Cant stand any other animals!

Posted by lkmoorthi
Dec 16, 2009

I started to take out my 6 month Dob on walks in my neighbourhood. At first he used to observe any other animal (there are lot of cattle an sheep which graze in the neibhourhood - including some stray dogs) with great interest. He once really got frightened seeing a big cow come towards him and I had to reassure him. Then slowly as the days went by,he started showing aggression. I used to make him sit or stay. However after a few minutes he would strain on the leash and start growling and barking at the animals till they run away. When I was away on tour, my wife tried to take him out for a walk in the same area. Unfortunately, a few dogs and a small goat started showing interest and my doby started pulling and strugling at the leash and my wife had a tough time bringing him back home. (in fact she is still having a shoulder ace! )

Since these animals in our neighbourhood are free and we have no control as to when they would emerge in our way, I have no clue as to how to correct this behavour. When I had taken him earlier to the vet, there were a lot of other dogs, big and small, and he behaved and everyone was envious seeing him calm and composed. But the difference was that each of the dogs there were on leash with their masters.

How can I correct his behaviour?


Posted by kjd
Dec 20, 2009
Hi, L K!

This sounds to me like fear aggression. How did you reassure him the time he met the cow? Perhaps he picked up that you weren't that confident either and that he needs to protect the pack.

Make sure he sees you as alpha. He has to be convinced that you will handle any problems and all he has to do is relax. Considering your poor wife's shoulder, she should probably leave the walking to you until the dog is under control. However, she should also work on being alpha.
Posted by lkmoorthi
Dec 22, 2009
Thanks kjd. I have reduced his walks outside our compound. I think I will wait for some more time for him to mellow down on his aggression before I take him on walks. I allow him to stay near the gate and he can see the animals pass by. He is much better now and does not show aggression from behind the gate. We also stopped shooing the animals when he is around. I think he feels we are frightened of the animals or that he thinks it is his job to shoo them for us! Please let me know if we are doing the right thing.

I also think his behavior is due to fear aggression. I do not quite remember how I reassured him when the big cow came towards him. Definitely, I was holding him close to me and rubbing his neck.

He is going thorough his teen transformation and I guess his behavior is often attention seeking. He will do anything to get our attention. Sometimes it becomes very difficult for us to ignore him due to his pranks. We are enjoying all the playtime in the evenings - he and us!
Posted by kjd
Dec 22, 2009
Not shooing the animals is a good idea, lkmoorthi. By letting him see you are ignoring the animals, you are showing him they are nothing to fear. Just be careful that he doesn't start barking at them because he is safe behind the fence. You really want him to see them as part of the landscape -- nothing to take any notice of.

Working on being alpha also assures him that you will take care of anything that needs to be taken care of. Also, rather than reassuring him when he is afraid, try getting him to work on a command. You don't want him to think he had a good reason to be afraid.

I'm not sure it is just teens who want attention. Don't we all?