Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Brooklyn, New York
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Hi All! I haven't posted in a long time but do come into the forum every couple of weeks to check out what's going on. I continue to learn from all of you and I hope you can help me.
I've tried my best, given my hectic schedule, to socialize Eli but think I've probably done an inadequate job of it.
Eli has always been shy with strangers but just before his second birthday Eli began to display particularly aggressive behavior toward large dogs and small children (guess they appear about the same size from where he stands). It only seems to be getting worse. He seems to be OK in a crowd setting. For example, when I take him to the park filled with kids and dogs he seems to tune them out - curiousity but no aggression. When I take him with me to pick up my son from school he doesn't react to large groups of kids in the school yard.
Normally, however, I walk him around the neighborhood where he comes into one-on-one contact with dogs and kids - that's when he gets aggressive. He appears to go on the attack, barking like mad, pulling his leash and (apparently) trying to jump and bite his "prey". When I walk him at night, he will sometimes react the same to adults walking toward us. The thing is, his behavior isn't consistent. Sometimes he will react and sometimes he won't. He's totally unpredictable. That's why I'm not sure how to address it. I hate to cross the street because I think that's not helping the situation but I don't want to anger other dog owners or scare small kids - especially because sometimes he gets it right and I want to encourage that behavior. Anybody dealing/dealt with this and have advice?
BTW, when new people come to our home he will bark at them for a bit but pretty quickly lay off after given the "quiet" command. He doesn't display the same aggressive behavior as he does with strangers he meets outside. Generally, he's super sweet and has an awesome disposition.