• Michael D’Abruzzo

    March 13, 2018 at 10:38 pm

    That’s a great breakdown for troubleshooting.  Overall, I would classify this as “normal” aggression and not necessarily the type of thing where you would want to pick a battle with mother nature and expect Hudson to not bite an unfamiliar dog in the exact situation.

    What you had here was two dogs with no established relationship so there it would be normal for Hudson to be on guard about many things.  Even though our older videos include a “sit” as standard to every recall.  I no longer do automatic sits for recalls for this and other reasons.  A “sit” is a very neutral and appeasing posture for a dog to take around another dog.  There was likely a lot of conflict going on with Hudson when he was asked to obey and give up any dominant posture toward the other dog when near the most important thing to him, you.

    There are lots of ways to attack the “problem” .  It is always best to start at the bottom of the triangle.

    The first thing that I noticed when I saw Hudson is that he looks like a more primitive guardian type of dog, like a jindo or such.

    Is a dog park necessarily a place where he feels comfortable?  Some dogs are OK when they are juveniles but then after they mature a dog park is the equivalent of having grown men be forced to meet other grown men that want to “play wrestle” with them.  Some dogs, particularly sporting breeds, tend to keep a more juvenile personality as they get older. Others do not. All dogs are individuals though.  Sometimes it sets the dogs up for failure to put a pack animal in a park with outsiders.  A defensive bite when there is not enough time to posture can be considered “normal” for him.

    Next thing going up the triangle is “attitude” . When we know our dog’s personality we need to make sure we are not asking of our dog something unreasonable.  Are we asking our dog to be put in an obedience position when he feels threatened.  How does Hudson assume this other dog is not going to bite him first?  Hudson likely assumes that all dogs know how great you are and not you worth fighting over or perhaps he thought the dog may be a threat to you..

    I know this is all the type of things that already has been mentioned but I guess the point is, that we are not always trying to “fix” the dog. Sometimes the plan is easiest to fix the environment or what we expect from our dog.

    If you feel that Hudson usually enjoys the park and play with dogs, I would not expect him to sit or down when strange dogs are hovering over him or running up behind him.

    If you sense that Hudson is usually tense in situations with new dogs than he wouldn’t be that unusual and many dogs would rather spend the time one on one with their owner after maturity or dogs that they have a long relationship with.

    If you want to diffuse aggression before it happens in this exact situation, than a good “leave it” command does wonders, but only if you can say the command while Hudson’s brain in engaged on the other dog.  This of course would need to be taught as a formalized command up to the phase 3 step.


    You call Hudson toward you at the park. As another dog approaches, Hudson’s ears or eyes start to turn toward that dog.  At that moment you say “Hudson Leave it” . If Hudson turns away from the dog you would praise. If the dog does not than you would administer proper punishment.

    This would only work if the dog is not worried MORE about the other dog than of obeying you. Again, this goes back to if we are being reasonable and respectful to the individual temperament.

    Certain things will trickle up to management plans no matter what you do.

    I hope this helps.