Fear Aggression

Posted by Maureenr
Oct 11, 2007
Anybody Have any ideas, HELP PLEASE!

My dog Sam is a lovely sweet longhaired dachshund who is now 2 years old. He is one of 2 dogs, we have another older little chap called casper, same breed but he is coming up 10. Casper is also very sweet and very calm, nothing seems to bother him, he is so good natured but then so is Sam when he is at home. Both dogs have been castrated. Alas, this is where our problems with Sam began. We got him at eight weeks old and he was a lovely little pup & very intelligent (far easier to train than Casper & much more readily obedient). However when we had him checked at our vets he only had one testicle descend so they advised castration to save problems from cancer in later life, but they said it would be better to wait until he was about a year old. At 1 year old he had a problem with chronic sneeezing so we got him to the vet straight away, and he had a grass seed stuck in his nostril. They had to operate to remove it so they suggested that they castrate him at the same time. From the moment he was castrated, he developed problems with other dogs, he was still ok with Casper but every other dog he would bark and growl and pull on the lead and it just got worse. I got to the stage where I hated taking him for walks, then it got worse still because then Casper our other dachsie started to join in. I got in a behaviourist, he said Sam was frightened of other dogs and suggested we use the water squirter as a remedy. This worked fine for the first few weeks then the weather got really hot and he became used to it. It was like he was saying ye go one squirt me some more cool me down!! I then got in touch with a local trainer who runs agility and dog training classes. I have been taking Sam to this agility class so he can be around and get close to other dogs. He is getting a lot better and is much better off lead than on. I also take him to obedience training with other dogs, he is still very noisy at these classes but he is getting slightly better. We can now walk along the street and see another dog on the other side without Sam making any noise, although he is still very aware that the other dog is there. We cannot yet walk the same side of the street and pass a dog without Sam re-acting, barking, growling, pulling etc. I take him to the park every day just so we see other dogs and he is fine from a distance but as soon as we get close that's it. He knows to leave when we are at home but as soon as he sets eyes on another dog he takes no notice of what I say at all. A friend of mine suggested I show my teeth and growl at him, I have tried this in the car as he barks madly when he sees other dogs from the car and it does seem to work. Any further advice would be appreciated, I feel that this behaviour has been going on forever - will it ever get any better?
Posted by eyeluvdogs
Oct 15, 2007
Hi there,

Wow, it seems like you have already put in so much effort to train Sam out of his aggressive behavior. Congratulations on being so committed!

Have you considered using a halti or gentle leader when walking your dog? I have personally found that my dog's are much calmer when I use this type of collar. I have much better control over them, and while they initially found it uncomfortable to wear, they quickly got used to it and realised that our walks would be much more fun if they didn't pull or lunge on the leashes. They just quietly trot along beside me. One of our dogs can be dog aggressive, and a gentle tug on the leash will re-gain her attention so that she just ignores any other canine passersby.

Good luck with Sam.