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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19772
Experience:  Behaviorist /Trainer and Dog breeder 18+ years
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I have a 22 pound male Tibetin Spaniel that has been

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I have a 22 pound male Tibetin Spaniel that has been neutered. He is not aggressive but is prone to having other dogs attack him. My daughter is coming to live with me and she has a 100 pound White Lab female that has been spayed and also is not aggressive. Are there precautions I should take to protect my dog? Thanks for your help.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What is wrong with your spaniel?
Customer: Nothing is wrong at the moment but I am concerned about having a much larger dog come to live with us.
JA: Where does your spaniel seem to hurt?
Customer: He is not hurting but I am worried that he may be attacked by a larger dog when my daughter comes to live with me. Any suggestions?
JA: OK. No obvious pain. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about your spaniel?
Customer: He seems more prone to be attacked by other dogs.

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.

Often dogs that are prone to being attacked are ones who never learned how to interact with other dogs via socialization as young pups. They may display dominant behavior or dominant or aggressive body language which in turn can trigger dominant dogs to display even more dominant behavior which can cause attacks.

Usually male and female dogs get along pretty well and Labs are usually calm good natured dogs as well, so you may not see any problems between the dogs. However,I think there are things that you and your daughter will need to do with the dogs to help give them the best chance of living together peacefully.

First if either dog has not had obedience training done, do that iimmediately. 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.

This will allow both owners to have control over their dog to help prevent altercations before they start. Learn body language. That will help you determine if your dog is transmitting dominance or aggression. You can also determine if another dog is attempting to dominate your dog. Knowing that, you can intervene before there is an altercation. Your intervention will help him gain self confidence if he is fearful of other dogs as well. Here are some sites that go over body language.


In addition, if at all possible, allow the dogs to meet away from your home in a place neither dog has been before. An enclosed tennis court is a good choice since you can let them off leash if things go well. That will help your dog not feel territorial upon their first meeting. Keep the dogs on leash but don't tense up. If the initial greeting goes well, you can drop the leashes and see how they interact trailing the leash. This allows them the option of running away if they want but also a means for you to grab the lead and separate them if necessary.

I would try for 3-4 meetings before bringing her into your home. That gives him time to get to know her before having to live with her.

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.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thanks Jane. I appreciate your suggestions and will provide a positive response..

Your welcome and I do appreciate the positive rating.

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