Managing Dog Aggression

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Postby Michael » October 26th, 2009, 9:03 pm

**divided from Missy's "new foster dog" thread, but some posts vaporized, sorry about that :oops: Michelle**

I'm just gonna give some quick thoughts here... Gotty looks like a happy guy.

I have lived in muliple large dog households for the past 14 years or so. Seen many fights and scuffles and showdowns. I am of the opinion that crating and barriers only exacerbate the problem. They make it a ticking time bomb. Eventually the issue has to be dealt with. However, not everyone is capable of breaking up a dog fight between strong dogs if one occurs, so it's reasonable to be afraid and rely on cages and barriers.

That's okay for a time, but is not a long term solution.

But here's the thing. A family who walks together and runs together and plays together becomes a pack and will be much less likely to fight in the house and have the need to be separated in the house.

With fighting dogs, get them to get along on walks, *outside* the house first. Preferably long walks. This is where they become a pack. On the hunt. And to a dog, a walk is a hunt. The more you segregate dogs, the less familiar they are with each other, and the more testy they will be if they come in contact.

That being said, you also have to be ready and have the tools ready to break up fights and you should expect them to occur if you decide to move away from the segregation angle. I use basketballs, tennis rackets (I like sports equipment!). But it's not so much breaking up fights that is important. What is important is breaking up the thoughts which lead to fighting.

So I'm just going to give you one step for starters. More walks or yard play together with the antagonistic dogs.



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Postby DemoDick » October 26th, 2009, 9:21 pm

dogtvcom wrote:I'm just gonna give some quick thoughts here... Gotty looks like a happy guy.

I have lived in muliple large dog households for the past 14 years or so. Seen many fights and scuffles and showdowns. I am of the opinion that crating and barriers only exacerbate the problem. They make it a ticking time bomb. Eventually the issue has to be dealt with. However, not everyone is capable of breaking up a dog fight between strong dogs if one occurs, so it's reasonable to be afraid and rely on cages and barriers.

That's okay for a time, but is not a long term solution.

But here's the thing. A family who walks together and runs together and plays together becomes a pack and will be much less likely to fight in the house and have the need to be separated in the house.

With fighting dogs, get them to get along on walks, *outside* the house first. Preferably long walks. This is where they become a pack. On the hunt. And to a dog, a walk is a hunt. The more you segregate dogs, the less familiar they are with each other, and the more testy they will be if they come in contact.

That being said, you also have to be ready and have the tools ready to break up fights and you should expect them to occur if you decide to move away from the segregation angle. I use basketballs, tennis rackets (I like sports equipment!). But it's not so much breaking up fights that is important. What is important is breaking up the thoughts which lead to fighting.

So I'm just going to give you one step for starters. More walks or yard play together with the antagonistic dogs.



michael


This is some of the most dangerous and wrong-headed advice I have ever seen on this forum.

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Postby madremissy » October 26th, 2009, 9:26 pm

Gotty is a happy boy. Thank you. :D

So I'm just going to give you one step for starters. More walks or yard play together with the antagonistic dogs.


I am only going to address this. Thank you for your opinion but where I live (which is in the middle of nowhere USA) I can not walk them both at the same time. I have two many off leash dogs, wild animals and distractions for me to worry about. I am more comfortable walking them one at a time. When I have someone else here they do get walked together and are fine.

They can not get yard time together unless Kinzyl is on lead which does happen sometimes but not alot.
I give Gotty plenty of yard time with fetch and his spring pole. I have a very large porch that they play together on. Even though it is like a herd of elephants romping around. :elephant:
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Postby TheRedQueen » October 26th, 2009, 9:30 pm

With fighting dogs, get them to get along on walks, *outside* the house first. Preferably long walks. This is where they become a pack. On the hunt. And to a dog, a walk is a hunt. The more you segregate dogs, the less familiar they are with each other, and the more testy they will be if they come in contact.


My guys (not pit bulls) all live out in the house and yard together...I don't have to crate and rotate my dogs. However, even with living, eating, sleeping together...they still can be testy and cranky with each other. lol Sawyer and Inara do NOT play together, sleep near each other, and snark at each other at least once a week. The others all get along fine...but these two get snippy when in close contact. I crated them next to each other at flyball last Friday, and they started cage fighting... :rolleyes2: Seriously guys?

We're nowhere near having to crate/rotate...but they're never left alone together...(which is easy because Sawyer goes everywhere with John, being a Service Dog)...things just chug along okay. But just because they're in a "pack" together, does not make them happy about it.
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Postby mnp13 » October 27th, 2009, 1:16 pm

T was suggested that I just "sit" on this, but I have some concerns that some of these posts could be taken the wrong way - not by some of our "older" members, but by newer members or by people just browsing the forum. Because of this, I am going to address this post and some of the others in this thread.

I have lived in muliple large dog households for the past 14 years or so. Seen many fights and scuffles and showdowns. I am of the opinion that crating and barriers only exacerbate the problem. They make it a ticking time bomb. Eventually the issue has to be dealt with. However, not everyone is capable of breaking up a dog fight between strong dogs if one occurs, so it's reasonable to be afraid and rely on cages and barriers.


I don't think many people here are "afraid" of anything. In fact, most people are quite capable of breaking up a fight between their dogs, because they have the knowledge of how to do so. Does it take physical strength? Yes, of course, but more importantly, breaking up a dog fight takes a clear head and a little planning.

Crating and barriers exacerbate the problem when used incorrectly. We are not talking about using a gate in between two dogs that are aggressive. That would, of course, increase the problem by introducing barrier frustration on top of everything else. When gates are recommended for separating dogs, they are recommended for dogs that don't have "specific" issues, but need to be separated as a precaution. If barrier issues appear or escalate, then different separation methods would need to be explored if training does not work to diffuse the behavior.

But here's the thing. A family who walks together and runs together and plays together becomes a pack and will be much less likely to fight in the house and have the need to be separated in the house.


Dog aggressive dogs can not just "play" with any other dog. Many of us have dogs that get along with a select few other dogs, but are not able to be with most of the "general dog population."

With fighting dogs, get them to get along on walks, *outside* the house first. Preferably long walks. This is where they become a pack. On the hunt. And to a dog, a walk is a hunt. The more you segregate dogs, the less familiar they are with each other, and the more testy they will be if they come in contact.


I would question your experience with fighting breeds in particular and dogs in general with this paragraph. Please explain how "a walk is a hunt." I know people who hunt with their dogs, and hunts are high drive activities. When non-traditional breeds are used in hunting situations they are not usually turned out with the traditional hunting breeds because when they get into drive they don't always "remember" that the quarry is ahead of them.

My dog Riggs hunts... other dogs when he gets the chance.

That being said, you also have to be ready and have the tools ready to break up fights and you should expect them to occur if you decide to move away from the segregation angle. I use basketballs, tennis rackets (I like sports equipment!)


I truly have no idea what you mean by this. What does sports equipment have to do with breaking up fights?

So I'm just going to give you one step for starters. More walks or yard play together with the antagonistic dogs.


Yard play, as in together?

The most dangerous tactic is to avoid the issue. It's like watching a football team go into "prevent" defense. The only thing it prevents is winning. It's hard to confront dog aggression head on. It's a risk. It is dangerous, yes. But not nearly as dangerous as not confronting it.


Since I don't watch football, I have no idea what this analogy is supposed to mean. I personally don't find anything very risky about dealing with dog aggression. You just manage it. If your dog hates other dogs you keep it away from other dogs or you teach it to control itself around other dogs. It's all management.

So I see you're not a dog trainer or a dog behaviorist. Thanks for the heads up but I already figured that out. But you are a respected regular here and I expected some flack from people who don't agree with me and this is completely normal. Nice to meet you too.


You weren't talking to me of course, but what makes one a "behaviorist"? With few exceptions, most "behaviorists" are self titled and don't know much past looking at a dog and telling you that they have bad behavior. Any decent trainer is a behaviorist by nature, or they wouldn't be able to train a dog.
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Postby amazincc » October 27th, 2009, 1:20 pm

dogtvcom wrote:
I have lived in muliple large dog households for the past 14 years or so. Seen many fights and scuffles and showdowns. I am of the opinion that crating and barriers only exacerbate the problem. They make it a ticking time bomb. Eventually the issue has to be dealt with. However, not everyone is capable of breaking up a dog fight between strong dogs if one occurs, so it's reasonable to be afraid and rely on cages and barriers.


Woah!!! Really???
I personally am of the opinion that crating and barriers are sometimes neccessary to avoid fights and scuffles in the first place. Just like people, not all dogs get along all the time, but it is wrong to assume that they are going to turn into "ticking time bombs".
When one chooses to live in a multiple-dog household it ultimately becomes the owners responsebility to ensure every dogs safety at all times, since the dogs involved have very little choice in the matter of where, and/or whom, they'll be living with.
I have never been afraid of my dogs and I am dealing w/certain issues by using crates, barriers, drag leashes, etc. ... whatever works for my mutts, and depending on what the situation calls for.

That's okay for a time, but is not a long term solution.


It very well may be at my house.

But here's the thing. A family who walks together and runs together and plays together becomes a pack and will be much less likely to fight in the house and have the need to be separated in the house.
With fighting dogs, get them to get along on walks, *outside* the house first. Preferably long walks. This is where they become a pack. On the hunt. And to a dog, a walk is a hunt. The more you segregate dogs, the less familiar they are with each other, and the more testy they will be if they come in contact.


Again - I disagree. I do all that (w/3 dogs), and then some. I also don't segregate my dogs - but I do separate them on occasion by crating/rotating. I think there is a HUGE difference.

That being said, you also have to be ready and have the tools ready to break up fights and you should expect them to occur if you decide to move away from the segregation angle. I use basketballs, tennis rackets (I like sports equipment!). But it's not so much breaking up fights that is important. What is important is breaking up the thoughts which lead to fighting.


I try to avoid having to resort to those methods in the first place.
And if you can tell me exactly how to recognize "the thoughts which lead to fighting" - I'll pay you a fortune, and be forever grateful.
Most of the time I can't, for the life of me, pin-point the true source of why my dogs get snarky w/each other... they just do.
Having two (or more) somewhat hard-headed, opiniated dogs in one household - and especially Pit Bulls - sometimes calls for very creative management since something as insignificant as an ant fart can lead to disagreements.

I also don't want to "confront" a Pit Bulls DA as much as I want to manage it... a confontation might become deadly, and that's not the goal here.
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Postby BigDogBuford » October 27th, 2009, 1:38 pm

I feel bad for DA dogs who belong to people who insist on making them 'like' and 'play' with other dogs. And I'm not talking about teaching a DA dog simple manners around other dogs. Or working with a DA dog and eventually having a few, chosen dogs the DA dog likes/tolerates. I'm talking about the people who insist that a dog is a pack animal and absolutely needs other dog friends to be happy and continually puts the dog in a position as such. What a terribly stressful life for the dog. It seems like it's more about the needs/issues of the owner than the dog.
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Postby mnp13 » October 27th, 2009, 3:03 pm

So... someone pointed me in the direction of the answer to my sports equipment question –

http://ezinearticles.com/?Breaking-Up-D ... id=2231349

And, frankly, the title is WAY off - That is exactly NOT how to do it with any dogs that are actually in a real fight. As in, two dogs who want to fight, not one who is the aggressor and one who really just wants to be left alone.

You can follow the link above to read the article in its entirety sans commentary, or read it below with my comments in blue.

Breaking Up Dog Fights is Hard to Do But This is How You Do It

Unless the dogs in question are actually both willing to fight, and then this is exactly how NOT to do it

By Michael T Patton, with commentary by Michelle

Dogs will fight for a variety of reasons. Some dogs simply just don't like each other. Sometimes dogs fight out of fear known as "fear aggression." Some dogs attack out of dominance, known as "dominance aggression." A lot of dogs exhibit a little bit of both. Some dogs fight out of confidence, these are the dogs that often give few, if any, warning signs. One of the worst kind of fights that can occur is a "food fight" in which dogs attack other dogs to steal food or bones, or defend their food/bones/rawhides from other dogs. This is when the wolf will come out in the cute and cuddly dog that sits underneath your desk or nuzzles into the crook of your arm on the couch. In a flash, dogs can go from happy, goofy and friendly into wild and vicious animals with teeth flashing, hair on end and eyes ablaze. And if you get in the way, the WRONG way, you will be bitten, sometimes savagely.

Don't blame the dog. He's in another world when this happens. It's like he goes into hyperspace, fueled only by fear, rage and adrenaline and your commands will not work. The bottom line is this. When dogs start fighting, you need to stop it and stop it quickly and it's really not important why the fight started. You just need to stop it and stop it as quickly as you can. Not true. Taking a few seconds to gather yourself and plan exactly what you are going to do can make a big difference for both you and the dogs. Getting a leash or another person to help might take a minute, but it may mean the difference between getting them apart in one try instead of multiple times. Later on, we can worry about what was the cause of the problem.

In the resource section there is a link where you can find an extraordinary video showing an experienced dog expert/biologist stopping a dog fight the right way. And the right way is this. FAST. Do it fast. Don't hesitate. Don't let it escalate. Don't let the dogs get locked onto each other. If you have more than two dogs, it can spin off into a riot /melee in which multiple dogs are attacking one dog or each other.

In any dog fight, there will be an aggressor. One dog who is firestarter. One dog who is more eager for the fight. Grab that dog. Don't worry about the other dog. Get control of one dog and you get control of the fight. Smaller dogs, you can lift off the ground to remove them from the fray. Bigger dogs, you whip around and face them away from the other dog. In the fight video cited in the resource section, the human/fight breaker upper picks up an 80 lb dog and removes him from the scene. If you can't lift a dog that large or larger, try to whip them around and face them away from the other dog.

NONE of the previous applies to a fight involving two dogs who are willingly engaged in that fight. If the dogs are eagerly going at it and you lift one of them up, the other dog will likely bite its stomach. If you immobilize one, the other will take advantage of it. When TWO dogs are fighting, you must control them BOTH. If only one wants to fight, the above MIGHT work (but don’t count on it) but if both want to fight forget it.

If the other dog persists in attacking, you may have to kick the other dog off of the one you are holding, and depending on the dogs involved, this may get your foot or leg bitten or, better yet, if you can, you can go into another room and shut the door behind you. The way I do it, is to grab the aggressive dog with both hands, one hand on each side of the back of the neck behind the ears, and lift that dog into the air, his back against my chest. This will prohibit the dog from whipping around and biting you. As you remove the aggressive dog from the direct line of fire, you can start yelling commands and maybe the other dog will listen, maybe they won't, but you might as well try. I use a basketball after a fight to control and separate the dogs as you see in the video at http://dogtv.com.

A basketball is a great way to deter fights as you see them about to happen as well, especially during feeding time. Keep dogs likely to fight on opposite sides of the room and use the ball to bounce and intimidate a dog who has ideas of going after the other dogs food and starting a fight If you happen to have the kind of dog that is intimidated by a basketball this might work. However, if you don’t like to train using intimidation techniques, this isn’t going to work for you.. Good luck and have fun with your dogs!

The best dog and puppy training and behavior video on the web can be found at http://dogtv.com
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michael_T_Patton
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Postby DemoDick » October 27th, 2009, 3:37 pm

LOL...Michael, if you are ever in my neck of the woods, I have a dog that you can try your basketball correction on. You'll need (1) good health insurance and (2) a pen to sign the waiver. I'll have an ambulance on standby.

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Postby TheRedQueen » October 27th, 2009, 5:08 pm

In any dog fight, there will be an aggressor. One dog who is firestarter. One dog who is more eager for the fight. Grab that dog. Don't worry about the other dog. Get control of one dog and you get control of the fight. Smaller dogs, you can lift off the ground to remove them from the fray. Bigger dogs, you whip around and face them away from the other dog. In the fight video cited in the resource section, the human/fight breaker upper picks up an 80 lb dog and removes him from the scene. If you can't lift a dog that large or larger, try to whip them around and face them away from the other dog.

NONE of the previous applies to a fight involving two dogs who are willingly engaged in that fight. If the dogs are eagerly going at it and you lift one of them up, the other dog will likely bite its stomach. If you immobilize one, the other will take advantage of it. When TWO dogs are fighting, you must control them BOTH. If only one wants to fight, the above MIGHT work (but don’t count on it) but if both want to fight forget it.


When my Inara got into a fight with my parent's dog (Buca, a supposed Carolina Dog) it was just like Michelle mentioned. Both Buca and Inara are fear-aggressive dogs, both are extremely reactive, and both are extremely dominant bitches. They got started over a resource guarding moment with my dad and Buca...Inara got in between them, and Buca went after Inara. While Inara won't start fights, she has no problem trying to end the fight. When we got there to where they were fighting, Buca had Inara by the throat, and Inara had grabbed Buca's tall pointy ear in a death grip (it was what she could grab). We got Buca off, and I lifted Inara up into the air to get her to release the ear. We got her off...with my dad holding Buca (who then turned, re-directed and bit my dad in the arm). Buca surged forward, leaped up and nailed Inara on the rear end as I was moving her away. (Then we had my dad's doberman stepping in to nail me in the elbow as I was carrying Inara away.)

They both WANTED to fight...Inara was ready to go back and finish Buca off...and I have no doubt that she would have if given the chance. Buca of course was also raring to go. Both had to get treated at the vet (after the trip to the ER for me n' my Dad) My dad had trouble handling Buca during the fight...but at least he was THERE...I don't know that I could have done it myself. And yes, when I go to visit, we rotate the two girls...they can both be out with the others...but not with each other. Buca STILL wants to kill Inara, though Inara doesn't have much interest in Buca.
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Postby Michael » October 28th, 2009, 11:00 pm

DemoDick wrote:LOL...Michael, if you are ever in my neck of the woods, I have a dog that you can try your basketball correction on. You'll need (1) good health insurance and (2) a pen to sign the waiver. I'll have an ambulance on standby.

Demo Dick


I guess you have a dog fighting problem at your house (or you don't allow them in contact with each other)? I cannot diagnose your problem over the internet but there are many skilled and experienced people here who can assist you with their thoughts and ideas.

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Postby Michael » October 28th, 2009, 11:05 pm

You're just being ridiculously hypercritical. This is standard and normal forum owner behavior and may ease or regulate itself with time, depending upon the behavior of the humble interloper.

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Postby DemoDick » October 28th, 2009, 11:12 pm

dogtvcom wrote:
DemoDick wrote:LOL...Michael, if you are ever in my neck of the woods, I have a dog that you can try your basketball correction on. You'll need (1) good health insurance and (2) a pen to sign the waiver. I'll have an ambulance on standby.

Demo Dick


I guess you have a dog fighting problem at your house (or you don't allow them in contact with each other)? I cannot diagnose your problem over the internet but there are many skilled and experienced people here who can assist you with their thoughts and ideas.

mp


No dog fighting problem here, we crate and rotate. You are right though, you cannot diagnose anything because you are unqualified to do so. I want to see you deliver a correction to my dog for my own perverse reasons.

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Postby Marinepits » October 28th, 2009, 11:30 pm

Alrighty, folks. Let's keep the snarking to a minimum and stay on topic.
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Postby mnp13 » October 28th, 2009, 11:44 pm

dogtvcom wrote:You're just being ridiculously hypercritical. This is standard and normal forum owner behavior and may ease or regulate itself with time, depending upon the behavior of the humble interloper.


No, actually, I'm not.

Your article is listed as being written by an "expert" but is FULL of information that is one step short of dangerous.

You either forget to mention - or don't know in the first place - that there are dogs that fight because they like to. They aren't afraid, they aren't dominant, they aren't resource guarding (what you call a "food fight") they just choose to attack other dogs. Those attacks can be cold and calculating, with little warning and little noise - unlike the screaming, barking and carrying on that most people think of when they think of "aggressive dogs"

When you talk about dealing with a dog fight, the first thing you say is to rush in and break it up as fast as you can. I've been in a bad situation or two (or twenty) with dogs, and sometimes the absolute worst thing you can do is rush in and do something without thinking first. I agree that the "why it started" is not important at the moment, but not doing something rash is important.

The whole section about picking up one of the dogs? Well THAT is just plain BAD ADVICE. PERIOD. Anyone dealing with a REAL dog fight, not a little snark like in your video would end up with even worse injuries on the dog that they immobilized / picked up. The difference here is that you don't understand that simple fact, and myself and the members of this forum do understand. You label yourself an expert, but hand out advice that could easily get someone's dog killed.
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Postby Michael » October 29th, 2009, 12:33 am

Since I'm a busy guy, and because I have a larger mission than to point/counterpoint you all night or week, I'm going to let you believe that I'm dangerous, clueless, don't know what I'm doing if that works for you.

But since I don't really need your advice on dog training issues, maybe you can provide me some guidance on email list management. I am in the process of starting an informal political party and I need an industrial strength contact management solution.

See if you can point me in the right direction?

thx,

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Postby Michael » October 29th, 2009, 12:42 am

Thanks Double D.

You will be the first one I contact if I need help learning how to crate and rotate.


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Postby mnp13 » October 29th, 2009, 12:47 am

dogtvcom wrote:Since I'm a busy guy, and because I have a larger mission than to point/counterpoint you all night or week, I'm going to let you believe that I'm dangerous, clueless, don't know what I'm doing if that works for you.

No, actually, you showed up to "show us the way" as a self proclaimed expert and we stopped you in your tracks because most of us know what we're talking about. You're upset that we didn't all stop in and grovel at your all knowing expert-ness. Actually, that's happened a few times here, but that's when someone shows up who can back up their claims.

But since I don't really need your advice on dog training issues, maybe you can provide me some guidance on email list management. I am in the process of starting an informal political party and I need an industrial strength contact management solution.

You need FAR more advice than you will ever admit, I just hope that your puppy doesn't end up seriously injured due to your intentional setups. And no, I have no interest nor intention of doing you any favors, but thanks for asking.

You're welcome back any time when you need help with your dogs. We have a very helpful and active membership here.
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Postby Michael » October 29th, 2009, 1:18 am

Not upset in the least.

This has played out pretty much exactly like I expected it would. :D

But I'm off to figure out my mailing list solution now.
Have an excellent evening.

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Postby Pit♥bull » October 29th, 2009, 5:59 am

DemoDick wrote:I want to see you deliver a correction to my dog for my own perverse reasons.

Demo dick
I'd even pay to see that. :)
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