A Brief Overview Of Aggression

25 02 2009

aggressive-dogLately, we have been getting TONS of questions about aggression issues.  These questions have led to some great articles on other topics, but it looks like aggression in general is a very broad and vague topic.  If you have questions about aggression, we have an excellent series about the different types, how they manifest, and how to treat or manage them.  You can find the articles that address aggression (both as part of the series and recent questions about it) here.

As a guide to help you decide whether your dog has some aggression issues, check out the questions below and keep track of how many apply to your canine family: Read the rest of this entry »





Trying To Find The Inner Alpha

22 02 2009

rottweiler-shepherd-mixLast September, a reader adopted what they think is a Rottweiler/German Shepherd mix puppy from a rescue at approximately eight weeks of age.  Throughout most of her puppyhood, she had a very timid personality, and she was always extra cautious of people and inanimate objects, but she was always very playful with and intrigued by other dogs.  Now, the family is starting to notice some behavior at 1 ½ years old that is disturbing to them. Read the rest of this entry »





Are You Worried About Off Leash Aggression Issues?

18 02 2009

It seems like you have a wonderful dog, you have given him a great home, but when you go out to the off leash dog park, things change, right?  Being off leash is truly a fantastic feeling.  Running around with the wind blowing through your hair as your ears flap in the wind is almost as much fun as riding in the car with our head hanging out of the window.  However, such a fantastic joy as it is, being off leash is ALWAYS a privilege.  This is something that needs to be earned. Read the rest of this entry »





Rocky’s “Fear Aggression”

6 02 2009

There are times when you have conversations with “dog” people that know little or nothing about dogs or their behavior.  They are often looked to for suggestions and advice because they hold a position of influence.  Oftentimes, they will dispense advice throwing words around that they may have overheard in a conversation.  Some of those words or phrases can be dangerous in the hands of untrained, uneducated individuals.  Phrases like fear aggression are among those that are dangerous.  They think that because they were thinking fast enough to throw out that phrase, it will impress people, increasing their influence among those they encounter.  Some of these people do not have a clue as to what fear aggression actually is, let alone what can be done to modify or manage it. Read the rest of this entry »





My Dog Is Mounting My Cat. What Do I Do Now?

4 02 2009

Recently, we received a concerned mother’s e-mail about some activity that would concern most pet parents.  I have copied the most concerning and embarrassing issues for you to read as well.  Due to the embarrassing nature of the problem, I have redacted the puppy’s name to protect his identity.

I’ve recently noticed, as my puppy [redacted] is now about 8 months, he’s doing something which is causing a bit of concern. We have an 8 month old kitten, Maya, (has yet to go into heat and has not been spayed yet), and the two of them have grown up around each other most of their lives, so they get along wonderfully and are great friends. Lately, I’ve noticed that while [redacted] & Maya are playing, he’s been trying to mate with her, and the frequency has been increasing over time. Read the rest of this entry »





I Think My Dog Is Fear Aggressive. How Do I Know?

12 01 2009

gang-chillingA longtime dog owner wrote me recently, inquiring about a possible fear aggression issue with her pet.  Fear aggression is a scary issue to deal with, because when it does present, the provocation is typically an everyday action.  Before pursuing any behavioral or training issue, the first thing necessary is to take your dog to his vet.  It is especially important that you go to YOUR vet, as the long-term relationship will help him diagnose any issue.  Your dog needs a clean bill of health from his Doc to see if there is anything physically wrong with him before you attempt to change his behavior.  We are unable to tell you when we are in pain, so getting the vet involved is imperative. Read the rest of this entry »





Quick Guide To Reading Dog Body Language

6 12 2008

Dominance Aggression:
Hackles will be raised, teeth barred, tail may be up or back, body & legs stiffen, lips are drawn back, growling, eyes fixed on target.

Fear Aggression:
Body and head lowered, ears are back close to the head, tail is down or may be tucked between the legs, growling, lips are drawn back, teeth barred, hackles raised, nose wrinkled.

Read the rest of this entry »