Diesel dog aggressive

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Postby donnynannette » October 27th, 2011, 11:22 pm

Hi i am new to this forum and also i am a new big dog owner. Diesel is my first big dog. I have already read many of the forums and have found out some very good information. Let me start off by saying when diesel was a pup he was very well socialized i took him everywhere because i know that all dogs no matter the breed need early socialization.

I also worked on training basic commands. He always loved other dogs. When he turned a year old that changed he is now dog aggressive with uneutered males. Diesel was bit when he was a young pup and I think that has alot to do with it. When he was bit he did not bite back he hid behind me and I immediatly took him inside. The dog owner (my neighbor) was outside and he german shepard got out and came out bit diesel and ran back in.

I have talked to a trainer about his behaviour and he evauluated him and said he is scared of other dogs. I have read so many things online and talked to so many trainers. I just dont know what the best form of training would be for him. I have always used treat training but when there is another dog around he does not care about the treat he whines lunges and it is very embarrassing.

He is so good any other time. If he is off leash and he sees another dog if i tell him no he will not run at another dog when i do walk him if he sees another dog he whines and cries very loudly. I would just like some advice as to how to get him to accept other dogs i dont care if he does not like other male dogs but i just would like him to be acceptable when out. He loves taking walks and swimming but i cant take him out all the time because of how he acts. Thanks for any advice.
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Postby TheRedQueen » October 28th, 2011, 7:47 am

Okay, let me break this down...

1. the odds are that he's just dog aggressive (or merely dog reactive) because of his age...and maturity, not because of a bite incident. You say that he got along well with dogs for a while...even after he was bitten, is that correct? I'm guessing he's just growing up into a dog that has a lower tolerance for dogs now...just because. Not for any reason, just because he's genetically a dog that doesn't like other dogs. Many bully breeds go through this, and honestly...my Aussies (herding dogs) do the same thing...they just don't want to play with other dogs when they reach a certain age and mature. I'm also finding the same thing to be true with my dachsund...as he ages, he doesn't care about playing with others...he LIKES dogs, but can't be bothered with playing with them. This reactivity towards other dogs on leash is VERY common...I see it all of the time, in all breeds...just this week: chihuahua, shepherd mix, golden retriever, etc.

2. You need to find a good trainer and stick with them...I'd say a good positive reinforcement trainer that knows how to time situations so the dog is not over threshold...(that's what's happening when Diesel is too excited to take treats...you're too close to the exciting dog!). Someone that can help you set up scenarios so you can work through these problems positively that can show you the tools you'll need.

3. Where are you located...there are many trainers on the board, and we have wide network of trainers around...we can probably help you find someone good!
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Postby donnynannette » October 28th, 2011, 9:04 am

Thank you so much for your help. I have talked to trainers but often some of them just look at pitts and automatically think they cant help them and others have no experience with pitts i need a trainer that has experience and can teach me also. I live in Reading pa. One that i was thinking of is Spring canine academy. If anyone has heard of this and thinks it is a good place please let me know. Im very worried about taking him to the wrong trainer and making it worse. Thanks for any input..
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Postby mnp13 » October 28th, 2011, 9:11 am

Good post Erin, I was thinking some of the same things when I read this earlier (at 2am when Ruby decided it was finally time for her to poop.)

Some other thoughts:
He is so good any other time. If he is off leash and he sees another dog if i tell him no he will not run at another dog

Until you get this under control, you should never ever have him off leash anywhere that another dog might appear. So far he has chosen not to go after the other dog, but what will you do when he decides to blow you off? Or worse, if that other dog decides that he is "interesting"? Your dog is a Pit Bull, so regardless of which dog starts it, he'll be blamed for it.

Diesel was bit when he was a young pup and I think that has alot to do with it.

If that was the catalyst for his behavior, it likely would have started at that time, not months/years later. Ruby was attacked at a dog show, and her aggression towards any large long-ish haired dog started that day and it was about a year until I had worked her through it. Like Erin said, dog aggression is often just part of the breed.

Is Diesel neutered? How old is he?

I just dont know what the best form of training would be for him. I have always used treat training but when there is another dog around he does not care about the treat he whines lunges and it is very embarrassing.

Erin already said it, but I'll repeat it... he's over threshold if he won't take treats. You need to start with a controlled situation, treat him while the dog is in view but he can still focus on you. Gradually he will be able to focus with the other dog closer and closer.

I would just like some advice as to how to get him to accept other dogs i dont care if he does not like other male dogs but i just would like him to be acceptable when out.

I'm not understanding what your goal is here? Do you want him to simply have some self control so that you can be out in public or do you want him to "accept other dogs" as in play with them? My dog Riggs is dog aggressive with males, and generally leaves females alone, but when he is in "obedience mode" he completely ignores other dogs. He lives to tangle with my husband's dog, Connor, but when we are working them they can be off leash literally within inches of each other and he doesn't care.

While you're figuring out the trainer situation, you can start simple exercises for attention.
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Postby donnynannette » October 28th, 2011, 4:57 pm

I do not let diesel off leash except in my back alley where no cars can get down and i can see if anyone is coming i taught him this because my moms dog got out one time and had never been off leash so when he go off leash he immediatly took off and ended up getting hit i want my dog to have some off leash time so if he would get away for any reason he knows he has to come back and he is very good with that.

Diesel is very good with this but he does not get any other off leash time he is neutered. My goal in all of this is that he ignores other dogs like i said he already as a playmate so that does not bother me i would just like to be able to walk by other dogs without a reaction.

I have tried staying far away from dogs but it doesnt matter how far away he is if he sees another dog he goes wild. I have tried everything from just sitting on the porch and if he sees a dog an and acts up he goes in. I tried giving him a ton of treats when dogs go by us. Ive tried taking him on a walk and if we see a dog go the other way. Ive tried bat training. I have watched a ton of videos. I love him and love taking walks with him but as of right now when i take a walk i have to be on guard and i have to see every dog before him and quickly cross the street so he doesnt see the other dog.

I understand with a pitty you always need to be on guard but his high pitch whining is very hard to deal with. When we take him to the vet i have to go ahead and make sure there are no other dogs and that they have a room available if he must be around other dogs such as the vet he is muzzled and has a halti. Like i said my utimate goal is that i can go on are hour walk and not worry about crossing the street every time we see a dog.
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Postby DemoDick » October 28th, 2011, 9:39 pm

Don't let this dog off leash unless you are in your own secured, fenced yard and there are no other dogs present. If you do not have a fenced yard, find someone who does who will let you use it. You do not have the level of control you think you do. What you're talking about takes years of very high-level training and even then it is still not absolute. That is going to be the opinion and advice of everyone here.

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Postby ArtGypsy » October 29th, 2011, 11:25 am

DemoDick wrote:Don't let this dog off leash unless you are in your own secured, fenced yard and there are no other dogs present. If you do not have a fenced yard, find someone who does who will let you use it. You do not have the level of control you think you do. What you're talking about takes years of very high-level training and even then it is still not absolute. That is going to be the opinion and advice of everyone here.

Demo Dick


Hi... :D
I understand your frustration with your dog....I really Do.
I know you are 'trying different things' but I also KNOW you 'trusting' you and your dog based on a kind of HOPE/and belief that "so far nothing really really bad has happened" theory.
This is a very dangerous risk.

Even though I am the least qualified person *here* on this forum, (for various reasons), I'd like for you to go back through all the answers you've received from the members of the board and read them all again.
I suspect You're disappointed with some of the answers and are telling yourself that these people don't "know diesel and they don't Know how hard you work to do the right thing"

This is a mistake, hon.

I have a dog named Dar that sound similar to Yours.
Forgive this long response, But This is My Way of Telling you the same thing Demo and the others told you, but with lots more 'pictures' . (but our message is the same)

When I first adopted an 11 week old Dar, I wanted all the things 'average people' take for granted with their dogs.
My hope/goal for him to walk down the street, go places in the car, and be the pit bull diplomat dog in a small town that really doesn't care for the breed at all.

I did what I thought was all the right things to 'socialize him'.
when he was little I drove him to DOGGY PLAY DATES at the "dog trainer' on Saturdays.
(Demo, Stop Laughing at me)> :+)



While he played with the other dogs, I was pleased to see he romped and exhibited all the behaviors of a pit bull that would be 'socialzed' with other dogs and get along JUST fine.
Nope, No Aggression. He was about 5-7 months old, and in my opinion, on his way to being a Pit with no dog aggression.


Then came the phone call.
One day at Doggy-Camp (I was out of town and had him "kenneled' there), the owner said "one minute he was fine and the next minute he was all over a Vizula. "Kathy" said she had to THROW HERSELF ON DAR and 'MAKE HIM LET GO'...
and she felt she could no longer allow Dar at the 'daycare' because she coudn''t trust him.
(I had already mentioned to this dog trainer/kennel owner I didnt' think it was a good idea for her to let the dogs play unsupervised, but she felt dar 'was no threat at all)

NO More Doggy Play Dates. :+(

THEN, There were a couple times Dar got loose out of my fenced yard and I realized that NO MATTER how many times this dog would 'come', 'shake', lay down', 'wait', and a myriad of other commands IN THE HOUSE FOR A TREAT,
once he was off leash, there was NOTHING in this world more important to him that Running Hog-Ass Wild Around the neighborhood......It was only after sheer exhaustion and the help of my entire family to 'herd' him back towards the house for water that one of us could shut the 7 foot kennel gate on my front porch.
( this kennel gate had to be put in to keep him IN the yard, which didn't work either, because Dar would simply climb it.)

I walked Dar on leash around my small town every single day. He always strained/pulled.....and I never truly felt this was a RELAXED walk. ---Dar never got to the place where I felt I HAD HIM UNDER CONTROL.
Even if He didn't go lunging after other dogs, there were ALWAYS dogs running up to us, there were squirrels and rabbits.
Sure, I had treats to reward him when he did break eye contact with whatever and I tried to follow the GREAT advice everyone gave me here, but I dunno---even letting go of of the leash with one hand to offer the treat made me feel uneasy.
He could just be so determined and strong when that squirrel darted up a tree, or a little dog would run up barking.



As much as you tell yourself you can 'control' Diesel right now, believe me, you most likely won't be able to when ONE OF THESE DAYS, another dog is going to run UP to Diesel and Diesel decides THIS TIME IS THE TIME .

Once, When Dar got out, some lady tried TO HELP me 'get him' BY letting her small dog out of the house to 'lure him into playing' --before I could stop her, she opened up the door, scooped up MUFFY and let her go bounding towards Dar.

OH.
MY.
GOD.

Thank god Dar only roughed Muffy up and finally LET GO.......
The woman was Screaming, I was on top of DAr trying to make him LET GO....
Holding Him Down, My Daughter Kelcie (17 at the time) was crying because the unspoken horror had just happened.
Dar had 'hurt' a small dog in our tiny town, and we feared a complaint would cost me my dog.


I paid for a vet bill and was THOROUGHLY SHAKEN AND PETRIFIED of a "next time">



My dog will sit and not break eye contact with me with a bowl of cooked chicken at his feet, until I give him the 'okay'.


BUT if another dog walks by our house, there is NOTHING I HAVE TO OFFER THAT'S MORE IMPORTANT TO HIM than his desire to HAVE that dog.
No Food, No Commands, NOTHING.

Could Dar Become a Better Trained Dog??
YES.

Would it TAKE CONSIDERABLE Time and Effort???
YES.

Did I try??
FOR A WHILE.

BUT I do not have the Patience, the Time, or the Total Understanding of Dog Behavior to maintain the Training Dar Needs to get to a place where I feel safe walking him in our small town.

I don't NEED to have my dog play with other dogs...I realized he doesn't need to play.
I realized my need to Walk My Dog was personal, and He could get just as much exercise as he needs in the yard with play time with me.


So what have I done to MODIFY ??

I'm lucky enough to have a Large Fenced in (picket fence PLUS a 4 foot flimsy wire fence adhered beyond that , to 'keep Dar in"> Ha. He just climbs it the minute I let him out of the door)
So.
Since I'm not Very "big", and well, not as YOUNG as I used to be, Dar Is NEVER off a Tether Line when I take him out to play.
He goes to the Back Door, and is Clipped to a Tether Line that's Screwed into the FOUNDATION of my house.
That Line Gets him to the LONG Tether, Where he can Extend to the Perimeter of the yard, but not close enough to the actual fence. This is where we play with the Spring pole, I kick the soccer ball, etc.
He gets exercise, and gets to hang out like a dog.
I sit in my chair under the tree and read, etc. when he's just hanging out.

I KNOW MY LIMITATION and I know MY Dog's capability.
He GETS NO CHANCES to Run.

LACK OF PERSONAL Dedication (time, understanding, effort, etc) Is My Problem, not the dog's fault.

but I'm also not going to play 'faith games' with myself and think "it's okay just this one time'.

I'm scared for you and your dog when you say you let him out the back ally because no cars can get in.

But one of the worst 'run off' instances happened to me with Dar when a RABBIT zipped by him when I was taking him to the car. (( I didn't have the firm grip on the leash).
Dar took off after that Rabbit for BLOCKS AND BLOCKS--he ran so fast, he was out of sight within seconds and I had no idea which way he was going; zipping through the back yards of our tiny quiet town...
I was PANICKED.

What if "Miffy the poodle' was tied out in her yard down on X-Y-Z street?
What if he bolted across the tracks when a train was coming??
What if the Big German Shepard was 'out roaming the streets again?

There are just too many possibilities............and NONE OF THEM GOOD.
Actually, they're pretty horrific.

Not Being able to let Diesel out to run around may seem easier.....(cause it's a pain to be vigilant every second or find other ways to let your dog find exercise.
But as the owner of pit bull, YOU HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR DOG, and the dogs of other people.
Every single time someone sees your trying to get control of your lunging, whining dog, it sends the message that you have an uncontrolled aggressive dog-----

Again, I'm sorry this is such a long story.

But Please.

Stick Around, Ask Questions and trust these people.
They KNOW what they are talking about.
((and they don't always agree with each OTHER, LOL....but when I see them all agreeing on one topic, YOU CAN REST ASSURED, there's no grey area. )

Take this Free Advice and consider yourself lucky.

:+)
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Anger that things are the way they are.
Courage to make them the way they ought to be.”----Augustine
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Postby donnynannette » October 30th, 2011, 1:52 pm

Thank you again for the advice. I havea fenced in yard but it is very small and i have bought stuff fora spring pole but when i put it up diesel had no interest in it. Can someone please give me some advice on the activities i can start doing with him to get him to look at me instead of getting all excited when he sees another dog i understand we cant get close to the other dog but what do i do when we are far away and hes still acting up.
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Postby furever_pit » November 1st, 2011, 11:58 am

If you insist on taking your dog out for "off leash time", at least put a long lead on him so that in the event he decides you're not worth listening to or that dog in the distance seems like it would be more fun or worthwhile that you will actually be able to stop him.

People have already given you some good suggestions about things you can do with your dog to start working on the issue. Focus is a great tool! Start somewhere without any distractions and work with marker training. I would use the dog's meals and would no longer feed him from a bowl, all food will come from OB training. When the dog gives eye contact (look and watch me are both popular commands) you mark the behavior and reward. Over time, you can move to areas with increasing levels of distraction and you will be able to start using this command around other dogs.

In the meantime, I think you should start looking for a trainer.
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Postby ArtGypsy » November 1st, 2011, 5:41 pm

furever_pit wrote:If you insist on taking your dog out for "off leash time", at least put a long lead on him so that in the event he decides you're not worth listening to or that dog in the distance seems like it would be more fun or worthwhile that you will actually be able to stop him.

People have already given you some good suggestions about things you can do with your dog to start working on the issue. Focus is a great tool! Start somewhere without any distractions and work with marker training. I would use the dog's meals and would no longer feed him from a bowl, all food will come from OB training. When the dog gives eye contact (look and watch me are both popular commands) you mark the behavior and reward. Over time, you can move to areas with increasing levels of distraction and you will be able to start using this command around other dogs.

In the meantime, I think you should start looking for a trainer.



I think she said she has a small fenced in yard------:+)
And Doesnt' seem to be arguing she should continue the off leash stuff.....but I do agree it would be helpful if we can find some good 'watch me', or Look at Me, instructions from someone who's qualified to help...(WHICH WOULD NOT BE MOI') :dance:

I will look through some of the topics, and try and find some info from Red Queen, Liz, Etc.....or it may be in a sticky somewhere.

May just be me, but I"m assuming a trainer may not be an option ....I know it wasnt' for me. (for a couple different reasons/barriers. .... :(

Let's see what we can dredge up to help her, okay?? :wave2:
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Anger that things are the way they are.
Courage to make them the way they ought to be.”----Augustine
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Postby donnynannette » November 1st, 2011, 8:38 pm

Thank you for getting together any info you can. I have talked to many trainers and many of them say they would have to come to the house to deal with him which cost twice as much because of travel. Also some of the other ones are ones who will not deal with pitts. Then many others say that is normal pitt behavior which is not what i want to hear. I would like any useful training tips i am going to continue looking for a trainer i feel comfortable with. Also i have read many of the threads that say if you want to get your dog use to other dogs when they see a dog in the distance give them treats and continue until the dog is out of site. I have a question about this if my dog sees the dog and is acting up do i still give him treats i have not in the past because i thought that would be reinforcing bad behavior but i understand i have alot to learn. LOL.
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Postby ArtGypsy » November 1st, 2011, 9:18 pm

donnynannette wrote:Thank you for getting together any info you can. I have talked to many trainers and many of them say they would have to come to the house to deal with him which cost twice as much because of travel. Also some of the other ones are ones who will not deal with pitts. Then many others say that is normal pitt behavior which is not what i want to hear. I would like any useful training tips i am going to continue looking for a trainer i feel comfortable with. Also i have read many of the threads that say if you want to get your dog use to other dogs when they see a dog in the distance give them treats and continue until the dog is out of site. I have a question about this if my dog sees the dog and is acting up do i still give him treats i have not in the past because i thought that would be reinforcing bad behavior but i understand i have alot to learn. LOL.


I remember wondering the same thing, when It came to Dar........ :|

And I truly understand not being able to afford a trainer....I Also know that with any training/behavior stuff, ya gotta stay WITH IT....

Good Idea Going through the old posts...!!!!

Hang in there!
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Anger that things are the way they are.
Courage to make them the way they ought to be.”----Augustine
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » November 1st, 2011, 9:20 pm

Where are you located? Maybe somebody has a trainer they can recommend.

I feel you when you say that treating for bad behavior doesn't seem right. But as somebody who has "been there/done that," trust me when I say that it works. Let me rephrase that - you are not treating bad behavior, per se. What you are doing is counter-conditioning your dog.

Right now Diesel gets all worked up and obnoxious when he sees other dogs, even at a distance. What we want to do is teach him that dogs = Very Good Things. That is done by playing a game commonly called "Open Bar." It works like this: You and your dog hang out somewhere where dogs will pass by at a distance, in and out of sight. This could be in your house at a front window, or in your driveway, or wherever. But start somewhere far away from other dogs. As soon as a dog comes into sight, start shoveling treats into Diesel's mouth. If he doesn't eat, you need to move further away. Keep shoveling treats until the dog is out of sight, and then stop. The bar is closed, no more treats. When another dog comes in sight, the treat bar opens back up and treats start raining from the heavens again.

Now, teaching a "watch" command can be done with luring: take a treat in your fingers and put it to Diesel's nose. When he starts sniffing it, slowly pull it away and up towards your eyes. When his eyes meet yours, click and treat. When you've done this a few times, try it without the treat, luring with just your hand. You can eventually add in a cue and make your hand signal much smaller. This is easy to touch, but hard to perfect, so increase the difficulty SLOWLY.
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Postby ArtGypsy » November 1st, 2011, 9:31 pm

pitbullmamaliz wrote: As soon as a dog comes into sight, start shoveling treats into Diesel's mouth. If he doesn't eat, you need to move further away. Keep shoveling treats until the dog is out of sight, and then stop. The bar is closed, no more treats. When another dog comes in sight, the treat bar opens back up and treats start raining from the heavens again.
.



Now That I"m home So much on sick leave, I should start getting more attentive with Dar.

When we are in the house and a Dog/Squirrel/Unicorn walks by,
I Can't even get him to pay one bit attention to me....Not with Food of ANY kind.. >(
( I bet a raw ostrich wouldn't even get his attention!)

He makes this 'funny' noise in his throat, his hair stands up on end and he starts RUNNING from one window to the next, .....Kinda APESHIT..... :crazy2:

The one thing I do have to do is hurry and slide the window closed, or I'm afraid he'll go right through the screen....
*Liz, my windows are like the one you saw in the picture of him sitting in the chair*
“Hope has two beautiful daughters: their names are Anger and Courage.
Anger that things are the way they are.
Courage to make them the way they ought to be.”----Augustine
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Postby donnynannette » November 1st, 2011, 11:03 pm

Wow thanks for all of the great info. I cant wait to start working with diesel tommorow. I have a big picture window. So maybe i can get one of the neighbors to walk by with their dogs. Do you suggest i start with a dog he gets along well with at first or one he does not. Sorry like i said all new to this my little jack russel loves any animal that exsist and can be left off leash and will not leave our side. Guess i just expected i could do the same thing i did with him and it woud work. LOL. Obviously it did not. :shock:
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Postby DemoDick » November 2nd, 2011, 6:42 am

donnynannette wrote:Thank you for getting together any info you can. I have talked to many trainers and many of them say they would have to come to the house to deal with him which cost twice as much because of travel. Also some of the other ones are ones who will not deal with pitts. Then many others say that is normal pitt behavior which is not what i want to hear. I would like any useful training tips i am going to continue looking for a trainer i feel comfortable with. Also i have read many of the threads that say if you want to get your dog use to other dogs when they see a dog in the distance give them treats and continue until the dog is out of site. I have a question about this if my dog sees the dog and is acting up do i still give him treats i have not in the past because i thought that would be reinforcing bad behavior but i understand i have alot to learn. LOL.


What I bolded is very important. While his behavior may be inappropriate socially, if your Pit Bull is displaying aggression towards other dogs then his behavior *is* appropriate for his breed. That's not so say that it's desirable or can't/shouldn't be addressed with training, but you have to start with the understanding that your dog is acting normally. A lot of trainers who don't have experience with Pit Bulls (and sadly plenty who do) will label their dog aggression a fault of some kind when in fact the dog is expressing what is in his DNA.

Liz gave some good feedback. I would have you start with the very basics of clicker training to learn how to time your rewards properly. Start with basic stuff like sit and down with no distractions so that you can figure out how to pull the strings properly. It doesn't matter if the dog already knows how to sit; the whole point is so you can learn the nuts and bolts of click and treat. There are a ton of links on the basics of clicker training in this forum. Look them up.

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Postby SisMorphine » November 2nd, 2011, 12:14 pm

Just a question . . . you specifically mentioned him being aggressive towards unneutered males. But then later on you talk about him getting excited about dogs in general. Is it both? Is the excitement aggression or just excitement?
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Postby donnynannette » November 2nd, 2011, 1:19 pm

That is a very good question and its hard to explain. When he sees a dog in the distance he gets all excited barking andwhining. If we go over to the dog and its a girl he is fine. I always muzzle him if he is around any dogs now just because i do not trust him. But the girls can climb all over him and he is fine. When a neutered male comes around he is the same as with the girls. When an uneutered male comes around he is totally on edge and he just acts totally different including how his stance is. He knows even before i know. He will not let an uneutered male approach him and jump all over him he grows and gets nasty. So i guess i would consider it a little of both he wants to go see the dogs so he gets excited. IF its a uneutered male he gets aggresssive. Thanks and i will work on his clicker training. I have done in the past and he is great with his sits and downs and will even hold his downs. But not when a dog walks by. LOL.
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Postby SisMorphine » November 2nd, 2011, 3:24 pm

I have never owned a dog that actually liked intact males. I would say that is a very normal canine behavior for ANY breed. Even my Greyhound who I used a lot to help with dogs who had dog to dog issues could not be used with intact males because he was so intent on going after them. And if we were someplace with an intact male Wally would know WAY before I would know, and I could easily take his cues on who to stay away from.
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Postby mnp13 » November 2nd, 2011, 3:46 pm

I always muzzle him if he is around any dogs now just because i do not trust him.

Please stop muzzling him around other dogs - for any reason. If / when that other dog goes after him, you will have removed his single method of defending himself, and his aggression (really, defensiveness, but it's the same manifestation) will likely go through the roof. You'll put any training you've done right down the toilet, and he may become completely uncontrollable around any dogs for a while.

Also, your mistrust travels down the leash and is probably making his behavior much worse.

I think you need to not allow him around any dogs for the time being. Until you get his focus work up to par and some good obedience on him, you are setting you and your dog up for failure. And I don't think you should ever let a dog that you don't know well "jump all over" your dog.
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