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Need a little advice on a couple of things

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A couple of things kinda bunched up on me and was hoping to get a little help.


I have a 7 month old BC, Bella, that is kinda wierd. She loves going out to the park and running all over the place with my other BC. But I recently bought a house, I haven't moved in yet since I doing a little work on it, so I took my dogs over so that I could show them the house. She would not go in, she was scared, and I mean really scared, she did not want to go in. I went inside with Figo and called her to try to get her to come in. After about 10 minutes I decided to ignore her and thought she'd eventually come in by herself. After about 10 more minutes she starts crying and when I decided to go pick her up and bring her in, right before I got to her she laid down and peed all over the floor. Anyway I picked her up and took her inside and she started shaking, I closed the door and put her down, and she laid there 5 minutes and then she was all normal, and then that was that, no more problems, untill I take her out to the backyard and when we where going to go back in the same thing happened, so I did the same thing I had done before.

I thought maybe something creeped her out about the house, but the other yesterday I took them over to a friends house and the same thing happened, but we went out to his backyard and she was back to normal, but when I tried to leave, she wouldn't come back in to the house.

Anybody had this problem before, what can I do, obviously she's really scared of new places that have a door and a roof.


The second thing is kinda related, my 2 dogs are house broken, but they'll go outside all over the place, I never really showed them to one specific spot since my yard was not nice at all, so i didnt care where they went. But the new house has a very nice backyard and I dont want them going all over the place, I dont want them ruining the backyard. I thought about fencing off an area of the yard where I want them to go do their stuff for when Im not home, since I dont like leaving them in a crate. What do you think?


And last but not least, Bella has became a bit aggressive, and I think even territorial. Lately at the park she randomly picks out fights with other dogs, usually bigger than her for no apparent reason. At the dog park there are benches and usually I set all my stuff at one of the unoccupied benches and sometimes when dogs come over she'll show her teeth and attack the other dogs, she'll bite them and hang on, its getting really frustrating, i cant seem to find the reason she's doing this, its totally random, some dogs she'll play with and let them come over to the bench and sometimes she doesn't. What can I do??


I appreciate beforehand all the help

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More trips to the house would probably help. Maybe you could start bringing them over there to eat their meals? Or give them treats when she approaches the house? Make it a great place to be!


My dog Katy used to go after other dogs who went near my backpack where the frisbee was stored. I simply just stopped carrying the backpack, to avoid confrontation....any way you could hide your belongings from her and the other dogs somehow?

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Clearly, you've got some larger behaviorial issues to be addressed, but as far as the house goes, you might try the 'Comfort Zone,' a plug-in product that exudes mommydog pheromones and thus makes it more inviting to dogs. Most of the petstores have them or you could order it online.

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I've experienced same problem with my dog Bandit not wanting to go into any building. Once we are in though he gradually settles down.


Also after taking him for walk he never wants to go home. He will stop a block away not wanting to move. He will even scrath himself to stall.

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Bella is a "doggy teenager" right now, and that may explain some issues she has. Also, she is about the right age for another "fearful" stage of life, and that could contribute to her anxieties at the new house and at the park.


If Bella hasn't been real accustomed to going into strange places, this may be an issue that is compounded by her age. How about surfaces in the new house? Are they slick (one of our dogs was extremely worried about linoleum, tile, or anything "slippery" to him)? Are there strange smells - paint, cleaners, etc.? All these things could contribute to the anxiety of a dog that's already experiencing a fearful stage. If you are feeling any sorts of anxieties yourself, she could be picking up on that and "magnifying" it in her mind until she is fearful.


The age and stage could also contribute to Bella's protectiveness. She's going from pup to adulthood and feeling things that she's not used to dealing with. Fear is probably the most frequent cause for aggression in most dogs.


A dog that is fearful may react with growling, show of teeth, snapping, etc. You might not even be able to "see" what it is that is triggering this, whether it's the other dog's "body language", size, or breed (sounds funny but I've had a dog that would be aggressive to GSDs and GSD-crosses, after to an attack by a GSD - and he was virtually blind at that stage of his life so he must have picked something up by scent - we once saw him react to a dog he couldn't see at all).


Fear may very well be the reason why Bella is reacting primarily to larger dogs in the park. She probably isn't feeling "threatened" by smaller dogs. Also, is there any common thread among the dogs she is reacting to - size, color, breed, behavior?


A dog is often going to be more reactive if it's in its yard or home, car, on leash, etc. A tight leash will communicate to Bella that there is something you are worried about and she should be worried, too. And yet you won't want to have Bella loose in a situation where you are not sure of the outcome.


Like Sarah suggests, do things at the new house that will be pleasant for her like special treats or meals. Also, avoid situations at the park that tend to "trigger" the behavior you don't want. Put your pack away or where it won't be an issue. Remember that you need to stay calm and unworried (this is the hard part) so that she doesn't pick up these feelings from you.


Also, develop strategies to "distract" her from situations that might trigger her aggression. Teach her to focus on you and "perform" behaviors that will occupy her and avoid the build-up to an aggressive reaction. Toys or activities that will keep her from focussing on the other dogs and concentrating on you may be helpful (but don't allow her to guard those toys or use those toys in a way that attracts other dogs).


Socialization issues are not solved by leaving the dog home and not allowing it to socialize, and yet you need to set up situations that will work for your dog's benefit to overcome her issues and not increase them.


There is a list that many people recommend concerning aggressive dog behavior (and I'm not familiar with it but a search on these boards for aggression should produce the web address). It may have threads that might help you.


Best wishes - this is a real concern for you, I am sure.

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Now that you mention it she usually goes for Golden Retrievers, and if I see her showing her teeth or growling i'll go over and grab her by the collar and tell her in a soft but stern voice "no". Other times I use a squeaky toy to get her attention and that usually does the trick, but I don't want it to be the only way for her no to be aggressive.


As for the house the new house, the floor is slippery, but not my friends house, so i think she is just scared of new buildings. I'll try treats and going there before our daily trip to the park.

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Patricia McConnell is a wonderful source of information about dogs. You might see if you can read her "Feisty Fido" (I think that's the one that would apply). Also, her "The Cautious Canine" is good (about dogs that are fearful).


What I think is important is that she doesn't develop a habit of aggression. Any dog can be worried about something or not like something (like a certain breed) but it's how the dog deals with the situation that counts (and a large part of that is how *you* deal with the situation).


I was hoping that other folks on the boards who could give much better advice than I can, would contribute suggestions.

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