Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Victoria, Australia
Yeah our puppy acts aggressively towards other dogs because she is fearful. The worst thing you could do with her would be to punish her when she is growling and putting her hackles up.
However, a lot of people seem unable to distinguish between fear and actual aggression and so think they can solve everything by dominating their dog and asserting their role as 'pack leader' in a physical fashion.
Yesterday she went to the vets and all she wanted to do was play with all the dogs in there. When we first got her she actually asked to go outside as she wouldn't stop barking. She used to growl and snap at puppies and the other day at dog club she touched noses with one without a fuss.
I have used a lot of praise, rewards and distraction to get her a lot more relaxed around other dogs.
Of course I do lose my temper with our dogs (like yesterday when our big male who knows better tried to snatch a chicken carcass out of the bin) but I never view every little indiscretion like going out a door in front of me, as some bid to take my role as pack leader.
Cesar Milan seems to use a lot of flooding and I always wonder what these dogs are like 6-12 months down the track once the cameras have stopped rolling. IMO you really have to work with the owner as well as the dog on a consistent basis if you are going to have success. Most of the techniques I see Cesar Milan used are not going to be something the average dog owner is going to be able to emulate, and in most cases they just seem to be a band-aid that doesn't address the actual underlying issue.