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Old 08-11-2017, 12:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Aggression? Dominance?

Hello everyone!
I have an issue with my Intact 11 month old male boxer Dempsey. He has been showing a lot of dominance Towards other dogs especially OTHER dominant dogs. If we're walking by a dominant dog he'll start barking and growling at it. Sometimes not even a dominant dog! Dempsey started to show this type of behavior I'd say around 8 months old at the dog park. We have socialized him at the dog park since he was 3 months old and never had a problem until one day he showed dominance over his water
Bowl. We thought he just wanted to take over HIS bowl since he was thirsty after just finishing playing with other dogs there. But it started to show more frequently until he started getting into commotions with other dogs because of this behavior. The typical dominance behavior, stiff body, his posture all straight, his chest popped out, his hair standing on his back, ears going back, eyes expanding, wrinkles on his forehead, and then boom the commotion starts. I rarely take him to the dog park like I used to anymore. He only gets along with several dogs from that park but other dogs are there as well so I can't have him near them. We have a 9 year old Shih Tzu at home and he has made Dempsey respect him so he won't even try to dominate him. My shin Tzu puts him in his place anytime he wants to sniff him or get near him. (My Shih Tzu wasn't really socialized with other dogs so he doesn't get along with them). One thing that MIGHT be a contribution to this was him being bitten by dominant dogs as a puppy at the dog park, he got bit by 2 or 3 pit bulls and Belgian malinois. Could this have something to do with it? My girlfriend has a 4 month old female german shepherd and I feel like this also has something to do with it. About a month ago at the dog park, Dempsey got into a commotion with another german shepherd that was there because he kept getting near my girl's german shepherd. I feel like he gets jealous over her so he shows aggression/dominance. But why? He's a very stubborn dog but I DOUBT he fails to realize that I'm his leader. He respects me and shows submissive behavior when I correct him. Ears go back. Kneels and looks at me. So what is the problem with him? I doubt it's him being intact, even some neutered dogs show possessiveness and aggression. Is it just part of who he is? How can I fix this behavior? He's a typical boxer amazing with people, great family dog a GOOF ball and it sucks to see this behavior in him. His behavior isn't an urgent matter but it's something I want to take initiative in and fix the problem. Please give off your opinions on what you think the problem might be, what can I do? Have you seen this in other boxers? Thanks everyone.
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Old 08-11-2017, 12:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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That's my boy!
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Old 08-11-2017, 02:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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If you insistent on taking him to the Dog Park and actually being able to socialize with other dogs is a requirement ... then find a trainer. If none of that is a "requirement" and having him around know safe dog only is good enough ... then there are things you can do. And it would start with "Stay out of the Dog Parks."

See links Five and Six here.:
German Shepherd Dog Forums - View Single Post - New Dog, Very Challenging

If those make sense to you ... then we can help. Welcome aboard in anycase, sorry it's a bumpy ride.
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Old 08-11-2017, 09:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I agree with you and I highly doubt its because he is intact.

For instance Zuke is 18 months a little over 80lbs and intact. One of his friends is a Australian Sheppard who is fixed. That dog is 45lbs of dominance. Whenever he tries to mount Zuke, Zuke looks at me with this face that says "Whats this guys deal? Can we just run around and play."

I know some people will swear by the dog parks, but I'm with Chip on this. No dog parks. I think dogs can pick up bad habits and my biggest problem is the people who are to lazy to train or exercise their dogs and bring their maladjusted dogs to the park to release all their pent up energy. Unless I know the person and the dog, Zuke isn't playing with you.

Zuke has never been to a dog park. He has his group of friends he plays with and he has never shown aggressiveness to any new dog/person.
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Old 08-11-2017, 01:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I agree with you and I highly doubt its because he is intact.

For instance Zuke is 18 months a little over 80lbs and intact. One of his friends is a Australian Sheppard who is fixed. That dog is 45lbs of dominance. Whenever he tries to mount Zuke, Zuke looks at me with this face that says "Whats this guys deal? Can we just run around and play."

I know some people will swear by the dog parks, but I'm with Chip on this. No dog parks. I think dogs can pick up bad habits and my biggest problem is the people who are to lazy to train or exercise their dogs and bring their maladjusted dogs to the park to release all their pent up energy. Unless I know the person and the dog, Zuke isn't playing with you.

Zuke has never been to a dog park. He has his group of friends he plays with and he has never shown aggressiveness to any new dog/person.
LOL ... well so much for being "Fixed" solves all. I already knew as Rocky (GSD) was already fixed when I got him ... it meant "Nothing" ER here I come (breaking up one of five pack fights at home????) Good times Good times.

In retro spec "Struddell" my Boxer actually was a potential "Dog Park??" But there was zero chance of me taking her there! Cesar's mythical "Balanced Dog" ... who knew???

But Zuke sounds like a good great dog, he looks to you first if there is an issue??? That's what you want ... great job!
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Old 08-11-2017, 02:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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LOL ... well so much for being "Fixed" solves all. I already knew as Rocky (GSD) was already fixed when I got him ... it meant "Nothing" ER here I come (breaking up one of five pack fights at home????) Good times Good times.

In retro spec "Struddell" my Boxer actually was a potential "Dog Park??" But there was zero chance of me taking her there! Cesar's mythical "Balanced Dog" ... who knew???

But Zuke sounds like a good great dog, he looks to you first if there is an issue??? That's what you want ... great job!


Thanks Chip. How you holding up?

I'm amazed at the stories I hear from people who took their good dog to a dog park and after a couple incidents, the dog becomes aggressive. I socialized Zuke very young, but I picked who he would socialize with. It seems to have worked because he has never shown any aggressiveness whatsoever. Well thats if you don't included the many skinned plush toys I have laying around.
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Old 08-11-2017, 02:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I do take Willow to the dog park on occasion (generally I prefer to take her to a local ball diamond with my friends and their dogs who I know well, but when that is not an option...game being played, field being maintainenced, etc... then I take her to the dog park). There are 3 sections to our dog park which I loooove. There's one big section that everyone uses, there's a smaller fenced off section if you don't really want your dog playing with the other dogs (which I have used a few times when I see certain dogs there...ones that most definitely should not be at a dog park!). And there's a section with trails for walking which I've also used. I think it's good for her to play with other dogs, but I am very cautious about the other owners and dogs there. If it doesn't feel right I use a different section of the park or leave.
I'm not sure about the aggression...Willow generally only shows a bit of dominance (not terrible by any means) when another dog approaches me for petting, although that's getting better. Maybe the negative experiences at the dog park have impacted your guy? He could be on the defensive because he knows he's gotten attacked before? Glad to hear he's still good with people and a goofball though! Hopefully you'll find something that works for him, sorry I'm not very helpful!
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Old 08-11-2017, 09:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I do take Willow to the dog park on occasion (generally I prefer to take her to a local ball diamond with my friends and their dogs who I know well, but when that is not an option...game being played, field being maintainenced, etc... then I take her to the dog park). There are 3 sections to our dog park which I loooove. There's one big section that everyone uses, there's a smaller fenced off section if you don't really want your dog playing with the other dogs (which I have used a few times when I see certain dogs there...ones that most definitely should not be at a dog park!). And there's a section with trails for walking which I've also used. I think it's good for her to play with other dogs, but I am very cautious about the other owners and dogs there. If it doesn't feel right I use a different section of the park or leave.
I'm not sure about the aggression...Willow generally only shows a bit of dominance (not terrible by any means) when another dog approaches me for petting, although that's getting better. Maybe the negative experiences at the dog park have impacted your guy? He could be on the defensive because he knows he's gotten attacked before? Glad to hear he's still good with people and a goofball though! Hopefully you'll find something that works for him, sorry I'm not very helpful!
Naw no need to apologize.

And you are being helpful what you describe is a reasonable approach ... your gonna go in there at least minimize risk be a heads up owner and if you see trouble coming get out of Dodge! Yours is a reasonable heads up approach.

Me I kinda roll hard, so with Struddell I just said no, and Gunther was the type of Dog I would have been concerned about! Dominant Male Dog as was Rocky. But after some work Gunther became safe around dogs and Rocky did actually go to local small Dog Park on off peak hours.

But he just hung with me and there were maybe three dogs there in total and every one kinda kept there distance. :p:

At anyrate once a dogs been "Punked" at a Dog Park as it were ... one will not see improves by continually subjecting them to a now toxic environment, that would be well silly.
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Old 08-11-2017, 09:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks Chip. How you holding up?
Doing OK ... I suppose weighting options. Rescue, Foster or a puppy??? All I know is weeks or a month but certainly not years before I get another dog.


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I'm amazed at the stories I hear from people who took their good dog to a dog park and after a couple incidents, the dog becomes aggressive. I socialized Zuke very young, but I picked who he would socialize with. It seems to have worked because he has never shown any aggressiveness whatsoever. Well thats if you don't included the many skinned plush toys I have laying around.
Yep and some of them ... keep going back and the dog keeps having "issues" becomes a total mess and then it's time for the old "Find a Trainer."

Lots of horror story on FB and it seems to happen to a lot of Boxers (young puppies) ... I have rarely posted those stories here ... to upsetting. Many people just have no idea that things can wrong in a Dog Park???

But in general the secret to success with dogs is ... if what one is doing is not working ... stop doing that and do something different??? Dog Parks are not about the dog ... they are about the owner, all a dog really needs is "You."

And yeah ... I got a whole basket full of half wrecked and new toys from Gunther and Struddell. Rocky was just not a toy playing kinda dog???
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Old 03-28-2019, 10:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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