Aggression to other dogs
#6
Quote:so we kept taking her to cafes etc and kept her on a short lead and petted other dogs and whilst dong the watch command and praising her for not going for the other dogs.  thought we had a good plan.

But now she has started doing it on walks!!! she had a proper fight with another collie, again I over reacted as i thought she was going to hurt the other dog.  I walked her again in the evening.  she was fine with other dogs unless they came near me (or were being overbearing to her) and then she growled and snapped at them. we tried this a few times with different dogs and its always the same so it seems she is jealous or protective of her human family.

I am concerned that she ends up doing it with people, at the moment she is completely affectionate and submissive with people, she comes to work with me and meets people all the time.  occasional dogs come to my office and she does now growl and snaps at them where before she was happy to see them.

I don't have very much in the way of suggestions, other than saying that bringing in a behaviourist is an excellent idea. My dog reacts to other dogs as well, although his reaction isn't aggressive; he only reacts if they get "in his space" and then he will snap or bite. Izzy's reactions are driven by fear, as your dog's "might" be (true aggression, I believe, is when a dog will go after another dog viciously without provocation, and will try to maim or kill the other dog). I used to think that Izzy was aggressive, until i realized that he was fear-reactive. I also read once (somewhere) that border collies - very generally speaking - tend to not be the most social of dogs with other canines; they can be apprehensive and snap out at others. At any rate, a behaviourist would be able to assess this with your pup. And unfortunately, sometimes the owner (like me) can learn to tense up and emit 'fear signals' to their dog when another dog approaches, anticipating a negative reaction...which the dog picks up on, and ultimately can make the situation worse. It's sort of a catch-22.

The only thing I really wanted to mention (well, actually two things) is first, be careful if you do the 'approach the other dog' thing, trying to show your dog that the strange dog is actually okay. If you praise your dog for not reacting, you 'might' be praising your dog for not outwardly reacting, while she could still very well be tense inside. If that happens, the whole thing backfires, as you can be inadvertently praising your dog for being tense.
The other thing is, if your dog has shown zero reaction towards other people, I suspect you have little to fear of her developing aggression toward humans. My dog started out with intense fear of both humans and dogs (at one point when he was around 8 months old, he lunged at a woman's face when she suddenly bent down to hug him, this after I'd warned her that he was afraid, and not to get too close). At any rate, I worked with him and thankfully, he slowly began to realize that people weren't out to hurt him. (My success with his fear of dogs hasn't gone as well.) But I can now trust that he won't react negatively to a stranger; generally, he will now approach most people he doesn't know with tail wagging, and - if in our house - he winds up plying them with toys in the hope that they will play with him. So I do suspect that you have nothing to worry about with regard to your girl and humans...but get her assessed by the behaviourist anyway about this, for peace of mind.

And lastly...your girl is adorable! I love her ears. Smile
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"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." ~ Will Rogers
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Messages In This Thread
Aggression to other dogs - by naomijclarke - 05-16-2017, 02:23 AM
RE: Aggression to other dogs - by Ember - 05-16-2017, 07:00 AM
RE: Aggression to other dogs - by Loyal Border - 05-16-2017, 07:49 AM
RE: Aggression to other dogs - by naomijclarke - 05-16-2017, 08:07 AM
RE: Aggression to other dogs - by Williewingnut - 05-16-2017, 10:41 AM
RE: Aggression to other dogs - by izzysmom - 05-17-2017, 09:30 AM

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