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Fear aggression?

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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Kira

Got shepherd?
 
 
Barked: Fri Aug 1, '08 4:25pm PST 
I was at the dog park with Kira and Charlie. At first there was a group of 5 retriever, all very respectful towards Kira. Then came a couple of inquisitive puppies. They wouldn't leave her alone, and she snarled at a few of them out of fear when they had cornered her under a bench. She's never shown aggression toward another dog, but with the heat and the amount of time we were there I think wore her nerves down. (my mother had dropped us off because she had an interview in the area) I couldn't remove her from the park because I had to stay inside the area to watch Charlie (park rules).

About twice she actually snarled and snapped when dogs got too close and looked her in the eye. The initial retrievers had been very polite and had respected that she didn't want to be bothered, while the ones she feared had been very inquisitive.

I didn't in any way comfort her to support her behavior. She's never been a complete happy-go-lucky dog in large canine crowds, but she usually will make a bud or too, and get along well.

Also, two of the dogs that she had snarled at, she darted out from under the bench, chased them for about 7 feet (they were playing fetch) barking at them in a very high-pitched bark I've never heard her utter. Then she would come back and resume her position.

I don't exactly feel comfortable bringing her back to the dog park, but I don't want to leave this 'problem' unsolved. Can anyone give me any tips to make her more at ease with dogs, or explain why this started so suddenly to me?


EDIT: Thanks everyone for their responses. I feel stupid now for thinking Kira was the problem.

http://www.flyingdogpress.com/sayhi.html

Edited by author Fri Aug 1, '08 5:35pm PST

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Leila

Little puppygirl
 
 
Barked: Fri Aug 1, '08 4:31pm PST 
I don't know that I would consider that "aggression". I think I would just consider it a dog telling another dog that they are not being polite.
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Cash TT

I got the best- Fur Coat on the- Block!
 
 
Barked: Fri Aug 1, '08 4:46pm PST 
You can still take Kira to the park.
You have just learned that Kira does NOT like rambunctious juveniles. And who does, really?! So... now you'll just be careful.

I imagine the high-pitched bark as she chased them was her telling them that she was unhappy and to keep their distance. The running after them was to reinforce the idea.

I'll agree, I don't think it was aggression, it was defense.
However, in that situation, I would have eitehr called the pups' owners to take their dogs away from yours, or take BOTH of your own dogs out.

As I see it, Kira came to you to help protect her- and you just sat there.
You shouldn't coddle your dog while she's scared- no cooing or babying while she's nervous- but you CAN protect your dog by keeping other dogs away or removing your dog from the situation that's scaring her.
If MY dog was annoying someone else's dog, you BET i'd be on it to stop the situation from escalating. And the pups' owner should have done the same. If they aren't watching their dogs, you need to draw attention to it.

Edited by author Fri Aug 1, '08 4:48pm PST

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Leila

Little puppygirl
 
 
Barked: Fri Aug 1, '08 4:49pm PST 
I agree with Cash.
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Kira

Got shepherd?
 
 
Barked: Fri Aug 1, '08 5:09pm PST 
The only thing is, the two dogs she chased had been completely polite. They had (tried) sniffing noses, and left her when she snarled and snapped at air.
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Sassy

Princess and the- Pea
 
 
Barked: Fri Aug 1, '08 10:34pm PST 
Instead of staying put so Kira is in a 'territory' keep moving around the fence so she can sniff, read the 'pee mail' and ignore the other dogs. *I* am more comfortable with dogs coming up behind me. Other dogs don't think that is very polite but I do better than face to face. If she was hiding under the table the other dog owners should have shooed their dogs away from her, that was rude to bother her under there. The dogs she chased may have been doing some sort of posturing that was hard to observe. Agree, leave with both dogs if you are uncomfortable at the park. That doesn't sound like it was very fun there today.
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zack

Master Zack
 
 
Barked: Sat Aug 2, '08 2:34am PST 
Fear aggression gives us the blues at the dog park.When Zack isn't scared,he's fine,when he is scared, we got to go. You can still take her to the park,but have to be observant. I don't coddle Zack, but I do remove him immediately if he acts up. I know people say let the dogs work it out,but the park has too much liability for us for that, constables on call and whatnot.Plus, somedog can get hurt.Maybe she plain old didn't care for them? I would just not stress too much on it.As Zack and I have learned, there's always another day in the park!laugh out loud
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Sunny

It's ok to- comfort scared- dogs!
 
 
Barked: Sat Aug 2, '08 5:27am PST 
You need to protect your dog from the unwanted advances of other dogs. Comforting a dog that is scared or aroused, may not help the matter but it's not going to make the dog's problems worse. A dog that is reacting is not thinking and not learning whatever it is you think you'd be teaching it by rewarding its behavior. Every time your dog has the opportunity to react like this you increase the chances that she will again, and perhaps even sooner, since it's the only thing that the dog can do to keep other dogs away. This is how you create a dog aggressive dog.
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ARCHMX Asher RL1X RL2X RL3X RL

we will dance in- the ring without- words
 
 
Barked: Sat Aug 2, '08 7:44am PST 
Glad you found the Clothier article. I was planning on sending you there way to go
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Gypsy Road

I\\\'m Bad!!
 
 
Barked: Sat Aug 2, '08 7:52am PST 
That is fear aggression. You can still take her to the park, but just be observant. Gypsy Road had some fear aggression last night and I won't get into it, but the cause of it was the thunder. You may also want to consider training her as well. I suggest going to a behaviorist (I will be taking Gypsy Road for his), but until then, when you do take her to the park and see a dog approaching, tell the dog to "scoot" or "get away". If the dog doesn't listen, you and your baby move to another place in the park. Just take precautions.
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