I have a really dumb question...........

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!


I'm a big brat- and I don't care- :)
Barked: Sat Mar 30, '13 6:02pm PST 
I'm only asking because I don't know. I found out recently that there are temperament issues with some of Koby's littermates. Some of his siblings are aggressive. I don't have the entire story , but some of the other owners say their dogs hate other animals and people outside of their family unit. I suspect that at least some of them are unsocialized, meaning they are kenneled and don't have much contact with anything outside of their kenneled area. Koby started showing HA and DA aggression when he was about 9 months old. I know as they mature, they test you, and at least in Koby's case, he is a bit unsocialized because I had broke my foot and had complications. So he is way behind on his training. I am working on it now. Yesterday, he displayed some aggression I never saw before. He usually barks and backs up. But this time, he barked and lunged with a bite which would have landed on the arm of my neighbor if it wasn't for fence in between them. He had a look in his eye I've never seen him display before. I do know that some of it's from not being properly socialized, but if a good part of it is from temperament, then, is it something that can be fixed with training? Or is he hard wired for that kind of behavior and I should just work on managing his contact with other people & animals? I've been walking him on back roads with little traffic. I also found a place (dog wash) that lets me bring him for a do it yourself bath as long as I show up exactly when they open (less people in there). I have an appointment with a trainer in 2 weeks to evaluate him. I just want to know what I'm facing. Any feed back will be appreciated. smile

Edited by author Sat Mar 30, '13 6:12pm PST

Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Sat Mar 30, '13 6:48pm PST 
I notice you say on his profile that he's part Pyrenese. They're not necessarily known for being social with strangers and strange dogs. They're bred to be otherwise so they can protect livestock. So.. That in itself has me wondering if part of it is in fact genetics.

However... I do feel it's a combination and that it IS something you can train and socialize him out of(if nothing else, get him tolerant of those situations and looking to you for guidance instead of just reacting). He may never be social with people and dogs that he doesn't know, but you can probably get him to the point where he tolerates those situations better.

Maya was a combination of neglected socialization, bad training and genetics. Her sire was a very protective, territorial and even aggressive Rottweiler who was not handled well at all. I was able to get her(at six and seven years old!) to a point where she tolerated situations where new people came in(she was always good with other dogs though), whereas she USED to lunge, snap, growl, bark and even tried to bite on a few occasions when new people would come into her personal space. After over a year of training, combined with management and making people a positive thing, I got her to the point of tolerating those she wasn't comfortable with, asking for affection from those she was more comfortable with, and obeying me to go lay down or leave it when they made her nervous or scared. But it took a lot of daily work to get her that way.

I do think a trainer or behaviorist is your absolute best bet though. Do you have him trained and accustomed to a muzzle at all yet? If not, I would start desensitizing him to a basket muzzle and make a muzzle a really good thing for him - more as precaution than anything. If you end up having to use it, it'll be good to already have him accustomed to it, but it's something where you would be the one to gauge whether or not it's needed.

Keep in mind, you have two strong breeds mixed together, both of which have a tendency towards a protective, territorial response with strangers(both people and animals), so socialization is an absolute must, even if it comes a little later. Be diligent, manage interactions with your dog safely(just in case) while he's in training and being properly socialized, and you should be well on your way to changing his response.

What you ultimately want, is to change his response/reaction to strangers and the underlying cause of it too.

Spooky Mulder
Barked: Sat Mar 30, '13 7:04pm PST 
I'm sorry to hear this Koby confused

I know you've had your fair share of issue with him. I hope you can overcome this.

Though in my very honest opinion, I do feel things like this have strong genetic ties, and if its become prevalent in not only him, but his littermates as well, I would be getting on top of it NOW.

I'm going to assume you've talked to your breeder about this (are they the one who warned you about the littermates?). This seems like an extremely unfortunate situation, and I feel there should be some accountability there too.


Do you even- lift?
Barked: Sat Mar 30, '13 7:37pm PST 
I would agree with Mulder that it does sound like his behaviors are based in genetics. Definitely the breeds he's composed of can tend toward such behaviors, and especially if the same issues are being seen in littermates, I would assume genetics over environment.

Hard to say if the behavior can be completely eradicated or if you'll be dealing with more of a management situation. Finding someone experienced with those behaviors to help you is definitely the first step. Make sure you agree with their methods and feel they're helping and not making the situation worse, as things like DA, and especially HA, need to be dealt with carefully.

If it were my dog, I would use a basket muzzle in public for the time being. Even if you don't think he'll bite away from his territory or whatever, I wouldn't take the risk.

It ain't over- till the fat- kitty sings
Barked: Sat Mar 30, '13 8:05pm PST 
I would say follow everyone's suggestions until you can get a clearer picture from the behaviorist. But just be strong, patient and believe in yourself too. I know it's scary and frustrating having a dog who's not exactly a social butterfly with humans. But I'm sure you can learn whatever you need to do to work through thishug

I'm a big brat- and I don't care- :)
Barked: Sun Mar 31, '13 6:51am PST 
I really appreciate the feed back. It makes me feel like I can at least have some light at the end of the tunnel. He's used to a muzzle. I've been using it for a while now. As for his breeders, I am very disappointed in them. They are friends of Kali's breeder who are wonderful. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way, that just because their friends, doesn't make them good people. I feel like we were duped. The information I received was directly from the owners of his litter-mates. The breeder has fallen off the face of the earth. Everyone has become very frustrated with the way this whole thing has been handled. So with that said, I'm just going to try and fix most/if not all of his problems expecting the the worst and hoping for the best. It's really hard around here to find places where people are comfortable with me having him around, even at a distance. I've gotten chased out of a few places already because of his behavior. I am going to continue to use the Dog Wash every week, maybe twice a week. At least they understand. The one thing that gives me a little hope is, once he's at the dog wash for about 10-15 minutes, he calms down and just grumbles every few minutes. I've used the trainer before. Kali used to be DA. He helped me with her and now she can go to the dog park and hiking. So, I will see what he has to say. If I don't feel comfortable with him, with Koby's level of aggression, a behaviorist is my next step. Thank again for your input. I really appreciate it. I'll keep you posted.

I'm a big brat- and I don't care- :)
Barked: Wed May 15, '13 5:34pm PST 
The trainer i'm using is awesome. He "gets" Koby. Koby actually played with a guy (stranger) today. It was at the training facility, but he did it and had fun. There wasn't any growling or barking. snoopy That's a HUGE step for him. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it only gets better from here. hamster dance

I\\\'ll do- anything for a- treat!
Barked: Wed May 15, '13 5:48pm PST 
I'm really happy for you! Any improvements are to be celebrated, and that sounds like a huge one!

I'm a big brat- and I don't care- :)
Barked: Wed May 15, '13 6:08pm PST 
Thanks Lupi. It was a big step. I can see a huge light at the end of a long tunnel. big grin

Got food? I- can be bought ya- know....
Barked: Wed May 15, '13 6:16pm PST 
I'm so glad Koby is progressing. Given his breed mix his behavior is appropriate. That doesn't mean he can't make new friends. way to go

Pepper is my reactive, cautious canine. She remains selective with humans. She was trained to have flawless bite inhibition from puppyhood. With all the surgeries she had all the strangers that poked and grumbles she made….she had the chance to lash out - never did.

Keep working with him. I'm really glad you found a great trainer.

an aside on the breeder….
I recently wrote off a family that we have been friends with for 14 years.
14 years - written off - for a very good reason that I never saw coming…
It takes that one issue to test the moral compass of the other person.
Cross breeding would be a red flag for me. Any BYB would be for me.