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.