Early sign of DA?

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N2K
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Early sign of DA?

Postby N2K » Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:59 am

My pup is a growing boy, and he is fine with the other pack member, but the vet visit showed a side of him I never seen.

His background, he was an accidental litter. His mother is highly DA with outside pack dogs so I am not surprised he will be the same. He is about 10mo at 61lbs, altered at 5mo, very affectionate with people and the pack.

I took him to the vet the other day, and as soon as a pair of high energy dogs came into the door, he went crazy. I pulled him close to me by his collar before the door opened. He suddenly tried to launch, growling at the two. He wouldn't stop until I turned him around and made him pay all his attention to me.

Are these signs of DA? I know if he were curios he wouldn't growl. Whats a safe way to find out if he is? Even though he probably wont mingle with strange dogs, I would like to know.

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jamielvsaustin
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Re: Early sign of DA?

Postby jamielvsaustin » Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:14 am

I'm going to go with yes, that's a sign of DA.
I don't know that there is a safe way to see if he's DA. Our boy Trooper is, but when we introduce him properly to a new dog, he manages. He isn't given the opportunity to act. I think that's the biggest thing you can do, prevent him from showing you how DA he can be.

On the other hand, there are some people I just don't like. They give off a bad vibe. Maybe that's how he felt about the two dogs at the vet. Also a vet's office can be pretty stressful.

I'd keep an eye on him-even around dogs you say he's already comfortable with. Bailey and Trooper were fine the first year and then they got into a fight. As much as it sucked and as upset it made me, I'm somewhat grateful for it, because now we know and know we pay better attention. With ours, they sometimes just need a time out and they're good. Bailey is VERY good about giving her "I'M UNCOMFORTABLE" signs and I think we've gained her trust back in a way that also helps to prevent her from acting. She knows now, that she gives the signal and we remove her or Trooper from the situation. Where as before she was on high alert/defense, she didn't know if we would step in. Trooper is more of a reactive dog, and in a way is too stupid/goofy/happy go luck (whatever it is) to get mad at Bailey. And he's more vocal, so we can hear a change in him if ever one happens.

I'd read up on DA, and stay focused on obedience training with him. Make sure you've got him under control. It sounds like you've done this with him and he's pretty good at it, so just remember it's a life long thing. If you stop teaching, he'll stop learning.

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Re: Early sign of DA?

Postby Stormi » Tue Jan 26, 2010 12:35 pm

Maybe. Maybe not. Dog-on-dog reactivity is an exceptionally complex thing, and I've met far too many people who simply presume their dog is "DA" when there's a lot more to it than that. It could simply be that the rambunctious dog coming thru the door excited him, or was too excited for his liking. As dogs mature, they often become less tolerant of other dogs' rude behavior. So, while I wouldn't be labelling him as "DA" quite yet, I'd work on some redirecting exercises, such as the "look at that" game described in Leslie McDevitt's Control Unleashed, as well as refocusing his attention by having him do a few tricks whilest near the other dog. How well socialized with other dogs was he when he was a young pup?

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Re: Early sign of DA?

Postby tiva » Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:29 pm

Stormi wrote:Maybe. Maybe not. Dog-on-dog reactivity is an exceptionally complex thing, and I've met far too many people who simply presume their dog is "DA" when there's a lot more to it than that. It could simply be that the rambunctious dog coming thru the door excited him, or was too excited for his liking. As dogs mature, they often become less tolerant of other dogs' rude behavior. So, while I wouldn't be labelling him as "DA" quite yet, I'd work on some redirecting exercises, such as the "look at that" game described in Leslie McDevitt's Control Unleashed, as well as refocusing his attention by having him do a few tricks whilest near the other dog. How well socialized with other dogs was he when he was a young pup?


I couldn't agree more. Leash-reactivity can be lots of things, and often it's about frustration at not getting to go interact with new dogs. This can, however, turn into real aggression.

Jean Donaldson's little book FIGHT is a great resource--especially check out the section on what she calls "Tarzan" dogs, which are dogs with poor impulse control and little socialization, rather than true aggression.

This blog post is very helpful too: http://companionanimalsolutions.com/blo ... -or-is-it/
(and yes, that's my very leash-reactive Vanya being discussed in the comments. Her suggestions have made a big difference for him, the little Tarzan).


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