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Old 08-28-2008, 06:35 AM   #1
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Default Sid going for other dogs on walks

Hi all.

I'm a new dog owner and have just joined the forum.

Last week, I adopted Sid, a 3 year old Staffie X, from a rescue centre. He is a lovely dog and starting to settle in to his new home.

He is great with the family, especially my young nephews and wants to play with the cats, although they are a bit wary at the moment.

The problem I have is with other dogs when we are walking. Sid is happy to sniff them to start with but a few times he has gone for the other dog. While he settles, I am trying to keep him away from other dogs, but today one ran up to him. After a bit of sniffing, Sid bit the other dog on the nose. Luckily, it was only a small bite and the other dog was fine, but clearly this is a problem. The thing is, Sid does not show any other type of agression. He doesn't bark or growl and his body language is positive (wagging tail, etc) so this seems to happen out of the blue.

It would be great if anyone has any ideas why this is happening and suggestions of what to do. Thanks

Amber

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Old 08-28-2008, 07:00 AM   #2
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Welcome To dog forums, hope you enjoy it here.

I would ask the other dog owners to keep there dogs on leads, explaining you only have him and are learning what he is like.
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Old 08-28-2008, 09:54 AM   #3
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Hi Amber, welcome to the forum

It's really hard to tell you what's causing it, but I'll just point out that a wagging tail is not always a positive sign. A wagging tail can indicate excitement, dominance and also aggression, it needs to be read along with the rest of sid's body language.

It sounds like his growl response has been shut down by his previous owners, which is why you're getting no obvious warning when he's going to attack. There will no doubt be signs in his body language though. Can you describe how he is standing, what his ears are doing, head level, tail etc when he attacks?

I'd probably recommend trying to find a training/socialisation class that can help with this particular problem. If you can afford a private trainer, you may find it useful. It's impossible to properly diagnose behaviour problems without seeing a dog in the flesh unfortunately.

Staffies are lovely dogs with people, but they can have a tendency to go off on other dogs. I look after a 6 year old staffy who is ok with most dogs, but occasionally she seems to have an aggressive response with some dogs. I always notice a slight change in her demeanour and it is ALWAYS when the other dog is not being 'polite' with her. They are wired to respond to incorrect body language more quickly than other breeds, and obviously their strength makes this a serious matter. Having said that, Shabba (the staffy) is wonderful with my (very exuberant) collie and they get on great.

Keep him on a lead, and ask other owners not to allow their dogs to approach at this time. he's probably insecure at the moment, if he sees other dogs aren't going to harass him it might help him relax. It really isn't fair on you and Sid if the other owners aren't being as responsible as you.

Good luck and I'd love to see some pictures of him!
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Old 08-28-2008, 10:56 AM   #4
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Hello and

Have you got a dog training group by you, we use to take our dog Amber to one, and somebody there had a rescue dog with the same sort of problem as you, the trainers were very helpful and after a few weeks the dog seemed alot happier with other dogs and more playful. I'm not saying this will work for you but it may be worth a try.
Your vet may have the address of a local training group.
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Old 08-28-2008, 11:40 AM   #5
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Thanks for all the replies.

Just before he attacks, Sid stands upright with his tail up (not wagging) and staring at the dog.

I have now contacted a local training school and private trainer for advice.

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Old 08-28-2008, 12:01 PM   #6
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Sid is displaying classic aggressive stance there, it doesn't sound like he's fearful as his stance is very dominant and challenging.

Trainers should be able to help, aggression can be helped with the correct approach. Fear aggression is harder to deal with, but I've helped my dog with FA and she's great now.

If he's not neutered, it might be wise to get it done as it could help calm down his aggressive behaviour.
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Old 08-28-2008, 12:17 PM   #7
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Oscar is a X staffie too. When we're out for walks he will try to avoid him, but if they are too persistant he will growl and perhaps fight with them - luckily he growls. But not the same for you. As Melamaphine pointed out a wagging tail does not mean exictement all the time, it could mean aggression or he is trying to be the 'Alpha Male'. If Sid hasnt be neutered, I would seek around your area and find a good decent vet to do the job - as this may cause he to try to be the 'alpha male'. If the other dogs are male then he will definetly try to be aggression and fight with them because he wants to show he is the best male. If it is a female he will try to show off and perhaps try to do his doggy buisness.
When another owner and dog are coming perhaps ask the owner to put the his/her dog on a lead and explain that Sid is a rescue dog and has a habit of trying to fight with other dogs.
Older dogs - such as my Oscar will grow out of this habit of trying to be dominant or Alpha - Oscar was neutered when he was about 1 or the time when they should be neutered.

hope this helps
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Old 08-28-2008, 09:45 PM   #8
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Some good advice here, really glad you have contacted a trainer. Best of luck, and don't forget to update us on what you decide and how Sid progresses.

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