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Old 11-22-2012, 08:29 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony8858 View Post
In your original post.
You said Sierra intends to do damage and Sierra would give an armful of snarl and try to kill you. You did write that.

I don't know what you are reading but Sierra is not human aggressive at all. She loves people so the last thing she would try to do is snarl and try to kill you.

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Originally Posted by Anthony8858 View Post
I'm just wondering why all your dogs were so different, and if there was any way to correct the aggression?
different genetics? different anxiety levels? different fears and level of fear?

My point in describing my dogs was in explaining my definition between reactivity and true aggression.

fuzzybunny, IME, is correct when she said " I think most dogs that have serious aggression issues don't get over it. It can improve with work and the owners learn how to manage it at best."

Banshee - was ok with most people until a traumatic experience when her brother was killed in an accident. If you were not known to her prior to it then you wouldn't be smart to walk into the house, especially if my son was home alone. She was especially on guard when her boy was home alone. She is great with kids and no worries there. It is adults. if she knew and liked you prior to this then you could come into the house without a problem.

Sierra - bad anxiety, runt of the litter, never separated so she could eat so had to fight for every scrap she had. We could tell that from the number of scabs and 4# at 9 weeks. Mother was aggressive. Go figure she would be dog aggressive, right? I'm sure we could work on it and it might improve to some degree but the washer going off balance will have her redirecting aggression at Jax.

Jax - Was very good with dogs until I fostered a doberman with HIGH anxiety way past my level of knowledge and never should have been left in my home for long term, especially when I told them at the beginning there were problems. He was a bundle of nerves, would feel crowded and tear into the nearest dog. So at 1 yr old, Jax learned to fear and she learned to fight. Jax has come a long way with her reactivity and is a work in progress.

Is there a way to correct aggression? Yes, in cases depending on the dog and the reason behind it. But not always. Management of the environment is key to any dog that has anxiety or aggression issues.
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Old 11-22-2012, 09:22 PM   #12 (permalink)
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IMO, reactivity stems from a lower threshold. A low threshold dog will react without assessing or looking to the handler.
That is usually genetic, I think thresholds can be managed somewhat, but not always.
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:39 PM   #13 (permalink)
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IMO, reactivity stems from a lower threshold. A low threshold dog will react without assessing or looking to the handler.
That is usually genetic, I think thresholds can be managed somewhat, but not always.
Agreed, Jane. I think reactivity is either compounded by bad experiences or "deactivated" by good.
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Old 11-24-2012, 02:43 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Kyleigh View Post
Good to know I didn't miss the boat, just forgot an oar or two! LOL

Rowdydog wrote: I also don't think "reactive" hinges on past behavior. An experienced handler can prevent a bad situation from ever occurring with a dog who is naturally reactive (due to genetics, for example), but that doesn't mean the dog is any less reactive. It's a description of temperament and response to stimuli, not the dog's history.I also don't think "reactive" hinges on past behavior. An experienced handler can prevent a bad situation from ever occurring with a dog who is naturally reactive (due to genetics, for example), but that doesn't mean the dog is any less reactive. It's a description of temperament and response to stimuli, not the dog's history.

This is one of the "oars" I missed ... I hadn't thought of that at all, and I should have, because it is so obvious (hang head in shame lol)

Thanks everyone!
Haha, don't feel bad, it took me awhile to realize that too.

As far as whether you can get a dog over aggressive behavior, I also think it depends on the cause. My Hector was aggressive and reactive when I first got him, but he isn't naturally reactive--he just had absolutely no socialization so was fearful in every new situation, and of every new dog, etc. and lashed out to protect himself from those perceived threats. Once we spent several months doing a great deal of socializing and training, he learned how to handle new dogs and new situations without fear or aggression. He still has a tendency towards dog aggression (if another dog acts rudely towards him), but now it's more of a last resort "I'm not going to let you push me around!" thing. I am confident in saying that is just him, and I will not be able to train him to tolerate a rude dog jumping in his face for very long.

As others have said, a truly aggressive dog generally has that bred into him. You can only train them to tolerate so much that goes against their natural temperament. I have a friend with a very dog-aggressive pit bull who she has trained to tolerate new dogs...for about a minute (literally). It's a safety thing in case a loose dog runs up to them on a walk or something, but it took ages to even get there. There is no way that dog would ever be trustworthy loose around other dogs. It's just not in his personality.

I also agree that aggression is not the same as reactivity, for the same reasons. Both can be natural parts of the temperament, but they come from different places. Aggression has often been bred into certain breeds as a positive trait (for example, livestock guardian breeds tend to be dog aggressive because they need to guard their flocks from wolves, loose dogs and coyotes), while reactivity comes from fear and is generally unpredictable and not a good thing in any circumstance. On a day-to-day basis the management for both might be pretty similar (keeping the dog out of situations that trigger the aggressive or reactive behavior, for example), but the psychology is different and a good handler should keep that in mind when deciding how to address it.
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:46 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jax08 View Post
I think it's a matter of definition. I have one "reactive" dog and two "aggressive" dogs.

Banshee is people aggressive. She's mellowed in her ancient age of 13 years old but in her younger years, no adult could walk into this house, or even stand at the door, without having an armful of snarling dog trying to kill you. Her intent is to do damage.

That is my definition of the line between reactive and aggressive.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony8858 View Post
In your original post.
You said Sierra intends to do damage and Sierra would give an armful of snarl and try to kill you.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jax08 View Post
I don't know what you are reading but Sierra is not human aggressive at all. She loves people so the last thing she would try to do is snarl and try to kill you.
I'm not trying to get into/eavesdrop on the conversation, but I think that's what Anthony8858, was referring to. It was just a mix up of the dogs, I think? :P Again, sorry for intruding.
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