Apr 9, 2004, 9:49 PM
Post #44 of 66
Re: [xyne, RealityDreamer] Dominant Dog
[In reply to]
Hazel fearful? ... Hmmm ... from what I have seen of Hazel, I think she is not so much fearful ... I suspect she is probably a anxious/nervous dog and maybe a little high-strung ...
What is the difference? The difference between "fearful" and "anxious" is really an issue of degree ... To me, "fearful", describes a dog that is actually afraid (high level intensity) of new or strange dogs, people and/or things ... While an anxious/nervous dog, merely exhibits anxiety (low level intensity) when faced with a new environment or situation, and does not deal with new situations as well as we would like them too ... A high-strung dog is opposite to a calm dog ...
But RealityDreamer is a good dog owner, and I am sure she will help Hazel along.
Dogs can exhibit different forms of aggression, for different reasons ... there is no one formula to identify an aggressive dog. And one should take care before labelling any dog aggressive. Many dogs can show "signs" of aggression, when they are actually only afraid and would in fact rather run away from the source of fear.
However, that said, a fearful dog can bite as easily as an overtly aggressive dog, so care has to be taken when dealing with both types of dogs.
Is your Tyson (8yr old Boxer) aggressive? ... Cannot say without seeing Tyson. Very often there is more than one reason, for dogs to behave like Tyson ... But whatever Tyson is, from your description, it's apparently only to other dogs (and cats) and not people. That is a good sign.
It is probable that rather than "aggressive", Tyson is a dominant type dog, who has not been sufficiently socialised. He is okay at home because, he has already established his position at home. If a dog has a need to dominate, that need can be indiscriminate, and the dog will want to dominate every other dog regardless of size or age of the other dog.
When Tyson goes out, (a) perhaps because he lacks socialisation skills, the only way he knows how to interact with other dogs is to try and dominate ... and (b) again because he lacks sufficient socialisation skills, ... the only way he knows to establish dominance is by showing threat of aggression ...
Well socialised dogs have many different ways to interract with other dogs, and often they settle the issue of who is top dog by simply using effective dog language without having to resort to growling or snarling ... or threatening to fight.
And you have described your difficult position ... You need to socialise Tyson but because of Tyson's size, looks and current behaviour ... it's hard to find other dog owners who will let their dogs near Tyson. So, how to socialise? ... And if Tyson's behaviour is threatening to other dogs, it becomes even more difficult to socialise ... It's a tough cycle to break.
If you have the inclination, patience and you are prepared to spend the time - you use the method posted above to try and recondition Tyson & minimise threat tendencies ... In your situation, it may be necessary to recondition Tyson first - BEFORE you can effectively socialise him.
(This post was edited by surchinmy on Apr 9, 2004, 9:59 PM)