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Growling at other dogs...

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I hope all this posting for help wont make Milt seem like a naughty dog.. it's more in the line that I am the one who needs the training


How have you guys dealt with aggresesion with other dogs? Milton doesn't get a lot of exposure but when he does he growls. Since he's a few months fresh from the shelter it could still be some lingering memory, although that's hardly an excuse. He even recently growled at a lab pup who wasn't in the least bit aggresive.. probably just enthuisastic.


For punshiment I usally ah-ahh him and give him a rough pat on the chin; then i make him focus on me before re-entering the situation.... Is this the right punishment? Too hard, too soft? what did you guys do over bad social reactions?

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My dog will growl/snap at any dogs who are rude to her (over exuberant, jumping in her face, pawing at her etc). I don't correct her for that because the other dog is being rude and getting in her space. If she growls or snaps at a dog that they are just nicely sniffing each other I'll say something like "hey" and try to redirect her attention to me or have her come to me and sit and then praise etc.

Our aussie is just comming up on 2 years old now. I've noticed he will growl at puppies and small dogs that he knows he's stronger than. I think he's trying to be dominant by his body posture etc. We've been removing him from the situation and trying to redirect his attention and not letting him interact (he still wants to interact with the other dog, he just wants to be boss). I don't want to really get after him because then he may not growl anymore and just go to snapping.

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Kipp will freak out if he thinks someone is roughing him up. I just call him over to me to distract him a bit. I don't make a fuss. When he calms down, then he can go back to playing or we just carry on with our walk. Usually it is the other dog who was rude, or the other dog's owner.


If Tess growls or snarls at another dog it is because the dog is being very rude and not leaving her alone when she already asked politely for them to bug off. If Kipp asks politely a couple times and the other dog does not listen, he really tells them off. Some dogs just don't get it--labs especially are a problem for my two.


I don't really correct my dogs for asserting themselves. If one of my dogs really lights into another dog (this has only happened one or two times, and it was justified) then I just go leash them up or call them away and we leave. No fuss and no corrections. I want to make it clear to my dogs that I will take them to safety, not ruin their fun or make them look bad.


Allie + Tess & Kipp


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You might want to use the Search feature to read about other folks' experiences/suggestions in addition to the excellent ones you've already received. Try searching "aggression" or "growling."


I don't particularly see anything wrong with an older dog putting a puppy in his place. The chocolate lab puppy down the street from us plays very rough and uses her teeth so much that she eventually gets on Jack's nerves.

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[i don't particularly see anything wrong with an older dog putting a puppy in his place.]



I agree with you, but the owner of the dog "being put in it's place" usually doesn't understand and thinks my dog is going to go off on their dog.


We go to the dog park everyday and run into a lot of people who have the mind set of a stump. It's frustrating when they won't let dogs be dogs.


My girls don't really like to "play" with the other dogs and when we are playing ball and another dog gets too close or comes in to take their ball my girls do get aggressive, a growl or a quick snap. I won't discourage this and now the dogs we see on a regular basis don't bother Zoe and Ari when we are playing ball.


I will give a firm leave it or ahh-ahh if I feel things could esculate because the other dog isn't backing down but I would never touch my dog under the chin for giving a warning.


I have also stepped in between my dogs and another dog that won't back off. I know I'm taking the chance of getting bit but I'll do what it takes to protect my girls from a bully.


I really think you need to give Milton some time. Keep him close but don't baby him and always keep him on a lead until you know how he might react in a situation.

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Maggie can be dog reactive. We've worked quite hard to desensitize her to other dogs, using similar protocols as those found in "Feisty Fido" which talks specifically about leash aggression, though I've found the protocols to be effective in other situations as well.


With Maggie, I never actually corrected the reaction because I didn't want to lose that warning. If you correct a growling dog, often you end up w/ a dog that gives no warning (i.e. growl) before launching into a full aggressive display - not good!


Maggie has a great 'look at me' command (though we need to polish it some more right now) that I use when we are near other dogs - I ask for eye contact then allow her to keep an eye on the other dog as long as she's not reacting. If she starts reacting (first sign is a hard stare and body stiffening) then we turn around or cross the street and head away from the strange dog.


We also have progressed to the point where I can allow short greetings on lead - she gets the cue "go say hi" and has about 1 or 2 seconds to sniff the other dog before I call her away for a treat. Rinse, repeat about 3 times before we continue on our way.


If I were you, I'd check out "Feisty Fido" and set up a training plan to address the cause of the growling, not the growling itself.


BTW, Maggie does now play with a number of dogs very appropriately, including some labish dogs that are quite "rude" (she likes that those dogs don't mind her grabbing their feet and body slamming lol).


She's well known for being a great disciplinarian for older pups as she's mastered the "you had one warning, now look at my pretty white teeth as they go snapping by your nose" display. She has yet to hurt another dog when disciplining like this and it quickly creats very well behaved puppies. :D After that reaction, she's friends with them for life as long as they contiue to follow the rules, if not they are reminded. Luckily my friends actually seek her out for help with their dogs and are not worried about 'how it looks'. :rolleyes:

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