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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 18797
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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We have 2, 3 yr old brother and sister Maltese . The boy dog

Customer Question

We have 2, 3 yr old brother and sister Maltese .
The boy dog Is a lot more aggressive than the female .
He actually gets very riled up when he sees another dog and will antagonize the other dog by growling and nipping the other dogs especially larger dogs. I'm afraid one fib the other rob will bit him and seriously injure him. . We always walk them and take them together on walks and in the car. If shopping at Home Depot ( they are tied in the shopping carts) if they send another dog inhe store, they get real aggressive . She is the dominate one at hone but out, they get aggressive together . What can we do to make him or them less aggressive towards other dogs
Ray Lanzi
Boca Raton Florida (###) ###-####
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 5 months ago.
Hi Ray Lanzi, 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. The first step is to have them obedience trained. Many little dogs are not adequately obedience trained. It is so easy for the owner to pick up the dog and make them do what they want such as get on the couch, go in the house, stop lunging at people or dogs. It is relatively normal to do this rather than take a lot of time to train them to listen to your commands every time the first time. Obedience training is also not just for teaching commands. It also teaches a dog that the humans are the bosses. The owners make the decisions on what the dog can do or not do and what others that come around them are allowed to do or not do. It is the owners job to protect the family which includes the dogs and not the dogs job to protect everyone. When dogs obey commands they give up a little control and become a little more submissive to the ones giving the commands. Over time, they give up all control over to the humans and actually become a lot happier as a result. In addition, this situation often develops because most people do not find small dogs a threat. I have mostly rottweilers and one medium size dog at 35 pounds and a tiny chihuahua. Now my chihuahua goes running up to a person or another dog and no one is going to say much. If one of my rottweilers did anything even remotely similar it would be an entirely different reaction. Thus almost everyone gives larger dogs a lot more obedienc type training. the reality is that all dogs regardless of size need that training to become well adjusted socialized dogs. Now that doesn't mean you need expensive training classes or even a private training. A lot of training you can do yourself but eventually I would have them in a group class to finish their training. 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. 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. Now you also need to prevent your dog from ever nipping another dog. That behavior is unacceptable as is the aggressive behavior of growling and lunging at other dogs. It is your dogs way of scaring the other dog away before they can be aggressive. The problem is that while quite a few large dogs just ignore this behavior from small dogs as their owners have taught them it is unacceptable to bite another dog. However, if a small dog should hurt them with their sharp little teeth such as on their nose or lip, they might react instinctively and your little one might be seriously injured with just one bite. Keeping a leash attached to your little ones can help keep them under control. Learn body language and use that knowledge to spot the signs that your dog is becoming dominant or aggressive and correct the behavior before the dog actually acts on his/her feelings. Read about body language on the following sites: Now for training, you will need to train one first, then the other separately. Once you feel they listen the first time every time to you despite distractions such as people, other animals, etc, they you will need to retrain them again while they are together. As you have seen, once dogs get together, they often revert back to previous behavior and take on the behavior of the other in a pack mentality. So additional training together is necessary so they learn to look to you for a signal on how they should behave. Another form of behavior modification is also good for the specific problem of dog on dog aggression. It is called bat and you can read more on this on the following sites: Now it is going to be work, but I think you will be pleasantly surprised by how quick you see some improvement. Now if possible, I'd have them fixed if they are not already. That also helps reduce aggression as well. These techniques should help you take care of this problem they have. 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 positively so I am compensated for my time.

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