agressive street dogs

Posted by smohan
Mar 25, 2010

We adopted a stray (Brownie), male abt 9 yrs old, mid size almost a year back . Hes adjusted very well and hes a sweet natured dog. Have had some useful tips reg taking care of him from this forum .
Hes always been territorial ,barks at stray dogs/pets that walked by our gate. The strays and Brownie didint like each other - there was barking and some show of agression - but nothing unmanageable. They 'knew' each other.
However we moved houses abt 2 months back, to an entirely new neighbourhood. He has adjusted very well to the change.
[I]However his walking has taken a big hit.[/I]
We cant walk him as much as we did earlier becos of the strays in our new area. These dogs stay in groups and they start chasing us etc. Very aggressive to Brownie. it can get scary. Tried walking him in some other area- driving somewhere else etc - but more or less same problems - tho with a different set of dogs each time. Every area seems to have its own set of strays!
Brownie too doesnt back away and gets agressive when he sees strays .

However its not Brownies's behaviour thats a big problem - I can manage him. But these stray dogs follow us or even chase us - they are obviously territorial like any other dog. But they do keep to their street.

These strays are not agressive to people- in fact most are used to being around people and are quite friendly when we are on our own. But when we are with Brownie , its a different story.
As a result our walks are limited to just our street, we cant go beyond.
My question - should i try to venture out and keep at it in the hope that all the dogs & Brownie will get used to each other over time? Or should i avoid them totally and stick to my street? Also in case we get in the middle of a fight how do i deal with it. Will spraying water help? Any tips? I hate it that we arent able to walk him as much. (funnily my previous post was how to get him to enjoy walks - since then he's come a long way - loves his walks like any other pet dog)
Posted by crazycrayonmom
Mar 29, 2010
Wow! So nice to hear that Brownie is doing better. I don't have any advise for you on the stray dog thing though. Sorry.
Posted by KOPsRobyn
Mar 30, 2010
Hi there

It’s great to hear that Brownie is now loving his walks! Keep up the good work with building his confidence in all different environments.
The stray dogs on the street will have a pack hierarchy in place, and they will view Brownie with apprehension, because he is a newcomer to the street. It probably doesn’t help that Brownie is also unwilling to back down from a fight. However, if you are patient and give it some time, you should find that the dogs should come to accept Brownie as part of the street and reshuffle their hierarchy to fit him in. Unfortunately, sometimes this will involve a bit of a scuffle initially while the dogs figure out where they stand with each other in the hierarchy. Although this is what would naturally occur in a pack situation, it must be well controlled as there is a possibility if this is done too early that all the strays will see him as an invader of their territory and so all turn on him. Therefore you must take extreme care with introducing him to the strays.

Don’t be too worried if the dogs have a bit of a scuffle initially, because this is all part of the ‘initiation’ process. These will involve the dominant dog snapping at the subordinate and perhaps pining them to the ground, but should not involve anything more serious than theses. You will have to watch these very carefully though in case they turn into a dog fight where neither dog is willing to back down and one or both dogs are likely to get injured. If this does occur, the most important thing to do is for you to remain calm. Never reach into the middle of the fight and try grabbing your dog, because although the dogs would probably never intend to bite you, there is a high chance of you getting hurt as they won’t be watching what they are grabbing carefully.

In the worse case scenario of a serious dog fight occurring, there are a few things that you can do. Shout loudly angrily in the hope that you will scare both of them into submission or get Brownie to listen to you and back off.
If this doesn’t work, you could try throwing a heavy blanket over the dogs or spraying them with water. Ideally, the dogs will be so blinded and confused by the sudden sensory cut-off that they will stop fighting temporarily, which should give you enough time to grab your dog by the collar and lead him away. There are also specific sprays available which are specifically designed to break up dogfights. These contain citronella or lemon juice, which aren’t physically harmful to the dogs but they are very sensitive to the smell. but they contain citronella, which is intensely offensive to dogs. You can also make effective sprays yourself - lemon juice diluted with water is ideal.
As a last resort, you may have to physically intervene by grabbing one of the dogs by the back legs and dragging them back and away in a circular arc. You have to be extremely careful that you don’t get hurt though as neither dog will be very aware of you and may bite you by accident.

If Brownie is pulling a bit on the walks, it may be a good idea to try taking him out in a halti, which will give you good control over his direction of movement without hurting him. When approaching the street dogs, make sure you remain completely calm, as dogs are very sensitive to body language and so Brownie will be able to pick up on any apprehension or nervousness that you may be feeling. It may also help to distract him from the dogs when they come up to you by giving him a command, such as ‘sit-stay’, and then giving lots of praise and a treat when he obeys. You

Although it is a pain, you will have to try avoid the street dogs initially, to prevent aggravating any aggression that is present. Hopefully, after some time, they will get used to having him on the street and learn to ignore him.

I hope this helps and all the best with the training!
Posted by smohan
Apr 14, 2010

Thanks for the advice. Will defn try the halti and see how the 'interaction' goes.