It is a sad day for us...

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Postby pitsnok » January 2nd, 2010, 7:25 pm

Degan is apparently big dog aggressive. We are at my dad's house, and they have a big, super sweet yellow lab and a toy schnauzer... Degan FREAKS out when he is around Lucky, the lab, and is terrified of Boomer, the schnauzer. When I say freaks out I mean pulls on his leash, screams at him basically, and even lunged and tried to bite as Lucky ran by. We introduced them through a fence and he was totally fine, and then when we actually went into the yard with him it was a totally different story. He doesn't listen to a word we say, and just panics. I had to have tanner, my boyfriend hold him because I am not even strong enough to do anything but restrain. And around Boomer he tucks his tail and runs in the other direction.
Also, he seems to be really high anxiety if we aren't at home (last week at my moms house with her four senior dogs, and now this week at my dads). He can't sit still or calm down...and we keep having to crate him just to get him to chill out.
I can't say I'm really surprised to see him showing DA because he has always been anxious around my moms dogs. We just never let them be together because they are all old and grumpy... Now there is just no denying it, and it's kinda sad...(not to mention a huge pain in the ass).

Anyway, I felt like I needed to share as I'm a little bummed out!
~Brittany, Degan and Harlow's mom


"It is true that Pit Bulls grab and hold on. But what they most often grab and refuse to let go of is your heart, not your arm."
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Postby iluvk9 » January 2nd, 2010, 7:33 pm

I am sure a few members will have ideas for you! Hang in there until the posse shows up!!
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Postby amazincc » January 2nd, 2010, 8:09 pm

pitsnok wrote:Degan is apparently big dog aggressive.


He sounds fear-aggressive and anxious as all-get-out more than DA, actually. I'm pretty sure a purely DA dog is ready to destroy any and all other dogs in his/her vicinity... but Degan is afraid of the schnauzer... right?
He sounds like he gets completely overwhelmed in the company of other dogs. Is there any way you can keep him out of situations like that for now?
There is nothing wrong w/crating an anxious, fearful dog in a quiet spot, away from the others, w/some special toys or treats. It's much easier on the dog than the alternatives. :wink:

I feel your pain though. :hug3:
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Postby TheRedQueen » January 2nd, 2010, 8:20 pm

amazincc wrote:
pitsnok wrote:Degan is apparently big dog aggressive.


He sounds fear-aggressive and anxious as all-get-out more than DA, actually. I'm pretty sure a purely DA dog is ready to destroy any and all other dogs in his/her vicinity... but Degan is afraid of the schnauzer... right?
He sounds like he gets completely overwhelmed in the company of other dogs. Is there any way you can keep him out of situations like that for now?
There is nothing wrong w/crating an anxious, fearful dog in a quiet spot, away from the others, w/some special toys or treats. It's much easier on the dog than the alternatives. :wink:

I feel your pain though. :hug3:


Ditto...he sounds very scared and anxious, rather than confident and aggressive. :|

My Inara is fear aggressive with new people, so we have to ease up on introductions to strangers, and I manage the situation when I can't train and work with her...meaning if I'm busy, she gets put away (in a crate or another room).
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Postby mnp13 » January 2nd, 2010, 10:17 pm

a gazillion questions... bear with me...

pitsnok wrote:Degan is apparently big dog aggressive.

Is this the first time he has acted dog aggressive?

pitsnok wrote:We are at my dad's house, and they have a big, super sweet yellow lab and a toy schnauzer... Degan FREAKS out when he is around Lucky, the lab, and is terrified of Boomer, the schnauzer.

Was this the first time he met both dogs?

pitsnok wrote:When I say freaks out I mean pulls on his leash, screams at him basically, and even lunged and tried to bite as Lucky ran by.

Degan being on leash while Lucky is off leash can cause a lot of behaviors that might not manifest if they were both off leash. (please note I said might.)

pitsnok wrote:And around Boomer he tucks his tail and runs in the other direction.

How does Boomer react to Degan?

pitsnok wrote:He can't sit still or calm down...and we keep having to crate him just to get him to chill out.

I agree with the other posters - there is nothing wrong with crating him to give him time to rest and relax. Having his own space with a familiar blanket or toy can make a huge difference for his comfort level.

pitsnok wrote:I can't say I'm really surprised to see him showing DA because he has always been anxious around my moms dogs. We just never let them be together because they are all old and grumpy... Now there is just no denying it, and it's kinda sad...(not to mention a huge pain in the ass).

Dog aggression and anxiety are not the same things, though they may manifest in similar behaviors. Of course, both are quite manageable.

amazincc wrote:He sounds fear-aggressive and anxious as all-get-out more than DA, actually.

I think you may be on the right track.

amazincc wrote:I'm pretty sure a purely DA dog is ready to destroy any and all other dogs in his/her vicinity... but Degan is afraid of the schnauzer... right?

Nope. :wink:
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Postby amazincc » January 2nd, 2010, 10:24 pm

Nope. :wink:



Okay... you're absolutely right. I'm pretty sure I didn't word that the way I meant it to. lol
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Postby plebayo » January 3rd, 2010, 6:00 pm

I would just like to say that this is one incident and you shouldn't feel like your dog has to like every dog that it meets.

This is one incident so I wouldn't go off labeling him dog aggressive one time.

I also think an obedience class would be a good idea to bring you both back to the basics of training because if he would have pulled out of your grip the situation could be disastrous. I'm not saying this board can't help you, I'm sure Michelle will have some good sound advice, but I do think going back to the basics could help your situation.
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Postby pitsnok » January 3rd, 2010, 9:15 pm

Is this the first time he has acted dog aggressive?


This really wasn't the first incident. Last weekend he was very vocal and lungy to my mom's dogs, (only the larger ones) and now this weekend happened. Any time a dog is in our front yard he behaves the same way too. It has been a while since we have been around any other dogs so I can't say when it could have started, but last weekend was the first time I have really noticed it.

Was this the first time he met both dogs?


Yes it was. Harlow had been with us before, but this was Degan's first time.

Degan being on leash while Lucky is off leash can cause a lot of behaviors that might not manifest if they were both off leash. (please note I said might.)


I knew having him on leash, and Lucky off leash wasn't the best of circumstances but I don't think Lucky is a leash-walking dog. So it was the best we could do. I thought since they were fine through the fence that he would be okay, and the leash would come off rather quickly. I am sad to say Lucky is basically just a backyard pet who doesn't get very much attention. (I am always sure to play with him a lot when I visit).

How does Boomer react to Degan?


Boomer was cautious, but really didn't seem to care much about Degan being there. He loves to play with Harlow though.

Dog aggression and anxiety are not the same things, though they may manifest in similar behaviors. Of course, both are quite manageable.


This makes me feel very hopeful!


I gave a lot of thought into the idea of him being fear aggressive and I definitely think that makes much more sense. It was like he needed to 'prove' himself to Lucky. He just seems anxious when out of his comfort zone. I suppose we are at fault for not having him around dogs very much recently. The most he has ever seen of new dogs has been at petco, but we have never had a problem with him there. I have just always taken an extremely cautious stance with my dogs, because I have never wanted to encounter a potentially dangerous situation... and have maintained that they don't need friends. I have always thought that if something were to happen with another dog that we would immediately be responsible regardless of what really happened...so it has always felt safer to just stay away. BUT, now I am realizing that although that is the responsible mindset to have, I had never taken into consideration that he might have to travel with us. He is a really eager learner, and I don't think it will take too much for us to get him where I think he needs to be. We are definitely planning to get into some obedience classes, just have to find a time when the time, and money are both even there--I am a broke college student, and Tanner is starting his own company at the moment, so times are tough.

I will say, he did manage to calm down considerably by the time we were leaving today. He was even (sort of) playing with the schnauzer. He never stopped pawing the door to go in the back yard with Lucky though... it seemed like he wanted to play, but wasn't about to just let him out there.

I look forward to seeing what you guys have to say. Thanks for the help!
~Brittany, Degan and Harlow's mom


"It is true that Pit Bulls grab and hold on. But what they most often grab and refuse to let go of is your heart, not your arm."
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