View Full Version : Agressive..

14th April 2007, 11:57 AM
The other day my friend brought her Jack Russel Terrier over to my place....i was worried about him attacking my two dogs so i put monty and milo in the pen and let the other dog outside....however both my dogs started this reaallly agressive bark...really fierce...i was quite shocked..

anyway we took the JRT into the pen and introduced the dogs....the JRT was not really bothered by my two..but my boys totally changed while he was in the pen...whenever the JRT came next 2 Milo he'd just walk awayshyly..but when the JRT came next to MOnty, monty would make this really high frightened bark and hide between my legs..he was totally afraid....when we took the JRT out again monty and milo started this whole agressive bark again (they seemed crazy) and when the JRT turned around one of them (didnt see who) bit into his tail quite hard...and the poor JRT yelped in pain...i was totally shocked that they showed agression as i had never ever EVER seen them even open their mouths threateningly...they havent had problems with other dogs before...

is this a problem? or am i over-reacting...i mean they bit another dog! is this something that occasionally happens or is not normal at all...

anyway sorry if you didnt understand a word im writing...thanks in advance

14th April 2007, 01:36 PM
It's clear your dogs were frightened...that said, putting them in a confined space would have been terrifying to already worried dogs. Last weekend I let Dylan meet Toto on neutral ground. They met outside the house first. He's still a bit shy sometimes as you can see by his tail in the 2nd pic below, but I gave him time to get used to her. These pics were taken on his first day with another dog other than puppy class. In the last pic you can see how he relaxed.

Yikes, a girl doggy! Hide me Auntie Tracy!

Still shy...

I love you toto!

I think the easiest way to introduce dogs is to take them on a walk together first.

14th April 2007, 05:52 PM
I agree with Pauline. Not only was a strange dog coming into THEIR territory, they were unable to get away from him. So they couldnt check to see if this dog was "okay" to be in their house plus they couldnt get away from him when in the pen.

Introducing dogs on neutral territory is the best way to go (such as a park or take them on a walk). I have had success with introducing dogs in the back garden. Even though its the girls' space, they aren't as possessive with it as the house, plus there is plenty of room to move about.

It would be a good idea, I think, to have the JRT over again, setting it up so that the introduction is more positive. Once they get to know each other, they could be great friends!

14th April 2007, 07:17 PM
Good advice from both the above.

Leaving the two dogs together and introducing a third into a confined space would also allow the two to encourage each other into a level of overexcitement that probably wouldn't happen were they separated out. Dogs will take their cue from each other on how to act and then spur each other on which can lead to problem situations.

Generally it is always best to have dog introductions happen neutrally and let dogs get to know each other that way, before visiting, and never put them into a confined space like this where the 'at home' dogs -- even more so if they are closely bonded dogs or littermates -- are at a much higher risk of becoming aggressive. They were clearly already feeling defensive about the newcomer (hence the defensive barking), and then suddenly the newcomer was stuck right into their faces... and most likely out of fear one attacked and bit (fear aggression). Fear aggression does not mean you have an aggressive dog -- it means your dog was put into a fearful situation which triggered it to react aggressively. So there's nothing 'wrong' with your two; you just need some new management techniques. :)

If you are visiting or having visitors, it is actually better not to pen the dogs but let them meet and interact with lots of space, like out in a garden, perhaps on long leads if there's any uncertainty. Placing dogs, even dogs that know each other as friends, into a confined space is always potentially risky.

The very best way of avoiding an incident like this is to have the dogs really well socialised outside the home, and then back at home with dogs they know well already from outside the home. That way they learn visitors are not there to challenge them on their home turf. Many dogs behave very differently at home and with you there, when they may go into guarding mode, than they would in a neutral place.

Don't punish a dog for having been this reactive -- he was put into a situation that was clearly startling and scary and reacted naturally for a dog. Most likely he nipped, he didn't really bite, more to startle than to fight (did he draw any blood or much blood? Probably not).

It's a good idea to read up a bit on dog body language and the messages they are sending (see the links on www.diamondsintheruff.com). All that barking and aggressive stance meant 'keep away' -- but suddenly they had the dog right in with them at close quarters, no escape (which also forced the JRT into being accidentally very rude in dog language -- he would almost certainly not have approached them like this) . Additionally it would have been an insult and challenge to Monty and Milo to be penned in their own territory while a strange dog wandered around 'their' turf (imagine as a kid if you had to sit in your room while a visiting child got to hang out wth the adults, eat some great food, have the chance to play with your toys... while you had to watch from a window!).

Alternatives for the future? It would have been better to take all the dogs on a walk away from the house, or to have had them all meet loose in a large garden, or once you saw how unhappy yours were, to put them 'away' so to speak while your friend visited with her dog -- crate them out of sight in another room or put them in a room with a radio/TV on, plus a Kong or something to keep them busy, and make plans to reintri=oduce the dogs away from the house sometime in the future as this particular playdate clearly wasn't working out this time. There's never any need to force dogs to get along -- they need to be in the right situation for friendhsips to happen.

I'd def. try meeting up with the JRT again -- but this time, try a few get togethers in a local park first, so the dogs get to know each other that way, and then when the jrt first comes back to your house again, meet them a block away while on a walk with Monty and Milo and all walk back together to your house, where the dogs can then be let loose together, with no one being penned, out in the garden.

15th April 2007, 02:01 AM
If it makes you feel any better, my two boys did and still do unfortunately the same thing with my mums puppy Toby.
They are fine one on one with him but when all 3 are together they try and go for him at times or appear so scared.
I had never witnessed any aggression from them proir to this and was also shocked and upset.
However my dogs are not well socialised and I think this is a large part of the problem. They don't know how to be dogs.

15th April 2007, 12:20 PM
Thanks so much for all the advice.....i think when i used the word "pen" 2 loosely.....actually its this big yard that has a gate around it and the dogs go their quite often (its fenced because the pool is right next to it)...so they were actually in a large area (not confined 2 small space) in a place they were very comfortable in and the Jrt (OJ) was oustside the gate...if you get what i mean..sorry i shouldnt have said "pen"...

i agree...i think it was a mistake to just let OJ run over like that getting my 2 excited without introducing me properly...it just freaked me a little since monty and milo have been around dogs before and other than monty being scared they havent ever been bothered ..or ever barked like that