Kingdom of Pets Login See if your question has already been asked. Community / Dog Behavior Problems /JR lead aggressionJR lead aggression Posted by stephen Jan 12, 2010I have a 1 year old Jack russell bitch who exhibits dog aggression on the lead and sometimes off. I was wanting to know techniques I could use to curb this as although she's relatively small she could still cause some serious damage to other dogs if this continues. Please help Posted by kjd Jan 12, 2010Hi, Stephen, Is she barking, growling, hackles up? How does she show it is aggression? (I'm just thinking of the only Jack Russell I've ever been up close and personal with. She was wild, mis-mannered, and ended up on top of my head, but she wasn't aggressive. Still, if I'd not been a dog person, I could have thought she was; I certainly had enough scratches!) kjd Posted by stephen Jan 13, 2010Don't get me wrong she is fantastic with people and children just aggressive with dogs. She will tolerate dogs sniffing from behind but prolonged face to face can prove interesting. She is much worse on a lead and I understand the concept of fight or flight so I have to take the leader role. Not easy sometimes! She has never biten a dog just growling and teeth showing. she has warned dogs off if they are in her space but I try to distract her with either a toy or treat. I just wanted to know if there a tried and proven techniques when on the lead to take the dog out of this state of mind? Posted by LetsPlay Jan 13, 2010Hi Stephen, yes, you are right, you have to take the lead and show her that she can trust you as the leader. Make sure you won't get her into situations that she find uncomfortable or scary until she has slowly and gently become used to them. The best technique I think is to not allow your dog to get into this state of mind on the leash. My puppy used to be very interested in cats when she was little. Every time we met a cat during our walks she would pull and pull and be out of control. Once she was so focused on the cat it was hard to get her out of this state, it usually ended with me having to kneel down, telling her no and making her look at me and blocking the view to the cat. Not ideal. I found that if I kept an eye out and spotted cats first I could usually keep her under control before she saw her and if I had her attention she wouldn't get into this state of mind. I used to tell her to "watch me" (which is when she is suppoes to look at my face and watch for hand signals) or to "stay close' or to "leave it". She focussed on me and the cats where forgotten. No she has gotten so used to focussing on me that the cats are not interesting anymore and she accepts that I tell her what she is allowed to do. She can walk past cats off leash now and I just say "leave it" and she is fine. I would recommend doing the same when you meet dogs. Keep her focus on you, have treats and walk past, perhaps even change to the other side of the path if you can. Just be confident and don't show your dog that you are worried about the situation. At the same time take her to dog parks, or better places where she can meet friendly dogs, one at a time and off leash if possible. Socialize her as much as possible so that she learns that it's great fun to meet other dogs. Have you socialized her much when she was younger? She might be showing fear aggression? Once she is used to being around other dogs and knows that you are the leader you can let her meet dogs on your walks and allow her to greet them. Whenever she displays good behavior you should treat her and praise her. Turn around and wlak away as soon as she starts to show aggression so that she knows that this is not acceptable. Let us know how you get on. John Posted by stephen Jan 14, 2010Hi John, Thanks for the advice. I definitely feel its fear aggression but it does seem random as sometimes she can be fine. As a small dog she has a domniant streak in her which is diffcult. I guess sometimes it is hard when your walking your dog to the field and a neighbour wants a chat with his dog and you are in the difficult position of either walking on the other side or potential fight with another dog. I do think she needs more socialising but in winter in the UK its harder to meet other dogs due to the dark nights. I am strict on my disipline but i know my wife isn't so strong and i know consistancy is key. Someone told me that pinning the dog down if she shows aggression is a way to show your the dominant dog...is there any truth in this? Thanks Stephen Posted by kjd Jan 14, 2010"Pinning her down" could also get you a very nasty dog bite. Use the tips in the Secrets of Dog Training. They will be easier on both you and your dog. The tips give you ways of showing your dog you are the leader, human-style. You are actually only reminding the dog that YOU are the provider of all life's necessities and goodies. There is no conflict and it also build the trust relationship between the two of you. Pinning a dog is demanding leadership doggie-style. It is apt to destroy trust since you, as a non-dog, will probably be either too hard (and hurt Maggy) or too lax (and get hurt). If she wants top-dog or thinks she belongs there, she will fight back. And she is far better equipped for this kind of fight than you are. I thought "pinning the dog" went out of style years ago, when it was discovered a lot of people lost the argument. Following John's suggestions will make for a happier household. I can relate to the early darkness. Cold and dark -- the time to be inside, warm and snug. Let your neighbors know what is going on. As dog owners, they should understand. They might even help you with the training. It is a lot easier to train if you know when the distractions are going to come. Good luck, kjd Posted by LetsPlay Jan 14, 2010Hi Stephen, I agree with kjd that "pinning down" is never a good idea. It's like smacking a child when they do something wrong, it doesn't help, doesn't start a learning process or anything like that. It might just install more fear that's all. I know that bitches do that when they have little puppies, they sometimes correct them like this, but this is dog to dog communication. I think your relationship with your dog should be based on trust rather than physically dominating her. I have read some articles about it and the bottom line was always that your dog will loose respect for you if you have to resort to physical corrections to show your dominance. Only weak leaders need to use force. The best way is to be a confident, calm and assertive leader, who is always consistent and clear. If your dog accepts you as the leader she will look at you for guidance on how to act. Good luck and let us know how you get on. John Posted by MaxHollyNoah Jan 15, 2010Hi Stephen; My opion regarding "pinning down" echoes with John's and kjd's. I just wanted to add one thing: >I definitely feel its fear aggression but it does seem random as sometimes she can be fine. I know it seems "random" to you (and to most of us, humans) but it is not "random" from your dog's point of view. He becomes aggressive there is something that makes him act like that between him and the other dog. It can be very subtle but definetely a very logical reason to him. One of my dogs, Noah, is very much like your dog. He even has bitten another dog in the dog park. I have been working on the issue for the last 2-3 years. He is very gentle to people including kids. I think he didn't get much socialized with dogs when he was younger (we adopted him when he was 1.5 yrs old). However, he has been good with 90% of my foster dogs. When he gets into a fight with my foster dogs, I see it not only his problem but the other dog can have his own problems. There is such thing like "chemistry" between dogs too. Most of the times Noah warns the other dog not to come closer to him by showing his teeth but some playful dogs ignore those signs and just jump at him in a happy and innocent mode. When you see the subtle sign of uneasiness on your dog, divert his attention to you by call his name or telling him "Watch me". I have found out the best thing I can do is to prevent the situation, rather than letting Noah make another mistake of snapping/biting the dog. Posted by AJG7979 Jan 30, 2010If it's any consolation - we have the same problem. We rescued 2 Patterdale terriers, one a year ago and another 6 months ago. The first (a bitch) has always had on-lead aggression where the merest sight of a cat or another dog would make her leap, spin, bark and growl on the end of her lead. We worked on this using techniques that have been mentioned above - distraction, sit-stay etc and she really improved. Then, when we took on the next Pattie (a dog) it started back up again and is also starting to occur in him too, although he initially showed no signs of this problem. So now I have two dogs looking like evil little devils on the end of their respective leads! :rolleyes: It has been a comfort to find that almost every terrier owner I have met has experienced the same problem - maybe it's the type of dog (with their strong prey drives), I don't know but I do believe that it's not a dominance issue as ours are very compliant in all other situations - they always do as they are told, submit easily, walk to heel etc - just not on the end of a lead or off lead when a bunny/fox/rat/deer has been spotted The only solution I have found is to walk them seperately so that they don't set each other off - but in reality, this isn't always possible because of time constraints. I too would like to find a solution to this so that I can become friends with the (non-understanding) owners of labs and collies that we see on our walks and stop having to dive into the nearest bush as soon as I see another dog heading in our direction... Posted by DogsInShanghai Jan 30, 2010Hi, I have the same trouble with Thompson, my Doberman, and we are now working on it and it is slowely getting better. He is wonderful with dogs, as long as he is not on the lead. Try this: you need to find a place where there are dogs during every walk and you have enough room to move away. then you approach a dog with her, let her see the dog (but catch them moment before she shows any signs of fear, aggression or tension. then try to get her attention to you, make her sit and watch you, praise her and give her treats, as soon as the dog is so close that she gets nervous, turn around and leave in the other direction, without saying anything. you need to do that several times a day, any size dog. I have started looking for dogs to practice with thompson. sometimes it will work, sometimes i just have to walk passed a dog, because there is no other chance, so i just ignore his behaviour and carry on as normal. As soon as you see her calming down with a distance to the dog, try to get the distance smaller, then try with the dog walking by and the last one is to walk her passed an other dog, praising and getting treats. I have noticed, I have become much calmer with other dogs around now, so he is calmer too. it takes a while, but similar to what "lets play" said, only with a discription to it, so you can imagine how to takle the problem hope it helps! take care!