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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 20226
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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My 2 year old male collie/lab has attacked a black female lab

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My 2 year old male collie/lab has attacked a black female lab puppy each time they've seen eachother (twice in 3 months). The first time the puppy needed stitches, the second time she was ok. The puppy yelps and squeals alot.
I have not had any other problems with my dog attacking any other dogs, although he can be a bit rough with them.
My dog loves to play fetch so I like to take him off the lead in my local park so he can do so. Should I keep him on a lead in case he attacks again?
Hi JaCustomer,
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.

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.

Is your male neutered?
Does your dog greet other dogs with his tail held high?
Does he tower over them?
By being rough with other dogs, what do you mean?
has he had obedience training?
Do you not have a fenced in yard or garden?
So on lead, he is much more aggressive toward other dogs?
What have you tried to stop this behavior?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

He is neutered, and has had obedience training, passing all levels.

When he greets a dog, he usually sniffs and occasionally the two dogs show aggression. He doesn't tower over the dogs and I'm not sure where his tail is positioned. On a lead he will greet dogs by sniffing but if they are on the other side of the road and he can't get to them then he will bark and pull aggressively. He stayed at a dog borders for 3 weeks in the summer and mixed with up to 8 different dogs per day. The boarder never said he was aggressive towards any of the dogs, but he wanted to play with them all the time and they were getting fed up. By playing I mean play fighting but gently.

His recall is ok, but if he's fixed on something that takes his interest then he carries on towards the target, ignoring me.

He is also very vocal when someone comes to the door and his bark is quite aggressive especially towards the postman.

When he sees people he jumps up to lick their face altough we have worked hard to stop this and he is getting better.


Thanks for the additional information. I think that he is a very dominant dog. So he is fine with dogs that are submissive or less dominant than him. It sounds like when he does encounter a dog as dominant as he is, they manage to work it out without an altercation. Dominant dogs carry their tails high usually where most dogs will carry the tail even with their body or lowered. This is body language and helps to tell what dogs are feeling about a situation. Read about this on the following pages.

Unfortunately, the site does not allow me to make clickable links, so to view the supporting websites, you will need to copy and paste the link into a new browser window or tab.

The puppy incident is understandable. Adult dogs tend to reprimand puppies with growls and nips to teach them puppy manners. If the pup was taken from his mother early or not properly socialized, he may have pushed your dog and not heeded your dog's warning. Sometimes these reprimands do lead to injuries.

What I would suggest would be starting up practicing the obedience commands daily. The following is a good page that goes over how to teach dogs obedience. The following site is helpful for teaching you how to train 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.

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.

I'm also going to suggest finding a helper who has a dog. 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. I recommend vienna sausage or liver slivers. 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. On walks, I would not allow him to socialize. Walks are for exercise and not for socializing, so have a destimation in mind and walk quickly there and then allow him to socialize there until you start the walk back home. Liver slivers in your hand can help keep him focused on you rather than other dogs as well.

There is also a method called bat training. Read about this here:

Another handy tip is that you can influence their mood by changing their tail position. If the tail is straight up, brush it back down. It will have bring him back to a more stable mood and less dominant.
I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. 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 .
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