My dog is aggressive toward other dogs, what can I do?
Hey Mofo friends!
What do you do when your dog won't play nicely with others?
Lily was exactly this dog. My friend fell in love with her photo and adopted her from a rescue. Unfortunately, Lily was not a good fit for our circle of friends because she bullied everyone's dogs! Her behavior embarrassed her owners and they hung out with us less and less.
Luckily after about a year (better late than never, right?) my friends contacted me to help with Lily. It was super important for me to get this right. I missed seeing my friends!
Lily did inboard training with me for 3 weeks.
During the first week, I completely separated her from my dogs. She did not play with them or see them. She and I spent a ton of time bonding and doing one-on-one training exercises. We worked really hard and had fun together multiple times a day.
I planned to start her re-introduction to other dogs while walk/heeling, a structured activity that requires her focus on task. Much of that first week with me Lily was learning what heel means and how to behave while heeling.
Once Lily mastered the heel I enlisted a pal to handle one of my dogs. We all met at a location near my house where there were no distractions. (I love going to the cemetery for this – there are rarely other mofos there – people or dogs.)
We chose a cemetery road wide enough that the dogs could not reach each other from either side. My friend walked my dog on the left side of the road and I walked Lily on the other. We walked this way until the dogs were exhausted (probably about 45 minutes.)
Then, once the dogs were tired we had them do a “down-stay” next to each other for 10 minutes.
By now, the dogs had been together but unable to physically interact for almost an hour. At this point, they were accustomed to being in the same space, and both were calm. I gave the free command and allowed them to sniff each other. My friend and I kept absolute attention on the dogs, observing their behavior and body language.
They walked around a large field together, off-leash, with no incidents.
This was just the first step in controlling Lily's bullying behavior, but it was a huge success!!
There are no “bad” dogs, just mofos with problems. You can find specific step by step instructions on training your dog to heel and managing bullying behavior in my Basic Training course.
I'm always happy to help. Visit the Sit Mofo Sit Facebook page to check out more stories and solutions for your best friend.