Ava (Attacks = Agression?)

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dani8506's picture
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Joined: 2017-11-18

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Hi everyone,

This is my first time so please forgive me if I am posting in the wrong section.

My name is Shane and my Doberman, Ava has owned me since August of 2011. Ava was a rescue (obscure rescue center) and was 8 months old when we adopted each other. The story goes that she was found wandering on a country road in Mustang, Oklahoma. She has always been a bit skittish and I think she was previously abused. When Ava came to live with me, she had a Dachshund sister and a Shih Tzu brother. Both have since passed away so now it is just the two of us.

Early on, I would take them with me to the family cabin in Eufaula and Ava really enjoyed running all over the property. On one of our morning walks, she turned a corner on our long country road driveway and was attacked by another dog. The dog bit her and punctured the loose skin between her body and her back leg. Ava loved to play with other dogs and I think this incident was a misunderstanding between the two. We went to the vet and she healed up quickly and well.

My older brother has a Pit Bull that is much smaller than Ava but is used to being the Alpha I guess. Both dogs were always present at family holidays. - Creepy, my brother's dog, attacked AVA twice. Each time, Ava being much bigger was able to pin Creepy to the ground. She wasn't trying to hurt Creepy, she just wanted her to knock off this agression. Creepy on the other hand, inflicted some injury to Ava before we could get to them. Ava was bitten on the face and neck (puncture wounds). Again, she went to the vet and healed quickly.

Since that last episode, Ava's temperament has changed toward other dogs that she doesn't know. She acts very aggressive toward them although I think she may just be trying to assert her dominance. If I can calm her down and nicely introduce her to another dog, she is fine. Taking walks in our neighborhood is a challenge as most people walk their dogs around here. I generally have to cross to the other side of the street and hold her by the collar until the other dog has passed and there is some distance between us.

Any suggestions on how to undo the damage these previous attacks have caused? I would love to be able to take her to the dog park and let her off leash to run crazy as she so enjoys it, but I don't want her or another dog to get hurt.

I have Asperger's and Ava truly is my best friend. She and I spend all our time together when I am not at the office. I would love for her to be able to enjoy herself the way she used to before these attacks; viewing other dogs as friends rather than foes. - I have been considering taking her in for some formal training to see if that would help although it is rather costly on my tight budget. However, if that is the answer I will absolutely do what needs to be done for her to be happy and healthy.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and/or advice.

DOGMAN45's picture
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Joined: 2013-09-06

  Getting training for you and Ava would be a good idea if you can afford that.   You may be affecting Ava's behavior without realizing it.  If you are anticipating trouble when approaching other dogs, Ava may be sensing your apprehension.  If she is already uneasy this added tension could be making things worse.  Hopefully a few positive experiences can bring Ava back to her happy former self. 

DobermanGuy's picture
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Joined: 2017-12-11

Since that last episode, Ava's temperament has changed toward other dogs that she doesn't know. She acts very aggressive toward them although I think she may just be trying to assert her dominance. If I can...

 

Here is where I found this snippet about Doberman breed standards: http://www.thedogplace.org/BREEDS/Doberman/AKC-UKC_Breed-Standards.asp

 

Temperament

Energetic, watchful, determined, alert, fearless, loyal and obedient. The judge shall dismiss from the ring any shy or vicious Doberman. Shyness: A dog shall be judged fundamentally shy if, refusing to stand for examination, it shrinks away from the judge; if it fears an approach from the rear; if it shies at sudden and unusual noises to a marked degree. Viciousness: A dog that attacks or attempts to attack either the judge or its handler, is definitely vicious. An aggressive or belligerent attitude towards other dogs shall not be deemed viciousness.

 

 

In my experience with Dobermans - Doberman puppies are really great at crapping IN your yard. When they become adults they become very good at keeping crap OUT of your yard. (strangers and such)

 

Until people come along and water down the breed to the point that all of those 'standards' are meaningless...

 

 

CRDobe's picture
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Joined: 2014-11-06

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I don't think most Dobes do well at dog parks and I also don't think they need a ton of doggie buddies to play with. Most would much rather just be with their person. Take her to an enclosed area and let her run after a ball or Frisbee - or you :-) 

As Dogman45 said, training is an excellent idea and will also help her gain confidence.

My girl is 3 yrs old and was viciously attacked by a GD when she was a pup. She is not aggressive with other dogs, just ignores them. She plays every day with the other dog here on the farm but any others she has no interest in.