My dog has become aggressive towards other dogs. What can I do?

My dog, Bourbon has just turned 1 year old. She lives with my Fiance, so she is around him 7 days a week and she is around me only 4 days a week. She has always had a very sweet nature and has always gotten along with the room-mates female Bullmastiff and other dogs (we went on playdates at least once a week). She stayed in the kennel for 4 days while we were on vacation, and since she has come home she has snapped at 4-5 different dogs, Including the Bullmastiff that lives with her!!.
Each time she has snapped it has been when the other dogs have been close to me.

And when I say "snap" I mean teeth showing, growling, hair up on her back, everything!
Please help us. What can we do?

Asked by Bourbon on Sep 21st 2009 Tagged aggressive in Aggression
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Something happened while she was at the kennel. You may never know what happened and you should ask the owners of the facility what happened. You may not get a straight answer or they may tell you that she was "playing" with the other dogs.
Sounds to me like she had some uncomfortable interactions with other dogs that make her feel threatened. She may now be on the defensive no matter the dog.
You should definitely hire a behaviorist to help. Whatever you do, don't yell at her when she is showing these signs. She's totally feeling insecure right now and the best thing you can do until you get help is to take her out of the situations that cause her to growl, show teeth, etc. Don't grab her by the collar aggressively either. Just call her name and try to lead her out of the room. No muss or fuss, just take her out of the room one way or another. Using treats is a way to do it.
Get a behaviorist in to help. It's fixable. But, next time you go on vacation, get a pet sitter at your house.

Member 768404 answered on 9/21/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Hey, let's not blame the kennel... this dog is reaching maturity and most likely it was that and the separation that caused the issues, not something that happened to her, it didn't matter if she was in a kennel or just away in someone else's house.
Most female dogs do not like other female dogs! This is most evident as they become mature. Is she spayed???? Is the bullmastiff spayed??? That will certainly help the most. Many times just spaying alone will stop this type of problem. Jenny is four and was spayed about two months ago... she was always a bitch, but within the last two weeks she is no longer bitchy at all... she is initiating play with dogs that she was going to eat a few months ago.
In our daycare we find bitches about a year old who have been wonderful suddenly starting to become snappy and agressive with everyone else. Sometimes they are spayed, but usually they are not. Here we remove them from large groups and allow them to play with a neutered male or two.

Member 641257 answered on 9/22/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Aggression often comes from fear. Fear from insecurity. Insecurity from mistrust & so on.

Your best course of action may be to start over "from day one". Rebuild her trust & respect for you. Then re-socialize her with other dogs.

Yes, turning 1 may highten teritorial instincts, & yes, something may have happened at the kennel but dog's live in "the now". They ONLY react, they dont rationalize. If she trusts & respects you, you should be able to control the behaivor with voice commands.

Begin by leash walking in a quiet area with no other dogs. Hand feed her & do some basic training. This will establish the trust.

Building a bond w/ her along w/ fair & consistant leadership will build respect.
Knowing her likes & dislikes and then using them during training will make her more excited about training.

Patchs answered on 9/22/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


I work in a kennel & have heard some parents tell me that when their dog got home they also became aggressive. While they were at the kennel they played & seemed fine other than maybe a little nervous with the new environment, but sometimes dogs can see another dog do something & reenact it, specially puppies. I think the worst thing you can do is keep her from other dogs, you just have to watch her carefully to make sure there isn't a fight, overtime, she'll start playing again & sometimes another dog will have to put her in her place, & this doesn't mean she'll be hurt in the process. Just a pin down shows the dog who is boss.

Aspen answered on 10/25/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer