dog-dog aggression on walks(8 Posts)
I have an 8 year old JRT who has needed constant training all his life - he is a typical hyper terrier that has occasionally been snappy. He is hard work, but manageable. He sleeps in the kitchen but spends most of his time pottering around the garden and barely comes inside (his choice). He's only allowed in the kitchen if he does come in.
I'm not overly concerned about his behaviour towards the baby when it arrives as he will be completely separate, and we won't take any risks about them mixing.
My concern however, is on walks. He is dog-dog aggressive. I have spent may years with a trainer, and I can cope and control him well - although I have to be on the ball ALL the time.
Do you think it is going to be too difficult walking him with a newborn. I was thinking about a sling so my hands are free. I usually take him on 2 walks a day so he will really notice if this is reduced. I'm anxious and worried as I've put so much time into him over the years, and I'm desperate for it to work.
(Getting a dog walker/family/friend would be difficult due to his issues).
I got a mountain buggy specifically with dog walking in mind - it was a one-hand push and really easy going. That meant, when necessary, I could ignore the pushchair and concentrate on the dog. Word of warning, our non-aggressive dog did get somewhat territorial about DS and the buggy - very protective.
One of my collies is dog aggressive, and the only safe solution has been for me to stop walking him as I cannot predict his behaviour. That probably isn't what you want to hear but some things are not worth taking risks with.
I have spent a huge amount of time and money on trainers and training. He has even been to a residential training school. The problem is a genetic trait, nothing to do with his treatment or socialising, and it is impossible to train out.
We haven't been able to take our JRT to dog parks since having DS, for the same reasons you describe. I run with her instead.
Does your dog actually try to bite other dogs, or just bark/ snarl?
I ask because I also have a terrier (border) and we used to have all kinds of trouble with this. We would never take him to a dog park because he would bark aggressively at other dogs and chase them.
What we tried, was changing his food. We took all processed dog food and treats out of his diet on a vet's suggestion and now make our own from raw minced chicken and turkey and vegetables. The only treats he gets are pieces of cheese/ carrot/ leftover meat - whatever is in the fridge basically! We so an absolute transformation in his behaviour. I know it sounds bizarre, we couldn't believe it either. He is so much calmer. He still chases sometimes, but never gets into that 'red zone' so he will listen when called and come back. We also got braver about the dog parks and took him to really busy ones three or four times a week and it gradually desensitised him. He is still known as being a bit boisterous but people know him now and understand that his bark is just a bark.
It does sound like a lot of effort, making your own food, but we do it once a month in a food processor and freeze it in bags. His coat has improved too and he is generally in better shape. Apparently a lot of processed dog biscuits (we used to feed him dry food) contain caffeine and some dogs are very sensitive to this.
Feel free to PM me if you want any more advice - I have returned from many dog walks in tears so sympathise completely
Thank you so much StarryStarStar for your really helpful reply! My dog sounds very similar to yours.
I hadn't even thought of cooking his own food - it does make sense.
I'm going to do a bit of research into it. Thanks again.
Lots of dogs I know are fed raw - whether minced or in large lumps - and this does sometimes help with attitude.
a pushchair with one handed push is better than a sling imo. If you get into a situation and have to bend over and separate, or put your self in between dogs then baby is in harm's way and bending over baby would be in snapping reach. With a pushchair you can let go of it and sort out situation with Dog if you need to.
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