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Old 01-21-2013, 01:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Wondering if Chaya is becoming aggressive

Not sure what to say. My Chaya gets so much love and attention from me when I'm home, sits with me at all times, guards me by sitting on my lap or behind me while we're UPSTAIRS on the patio facing the street, growls at everyone, and now loves to sleep in bed with me although she does love her bed under the bedroom window.

Lately though, she's become a bit more aggressive I think. She's learned from my Schnauzers how to pull my hand with her paw to get affection. She's also learned from one of them how to chew on my fingers when she wants to play. The Schnauzer is 20lbs though, she's not.

My Chaya has always been scared of everything. When I take her on walks she's scared of bikes, strollers, gates opening, etc. For some unknown reason yesterday at the dog park downtown, she got VERY aggressive towards a man who I guess got to close to us? She had run for an hour and was resting on my lap. My wife was beside me, and man came over to pick up his dog (who kept trying to hump my other dogs) and Chaya jumped from my lap, did a twist in mid air and growled like a demon while trying to get him.

This has NEVER happened before. If sitting in my lap, she'd occasionally growl at company due to nerves as she's very shy and doesn't seem to trust new people, but she LOVES children. She's about to turn 2 years old, so I'm wondering if this might get worse? The guy did say "Wow, she's protective of you" but I tried to explain that it had never happened before. Doubt he believed that. She also doesn't like to play with other dogs, just her pack. She won't let other people pet her, but neither will my Schnauzers. She'll run and run but ALWAYS keeps an eye out for where I am.

Oh, and I got the "Is that a pit" comment twice in 30 minutes. Seriously people? Skinny tummy, all the fawn markings of a Boxer, not a pit. I guess it's the black mask, I dunno. Very ignorant and some people pick up their toy dogs when she's just running around by herself. smh

Any thoughts on this behavior? Is this normal?

BTW- Here's our pic after her little tantrum. She was exhausted.

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Old 01-21-2013, 01:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Looks just like a pit, no? So vicious! LOL. She loves to play "burrito wrap" in all blankets for some odd reason.

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Old 01-21-2013, 02:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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She's adorable

Sounds like she might see herself as "leader" of the pack.
Google NILIF (nothing in life is free) and start implementing that.

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Old 01-21-2013, 02:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Mason is very protective of me too. Once a man ame up to the car window, mason tried to o through the window growling, the man looked terrifed
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Aww, she is a sweetheart! She is just being protective of her pack, that's all!
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I would think she is being protective.... What concerns me is she is so fearful... I would suggest a good trainer to help you desensitize her to some of these things.
It is possible the man startled her.. if she was resting he may have taken her off guard. But as I said she sounds like she would benefit from a good positive trainer. It will help you to understand her behaviour better too. A trainer will help you figure her out

She is beautiful by the way!
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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How do you respond when she's growling and being nervous? You should never pet or touch her in any way, talk to her or tell her it's ok in a high pitched voice, etc because those behaviours from us are all interpreted as praise to our dogs. You don't want to praise her for acting this way (unless of course you're happy with this behaviour which I'm assuming you're not!). If she starts getting growly or nervous you should kick her out of her lap and don't look at her, talk to her or touch her. She might be too far gone for this to reverse the behaviour, but it will help keep the behaviours from getting worse. It would probably help to consult a trainer who can help you better socialize her with people and other dogs.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I would recommend you stop letting her sit on you. That's a way dogs show ownership of their people. It sounds like you have two issues at the moment. She is fearful and she thinks she is the leader. You need to do some research on how you can establish yourself as the leader of your pack. I have a hunch that if she gains more confidence in YOU as the leader then it will help her with her fearful behavior.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Oh, and I have been at the dog park as well and had my Carmen referred to as a pit as well. It is a bit annoying, but I try not to take it too personally.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmensmom86 View Post
I would recommend you stop letting her sit on you. That's a way dogs show ownership of their people. It sounds like you have two issues at the moment. She is fearful and she thinks she is the leader. You need to do some research on how you can establish yourself as the leader of your pack. I have a hunch that if she gains more confidence in YOU as the leader then it will help her with her fearful behavior.
Well, I don't want her to do that! She really just sits as close to me as she can and presses up against me with a paw on my lap hoping to get an ear massage, lol. I'm just her favorite and her buddy. In no way do I think she thinks she is the leader, she just feels the most comfortable with me as I love on her so much. Trust me, all I do is give her the "look" if she's doing something I don't approve of and she'll lay down, give me the puppy dog eyes and immediately stop what she is doing.

The fear is for the most part controlled, at least when I walk her. She used to be terrified on walks, as in my neighborhood we have a lot of joggers and bicyclists. Shes really not scared, she's just very watchful and would prefer not to be around them now, but she keeps walking and doesn't pull on the chain any longer and actually enjoys her walks every evening when I get home.

As for the leader, actually my 18lb. mini Schnauzer is the leader of the pack. She will put Chaya in her place without hesitation. That pup also knows I'm the leader, she's almost like the perfect dog in every way. She lets the others know when she's not in the mood, lol. I believe it's actually my Champagne Schnauzer that has given Chaya this growling thing. THAT dog I believe has ADD. He cannot pay attention to anything, he's always on the alert and loves to bark on the balcony. Cats, squirrels, Raccoons, Possums, etc. He's NEVER aggressive, he loves the park and wakes up wanting me to play with him, but he too does not like to be without his pack and does not let anyone touch him that he doesn't know.

Lastly, when Chaya does growl when she's sitting next to me I usually just talk to her saying like "What do you see, ChyChy?" and she continues. It's not a loud growl at all, just a low mumble, but if anyone came into the driveway she would bolt into the house, crawl behind my back or onto my lap. I really don't even think it's the people below talking to us, I think she's fearful of the Schnauzer as when she was a puppy, if she even tried to join in to bark with them she would jump on top of Chaya to make her stop. The Schnauzers on the other hand will go nuts. One happy, the pack leader furious. She'll even try to bite through glass when she see's a delivery guy at my door. VERY protective of us.

I'm 39 and have had MANY, MANY dogs in my lifetime and have had much worse, I just wish she would socialize more and not just stick with her pack all of the time when at the park. Just seems strange to me, as all of the other dogs love running together.

Sorry for the ramble, just trying to get all of this in before I leave work. I wish I could spend more time here I just do not internet as much any longer.
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