sometimes aggressive sometimes not

Posted by Anna-Jones
Jan 15, 2011
My 3 year old golden/collie cross is the most perfect pet we have had, and we have had many dogs. He is happy, lively, loves to play and is great with our two cats. He is very obedient and loves to learn. His recall is almost perfect except occasionally when we are at the off leash park. Usually he will romp and play with his pals. However he has recently agressively attacked a few dogs that are new, or submissive, or who knows! I try recall, but he is totally focused on the other dog and will not respond. I am at my wits end. I am considering a shoock collar as he sometimes races across the field to get to the dog he feel he needs to dominate. Any help?
Posted by KOPCaroline
Jan 17, 2011
Hey Anna,

Is your dog neutered? If not, it could explain sometimes being dominant and aggressive, and other times not.

Are the dogs your own gets into fights with a certain breed or sex that you can tell? Are there any other triggers, outside of the other dog, such as a noise or the other dogs owner wearing a hat or something that might cause misdirected aggression?

This is a bit tricky. To begin with it might be best to keep your dog on a lead at the park at all times, so that you can prevent him going after other dogs, and can correct him when he tries to. Tug his lead sharply, tell him "no" very sternly, and then have him sit and focus on you. He should totally ignore the dog that gets him worked up once you've asked him to sit. Bring treats and give lots of pats so he knows paying attention to you, not the other dog, is a good thing to do!

Once he seems to get the idea you can try letting him off lead again, but start over if he goes back to tearing off after other dogs. The lead is just to prevent anyone getting hurt, and its really the only way in this situation that you can actively correct him, if his recall fails when he's focused on another dog.

This should be a start at least, let us know if hes going ok with it, and hopefully another member has a similar experience and can offer some help.
Posted by KOPCaroline
Jan 17, 2011
Enrolling in a social dog class, even a puppy class, could also help your dog. They help develop basic social skills and the more dogs your own can interact with in a controlled environment, the better for your issue at this point. Big groups of other dogs and their owners will get your dog used to being around them, and hopefully get him more comfortable so that these incidents become less of a threat/concern.
Posted by Anna-Jones
Jan 18, 2011
Thanks for the advice! I will try to keep him on leash at the park for the time being (and yes, will have treats for focusing on me), as I want Arrow to enjoy the freedom to run and play, but definitely want to stop this aggression. I also had read in the book 'Secrets etc' that by hauling him away and flipping him on his back and sternly saying no! may get him to understand his behavior is not acceptable to me , the alpha. And he does see me as the alpha.
Yes, he is neutered, and I haven't found a thread of characteristics of type/gender of dog that he feels he needs to dominate, except that they are usually submissive and of course howl and squeel. He has never hurt a dog, but if I don't correct the behavior, he may. The funny thing is, once he has attacked, and I subdue him and approach the other dog, with Arrow on leash, he is usually ok with the other dog.
He has had basic obedience classes and manners classes and once he meets dogs one on one he is social with most, and has learned to ignore those he doesn't care for. He is presently enrolled in tracking classes and loves the work and the social component of the class.
I will report back after our day at the off leash today.