Post # 1
We recently moved to a new place in a new city and our 3 year old dog seems to be having sort of an adjustment period. He is usually extremely friendly and playful, but walking around our new complex he has started barking aggressively at other dogs who pass. He has even started barking at a few people who walk by. He sounds pretty aggressive when he barks and it is really bothering me, especially since he’s usually so easygoing.
I see his fur stand up and I can tell he feels threatened. Does anyone have suggestions on how we can help socialize him to this new place? He was very friendly to all of the dogs and people at the last place we lived.
Post # 4
How long has it been since you moved? It sounds like he’s just stressed.
Post # 5
@EmilyJean: Thanks for responding. We moved about a week ago, and he was at my in-laws’ for a few days. I do think it’s probably just stress and trying to establish his place in his new neighborhood (especially because almost everyone has dogs here).
I’m just trying to think of some strategies of how to calm him down during this adjustment period. I don’t want to be known as those people with the aggressive dog.
I tried walking him with the harness today and it was easier to avoid any problems. Does anyone have any other suggestions of how to offer reinforcement/deter negative behavior until he gets settled?
Post # 6
@MM423: I agree with stress. New surrondings tend to bring on stress and anxiety for dogs. Hopefully he returns to his normal self soon.
Post # 7
He is insecure and stressed!
Agression is when your dog is in rage and viciously will atttack anyone and anything. Like redzone. Your pup isn’t agressive.
Dogs communicate through barking and give warnings also vocally which is probably what you are getting uneasy about.
Practice good leadership skills with him and give a correction when he acts like that. Honestly the only way your going to nip it, is if you can give the correction before, it happens, so it never escalates into what you are seeing. you have to become aware of you dogs body language, which gives the clue. What type of collar and leash do you use? What breed is he?
Best advice is to NOT start getting tense when you see a dog approaching- as much as we wish we didn’t ,we naturally do and that sends the message to the dog thorugh the leash that there is something wrong! Dogs = tension. Instead dogs should = confidence and moving foward
Post # 8
I know you’re right–he’s not at all aggressive by nature, but he is stressed easily because he was abandoned (he’s a rescue dog). He’s also part pit, so I’m especially wary that someone will mistake his stress for agression!
I use a regular collar but today I used his body harness we use to keep him from pulling. It definitely helps to keep him close by. I know I’m getting tense when we see dogs, so I have to try to relax a little.
He did play a lot one-on-one with one dog at our complex, so it’s giving me home he’ll find his place here and get more comfortable. I just want to make sure he doesn’t lash out at any dogs in the meantime.
Post # 9
It sounds like your dog is leash reactive. This is a fairly common problem. In order to teach your dog to be calm around the stimuli that make him uncomfortable, you start at a distance the dog is comfortable with, and treat for being calm. Slowly decrease this distance, and reward for calm behavior. If the dog reacts, you have gone too fast. Back up and start over from the last point the dog was calm. When out on walks, you will need to be proactive. If you see something that you know will trigger him (other dog, specific people) keep an eye on his behavior, and if you notice your dog start to get uncomfortable, put enough distance between yourself and the trigger that your dog calms down. If you ever get into a situation where your dog is reactiing, WALK AWAY FROM THE TRIGGER. Don’t just stand there with your lunging dog trying to get his attention, he is in a hyped up state and will not pay attention to you at this point. Your goal is to keep him from getting in this state at all. It would also be helpful for you to work on his general obedience, such as sit and “look at me” so that you can teach your dog to focus more on you.
I also reccommend looking up youtube videos by Dr. Sophia Yin. She has some fabulously helpful videos about leash reactivity in dogs.