agressivenes towards other dogs

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faustacaso's picture
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My rescue, Bella, approximately 3 years is a gem...her only problem is she does not like other dogs. I am taking her to training and believe I have made some headway but would love other suggestions to help curb her aggressiveness. I think it is caused by perhaps having been bit on her snout at some point while she was a stray, on her own.

DJ's Dad's picture
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Welcome to the Gentle Doberman group. 

Ouch---I dont know if I have any great advice for your circumstance....seems like it's probably going to be a long process involving mostly patience to get Bella desensitized to being around other dogs so that she isn't so nervous, which nervous/scared to a dog translates into aggression a lot of the time.  Hope someone will be able to give you some solid advice, other than see a professional trainer or behavorist for your dog. I know that's not always an option, depending on where you live and whether there are even any dog behavorists near you.   Please keep us updated on Bella's problem and her progress.

Lady Kate's picture
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What does she do around other dogs? Any preference?? littles?? bigs all of them??

How do you manage her behavior when it happens?

Rescues have some very special quirks and some that we are just not privy to. Not knowing her background and what happened to her before you rescued ( and THANK YOU SO SO MUCH for doing that!) makes it a little difficult

Sofia is tolerant toward other dogs but only that.. she is aloof and mostly ignores them. However she does crave the human touch and gravitates toward men

How long have you had Bella?

KevinK's picture
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One of the big things I would recommend is that if you're not very familiar with dog body language, movements, emotions, etc. is to get the help of a professional.  I have seen many, many "aggressive" dogs completely mis-diagnosed, and then the training doesn't work, and the dog suffers as a result.  I have also seen aggressive dogs that are more reactive as a result of their owner not catching certain cues, or doing something themselves to make their dog more reactive to other dogs.

I posted a while back about a family members dog who was never allowed to be around other dogs off leash, this dog was a "terror", but it was handler error entirely.  The dog was actually very sweet and playful with other dogs, she was just being handled completely wrong.  It was the people making the dog aggressive as a result of not understanding how to handle the dog, and how to read canine body language.

I'm not saying that this is the case, and we don't really know anything about your experience or background, so don't be offended.  I'm simply saying to make sure 100% that it is aggression towards dogs, and not something else.  

faustacaso's picture
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Thanks for your comments.  I have had Bella for 9 weeks.  I am seeing a professional trainer, we have had two sessions...We are certain that it is aggression...and it doesn't seem to matter what dog, big, little, whatever.  When we are out walking, and she sees another dog, she goes into the circling, trying to go after the other dog, barking, hackles up...all the aggresive behavior...But after only the two training sessions, she is now able to ignore the other dogs some of the times and to focus when I give her the "leave it" command.  I also carry lots of treats with me and water, just in case we need it...I CAN see progress though and thankfully, she is not a large dobie, so is controllable for me...She has no agression at all toward people, only dogs.  Which is sad because the dobie I had before this one loved all dogs and her biggest pleasure was to go to doggie day care a couple of times a week and play.  And there are other dogs in my extended family I would like her to be friends with.  But I am aware that it may not be possible.  The trainer has said that she will most likely not ever be able to interact with other dogs but I am not giving up because she is so smart and wants so badly to please me. It's almost like she has a total personality change when she goes out for her walks. So I do think it's fear aggresion and she thinks she has to be always on guard when we are outside our house.  I'm new here although I'm not new to dobermans.  Bella is my 5th...but my first rescue. 

Lady Kate's picture
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Thanks fastacaso. Give her time...Bella sounds like a wonderful girl. Betcha she comes around. . Good that you've had four prior to rescuing her...You are familiar with the surprises this wonderful breed will bring you every day.

As I stated earlier, rescues are a unique character.. It took Sofia over six months to become totally relaxed and accept the fact that she is going to be here forever. She too is much more 'on guard' when we're outside. Your patience and dedication to Bella will pay off, I have no doubt! GOOD JOB BOTH OF YOU!!!!

Wolfgirl_121's picture
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Thank you for rescueing!! Good luck with your doll and keep us updated!!

sweetpea's picture
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Welcome to the group!  I was wondering, have you had her exposed to other dogs when she's off leash?  Depending on the level of aggression and how much you trust her, that might be something to bring up with your trainer.  Some dogs are leash reactive and are much more comfortable around strange dogs when they don't feel like they're being restrained.  Again, check with your trainer first, I would hate to have you put her and another dog in a situation where she goes after them and you can't hold her back, but just something to consider.

faustacaso's picture
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Joined: 2011-07-27

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Thanks for your suggestion.  I have not tried her off leash but hesitate a little to do so.  I will check with my trainer and maybe during the training session where we are both with her...if she thinks it's a good idea.  As I said before, she has made progress so I think with hard work and lots of rewards for good behavior, we might be able to resolve this problem...I appreciate everyone's comments.  This is a great site....helpful for all of us dobie lovers...

blue4's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-28

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Just wanted to say welcome!

faustacaso's picture
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thanks everyone for the warm welcome....look forward to talking and exchanging thoughts and help about this marvelous breed...aren't we all lucky to have dobermans to know and love?