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Small Dog aggressive towards Big Dogs!

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!

  
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Zeppelin

That picture- better be of me!
 
 
Barked: Tue May 22, '07 11:47am PST 
Hi There - my minpin has increasingly become aggressive on the leash towards large dogs only. Not sure what the problem is - as I have made a point to ensure that I don't give off anxiety signals to him.
I've also noticed that I have become a member of the spoiling small dogs club and I have heard that this can lead towards aggressive behaviour?
Help - any advice would be great.
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Khola- CDX, CGC

R plus and- paitence what a- shocking idea
 
 
Barked: Tue May 22, '07 11:56am PST 
what do you do when you're with your dog and a big dog comes up?
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Dade

Where are you- going? Can I- come?
 
 
Barked: Tue May 22, '07 12:36pm PST 
I'm sorry you are feeling aggressive toward big dogs. I hope you can find a way to stop it; little dogs always seem to be agressive to me, and bit my long ears. And I'm the most easy-going dog around, so I don't know what makes them do that.
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Lola Lu

TV Watchin' Fool
 
 
Barked: Tue May 22, '07 12:42pm PST 
I think I'm a big dog, too, but I'm only 12 inches tall and weigh 16 lbs. Mommy practices the Cesar Milan philosophy of being very calm and assertive with me. She corrects me each and every time which helps remind me to behave. Even though I would like to be the boss, I know that Mommy doesn't want me to end up being a big dog's chew toy.
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Josie - CGC

California Girl
 
 
Barked: Tue May 22, '07 10:38pm PST 
Are YOU afraid of big dogs? What do you do when comes near? How do you hold the dog back? What do you say?
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Zeppelin

That picture- better be of me!
 
 
Barked: Thu May 24, '07 1:35pm PST 
He goes up and sniffs the dog in the usual place and then the mouth - when he gets to the mouth you can see the "look" and he snaps. I usually just pull back on the leash as soon as I see him start into that "look". It's frustrating as we live in a neighbourhood with tons of big dogs - everyone has a big yard...and everytime we walk him we just have to avoid the other dogs. He's getting a bad rep too when we do introduce him - it's a catch 22.
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Josie - CGC

California Girl
 
 
Barked: Thu May 24, '07 3:58pm PST 
OK, well, I can almost picture in my head what you're saying.

If there is a large dog you the owner know well enough to put up with some embarrassing behaviors until he's socialized, you should set a play date. Or maybe you don't mind your dog acting the fool at a well-behaved dog park... Or better yet, you can sign up for doggy daycare or socialization classes or something. He's going to act the fool, and you need to get through it to make him better.

So, I think what it sounds like is going on is your dog is greeting dogs very aggressively (stiff posture, tense, ears forward, tail stiff or wagging too fast), especially since he gets right up in their face (sniffing noses) and then snaps at them. Then what happens is you tighten the leash and restrain him, which only creates more of a "LET ME AT 'EM!" reaction. If you then walk away with him, he believes that he won that fight.

To socialize your dog properly, you're going to have to get to the point that your dog can learn manners. Now, maybe you should consult a behaviorist. Because I don't see your dog, I can only guess...

But as I imagine it I would take him to 1 dog (NOT a pack (= 2+)) that I know is polite and well-behaved.

I was going to put some suggestions about behavior modification here, but if a poor guess from me results in your dog's injury, I would feel awful. Basically, don't give him "backup" for his rude behavior and help him learn from his mistakes.

If all goes well, your dog will be taught good manners by you and by the other stable dog. He will say, "They're not that bad, plus, I don't have to win these fights anymore."

Do you carry your dog? If so, you should stop doing that. Do you say, "Shush now, be good" and pet him? Also should be stopped. When he's bad, you correct & ignore until he's good. ...Basically.
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Zeppelin

That picture- better be of me!
 
 
Barked: Fri May 25, '07 10:07am PST 
Excellent advice thank you! I've set up a walking date with a friend who has a GS/LAB/Hound "Big Dog" cross. It's a female dog, which may make a difference to my male -we'll see. I'm hoping to make the walks somewhat regular with her.
I was thinking last night that pulling back on the harness was probably really dumb!

Thanks Again.
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Boo

Life: Snack,- Snuggle, and- Sleep
 
 
Barked: Fri May 25, '07 1:43pm PST 
Boo is the SAME way. I ran into a friendly Standard Poodle and he snapped at his leg. I firmly believe that if he doesn't get this fixed, I'll need to keep him at home. Otherwise, he will be killed by a not-so-friendly large dog.

I've had Boo since last August (a rescue) and he has now been socialized with people and small dogs, he still does not do well with large dogs. I've even tried getting play dates with a trusted dog owner. He is fine with THAT dog but is the same with every other large dog.

My vet told me that it is a min pin thing -- enjoy him at home. Only take Latte (the poodle) out in public.

The rescue didn't have an answer. They just suspect he had a bad experience with a large dog.

PetMart recommends getting training with large dogs and I'm thinking about trying that.
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Zeppelin

That picture- better be of me!
 
 
Barked: Fri May 25, '07 4:30pm PST 
I was thinking of doing a Petsmart training program too! Zeppelin is also a rescue...
I see other minpins okay with big dogs - so let's hope it's not a "breed" issue!
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