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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tonka just turned 13 weeks and has had a couple incidents of fear biting with other dogs. He does really well with smaller or calm dogs and after a few minutes, is ready to play. He does tend to get rough though so I have to make sure he doesn't get carried away with the smaller ones.

Twice now he has met bigger, very hyper dogs that immediately got in his face and wanted to play.
The first time was three weeks ago at the vets. A young lab was a nightmare, climbing up people, jumping, pawing. Absolutely no manners.
Tonka was really excited but nervous and growled when the lab jumped on him and smashed him to the floor. I found this acceptable considering how the lab was acting, I moved tonka away from the labs reach and all was fine.

Second incident was just a couple days ago. We were out for a walk and went by a place with a younger boxer pup, she is just a little bigger than tonka and a typical hyper boxer pup.
Got to talking with the owners and they invited me into the yard so the dogs could met and play.
The boxer immediately tried to initiate play. She was in tonkas face but not jumping on him or pushing him around. Mostly licking at him and wiggling around like mad.

Tonka was clearly nervous, he has a tendency to be nervous or fearful of new things.
He had his tail tucked and kept turning away from the boxer. I figured to just let them be, no one was growling and tonka wasn't terrified, just uncomfortable.

Problems arose when I sat down, tonka came and hid under my legs and immediately started snarling and snapping at the boxer. Had his hackles up, showing all teeth, the whole nine yards.
I tried scruffing him and saying no but he just wouldn't stop. Of course the boxer didn't mind, she wasn't respecting boundaries at all. Once I stood up, the behavior lessened.

After a few minutes, things settled down and they started playing but tonka was still pretty nervous and the play seemed fearful with too much growling. If the boxer got a bit too rambunctious, tonka would knock her down growling. The boxer would submit, rolling over then they would be back to playing.

It seemed like they were getting to the point of learning each others comfort zone and having some respect when I had to leave. I've been invited back for more play and since they literally live a block away, I'd love to go back.
I just don't know how I should proceed. I'm sure tonka will get better once he knows the boxer more and knows she won't hurt him.
Last time we went straight into the fenced yard and I took tonka off his leash. Should I do more introductions through the fence first?

Tonka is quite reserved, even with people. He won't run to strangers like a typical puppy, it takes a bit of coxing before he will go to someone new, He sits and wag his tail at them but not get close enough for them to touch. If I'm holding him, he will wag and lick at their hands but still wouldn't go to them when put down. I guess he is just a stand offish type of dog, not something I've ever dealt with before and I worry about him learning to be aggressive.
 

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Tonka is just four months old. He does need socialization but with dogs his size. Do make sure that the dogs he plays with has had all of their shots. In this day and age it is too easy for diseases to get passed between them. Also, one dog at a time at his age until he does feel comfortable. When you sat down, your legs made a safety spot for him similar to a crate. he considered that his place and you are his human. He was resource guarding you and his spot. Bulldogs are known for doing this. If you have not gotten books on bulldog behavior, do so. They will help you our a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you, I did ask about vaccinations and they are current. The boxer is only a inch or so taller and probably a little lighter.

I had wondered if he was guarding or if it was a case of little man syndrome. I'll read up on resource guarding, that's not something I've ever delt with before.

It's hard to find other dogs to socialize with. I'm in a small town with no dog park or dog play groups.
I have a friend with a pit puppy but she is younger and probably not vaccinated. I've delt with parvo in the past so I'm a bit paranoid about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you! That was a very informative article. I think I'll print it out so I can highlight the areas that seem to pertain to Tonka.
After reading that and some articles on resource guarding, I don't think thats what was happening. Tonka was fine with the boxer being around me and he happily walked away while I was holding her.
It was more of of a "You scare me but mommy is close and will protect me so now I'll bite you to make you go away"

I'm looking into local training classes but more seem to be on par with petco training. I'd like something better than that.
 

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Does your county or city hold classes? Also, check with your local animal shelters.
They usually know who to recommend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have found a local trainer with years of experience, after talking with him I really think he can help. Hopefully we'll be starting private classes next week.

I can't believe how many bad and poorly rated trainers are out there. Reviews of dogs bloodied from prong collars, urine soaked beds from being left kenneled too long, dogs becoming fearful of touch and these places are still in business.

Pisses me off that trainers can be so blatantly abusive and people still take their animals to them. If someone did that to my dog, there would be a problem, likely a big bloody with someone going to jail problem.
 

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Yes, you are right. But there are some very good trainers and their names usually get around. Let us know how the training goes. :)
 

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Your puppy was afraid and sending out signals like crazy. You scruffed him which was entirely wrong. The minute you saw he was uncomfortable you should have removed him from the situation immediately. Not every dog wants to play with other dogs. Both instances you were wrong to not remove him. The lab incident you should have not let it get to that point.
The puppy was not resource guarding you. He was terrified and growling and snapping at the other dog was the only way to get the dog to back off.
I sincerely suggest you stop putting him in these situations. He has already told you in clear signs HE DOESNT WANT TO MEET OTHER DOGS...

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