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'Scary Dog'

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
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Zack

I would rather- go through than- around!!
 
 
Barked: Wed Oct 31, '12 11:21am PST 
I'll try and keep this short smile.

We own an american bulldog who is now 3 years old. He just a big goofball of a dog but he has his, what we call, 'scaqry dog' moments. We call it scary dog because it looks like he is 'attacking' another dog but he has never done actual damage... its like he is just putting up a front. He is strong enough that if he wanted to of course he could do damage. It is definately not a play gesture or something that could even come close to aggressive play. We started fostering to see if we could work on it. The first dog he did his 'scary dog' thing to backed off and after a few days they actually became good friends. Next was a male, which I should have known better. They fought and zack lost part of his ear in one of their scraps frown. Had to find another place for that foster. We said no more males and have tried another female. She is older than him but very docile. She is a lab... very sweet. Zack, of course did scary dog when she first came in. They seemed to be co-habitating nicely when today there was another scary dog incident. The foster does nothing but cower and slink away. I feel horrible because it seems like Zack is just being a big bully! We have tried on leash, off leash, muzzle, no muzzle... I am out of ideas and I cannot for the life of me connect with him to figure out why he is doing this. Help frown
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Tiaki CGC- SD

I am a Pringles- pilfering pup!!
 
 
Barked: Wed Oct 31, '12 11:43am PST 
Try reading Scaredy Dog & The Rosetta Bone. Rosetta bone will help you learn to read canine body language & Scaredy Dog will help you deal with a reactive dog. You may also consider consulting a behaviorist. Hopefully Asher will come along with other suggestions.
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Dahlia

Gone, But Not- Forgotten.
 
 
Barked: Wed Oct 31, '12 3:05pm PST 
Define scarey dog. Is his body stiff, hackles up, chin over back, lunging? We need a better description of his body language to determine what's going on.

What do YOU do when he does this action? Allow it to happen, correct, what?
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Rexy

I dig in mud- puddles!
 
 
Barked: Wed Oct 31, '12 7:56pm PST 
While it's wonderful that you recognize that this is something that you need to work on, IMO, fostering should not even be on your radar at the moment...

It isn't fair to the foster dog as you are basically setting the foster up for a scary and negative experience with your dog (and I'm sure the last thing you want to do is create a reactive dog!), plus you are adding a whole new level of stress to your own pup's life.

Edited by author Wed Oct 31, '12 7:56pm PST

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Zack

I would rather- go through than- around!!
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 1, '12 7:35am PST 
I do agree it was just hard because he did get along SO well with our first foster. Scary as in goes stiff and then acts like he is attacking the other dog. Absolutely no damage done physically seems more of a "I need you to know I am 'the man'". Or it could be he doesnt know what to do and its a fear thing... feel like I don't understand him anymore frown. Going to read the books. Interesting thing is we were playing ball and the foster decided to join in. All went very well! Leads me to believe there is a trigger I am not picking up on because he has only done it twice and the rest of the time they seem to cohabitate very well. He was a rescue himself and I must admit I probably don't handle the situations like this well. Gonna read the books I hope they help smile.
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Nare

Woo-woo- whineybutt
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 1, '12 7:45am PST 
Zack whats the mental state of the dogs he does this bluff with?
I feel embarrassed to admit that Nare puffs his chest out, raises his hackles and 'hip bumps' the more submissive dogs. silenced It's SOOOO rude. Hes never hurt another dog, and honestly loves them. But he himself is scared of dogs he doesn't know (hasn't met before) and if he can pretend to be top dog he will. He has never acted this way around more stable or 'dominant' dogs though.

I am always right on top of it, and usually the owner is very understanding and will sit and talk for a bit (with Nare on leash so he isn't a bully).. Their dog usually realizes Nare isn't anything but a giant puppy that wants to play and after about 5 minutes they're best friends. It's a weird ritual.
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Zack

I would rather- go through than- around!!
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 1, '12 7:55am PST 
I wish that was the case frown. If the dog fights back everything just gets worse. The male foster we took in we had to send off to another home because he actually took 'top dog'... zack was VERY unhappy poor guy frown we felt bad. We chaulked that one up to male dogs. The dogs he gets a long with are usually high energy and play rough... he likes to play rough. Any dog who refuses to play or to play rough he just has no interest and 'cuts them out'. He is a big meanie because the dog now is older and VERY sweet. He is fantastic with puppies and small things though. Could it be possible that me correcting him for aggressive play from the get go has turned into him just lashing out because he doesnt know what to do? If thats the case I just feel so helpless because I want to show him what to do. I know when he is going to do it because he will circle them and almost close in and if the other dog doesnt give a submissive play gesture he just does scary dog...
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Nare

Woo-woo- whineybutt
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 1, '12 8:01am PST 
What are you doing to correct it?
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Zack

I would rather- go through than- around!!
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 1, '12 10:35am PST 
separate and ask him to 'watch me', which we have worked on and then give the 'gentle' command. I have tried other methods... not proud to say I got some bad advice and tried a more 'dominant' method... all results seem to be the same. Need an overhaul... brand new approach I think.
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"Selli"

The Muddy- Princess
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 1, '12 4:14pm PST 
It sounds to me like Zack may be a dog who only plays with dogs he already knows and you may be a family that does not do fosters. I don't know how old Zack was when you had the first foster that Zack got along with so well, but since Zack is getting older (social maturity)and is a breed that frequently has dog/dog issues he may have more frequent "Scary Moments." The fact that he was bullying an older female is quite troubling and smacks of being a bully. I find there is an unwritten rule that in the dog world that males respect females and younger dogs respect older dogs.
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