> >No. She has never hurt Tilly or any other dog. Mainly she seems to want
> >monopolise whichever human is around, and she tries to achieve this by
> >frightening off whichever dog is competing with her for human attention.
> That's definitely obnoxious, and probably qualifies for aggressive
> behavior, but as you say, she's not truly dog aggressive.
Holly is left for 10-12 hours a day on her own by her owner, and was the
most anxious and BC-like pup in Rug's litter to start off with, so she has
good reason to want lots of company for the few hours a day she gets it. She
also doesn't have much in the way of walks, and is ecstatic when I take her
out. She doesn't worry Rug at all when she tells him a human is 'hers'
(usually she just does this with her owner Bob) but she did worry our
neighbor's dog, Hector, a very placid lab-airedale cross, when Holly told
Hector that his owner (also called Alison) was 'hers'. Hector went away,
whereas Rug stands around and isn't worried by Holly at all. It's a very
anxious aggression with Holly. The reason our neighbor decided against
giving Holly daycare was that she attacked Hector.
> >When would you argue that a dog can be classified as 'dog aggressive'?
> >injuries result from fights rather than just noise?
> No. That would mean half the dogs in my house are dog aggressive,
> when the fact is they're sighthounds and very thin-skinned. I think
> that the degree of aggression - - the severity of "fights" - - can be
> measured by injuries, but not the definition itself. Just off the top
> of my head, I would classify a dog as dog aggressive one or more of
> the following are present: the dog
a) displays aggressive behavior in
> a number of different situations, and in this context aggressive
> behavior is more than just barking and/or lunging; b) actually
> attacks dogs, not in self-defense; c) starts fights both with dogs it
> knows and dogs it doesn't know; d) is difficult to call off when
> engaged in a fight. JMO, and there are more, but am in a hurry now
> and can't think of them.
Rug will do all of this, but I wouldn't think of him as dog aggressive.
Maybe I should, and my perception is distorted because he is mine. The
reason I don't think of him as 'dog aggressive' is that he is usually very
friendly with other dogs, will let some dogs attack him without responding
at all (eg Conor and a nervous border terrier that was older than him) is
always very gentle with puppies, is a favorite companion of quite a few
nervous ***es who are frightened of dogs in general, and his fights have
always been brief with no harm done.
We meet a lot of dogs in an average week. I wouldn't like to count the
number, but he could easily know 100 dogs, and there are only about three I
can think of that I would not trust him not to attack if they were both off
leash. He might attack dogs he doesn't know if they look like dogs he hates,
because he does confuse dogs. I've seen him rush up to other dogs that look
like a dog he hates only to stop in his tracks and work out that they are
not the dogs he thought they were. The dogs he hates are entire males. He
also doesn't seem to like dogs that don't give out any signals. This
animosity isn't very deep tho'. He disliked 'Lucky', a miserable-looking
crossbreed that never said 'hello' and always walked hangdog with no
response to Rug, but stopped barking at her when her owner also got 'Daisy'
a very outgoing lurcher, whom Rug likes. Rug never attacked 'Lucky', just
barked at her. After Daisy came, Rug just ignored 'Lucky'.
The number of actual fights he has had are few, and happened mostly between
15 mo and three years (he is now six). He related well to all dogs apart
from his brother Sebbie, until he was attacked by a golden retriever with an
illness that was also attacking humans, that was PTS shortly afterwards.
That happened twice, and on each occasion Rug was just trotting along
minding his own business and the dog rushed him. He was then attacked by an
entire schnauzer in a training class, and one of the dogs he hates now is an
entire miniature schnauzer. Another is Striker, an entire Chessie. He's fine
with William, neutered golden retriever, all female retrievers, and doesn't
seem to hate Oscar the entire retriever we meet now and then, ie barks at
him when he is on the leash, but doesn't try to attack him if they are both
off the leash with a lot of space.
I'd say that about half the times he has gone for another dog with both dogs
off leash I have managed to call him off by bellowing his name. It has to be
partly hormonal, with his being an entire male. He's usually off leash only
in wide open spaces now, where I can see other dogs coming - tho' he is
usually fine even if he meets other dogs he dislikes offleash - just sniffs
and goes his way calmly. I would trust him to behave well with them off
leash in an enclosed space, but he has always met them off leash in a field,
and has been OK. His only 'rushes to attack' in the last 3 years have been
when he has mistaken a dog for one he hated. The risk I watch out for when
he is off leash is represented by these very few dogs he really hates, which
usually walk at different times and on different routes from us.