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From: Callie (
Subject:         Re: dog agression
Date: February 4, 2013 at 6:25 pm PST

In Reply to: dog agression posted by Jana Rae Ryan on January 25, 2013 at 11:05 pm:

In honesty, you really should enlist the help of a good behaviorist rather than try to find your answers here.

Agression is nothing to fool with and it will get WORSE if not properly handled. The issue is far far deeper than just the dog being "agressive" on leash-- it depends on exactly what is happening, how both dogs are responding (looking at their eyes, hackles, how tense they are and body stance, tail position -- how far away they are from each other when the signs begin to manifest and MORE).

You really need a behaviorist to be able to look at what's going on so you don't inadvertently reinforce the wrong thing.

There are lots of different schools of thot but I tend to prefer a more positive system.

I would change the pattern of your walks and go places where you simply will not encounter other dogs UNTIL you can get this behavior diminished and sort out your own reactions.

So much of this type of response can be inadvertently exacerbated by the owner -- your own tension ("oh no not another confrontation") and pulling back instead of more appropriate responses. When you see another dog approaching I would simply cross the road, or turn around and go back a different way -- and avoid confrontations until you find a better way to handle it and enlist some help to duplicate this under a controlled situation so you can train a better response.

"aggression" is a word that can be a loaded gun -- what to me may constitute "aggressioN" and what may be interpreted by another can be different. But if you feel your dog is at risk of biting another dog you MUST prevent that.

Muzzles tend to increase agression if used improperly. But you also must NOT allow a bite to take place because then your dog has a "bite record" and you can lose your dog all too quickly.

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