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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19952
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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I have a 3 year old cross border collie/XXXXX XXXXX. i got

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I have a 3 year old cross border collie/XXXXX XXXXX. i got him from the dogs trust who picked him up as a stray however he wasn't a stray for long and quite young when he had that experience. I've had him since Nov 2011. he has always been abit jumpy with certain men and wary of children however he has more recently started to go after other dogs. for example we were out playing with his ball and I stopped to talk to another dog walker who had her dog on a lead (mine wasn't at that point) the other dog wasn't doing anything in particular and after a few minutes my dog turned on it. when if checked the other dog its side was wet as if my dog had run its mouth along it (he didn't bite). My dog has done this now a couple of times, I can't prempt when hes going to do it so I do try to keep him away from other dogs but clearly this can't be done 100% of the time. Also when my brother brings hisi dogs into my house my dog has to be kept away as he growls at them and has gone for one of them aswell
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 3 years ago.
Hi JaCustomer,
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My name is Jane. I have been working professionally with animals especially dogs in both health and behavioral issues for over 18 years. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
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In order to supply you with the best information, I do need to ask for some additional information. Once I receive your answer, it will likely take me about 30-45 minutes to type up your response. I hope you can be patient.
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Has your little one had any obedience training?
Is he neutered?
How long has he been doing this?
Did the other dogs on the walks attempt to put their heads over him or smell his rear or come close to you?
When your brothers dogs come, do they get on his bed, try to eat his food or take his toys?
What have you done to help stop this situation?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Morning sorry for late reply. Flynn has been neutered, we did a couple of training sessions however I pulled my back out so didn't do any more! He did it one when we saw him at dogs trust when a larger dog came towards us then when we got him home I didn't notice it until the last year or so. The other dogs don't really seem to do much other than play around us if we stop to talk to someone there doesn't seem to be any consistent pattern to his behaviour. Actually they do come quite close on reflection. He is very jealous we have another dog (yorkie) inthe house ans when we cuddle or stroke her flynn does use his paw to try to pull my arm away an onto him. He does get the same amount of attention though so theres no reason for his jealousy. My brothers dogs just wander around the house like ours do they do drink out the water bowl but theres never any food left down. this is the first step I've taken so far. Can you help I would rather not have to muzzle him when we go out as he plays with the ball etc so that would stop his fun but as I last resort I feel I may have to. Thanks

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 3 years ago.

Angie,

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Thanks for the additional information. It is helpful.

There are medical reasons for aggression and though I don't think that is the cause, I'll give you sites that discuss these causes. http://www.petplace.com/dogs/medical-causes-of-aggression-in-dogs/page1.aspx

. http://www.apdt.com/veterinary/assets/pdf/Dodman_MA10.pdf

 

Dogs are aggressive toward other dogs for several reasons. They might be fearful of other dogs and thus are aggressive before the other dog can be. In other cases, a dog is Another reason might be that the dog feels they are the alpha member of the pack and as the alpha member they must protect the pack (you) from threats (other dogs). Jealousy usually falls under the alpha umbrella because he doesn't want other dogs near his person.

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Owners often make the situation even worse by tensing up and worrying about what will happen. The dog senses the owner worry and feels that he is justified in his aggressive stance because you are obviously worried about the dog. They don't know you are worried about them attacking, they just feel that you are worried and assume it is the other dog that worries you.

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Many dominant dogs are described as well behaved until you try to get them to do something they do not want to do, and then they reprimand you either with a growl or bite if you don't heed the growl. Things like taking away something they want, making them move when they don't want to, waking them up, etc can cause them to reprimand (bite) you. You haven't' mentioned anything like this but you might keep an eye out for that type of behavior.

 

Dogs that are allowed on furniture (even if put on the furniture) tend to feel that since they are elevated to your level or higher if on your lap, they mentally feel elevated as well in the pack order and thus are the boss. Keeping them on the floor can help lower them mentally back to a submissive position in the pack. So I would stop allowing him on the furniture. You can attach a leash and use it to remove him from the furniture. Give a correction in the form of a quick tug and firm "NO" when he attempts to get on and a treat when he starts not trying to get on the furniture. Make it a special tasty treat like a hot dog slice. Thus you are providing negative reinforcement for the getting on the furniture and positive reinforcement for the desired behavior (not attempting to get on the furniture).

 

You will need to have him obedience trained. If you can, I would do group classes and let the trainer know of the problem your dog has. It might take you a few months of basic training before he is ready for group class. . Before you can get into classes, I am including a link that is great at teaching you how to teach your dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.

http://www.schutzhund-training.com/training_theory.html

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Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.

http://www.pets.ca/articles/article-dog_nilf.htm

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Obedience training teaches a dog what humans expect of them when they state a command which leads to self confidence and less fear. Each time a dog obeys a command, even if it is for a treat, it makes them a little more submissive to that human in the future which helps with dominance aggression. And since it is the leader or boss who is responsible for protecting the pack, if the dog is made submissive with training, you are responsible for protecting him, so that can reduce aggression due to fear and dominance.

 

It will be helpful if you can find someone with a dog that he is reactive with to help you once you have your dog listening to commands consistently. What you will do is have your dog on the leash. You will have your helper off in the distance. Your helper will gradually move their dog a bit closer to you preferably walking past your position in the distance. As long as your dog ignores them, you can give your dog praise and a treat. The second you see him fixate on the other dog or show any other sign of aggression (hair standing up, etc.) give your dog a correction by giving a short tug and a firm low toned "NO". It shouldn't take your dog long to realize you will not tolerate the aggression and that if he ignores the other dog, he gets treats. Once this happens you can repeat the training moving the other dog closer until he is no longer trying to lunge at other dogs. You will need to practice this when you and your dog are walking as well.

 

If he isn't lunging at them yet, have him sit a little bit away form the other dogs so they are not interacting. Or you can let them touch noses and then move him away and have him sit and reward him for the interaction with no reaction. Keep him away form the other dog after the intitial contact. That will help him see that you can protect him by keeping the other dogs away from him. Dominant dogs do not like other dogs smelling them or putting their heads over their neck.

 

You will also want to keep a leash on him at all times initially to grab if he should disobey. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how well your dog does with training. Dogs like knowing what is expected of them and they love the little paper thin slices of hotdogs that I use for treats while training. Give this a try and see how it works for you.

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In addition, if the situation is not improving using the techniques on the previous website, you may have to consult a professional behaviorist. You can usually find a behaviorist by asking your Vet for a recommendation or you may be able to find one using the following site.

http://www.apdt.com

 

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