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Aggressive Behaviour

4053 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  CatherineM
Hi all.
Any help or information you could offer is much appreciated.
Hobbes our 18 month old Dog when out walking on the leash on 3 occasions over a two week period has crossed in front of me to launch himself at a passerby when he does this he also growls and tries to snap as it is not expected by me i find myself pulling him away in shock and after the matter i tell him off and apologies to the other pedestrian. please advise as i am worried as to his behaviour and need to stop this soon.
many thanks Amanda
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Hobbes our 18 month old Dog when out walking on the leash on 3 occasions over a two week period has crossed in front of me to launch himself at a passerby when he does this he also growls and tries to snap
How is the dog when not on lead with strange humans? MY guess is you have not noticed any fearful or aggressive action when he is off leash. I am going to proceed on that basis but if that is not the case then a different apporach will be needed.

Keep in mind if the dog intent was to cause injury it would not be growling or even snaping these are all means for the dog to comunicate stay away

i am worried as to his behaviour and need to stop this soon.
Actual this attitude is probably particially to blame for the dogs behavior. What you are dealing with is commonly caled on leash agression and the leash and the feed back the dog gest through the leash are contributing factors. Keepin in mind that a leash and or tie out is a contstraint on the dog normal ability to react to fearfull situation. It has no means of escape. So in the face of what it is scared of it resorts to it only alternative.
Canine Concepts
Being on a lead makes your dog feel that it cannot escape. Dogs in this situation are more likely to be aggressive.
I thinkg the following articles will shed a lot of light on what is going on

AGGRESSION: A Case History with Harry T

Help! My On-Leash Dog Barks and Lunges at Other Dogs!
keep in mind if it is dog or people the cause of the behavior and how to correct the behavior are not different.
A high percentage of dogs tend to bark and/or lunge at other dogs while they are on leash. This is common for most dogs because they are very social animals and they want to approach and investigate other dogs. However, on a leash, they often do not have the freedom to approach and sniff. This can result in ON-LEASH FRUSTRATION, also known as BARRIER FRUSTRATION. Barrier frustration leads to excitement and agitation, which is displayed by barking, lunging, or growling.
Barking, Lunging, or growling is the canine equivalent of shouting, “AHHH! THIS LEASH IS SO TIGHT AND MY OWNER WON’T LET ME GO SEE MY DOGGY BUDDY!” Unfortunately, this reaction from a dog usually alarms his or her human companion, who may not let the dogs meet, and may become tense and angry at the dog. Dogs are very sensitive to their owner’s tension, frustration, and especially to any punishment they might receive from their owner. The dog then starts associating even the sight of other dogs with their human companion’s negative reactions, and eventually views other dogs as evil beings.
Handling On-lead Aggression

Nick Jones of Alpha Dog Behaviour discusses aggression when on the lead, and how to cope with it
includes video



Keep in mind if you observe similar reaction or behaviors in situation in which the dog is not on a leash the the treatment needs to take a different approach.
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Mikey. Many thanks for your reply ,
Hobbes is fine off the lead when he meets other dogs he assumes they are all his friend
( whether on the leash or off it ) Sometimes when off the lead and we meet a human he does approach them but no aggression is shown he has a sniff then goes on his way but other times he will jump up at them. ( he jumps up a lot to greet visitors )
This does not happen all the time today we have walked a good 2 miles on and off the leash and with lots off passersby and had no problems at all.
( somebody said he was protecting me ? but like i said its not with every stranger )
( somebody else said it maybe his coming of age ? )
I will take all your ideas / information and thank you again.
he jumps up a lot to greet visitors
A natural dog behavior dog the theory is dogs tend to great nose to nose face to face and by jumping up the attempt to accomplish this If you watch a small dog and large dog greet you will general find it is the small dog doing all the jumping as well. This is also a behavior that tends to get reinforced by humans so the dog continues to jump. It is not an agressive behavior but it can be classified as less than stellar self control aif you do not want the dog jumping up to great humans it can be trained not to. The easiest way to do this is by teaching and rewarding a less obnoxious greating and rewarding the dog for usinging it and ingnoring the more obnoxious behavior well not really ingnoring the behavior but rather ignoring the dog well not even that but actively withdrawing attention by turning away walking away etc.
Quick Fix for a Jumping Dog

somebody said he was protecting me ?
Not likely in a basset hound they do not tend to be protective of other of themselves sometimes others is pretty darn rare.

I tend to dislike this explaination also not because it may not be correct but because the conotation for the future and how humans react at the explaination. That is oh he just portecting me so the behavior is not so bad, heck it is sort of a good thing. Keep in mind you need not know what the dog is thining or the cause of the behavior in order to change it. Teach a more appropriate behavior and reward it and the inappropriate behavior goes away.

like i said its not with every stranger
not uncommon dogs are extemely good at discrimination much better than humans . It could be helpfull however in determining just what the trigger are for the behavior. keep note if you need to. When does he bark , growl and snap and when does he. look for common threads. Keep in mind also whe human are good generalizer we are good finding similarities but you need to keep in mind that there many not be a single singular common denominatior there may be multiple trigger,

Toughy see avitar on two occasions in his life acted extremely fearful at the approach of strangers. On case occured on a walk in the wood behind the house when approach by a neighbor down the street. The other on a very Urban boston china town street when approach by what appeared to be to individuals just getting off working "the oldest Profession" the common thread. All were female. but then again he great 100's if not 1000's of other females without cowering and hiding behind me. The ages and dress of the females were obviously very diferent as well as how they walked and approached, sneaker vs 6" stilleto cause women to walk very diferently. the one common demoninatior perfume. Can say the scent/brand etc was the same but let us just say you could smell both of them approaching long before you could see them. Was the heavy perfume the cause of toughy's reaction posiibly but with only two incidents hard to pinpoint but I think it is likely. You just never know what will trigger a dog but it is likely some asspect of a human the did not have much or any contact with in the early socialization period.

somebody else said it maybe his coming of age ?
Oh at 1 1/2 years of age he is definately comming of age but how doe that play into or excuse the behavior? It not like the behavior will get better over time. These things tend to be self rewarding the human goes away and no harm gomes to the dog hence dog is reward and is more likely to use the behavior again. in a similar circumstance, Again don't let the explaination become excuse making

Canine Adolescence

What you are dealing with is on lead aggression, it is fairly common and the result of a complect ineteraction between triggers, dog and owner but not that difficult to deal with via distraction and rewarding an incompatible behavior like remaining calm., It does help emensely houever if you either know what the triggers are or can read the dog well and act/react proactively to the first sines of arousal instead of waiting until the dog is growling, lunging and snaping.
In this regard learn
Calming Signal and doggy boddy lanquge can be exptremely important as well as The fine are of Observation



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I had a normally very friendly to submissive basset lunge and bark and snap at a new neighbor once. It was all I could do to keep him from sinking his teeth in the man's leg. It really scared me. I had no idea why it happened. Two weeks later I discovered he had just gotten out of jail, and was a convicted pedophile. I guess the dog could smell something I couldn't.
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