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Old 11-04-2012, 06:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
Nyx
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Default Questions about shows of 'Aggression'

Hello all...

and Thank you for your input.

Ok. I have a 9 month old female, Asher.

Asher is VERY vocal and PUSHY. I am not certain if this is really Aggression or just her attitude.

When we play fetch, she is to sit and wait for me to throw the ball. Upon retrieval she is to drop the ball next to me and then sit again. She has been taught this from day one, and that is how I play fetch.

So, Asher thinks if she barks at me and some times tries to nip at me, that I will just decide to throw the ball that much quicker.

She is also VERY stubborn and takes her time to enact upon given commands.

Yes, she knows what I am asking her to do. She chooses to tell me, in no uncertain terms what she thinks, ALL THE TIME. And takes her time when she is being pushy about her wants.

I figure she is still a 'puppy' and I make her do what I want with out physical force (i.e. being made to sit, or lay down, with pressure on her hunches or pulling out her front paws to make her lay after sitting).

But is this allowing her to think she is getting away with anything?
Are these acts of aggression?
Or just her being a pushy pup?

Now I have a two year old male, Dante.
Who is normally a very well behaved gentleman. Does everything I ask without hesitation (except recall out in the open at times- so he is gaurded like a hawk when unleashed for any reason)

He is exhibiting a few things that concern me greatly.

One he has an off/on dislike of small people. I say off/on as you'll see examples below and small because they are mostly children.

But it confuses me, because; at Ranch and Home, the park, or even the vets office he can be so well mannered and do his 'tricks' on the small persons command.

But every once in a while he just raises his hackles and bark madly at other children.

He even tried to lounge at a neighbors boy. (I have a sneaking suspicion that the neighbors boys shoots him with air soft guns- have not caught them yet) But that should not excuse his behavior.

Is this common?
And how can I get him to behave proper ALL the time?

Second issue:
When I sleep both dogs are at the base of my bed... and if any one comes out of an ajoining room, or opens my bed room door Dante barks non stop until he rushes/greets them (and he can be frightening).
Some times he really rushes...not lunging specifically, but, if I did not know him it would scare the ba geesus out of me.

I immediately guessed he may have eye site problems but... my Vets says he is sharp and observing him he has no trouble with his vision.

I know he is protective over the back yard and my car... gets excited about the door bell or knocking.. but the bed room seems a little extreme.

And every one that he rushes is a house hold member. No strangers.


What can you all suggest?
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Old 11-04-2012, 01:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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With Asher, do you use NILIF? Do you make her sit/stay before feeding? Or before going in/out of doorways? I'm not sure about Dante, except I will say my lab was shot with a soft air gun by a neighbors grand kid, she hated that kid, but loved all others. If he was abused this way, I would just do my best to avoid him.
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Old 11-04-2012, 01:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The bed is extreme, as you are often unconscious there. This sounds normal, Asher thinks she's in charge, he thinks he can be the judge. You have to lead more so they don't, else they will. The answer is always the same grasshopper, you(we-all) need more training.
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Asher isn't being aggressive. She's being a brat. Up the training and you should come out on the 'other side' OK. Your male... if only 'some' kids are causing this reaction, then I'd be giving a correction for that behavior. He's taking liberties where he shouldn't be allowed to. Rushing the door sounds like what your vet said... a sharp dog. Low threshold. Correct him for overstepping those bounds. Especially if he's as biddable as you say, verbally chewing him out should help him understand that he's crossed the line.
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Asher is a 9 month old teenager. Dogs, like humans, do go through adolescence. Asher is there. Just do not give in to her pushieness and she will figure out it does not work. This is the time of her life that she needs firm FAIR guidance. I usually do not even use corrections with this, I find by simply not giving in and lowering my expecation, the dog will figure out the pushy is not going to get them what they want but complying with your expectations will get her what she wants. Win-win.

Dante is 2 years old? Sounds like we are reaching social maturity. Perhaps he feels like he needs to be Mr. Protector. I find here that by being fair again and firm you can insure he understands his place. I hesitate to encourage you to correct this without seeing the dog. I would be more likey to try to watch my dog for signs he is getting ready to bark or lunge. Quickly and firmly tell him "no" and turn him away. By the same token when you see him acting appropriately, praise him.

FWIW: My male Havoc did this too. Very similar circumstances. Generally when lighting was low or when he was startled. Even with people, things tend to go bump in the night that we would not even notice in the daytime.

Havoc DID have visual issues, I took him to an eye vet. Your regular vet would probably never catch this. Havoc's optical discs are undersize, they do not let in enough light so in low light he has difficulty seeing so tends to be more reactive. With maturity this issue has resolved. I do not know if the eyes have improved or he just has more experience to draw on as a mature 5 1/2 year old dog. He has not done this in over 18 months now.

Little kids? Move fast, move erratically. They cause more nervousness in dogs that are not raised with kids. When we lived in Oregon and Havoc was a little pup he had a few kids that caused him concerns. His first weeks at home my hubby and I took turns staying home part of the day. We were outisde and I went in to the house to grab the phone and was gone maybe 2 minutes. I came out to find the neighbor kids had climbed on the trampoline and were pelting Havoc with rocks over the fence. I caught the tail end as he turned tail to run. I yelled at the kids, spoke to the dad and I never saw it happen again. Family moved out but a YEAR later, I had Havoc at the park while ball practice was going on. We ran into this family and the same little girl that had thrown the rocks came towrd us. Havoc errupted!!! He remembered.

They DO NOT forget bad experiences when they have them during impressionable period in thier development. I would tend to just be carefull and reward any positive interaction and be watchful enough to remove him before he can have a negative interaction. Depending on the cause of the behavior, corrections can backfire. If he is just being a butt a correction may be in order but if he is afraid a correction may make it worse.

Havoc is almost 6 and I am still careful around kids with him. Generally he is fine but I have gotten good at reading him and if I see a kid that looks like he may cause Havoc concern I walk away from the encounter.
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=Nyx;2620925]
Asher is VERY vocal and PUSHY. I am not certain if this is really Aggression or just her attitude.

LMAO ... Kyleigh was EXACTLY the same at 9-10 months of age. Calm down, take deep breaths and don't give in with the training. She's growing / changing and testing out her environment. I learned more patience during this time of Kyleigh's life than I've ever had with any other dog. Kyleigh would bark at the ball, bark at me, bark at the air and I just stood there until she sat down. Then I would wait about 15 more seconds (of which she HAD to be calm) before I would kick her ball for her again.

During those two months, I was reminded a thousand times that it's all about patience when working with a puppy!




He even tried to lounge at a neighbors boy. (I have a sneaking suspicion that the neighbors boys shoots him with air soft guns- have not caught them yet) But that should not excuse his behavior.


In my opinion, it's not an excuse for his behaviour BUT it does explain his behaviour. There are four kids who hang around the corner where I live (there's a convenience store at the corner). They are loud, obnoxious, yell, make all kinds of noises, etc. and I have caught them near the fence trying to tease Kyleigh (I was sitting on the deck waiting to see what would happen). The couple of times they approached the fence, she went nuts. I didn't stop her, and they backed off. If they are at the convenience store, just making noise, I had to correct her from barking at them (100 feet away is not a reason to be barking like a maniac at 11 pm - at the fence, absolutely).

If the child really has shot at your dog with an air-gun, I really don't blame the dog for not trusting the child, and not wanting to be around it. The child has not demonstrated that it's trustworthy, or friendly in the dog's eyes (or in my eyes either). BUT, this is where it's tricky, it doesn't mean Dante can have license to do as he sees fit. For me, I would work on correcting the "non-threatening" behaviour ... as you see fit.

When I sleep both dogs are at the base of my bed... and if any one comes out of an ajoining room, or opens my bed room door Dante barks non stop until he rushes/greets them (and he can be frightening).
Some times he really rushes...not lunging specifically, but, if I did not know him it would scare the ba geesus out of me.

Will he stop / calm down when you give him a command? He is protecting you, as is his job ... but it is important the he recognize that once you've given the OK, he needs to back down.

For example, on Saturday evening I was at the off leash park with Kyleigh (it's a big big park) and there were people walking with flashlights. Kyleigh was on "alert" for the majority of our walk, and at one point barked like a maniac at a pug that had more lights on him than a christmas tree. I called her over and told her to RELAX, I had the situation under control. And she visibly relaxed. I told her to stay and went over to pet the lit up pug, and then went back over to Kyleigh to let her sniff my hand. She was still a bit "off" with the pug (in her place, I would have been confused too), but she didn't bark at it anymore.

I hope you get lots of responses to help you figure out what's going on, and how to work with Dante ... Asher's easier ... LOL ... just patience, consistency, patience, more training and did I say patience?
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Old 03-03-2013, 02:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have been making them sit before they can come in, go out, be leashed and unleashed, load and unload and such.

I especially make Dante sit before any one greets him, he likes to try and "hug" you ( jump up on your shoulders and tries to sneak in kisses too).

Dante has just grown into his "protective" phase at home and in the car. I really need to get him to refer to my judgement about things he considers a 'threat'.

He barks like a lunatic at neighbors out side of the fence or car. I have tried the ignoring him, the acknowledging the 'threat' and reassuring him that I don't see a threat...
but he just get's soooo excited. And oh my... any stray dog that comes near the fence... holy smokes...

But at the park or pet friendly stores.. he is approachable and polite. He will even do his command 'trick' prompts from others. (except the random child; some he just heeds like any one else and then a particular child sets him off. I am baffled by it.)
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