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My Dog is Selectively Agressive Help


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So I have a 2 year old neutered male. Since the day I brought him home he has been agressive to certain dogs. As long as a dog doesn’t bother him he’ll never go out of his way to attack. He responds this was both on and off leash. Off leash is generally better. He socializes with many dogs and loves to play but certain dogs he wants to kill. We have another dog in the house and they get along perfectly, however we just got a new dog and he hates her. 

I introduced them in a neutral area off leash and that didn’t help. I’ve tried associating her with treats and playing but he wants nothing to do with her and she just avoids him. I’ve also tried verbal correction but that did nothing. Any ideas?

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It's hard to advise you about what to do with a dog that dislikes another dog in the household without more details.  How old is the new dog?  Does your 2 yr old actually try to bite your new dog, or is it a lot of loud pushing and shoving?  Has he drawn blood?

Don't try to force them to like each other.  Tolerate each other, and not attack each other, yes.  But like each other? Trying to force the issue will only make matters worse.  Teach your new dog to keep a respectful distance from your 2 yr old, and never leave them together without your close supervision.  Separate them if necessary.

As for your dog wanting to "kill" certain other dogs, if he is getting in fights with other dogs it is your responsibility to keep him from interacting with other dogs, other than the ones he actually likes to play with, and even with his doggy friends, you need to be very vigilant.  It's not unusual for dogs past their puppyhood to dislike interacting with most other dogs.  That's not really aggression - that's just being protective of their individual space. Some dogs are more gregarious than others, and the gregarious ones can be really clueless about leaving the more reserved dogs alone.  Sigh. Not unlike clueless people.  It's your job to protect your dog from having to interact with clueless knuckleheads, so that he doesn't have to protect himself.

 

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All I can say is I would never have brought another dog into my home if the dog I already had was aggressive to any other dogs in any situations at all.

This must be a very stressful situation for the new dog and IMO you should be seriously thinking about returning her to wherever she came from for her own safety and peace of mind. She shouldn't have to live in fear.

As for his reactions to other dogs when you're out, this is a dog who should never, ever be off leash where he could encounter another dog and on leash should never be permitted to interact with other dogs. More than having to protect your aggressive dog from clueless knucklehead dogs, it's your responsibility to protect even clueless knucklehead dogs from your aggressive dog. Sooner or later someone else's dog or a person trying to break up a fight is going to get hurt and you'll be legally responsible and could loose your dog to boot.

Beyond these immediate concerns, this is a dog who needs to be seen by a qualified behaviorist ASAP, either a veterinary behaviorist or at the very least a certified animal behavior consultant.

The dog should probably also have a full physical workup including a full thyroid panel to determine whether there are any medical causes for the aggression.

 

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I am in no position to mock other people's typo's.  I  live in a very fragile glass house.

Nevertheless, "More than having to protect your aggressive dong from clueless knucklehead dog..." did make me laugh out loud.  Because I'm twelve.:P

Other than that, I agree with GL's post.  But I think maybe step one is to have an experienced dog trainer or good behaviorist evaluate whether the dog is being truly aggressive, or if he's defending himself from other dogs that are being overly pushy.  Either way, it's true that the OP's dog cannot be allowed off leash around other dogs.  But how I would manage the home situation in the long term depends on whether the 2 yr old dog is attacking the new dog without provocation, or whether the 2 yr old is just telling a rude youngster to back off, or whether they just avoid each other, and the OP is misinterpreting that as aggression.   If the 2 yr old wants nothing to do with the newcomer, and the newcomer avoids the  2 yr old, it's hard to evaluate how much of a problem that is over the internet.  With more info we might be able to give some clues and discuss likelihoods, but what's really needed is an experienced set of eyes watching the actual behavior.

 

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I have a chihuahua that was 7 when I brought my hyped up border collie puppy in the house, my chihuahua hated her ( Bella, all of 4 pounds )  Gracie wanted to play ( now, 58 pounds of still wants to play but not with Bella anymore ).  Gracie has learned to respect Bella because she is the Queen of cool. Gracie is allowed to smell her butt but it ends there.  They will be fine I'm sure as long as there isn't an all-out battle, even then it could work out. 

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I agree with Gentle Lake. Bringing another dog into the home when you have a somewhat unpredictably dog-aggressive dog seems unwise. It is impossible, of course, to predict whether this will resolve itself well or not.

One thing I would urge you to keep in mind is that it is your responsibility not only to protect other dogs from your aggressive dog (ie: do not ever allow your dog to be off leash), but also it is your job to protect your dog. Again, this means not letting him off leash because that protects him from getting into trouble, but it also means protecting him from other dogs who want to get up in his face. I personally don't like everyone I meet. I bet you don't either. There's no reason your dog should like every other dog. If he is selective then you need to make sure he doesn't have to relate to other dogs he doesn't like. Keep him strictly away from the dogs he does not like and let him socialize with the ones he does. This means no dog parks, where the dog population in unpredictable at any time. Only make play dates with the dogs you know your dog likes to play with.

Do not force him into contact with a dog he doesn't like. Your making him be close to a dog he doesn't like and then giving a verbal correction when he demonstrates his dislike for the situation only makes things worse, because now your dog will have a doubly negative association with that other dog. Put yourself in his place. Someone forces you to sit next to and talk to someone you really don't like, or find repulsive, and then when you try to remove yourself or fail to talk nicely with that person you are scolded and reprimanded. That would not be likely to increase your desire to be around that person!

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