Help for a Growly Doggy
May 10, 2010 1:50 AM Subscribe
Have you successfully curbed/managed/retrained the aggression out of your dog? Please tell me your success stories! What did you do? How long did it take?
posted by The ____ of Justice to Pets & Animals (11 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I have a rescue dog here (a mutt, possibly 3 years old?), not sure about past history. Gets along fine with other dogs in the household, but on walks, barks and growls at strange dogs that are bigger than he is.
(Also will bark and growl occasionally at passing people, though after having them meet him and give him treats, he seems to have stopped this behavior in the last week or so, after a dozen or so treat-related encounters.)
I guess I'm concerned about his dog aggression getting any worse. He hasn't bitten anyone or any dog, but am concerned about this possibility. (He is also submissive, gentle and totally non-growly to me and my family, if that means anything. I and other humans can easily and safely grab a treat from his mouth though he'll growl at the other household dog if it tries to do the same.)
I hear so many stories of aggressive dogs whose dog aggression could not be altered...I feel like I need some hope that this isn't true. Maybe it's too much to ask for a dog that loves other dogs, but I hope one day I can have a well-adjusted dog that I can bring to an off-leash area who will not bark, chase and growl at other dogs who playfully or calmly get too close.
Right now I am telling him to sit and giving him treats when another dog appears in view. Unless I continually feed him treats as a distraction, it seems once he sees the other dog, and if it's a large size, he'll freeze, wait a couple of seconds, then start barking, lunge on his leash, and throw in a growl or two. He doesn't seem crazy-out-of-control, but he does seem protective and possibly afraid/intimidated.
Have you ever had to work with this? Whatever happened to the dog? Is the dog able to meet other dogs now calmly and happily? Is there hope for Mr. Growly?
If you have any tips for us, I'd also appreciate it. Thanks!
Note: yes, he's fixed.