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Old 01-10-2013, 02:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Totally unacceptable aggression toward puppy!

Kaiser blew my mind last night. And not in a good way.

We had finished up our training session (the first formal one in many months, since my trip to Tennessee) and while it started rocky he ended with some really nice focus. We discussed ideas on how to manage those moments when he gets so excited he shuts me out as well as his whining/barking impatience/frustration behaviors (basically, the trainer told me to completely ignore him, and, if he keeps it up, to remove him from what he wants...take him home from the park, don't feed him his dinner, etc).

At any rate, he was in a good mood so we went inside the training center store to just chat for a few minutes. I saw down on a bench, Kaiser was allowed to get up next to me, and I talked to the dog trainer about the new food I have Kaiser on. She was waiting on her next session, which was a new puppy (probably 12 weeks old) and asked if Kaiser and I would mind staying for the puppy to meet. Like I'm going to turn down meeting a new puppy AND a training opportunity for Kaiser? Heck no! So I said yes.

A few minutes later, in walks the owner and the puppy (probably some sort of small terrier mix, a brown and white female that probably won't get much bigger than 30lbs). As they walked in, Kaiser's posture changed. He stiffened up, perked his ears forward, and I think he might have growled just a little. I got off the bench and had him come down as well. I then asked him for a sit (in the heel position). His butt barely hit the ground when he lunched forward, bared his teeth, and growl/barked. I was mortified.

I always have Kaiser sit nicely next to me when we meet dogs while out and about. He has only ever reacted to dominant/aggressive male adult dogs. He has played with puppies before, but none this young.

I immediately popped him with his collar (thankfully he was wearing a pinch) and he settled down for a moment. The trainer took his leash out of my hands and put him in the same sit position I had put him in, then told me to go pet the puppy. Kaiser stared at the puppy while I did this, then lunged again (and was subsequently corrected by the trainer). I continued to engage the puppy until Kaiser relaxed a little (probably about 5 minutes). The trainer then asked if I would stay during the puppy's training session, and I agreed.

For the next hour, I had Kaiser in a down-stay (which he eventually tried to get out of 5 or 6 times, as he got restless, and I had to put him back into a down). We were in the same room as the puppy, against the wall, approximately 15 or 20 feet away from the pup and her owner. Kaiser stared for about the first 15 minutes, then finally relaxed and lost that rigid posture. After the puppy's session was over, we left without trying to introduce the dogs again.

I'm going back with Kaiser next week (for the puppy's next session) to work on this once more.

The trainer thought that Kaiser was sort of protecting me and that his initial elevated position did not help. Not that he perceived the puppy as a threat, per say, but that he didn't want the puppy go to near me (sort of like he was guarding me). I'm not sure how I feel about that explanation though. This is totally unacceptable behavior, regardless of the reasoning, and it needs to be addressed asap. Its a puppy for crying out loud...the least threatening thing alive, aside from maybe a baby bird, or something.

Sure, he was probably a little tired from training, but then again it takes a LOT to wear this dog out. An hour of mental stimulation really just isn't near enough for him. Plus, he enjoys going to the training center.

Aside from what my trainer has suggested:

Do you all have any ideas as to what could have been going through Kaiser's mind?

Suggestions on how to fix the issue (whatever that issue may be)?
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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How was the puppy acting?

Not knowing your dog and not having witnessed what happened, there is no way for any of us to guess what is going through his mind. Some dogs just don't like other dogs just like people can immediately not like someone they just met.

Raven went through a phase where she disliked me petting other dogs and especially objected if they jumped on me but I did things similiar to what your trainer did and just desensitized her to me petting other dogs and letting her know that if I say a dog is ok, then she has to ignore them and deal with it.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The puppy did nothing, other than stand there wagging its tail, and wandering around at the end of the leash like any young, untrained, pup would do. It certainly didn't look at Kaiser wrong, no posturing, nothing that I can think of that would set him off.

Had it been an adult, I could have theorized a little more (although the female thing still throws me off...since he generally seems to prefer females and non-dominant males to aggressive or dominant males). There are several dogs he has been attacked by who left a sort of lasting impression. For example, he was attacked by a large very poofy white dog and for the next month would react to any large white poofy dog we saw. He eventually learned that not all large white poofy dogs were going to hurt him.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaiser2012 View Post
For the next hour, I had Kaiser in a down-stay (which he eventually tried to get out of 5 or 6 times, as he got restless, and I had to put him back into a down). We were in the same room as the puppy, against the wall, approximately 15 or 20 feet away from the pup and her owner. Kaiser stared for about the first 15 minutes, then finally relaxed and lost that rigid posture. After the puppy's session was over, we left without trying to introduce the dogs again.
This would have been a perfect opportunity to do some LAT or BAT as long as the BAT didn't interfere with the other dog's lesson.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm still trying to figure out what that is. Basically I did what my trainer asked me to do: have Kaiser in a quiet down and then leave without making a fuss. As far as interfering, I think that little puppy was so thrilled it was getting treats, we could have thrown a party and it wouldn't have distracted her
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I wouldn't get too worried yet. I mean, obviously it needs to be addressed, and it is good that your trainer is helping you do so, but it might have been just a freak thing that is easily fixed.

The reason I say that is because I have seen a couple of dogs react really oddly towards other dogs when they're in unusual situations--like sitting on a bench against a wall, for example. The unusual physical position, or feeling trapped against the wall, or whatever, seems to make them insecure and unsure of how to act.

I'm not saying it's a common thing, and I don't have any suggestions other than what your trainer has suggested, but I just thought I'd share my experience. One of the dogs I saw do it is like the friendliest dog on the planet, and it is literally the only time in his life (and he's an older dog, and it was probably 3-4 years ago now that the incident happened) that anyone saw him react aggressively to another dog. It was a similar situation--sitting on a chair in the corner of a vet's office lobby when another dog approached in a non-threatening manner.
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Ooh, the bench in the store was in the center of the room, kind of acting as a divider between the leash/collar/treat area and the toy area. That was the bench we were on when the puppy first came in.

The wall was in the training room, a completely separate area. I was seated in a chair against the wall and he was in a down next to me. He didn't react in the training room, but I'm sure by that time whatever it was that had him riled up had disappeared (and we didn't let them get near one another a second time).
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Same as others--can't offer insight bc I wasn't there.

However, I offer that we introduced Liesl (2 yrs old) to my in-laws' Pomeranian pup over Christmas. We took them away from the confusion/family scene. The pup was scared and adopted some fear posturing, which make Liesl's hair stand up and made her growl and lunge a bit. I sharply corrected her, and immediately re-introduced. I also turned the pup around to present its rear end to Liesl for sniffing. That seemed to do the trick--she got her sniff, accepted the pup, and even lay down to look at it curiously. The pup was too scared to relate to Liesl, so we stopped there.

Later, back inside with all the family around, Liesl was very good with the pup--curious but not at all aggressive, not excitable, etc.

Try the "rear-end" first approach--it's how they naturally meet and may ease your dog's excitement.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:52 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I would make seeing and being around that puppy probably one of the best things in Kaiser's life. Like greasy McDonald's cheeseburger (just cheese) good.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:56 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaiser2012 View Post
I'm still trying to figure out what that is.
Here's a somewhat simplified answer: LAT HAT BAT What is That? | Life With Dogs

You can search LAT (Look At That) on the forum, it's been discussed many times on here.
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