Fear Aggression

Posted by karenv
Nov 13, 2009
I have a 5-year old Scottie-spaniel shelter dog that I got when he was about 3. He has a sweet temperament with people, but lunges and barks at other dogs when I'm walking him. A trainer I spoke with said it was fear aggression, but I'm unsure how to change this behavior pattern. He gets along fine with my 10-year old female cockapoo, and he settles down if I bring him to a group dog walk. I could use some suggestions! Thanks!
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Nov 16, 2009
Hi karenv,

I am not sure if your dog has a fear aggression or not.
What puzzles me is:

>he settles down if I bring him to a group dog walk.

If he has fear aggression, he would not settles down when he encounters a pack of stranger dogs. He would exhibits more aggression, lunging and barking.

Maybe he is just a very playful dog and he gets so excited when he sees other dogs on his walk? Because he is on a leash and you are probably trying to keep him away from those dogs, he lunges and barks to get close to them and it might look like he has fear aggression.

Please let us know about his body languages, such as showing teeth, hackles up, tail raising, etc. when he meets other dogs on walk, as well as how he acts when he sees the group walk dogs.

Posted by karenv
Nov 19, 2009
My dog, Allistair, does not show hackles raised, and a trainer who took him for a walk in a park told me he exhibited fear aggression. From his body language, she didn't think he would harm another dog. At the group dog walks, he carries on with barking and lunging when I bring him up to the group. I keep him away from the other dogs, but once the whole group starts walking, he is fine. I still don't let other dogs "get in his space," though, and he doesn't continue the barking, lunging stuff.

I would like to try some training techniques so that he would remain calm when he sees another dog. There are times when he goes into his act if he sees a couple of people walking quite a distance away (because they might have a dog with them!). He doesn't bark at people once he sees they are dogless.

Is this helpful?