Author Topic: Aggression to some dogs developing. Advice please!  (Read 180 times)

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Offline BentleyT

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Aggression to some dogs developing. Advice please!
« on: January 12, 2019, 03:13:02 PM »
Our male golden cocker is now 2 and he's got a great temperament. We nipped a bit of guarding behaviour in the bud a year ago and got a good recall both using the 'nothings' based training.

He's always been well socialised and great with other dogs. If another dog snapped at him he would just ignore it and walk on wagging his tail. However now with certain friendly dogs (mainly inquisitive playful puppies but also some older calmer dogs) he is going through the normal greet but then snapping and sometimes rearing up with legs on them for no apparent reason. It always looks and sounds worse than it is and it doesn't last long but I'm concerned it may get worse. It doesn't result in injury l should add. He remains to play happily with most strange dogs but I feel these occurrences are increasing.

Any advice or suggestions?

Thanks

Offline Pearly

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Re: Aggression to some dogs developing. Advice please!
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2019, 07:54:01 PM »
It sounds as though you have done your job well and he knows when to be friendly and when to warn others if they get too close!  Not all adult dogs like puppies and most don’t like their space invaded - especially not being stared at!

We are all conditioned into “my dog must socialise”, they don’t do so naturally!  On a shoot day we may have at least 30 dogs out, they get on with their work and don’t interfere with each other, to do so risks a “proper telling off”!

Offline Barry H

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Re: Aggression to some dogs developing. Advice please!
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2019, 10:34:33 AM »
My 4 yo blue roan sounds very similar - well socialised and not bothered (much) about other dogs.   However, there have been a couple of (admittedly rare) incidents where he's told another dog what he thinks of them in no uncertain terms, even having a snarling lunge at a poker-faced and nonbelligerent pug - which I found completely out of character.  Of course, I apologised profusely to the owner, but felt that my protestations of 'He's never done that before' must have sounded a bit bogus!  Very embarrassing.

I wish I knew the reasons.  My feeling is that just like us they have their likes and dislikes but still there are those infrequent dogs who are simply persona non grata even though to us they may be outwardly friendly types.  With unfamiliar dogs it's difficult to know, so since the pug incident about six months ago I've tried to make it a habit to follow normal dog walking etiquette - watch both dog's body language from a distance and approach with caution only if an owner complies (and always on a lead).

Offline bizzylizzy

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Re: Aggression to some dogs developing. Advice please!
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2019, 11:37:22 AM »
Barry, your last point is the key to it I think. Humphrey‘s pretty sociable, we‘re in a club and he gets plenty of opportunities to interact with all sorts but every now and again there‘ll be a bit of a commotion, particularly with newcomers as he seems to decide its his job to give them the once over before deciding if they can join. However, while most are tearing around chasing each other, he‘s happy to plod along, on his own, nose down catching up on the news!
 Reading the body language isn‘t always so easy, and I read an an article recently suggesting that even the dogs have problems reading a different breed, a french bulldog with no tail, a creased face and a particular stance doesn‘t have the same accesories (for want of a better word 😉) as lets say a German Shepherd, so its feasible that misunderstandings do occur and it would also explain why some breeds might be labled trouble makers when perhaps they‘re just having problems communicating what they‘re feeling. Its an interesting theory and would explain your pug incident!
In answer to the original post, I agree with Pearly and if you have a good recall and he‘s not showing any other signs of agression, I wouldn‘t worry too much. Humphrey‘s still entire so I‘m always aware that there‘s potential for conflict  with other new males but given enough space and initial distraction, most incidents can be diffused before they become serious.

Offline Pearly

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Re: Aggression to some dogs developing. Advice please!
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2019, 11:42:23 AM »
Barry, your last point is the key to it I think. Humphrey‘s pretty sociable, we‘re in a club and he gets plenty of opportunities to interact with all sorts but every now and again there‘ll be a bit of a commotion, particularly with newcomers as he seems to decide its his job to give them the once over before deciding if they can join. However, while most are tearing around chasing each other, he‘s happy to plod along, on his own, nose down catching up on the news!
 Reading the body language isn‘t always so easy, and I read an an article recently suggesting that even the dogs have problems reading a different breed, a french bulldog with no tail, a creased face and a particular stance doesn‘t have the same accesories (for want of a better word 😉) as lets say a German Shepherd, so its feasible that misunderstandings do occur and it would also explain why some breeds might be labled trouble makers when perhaps they‘re just having problems communicating what they‘re feeling. Its an interesting theory and would explain your pug incident!
In answer to the original post, I agree with Pearly and if you have a good recall and he‘s not showing any other signs of agression, I wouldn‘t worry too much. Humphrey‘s still entire so I‘m always aware that there‘s potential for conflict  with other new males but given enough space and initial distraction, most incidents can be diffused before they become serious.

I’ve just read an article explaining that castrated dogs are more likely to be fear aggressive, that is, if there were indications prior to neutering they are exacerbated after.  Pearl is definitely fear-reactive and I’m convinced is worse as she was spayed young (closed pyometra so no choice).  The article was focussed on dogs that are neutered very young <6months old but made for an interesting read!


Offline BentleyT

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Re: Aggression to some dogs developing. Advice please!
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2019, 05:45:04 PM »
Thanks for the comments. I'll not be too concerned for now. I do think it's all low level but don't want it getting out of hand. And don't want to be apologising constantly to other dog owners! He was neutered at 6 months and had no previous issues. It's not a breed specific thing either although he does seem to favour other cockers, that said he's also 'told'the odd one too...

Offline Barry H

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Re: Aggression to some dogs developing. Advice please!
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2019, 08:46:26 PM »
...
Reading the body language isn‘t always so easy, and I read an an article recently suggesting that even the dogs have problems reading a different breed, a french bulldog with no tail, a creased face and a particular stance doesn‘t have the same accesories (for want of a better word 😉) as lets say a German Shepherd, so its feasible that misunderstandings do occur and it would also explain why some breeds might be labled trouble makers when perhaps they‘re just having problems communicating what they‘re feeling. Its an interesting theory and would explain your pug incident!
...
Thanks for posting this.  Very interesting theory and not something I'd considered.  I suppose I just 'assumed' that Jack, like most dogs, would have the necessary expertise to read even the most subtle signals, as they usually do.  But, as you say, maybe not!  Could be his confusion spooked him.  Wise words and worth bearing in mind.  (Jack is entire, BTW).