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?

  • Michael D’Abruzzo

    October 14, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Hi, The first steps is to understand why your dog is acting this way. You gave some good clues, but more will be helpful.

    The fact that he is marking territory before and after the encounters is evidence that the dog is feeling responsible for dealing with the situation. The yawning may be either an insecurity with the situation itself or can possibly be some sort of conflict (causing insecurity) with you if you are verbally or physically correcting him during the situation. The whimpering is surely some kind of anxiety – whether it is anxiety due to restraint from being able to encounter the other dog or if it is because he doesn’t want to encounter the other dog is determined by the rest of the body language.

    The lunging when he is on the leash when the dog comes close – could be fear based or it can be frustration for not being able to control the environment while on leash. Could also (and most likely) a combo of both.

    Here are some starter troubleshooting questions for you:

    1. What is your dog’s body language when he encounters another dog? Is his tail up high? low? is it wagging? Are his hackles up? Is there a change in his body language depending on if the other dog is at a distance compared to when they are interacting/

    2. Are you seeing different behavior when you are off the dog’s normal “turf”? Do you see less marking behavior compared to when he is in his normal neighborhood?

    3. How is the dog in the home? Does he have any structure? Is he on the same resting places as you? Does he control your relationship – affection, games, etc?

    These questions will help troubleshoot. One thing for certain is Mocha seems to deal with the situation in his own way. We will need to teach him to look to you for direction.

    Keep in touch,