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I need help desperately. I have a terribly aggressive poodle, full-blooded. I don't know where else to turn. Does anyone have any tips? My poodle is almost 3 years old.
Vera in southwest GA
Vera, I have an aggressive dog too. I understand the panic and isolation you are feeling.
But you're not alone. Many people are struggling with this issue. I agree with everything Susan already said, and I have a few more suggestions and comments.
Whether this dog is male or female, it should be neutered. You don't want to pass on the aggressive tendencies to another dog. And if it's a male, neutering could help to reduce the aggression. However, sometimes it doesn't make any difference if you neuter a male dog at such a late age.
By all means, consult your vet to have the dog's health thoroughly checked. And ask about certified animal behaviorists in your area. If you live near a university, see if there is an animal behaviorist there who might help.
Here's the address for an online group called AGBEH (Aggressive Behavior):
You can join the group for free, post questions, and read what others have written. There's a ton of good information, and it will also help you feel better to see how many others are in the same situation.
For my husband and me, it helped when we took time to recognize "trigger" situations in which our springer spaniel tends to be aggressive. We avoid those situations with our dog. For instance, we never go to a drive-thru with him in the car, and we never give him rawhide chews.
Try not to hit, scream, yell, or cry. That only makes matters worse (I can personally attest to that!).
There are many types of dog aggression -- fear aggression, protective aggression, dominance aggression, etc. Ask lots of questions and look everywhere for help. Seek out local dog training groups and ask for their help.
Set aside all guilt, and toughen your spirit. You don't have to stop loving your dog, but you will probably have to change many of the ways you interact with him or her. Good luck!
I, too have an aggressive 2 year old. Great with the family and a few close friends she knew as a puppy. A wonderful family dog and that is it.
I took her to 2 animal behavior specialists. One at 4 1/2 months old and a different one at 5 months old. Both told me the same thing. High risk and most likely genetic, which cannot be changed.
She was left abandoned in a car with no human contact for 6 weeks. We work around her. When strangers come she is put in a separate room. We walk her late at night when no one else is out on road. I have heard more and more of this problem with dog owners. We still love her very much.
You don't say whether your dog is male or female, neutered or what size poodle. If the animal is not neutered, that could make it more aggressive. Consulting your veterinarian is a good first step. It could be caused by a health problem.
Is your dog aggressive to you or to visitors? If the dog is biting you, other people or other animals, the best thing to do in the meantime is probably to get a muzzle so that no one is hurt.
Here is a link about a dog who underwent retraining. It might be something that would be good to consider.
Hope this helps,
Susan from ThriftyFun
Google Bach Flower Remidies or just Flower Essences. These are vibrational, non sedating remedies that help with emotional challenges or problems in humans or pets. I have 4 dogs and a multitude of cats. Email me if you want at Cox_28564 @ msn.com (remove spaces)
I'm in SW Ga too!!