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Ask Jane Lefler Your Own Question
Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19755
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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I have a 22 month old collie cross who has been great at

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hi I have a 22 month old collie cross who has been great at playing and getting on with other dogs when out and off lead, but in the last 3 weeks he has attacked other dogs when they come near him he loves playing fetch with a ball and I have to keep him on a lead now and avoid other dogs which I now know that the walks are not fun for him or me anymore can you suggest why his behavior has change and what I can do to help him , he has been nutered thanks
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
Hi JaCustomer, My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today. I just wanted to let you know I am working on your answer. It would help to know if he has been attacked by any other dogs in the meantime.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No he has not been attacked i have him since he was 3 months old and he has been great socialing with other dogs from the time i got him
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi sorry are you still there
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
Sorry. It takes time to type all of this information. Male dogs tend to change their behavior as they become adults. They become more dominant. Often around 18 months of age owners will see them start to challenge their position in the family whether that is with other dogs or the humans. It is around this age that they test their boundaries with humans and dogs. Often at this age they will stop listening to their owner or require to be told a command several times before they listen. They might growl if someone tries to physically move them or nip if their growl is ignored. Not all dogs challenge their humans though. It is usually a gradual process. With other dogs they start asserting their dominance. This involves not immediately submitting and a change in body language indicating they are not a pup anymore and they will try to boss other dogs if they can get away with it. In addition, they usually will become more protective of their pack which you are a member of. It is the boss’ job to protect the pack. If you are not seen as the boss, then he’ll take over the job. In addition, if you don’t take steps to protect him from dominant or aggressive dogs then he’ll feel he has to do that himself even if he does see you as the leader the majority of time. In addition, you mention a ball. Dogs can become obsessed with objects like balls and will attack other dogs that attempt to play with their item. It is best when faced with a toy that a dog is obsessed with not to bring it with you in public around other dogs or people the dog is not comfortable with. I’m going to give you some sites that go over dog body language. This can allow you to get a better idea of what other dogs are feeling and projecting with their own body language when they approach your dog. That may give you a clue as to why he reacts the way he does. Additionally, you will know how your own dog is feeling and thus can stop his behavior before it starts or prevent an aggressive dog from approaching your dog. Often owners carry pepper spray or an umbrella that can be opened and used as a barrier between your dog and an approaching one. It is a stop gap measure but can allow you to ask an owner to get their dog.http://www.apdt.com/petowners/park/body-language/http://www.pawsacrossamerica.com/interpret.htmlhttp://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-behavior/canine-body-language If you notice your dog’s tail raised in an aggressive manner, you can help by brushing the tail down to a neutral position. It sounds crazy but actually does calm a dog with a simple moving of the tail set. I suggest you also start back up obedience training with him. The following site is helpful in helping owners train their 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 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.htmhttp://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/training_nothing_in_life_is_free.html This training will help you retain the boss position in your dog’s mind since each time he obeys a command he becomes a little more submissive to the person giving commands. That along with the changes you make in how you react to other dogs approaching him should help. I am not really in favor of dog parks. You can meet dogs who have not been socialized and once your dog is attacked, they are more prone to show aggression toward other dogs. So you want to avoid that. If you like allowing him to run, an unused tennis court is a good choice as it is totally enclosed preventing other dogs from entering or your dog from running while still affording him some off leash time. I also suggest finding a female similar in size and age to play with him. This will help him as most dogs are not as aggressive toward opposite sex dogs. He will also get to know this dog and not feel threatened as well. This will help resocialize him. You can also take him to areas where there are dogs that are not loose. When he does not act appropriately, give a short tug and a firm low toned NO as a reprimand. After a few reprimands he should behavior better. At that point give a small sliver of hot dog as a reward for the desired behavior. This will also help his socialization. I would not let him actually interact with other dogs at first and you can tell other owners he is in training to avoid interaction. As he realizes he gets treats by not reacting, you can gradually start introducing dogs to him again being sure to continue to reward good behavior. I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer so I am compensated for my time. If you have questions in the future that you wish me to answer, you may click here and bookmark the page or make it a favorite. It is best to put my name "JANE" in the question as well. Since there have been recalls on certain foods, please check the following site to be sure the food your animals eat is not affected. If it is affected, contact your vet as soon as possible. Have your dog seen if they have any symptoms.http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/RecallsWithdrawals/
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks x