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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19190
Experience:  Behaviorist /Trainer and Dog breeder 18+ years
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My 7 month old american bully puppies are total night and

Customer Question

My 7 month old american bully puppies are total night and day! My blue is so passive and relaxed while my brindle is now showing signs of aggression toward other animals except his "brother", within the last month. I have just recently gotten them both fixed but his aggression still seems to be the same. I am at a loss and want to make sure I explore all options before I have to let him go from our home :(
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler 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.

How long ago did you neuter them?

What kind of obedience training have you done with them?

Was he socialized with other dogs when they were younger?

How long have you had them?

How is he when his brother is not around?

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

I was hoping to get a response back to my request for more information, but I don’t want you to go without an answer either and it is pretty late here. I want to mention that it can take up to a month before his hormones decrease after neutering, so his aggression may lessen once it has been a month.

Dogs are aggressive toward other dogs in order to dominate them, protect you or to scare them off if they are fearful of the other dogs. The first step to correcting this problem is to get them both obedience trained as quickly as possible. You have to work with him. You can have a trainer teach him the commands if you want but you have to practice them over and over with him in formal practice sessions each day.

The following site is helpful in helping owners train their dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.

http://www.schutzhund-training.com/training_theory.html

Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.

http://www.pets.ca/articles/article-dog_nilf.htm

http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/training_nothing_in_life_is_free.html

This helps establish you as the boss. As the boss it is your job to protect him so he’ll be less likely to be aggressive toward other dogs in order to protect you. He’ll also expect you to protect him from other dogs as well which helps with fear based aggression.

It will be helpful if you can find someone with a dog to help you once you have your dog listening to commands consistently. What you will do is have your dog on the leash. You will have your helper off in the distance. Your helper will gradually move their dog a bit closer to you preferably walking past your position in the distance. As long as your dog ignores them, you can give your dog praise and a treat. The second you see him fixate on the other dog or show any other sign of aggression (hair standing up, etc.) give your dog a correction by giving a short tug and a firm low toned "NO". It shouldn't take your dog long to realize you will not tolerate the aggression and that if he ignores the other dog, he gets treats. Once this happens you can repeat the training moving the other dog closer until he is no longer trying to lunge at other dogs. You will need to practice this when you and your dog are walking as well.

Walks should be fast paced walks and not an opportunity for your dog to smell every bush. If the walk is fast paced, hopefully you will be past any other dogs fairly quickly thus lessening the opportunity of aggression. Keep a hot dog sliver in your hand so he is more focused on that treat and may walk right past the other dog. If he does ignore the other dog and focus on your hand, reward him with the treat. This will help him learn to ignore the other dog as well. Walk him alone initially. You will need to train him alone first. Unfortunately once he learns not to be aggressive toward other dogs, and you put both dogs back together again, you will need to retrain him all over again with both dogs present. The good news is that it will go pretty quickly. Dogs tend to act differently in their “pack” and he will feel he has to be the “leader” again when his brother is present again.

Another method is called BAT. You can read more on this here:

Http://functionalrewards.com/BAT-basics.pdf

http://www.petexpertise.com/behavior-adjustment-training-dog.html

I also suggest you learn body language so you can head off attacks and aggression before it starts.

http://www.apdt.com/petowners/park/body-language/

http://www.pawsacrossamerica.com/interpret.html

Finally, as you will have seen on the above pages, a high held tail often is a sign of dominance and even aggression. As strange as it sounds, brushing that tail down to a neutral position or even down to a submissive position also seems to alter the dogs mood at the same time which can also help defuse a situation as well.

I do recommend socialization and a formal class after training may help since he’ll be around dogs who are under their owners control at all time. He’ll learn in this setting that not all dogs are going to be aggressive toward him or even interact with him. All the treats he’ll be receiving while in class will help him associate the strangers and dogs with good things which should also help.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer so I am compensated for my time.

If you have questions in the future that you wish me to answer, you may click here and bookmark the page or make it a favorite. It is best to put my name "JANE" in the question as well.

Since there have been recalls on certain foods, please check the following site to be sure the food your animals eat is not affected. If it is affected, contact your vet as soon as possible. Have your dog seen if they have any symptoms.

http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/RecallsWithdrawals/

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have. I will reply when I awake in the morning. If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer so I am compensated for my time.

If you have questions in the future that you wish me to answer, you may click here and bookmark the page or make it a favorite. It is best to put my name "JANE" in the question as well.

Since there have been recalls on certain foods, please check the following site to be sure the food your animals eat is not affected. If it is affected, contact your vet as soon as possible. Have your dog seen if they have any symptoms.

http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/RecallsWithdrawals/

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ashley,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Jane Lefler

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