Snapping at other dogs Behaviour

Discussion in 'Staffordshire Bull Terrier' started by Coinkeedinkee, Mar 1, 2020.

  1. Coinkeedinkee

    Coinkeedinkee New Member

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    Snapping at other dogs

    Hello! I think I need some help on this one.

    A couple of months ago I moved in with my boyfriend who has a 3 year old staffy bitch. She's absolutely lovely to me and my 2 children. We obviously knew her a long time before moving in, but she was accepting and loving right from the start and then became very protective of myself and my youngest child. She will get on the bed with me once my bf gets up first and won't move until I get out of bed, but shakes the whole time as if she's worried she might be told to get down lol

    We both work from home, so she's never alone, but I would say I have become her main care giver (although I think she still sees bf as her master), feeding her and taking her for long walks alone. This is where I'm having a few issues though - walks.

    She's pretty good for the most part, she doesn't pull on the lead, walks to heal and has great recall if I do let her off the lead (I only do it when there are no other dogs around). But she will get aggressive if another dog is around, heckles up, baring teeth, growling and snapping. If another dog is around and there's no way of giving them space, I have to pull her to one side and hold her til the other dog has passed. Sometimes it's frustrating if someone has their dog off lead and isn't calling it back when it's approaching mine, when they can clearly see I'm trying to keep mine away. Or they'll insist their dog "is friendly, so it's ok"....err cool, but mine isn't and potentially wants to destroy yours! But often it's heartbreaking, cos I can tell other dogs aren't doing anything wrong, she just wants them to go away but is being aggressive about it, so I end up getting a lot of dirty looks and bad comments. Then I wish these people could see her indoors where she's so lovely :(

    She's not like this to people, just dogs. Well...actually there's 2 men we often see on walks who she growls or barks at, but they're acting super weird and I'm kinda glad of her presence when that happens, but that's another story. She's generally good with people, especially children and she's even lovely to my cats who moved in with us, even though one of them is pretty mean to her, swiping and hissing at her. She never gets aggrssive back. But dogs out on walks? She hates them.

    My bf has had staffies all his life, whereas I only lived with one for about a year once that belonged to my housemate and he was never aggressive to any person or animal and probably the softest dog I ever met. My bf says he likes this dog to be the way she is, because she's doing her job and protecting me and he doesn't want that to change. He thinks other people need to be in better control of their dogs and not just blame her because she's a staffy. I'm not sure what to think, I agree with him partly, but obviously I also feel bad when she snaps at others, particularly as I'm mostly alone when it happens.

    If anyone has any thoughts or advice on this, I would really appreciate it!
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  3. GsdSlave

    GsdSlave Member

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    When you are on your walks and the other dogs appear, don't stop, keep her attention on you and keep moving and if need be change direction until the other dog has passed. Practice her to focus on you and learn to ignore the other dogs.
  4. Coinkeedinkee

    Coinkeedinkee New Member

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    Thanks, that's good advice. I probably panic too much which doesn't help and she probably picks up on too, when I'm stopped and pulling her to one side.
  5. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    As above. If you can manage it, try not to shorten your lead - it seems to encourage them to pull against it. If you have a problem getting her attention on to you, have a special treat or a toy handy and reward her for walking past smartly keeping her attention on yourself.
    Will she do a sit and wait? If there is room, you could take her to one side of the path and ask her to sit/wait till the other dog has passed by. Don't forget to reward when she gets it right.
  6. Coinkeedinkee

    Coinkeedinkee New Member

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    I would try treats, but she's getting a bit fat as it is :lol: Maybe just small ones or something, as her current treats tend to be either chew sticks or babybels. She won't do sit and wait really, not unless she's literally being held there and the whole time she'll be growling and I'm thinking I probably shouldn't reward that behaviour, even if she doesn't outright snap.
  7. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    GsdSlave likes this.
    Then these are little things that you could be practising at home.
    Use small non-fattening treats, such as little cubes of roast or boiled chicken, liver - grilled, baked or dried in the oven. (Ox liver is best as it doesn't crumble in your pocket). Half fat cheese is OK in small pieces. also small pieces of dried fish or dried tripe. It is more about the tempting smell than the amount you give her, though for a really good response you could give her a bonanza of several pieces.
    Good luck.
  8. Coinkeedinkee

    Coinkeedinkee New Member

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    Oh I misunderstood. Yes she will sit and wait on command at home. Different story when we're out though.
  9. Deed not breed

    Deed not breed New Member

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    I have a similar issue with one of mine.
    Its a protective instinct that comes from a lack of socialising as a pup...
    I agree getting her to sit and distract with treats (i use cat kibble) are great but only short term...
    Get a friend who also has a dog and walk together. After 5 mibs or so your girl will settle when she realises the other dog is not a threat. (Stay relaxed shell feed off your stress...)

    She will learn with time to ignore dogs remember to reward her when she ignores dogs not reward for jumpong or growling etc..
  10. Queensland blue

    Queensland blue Member

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    There’s always the muzzle too
  11. Andrew Sheldon

    Andrew Sheldon Member

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    I am thinking a muzzle might be a good idea too. I know the thought of muzzling is not a nice one especially when you love her so much, plus the stigma involved walking a muzzled dog. However it will make things easier for you and less stressful when your out and about and I guess peeps will not be able to make nasty comments about you and your dog.. Maybe you could do the treat thing too and poke them in the muzzle...lol... If she gets better you can then take the muzzle off.. Good luck whatever your approach to the problem and I hope it gets better in the future...
    Btw I am by no means a dog expert and these are just my thoughts on the matter..
  12. Malka

    Malka Member

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    @Andrew Sheldon - The OP was posted in March last year, and has not been back since her last post on this thread, so I hope the problem has been resolved.
  13. Andrew Sheldon

    Andrew Sheldon Member

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    CaroleC likes this.
    Yes I noticed that when I posted it...lol... That's not the first time I have done that either... Grrr.. Maybe if there are some other bitey growly dogs out there other peeps may pick up on it... Oh well
  14. Malka

    Malka Member

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    It is easy to miss the date of the OP. I only noticed it because there was a spam message - now deleted - that had just been posted.

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