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    1. #1
      Senior Dog
      TuMicks's Avatar
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      More reflections on "dog aggression"

      My fear (already explored in other threads) has been that Rocket Dog is dog aggressive. I first became aware of it when we were training in the field and another dog came around the corner of a truck and surprised her... he came right up to sniff her butt (not in a particularly rude way) and she aggressively brushed him back. (No bite. But not polite about it either.) Since then, she's done it to other dogs. Same scenario... not going out of her way... just when they get in her space.

      So I assumed I had a dog aggressive dog. (Bad news... a dog fight at an AKC event and you can be black listed, not allowed to ever compete her again.) Since then I've been told by 4 different people (including 2 dog behaviorists) that she is not dog aggressive. More of a fear thing. They said she is acting like she does not trust me to protect her. The behaviorist said to carry a heeling stick, and put it between RD and an on-coming dog. To "protect our space so she doesn't feel like she has to."

      I've related the following story elsewhere so feel free to skip it if you've read it before.

      Fast forward to a week or so ago, and we're in a park (NOT a dog park) and 3 off leash dogs (2 big ones, 1 yappy dog) came running toward us. I couldn't get away, they came up over a rise. I was lucky to get a leash on RD and told her to sit. I had my heeling stick. (Idiot owner didn't have any leashes with her. Didn't come over to get her dogs, just stood a long way off calling them to no effect.) I put the heeling stick between RD and the pack of dogs (curious, wanted to play, apparently) and they just kept coming in. I started tapping at the dogs' feet to get them to step back. Meh... they were not impressed, kept coming in. RD stayed seated... but began to growl. So I started pounding the ground between those dogs and mine for all I was worth. THEN the owner came over yelling "Don't hit my dogs".

      So, interestingly, this week... we were at PetSmart, encountered quite a few dogs, and she was pretty chill about it. Ears didn't change position, no sign of nervousness. I didn't have a stick with me, but I had a cane (my dang knee cap is broken again) and I think RD took it as a sign that she didn't need to get her panties in a wad.

      We are going to be working with the behaviorists through January to try and get her over this hump. Her obedience is coming along otherwise.
      Last edited by TuMicks; 12-31-2015 at 06:23 PM.

    2. #2
      Senior Dog
      Labradorks's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by TuMicks View Post
      I didn't have a stick with me, but I had a cane (my dang knee cap is broken again) and I think RD took it as a sign that she didn't need to get her panties in a wad.
      I kinda don't think your dog thought you would protect her from other dogs with your cane. There was probably some other reason she wasn't so uptight. Perhaps you were focusing more on the knee than her and therefore were not hyper aware making her hyper aware? Perhaps there were no dogs that that particularly interested her? Or maybe she is just getting better about it?

    3. #3
      Senior Dog
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      It was an anecdotal thing. Not enough data to reach any conclusions. But I will tell you I was not/am not relaxed when out with RD and other dogs are around. Which is crappy. I want to be able to heel her around the neighborhood and dog-friendly venues without being hyper-hyper-vigilant. Just vigilant, would be nice. (No one can be unaware of other dogs in the vicinity... ever.)

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