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random aggresion?

1614 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  ssimmons99
i have a odd question iam hoping to get answered, we resuced a 2 year old female fawn boxer a few months back, and to the best of our knowledge she was at the rescue due to neglect, not abuse. Shes very friendly, trained, well socialized with all dogs, loves the dog parks etc etc, but when my fiance is walking her on leash she tends to lash out at other dogs for no reason, with me shes fine? Any suggestions to resolve or is this common, maybe trying to protect her?

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Leash aggression is not uncommon, and it may well be that she feels you will protect her if need be, but she's not so sure about your fiance.

Here are a couple of good articles by Suzanne Clothier which address both leash aggression and the underlying issues that often lead to it:

(Lots of other great articles from Suzanne can be found at
Hi there,
There are quite a few articles written about leash aggression that might help you. I'll post a few here, but if you need more, just try doing a Google search for it.

Also, I highly recommend getting your girl into formal obedience classes. I would see if you can sign her up, and then speak with your trainer before you bring her in to let them know that you're having these issues. That way, the trainer can be prepared prior to you showing up to class and can help you take the best steps toward working on the issues before they become a problem in the class environment.

It is very possible that your girl is trying to protect your fiance. . . It is also possible that it is a confidence issue on the dog's part. It's very hard to tell without seeing it happen, which is why enrolling her in class would be helpful - this way, the trainer can observe the behavior in person.

Other things your fiance can do to reinforce that she is the Alpha (pack leader, protector, etc) is to practice what many have called the "Nothing In Life Is Free" method, or NILIF.

Here are a few links about NILIF:

Good luck, and here is the link on Leash Aggression:

*Whoops! Accidentally pasted the wrong link while Jennifer and I were posting at the same time - was going to add the Suzanne Clothier article, but pasted the wrong link instead. Either way, I highly recommend this article as well:  *

One more link for a great book that I highly recommend: ... e&n=283155

Good luck! Hope this helps!
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My fiance did take her to formal obedience classes for 8 weeks and Indy (our boxer) never showed any aggression during the classes. The instructor did give us some suggestions re her agression and some days shes great, other days not so good, she's very unpredictable. She does demonstrate "alpha" female behaviors often (mostly when with my fiance) and we are worried it will get worse as she gets older. Has anyone experienced this with their females?

Thanks so much for your advice and posting the links. We will be doing lots of research! :)
Obedience training is a life long lesson for many dogs. It's likely that she's going through her "terrible teens" because of her age, and that she's trying to jostle for a higher rank in your pack. This is why adding the NILIF practices to your everyday life is very important. It makes them have to work for *everything*, which reinforces your status as leader and provider.

My 6 year old is a particularily dominant girl. She's very secure in her order in the pack where my other bitches are concerned, but I'm pretty sure that her primary goal in life is to get one up on me. :p (Hubby would tell you that he's boss, but I know that she has him wrapped right around her paw. :lol: ) This means constant reinforcement that she is NOT allowed to lead the pack on our walks; she must be in either heel position or where I tell her to be (in the tree lawn, etc). She cannot whine or whimper (demand) to be fed, and she has to sit before being fed. She must be invited up on the furniture. She has to sit before and after entering doors, and I walk out of the door first. She has to defer to me while decending stairs. She has to sit for petting and not demand it when I'm done by pushing me and/or climbing up on my lap or leaning into me, etc. If she pushes me, I simply get up and walk away, many times causing her to topple over in the process. :lol:

These are things that we've done with her since the time that she set foot in our home, and this will be a way of life for her (and us) until the time she passes on. While it did get worse when she was going through her teenage stage, it was always present and she has always been a very confident, very dominant girl, and we knew from the time that we picked her up at the breeders that she would need a lot of trianing and reinforcement once we got her home. The good news is that it did lessen after she hit about two and a half, but it is still there. ;)
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Our's acts up with DH as well.  I have noticed he is less assure of himself on the walk - he looks down at her - doesn't really lead her.  Also he gets nervous when he thinks something is about to happen (like kids on bikes) - and she seems to respond to his body language.

We have gotten over a lot of this by walking her together - I will start and then when she is walking really good - I hand the leash to him mid-stride; we have gotten really good results that way.
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