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Old 02-11-2014, 01:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My gsd bit me

I really need some advice on how to stop my dog directing his aggression towards me or anything that is within close range of his mouth when he can't get to the stray dogs. Or how to stop his aggression towards them altogether.

My dog is aggressive only towards to the stray dogs in our living area, he's fine with the other 2 little ones he meets occasionally that belong to people. They've ran towards and he did not react. He is also usually civilised at the vet's except for this one particular dog that he started growling at the moment it came out from the room. But we'd been at the clinic countless time and I'm pretty sure it was only against this one particular dog.

Anyway, back to the stray dogs, usually I distract him and walk away from them and he follows with an occasional low growl. But most of the times, he could see much further and better than me, esp in the dark, so he would immediately react when he spots one from far; growling and barking and attempting to charge towards it. Since he is always on a leash except in an enclosed area, he can't get to it/them and would direct his anger/aggression towards me and bite anything within range, which is my bag, the hanging part of the leash, my pants and mostly my leg!!

All this and I'm still in one piece and I can normally get him away but today, we were kind of "trapped" in the tennis court. We just entered in there and I hadn't even gotten him off-leash (thankfully!) and he spotted this black stray loitering outside and wouldn't stop barking at it. The stray wasn't even reacting, just staring. But my dog wouldn't stop going crazy!! He tore the lower portion of my pants and subsequently bit my leg and thigh!!

Does anyone else have this kind of experience and what do you suggest I do to rid him of this behaviour.

I don't know of any trainer here (we're in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) that I can work with and am in kind of a tricky living environment as well. I read on another thread about being reactive to other dogs and someone suggested "Control Unleashed" and I'd immediately ordered a copy of the book and DVDs as well.

But for now, besides putting him in a muzzle to protect myself, is there any other solution?? Muzzle isn't so ideal bcos a friend of mine who works in the management of the our living quarters advised that others might complain that the dog is vicious and will bite and hence, muzzled. I know, the purpose of the muzzle could be to protect them as well... but, people's mentality is just different here! >.<

Anyway, sorry for long post.

Last edited by lindadrusilla; 02-11-2014 at 01:32 AM.
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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In my opinion, putting a muzzle on your dog and having people think he might be dangerous is a much better option than having a vicious dog that is able to bite you and other people.

Don't jeopardize the safety of you, others and your dog because you are worried how it might look.
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Old 02-11-2014, 02:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm sorry I don't have any advice for you on how to handle this and there are plenty of experienced people here that will help you when they come online.

My only comment is that because he is on a lead and the other stray dogs are not, being on the lead is making him panic to point where he zones out and thinks he has to get free of the lead to protect himself and you. There are many dogs that are very reactive 'on lead' when confronted with another dog that is off lead. I wouldn't be happy using a muzzle when on your walks in public, only because if his behaviour is going to get him attacked by a pack of stray dogs, then he can't defend himself. Using a muzzle at home is fine, so long as he can pant and drink.

From the little bit of information I have read, stray dogs are bit different to our domestic dogs, they have established their order in the pack and will quickly deal with unstable dogs (usually killing them or banishing them from the pack).

Good luck and I hope you are able to find a solution to your poor dog so that he can find some piece in his life.
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Old 02-11-2014, 02:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiaMoo View Post
In my opinion, putting a muzzle on your dog and having people think he might be dangerous is a much better option than having a vicious dog that is able to bite you and other people.

Don't jeopardize the safety of you, others and your dog because you are worried how it might look.
I'm not worried about how it might look or what others think, but if someone complains to the management, they can tell me to get rid of him.
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Old 02-11-2014, 02:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Harry and Lola View Post
I'm sorry I don't have any advice for you on how to handle this and there are plenty of experienced people here that will help you when they come online.

My only comment is that because he is on a lead and the other stray dogs are not, being on the lead is making him panic to point where he zones out and thinks he has to get free of the lead to protect himself and you. There are many dogs that are very reactive 'on lead' when confronted with another dog that is off lead. I wouldn't be happy using a muzzle when on your walks in public, only because if his behaviour is going to get him attacked by a pack of stray dogs, then he can't defend himself. Using a muzzle at home is fine, so long as he can pant and drink.

From the little bit of information I have read, stray dogs are bit different to our domestic dogs, they have established their order in the pack and will quickly deal with unstable dogs (usually killing them or banishing them from the pack).

Good luck and I hope you are able to find a solution to your poor dog so that he can find some piece in his life.
I had the same feeling with the muzzle thing. I agree he could be panicking bcos he is on a lead, but if he wasn't and went chasing after them, its another disaster. Besides, I can't really walk him off-leash inside the compound anyway.

There are different packs here, some would run away when he starts barking, but just 2 nights ago, I spotted 2 strays before Magick did, they were playing by themselves and I immediately made a casual U-turn to avoid a confrontation. And my dog walked with me, didn't bark or growl but was aware of them. However, these 2 decided to give chase and Magick started reacting as well... I picked up some stones and threw at them and bought some time to make our escape unharmed even though my dog did tug at my pants.
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Would carrying a ball on a rope work as a distraction for your dog's frustration? It would give him something acceptable to bite in these situations.

Another thought would be to carry rewards with you (beyond the ball on a rope) and train him to an alternative behavior which you reward. That is have him heel or sit or look at you when there are strays and immediately reward this.
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Old 02-11-2014, 05:27 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Would carrying a ball on a rope work as a distraction for your dog's frustration? It would give him something acceptable to bite in these situations.

Another thought would be to carry rewards with you (beyond the ball on a rope) and train him to an alternative behavior which you reward. That is have him heel or sit or look at you when there are strays and immediately reward this.
Actually we were in the tennis court about to play with ball and rope. But the moment he saw the stray, he lost everything.

I had him sit and stay for a couple of seconds, but the moment the other dog moved, he went crazy again.

I'm trying to teach him focus at the moment, but kept he didn't seem very motivated by his treat. It is his favourite treat (freeze dried black angus beef) but still didn't work very well. He seems to prioritize some thing over others...

Still googling for more ideas
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Old 02-11-2014, 05:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I think you should find a trainer.

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Old 02-11-2014, 08:00 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I think a trainer is in order as well...Sounds like displaced aggression..He gets so worked up/frustration mounts, has to release it somewhere and your the closest target.

I had a male aussie that did this, fortunately, it wasn't me that he would displace on, unfortunately it would be one of my other dogs whomever, was in close proximity.

Jag for example, would work himself into a barking frenzy IF say, a strange car pulled into my yard, he'd be outside , (Fenced yard), and go nail one of the other dogs , even if they weren't close, he'd chase them down or try to anyhow.

Since he was my biggest failure at curbing his barking, I put a bark collar on him. Worked for him, non existent barking, didn't work himself up, no displaced aggression because he wasn't 'zoning' out.

Certainly not saying it would work for your situation, it worked for mine.
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:30 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Midnite my dog that was reactive to other dogs redirected on me one time shortly after I brought him home. I had a huge bruise on my leg he stopped immediately when I said ouch. I knew that could never happen again. He couldn't be in classes, so I was pretty much on my own. After a while is met with a trainer and he got her pretty good , worse then me. More work was needed. It's a lot if training and redirection. He is now fine with other dogs, but it was a hard road. It can be done, but it takes time.
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