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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When your dog is just 'checking' another dog out and when your dog wishes to be aggressive? For example I was at my mother's house all day today helping my sister work outside. Sam was outside w/ us on a lead and this guy who has been sponging off of my mom forever now comes back from his OTHER house in Grand Rapids (ok so that reallly has nothing to do w/ the story I just feel petty right now) w/ his big a$$ dog breed unknown. Anywho, here comes this giant sod and my dog of course races up to meet him (she's met him before) and I told her to leave it which of course she conveniently chose to ignore. At any rate I pulled her away at which point she went freakin nuts - now did I do the wrong thing and send her a message that made her aggressive (by pulling her away)? I just couldn't tell if she was gonna go for it or not and I didn't want to pay for more vet bills and I sure as heck wasn't gonna pay for his dog to get fixed up. He said I should leave them alone - but I've only had this dog for not quite four weeks now, it's not like I 'know' her the way I hopefully will in another few weeks (months whatever). Did I do the wrong thing? Am I supposed to 'let' her check out another dog? I feel very overwhelmed and confused.... Somedays I feel like it's just too much for me and I have no clue what I'm doing! :( Do you feel sorry for me now? :wink:
 

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With any dog, it can be tricky, as some will never you give you a clue. But body language tells alot most times. Raised hackles, stiff posture, their glance. I guess with a new dog it is hard to tell, but I can tell at the dog park when sheila does not like another dog checkin her out. She cocks her head to the side, all the hair on her scruff and but stand up and her tail sticks straight back. At the point, even though she is a puppy, I know she is uncomfy and does not like the dog for whatever reason so I back her down. Problem is , atleast from my understanding, if you yank a dog away as they are being aggresive or barking at another dog, that can lead to dog on dog aggressio, so best to try and catch it before the dog escalates and distract em. It is alot to learn as I am also in the learning steps my self. Hope this helps atleast a little, if not I am sure others will chime in with their experiences.
 

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Interesting you mention this, I was watching the Dog Whisperer today. (amazing show btw i suggest you watch it. The guys name is Cesar Milan) And he mostly deals with this type of situation. It's all in the body language and the energy they present to each other. And as their handler you cannot feel nervous or excited in these situations cause they just feed off your energy. if the dogs tail is all the way up in the air they are either showing their dominance or asking for some trouble. The trick is to always keep your dog in a calm submissive state. which is relaxed and kinda nonchalant about everything. the other dog has to be in this type of situation too. Kinda hard to control 2 dogs though....
 

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Hardest part is to control a strangers dog. And I agree Milan is good at what he does. Problem is, atleast for me at the dog parks I have been to, people take their dogs there, let em loose and thats that!!! They yap on their phones, leave to sit in the AC in their car etc...... They don't pay attention to their dogs. I had some ladies pit bull trying to hump Sheila non stop, and she did not like, she got pissed and started growling and snapping at this adult male pit. I asked everyone there whose dog it was, no one knew. Then one guy said it is that ladies over there. Some lady was ALL the way on the other side of the dog park on the outside of the gate talking on her phone!!!!! Needless to say if you are going to bring a bully breed to a dog park, you should atleast be attentive to your dog. So even if you can predict your dog, train your dog etc... you can never predict another persons insane dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah OK so I watched the Dog Whisperer and while I did glean a few interesting tactics I couldn't get past the often retarded owners (I'm SO sorry if that offends - it's honestly what I was thinking) like the old people who kept a bishon frise (or however u spell it) for like six years who KEPT BITING THE WOMAN. Good grief people - either get some training, get a new home for that thing or get the pink shot. Geez... I did see where he worked w/ the GSD's and while I found it to be interesting I'm thinking - that doesn't really help me cause I don't know my dog that well yet. Guess I'm just gonna keep her away from dogs I KNOW flip that magic trigger. :roll: I also find him a bit distracting and for some reason I can't shake the hokiness of it all... Could just be me I suppose -

Sarah

Edited to say: Oh and I meant to say thanks as well for posting a response - I do appreciate it. Having this feedback is so helpful until I can get her into some training somewhere w/ someone..
 

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why would you take your dog to a dog park. Don't you realize that all it takes is one dog to start a fight? Your dog could be the nicest dog in the world but if another dog would bite your dog (on an average) your dog will finish it, giving the bully breeds an even worse image. just food for thought.
 

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For right now I only take her to the park cuz she is a puppy and I am trying to socialize her well. Once she starts approaching the one year mark, dog parks will be limited to when they are empty,, since I am usually off weekdays, when I want a big open area to let her chase her chuck it or frisbee. Right now I am getting her to go rollerblading with me, which seems to be getting her real nice and tired. Has been a very peaceful two days since I started that. Their might even be a pulling future in her as my fiance goes to the end of the block and calls and she takes off dragging me like no big deal. :lol:
 

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I have heard that it can escalate aggression if you tug the leash/ collar/ whatever. My dog has never shown aggression toward another dog, but she's kept on leash anyhow. I have no dog parks near me, or I would take her. Many people disagree with this. There seems to be a huge discrepancy with advice given....socialize your dog; NO, don't let it play with other dogs .... it can be terribly confusing to know if you're doing the right thing..for your dog. Since every dog is different, only you can know that. Personally, I would check out some books on dogs body language (there's a sticky with some excellent suggestions) Maybe they can help you "read your dog" better, then you'll be on your way to making the best decisions. Hope that made sense :oops:
 

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Anywho, here comes this giant sod and my dog of course races up to meet him (she's met him before) and I told her to leave it which of course she conveniently chose to ignore.

Personally, I think the biggest issue here, is that when you corrected your
dog, she chose to ignore you. This is what I believe led up to her being aggressive.
She was taking charge of the situation because she felt you were not.
You have not been with her long enough to know her signs and she has not
been with you long enough to see you as the dominate force. Since she has
displayed this behavior (ignoring you) that is the first thing I would work on, ASAP.
There are always going to be times where she will want to go sniff a dog or go check
something out. but part of good training is to teach them to stay with you and
to obey your commands. That is how we avoid aggressive situations. If you have
not gotten a book on Bully traits & training, it would be good to get one. Good luck.
:D

One more good tip for all new "Bully owners", when you are out with your dog and you see
a situation coming that may pose a problem - do not wait for it to come to you, do not wait to
see what is going to happen. Always assume that a problem could arise and move your dog
to avoid any problem that may arise before it arises.
:wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks so much and interestingly enough that is what made me so mad was that she ignored me - it left me shaking. I was so frustrated and upset - I have been working with her and she is still young - but this is not exceptable! Last night I felt like asking someone - anyone - if they wanted a new dog. :cry:
 

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I would personally take her to private obedience classes....that might help you guys get to know eachother better, and have more trust. At first it's easiest to train your dog when there are NO distractions, and then after the no distraction obedience is pretty much down pat, then I would start adding distractions (other dogs, people, etc)!!!

As for dog aggression, some dogs are very obvious, and some just get a weird look in their eye, and then pounce. This one time I was just talking to this guy who was also taking his dog for a walk, and we were about 5 feet+ away from eachother (both dogs were on leash), and his dog just looked like it was chilling. Then all of a sudden his dog got a weird look in her eyes, and instantaniously lunged and bit my dog on his chest. Luckily she was back far enough, and my dog just looked at her like she was nuts....but it scared me pretty bad!

I know this has been hashed out so many time already, but I really don't understand why so many people think that their dogs have to be "popular" with other dogs? As long as you can teach your dog to ignore other dogs, and tolerate their presence as you walk by one, you are just fine. You have to think about it this way too.....in the wild a wolf has his pack (which in your dogs eyes is you and your family), and they don't have a desire to go "play" with random dogs. Even if your dog is extremely dog friendly, it doesn't necessarily mean other dogs are friendly. Why take the chance of your dog being seriously hurt, or killed, or them seriously hurting or killing another dog?? If you want your dog to be able to run around a large area take him/her to an enclosed baseball diamond and toss a ball around. :)
 

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I agree, it depends on the dog..

Some dogs are crazy dog aggressive and some are just not.

And different dogs have different degrees on body language, some dogs are pretty obvious.
My late girl had a "stone face" and then suddenly pounce at another dog, she was pretty
expression-less when we were out on walks. She had an absolute pokerface on and I wonder
if you other pit owners experience that. Out of nowhere she would see another dog coming,
wait patiently for it to come close enough, and the next thing I know my arm would be jerked
out of the socket from her jumping straight forward and then flying up and doing a 360 because
she would get to the end of the leash but her body would keep going. Her eyes would just widen
and look all white, her bark would deepen in tone, and her mouth would foam and hiss.

It looked pretty frightening to the public, a "rabid insane" pure black pit trying to get them. I'm
sure the dog owners had no idea that she was trying to get their dogs and not them. So I became
paranoid about watching out for other dogs, even when they were on leash I would walk the other way.

With the pom, she was a perfect angel. So weird.. She was this absolute bi-polar mess, calm and wonderful
until she got close enough to any dog other than Princess. She would suddenly turn into Ms. Hyde and go
visually insane. Crazy thing is, I was able to handle her while she was "possessed" and my little 6 pound
pom was right next to her, safe as could be. LOL. Not my pom learned that behavior, I'm nipping that in the butt.
 

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The only way I've been able to get my AB over his fear-based agression toward certain dogs is by walking him with that dog for about a week. Obviously this isn't very practical as most people aren't willing to let a stranger walk their dog for a week. I have to avoid dogs that aren't on his "friend" list. It just goes with the bully territory.
 
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