Aggressive dog getting better

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Chrisjgraham

Boxer Pal
Hi everyone. I have a 2 year old neutered male boxer, George. He's always been a nervous dog, and although he adores my other dog (2 year old neutered pug) he's a terror around most other dogs, male or female. I've been working really hard with him, desensitising him to other dogs, ensuring he pays more attention to me etc.
Today, I took both dogs to a country show here in the UK. Lots of farm animals, dozens of other dogs that my boys have never seen before. George was wonderful. A few sniffs, a little play dance with a charming spaniel, no growling, lunging, infact he mostly ignored other dogs and just looked at me! I feel sooooo happy!!!!! There is hope!
 

tastubbs

Boxer Insane
That's great! The same thing worked with Tyson who was always quite agressive to other dogs. The more I exposed him to multiple doggy/people situations, the less bothered he seemed by a single dog.
 

winstonqmama

Boxer Pal
Great!

That's wonderful! Any tips for desensitizing him to other dogs? My 9 month old boxer (male, neutered) loved playing with other dogs but was always a bit frisky, and now I think he seems to be getting more aggressive towards them. :(
 

LILYLARUE

Boxer Insane
That's wonderful! Any tips for desensitizing him to other dogs? My 9 month old boxer (male, neutered) loved playing with other dogs but was always a bit frisky, and now I think he seems to be getting more aggressive towards them. :(

As described in your other thread, he is in the second fear-imprint stage. He is learning to react to other dogs in his own way - a way that works because you probably take him away from the other dog pretty quickly don't ya? Welp, he is practicing on his own how to make scary things go away! Nip it in the bud. Keep him at a distance now from other dogs for a while. Allow him to see them from a distance without having to revert to his behaviors. Allow him to gain some confidence. When he sees another dog, allow him to just watch the other dog. Get his attention and treat him when he is relaxed. Do this a few times over a couple days. Then you can start to move closer to other dogs, 3-5 ft at a time, still praising when he is relaxed and not reacting in any way. Eventually you will be able to introduce him to other dogs again, but baby steps til you get there. Don't rush him. Allow him to learn that he has other options than reacting - like looking at you for direction, treating for good behavior, praises, and that you will control the situation so he doesn't have to. If he wasn't on a leash, I bet instead of reacting, he would run away. Since he is on a leash, he has no options in his mind (no flight, so fight is left), so you have to teach him those options.
 

Chrisjgraham

Boxer Pal
With George, I tried all manner of things! Exposing him to new situations, even just a new area to go for a lead walk, has really helped his confidence, and he finally started to trust me.
I've worked very hard on ensuring he walks at my side, no pulling on the lead as that just increases his excitement. I found that changing direction when we were out and about worked best, he had to pay more attention to me and has got to know that he has to listen to me! If he does something wrong, I never reprimand him verbally as he doesn't speak English! Body language is much better, blocking him, making him stay behind me so he knows that I will take charge of anything we might encounter. Saying that, when he does something right, I really praise him, I mean REALLY praise him. I don't bother with treats, just make a fuss of him. He knows he's done the right thing!
When I was at the country show as explained in op, I actually mostly ignored him! He was by my side, I didn't even bother to look to see if anyone was wanting to stroke him, or if another dog wanted to sniff him. My partner told me later that George was sniffing and being sniffed at by many new dogs.
I've attended a few sessions for aggressive dogs, all dogs muzzled, all learn to ignore each other. It was ok, but George hated going, he would shake and slobber. It got him used to being close to other dogs, which was good but I felt awful putting him through it. However, I saw a dog behaviourist here in Essex who has been really helpful (and free!!!!!!) He has said to intervene when George shows the slightest reaction, and to only move forward when George is completely relaxed and submissive. It is really working.
Lastly (thank goodness I can hear everyone saying) I realised my pug Arthur was a bully! I've worked on him, so George sees that I'll protect him from anyone, even a little thug pug.
 

LILYLARUE

Boxer Insane
With George, I tried all manner of things! Exposing him to new situations, even just a new area to go for a lead walk, has really helped his confidence, and he finally started to trust me.
I've worked very hard on ensuring he walks at my side, no pulling on the lead as that just increases his excitement. I found that changing direction when we were out and about worked best, he had to pay more attention to me and has got to know that he has to listen to me! If he does something wrong, I never reprimand him verbally as he doesn't speak English! Body language is much better, blocking him, making him stay behind me so he knows that I will take charge of anything we might encounter. Saying that, when he does something right, I really praise him, I mean REALLY praise him. I don't bother with treats, just make a fuss of him. He knows he's done the right thing!
When I was at the country show as explained in op, I actually mostly ignored him! He was by my side, I didn't even bother to look to see if anyone was wanting to stroke him, or if another dog wanted to sniff him. My partner told me later that George was sniffing and being sniffed at by many new dogs.
I've attended a few sessions for aggressive dogs, all dogs muzzled, all learn to ignore each other. It was ok, but George hated going, he would shake and slobber. It got him used to being close to other dogs, which was good but I felt awful putting him through it. However, I saw a dog behaviourist here in Essex who has been really helpful (and free!!!!!!) He has said to intervene when George shows the slightest reaction, and to only move forward when George is completely relaxed and submissive. It is really working.
Lastly (thank goodness I can hear everyone saying) I realised my pug Arthur was a bully! I've worked on him, so George sees that I'll protect him from anyone, even a little thug pug.

Awesome!!!! You followed the best advice and saw the results! You also gained trust from your dog, so he knows he can trust you to have his back in any situation. And as for the little bully of the house, he is learning that you will control the situation and he needs to step back. KUDOS TO A GREAT DOG OWNER!!!! Applause, applause!!!!
 
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