Dogs that bark at one another in the street can be a real challenge. Have you joined the ‘midnight walkers’ club because of your dog’s unruly behaviour on walks?
Listen in to the WildPaw podcast where we discuss ‘Dog on dog aggression’ below
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Key points we discuss in the show
– Should all dogs get along?
– Ask yourself the usual questions about an incident – where were you, what was target, how long did it last for, what did you do, dogs’ body language.
– Barking – what is the dog saying? Is it saying GO AWAY? or is it saying “WHAT IS THAT?” or is it saying “I WANT TO GET CLOSER TO SMELL WHAT THAT IS?” or ’MUST CHASE…!”
– Body language of the handler: this can interfere with what the dog is trying to show, if the handler reacts
– Leads. These can prevent a lot of normal body language from the dog.
– Environment – How about these things?
- Pavements that are narrow and straight
- People and owners and how they react
- People and owners and what they have learned to do over the years
- People and owners and what they have taught the DOG to do over the years
- Practice – practicing a behaviour makes it better. Bark – take dog away. Bark – take dog away. Bark – take dog away. This can build up fear of the unknown as well as frustration.
– Early history? How about socialisation – back to the puppy years. How much did the dog mix, and KEEP mixing with other dogs?
This can also be affected by owners if they are afraid to let their dog intermingle in case the dog is attacked. It may have been in a skirmish before!
Dogs need to interact to teach social skills, so your boisterous teenager dog may experience a few knock backs in time.
– Also be aware of the sex of your dog – female dogs in season? Male dogs that ae not castrated? Dont rely too heavily on the neutering argument in relation to behaviour, because it doesnt stop the brain from having an impact on sexual behaviours BUT do be aware that smell is important to dogs.
What to do?
Based on all the above, let’s describe the ‘perfect’ dog
Well socialised, with adequate control, from early puppyhood and kept continuously in contact without any major frights along the way
Good social skills as a result, which lead the dog to make decisions on potential threat, chase objects and how they might react to keep safe and happy
Plenty of mental and physical exercise to reduce pent up energy, but not to overdo it and frazzle their brain – give them rest times too!
Training. Teach the dog that impulse control IS ESSENTIAL. Snatching, charging, jumping up, all these things are anti-social behaviours and are the same in the dog world as well
Good handling – owners be aware of your body language day in day out – what are you doing? This is fundamentally the most important part for me to teach to owners that have problems.
Each issue above will be dealt with in a forthcoming blog in more detail – in the meantime we love your comments so please write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org
This episode of the WildPaw podcast was made possible by 2Pure Pet Products! recommended by pet behaviour specialists to get rid of odours and bacteria caused by spraying, marking, or house training accidents!