Living With An Aggressive Dog And A Reactive Dog

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!


Crazy Ball'O Fur
Barked: Wed Oct 31, '12 4:33pm PST 
Guess I just need to rant and also to get suggestions. So for those who don't know, Bella is my ESA, and is almost never apart from me. She has grounding commands for my panic attacks, and also helps me from having them because I know If I start panicking I can focus on petting her to clam me down. So it's quite important that I have her with me all the time. Panic attacks aren't fun, not to mention they are extremely embarrassing, when you start hyperventilating and such.

Anyway, we recently moved into a house with a few other relatives. Problem is, one of them has a dog. In the first place I never planned on introducing them until Bella's reactivity gets better. Her problem is that when she sees another dog, see gets so extremely excited that she shows none of the normal "Hi, who are you, want to play maybe?" body language, she just literally runs full speed up to them and jumps all over them trying to play. Therefore she doesn't get along with dogs about twice her size or smaller because she just overpowers them, and this girls dog is a Chihuahua. Plus the way she just goes at meeting other dogs make me think that some dogs could interpret her violate type of approach as an attack and bite her. So I concluded that I shouldn't introduce them until I work with Bella more on her issues.

So I meet the dog, and ask the owner a few questions Me: "Does she have her CGC or anything along those lines?" Her: "What's a CGC?" Me: "Is she up to date on her vaccinations?" Her: "Well she has had them but I think the tag thingy might be out of date" Me: "Does she do well with other animals?" Her: "Well she lovesss cats once when I introduced her to our cat though, she froze and then bite his nose, she also lovesss dogs but my moms one dog she tries to kill" shrug

So after that I was 110% sure that even if Bella's issues were worked on that they wouldn't be introduced, and I told her that. Now here's where the story starts:

So when I came down the stairs the one day, she had the dog in the kitchen gated in. I sort of freaked out, knowing Bella would start going crazy as she does with all dogs, even if they are miles away from her, however this dog was only a few inches. However she just looked at the dog a bit, it barked, and she went to sleep. Now this was EXTREMELY weird for her. She's the type to pull on her leash until she's choking herself, and screaming to get to the other dog, laying calm was just not her at all. I sorta took that as a "If she isn't all over this dog wanting to play than what's wrong with it" Though I was most likely overlooking it.

So after that, we had a real incident. Apparently they had their dog off leash running around the living room. I came in with Bella, and of course the dog was at my feet like a flash. Bella saw the dog and didn't do anything at all. The dog was frozen, and at that moment I knew something was wrong, Bella was in my arms thank goodness and I lifted her up higher, and waited because I knew the dog would attack. It turned it's eyes toward Bella's neck and lunged up. I was prepared and pushed it back with my knee (Not at all enough to harm it just to get it away from Bella) The dog started snapping and barking toward Bella's neck, until someone got the dog away.

Any opinions on what I should do about this? They keep letting their dog out without a leash where Bella could get out, and it seems as if they don't understand.

too old to eat- any more KD
Barked: Wed Oct 31, '12 6:51pm PST 
OK..so you moved into a place where there was a dog already. Rather than let them meet on neutral territory, or even take a walk together, you choose to not let them meet at all. So now there is a mystery dog in the house..for both dogs. They can smell each other, but haven't met. Of course they will want to check each other out.
Then you seem upset that the person who's house you moved into is not as knowledgeable about dogs as you are.
Then they gate the dog..you get upset. Then they have the audacity to let their dog free in their own house & you get upset.
Why didn't you capitalize on the non-reaction & let them sniff between the gate?
Or what have you done to train your dog to have better greeting manners?


Crazy Ball'O Fur
Barked: Wed Oct 31, '12 9:34pm PST 
Maybe I wrote stuff wrong, but I think you might not be understanding. This house is part mine which I own with a few others. She is living here for free because she was kicked out of her house and doesn't have a job. Her dog has a history of dog aggression, cat aggression, and people aggression, plus my dog is reactive which is why I would want to introduce them. Plus the fact that her dog clearly should have killed Bella had I not been holding her. I was mad about her having the dog gated in the kitchen because that's where Bella eats and the only path outside. And she had the dog gated for the whole day. The dog is allowed the whole basement and her room to romp around in. Not to mention the huge back yard. Also I wasn't mad that she didn't know much about dogs, what I was most mad about is her dog didn't have any vaccinations, training, and quote on quote "She's tried to kill a dog" Bella's also going through extensive training for her reactivity right now. For both people and dogs. (Sorry for any spelling issues or anything i'm on my phone)


Woo-woo- whineybutt
Barked: Wed Oct 31, '12 9:57pm PST 
When someone is holding a dog Nare probably looks like he wants to take a bite out of it too. o.o He'll bark, whine, circle and jump up to try and sniff it.

*note this is for weird people who take their dog to the dog park and just sit there and hold them, where neither dog has dog problems.

is there a backdoor you can use?
~Emma~ RL1

Mixed breed,- Pure heart
Barked: Wed Oct 31, '12 10:17pm PST 
It's kinda late at night for me, so please forgive if I miss something from your post. way to go

I would sit down and have a plan put in place. What dog is where, how the dogs are going to get outside, what to do if a dog gets loose. etc. You want to protect and be proactive for your dog. You also want your roommate/guest to do the same with their dog.

You might read this post: Staycation

Manage the situation, but always have in the back of your head that management is going to fail at some point. Look into getting a trainer to help with transition: Find a Dog Trainer

thinking I think there was something I was going to add...but it's slipped my mind....wave

too old to eat- any more KD
Barked: Wed Oct 31, '12 11:34pm PST 
Bellatrix..that does change things. Thanks for clearing it up & sorry to sound harsh.flowers
Emma gave some good advice. It will be a pain, I'm sure, but in the end both dogs, and people also, will be happier. Perhaps if she sees you training Bellatrix she may be more open to taking tips from you. You could suggest she look into a behaviorist for her dog.

Edited by author Wed Oct 31, '12 11:38pm PST