Socializing a Dog-Aggressive Dog

I have a 5yo male German Shepherd that can be dog-aggressive but becomes socialized when he's around other dogs routinely. My problem is that when I am out with him for on-leash walks and exercise, that other off-leash dogs frequently attack my dog. Old dogs, young dogs, male or female it doesn't matter.

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My understanding of this is that the other dogs perceive my alpha dog as a threat and so attack my dog first. I always fend off these fights and run the other way but it causes me a lot of problems.

I want to socialize my dog but I don't know what to do about other dogs attacking my dog when we are just minding our own business. What I do now is to stay away from other dogs but then that works against socializing my dog. What should I do?

JCustan from Arizona

Answers:

Socializing a Dog-Aggressive Dog

I'm sorry not to be able to offer advice, I just wanted to say I know what it's like to be bothered by some one's off leash dog. Why do people let their animal run all over others' property?
(01/09/2009)

By kimhis

Socializing a Dog-Aggressive Dog

Dogs are often more aggressive on leash because they are tied to you, which makes them less able to move as well as they feel the need to protect you. Also running in the other direction can create prey drive and they will give chase for fun. I'd find a small group class and explain the situation with your dog. They will usually work with you. (01/09/2009)

By stinger

Socializing a Dog-Aggressive Dog

Get a can of citronella spray to spray the other dogs. Will not hurt them, but they will leave. (01/10/2009)

By Toebeanie.

Socializing a Dog-Aggressive Dog

I have to agree with Kimhis. I can't even walk my dogs in my own neighborhood. For some reason, my neighbors think they are exempt from leash laws. I know I could turn them in but then what would they do to retaliate? It's not right. (01/10/2009)

By Artlady

Socializing a Dog-Aggressive Dog

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Dog park! That is how I socialize my dogs. The good thing about dog parks is that for the most part (there are exceptions) the owners look after their own dogs so there aren't any real problems. Of course fights happen, but my dog park is normally really good. Plus, your dog can be off his leash and get to enjoy himself more! I would just try it out, it couldn't hurt. (01/12/2009)

By JoniB

Socializing a Dog-Aggressive Dog

Ask your vet, but my best guess is that your dog is challenging them with his eyes. Dogs look at other dogs in ways that mean certain things. I know my German Shep intimidates one of my other dogs by looking at him, and when she does this, he will whimper and not walk past her until I tell her to stop looking at him. Sounds a little crazy, I know, but it's true.

I have a special needs husky that doesn't see very well, so my Shep is probably annoyed that she can't intimidate her :). I love my dogs. They are such fun. My cat doesn't care that much for them, however. They keep stealing her catnip mouse. (01/23/2009)

By stngray

Socializing a Dog-Aggressive Dog

You could also try a loud horn (like an air horn) to use if a strange dog tries to attack. It usually scares them away. You can try to socialize your dog by taking him to an obedience class. This way he gets to be around other dogs in a controlled situation. (02/06/2009)

By kallyc

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