I have two labs. One, the boy, is nearly six years old and the other, a girl, is four. Both neutered / spayed.
They get on so well. They are great dogs. Gentle. Obedient. Friendly. Affectionate.
Except on walks. In the last six months, dog will attack the bitch at the start of a walk and at every gate we pass through. She will stop, scared to come through gates and then will bolt through trying to escape him.
He chases her, really bites her ear and bullies her.
I obviously stop it every time and really tell him off, put him on lead, keep my girl near me etc. Nothing works to improve his behaviour.
What is going on? At home and in the garden they are fine. It’s just on walks that the dog behaves like this and only to the bitch.
Stress perhaps? If he finds walks a bit nerve wracking (or indeed very very very very exciting) this may make him more reactive. Really though, you need someone there in person to see and assess what’s going on - do you take them to training classes? A trainer could go on a walk with you to see what the situation is, and that’s probably your best bet.
Just to add - my Spaniel is a love, but an absolute gobshite in cars or trucks. You’d never think it as he travels really well, but if you try and get him to share a car boot he will start growling and biting, and in the beaters wagon he sits on my knee as he finds being pressed in close with other dogs on a moving vehicle horrendously stressful. I would never have realised that he was stressed until you put another dog into the mix - he is a famously good traveller, but he needs his personal space. So stress can be very subtle, but make them react very strongly!
Does he draw blood? Is he just playing boisterously? I would get proper behavioural advice and in the meantime I would walk them separately. It's not fair on her to be attacked and if he is being aggressive this could escalate.
Yeah, sorry very quick brief response, but agree with Spud. He sounds very overstimulated by walks. I would be walking them separately and looking for signs of overstimulation in him when he is alone and addressing that before you try walking them together
One last quick thing - are you going on very long interesting walks? Everyone thinks that long walks and lots of exercise is always the answer to a lot of doggie ‘problems’. Dogs prone to overstimulation should be going on very short ‘boring’ walks or they’re likely to be coming back more hyped than before they went
How proactive are you at managing gates - is it a case of everybody bundling through at once?
I would advise trying to make it a controlled process - so (ideally) both dogs sit and wait, you go through, you call one to you and sit it up on the other side, call the other to do the same, reward and off you go. This might take a while to achieve but it might help reduce the overexcitement and the pinch point effect you seem to be getting.
I go on the same walk we’ve always done. Through woods and fields. They are tired out after it and sleep for a while.
I’ll try the controlled gate thing. Ive made him sit on other side of the gate. Then I go through. Then my girl who has to be persuaded and coaxed. The dog is sitting perfectly obediently and I think it’s safe to move off together. Then he starts bullying again. Obviously I make him stop but I’m just perplexed by it.