Dog Training World › Forums › Aggression Problems › General Aggression Problem Discussion › Dog aggression – is he agressive, fearful, or both? What can do about it? › Re: Dog aggression – is he agressive, fearful, or both? What can do about it?
MochaNutMemberOctober 20, 2010 at 8:17 am60
Sorry for the late reply!
1. Seeing another dog in the distance – When Mocha sees another dog, he has a forward stance, ears perked, and tail up high but not wagging. He often whimpers and slightly trembles. It isn’t too difficult to make him keep walking when he sees another dog from a distance.
Encountering another dog – When another dog is a few feet away, Mocha lunges and usually growls or barks. His ears are perked and tail up high; tail typically is not wagging and hackles aren’t up. (I’ve only seen hackles up once when a non-aggressive but assertive dog ran up to him). When I refuse to let him greet the other dog, he does not give up easily and continues to lunge and bark. When he does greet and interact with another dog his stance is forward and ears perked, tail high and not usually wagging. I’ve noticed that his body language sometimes elicits negative reactions from other dogs. Whether he actually greets the other dog or just sees it up close, it can be very difficult to make him walk away. He can be especially difficult to handle if the other dog is off-leash or running around.
2. I cannot detect a difference in behavior between when he is inside or outside of his neighborhood. He acts the same way whether we are just outside of our apartment building or in a new area. The only time that he acts a little different is if we enter an area that I think he perceives as another dog’s turf, in which case he is more subdued and acts nervous. For example, I walked him into a small pet store the other day where there was a resident Shitzu that was only a little smaller than Mocha. He didn’t bark, growl, lunge, or demonstrate any other obvious aggressive behavior, but he was stressed and he peed.
3. At home he does have structure.
Resting places: Since my husband and I brought him home a month ago he has not been allowed to share any of our resting places (including the sofa). He isn’t allowed in the bedroom at all – he knows this and doesn’t enter even though the door is usually open. He has his own blanket that he uses during the day and a crate that he sleeps in at night.
Games, affection: Mocha tries to beg for affection, but I ignore him when he does and I am careful to be the one who initiates the attention. This is something that we are still working on, but I can see that he is making progress. It used to be that he would bark or mouth when I ignored him, but now he usually just gives up rather than trying to push me to respond. If I want to pet him, I wait until he has given up and relaxed, then I invite him to come to me. As for games, I am the one who starts and ends the games, I also make sure to be the one in control during the game.
Other: Recently I read on this website about reclaiming food that a dog refuses or loses interest in. I have begun doing this and have also stopped leaving his toys/rawhides where he can access them freely (except for when he is home alone).