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jadedangel57
jadedangel57, owner
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18953
Experience:  breeder/ vet assistant.
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I own a small dog and in the past 2 weeks we have been jumped

Customer Question

I own a small dog and in the past 2 weeks we have been jumped twice by large dogs while on our walk. First time....I was surprised and she sustained small nips on her rear legs and I received a nip on my arm. We are now walking with a large stick and on the second occasion the owner showed up as I was holding her 3 dogs at bay. Obviously, my dog is showing nervousness. It does no good to change where we walk as people in this town (even with a leash law) insist on letting their dogs run free. I can deal (I hope, with my large stick) the random strays (single and in small packs) but today when we went to greet a long-time puppy friend of hers (a smaller dog than her) my dog rushed her friend and snarled and jumped her. I pulled her off (both dogs were on leash but they have played together both off and on leash before). How can I safely reintroduce them? I want her to be able to play with her friends and don't want my girl to be permanently traumatized (nor her puppy friends and family).
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  jadedangel57 replied 1 year ago.
Hi Jacustomer,
My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.
Has your girl had any obedience training?
Is she spayed?
How old was her playmate?
Is the playmate spayed?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry for the delay. Answers as follows: no formal obedience training but she has been taught and is reliable on the basics (sit, down, stay, recall plus a few tricks). She was well socialized and continues to show no aggression towards humans...worked hard on the basics as her breed (Chinese Crested) can easily become shy and/or fearful. My location (very rural N Nevada) has no classes closer than 100 mi away. She and her playmate are both spayed. Her playmate is roughly one year old....just about 5 months younger than my dog.
Expert:  jadedangel57 replied 1 year ago.
JaCustomer,
this is a difficult situation because there are a couple of factors to take into consideration. Dogs around 18 months or so start becoming more dominant and seek to establish their place in a group of dogs when around them. Usually a well socialized dog will greet another dog, go on about their business or start playing or becoming better acquainted.
However, once a dog has a bad experience with more aggressive dogs, they often will become scared of other dogs. In some cases, the bad experience can be the result of a dog continuing to act like a puppy despite now being an adult. This will cause other dogs to reprimand them with growls or nips. In other cases, the young adult dog might have body language that indicates dominance, aggression or even challenging behavior which can trigger the aggression by another dog. In others, it has nothing really to do with your dog and is just a case of aggressive or unsocialized dogs attacking yours.
I'm going to give you some sites that discuss body language so you can better determine the communication going on between the dogs.
http://www.apdt.com/petowners/park/body-language/
http://www.pawsacrossamerica.com/interpret.html
http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-behavior/canine-body-language
It is likely your dog is now a little scared and in turn is becoming aggressive toward other dogs in an attempt to keep them from becoming aggressive first. So that likely contributed to her reaction to her playmate. However, her behavior may also be relatively normal dominance behavior that has been affected by her bad experience.
To correct the behavior, you need to keep her on a leash and monitor her body language and behavior. If she displays unwanted body language (aggressive or overly dominant right off the bat, reprimand her with a short tug to break her concentration and then a firm low toned NO to indicate it is unacceptable. When her body language is relaxed and friendly reward with nice calm praise and even calling her to you and rewarding with a tasty hot dog sliver. Try not to tense up as that will send the wrong signal to the dog and make her tense.
The BAT method may help as well. Read about that here:
http://functionalrewards.com/BAT-basics.pdf
http://www.petexpertise.com/behavior-adjustment-training-dog.html
Continue your training practicing daily even though she knows the commands. Training helps keep you the boss and your dog will then see that you are the boss. As the boss, though, it is your job to protect her and now you have to gain that trust back by being sure to not allow strange dogs close to her for a little while and socialize her extensively while providing positive reinforcement for desired behavior.
Try finding well socialized non aggressive dogs to socialize her with and then gradually reintroduce her to other dogs slowly so the bad experience is not repeated.
I hope this information is helpful to you. If you need more information or clarification, please reply and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. If you are satisfied, please take the opportunity to rate.