aggression signs?

Posted by susan2912
May 16, 2010

my dog's dog agressive and normally hes pretty bad. But there are some dogs with whom instead of growling at, he whines at them. His hackles will be down and often he doesnt look too interested. (these is very different to some other dogs who he cant take his eyes off and strains at the lead to get closer!)

I've let him get pretty close to these other dog (from behind fences) and still he doesnt lunge or bare his teeth or anything. Im wondering, if he were allowed to touch and greet the other dog would he then be aggressive, or would he be ok?

thanks for any input
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
May 17, 2010
Hi susan2912,

I understand your dog was out of contact with other dogs for a while per the professional trainer's suggestion. You think he is dog aggressive but what made you think he was? Has he actually got into fights with other dogs?

By reading your posts, I got the feeling that he has been always either leashed or there is a fence in between him and the other dogs. Is that correct? There are many dogs that can be fine when not leashed or there is no fence in between. Those aggressions are called "leash aggression" and "fence aggression". Being leashed or there is an obstacle to get to the other dogs actually make dogs more aggressive because of accumulated frustration, or they feel there is no way to walk away from the other dog when leashed.

If your dog never started a fight with other dogs, I would ask the owners of the other dogs if those dogs are calm and confident dogs and if they are I would ask for their permission to have the dogs meet in an open area. If you don't think you can control your dog, you might want him to wear a muzzle.

Without leashd and being in an open area, your dog might just fine with other dogs (I would do one new dog at the time though). When he whines at other dogs, is he wagging his tail, or is his tail high up?

See the following link about dogs body language of "calming signals". If your dog shows any of the calming signals the other dog should respect them. Well socialized and confident dogs read those signals and they don't push your dog to the extent that your dog has to protect himself. Click on "Gallery" button to see pictures of calming signals and dog-to-dog meeting scenes.

[url=]Calming Signals Community[/url]

Noah, one of my dogs, has similar problem and he is now fine with most of dogs in an open area but some dogs are just too playful and try to jump at him and he can not take it well. Also some dogs put their nose too close to Noah's face and stare at him to the extent Noah can not take any longer.

People might say "Noah's aggression is not predictable" but I can see whether this encounter goes fine or not when I look at him. If he starts showing uneasiness, I call him right away "Noah, over here!" and he comes right back to me to avoid a possible fight.

Also, remember some dogs are not socialized well like your dog and my Noah, so make sure the other dog that your dog is meeting is a well socialized and calm dog.

Let me know how it goes.