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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 18946
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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I have an 11 year-old female Boston Terrier who I adopted at

Customer Question

I have an 11 year-old female Boston Terrier who I adopted at 3 years from a Boston Rescue. She is very sweet and good with people and easy in every way EXCEPT when she is around other small dogs...she becomes extremely aggressive and goes for the throat or the anus. Is it too late to train her not to attack, and if not, how do I go about it? What makes a dog do this?
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 month 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 she had any obedience training?

Can you describe a few instances of when this happens?

Is she on the leash or off leash when this happens?

Has she always been like this or is it recent behavior?

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 month ago.

I really was hoping for a response from you, but don't want you going without an answer either. Your girl needs obedience 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.

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

After you have her under control a little, then enroll her in a formal class around other dogs so she learns to listen with the distraction of other dogs. Additionally, you should get her checked for medical conditions that can cause sudden aggression like hypothyroidism. Read more on these conditions here:

http://www.petplace.com/dogs/medical-causes-of-aggression-in-dogs/page1.aspx

http://www.tropicaldogtraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Dodman_MA10.pdf

http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.michvma.org/resource/resmgr/MVC_Proceedings_2015/horwitz_02.pdf

In addition, be sure you are not worried about her when on the leash and pulling back on the lead the whole time. Give her just enough slack that she can sniff a nose but not enough to get to the other dog's throat. If you tense up, dogs feel you are worried about the other dog and thus they are justified in protecting you by attacking the other dog. so either stop far enough away that the dogs can't interact and explain to the other owner you are training her or be sure you are between your dog and the other dog. This shows the dog that you are protecting her and she does not need to protect herself or you.

Bat training might help as well. Read about that here:

http://www.training-your-dog-and-you.com/Behavior_Adjustment_Training.html
http://www.petexpertise.com/behavior-adjustment-training-dog.html

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.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 month ago.
Hi Sally,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Jane Lefler
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 22 days ago.

Hi Again,

I just thought I'd check in to see how things are going for you and your dog. Let me know if my answer was helpful.

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