New Aggression dog to dog

Posted by quemadoland
Jun 22, 2008
We adopted a boxer / Husky cross from the Humane Society 3 1/2 weeks ago. She was spayed 2 wks ago. She passed the aggression test when she was admitted to the Humane Society. She was good at the Vet's office the day we adopted her. She has learned Heel well unless she sees a rabbit. Our problem is that she has decided to become very aggresive when nieghbors dogs are out walking, or when we pass them on our walks. She is approx. 1 yr.old. HELP!
Posted by Todd
Jul 14, 2008
HI there and thanks for the post.

Sorry for the delay in replying.
Aggression is a very serious issue and i am glad that you have asked for help and i will do my best to help out.

First things first i think we need to go over some alpha training issues. Dogs are pack animals in the wild...and should be in the home. Dogs are happy when they know there place, and don't challenge. So for both her and your sake i think it is important to get her knowing she is at the BOTTOM of the pack. This may seem mean but trust me she will thank you for it

1) When she is sleeping in a hallway or doorway make sure to move her out of the way. Stepping over or around her will only lead her to think she is higher in the pack.

2) You should always walk through doorways first. Make your dog sit and wait. You can even walk around the house with her on the lead to reinforce this.

3) She should always eat after everyone else in the household and never get food from the table.

4) When you get back from work or being out leave her alone for 15 minutes. Wait until she is calm and relaxed and then go see her.

The next major thing to go over is obedience. Your girl must be very well behaved so you can trust her whenever where ever. Work with her for 10 minutes a couple of times a day on the commands of sit, stay and come. Keep up the training and you will notice it does help.

Now she needs to be told off whenever she does something aggressive eg snarling,nipping, barking or jumping. If she gets away with it t will only lead to provoking her. The best way to tell her off is to use a loud GRRRRR or AHHHHH followed by a quick squirt with the water pistol. Then immediately make her sit. Once she is sitting and relaxed praise her and give her lots of attention

Now to the problem with the neighbours dogs. I think this is more of a general aggression to other dogs due to poor socialisation when she was young.

She needs to learn that other dogs are not something to be grumpy about but to be well behaved around them.

You need to be gradual and start in a non-threatening place like your house or yard.
Now if she is aggressive to dogs and strangers then you can use this method with people as well

Find a section of your yard that is free from distraction.

1) Have the dogs or the strange person sitting around 5 metres apart. Have both dogs on their leads.

2) Make your dog sit. If she refuses reprimand her just like above, and the second she follows your command praise her with attention and petting.

3)If at any stage she growls, stands up, barks or does anything you don't want her to you must reprimand her.

4) After her sitting quietly for 2 mins you can take a step forward. She should stay at your side and follow your order when you tell her to sit. Again reprimand and praise as appropriate.

5) Step by step get the 2 dogs closer and closer.

6)The first few meetings don't let them meet, this will only makes things worse.

7) After a few days they can meet face to face while still on the lead. Only gentle play is allowed. Again reprimand and reward.

After a few more days of this let them off together but always keep an eye on them.

Be patient, tell her off when she is getting aggressive. Once she is well behaved with a number of different dogs in the backyard try things with the neighbours dogs. Often getting them to meet can stop over the fence aggression.
Once she is well behaved here move out to walks and things like dog parks gradually.

Good luck and please let me know how things go and if i can help anymore