Aggression Towards Other Agressive Dogs

12 replies [Last post]
Adam2011's picture
Offline
Joined: 2015-09-16

Pet Profiles

Hello All,

I have a 11 week old male Doberman puppy and his name is Reilly. Reilly has recently became a little too mouthy (barking) and aggressive towards other dogs that he see's as "aggressive", or in other words, starts barking at him first. Typically, if he encounters another dog that is calm, collective, curious or overall well mannered, he behaves well...with a little playfulness directed towards the other calm dog.

For example, yesterday I was walking him and he met a very calm Beagle that was aged. He approached the Beagle calmly and "sniffed" around and had a little playfulness towards the beagle but nothing overbearing (no playful nipping). The Beagle owner even commented on how calm Reilly was given his age. 30 minutes later, on the walk we encountered a Spaniel mix breed who immediately began barking aggressively towards Reilly. Reilly immediately began barking back and lunging forward on his leash as if to charge the Spaniel mix. The owner of the Spaniel mix and I calmed our dogs and allowed them to sniff. Reilly did well with that initially but the other dog aggressively bit at Reilly's nose and Reilly squealed. Should I have allowed Reilly to sniff the barky Spaniel?

Are there any suggestions on how I should correct this "aggressive" behavior towards other "barky" dogs? Or is this behavior just another form of playfulness? 

 

Thank you in advance for the suggestions.

 

-Adam

Sgourle's picture
Offline
Joined: 2014-07-18

Pet Profiles

Given that your pup is at a critical fear imprinting stage in life I would avoid any unnecessary agitation. If I saw a dog behaving that way toward my puppy on a walk I would take the nearest turn, settle my pup, and continue on our way. Especially if you think the other dog is really aggressive or reactive and not just playing. There is no particular reason that your dog *needs* to interact while walking, particularly not with dogs who may cause your pup to become reactive later in life. 

AresMyDobie's picture
Offline
Joined: 2015-02-28

Pet Profiles

First has your puppy had all its vaccinations ? Your puppy isn't aggressive that's just the reality here it's a Doberman puppy they play hard. If someone has a barking dog I just walk on by my boys barely bat an eyelash at the barker, but that is achieved through patients and training and the right encounters with other dogs. You are your puppies protector. WATCH the body language ,LEARN the body language ,and DO the body language. Most accidents happen while dogs are on leash because most people don't understand how to walk and or handle the dog. Don't put your dog in a position it doesn't need to be in. Honestly your puppy is to young in my opinion to be walking. If vaccinated get enrolled in puppy classes to socialize him in a proper way. Ares is 8 months old and walks like he's done it for years. He must follow the rules on the walk and I never have him hit the end of a lead there's no reason for it he must stay at my hip at all times. But leash and corrections shouldn't happen till the puppy is at least 5 months old.

 

 

AresMyDobie's picture
Offline
Joined: 2015-02-28

Pet Profiles

Oh and the mouthing redirect it to a toy. If he goes give a firm NO firm not yelling then redirect to a toy and say yes all happy and sweet they catch on eventually with consistency.

Adam2011's picture
Offline
Joined: 2015-09-16

Pet Profiles

Thank you for the reply. I will definitely be more mondful of barking dogs while walking him. I should have known better than to allow him to met the agressive dog.

 

Again I appreciate the advice!

MommaL's picture
Offline
Joined: 2014-06-15

There is a book I found helpful in learning to better understand how dogs communicate.  It's called: On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals by Turid Rugaas.   I found it on Amazon.com and it was affordable.  It is a great resource for dogs of all ages. 

There is a wealth of good information on this site to help you grow your dobe pup into a great companion.  Please take some time to read through previous threads pertaining to questions you may have.  It was a GREAT help to me in the puppy process and still is.

Best of luck in your adventure.  Every minute you invest in training your pup comes back to you tenfold. 

Adam2011's picture
Offline
Joined: 2015-09-16

Pet Profiles

Oh wow, I didn't realize he was too young to be walking. Should I not be doing leash training right now?

He has through series 3 of his 4 series puppy vaccinations. With that being said, he will need one more to be complete.

I have been looking into obedience classes around where I live. I think that is great advice.

 

Thank you for the reply!

Adam2011's picture
Offline
Joined: 2015-09-16

Pet Profiles

Ah okay, yeah I have just recently looked through this site and you are right! They do have good information.

And I really appreciate the book reference. I wil definitely look that book up...it sounds like it will be a very interesting read!

 

Thank you so much for the reply!

AresMyDobie's picture
Offline
Joined: 2015-02-28

Pet Profiles

If not fully vaccinated don't be going places not a good idea to risk the health of an infant who doesn't have a great immune system yet.

AresMyDobie's picture
Offline
Joined: 2015-02-28

Pet Profiles

I also think you need to educate yourself on growth plates. Right now at this age it's all puppy play the puppy will stop when he's tired and doesn't  want to play anymore. I can't stress not walking him right ... 30 mins is to long for a almost 3 month old puppy. My pup is older and we only walk for maybe a mile or so no running on lead till at least 18 months old. Also if you are going to neuter wait till he's fully mature. We also play with his flirt pole in ten min stop and start session incorporating obedience into it. Sorry if I rambled or seem preachy I just want your pup to grow proper and be healthy in the long run. 

Should I have allowed Reilly to sniff the barky Spaniel?

The answer is NO.

Why?

As was mentioned before, imprinting. If the pup has a bad experience at this young age he will go on the defensive in the future to avoid being attacked in the future. A good defense is a good offense so to speak. What you need to learn is "dog body language". To unteach bad behaviors is tough.   

Mistake #2, and I'm assuming here that both handlers comforted the dogs with petting and soft words to calm the dogs. Although I am a firm believer in teaching before training, a correction in this case would be warranted. It goes back to "imprinting". What you want to imprint is when the other dog gives the stink eye that your dog has to look into your eyes, focus on you, not the other dog. The sequence is, your dog bows up, you correct, when he focuses on you, you reward. In fact every time the dog focuses on you, you reward. Being that dogs have no conception of size, there's nothing worst than a 90 lb dog grabbing a teacup poodle and the poodle started it. If your dog learns that when the poodle gives the stink eye your dog HAS to focus on you, you'll avoid a bunch of grief.

Keep in mind, EVERY TIME you interact with your dog, YOU ARE TRAINING. On a walk, in the back yard, chilling in the den at night, your dog is learning from you. Good or bad, be careful what you teach.

Gunny 

 

 

 

AresMyDobie's picture
Offline
Joined: 2015-02-28

Pet Profiles

^^ well said gunny :) 

Adam2011's picture
Offline
Joined: 2015-09-16

Pet Profiles

Thank you all for the suggestions. It is much appreciated.

 

-Adam