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Aggressive behaviour towards other dogs

I had a really awful day today with my dog Lily who is 18 months old.  I recently posted about her digging problem.  She has started barking at any noise that she hears and at other dogs in the park.  I normally walk her with a friend who is a dog walker with two small dogs and they always play very well together.  Today my friend had a different dog with her and Lily became totally out of control and tried to attack the other dog.  She was snarling and showing her teeth and I eventually had to pull her to the ground on top of me.  Her heart was racing and I was just cuddling her trying to calm her down.  I then put her back on the lead and everytime he came near her she went mad again.

 

I thought it was just because it was a different dog than usual but she has become aggressive to any dogs that she doesn't already know.  I am so worried because she is usually very affectionate and friendly.  I think I know the route of the problem.  About 6 weeks ago she was hurt by a black dog and he almost pinned her to the ground.  In the same week she was unbelievably hurt by another dog that we didn't know.  Since then her behaviour has deteriorated but it has been a little bit masked because she is always walked with dogs that she knows.

 

I am very worried about her as she is a fabulous pet but I have two small children and I would hate her aggressive behaviour to spiral out of control.  Does anybody have any advice on how to deal with this situation or know any behaviour experts in the Sidcup area?  I am wary of finding random trainers on the internet as I don't believe in the harsh tactics some of them use.

 

Many thanks.

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I feel Lily is reacting to other dogs as she is feeling insecure as to what might happen to her next......when she meets these new dogs... Dogs have a good memory and from what you said she had some very unfortunate experiences recently.I don't think it will spiral out of control and she will become aggressive to humans or children for that matter but if anybody can direct you to a good trainer/behaviorist in your area, that will be the answer.....
Hi Fran

Many thanks for your message. I am not sure if you have emailed me the details of the trainers yet but I really do appreciate your help.

Claire
Thank you for your advice. I think I only pulled to the ground because I was so traumatised at her sudden change in behaviour!!! I certainly won't be doing it again as I can't move today! I must admit I wasn't very confident as I was frightened for her. It is not pleasant to suddenly see your normally placid and docile dog turn into something out of a horror movie. Hopefully as it has only happened recently a good trainer will be able to rectify the situation quickly. Thank you to anyone who emails me details I really appreciate it.

Claire
Dublin my last dog was very leash reactive to other dogs on our walk. Not inside a petstore though, it was odd. I believe because he was in a dog park daily with so many other dogs, he preferred to meet dogs in a natural way. And he had a way to escape should he need too. He wasn't used to meeting dogs on leash so it did make him lunge and bark. He didn't bite, but did act threatened in a way. Cash is also in the park daily with so many other dogs. He ignores most of them and is in his own little world most days. He only seems to interact with my friends dogs, they do form little packs. Maybe your dog felt that she was part of a pack and a new dog was threatening to her. I would bet with time and them walking together again with you being confident and putting yourself between the new dog and your dog but firmly carrying on, in time she should be used to the dog once she see's that her safety isn't an issue. Working on the look at me with treats command so that you break her of the reaction before it actually happens is what I have seen work in this situation. Patience and confidence from you that all is fine and good. Good luck with a trainer. Great idea. I know that for some dogs it only takes one attack by another dog to mess their heads up. I try to keep that from happening as much as possible with Cash because you just don't know which dogs won't bounce back so easily from it. I feel like everyday that is a chance I take in a public dog park. But needing to exercise him I don't have many options. I wish I lived near you and could walk with you and help you help her get over it.
That varies all over. I am in suburban chicago and our's are through our forest preserve district. 40.00 a year to use any of the six in our county. They are all in the woods. Large in size like a couple or more football field in size. With mulched hiking trails and trees and grass and benches. So my dog can run in the field while I hike along side him on the trail. We have play areas too that are all mulched so mud isn't that bad after it rains. Its all fenced in too with security gates and clean up stations all over. Each of our own towns then have a dog park as well for a fee. They are smaller fenced in areas some with agility equipment. Some town demand stool samples and vet clearances for a pass, and other like what I use just require rabies. Some also insist on spay/neutered dogs only which I understand makes for a safer park as well. It all depends on the owners whether a park is good or not. Mine is great because owners are accountable for medical expenses should your dog cause a bite. It is so rare though. We just had one recently and that was shocking because it was a search and rescue GSD who was so well trained I was surprised he bit another dog. There is a risk when you put dogs together. A big risk if the dogs haven't been properly socialized since puppyhood. Even then dogs change. We have basically regulars at ours and weekdays are so much fun for Cash. Weekends bring out too many at times and those that do not get their dogs out enough so they are out of control. We avoid weekends. I am surprised you don't have them, Without this I am not sure I could have a well exercised happy dog. And it also has improved my own health since by adulthood I hike about 2 miles a day with my dog off leash which for me is the most enjoyable way to walk my dog. Oh and they ticket 75.00 if your in there without a pass and if you don't clean up after your dog. I know I have seen dog park in Japan and many other countries as well. In many large cities in the US, they have then too which is perfect for apartment dwellers.
If you ring Parkvets Veterinary Hospital at Blackfen, I am sure that someone there can offer help and advice with your bitches behavoural problems............I used to work there before I moved to Whitstable and my friend Julie Carr (also on this site, owns 2 male irish setters) also works there. Good luck x

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