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Aggressive dog being approached by other dogs

(9 Posts)
Littlechocolatebiscuit Mon 15-Aug-16 15:38:39

I was hoping you could offer some advice on my dog.

He is a small dog and is often aggressive with other dogs (not with people). He has been neutered. He has good recall and we only let him off the lead if there are no other dogs around. When he is on the lead he walks nicely past other dogs - no barking or lunging - and we reward him with food when he passes other dogs.

If another dog approaches him, I keep walking him with the lead short and if the owner is about I tell them my dog isn't friendly. My dog will tolerate the other dog sniffing and following him for about 15 seconds, but then will become aggressive and start trying to turn around and bite the other dog.

Unfortunately I can't rely on the other owner calling their dog away as they are not always within sight.

Most of the time, the other dogs are just being friendly, so I don't want to let my dog go for them as I think he would really hurt them, rather than just doing a warning snap.

I'm also nervous to put a muzzle on my dog, because sometimes the other dog has been aggressive and I'm worried that my dog will get hurt if he can't defend himself.

I think I'm making the situation worse, as after a few incidents, I'm now very anxious when I walk my dog and I'm worried that he picks up on this and it makes him more aggressive.

Any advice on how to handle this situation?

Greyhorses Mon 15-Aug-16 16:00:26

I have an aggressive dog but what you describe drives me crazy. The other dog is classed as out of control as its off lead, yours isn't. It's not your dogs fault he wants to walk without being hassled.

Regardless some tricks I have found are to make your dog sit and treat for staying there. This will reinforces that dogs=Food and hopefully create a positive association. It also tends to make other dog owners more aware you may have a problem.
Also I block the other dog if possible from approaching mine and tell the owners that mine will bite which usually makes them come quicker!

It's a rubbish situation though as there isn't much you can do if the owners aren't in sight though!!

AddictedtoGreys Mon 15-Aug-16 16:08:31

Can you get him one of those little coats that says he isn't dog friendly?

AddictedtoGreys Mon 15-Aug-16 16:09:18

Like this -

BetweenTwoLungs Mon 15-Aug-16 16:11:05

Honestly the only way I have found to overcome this is pavement walks, walking in unpopular places and walking at obscure times eg I would never take him to the park on a sunny day, but if it rains then I'll take him and often have the place to ourselves.

plutoisnotaplanet Mon 15-Aug-16 16:18:59

Argh I hate this. I have a rescue boy and although he's not aggressive he used to be super nervous and other dogs approaching would terrify him. Whenever another dog came near him he would shake and wet himself, it was grim sad

We managed to get him desensitized over time but people allowing their dogs to approach him unchecked would set us back weeks and weeks. I ended up walking him at 11pm every day to make sure we were alone, even then he wore an "i need space" harness and lead. Then gradually we used other dog walkers I knew well to desensitize him by approaching calmly with their dogs on leads. It worked and now he's absolutely full of himself and very happy to play thank God, but without a doubt the rule is if you see another dog on a lead, put your dogs on immediately and if you can't call them back reliably, they should be on a lead or a lunge line!

Littlechocolatebiscuit Mon 15-Aug-16 17:16:54

Thanks for the replies everyone. I'm sorry that some of you also have this problem, but also reassured that I'm not the only one!

The harness looks good and we'll get one of those. I also like the idea of getting him to sit when other dogs pass.

I think you're right that I need to adjust my expectations and walk him in less busy places/less popular times.

CalmItKermitt Wed 17-Aug-16 13:35:20

A really strong "watch me" cue can be really helpful at times like this. My dog isn't what I'd call aggressive but she isn't particularly tolerant of other dogs in her space unless she knows them,and/or they are very polite and know how to greet another dog appropriately.

Rude dogs will be "driven off" with growls until they have retreated about 10 feet. Then she resumes ignoring them.

However since dog-dog interactions usually start with eye contact, if I spot an incoming dog I ask her to make and hold eye contact with me and the incoming dog will often lose interest and wander off because nobody is engaging it by looking at it.

Of course if your dog is really anxious, holding eye contact with you will be really difficult because your dog will want to be able to keep an eye on the other dog! But if he's ok up to a certain distance it can work really well.

JustBeingJuliet Mon 22-Aug-16 16:05:24

This drives me mad. Ddog isn't aggressive, but she's not mega keen on other bitches until she gets to know them and, although she never starts it, she will fight if another dog snaps at her. Therefore, I keep her on a lead when there are strange dogs around. The other day, on my local park, I see a woman I dont recognise approaching with a Lhasa apso off the lead, so I recalled ddog and popped her lead on. 30 seconds later the little ball of fluff had charged over and attached itself to my dogs throat and she was desperately trying to defend herself. I was extremely tempted to let her loose to be honest, as the owner strolled over and made some comment about mind not being very friendly angry

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