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Advice from dog people

Anonymous
Posted by Anonymous
  • 23 Replies
My 3 year old boxer/pit does not like other dogs when I am around. If only my husband is there it is fine but minutes of me walking in he will get stressed out and try and bite. He's never succeeded my husband watches him close and has stepped in between as have I. I want to get a new dog but I don't know how to get past this with my dog. Any advice
Posted by Anonymous on Apr. 19, 2013 at 9:37 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Christywf
by Platinum Member on Apr. 19, 2013 at 9:38 PM

Call the dog whisperer.  That's all I have.  Sorry!

audreesmama
by on Apr. 19, 2013 at 9:38 PM
Your dog needs training with a behaviorist.
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Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Apr. 19, 2013 at 9:39 PM
We have had a dog trainer.


Quoting audreesmama:

Your dog needs training with a behaviorist.

audreesmama
by on Apr. 19, 2013 at 9:41 PM
Behaviorist, not a trainer. You need someone who can socialize him and get to the core issues.


Quoting Anonymous:

We have had a dog trainer.




Quoting audreesmama:

Your dog needs training with a behaviorist.


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KailesMommy
by on Apr. 19, 2013 at 9:45 PM
Sounds kinda like jealousy too. If it is soley around you, then it isn't that he has a socializing problem. He has claimed you and is protective over you.
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SusanTheWriter
by on Apr. 19, 2013 at 9:45 PM

It's possible that he views you as someone he needs to protect from the threat that other dogs represent. I don't really know how you'd get past that, though, without help from someone who knows dog behaviour better than I do.

paganmommy4
by on Apr. 19, 2013 at 9:46 PM

He wasnt properly socialized and the dog is picking up on your stress level and is reacting to you. 

Depending on your dog, you may or may not get her to like other dogs, but it's definitely possible for your dog to not lunge, growl,  snap at, or bite other dogs.



The main thing to remember is to never let your dog form negative associations with other dogs.  This means you must never hit, poke, jab, kick, or yell at your dog when he is around other dogs. Never ever yank your leash when your dog is around other dogs - even if your dog is lunging and growling.  If your dog sees another dog, then gets a leash yank, your dog will associate pain with other dogs and will hate them even more. Never ever alpha roll your dog around other dogs. This is scary and will also make your dog form negative associations with other dogs.


You must use desensitization and counter conditioning to help your dog become more comfortable with other dogs.  A good trainer can help you with this. Do NOT use a trainer who tells you to use leash corrections or any other harsh methods with your dog.  If the trainer doesn't provide details on positive desensitization and counter conditioning, then find another trainer or behaviorist.  


Sometimes harsh methods like leash yanking will make your dog stop growling (or could make your dog worse) but it won't help your dog to like other dogs. Even though you might have suppressed the behavior, the underlying problem is still there.  You dog still won't like other dogs.  And sometimes if you suppress growling, it could make your dog bite without any warning.


In addition to desensitisation and counter conditioning, loose leash training can help your dog tremendously.  Dogs can feel uncomfortable on a tight leash when they meet other dogs. An excellent pamphlet on loose leash walking is MY DOG PULLS - WHAT DO I DO? by Turid Rugaas. More info on loose leash walking below.


How do you desensitize and counter condition your dog?  You start below threshold and set up your dog to succeed.  
Start with a dog who your dog already knows - like a friend or relative's dog.  Have someone walk by with that dog; when the dog passes by, you praise your dog and give her a really tasty treat. 

Do this several times until you see your dog getting happy about getting a treat.  This could take a few days.  If your dog knows other dogs then try the other dogs until you dog is happy about seeing the dogs.


Next try this with a less familiar dog, but with a dog who is very calm (this is where using a positive trainer can be helpful). The dog has to be far away enough that your dog is comfortable and not lunging and growling.  This might be 50 feet or 300 feet.  If your dog gets upset, you are starting too close and moving too fast.  When the dog passes by, praise and treat your dog.

Don't let the dog get any closer until your dog starts looking happy and excited about the other dog.  This could a take couple of days, a couple of weeks or a couple of months. Moving too fast can make things worse.  
Once your dog is happy, the other person can move in a couple more feet but not too close.  And day by day or week by week or month by month, you can get closer and closer.  You must take your time. 

While you are working on counter conditioning and desensitization, you are going to have to manage your dog to keep her from being upset about other dogs.  So try to walk her early in the morning or later in the evening when fewer people are out. Or  put him in your car and drive to neighborhood or park where people don't let their dogs run around off leash (which is very dangerous any way)

Some excellent books on helping your dog become more comfortable around other dogs:
Feisty Fido: Help for the Leash-Reactive Dog

Scaredy Dog! Understanding & Rehabilitating Your Reactive Dog 


Since your dog has already bitten another dog, you must consult a positive only professional to help you.  Your dog must be on a secure martingale collar so she can't break free ( a professional can show you how to properly fit one so it won't choke your dog and won't slip off).  A harness can also work great because dogs can get more aggressive if they feel pressure around the neck; but make sure it is secure.  Be aware that a martingale is more secure. I usually attach a martingale to a harness when I walk my dogs.


Please see the below links and videos for more info on loose leash walking, desensitization and counter conditioning, etc..

Loose Leash Walking:
http://www.stubbypuddin.com/2011/02/loose-leash-walking.html
http://blog.mysanantonio.com/latrenda/2011/04/leash-pops-and-chickenpox/
http://blog.mysanantonio.com/latrenda/2011/03/spring-cat-poop/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zq1P1-iDV-c


Counter Conditioning and Desensitization
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WOFKPshhYQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoHTir_uK1o
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQpP02nTVeg

Anonymous
by Anonymous 2 on Apr. 19, 2013 at 9:48 PM

You need to train him and establish your dominance over him. He see's it as he is responsible for protecting you. When you can establish your superiority, your dog will take a step back and wait for  your cue to take charge.  

how you do this  make sure you run him through basic training, feeding, grooming, have him lay at your feet not on your feet, lap or beside you .


do not tighten his leash as soon as you see someone else,

you step between the dog and the person

muzzle your dog on walks until this habit can be controlled.


Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Apr. 19, 2013 at 9:53 PM
He doesn't need muzzled on walks or ever. The dog trainer couldn't even muzzle him but either way we run on a country road so no other dogs or around. I only know his reaction because of being around friends and family's dogs. I don't want to muzzle him, put him in a crate or use any type of shock collar or other corporal punishment


Quoting Anonymous:

You need to train him and establish your dominance over him. He see's it as he is responsible for protecting you. When you can establish your superiority, your dog will take a step back and wait for  your cue to take charge.  

how you do this  make sure you run him through basic training, feeding, grooming, have him lay at your feet not on your feet, lap or beside you .


do not tighten his leash as soon as you see someone else,

you step between the dog and the person

muzzle your dog on walks until this habit can be controlled.



Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Apr. 19, 2013 at 9:53 PM
How do I get unclaimed? I don't have a problem with him trying to be dominant over me at home


Quoting KailesMommy:

Sounds kinda like jealousy too. If it is soley around you, then it isn't that he has a socializing problem. He has claimed you and is protective over you.

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