Dog aggression

Posted by Siank
Oct 16, 2011
I have 2 yorkie brothers 1 yr old, 1 is soft and gentle and loves other dogs, the other is very aggressive to other dogs whilst on the lead, as soon as he sees another dog, he lunges, barks and becomes uncontrollable all other times he is fine. He gets on fantastically with his brother,it is getting really hard to control him and it is embarrassing, I always seem to be apologising to other dog owners. He was attacked by a big black Labrador 3 months ago, he was not hurt but it seems to have stemmed from there. I took him to his first training session last week and he was as good as gold, approx 8 dogs there and he didnot lunge or bark once, I am sure the trainer thought I was making it up, he said he was a well behaved dog. I really don't know what to do with him he is a lovely dog I just want him to greet other dogs like his brother and be nice and gentle, any help would be gratefully accepted
Posted by KOPCaroline
Oct 17, 2011
Hi Siank,

Just wondering, how did your aggressive yorkie do on walks after his first day at training classes? Have you noticed any change in him since? I'm so happy you signed up for classes with him (is the other brother coming too, its great socialization time! Not just a thing to do with aggressive or fearful dogs!)

I would definitely say keep up with the classes - you may not see signs of his aggression there until perhaps leash training comes out? If his problem was brought on by being attacked by a large dog while he on a lead, it may be that specific set-up that triggers his anxiety.

I would also suggest the distraction training, it seems to have worked for a lot of owners and forum users here - you can probably read back through a few posts and find discussions on it. Basically when you see another dog approaching while you are walking, get your dog to sit immediately (it may be best to take them for walks individually for a while, until you can start to control your aggression pup a bit more). Once he's sitting in front of you, keep calling his name, snapping your fingers, slapping your thigh, stomp your foot, hold a treat out in front of him (don't give it to him yet!) or toss a ball up and down - anything you know will get his attention and KEEP his attention on you, not the other dog. If he looks at the other dog, give a stern "no", tug on his lead a bit, and get his attention back to you. You may find it useful to "pull over" off to the side of the track youre walking on. Once the other dog is far enough away, say "good boy" and let him come out of the sit/down/whatever command you've put him in. You can give him a treat only after the other dog is gone and your pup behaved well.

I used this with my own dog to train him out of being too excited over other dogs on walks - but I've heard great stories of it working for aggression, excitement, not paying attention, etc. I think it could really help you.

It may also help if you have a friend with a bigger dog that can become your walking buddy. Take the two out together so that your dog experiences a big dog on a lead that won't hurt him, and can help his confidence build up a bit. What you don't want to do is avoid walking him around big dogs because that will only make matters worse - so keep getting out there and working on it! Other dog owners are pretty understanding, and your pup is only 1 year, so you've got a great opportunity to get this under control!

Please let us know if you see any progress, I really think the classes and distraction training will help, but we can always offer more advice if not! Good luck!
Posted by Siank
Oct 17, 2011
Thank you for your response, he seems to have been worse since his training session, it is not just large dogs he lunges and barks at it is all sizes, just got back from a walk now, he saw a dog across the road and just went into one, the poor woman with the dog picked her dog up and carried him away, my dog sounded really nasty. I cannot get him to sit and focus on me, tried loads of different things. He has his 2nd training session on Thursday so I will see how he goes, the trainer advised us not to take his brother to the training sessions as he could be a distraction. I am thinking of asking the trainer for a one to one session so je can see exactly what he is like on a walk, I am dreading someone reporting me for having a dangerous dog, he is so good and soft at home and a wonderful boy, I am sure he must feel so unhappy when we take him out for a walk. Thanks for your advise I will carry on and see how he is
Posted by KOPCaroline
Oct 19, 2011
Hey there,

The fact that he was a bit worse after training might just be his nerves getting the best of him after the new experience and excitement of the training. Try not to let it worry you too much at this point.

I do think single dog training situations are a good idea - it lets you and the trainer focus on one dog at a time, and helps makes certain the dog responds to you, or at least pays better attention! If your trainer dog any out-of-centre work, it would be a great idea to see if he would accompany you on a walk with the aggressive dog!

I hope your trainer can help, I'll try to find some more solutions as well and let you know what I come up with!
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Oct 19, 2011
Hi There!

I feel for you Siank! My current foster dog is a 20 lbs female spaniel mix and she is soooo sweet to people but she goes nuts when she sees other dogs on her walk and growls/barks/lunges at them It is so embarrasing

I thought I was familiar with this kind of problem since Noah, one of my border collies, had similar issue and I have been working on it but Taffy's aggression is uncontrollable at this point. I took Noah and Taffy for walk yesterday and Noah behaved so well by ignoring other dogs and Taffy, who was furiouly barking and lunging while I was trying to distract her.

I took her by herself to Petco and Petsmart last night to walk around the aisles and correct her behavior. She reacted to other dogs but I was able to handle the situation much better. I will keep taking her almost on a daily basis until she learns to pay attention to me better and to be able to control herself. I cannot adopt her out as the way she is now.

She growled at my dogs and my cats when I first brought her home 10 days ago but she has found her own place in our pack right away after Noah snapped at her and I reprimanded her a few times. She is a smart dog and I am sure she is totally capable of learning correct behaviors. Your dog is too, with your love and patience. Let's not give up