aggressive american staffy boxer mix

by Harriet
(Australia)

My dog is beautiful with my 3 kids and their friends. She appears very obediant and well trained (except for the aggression which I'll get to). She is a year old. We exercise her a lot and take her with us to different places often. She has never been abused. We got her at 8 weeks.

From 8 weeks old she would growl at other dogs walking anywhere near her at the park. At 3 months a german sheppard next door to my mother's beach house barked at her from behind a fence and she puffed herself up and had acted really vicious and aggressive back.

From about 3-4months she began to dominate any puppy her age - she would stand over them and growl at their neck. It looked like the wrong type of play, which I would always correct and take her away.

But she got worse. She would be ok with 95% of dogs, but she would try to dominate certain types. I still thought it was at play level (but she needed to be trained out of it). She would get on top of them, and I would say no, put her on a lead and take her away. Most dogs she would play beautifully with.

A few weeks ago she went to the beach with my mother and ran up to a lady in an affectionate way (please pat me).Bad behaviour but not aggressive (my mother told my 10 year old to go and get her). My dog suddenly picked a miniture schnauzer up from this woman's lap by its throat and shook it (my mother swears she was trying to kill it). The woman was crying in shock (her little dog was thankfully not hurt) but my mother badly injured her hand punching my dog in the face to get to drop the little dog).

Since then I have not let her off the lead, but she' s got worse, very dog aggressive. I've been giving her treats everytime she sees a dog and speaking about how nice they are (this works better than warning her, as she seems more aggessive if I am not all happy and calm about the approaching dog).

I just took her to a near empty park and stupidly did let her off the lead. There was an old large golden retriever, which to date she would never been interested in. She bounced a 100metres straight to this dog (ignored my commands) did some play bows, looked really happy, tail wagged - and attacked it. All in about 30 seconds or less. It was extremely scary looking and I don't doubt her intention was to harm that dog. I ran like crazy to pull her off. The owner followed me out of the park screaming her head off (I don't blame her). Her dog was ok, but I got there very quick. I think my dog enjoyed it.

She very strong, athletic dog, she runs as fast as a whippet and can jump meters. She is just lean muscle. She crunches though bones in a second. My yard is very secure, but with a house full of kids I'm constanly terrified she will get out. She has barked and growled twice at toddlers in the distance who were acting a bit erratically. She growls at some men, particurly if we are walking at night (her growl is very menacing).

I was one of those people who thought aggressive dogs were due to ill treatment, but now I realise there is something inate in this dog. She is the most loving family dog, so responsive, eager to please (oh yes, she loves our cat and adores my mother's dog - who she totally lets dominate her.) She is most cuddly dog and my ten year old just lives for her. I can do anything to her, she totally non-aggressive with me or the family.

My question is this....does anyone know what is going on with her??? And how dangerous is she??? I love her to death, but I'm very worried.

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Jan 24, 2015
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Human issue
by: Adam G. Katz

Really, you have a human-issue, not a dog issue.

That being said: You can experience a 100% turn around in the dog's behavior in about a day and a half. Here's what you need to do:

1. Learn how to establish a proper relationship between you and the dog.

2. You need to learn how to give a meaningful correction, so that your "No" command is both understood and has meaning.

I go into how to do this in my book, Secrets Of A Professional Dog Trainer ...

Employ the "Nothing In Life Is Free" approach, so that your dog starts to view you as the "pack leader." If your dog doesn't see you as the leader, then your corrections will be meaningless. So, if you're doing subtle things (inadvertently) to undermine your leadership role around the house-- it will be counter-productive.



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All the best,
Adam

Adam G. Katz is the author of, "Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer!" -- which you can find at DogProblems.com
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