Aggression from other dogs

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Aggression from other dogs

Postby JacketV » Wed Dec 12, 2018 8:38 am

This is going to be a bit of a long post...

Our Tamaskan is very sweet natured and has never shown a hint of aggression. In fact, he was very submissive and was quite shy as a pup, but has really come out of himself as he has grown up and is very sociable and wants to play with every dog he meets.

However, in the last 6 weeks he has been attacked twice by other dogs. The first time was by two male Boxers which he had met before as a puppy. At that time, they had run over to him and tried to sit on him, which is obviously a form of dominance and I had asked the owner to get them off him. He had thought it was amusing, but I didn't and neither did Jorel. I have seen this person walk his dogs on the fell near me and he always carries a water bottle with him, which he squirts at one of the Boxers whenever another dog comes near, which I think indicates something to keep away from, so I always go the other way when I see them.

Anyway, 6 weeks ago we ran into them at 7am walking on the fell towards us. The two Boxers immediately went for Jorel and both of them attacked him. I managed to get one of them off him and the owner got the other one off and then Jorel ran off, so I went after him to calm him down and check him and one of the Boxers came for him again. I managed to get in between them and kept him away from Jorel with my legs and shouted my sternest 'NO' at the Boxer, who backed off enough for the owner to get him under control. Luckily, Jorel had no skin broken, just quite a few tufts of hair pulled out and was obviously very stressed.

Then this morning, we were walking on the lead on the path near my house, where a lot of dogs are walked, and we came across a woman with a Vizsla (another male as she was calling it Roy), who immediately started growling and lunging at us. The woman started yelling at her dog so I tried to get past as quickly as possible with Jorel, who was very alert but not trying to lunge back or anything. The woman was then pulled over by her dog and tried to grab him, but he slipped his collar and came for us. There was a brief stand-off and then he went for Jorel, while I tried to twist and turn us away from him. Fortunately, it was a very brief attack and the woman managed to get the collar back on, apologising that her dog 'always goes for the bigger dogs'.

You can imagine how furious I was with her.

Jorel is ok. He was stressed going back to the house but has no visible injuries.

I am really anxious about this happening twice in such a short time. Apart from the obvious idiots who can't control their reactive dogs, what is it that makes them want to attack a dog that shows no aggression??! I don't want my lovely natured dog become defensive because of these horrible incidents. Why are they going for him? I already deal with prejudice when some people meet us as he's a big dog and they often give us a wide berth initially, until they realise that he's a friendly oaf, and yet he's the one getting attacked.


So frustrating!!!
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Re: Aggression from other dogs

Postby Blustag » Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:29 am

I am so so sorry and so bloody angry that you had to go through and deal with this and also your lovely boy. Rest assured there is nothing wrong with your boy but the outcome of these confrontations can be disasterous. Either he will try to attack next dog or be totally scared of any other dog. I would try if you can to walk him for a while where you wont meet any other dogs so that he can calm himself down. In future if it is possible try to call out to owners and ask if their dog is friendly. This is not always possible but you need to take care not to let this happen in the future as it could have been a lot worse. I tend to take my dogs out where Im not likely to meet any other dogs as I couldnt deal with this taking 3 or 4 dogs out at a time. If I have someone with me then I will go where there will be other dogs such as the beach etc. Again so sorry you had to go through this but you are not alone. These people with aggressive dogs have a lot to answer for and should be reported to the police.
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Re: Aggression from other dogs

Postby BlaiddBach » Wed Dec 12, 2018 9:18 pm

How old is Jorel now?

I'm just wondering whether his hormones have anything to do with this change in attitude of other dogs... I had the same problem with Dusan when he hit about 8 months and his testosterone started to kick in... suddenly it was like there was a neon sign over his head saying "please attack me"...!

And much as sometimes it could have been an over-reaction on the other dogs part to Dusan pushing his luck (behaving as though still a puppy)... other times it was definatly unprovoked... another random dog would just fly out of nowhere... at one point he was attacked, whilst sitting at heel on lead!

Eventually after he'd ended up with a couple of (luckily) minor injuries I made the decision to get Dusan neutered as I felt it was better that than have him end up full of holes... it just felt like I could barely take him out anywhere without another dog appearing and wanting to have a go...

For us the idea of neutering made sense as the onset of attacks definatly co-incided with onset of puberty... and it seems I made the right choice because subsequently the problem has subsided (there is still one dog I'm wary of him being around but that one is a known problem with a number of other dogs too)
I am in no way suggesting this is nessesarily the solution for your scenario... just that it's worth considering whether hormones may be playing a part in your problem... if it is related then it's always possible that when Jorels hormones even out after adolescence that the risk of attacks could reduce again...

As Lynn said, try to manage the situation where possible... I would also go as far as to try to counteract any negative experiences by seeking out positive dog-dog interactions if you are able... particularly with friendlies of the breeds he's been attacked by so he doesn't start to fear all boxers/vizlas etc...

I think I'm very lucky with Dusan in that he's been quite resiliant when it comes to negative dog-dog interactions... many might not be so forgiving of their fellow dogs so I wish you all the best with protecting Jorel and his lovely nature!
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Re: Aggression from other dogs

Postby Blustag » Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:57 am

Just a point to take into consideration. Castration shouldnt be done until the dog is at least 2 yrs old and fully mature. Castration can also change the dogs temperament. We have one lady who had her dog castrated because it was aggressive after advice from me not to do it. This dog is even more aggressive now than he was sadly. Castration alters hormones not always in a good way.
Training is always the best way forward. Happy interactions are certainly they way to go. :)
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Re: Aggression from other dogs

Postby JacketV » Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:02 pm

Thanks for your replies.

Lynn - I definitely agree with you about doing our best to avoid any future confrontations. He is such a lovely natured dog that I don't want this to change out of fear or intimidation.

BlaiddBach - he's only just over a year old (October 2017). Both attacks have been totally unprovoked. The first one, he was completely minding his own business sniffing about and off the lead (as we were on the fell) and the dogs came over at top speed. The second one, he was on the lead (as was the other dog) and that dog started growling and lunging from 5 metres away up the road. Jorel was doing nothing more than walking to heel.

I am sure the dogs can pick something up. Maybe it's his age, as he's not yet mature.

I really don't have any intention on castrating him. I've had male dogs in the past and they have always remained entire. Have never had issues with aggression, dominance or being over-sexed.

Totally agree about counteracting with positive interactions - we went to our favourite fell yesterday and met up with some of his doggy pals - a collie, a whippet (his best pal) and a female Boxer joined, who was just 2 years old and her and Jorel played really well together, although she got tired much quicker than him :)

I am also planning on starting agility with him now that he is getting to the right age and am hoping that will also be a positive experience.
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Re: Aggression from other dogs

Postby Blustag » Fri Dec 14, 2018 3:37 pm

Well done, let us know how he goes on ;)
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