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a step forward and two steps back (non GSD)

853 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  big_dog7777
good morning all,
This morning I was running my dog on one of our regular routes. We turned a corner near where a usually placid older golden retriever lives.

The old golden charged across the street barking, hackles raised, low to the ground. Real aggressive. Midnight stopped dead in his tracks and gave the golden "the eye" so I told him "Heel" and he did so we kept running. The golden ran up to midnight snarlling and tried to come at me. The dog was focusing on me not Midnight. Midnight lunged when the golden tried to get past him and they got to fighting. I broke it off with a snappy leash correction on midnight and we ran off.

This dog had tried to come at me once before, but its owner was in their front yard (unfenced) and ran to pull him away from me before the psycho golden to get across the street, but he did aggressively charge on me. Had his owner not been in the yard then it would have gone just like today.

This was good because Midnight's heel wasn't super consistent with close distraction. he did it instantly as soon as I told him.

But it was bad. Midnight was tied to something before I rescued him. He is still not fond of the sound of chains clinking and was terrified at the sight on any kind of chain for the first year I had him. . He was leash aggressive to other dogs when I got him and we worked soo hard for a long time to get his leash manners down good around other dogs. I noticed on the rest of our run that he was starting to lunge at the other golden retrieiver looking dogs we saw on the run.

A fellow runner in the area runs her two goldens. We occasionally stop and talk, but today (after the pyscho dog ran at us) midnight wouldn't settle down when the other golden were around. He lunged at them a couple times.

How should I go about treating this new flare of leash aggression? What should I do about pyscho golden?
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See Pat Miller's books on how to deal with this &
Foremost, keep your dog away from the sometimes loose golden who charges you.
Then make only positive things happen when he is around golden looking dogs - that is, no more leash corrections. Keep him far enough away to start that he doesn't react. (Pat Miller goes into this indepth. - I gotta get ready for work!!! (or I'd add more))
The only way he will relax is if he knows you will protect him in all situations. That way he can differ to you when that happens so you don't backslide on all of the hard work you have put in with him. I know it's easy for me to say, as I am a large guy that would not hesitate to square up with a large individual dog while putting my dog behind me. I would suggest jogging with pepper spray, and if any dogs run at you let them have it. If animal control is non existent around there and the guy seemed decent last time, I'd go talk to him and give him fair warning about what happened while saying next time you will need to protect yourself and your dog.
thanks folks.
I agree with you both. I used positive reinforcement and gradual desensitization to get midnight leash friendly the first go round. I'll start doing it again when i see him tensing up on the lead.

I spoke to the owner after i posted this earlier today, he actualy came by my house to apolagize for his dog and said he was getting his underground E-fence fixed. I told him next time I'd have to do something to dissuade his dog from charging me and that I hope he got his fence fixed quickly. He was ok with it, and we were both satisfied after the conversation, in fact we had a nice double espresso before he left.

Is it unusual for previously leash aggresaive dogs to "relapse" like this after being harrassed or traumatized?

I mapquested a new route that avoid his property, but doesn't unduly inconvenience me or change the overall length of the route. However I did just put my fox labs spray in my running gear drawer, so when I go out this afternoon I'll avoid the corner all together but if he comes at me again it will not be pleasant for him.
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Originally Posted By: midnight804Is it unusual for previously leash aggresaive dogs to "relapse" like this after being harrassed or traumatized?
It's not unusual for any dog that is attacked in some way to be reactive moving forward. It may not be unusual for a dog to instigate with other dogs moving forward. A dogs natural viewpoint is that the best defense is a good offense, which most people do not understand which leads to fear aggression being interpreted incorrectly so often.
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