

    does he pull on lead? if so - fix this first.

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...87C737FB745168
    Seems so simple, but in hindsight you're absolutely right. I will work on this right away. Thank you for the link.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Southern NSW
    Posts
    3,769

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyacinth View Post
    Dogs on a tight leash think their only option when confronted with something upsetting - is to fight. They don't know they can retreat. And they can't think straight enough to know there's no threat.

    Little dogs are very prone to this.

    does he pull on lead? if so - fix this first.


    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...87C737FB745168

    Good stuff.....

    and learn to communicate via the leash... so the dog knows you are there. this is done initially in quiet areas... leash communication is very important even to hearing dogs. Teach the dog to follow the leash, with the slightest soft movement. very much like following a rein for horses. this is not pulling by the handler, but soft tapping. once the dog knows this, you can get the dog to focus on you via the leash
    Pets are forever

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