Dog is Aggressive Toward Strangers

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So many times I've seen on this site that a Pit shouldn't be alone with a stranger, especially a child. I have showed no fear with my Pit/Lab as he tends to show aggressive behavior toward men and small children on a walk or if they enter the house. I've gotten to the point of tackling him because humans are more important than my dog. It seems to be working. I don't hurt him I just wrestle him down until I am in complete control and he has submitted to me in the presence of these new people. I would like to think I could take him to the park one day and have no fear that he will snap at a kid. Is this wishful thinking? Is it OK that I do this? It seems to be working, but I hope I'm not setting myself up for failure.

By Trish B

AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

Hi - since I have small grandchildren and love to take them to the park - this raises concerns to me. I love dogs so I want my grandchildren to also. I try to keep them from approaching a dog in the park but that does not mean it could not happen.

I have seen a child "attacked" and it was horrible! The owner tried very hard to stop it but the small dog would not stop (even the owner was bitten).

I believe we have all read stories where a dog had never been aggressive for years and still attacked someone - usually a child or older person.

I hope you are successful with your dog but please give it a lot of thought before taking him/her where a lot of people may be.

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My dog has recently started showing random aggressive behavior towards people. He has always had dog aggression and we had him in training for that, but in the last few weeks he has exhibited 2 instances of aggression towards random strangers. Both incidents happened in an elevator with a person that was staring at my dog and clearly uncomfortable with the dog. Both times he growled and lunged, but I was able to easily get control of him and change his attention.

It is very disturbing to me because he's always been a people lover. What could be causing this random aggression? Is it because he is getting old? He's a 9 year old Boxer. The first time I thought it was because the person was a guy that looked shady and maybe my dog sensed that. But this second time was some chick. Now, I feel like I need to take him up and down the 9 flights of stairs to take him to the bathroom.

Any ideas as to what could be causing this sudden change in behavior and what I should do about it?

By Amanda from NYC

AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

I agree. Block his view & distract his attention when someone is staring at him. I imagine he feels even more threatened/challenged to be stared at in a closed space such as an elevator where he can't get away & he is probably being protective of you too.

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Pets Dogs Training AdviceMarch 11, 2013
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