NLDA Forum for Working Lacy Dogs

Aggressive to other dogs
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Author:  Ronaldb [ Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Aggressive to other dogs

My lacy will bark aggressively at every dog when we are out. It can be riding in the truck or walking down the road he will get real aggressive towards them and hard to get him to stop. Anyone have any good suggestions on how to get him to stop this. He's 7 months old.

Author:  Courtney [ Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Aggressive to other dogs

Dogs behave aggressively toward other dogs for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it's hormonal, sometimes the dog has been attacked or frightened by another dog and has generalized the experience to all dogs, sometimes the dog feels trapped and vulnerable if confined to a small space or on a leash and feels uncomfortable near other dogs, sometimes it is the result of frustration because the dog doesn't get any healthy socialization with other dogs. Sometimes it is the result of boredom. The list can go on and on or be any combination of the above!

People rarely understand this, but the Lacy as a breed has a very high predatory drive which influences their reactions to certain situations. A Lacy's reaction to an uncomfortable situation is more likely to be a slightly aggressive one (charging a stranger or bristling up, lunging at the end of the leash.) Just means Lacy people have to be more diligent in dealing with bad behaviors in their dogs.

If I see the potential for a bad situation (like a strange dog is approaching my dog) I try to interrupt the interaction before it switches from positive to negative. Carry a bag of treats and try to distract him by asking him to sit or watch you. Reward your dog for being calm and paying attention to you before he goes into that red zone. Or...if he is already displaying aggressive behaviors, try to distract him and then reward him for paying attention to you. I ask my dogs if they want a treat. That's usually enough garner their undivided attention. If this works, eventually the sight of a strange dog approaching will signal your dog to sit and watch you.

Sometimes a strong punishment is necessary for eliminating aggression but only if the aggression is more predatory than fear based and only if it is precisely timed and intense.
If the dog is showing aggression because it is afraid, a strong punishment will only make things worse. A fearful dog's confidence has to be built up with counterconditioning and positive reinforcement.

When your dog sees other dogs, what is his body language like? Is he posturing, alert and confident or tucking tail, slinking, and averting his gaze? If he is quite confident, it is more likely territory based.
Either way, I will try to physically put myself in between my dog and the other dog (if it is safe to do so) and assertively tell my dog to back up. This communicates to the dog that you are in control of the situation. The equivalent of saying "hey, I got this."

I recently kept a dog for somebody else for a couple of weeks. Before I picked him up, they warned me that he could be aggressive toward other dogs. They said he was very dominant.
In two weeks, I observed zero aggressive behaviors. Not even toward intact males. This particular dog was so soft I barely had to give a leash correction or raise my voice to make him do something.
Their dog has become territorial / protective of them and somewhere in their training, they have reinforced this behavior. Once we took the dog out of his own environment, he had nothing to protect.

Hope some of that helps.

Author:  Ronaldb [ Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:37 am ]
Post subject:  Aggressive to other dogs

Thanks Courtney I'm going to try the treats and positioning. I'm thinkng it is a more protective thing that he will place himself between me and te other dog.

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