barking at big male dogs, what's up with that? - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-26-2010, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
Jacqueline
 
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barking at big male dogs, what's up with that?

Ok, I have a 1/2 hav, 1/2 shih tzu, intact male, 7 months old, Ollie. He is on his way to be a certified therapy dog, so I took great care to socialize him with lots of puppies, dogs, ppl, kids, you name it. He has been nothing but friendly with every living thing till, last week.

I should mention, the very first pupply class Ollie was in, he got beat up by a lab mix puppy. by beat up i mean repeatedly pinned with the lab's mouth down to the ground. Ollie finally got snarky with the lab mix pup, but the pup was 3x Ollie's size and the pup didn't care. the trainer's philosophy is that the lab mix pup had to be able to read Ollie's signals, if humans interfered the lab mix pup would never understand what he did. I personally completely disagree. From that, I feel that Ollie doesn't like dogs with that type of similar energy. He plays rowdy with his friends just fine, but he doesn't that initial invasion of space. Other than that, his experiences have been very positive with dogs and ppl.

I took him last week to run thru the assessment for a therapy dog. I didn't think he'd pass certain items (like 3 min. away from me, or sit nicely for grooming), but he actually did fine with that, he freaked out at the 'friendly' dog, which as an intact lab male. 80 lbs maybe. he barked and snarled. basically went off on him. the lab did nothing.
the lab had a little tent to hang out in, b/t meeting the dogs for assessment, Ollie sniffed him ok thru the tent, then promptly marked a corner of the tent. Then, he tried 3 other times to mark the tent with the dog in it. I stayed late so Ollie could meet the lab and get over it, but Ollie still growled (not as bad). later I dropped the leash and Ollie came within 1.5 ft of the lab, no growling but didn't greet him. all along the lab did nothing.
the owner of the lab at the therapy dog assessment is the president of the club that hosts it and holds other training classes, she thought it was a matter of training for Ollie. Ollie did greet 3 females that day , just fine, 2 50+ lbs, and one was a cocker spaniel, 1 yr old.

Then today I was socializing him with another hav girl puppy in front of Peet's coffee. a smallish german shepherd male was waiting about 10 feet away and my boy just went 1/2 ballastic on him. The german shepherd did nothing. Ollie calmed down but kept an eye on the dog. Then 5 minutes later they walked by Ollie (he was tied to a bench, I'm sitting right there) Ollie lunged at the german shepherd as he walked by,Ollie - barking snarling, and other fun stuff.

Yesterday, he met my neighbor's friendly new foundlands. both girls. One under a yr old, the other is like 7 yrs old. they greeted fine, but I noticed the girls didn't move away after sniffing a lot of Ollie's parts. they stayed 4inches from his face. Ollie gave a medium growl after 2 min. of it, but the girls didn't move. The owner finally moved her dogs away from Ollie, thinking Ollie might snap at their face.

Last weekend he 'met' a aussie shepherd, boy. 4 yrs old. Ollie didn't go all the way up to sniff him, he stopped about 2 ft from him. The aussie moved slowly toward Ollie and at some moments stopped. When he got within a foot of Ollie (stationery the whole time), he gave a little growl.

anyway, even though my other dog is a 125 lb anatolian female, it seems perhaps Ollie at 11.6 lbs has a small napoleon complex? He doesn't do that to does under 40 lbs. and never to a puppy. He really doesn't like it when the smell his butt, but dont' let him smell theirs. He seems to get annoyed and growls a little.

I just wanted to know if this is common, or if my little Ollie is a bit of a freak.

I realized after the therapy dog assessment he hadn't met any intact adult males, maybe one when he was 12 weeks old and Ollie ducked under a bench, when the dog came up to him, a big golden.

Last week, Ollie met some neighborhood dogs his met before, a male/female pair of samoyeds, fixed. They always rush up on Ollie and sniff him a really long time 2 minutes +. This time, as always Ollie calmly let them sniff him, then he wanted to move on and greet some other dogs (there were 4 dogs total, all big, doby, greater swissy) when he started to walk away the samoyeds came up on him again, and i guess he didn't like that, and he gave a medium growl, and when the dogs didn't back off he gave a louder growl, at that point me and the other owner separated them.

Is he resource guarding me? protecting me from another male? fear agression? would getting him fixed (which I am going to do, but was going to wait till he was full grown at 1 yr), would that help him, or make him worse?

please let me know your thoughts, I am so surprised by the turn in his behavior. He continues to greet every other new dog just fine. seems to be 50+ lb males for the most part, or if there are 2 or more dogs that crowd him.

I was going to contract a trainer who does conformation, and see if Ollie could meet some intact males after training classes, hoping to desensitize him. I do have to say, Ollie doesn't hold a grudge. I've seen him get pinned in puppy class, and then lick that dog in the face 1 minute later and play just fine with the same puppy.

what's up???
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-26-2010, 07:48 PM
Dave T
 
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A lot of information. It is not advisable for me to comment. With aggression issues , a professional has to see this and figure out what is bothering him. It is very easy to misdiagnose things when it comes to aggession. Get a professional with experience in aggression.

Dave and Molly
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-26-2010, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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I didn't want to give an incomplete picture. That's why the long post.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-26-2010, 08:03 PM
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yeah that's fine, and these stories are fine to mention to a professional. But someone has to see your dog. The trainers in our group at Ipdta will not comment or give advice via email or over the phone,when it comes to aggession problems. Generalities maybe, but like I said your perception might not be not in line with what is actually going on. There is too much risk trying to solve these issues, without seeing what is going on.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-26-2010, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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I'm posting here to see if it's an issue with other havanese, greeting big dogs on leash that is. Just in the sense of their level of reaction to bigger dogs.

I personally think it has to do with me. Meaning when my dog is close to me by proximity, he seems to guard me in some way, as a resource or protecting me. He goes to off leash parks twice a month and he greets big dogs fine off leash, with me 50-100 yds away. He even follows his new friends along the trail forgetting all about me.

My leash is always slack and loose when Ollie meets any dog.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-26-2010, 08:20 PM
Dave T
 
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Actually here is an old email I retrieved from our IPDTA site. I am quoting our president

"When it comes to aggression I never make a judgment call based on a second
hand email. There are usually a number of contributing factors and missing
one, a mis-diagnosis or making a mistake can have serious consequences.
Greg and I were at the home of one of my CCS students on Saturday to work
with what she assumed was a fear aggressive dog. Turned out it was not fear
at all.

I always advise my CCS students and graduates not to advise on aggression
through email or over the phone, but to instead do a complete behavioural
evaluation on the dog and family if they feel they are qualified to do so
and if not, so refer the dog to someone who is. "

Norma Jeanne Laurette
HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE!

Dave and Molly
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-26-2010, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sprorchid View Post
I'm posting here to see if it's an issue with other havanese, greeting big dogs on leash that is. Just in the sense of their level of reaction to bigger dogs.

I personally think it has to do with me. Meaning when my dog is close to me by proximity, he seems to guard me in some way, as a resource or protecting me. He goes to off leash parks twice a month and he greets big dogs fine off leash, with me 50-100 yds away. He even follows his new friends along the trail forgetting all about me.

My leash is always slack and loose when Ollie meets any dog.
Aggression is common in all dogs. It might not be big dogs that he is reacting to . That might just be what that dog was. The dog could have been giving off threatening body language. Could be something entirely different.

Dave and Molly
Ian Dunbar was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award from I.P.D.T.A. Here's a picture of me accepting the award on his behalf.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-26-2010, 08:30 PM
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A couple of comments, but no advice. I think what Dave said is good advice.

I am surprised that they used an intact male for the neutral dog. I think that would be challenging for most dogs who are being assessed.

I have 2 Delta therapy dogs and they are not good while walking on leash in the neighborhood. They bark and lunge at some other dogs the minute they see them approaching.
I just got the Feisty Fido book and am working on the problem.
It amazes me that when we are with the therapy dogs and are visiting, they never bark and are usually on their best behavior.
Of course I have only one with me when we visit and that may have something to do with it.

The more I read about the aggression on leash, the more I am discovering that it is a problem that many smaller dogs have.
When I had only one dog, it wasn't an issue. As we have added dogs to the family, it has become more of a problem. I know that it is going to take a long time and much training to overcome this behavior.

I'd be interested in knowing how many other folks on this forum have this barking/lunging on leash proble with their Havs???

Nan
Chico, Cali, and Finnegan
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-26-2010, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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I appreciate Dave's advice, and I'm already in contact with two good trainers that know Ollie from a pup. I wasn't looking for a solution so much as incidence of this particular issue.

I know hav's aren't guardy by nature, so I'm trying to get some schema of why my little guy turned into Dr. Jekyl.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-26-2010, 09:20 PM
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here's a quote from Fiesty Fido by Patricia McConnell

If you have a dog that reacts on leash, There's a lot of good news. First of all if your dog is barking and lunging on leash ,know that you are not alone.This is a very common behavioral problem even in dogs who "play well with others when running free in the dog park" .

Now, why your dog is doing this is another matter.

Dave and Molly
Ian Dunbar was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award from I.P.D.T.A. Here's a picture of me accepting the award on his behalf.
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