Join Date: May 2008
Location: Beaverton, Oregon
Is he fear-aggressive and what can I do??
Zeke was always a very sociable puppy, but when he was about 10-11 months old he started to change. He has become a pretty dominant alpha male, but was always very well-mannered with other dogs and more submissive. I knew that might change as he got older, and it's gotten to the point where I don't trust him off leash with other dogs. I used to take him to the dog park, and he never had a bad encounter, nor was he a trouble maker. I haven't taken him since he was about 10 months, since I started noticing his dominant behavior.
I would like to bring another dog into the family, but I'm afraid Zeke will be too fixated on dominating it and fighting with it. Yesterday my mom brought over her sweet, female, fixed, whippet mix and they played well for about five minutes, but then things escalated. I think Zeke starts to feel scared that the dog is trying to hurt him and he gets defensive. They were running and playing, but she started to nip at him in a playful way and he immediately became uneasy. She never actually nipped him, it was only an "air-nip" :P He just takes things the wrong way it seems.
The last few encounters with dogs have gone poorly and I'm very concerned. I want to bring in a female puppy, in hopes that Zeke won't feel threatened. I'm currently considering an Irish Setter or a Spinone, but have an open mind. He has done well with puppies, but the interaction was limited. Do you think he just needs more play time with friendly dogs so he can be less skeptical of their intentions? Or do you think he's not ready for a dog buddy? He has always hated rough-housing with dogs, but he does enjoy playing chase. Oh, and he will be 14 months old in a week.
<span style="color: red">Markos Ezekiel vom Spartanville (Zeke)- Born July 2008</span>