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Suddenly Hates Other Dogs


Guest jupiterooos
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Guest jupiterooos

Jupiter has had a "nemesis" in the neighborhood for about a year - a GSD mix. He goes crazy when he sees this dog - snarling, barking, lunging. NO idea why. We always just walked the other way, and tried to avoid the dog. Now, in the past few months, suddenly he has extrapolated this to cover ALL dogs. Any dog he sees, he goes ballistic. Which means I spend a lot of time avoiding other dogs, since there are lots in this neighborhood. I should add that he is OK with dogs he knew before he started displaying this behavior.

 

Our downstairs neighbor just got a GSD puppy, and I thought he might be OK with that dog since he's so little. But no, he went crazy at the sight of the little fella. This adds an extra layer of urgency about addressing this, since the puppy lives right below us on our side of the building, which means we are going to have a really hard time avoiding him in the stairway, the lobby....

 

Anyway, any ideas? We truly have no clue as to what caused him to start acting like this, it's very much like the compensatory reaction of a dog after an attack...but he hasn't been attacked.

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

Well I would suggest desensitization training. Start at a great distance, when your boy looks at the puppy and doesnt react, treat. If he does react, increase the distance. Hopefully there is a distance where your boy feels safe enough not to react. What you do then is to close the distance while treating. Eventually you can get to within about 50 feet, then you walk parallel with each other, treating and praising. When you can get to this point, then instead of walking parallel, walk on a slightly converging course to close the gap in increments. Treating when he looks and doesnt react. Eventually you should be able to walk side by side. Yes this will take a long time, but in the long run, this should work with more than just a single breed. Also, I would be very careful about introducing him to a puppy as the puppy more than likely will not have appropriate behavior which will be very counter-productive to what you are trying to do. I would see if you can get someone with an adult GSD to help you with the training.

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I don't know why he started acting this way, but maybe what worked/is working for us with Pogo will help you.

 

In the event that you can't find someone else with a dog to help with your training, you can use your everyday encounters as training events. Keep an easily-accessible supply of treats on you any time you go out. When you see a dog (keep your eyes peeled!), start watching Jupiter. If he looks at you or even turns his head ever so slightly away from the other dog, "Good dog!" and treat. Chances are, he'll be pretty curious what that was about, and look at you again, giving you another opportunity to treat him. Keep doing that until you pass the other dog, taking even the slightest glance away from the other dog as your moment to praise and treat. Also, especially when you're starting out, do NOT go straight towards another dog, like on a sidewalk. Cross the street if you have to, but make a large curve around the other dog. As he improves, you'll be able to get closer, but start out easy. Let him succeed. This is the Readers' Digest version, and there's more here on GT about this method (search for LAT game, or search my dog Pogo's name). It will work. Now, Pogo sees a dog, and looks at me to see if treats are going to start appearing, which is a much better response than leaping around like a crazed mustang/wolf, barking and snapping and dragging me off my feet.

 

Good luck, and I hope you can sort out why this started in the first place. That might help you avoid or manage the specific triggers.

GT-siggy-spring12.jpg

My Inspirations: Grey Pogo, borzoi Katie, Meep the cat, AND MY BELOVED DH!!!
Missing Rowdy, Coco, Brilly, Happy and Wabi.

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Is there any possibility that she was startled (not attacked, just startled) by a GSD, and is now just generalizing? A sudden bark from a car, or a house, or a backyard?

 

Our Allie has an enemy that once scared her and now she gets ferocious any time she sees the dog - it doesn't matter how large the distance. Luckily we both walk our dogs, and I know their schedule so I can usually avoid them.

 

Good luck! I have no training thoughts, but that Al has ben responding to the treats as outlined above. She thinks the best defense is a violent offense when it comes to her "enemy."

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Guest BlackandBrindle

At this point it really doesn't matter why he started doing this, just that it is addressed because obviously you can't continue like this. Jupiter sounds very much like Spud.

 

Work on these things:

 

Desensitization

Clicker Training

Bonding

 

Of course they are all elements of each other.

 

You want to try to keep him below threshhold. I know this is next to impossible when you live in a neighborhood with dogs, but do your best. Start in an area with no distractions and gradually build your way up.

 

Roy walks the pups after 8:30 in order to avoid other dogs (although that's not 100% we certainly see less at that time than during the day).

 

Secondly, I'd suggest buying the books Click to Calm and... (I always go blank on this one. I'll post it when I get home. It's on my bookshelf).

 

Teach him the commands Look at That, Watch Me, Find It. These either break his attention from his trigger and focuses him on you (and then you treat) or teaches him that by looking at his trigger, he gets treated. So the positive reinforcement starts to wittle away at his negative response.

 

 

Spud is better with me than with Roy in these situations because he knows that I am going to protect him. Spud is very fear aggressive after having been attacked. He was with Roy when he was attacked (because Roy does 90% of the walking).

 

I have some hand outs that our behaviorist gave us. If you'd like I can fax or email them to you, but it won't be until tomorrow.

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If this wasn't set off by an incident with another dog, I'd take him to the vet for a health check. The usual advice with a change in aggression patterns would be to look for a physical cause. Pain from a cricked muscle, for instance, or deteriorating eyesight, could make him iffy with strange dogs approaching, even if he is OK with his own household.

Clare with Tiger (Snapper Gar, b. 18/05/2015), and remembering Ken (Boomtown Ken, 01/05/2011-21/02/2020) and Doc (Barefoot Doctor, 20/08/2001-15/04/2015).

"It is also to be noted of every species, that the handsomest of each move best ... and beasts of the most elegant form, always excel in speed; of this, the horse and greyhound are beautiful examples."----Wiliam Hogarth, The Analysis of Beauty, 1753.

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"If this wasn't set off by an incident with another dog, I'd take him to the vet for a health check. The usual advice with a change in aggression patterns would be to look for a physical cause. Pain from a cricked muscle, for instance, or deteriorating eyesight, could make him iffy with strange dogs approaching, even if he is OK with his own household."

 

excellent suggestion, then contact a professional trainer who has worked w/ fearful dogs. sounds as if there might be some fear in there. a good trainer who does privates will always let you call for additional advise/help w/o a charge.

 

get going on this....i have met too many people who end up having to hang onto trees when their grey goes after another dog...hard to believe. it's all correctable if you have the right tools.

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All great advice! Isn't it nice to know you're not alone, nor the first, to be living with this?

 

You can do it. Like cleptogrey says, better sooner than later. It will be harder as the behavior becomes more ingrained and rehearsed.

GT-siggy-spring12.jpg

My Inspirations: Grey Pogo, borzoi Katie, Meep the cat, AND MY BELOVED DH!!!
Missing Rowdy, Coco, Brilly, Happy and Wabi.

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