Jessica asked in PetsDogs · 4 weeks ago

Advice for pup with fear based aggression?

Background information:

He is an eight month old corgi who we have been socializing since we brought him home.

He did fairly well with the other puppies at his puppy socials and adapted to our friends/family’s dogs quite well.

When we were given the okay to start bringing him along with us by his vet, we have taken him to dog parks, metro centers, and hiking trails, and he did wonderful! He was the type of pup who was so friendly to other dogs and was very submissive.

My pup has been attacked twice now. The first time had minor injuries, just a scratch to the face by a medium sized dog while we were at the park. He was a bit shaken, but no shift in attitude.

The second time was when he was about six months old. We were lunged at by an off leash mixed bully, about 60-70 pounds on trail. My boyfriend and I suffered small cuts/scratches from trying to pull the dog off, but my pup had to get stitches around the neck and by his eye.

Since then, my pup has started to snap and growl at dogs who pass by or bark excessively during walks.

We’ve been taking him to the park to dog watch from afar (leashed) and rewarding him when he doesnt lunge or snarl at the dogs but other than that I am completely lost.

We’ve contacted a behaviorist and are waiting for a reply, but I would greatly appreciate advice to sooth his anxiety and aggression.

Thanks much!

5 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    Just accept as he is, walk at midnight and get insurance. On the bright side leave your doors and windows open you might find a digit LOL

    • Jessica4 weeks agoReport

      Haha, he’s a people person. I don’t even think he’d attack an intruder after he’s come in the house.

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  • 4 weeks ago

    Maxi has given good advice. Your other option is whatever the behaviorist suggests.  

    FYI: I HATE dog parks (too many out of control and untrained, hooligan dogs and out-to-lunch owners) and I WILL NOT take my obedience titled dogs to one.  Never did, never will (but ESP not a puppy!)  

    I also DO NOT go on any green ways or trails WITHOUT mace.  Both my partner and I (with a 85 lb dog) have been ATTACKED by loose (escaped) or feral dogs including multiple Rottie mixes (PLURAL).  Try defending yourself & your dog from TWO or three Rottie mixes.  The mace HAD to be employed, to keep us safe. And - it WORKED!

    If you live in the states; coyotes are in every state and even IN cities including NY, NY.  If they have had a litter & are looking for food, I have seen newspaper cases - where they WENT FOR small pets.  Again, NO WAY would I be without mace, pepper spray or BEAR spray.

    • Jessica4 weeks agoReport

      Hi! Thank you for your input! 
      I understand. I talked to some of my friends about the incident and a lot of them had similar experiences with their larger dogs getting bullied.
      And yes! We carry mace bc we live in NorCal. I just would have never thought to use it on a dog :(

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  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    I've posted this before.  My GSD on lead was attacked by an offlead dog.  We tried a behaviorist, a trainer, a second behaviorist.  Nothing has changed.  We cannot walk her, and she hates other dogs.  My concern is that she gives no sign when she's about to lunge.  She doesn't try to bite or fight, but she does lunge, and if the other dog came back at her, she would attack.

    She weighs 125 pounds.  I don't take any chances with her.

    I broke a finger when my dog was attacked.

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  • 4 weeks ago

    i would just talk to the behaviorists about it

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  • Maxi
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Anxiety is displayed in four ways flight ( run away) freeze( stand still, frozen on the spot etc), flight ( growl, bark, lunge, bite) and fool around( carrying toys, very excited, lots of butt/tail wagging, submissive peeing etc) dogs only do what works and when one stops 'working' they will chose another....so his fooling around failed him and his next choice was fight ( forced into it or not) and is now using that as it 'works'.You assumed him being submissive was not a reactive behaviour of blind fear/ anxiety was 'acceptable'  so it was only a matter of time before his reaction changed to something that worked better for him and submissiveness/fooling around is often praised by owners as it is 'acceptable to humans...but he hasn't changed at all his reaction has changed which is not acceptable to humans

    Flooding or flood therapy is one way of changing this behaviour

    So you need to build his confidence and manage/control him ( so no off lead), lot of new places, lots of socialisation which means sights, sounds, smells of traffic, cows, horses, sheep, crowds, shops, rural etc etc it doesn't mean dog parks where there are excited, off lead and reactive dogs and it doesn't mean meeting/greeting other new dogs....... walking on a lead and a dog is also walking on lead the other side of the road both dogs learn about each other, from sight/smell they do not need to be next to each other..... you need calm situations, dogs under control /managed and daily and unless you have your timing spot on ( which most owners don't) my advice is no touching, talking or looking at your dog.... as if the dog is anxious/fearful and you pet or praise you are telling the dog that you want it to feel like it is feeling, so you would be praising fear and the behaviour will continue and/or could get worse.

    Build his confidence up with obedience and teach tricks, teaching things like "watch me"...easy to show a treat and put it next to your eye, once he give you eye contact you add the command word... you always teach action first then add command word once the dog does the action........and dogs will work harder if you do not free feed treats, so he gets to sniff the treat or lick the treat so keep it tight in your fingers as once he is given it he doesn't need to keep working...that is a useful command to get eye contact if when out and you need a distraction...he remembers positive behaviour, that builds his confidence, you have his attention...and he 'might' also get the  treat eventually.

    As a rule of thumb you need 10 positives to rebalance the 1 negative he had.............and you/your bf "let it go" live in the moment ( like dogs do) be aware you may be anxious, you may tighten the hold on his lead, you may over pet or verbally soothe him and all that means to him is you are anxious and if you (who is there to protect him) is anxious then he will also be anxious...so "build his confidence and manage/control him"...." no touching, talking, looking".... and you let the bad experience go so he can

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