Dog Training World Forums Aggression Problems Fear Aggression Attacks small dogs and snapped at my daughter Reply To: Attacks small dogs and snapped at my daughter

  • Sharon Blakeney-McDonald

    November 1, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    Hi Scott,

    There are many reasons why a dog may act aggressively or bite. My thoughts is you may be right Kaia is showing dominance aggression. Also the other thing is she at the age of where adolescent dog goes through their critical period (6-18mths) –  a time in their  lives where the dog may start showing assertive behaviour.  Kaia biting Odessa could have very well been a social status issue with her. I would say it was a “warning bite” to your child that she had enough of being stroke. Many large breeds that have been bred as guard dogs can have low social aggression – you can read more about this in the knowledge base under “social aggression”.  It is also important to remember that to dogs the family is a ‘pack’ and when small children are involved the dog may consider that the children are lower in the pack hierarchy then them. The first thing to do when trying to overcome this problem is to change the peck order of the pack. The dog needs to be at the bottom of the pack. Reading the information on “leadership” in the knowledge base section is important aspect to help you in this area with your dog. Also if you wish to troubleshoot the problem you can go to the self help section  where the “pyramid” is there to help you with doing this.  I was impress to read that you had taken the steps with your children to teach them to be gentle with Kaia and  when  to “leave her alone”… it may also help to ask the children in future not to interact with her while she is in her bed resting if you haven’t already. If you do observe any  more signs of dominance from Kaia towards your children she needs to be corrected immediately and either send to her crate or her bed away from the children.  Continue with doing all phrases of the obedience training and this will put you in the position of control where you can use the corrections to teach Kaia her aggressive behaviour wont be tolerated towards your children.

    The second issue of attacking small fluffy dogs apart from keeping Kaia on leash you could muzzle her.  Teach her a “leave it” command and make sure the “recall” command is rock solid before allowing her of leash or without a muzzle. Moving to phrase3 of the remote collar training is where you will get the 100% backup of your dog doing your commands.

    I hope this is of some help to you… keep us posted on how you go.