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Discussion Starter #1
So, for the second time this week, Abby has flipped while I was walking them because of a dog in someone's yard...she's great with dogs that come to visit her, etc..but if the dog stays in its yard, she barks...then jumps at Brady snapping at him! Tonight we were going by a house and she attacked Brady, I was trying to hold them apart and the people picked up their own dog and went into their back yard! I felt so bad, I ended up taking her back to the house to cool off and walked Brady without her! Normally she is SO good on a walk, I don't understand what this is all about!
 

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Gentle Leader...You have to have control of her head so you can stop her from doing this... Its redirected aggression... Toby use to do it and thats when we put him on the Gentle Leader.. I had complete control of his head and used it until I got him to focus on me instead of other dogs.. Now, we're at a pinch, but since he's such a driven dog, we're staying on it..

Trust me.. I felt the same way you did... I looked like I had a monster! You just learn to get over what other people think and how they look at you while you're modifying this behavior...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
hmm...definitely a thought. It just sucks because she is such a good walker...she stays by my side, only ever pulls when she sees someone approaching, but a quick reminder and she is good again, other dogs approach us and she is SO good with them. Until this week, we could pass other dogs in yards and she would look and be interested but just trot  happily by, turning to look at me like, "please mom, can I?" This week though she has done this twice, i don't understand the change!
 

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Has anything in the home or her normal environment/schedule changed?  Things like this can cause a change in the behavior.

Concernig the Gentle Leader...It is an option, however, it does not solve the problem.  You need to modify her behavior.  Changing the kind of lead you use isn't going to do this.  I am a trainer and I don't recommend Gentle Leader's to modify aggressive behavior on lead.

How old is Abby?  Is she spayed?  As I understand it, she hasn't really done this before.  The 2 incidences this week are the first real trouble you've had with this?  I think you should at least consult a Canine Behavioralist about this.  This is something you definetely want to nip in the bud ASAP!!!

No one is right, No one is wrong!  There is just a difference of opinion (refers to Gentle Leader arguement that is likely to get fired up again due to my post)!!

Liz and Lilly
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ha, I just read the 3 page post on gentle leaders when I just did a search for information on them.

As to the questions..Abby is 11 months and spayed. For some background, as I believe that she may be "testing her limits" as her socialization skills have improved....
We rescued Abby at 5.5 months and there are prior posts I had about her poor social skills...she just got SO excited to come across people and dogs that she was hard to control. With frequent evening walks (while others are walking) and making her sit/stay and simply watch as people/dogs passed us and frequent trips to petshops that allow dogs and making friends with some neighborhood dogs that come to play, she has improved a lot!  She still gets excited but has learned her manners...She is great encountering children and other dogs now.  It's only in this past week that she's seen a dog (both were behind electric fences and therefore unable to come to her) that she's gotten like this. I KNOW if the dog came to see her, she would have been an angel! (she's always the "good" dog now with other dogs, she makes me so proud sometimes!)  

Nothing has really changed in her environment at all..maybe because she doesn't frequently see dogs that can't come actually visit her? There's only been one other dog until this week that she has actually noticed that is behind an electric fence and therefore cannot visit with her. I suppose its just one more thing to get her used to. But I ended up taking her right back home tonight, while I need to be able to teach her just to walk right on by, like we have done iwth passing other people walking, I feel awful for the poor neighbor who has to move her dog into the backyard while she throws a temper tantrum!
 

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A way you can fix this that is relatively easy (let me know if it works or not [pm me] so we can make adjustments)  Like you used to do when training her on lead.  Enforce a sit/down when she comes across another dog (whether they can visit or not) and REQUIRE that her focus is on you... when she looks to you for permission and you feel it is the right time release her from the sit/down and allow her to visit or be on your way...

I think she is testing you and she is coming into another stage of development which is likely aggravating the situation.

Good Luck...  I think this will be relatively easy to handle...

Liz and Lilly
 

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Hmmm... well our professional dog trainer that we took Odin to today, highly recomends gentle leaders, and mentioned anyone who has trouble with walking their dog might want to consider getting one for their dog(s).  She also offered to properly fit a gentle leader on anyone's dog who wanted to get one.

Odin has been MUCH BETTER on a leash since getting him one... Mastray mentioned she wished the other boxer in our training class had one when she noticed his bloodshot eyes... it reminded her of how Odin looked after he would choke himself on a regular collar.

There's nothing wrong with using a gentle leader if you want to use one.  It doesn't make you any less of a dog lover for using one either.
 

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You have a beautiful dog and you have come a long way since you got her.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you for your encouragement....Nano, thank you for the compliment, yes, Abby has come SUCH a long way in her socialization (and housebreaking...man was she a rough one to housebreak, she's near perfect now except in her crate, still accidents sometimes there!)

I should clarify something...this a.m. as I was thinking about how to handle tonight's walk, I realized that I was not clear on one point in my post...her barking at the dog in both situations was not an agressive bark...lately, when she wants Brady to play with her, she barks at him (we are discouraging this, one for exactly this reason-to avoid problems with other dogs, and two, one day there will be babies in our house and I can't have her barking everytime she wants to play!!! We encourage her when she rolls on her back, whining, to get his attention). Her barking at these dogs is in the same manner, excited, happy, just wanting to play; not at all aggressive. It's after a few moments of the other dog not coming to her that she turns nasty with Brady.

Lilly, I think you're correct about coming into a new stage of development...in thinking about the past couple months, there have been occassions where she sees a dog nearby, but not near enough to approach or not interested in approaching. As I recognized this as something she would get worked up about, I would do sit/stay WELL in advance and let her watch the dog for a few moments and talk to her the whole time in a nice quiet tone.  She sat quietly, watching, ears twitching as I talked, and very curious about the other dog.  By the time we passed, while she pulled a bit, she did pretty well. This also makes me wonder though because both times she got worked up this week, the dogs were unexpected to ME. One, I didn't even know the house had a dog...the other, our neighbor actually, I didn't realize their dog was even out (that dog barks every 2 seconds when she is out, so I always know). So we came upon the dog before I had the opportunity to do the sit/stay WELL in advance as I usually do. I try to keep my eye out, but I missed both times. It's not an excuse, as she shouldn't act this way, but I think the sit/stay is still something I need to enforce each time. And do the best I can when we unexpectedly come upon a dog.
 

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I also don't think that you need to contact a canine behaviorists at this time as this behaviour is totally understandable.  I train dogs and have a mentor who is a Master Trainer, Canine Behaviorist and a close friend of Suzanne Clothiers and I know that she feels exactly the way I do about this situation.  Also, I highly recommend the book "If Bones Would Rain From The Sky" by Suzanne Clothier for someone wanting to really understand and expand their relationship with their dog.

Nano
 

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I disagree with you saying she shouldn't act that way when she is surprised.
 

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My choice in the situation involving loose dogs running in yards (electric fence or not)  would be to say to my dogs "let's go this way" and turn and retreat from the offending parties, not doing a sit/stay.  In the wild this is what a dog accidently treading on another dogs property would do.  It is appropriate behavior and a dog will understand that.  The sit/stay would make them fearful and makes no sense to them in that type of situation.

Nano
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Oh, I don't mean she should not get excited to see the other dogs and get wild...that is understandable for an 11 month old baby! If it was only that, I wouldn't have gotten upset.  I just don't think she should attack Brady because she cannot see the dog that she wants to see, turning to aggressiveness is not appropriate.  I am sure that it is this behavior which caused them to take their dog in back!

Even though it is a playful bark that she starts with before getting nasty with Brady, maybe there is a protective sense to it in that if I make her sit/stay and point out the dog and talk calmly to her in advance, she knows that I see the dog and am ok with the dog. If I don't do this, maybe she feels differently. Hmm...poor babe, so many things going through her little mind.
 

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The gitting excited over the other dogs rushing is understandable for a dog of any age.  I agree that the attacking Brady is not appropriate behavior.  My female pup will do the same thing to my older dog.  She is 10 months old now.  It is a phase you are working through as am I.  That's why I feel a connection with you over these issues.  I am once again going thru the "baby b.s." as I call it. Those females will usually end up your "lead dog" when they get older, but sometimes try to assert themselves at this young learning stage which is not a good practice for them.  My older dog doesn't usually respond to this behavior as that can cause the pup to learn aggressive behavior is appropriate.   I try to redirect her behavior with the "mellow out" command and if that doesn't work I use a sit with her, the other dog being allowed to do his own thing.  When she starts up again I do it again with her.  Eventually she gets sick of it and gets the message.

You're also doing the right thing about the talking calmly to her in advance so she knows that you see and am ok.k with the other dog.  She has a wonderful owner with you and you make the world a better place for dogs.

Namaste'

Nano
 

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Discussion Starter #15
You are sweet, thank you. I will need to stay in touch with you...Abby is trying to assert herself lately also. Brady, also the older one, does the same, he comes to my side and seeks comfort, rarely giving into her. I repeatedly use "settle" when she's having a moment and try to get her involved with a toy of some sort. I notice also that she has many more of these moments when she needs a nap! Hahaha, just like a child!! So, that's always a good time to take them into the office and get some work done, as they always nap in there while I work.  
She is definitely trying to be our dominant one, as a cocker spaniel, Brady tends to be naturally submissive, so it is easy for her to take on this lead roll. She is SUCH a love but as sweet as she is, she can be a b***h with him sometimes!!! We are trying to nip it in the bud now.
 

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Our Teaki and Berkeley would do that with each other IF they couldn't get to the object/person they wanted to....the UPS man, dog running down the road, etc.  Since they couldn't get out to get the "thing" they wanted they turned on each other.  It sounds like Abby really wanted to go play with the other dog and when she couldn't she turned on her buddy Brady!  After the little fights (some not so little) our girls would be right back to being best buddies.  We just worked with them, tried to eleminate the situation (knowing when the UPS man was coming and keeping them back, etc.) the best we could and correcting them when they started to get excited.
 

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i brought up the same issue in this. Zeus was bad about if he couldnt get to a duck or another dog he would take it out on Dante. So i took up the Halti (Gentle Leader) and it has been a month or two since ive been working with it. Since then Zeus has been so much more calm and keeping his focus on the walk and not the surroundings. The redirected aggression for me was in the middle of a park and it was only me holding them, it was pretty scary because Zeus was really attacking. Now they are so strong i cant stop them myself. people were grabbing their kids and right before that this little girl was like "Mommy look pretty, nice puppies" that changed her outlook on them. But they have made an improvement of at least 85% . No more attacks and there is so much more focus  :D  :clap:
finally i can walk them with there being peace. but i am still going to take them to behavior class.
 

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Glad to hear everything is working out with Zues and Dante!!
 
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