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Upbringing & character How to care for a puppy, how to socialize it, the most common problems with CzW, how to solve them....

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Old 05-12-2006, 04:57   #1
Shade
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Default HELP: Problem with dog aggression

My wife and I are in need of some advice. We have a 14month-old CzW, and in the past few months, she's started to show aggression towards certain dogs. This has quickly become a problem as she's now bitten three dogs. In all cases, the dogs are VERY submissive (one was a female Blue Heeler, one a female Poodle, the other a male mutt). Other than their submissive nature, there seems to be no connections. She has shown aggression towards some other dogs as well, but, again, there seems to be no common thread between them.

How do we deal with this?

Some background:
Emma (our CzW) has been with us for a year now, and we have always heavily socialized her. She is around dozens of dogs each week, going to training classes, to the dog park, to the beach, on walks. This agression used to come up once a month, but now it's about once every 10 days that we see her be aggressive towards another dog.


Any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated, as we would like to stop this, but we cannot correct it until it happens (which doesn't happen often enough for a proper lesson).
-AM
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Old 05-12-2006, 07:35   #2
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It is not possible to give proper advise on cases like this without seeing the dog. The best would be to find a good behaviourist in your area with experience with wolfdogs (what very likely will be impossible) or someone with much experience with wolfdogs.
There are too many possible reasons for that behaviour.
The most common is comming in heat combined with not clear enough rules for the dog. In my experience most adult wolfdogs don´t like every other dog but can be controled in that by obedience.

Tatra
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Old 05-12-2006, 08:32   #3
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Sorry,
too early for me. I signed in the name of my dog (unauthorisized)

Ina
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Old 05-12-2006, 09:54   #4
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Default Re: HELP: Problem with dog aggression

Quote:
Originally Posted by AMUSIX
My wife and I are in need of some advice. We have a 14month-old CzW, and in the past few months, she's started to show aggression towards certain dogs. This has quickly become a problem as she's now bitten three dogs. In all cases, the dogs are VERY submissive (one was a female Blue Heeler, one a female Poodle, the other a male mutt). Other than their submissive nature, there seems to be no connections. She has shown aggression towards some other dogs as well, but, again, there seems to be no common thread between them.
Hi, we had similar case, but it is getting much better, so I will tell you what we are doing about it, ok? I am not saying it is the best thing, but it works quite well. It would also help to know more about exactly where and in which circumstances your dog shows aggression (walk, dog training, around the house ..).

Our dog, Mery, was also properly socialised, goes to training club, loves to play with dogs. She´s two years now and still can play both with males and females. However, she also would love to bully submisive dogs, shy dogs and clearly old dogs. And some dog breeds she hates plainly just because.

First thing, I do not let my dog (or both dogs) close to other dogs, unless I know the other dog and his behaviour. Everytime I see some other dog (when on a walk), I call my dogs back and put them on leash. Then, if things are fine and the other dog is friendly, my dogs can go play. If it is clear it would not work, I do not allow them to meet it. If the dog is off leash, I ask the owner to put on leash. Saves at least 80% of the trouble.

Second thing, if I see my dog is too agitated about the other dogs and ready to be aggressive, I am trying to distract it with treats. The goal is to redirect my dogs attention from the dog to me, pay me attention, get her to do what I want (heel, walk away or sit). That gives her chance to calm down and we can go away from the problematic dog. The more I do it, the more my dog pays attention to me, when she sees other dogs. It is like - look, dog! - where´s my cookie? It does not work 100% yet, but then we started it only few weeks ago.

Third thing, I believe your dog is just maturing, she is trying to improve her status among the other dogs. And of course, it is easier to bully the submissive dogs, than the selfconfident one´s. Easiest thing so far is again not to let her close to other dogs, if you do not know their behaviour and you can´t trust Emma.

As Ina says, improving your leadership role would probably also greatly help. I´d recommend reading this book (can be ordered via Amazon) - Patricia McConnel - The Other End of the Leash. It has been of great help to me.

Good luck, Mirka
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Old 05-12-2006, 10:15   #5
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Hi, I would recommend reading advices on this webpage: http://www.webtrail.com/petbehavior/case.html.

As Mirka says, the best thing to do is to redirect attention and make dog do something what you can reward. It is not good to punish the dog for being aggresive, as it will connect the punishment with seeing other dogs.

I am happy to have a fairly submissive 9 months old bitch (we will see if it holds), but I always try to make her greet dogs which we meet by greeting them myself happily from distance (although the owners might think I am crazy) and catch her attention if she is barked at by an aggresive dog behind a fence.
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Old 05-12-2006, 12:41   #6
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I agree with Saschia absolutely.

Also, I feel that it is good to add to my previous post (if I could edit my post, I´d do it), that my dog Mery actually never bit any other dog. All the correcting training and measures that I described, we started to use straight after Mery showed aggressive and abusing behaviour towards one or two submissive dogs.

It might be a bit more difficult and more long-termed process to change behaviour of a dog, that already had a lot of practise in biting into other dogs. But of course, it can be done.
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Old 05-12-2006, 13:50   #7
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Thanks Mirka for support ;o)

To support her being submissive I also do thing I am not really sure is right - if she plays with other dogs and they start dominating, I praise her for being submissive. Of course I don't let the other dog hurt her - the scenario is usual that she plays with a small dog, which becomes scared and "attacks" her, she gets on her back and the other dog then feels OK and plays with her.

I don't think this this method would work with every dog, fortunately Frei is a big optimist and very friendly and she doesn't hold grudges against dogs or people for making her uncorfotable (she is friendly with the vet even after "emptying" the anal glands and being chipped).
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Old 06-12-2006, 23:36   #8
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Default Thank you, all

Thank you all so much. Mirka, we have already been using your suggestions a bit, but we will do it more now. It's jsut tough seeing our Emma, who has always been great with other dogs, suddenly be aggressive towards some.

As for the other questions, there's no real connection where these incidents happen. There have been three times so far. One at a dog park, one at a walk, and one at my mother's house. Looking at other message boards, it seems this is a general dog issue, and not something that only comes up with CsW's.

Thank you again,
-AM
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Old 07-12-2006, 14:37   #9
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Default Re: Thank you, all

Quote:
Originally Posted by AMUSIX
It's jsut tough seeing our Emma, who has always been great with other dogs, suddenly be aggressive towards some.
-AM
Yeah, I do understand you. However, it is a tough fact, that most of our belowed wolfdogs, when mature, tend to be very territorial, pack oriented and generally difficult with other dogs (especially with dogs of the same sex). It is all about status-seeking for them.

But I believe, as with other dogs, it can be modified and improved by training. Just it requires patience and often also help and understanding from the other dog owners (which is rather impossible to get, often).
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Old 04-05-2007, 19:53   #10
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A book written by uk author Jan Fennell "The dog listener" is very informative on training methods for dogs.Her training methods are based foremost on the fact that dogs are pack animals and understanding this species is foremost in the training methods applied. It makes very interesting reading.I am not a Csw owner but am very experienced in dog ownership and training, one of my dogs I have currently having wolfdog blood running through his veins.
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Old 06-05-2007, 17:29   #11
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It is nothing new, csw becoming adult from 1 1/2 to 3 years can become some kind of heavier to other dogs. But the advices from Mirka sounds good to me. I do it like she does and it helps. But try to be calm when "working" with your dog. Become chief of pack.

Christian
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Old 07-05-2007, 13:11   #12
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Default Re: HELP: Problem with dog aggression

Quote:
Originally Posted by AMUSIX
My wife and I are in need of some advice. We have a 14month-old CzW, and in the past few months, she's started to show aggression towards certain dogs.
I think is normal...she is a csw not a "park puppy". And she's becoming an adult, may be with a not well balanced character, but the problem is if she bite peoples...biting other dogs is not a problem.
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Old 07-05-2007, 17:52   #13
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To be honest guys, I was following my advices too, but I have the same problem My younger female has ultimate need to be "showing off" to all other females (and also to shy males, sick dogs and old dogs).
However I believe the problem is not in the advices, they are good and they really work. The problem is me not working on it regularly and not being consistent enough. Of course, the dog is fool too, but well..
I agree with Navarre that CSW is not a park dog and will never behave like a golden retriever. I disagree that it is o.k. if CSW bites other dogs. That is not good at all and should be prevented.
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Old 07-05-2007, 18:33   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirkawolf1
I disagree that it is o.k. if CSW bites other dogs. That is not good at all and should be prevented.
Sorry, I don't wrote well : I want to say that you can't FORCE your adult csw to play with other adult females, but obliviously you MUST control it (with training and/or leash).

But should be clear (and many time is not so) that a dog that bark or gnarls to other dog is NOT an "aggressive dog", as I hear many times.
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Old 08-05-2007, 21:18   #15
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I actually found that the book "Fight! A Practical Guide to the Treatment of Dog-Dog Aggression" by Jean Donaldson gives lots of very good advice on the problem.

But as Mirka says - having the advice is only half the solution, implementing it is the other half. We basically have two problems with it - first is consistency. It is really really difficult to be consistent. When you have all the time in the world it's not so bad, but in real life you are often working under time constraints, and that means you don't always have the time at the moment of an incident (aggression display) to correct it as you might like.

The other problem lies in the fact that the best way to correct dog-dog aggression requires interaction with other dogs, not as socialization, but rather to teach your own dog not to be aggressive. Unfortunately such exercises (described in great detail in the book above) are nearly impossible to perform as we simply don't know enough people with dogs and time to be able to carry out this training.

Bah... life is complicated, and wolfdogs never make things easy - but that's why we love them. (maybe)
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