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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 20218
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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my dog is a springer cross witha toy poodle.. very obediant

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my dog is a springer cross witha toy poodle.. very obediant and generally a lovely well natured dog. However he is now showing agression to other dog's if my self or my partner pets another dog. he will go for the other dog!!

I think we may have spoilt him as he is our only dog and give him alot of attention and cuddles.. dont know what to do.. worried that this could escalate

he doesnt do it only if another dog is getting attention from us
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.

How old is your dog?
Is he neutered?
You say he doesn't only do it when another dog is getting attention. When else does he show them aggression?
What type of aggression is he showing?
Is he allowed on furniture?
What obedience training has he had?
If trained, was it via a training class, private trainer, etc.?
Are you attempting to hold him down in a submissive position?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

18 months old


No he doesnt do it at any other time, only when we give anoter dog attention other than that, he is fine and wants to play.

Showing teeth, growling and nipping them

yes he is allowed on furniture

we have trained him, he will alk next to us very obediant. knows loads of trick's and very obediant

yes we are holding him down in a submissive position


thanks for the additional information. It is very helpful. It is not unusual for a dog to develop behavioral issues around 18 months of age. they are usually mature at this point and start testing the boundaries their owners set. If stopped pretty quickly, they usually settle down again.

The first thing I need to mention is that holding a dog down in a a submissive position does not make a dog submissive. In fact it often will cause a dog to think that physically reprimanding you is ok. What you want is for your dog to acknowledge you as the boss and assume the submissive position as a result, not force the dog into the position. However, a dog doesn't have to assume that position in order to be obedient and listen to you either.

He sounds like he is becoming dominant and as a results feels he has the right to determine what you do or don't do. In most cases, he doesn't care what you do, but he does not approve of you showing attention toward other dogs. Since he doesn't want to reprimand you, he reprimands the other dog.

So there are a few things you can do to help take back the position of boss and make it a little easier to interact with other dogs when you wish to. The first thing to do is get him off of the furniture. Dogs allowed on the furniture feel they are on the same level as you or even higher since they are physically on the same level. So keep him off the furniture. If you physically find you are unable emotionally to do so, at least make him earn the privilege by obeying a command and make him get down once you are through showing him affection.

While you training at home has apparently been very good, I am going to suggest a group training class to finish his training. It will be used to ensure he obeys commands with the distraction of many dogs and people around. It also serves to socialize your dog around other people. It is helpful and usually the final test of a dog's obedience but by no means the end of training. Training should continue for the life of your do.

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.

The NILF program also helps with reinforcing your role as boss. There is an exercise I want you to do as well. I want you to find someone with a dog and train with this dog. One of you will have your dog on a leash and armed with tasty hot dog slices or liver slivers in a sit potion. Dogs really love this type of treat and are usually willing to work for them.

You will have the other dog and owner out of reach of your dog. You will start showing attention to the other dog. When your dog obeys and stays in the sit position, your partner can reward him with the treat. If he lunges toward the other dog, then a short tug to get his attention and a firm NO should be done. It should be growl like so low toned and not loud or high pitched. You will continue to do this exercise until he obeys and does not lunge anymore. do not stop rewarding him for the desired behavior as you want to reinforce it and don't' tempt him back with the treat. You want it clear that inappropriate behavior is reprimanded and only correct behavior is rewarded. Practice with as many dogs as you can. Most people in a group class are usually willing to help others with specific problems as long as there is not danger to their dog.

You will also need to change who is issuing commands or in control of your dog as well. Often a dog will be more protective or jealous of one partner, so it does have to be practiced with all family members.

You are catching this early which is very good. We usually hear from owners well past this point when they are just lunging and growling at every dog regardless of if the owner is showing them attention.

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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