The Dog Questions You Send
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Q. Dear Digital Dog,
My 3 yr old German shepherd male is becoming increasingly aggressive
toward other dogs. It is getting to the point where I keep him from even
"saying hello" because the sniffing suddenly becomes a fight. He was
neutered at 2 1/2. He has been quite timid with people most of his life,
although not agressive with them. I though he needed all the
testosterone he could get before neutering. He is friendlier with people
now, but I don't like having to avoid other dogs. He did meet another
shepherd his size whose owner was ok with letting them work it out for a
minute or so, then they played. The next time they met they needed to do
this again. The other dog is a little bigger, and I think, won the
contest, but mine seems to want to continually challenge this. Any
Challenged in Chicago
Ans. ~ Hello Challenged,
It's tough since this is a lack of doggie protocol and social behavior issues... something that people can't really show or illustrate to our pets!
Your dog lacks what would be called dog social skills. As a result he is
nervous and anxious when meeting other dogs. To try to correct this now,
he needs to meet lots of dogs... which of course lies the rub since its
now rather hazardous to him, the other dogs and the people around.
I would let him continue to meet the dog that he seems to be able to "work
it out with". At some point he will likely settle down and trust the
other dog. At that point you MAY be able to use the other dog as a crutch
for him to meet other dogs (with this "friend" present) and he will follow
the lead of the other dog in seeing that he needn't be aggressive.
Of course, solid praise from you when he's approaching another dog and behaving
is invaluable and be sure NOT to yell or correct harshly when he's acting
aggressively as that can increase the aggression and/or give him the sense
that you are backing him up ("LOOK LOOK My MOM is mad at you too!!" he will be thinking).
I would also suggest that in day to day events, when you cross the path of
another dog, even if he starts to react from 40 feet away, simply wheel
away and walk in the other direction (even if only for a few steps) if he
starts to act up with another dog. The fact that you simply "end" the
behavior can tell him alot as well.
Consider checking out the website for the
Please let digital dog know if this advice helped!
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