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 potential dog aggression?

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K999
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PostSubject: Re: potential dog aggression?   Wed 22 Apr 2015, 12:29 am

yes keeping them onlead is fine for the video, usually if the dogs are within a meter or so of each other they will be dispolying enough body lanuage for me to get a good idea of how they are percieving each other.

Keeping them onlead during this introduction is a good idea anyway as you have full control over the encounter which means you can make sure it's a really positive experience for them both.
What you are looking for is either dog getting excited or nervous, if either of these things starts to happen then in a happy tone of voice distract the dogs, ask them to sit (if they can on command yet, if not, start teaching it) then reward them with a treat, then continue walking again. Don't make a massive fuss here because we are looking to keep the dogs calm and relaxed, not excited and manic!
The idea if the dogs begin to act in appriopiately (excited or fearful) then you do the distraction, get their focus on you and not each other, then reward with the treat and maybe a little rub (at this point any excitement/nervousness should have subsided) then you let the dogs continue walking/exploring with each other in a nice calm manner again.
Another technique you can use is; walk them togehter but if they over focus on each other (ie, get excited or nervous) then walk them a little further apart to give them a more comfortable space, then slowly walk them closer together again.
If they want to sniff each other let them but if either dog begins to show excitement/nervousness then distract/reward/calm and continue again.
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PostSubject: Re: potential dog aggression?   Wed 22 Apr 2015, 12:00 pm

I've attached a couple of videos for you to look at, I hope you don't mind.

This is what happened when we first went into the garden with them
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5olozwA-guI

This is what was going on whilst we attempted breaks from the walking although they spent more time doing this than walking.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9-bp5LISPvY

And then this happened when we were getting ready to leave
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MmibgNwplc8

We left them for a few seconds for no other reason than to video them to get your opinion. For the most part they were fine and were, I think playing. We did separate them at intervals to reward and rest and that seemed to work for them
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PostSubject: Re: potential dog aggression?   Thu 30 Apr 2015, 11:34 pm

Hi again,
I've finally had a chance to watch the videos properly, one thing to always bear in mind when you are working with dogs is tension. Tension is everything when dogs communicate with people, dogs or any animals really. Basically when dogs are relaxed you don't get anti-social behaviours, when dog's become stressed they show more tension (muscular tension that is), the more stressed/tense they are the more likely they will behave anti-socially. (People are the same, the more stressed you are the more tense you become, the more intense your behaviour becomes, it's basically the difference between being calm and being emotional). So if you show your dog you are tense they will presume something has made you tense up and therefore something is wrong and possibly dangerous. So, when your dog is on a tight lead, it usually presumes you have tensed up the lead because something is wrong (and potentially dangerous for you both!)

video 1;
this is actually a really bad way to introduce dogs, both were made to face each other, both were being pulled back on tight leads, neither could get near enough to sniff and do a proper greeting. At best the dogs get frustrated at being unable to communicate properly and end up acting defensively, or at worst they presume you need protecting as you have 'hidden' behind them and asked them to deal with this other, potentially dangerous, dog.

video 2;
this was much better as the pups actually had access to each other and were able to communicate much easier and they both began to engage in some quite polite play. If you notice the difference between this clip and the first is the leads are a little more slack and loose, in the first clip the lead were basically bar tight all the time. So in the second clip the dogs were more relaxed and therefore less stressed and played much better. Personally if I'd been mixing these two dogs and they were behaving like that I'd be looking to let them off lead together to play, (only going off that little clip of course)

video 3;
this looked like they wanted to play again but were hindered from doing so again by the tight leads so there might have been frustration creeping in again, or perhaps they had built up some trust and were looking to play a bit rougher (typically the more dogs trust each other to more intense/rougher/louder/faster etc the play sessions become).

how are things going with them at them moment?
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PostSubject: Re: potential dog aggression?   Fri 01 May 2015, 8:28 am

No thank you for taking the time to look, I appreciate youre a busy man.

That isn't actually how we introduced them, as in to say we didn't sit them in front of each other and wait for sparks to fly, I had pepper walking around the garden and we brought Harley in. I only just managed to hit record as she approched him and this is what happened from that, where you see me calling pepper back is where I tried to resume the walk but as you can see it didn't happen.

For most parts they are exactly like video 2. We need to work on getting Harley to rest, we interrupt play at regular intervals in order to teach them both some self control but Harley doesn't know when to back down. By the same token they are both a bit rusty on their "dog talk". We had an incident a couple of days ago wherby they were playing and pepper chomped down a bit too hard on Harley's ear which resulted in a vet trip, thankfully Harley was fine and the vet said that ears and pads are normally what come into mischief at such a young age but even after the event Harley was keen to carry on play. I did take pepper away for a time out and play hasn't gotten that rough since.
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PostSubject: Re: potential dog aggression?   Sat 02 May 2015, 1:08 am

ok that's great, you are doing the right things and things like the ear incident are, like I'm sure your vet said, not too much to worry about.  Play is how dogs learn communication so is a vital aspect of their education. So it's inevitable that they play will spill over the acceptable mark but it's important it happens so they can learn what is and isn't acceptable.
You are doing exactly the right thing by breaking up they play when you see it getting too intense, but you are right, it isn't easy to distract puppies who are playing! Obedience training really helps here but of course that takes time to put in place, but also breaking up the play more frequently, even before it gets too much helps, especially of there is a good treat, like decent meat, involved!

What I try to do at this stage is is bring in as many different dogs as possible, because, worst case scenario, they only ever play with each other, they have to assume that how they are with each other is how they should meet every dog they ever meet in the future. So if one day they meet a dog who doesn't want to play there may well be a problem.
So what I suggest is sign up for 2 or 3 different puppy classes and try to arrange meet ups with anybody you know who has a dog with good social skills and basically expose the pups to as many different types of interaction as possible, from different types of play, to simply exploring, walking or just hanging out and relaxing.  The best bit is if you find some decent dog's to do this with they do all the work for you!

So for instance at the rescue, I'll get pups playing like pepper and Harley are then I'll bring in a couple of playful dogs and an older dog who doesn't want to play as much. I'll make sure the dogs involved want to play in different ways, not just play fighting, but chasing, stalking, racing, herding etc etc. Now the new pups have to learn to interact with different dogs who want to do so in different ways, which forces the pups to try new ways of communicating and acting around other dogs.  Of course, the more dogs they do this with the better their education will be and the more socially skilled they will become.

for instance, take Dizzy the staffie pup, he was mental and play fought 100% full on with everything, so I put him in with a nervous great dane (who had no interest in playing or indeed Dizzy) and a grouchy old Bulldog cross (who it turned out later, was quite ill) so Dizzy learn't that not all dogs want to play. After this session he started to become much calmer and more respectful around other dogs, and only played like a nutter if the others dogs wanted to aswell!....


here's also a little video from the rescue showing an older dog keeping the pups in line.  Jerry (a welsh corgi I think) picked out the pups who were looking like they were about to go too far or did something he thought was inappropriate, and he would just heard them away until they calmed down a bit, then he'd let them join back in.  He starts off by keeping an eye on Colin who was getting a bit pushy, then when Harriet jumps ups on Nicky (the lady in the clip) he decides this wasn't the type of behaviour he wants to see (jumping up might either start trouble or over excitement) so herds Harriet away until she calmed down a bit....


we also had an Akita pup, Darius, in who was very hard work, he was basically several months old and a bully, he came in far too hard and flattened every dog he met, especially the younger dogs. So, I walked him with big dependable Yogi, a big Akita who knew exactly what the youngster needed which was to play but learn to lose! So big Yogi never let Darius win any of the games which made the youngster take a different approach to play.  As the young Akita got better Yogi went easier on him and these few short sessions really kickstarted Darius's social skills and he was much more polite when we started mixing him with other dogs again. (by the way Yogi can look a bit scary but I'd spend best part of a year with him so I was confident in his behaviour)



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PostSubject: Re: potential dog aggression?   Sat 02 May 2015, 6:47 pm

Yogi sounds like a grizzly bear, is that where he got the name?

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PostSubject: Re: potential dog aggression?   Sat 02 May 2015, 6:57 pm

Yea, Yogi suited him, he was huge. He was actually a quite a dangerous dog when he first came to the rescue. Before he came to us the Akita rescue & 2 different vets said to put him down and 11 rescues refused to take him because of his aggression problems (which were quite serious problems), when he came to us we needed two people with two leads on him to make sure nobody got hurt! In the first month only I could walk him, and even that was 100% on his terms (he once pulled me over a half stable door by my arm to let me know I wasn't welcome that day). But we slowly introduced rescue workers into his routine and training and after about a year he was simply an awesome dog and one of the most reliable dogs I'd worked with. He eventually went to live with a head mistress who did horse events at the weekend and lived the rest of his life either on her farm or out a horse shows loving being the center of attention.
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PostSubject: Re: potential dog aggression?   Sat 02 May 2015, 9:14 pm

Wow what a fantastic story, good on you and NCAR for persevering with him, many others wouldn't have done this

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PostSubject: Re: potential dog aggression?   Sat 02 May 2015, 10:29 pm

Thank you so much for your insight. Pepper is a fantastic dog, we have obidence classes lined up for when she's allowed out & we hope to take Harley along with us. I think given time they'll become the best of friends. When the ear incident happened and we timed them out (one inside one outside) they bit sat either side of the door crying for each other, the main thing is getting Harley to break, pepper is more than happy to walk away and investigate the plant pots or to have a drink whereas Harley is constantly on the go and looses all interest in anything but playing.

Again he's a lovely dog he just has ALOT of energy. Recently though if I go to my dads without pepper he just barks at me non stop. I went down wednesday, was there for 3 hours and he literally sat barking/whining at me for the whole time. Completly ignored my husband and dad though, even when I attemped to play with him he just sat barking. Could that be because he wanted pepper or has he just decided I'm not worthy of liking lol
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PostSubject: Re: potential dog aggression?   Sun 03 May 2015, 12:27 am

It does sound like you have already done well with Pepper, she does seem to have a good balance of play, explore, learn. What you mentioned about Pepper playing then going off for a drink and a sniff is exactly what I'd want a pup to be doing, playing then calming down and exploring/learning. It is so much easier working with a dog who wants to learn and discover, you just guide and reward the right things to learn!

Harley does sound like a fairly typical pup, who thinks playing is the best thing in the world so wants to do it all the time! The tricky part is showing Harley that other things in life can be just as fun or rewarding in other ways. Teaching fetch with positive rewards is a good way to burn off some energy and show that learning can be fun/rewarding. I like to teach a dog to sniff and explore by getting them interested or even excited about the treats in my hand then scattering a few bits into the grass nearby and encourage the pup to sniff them out. At the rescue I also set up little obstacle courses, with tunnels, things to climb over, weird surfaces like paper/felt/carpet tiles/wood to walk over, anything really that gets them to experience something new and fun that isn't playfighting!

Obedience class will be great, I also suggest you suss out the other owners in the class and see if you can arrange playdates with their pups to increase the pups social skills, even if it just staying on after the class for half an hour letting the pups hang out together. (After class is usually best as they will be quite tired from all the thinking during the class).

Remember the more Pepper and Harley can learn before 6 months old the better adults they will be!
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PostSubject: Re: potential dog aggression?   Wed 27 May 2015, 6:29 am

How's pepper getting on?

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PostSubject: Re: potential dog aggression?   Wed 27 May 2015, 7:21 am

She's doing really well thank you. As soon as she was allowed out we took her & Harley on walks together 2/3 times a week. We took them to a field behind mine and let them off the leads so they had plenty of space, and they are the best of friends. Whenever ever they are together it's non stop play, which we are still interrupting at intervals to avoid over excitement but the play, whilst rough is polite. They take it turns to pin down/chase and slowly they are learning to walk away when they've had enough, the next thing we're aiming for is teaching them to walk away when the other walks away if that makes sense? Of course being puppies their a big ball of energy but overall their both doing brilliantly.

We take pepper to the field daily for lead walks of about 10/20 minutes and on the odd occasion we've let her off to practice her recall and she's doing brilliantly with that (she's learnt that if she comes back she gets hot dog lol), and a couple of times we've lead walked with friends and their dogs so she's mixed with dogs from 4 months - 9 years from staff to beagle to whippet to collie and more. We had an incident at the park where she was off lead and got approached by 3 labradoodles off lead and I instantly went into heart beating too hard mode but my husband held me back and it turned into a play date, at one point she was put in her place by the oldest one but she submitted and continued to play in a manor that the old boy appreciated & we often meet up with those 3 and the lady on walks.

She's such a joy there's never a dull moment. I haven't been very active because of work etc but I'll upload some photos of her and Harley later on, they are both beautiful :)
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PostSubject: Re: potential dog aggression?   Wed 27 May 2015, 7:42 pm

Awww that sounds really positive and the more interaction she has with other dogs the better, especially ones that will teach her manners spinner smile

Love your avatar pic

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PostSubject: Re: potential dog aggression?   Wed 27 May 2015, 9:56 pm

She's come on leaps and bounds, I'm so proud of her. A month ago taking her off the lead wasn't even in my thought process, I don't think I'm confident enough to say I trust her around dogs in the way I turst her around people but I think that's more my own fear than her capabilities.

Even if it meant nothing but lead walks I wouldn't be without her. My little snuggle bug
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PostSubject: Re: potential dog aggression?   Wed 27 May 2015, 9:59 pm

Oh I've also posted up some recent photos of them both in the gallery section :)
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PostSubject: Re: potential dog aggression?   Wed 27 May 2015, 10:33 pm

spinner smile

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