Dog: Massi, 9 year old blond Husky.
Problem Behaviour: Bites other dogs.
Possible Cause: Bitten by another dog about 6 years ago.
Massi lives with a 2 year old Chocolate Lab (Gordon) and gets along fine with him but when she meets another dog her reaction is usually to try and attack the other dog. The owners wanted me to work with her to try and get rid of this behaviour. On Feb 5, 2012 I took my 2 dogs over to work with Massi to confirm the behaviour and start a conditioning program to eliminate this behaviour.
Step 1: Do a little basic training with Massi and Gordon with a clicker, this consists of sits and downs. Then we introduce the muzzle to Massi, this is done slowly because it has to be put on and taken off several times to make sure it’s adjusted correctly, we also want the muzzle to be a good thing so we reward every time it goes on. After about three times I have a good fit. Now we do a little more basic training so she is comfortable with the muzzle on.
Step 2: Now I bring Massi into the back yard where my 2 dogs are waiting so I can see the reaction. Massi is muzzled and on a short leash. She makes a move for my dog Lucy and she gets a quick no reward marker which is a sharp EH!. Now I bring the dogs in close to one another and start doing training with 4 dogs which is basic sits and downs. After about 5 minutes I let Massi off of the leash and watch the tail, ears and any pillowing. After about 5 minutes the muzzle comes off and everybody is getting along just fine. I keep watching for any tell-tale signs of aggression but there is none.
The whole exercise takes about 15 minutes. The dog is not cured but it’s a step in that direction.
Feb 15, 2012
Dog Aggressive Dog Round 2
Step 1: Muzzle Massi, this is done very quickly this time and a reward is given after it’s secured. Put Massi on a short leash and take her out the back where my 2 dogs are waiting. This time there is no reaction from Massi and the Muzzle is removed after 2 minutes.
Step 2: Take them all for a walk and do a route where we will be passing some barking dogs to create some excitement and see how Massi reacts. This ended up being a 5 km walk with no reaction (just a head turn) at barking dogs. Here are a couple of pictures that were taken on the walk, Massi is 2nd from the left in the first picture:
Massi is beside me in the one below.
Massi is not completely fixed but I’ll keep working with her and slowly she will be able to trust other dogs again.