'growl classes'

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'growl classes'

Post by sighthounds etc » Sun, 11 Aug 2002 12:36:12



Quote:

>Would you hazard a typology of different types of dog aggression, or have
>you found one? The term covers so many different behaviors, it can be very
>misleading, and trying to work out what types there are is one step to
>finding solutions.

I tend to lump most dog-dog aggression together, but with different
causes.  IMO dogs might be aggressive to other dogs from fear, because
they are ***, or because they would like to advance up the
pecking order.  I wouldn't consider every dog that growls at or even
snaps at or bites another dog to be dog aggressive; to me, the term
aggression applies only to certain pretty specific behaviors patterns.
What are some of the many behaviors you are referring to as dog
aggression?  

Sally Hennessey

 
 
 

'growl classes'

Post by roo » Sun, 11 Aug 2002 16:42:50



Quote:

> >Would you hazard a typology of different types of dog aggression, or have
> >you found one? The term covers so many different behaviors, it can be
very
> >misleading, and trying to work out what types there are is one step to
> >finding solutions.

> I tend to lump most dog-dog aggression together, but with different
> causes.  IMO dogs might be aggressive to other dogs from fear, because
> they are ***, or because they would like to advance up the
> pecking order.  I wouldn't consider every dog that growls at or even
> snaps at or bites another dog to be dog aggressive; to me, the term
> aggression applies only to certain pretty specific behaviors patterns.
> What are some of the many behaviors you are referring to as dog
> aggression?

OK, this is incomplete and these are very specific behaviors rather than
typologies that you might slot different dogs into ..we are off for our
morning run in a minute, so it's rushed, but it's a start:

1) (Off leash) Dog is fine with other dogs, ignores them, except if another
dog comes into the space where she is playing ball, in which case she rushes
to the attack, bites other dog, lots of noise, and other dog leaves with no
harm done. (Rug and Bobby have both done this in the past, though Rug would
only do this with uppity males, and Bobby would do this with any other dog
apart from Rug or her sister).

2)  (Off leash) Dog always goes into collie crouch and stalk on seeing other
dogs and will slowly advance towards them (presumably with intent...) unless
called back. (Bobby used to do this)

3) Dog lunges and barks on leash when seeing other dogs he doesn't like (Rug
will sometimes do this)

4) Small dog normally behaves well with other household dogs, but will
sometimes launch himself on the 'alpha' when alpha approaches bed, where
small dog is allowed more (Conor with Rug). No harm done.

5) Dog is fairly hyper, will rush out from his yard to attack some other
dogs ( local cross, prob bully breed plus labrador retriever, which has
attacked Rug).

6) Boxer will attack males who approach too close and take no notice of his
signals. Dogs attacked have needed vet treatment.

7) Bully breed will fight, apparently for fun, inflicting serious injuries.

8) Serious fighting over resources between ***es in a household with vet
treatment needed.

9) I have noticed that Holly, Rug's sister, not only attacks Tilly when
Tilly has a resource she wants (usually access to cuddles from a human)
Holly also attacks Tilly if Tilly and Conor are playfighting.

These are behaviors people might see as 'aggression', tho' not everyone
would agree. I'd say that misreading signals is another cause of dog
aggression, tho' often it's the dog that is attacked that misreads the
signal. I don't know if a growl is aggressive. It was Bobby's way of telling
dogs 'don't come closer, or I will be forced to attack you', if a dog
approached her when she was on the leash. Tilly will do it too, though as
Tilly is so small, a confident '***' dog will take not a blind bit of
notice of her, and will advance and sniff her gently. Tilly then rolls over.
There are very few dogs that are intimidated by Tilly's growls. I have
trouble seeing her as aggressive! I've seen a Yorkie warn off a very playful
Irish wolfhound with a growl and a yap, and again I don't see that as
aggressive.

Alikat

 
 
 

'growl classes'

Post by Lushious Lug » Sun, 11 Aug 2002 16:54:41



{..}

Quote:

> I do live by lake that has a no leash law so dogs can run
> free at that park and Blade does all the time. NEVER
> and issue with another dog, not even so much as
> a growl.

So on when it happens on lead, do you think / could he be just protecting
you?

It doesn't sound to me from the above that he's really that worried about
other dogs himself but, as IME GSD's do prefer people to other dogs anyway,
would rather not be fussed by them. You however, are special to him and so
he starts up....

Go to petsmart with a friend, preferably one he doesn't know too well, and
the minute he starts up, pass the lead over to your friend and walk away in
the opposite direction from the dog that has started him off.

(If he's a lunger, make sure your friend is strong enough to hold him ~ but
I very much doubt he'll lung if you do this).

Does he continue his aggressive display or does he stop, look for you and
then try and drag your friend after you?

[..]

Quote:
> He almost acts like "you are a dog, and I
> am not a dog and I don't hang out with other dogs".
> Seriously.

GSD!!!

Diana
--
See my dog Stone ~ July 5th on the birthday calendar.
The aad group web site: http://www.ourdogs.chilly-hippo.co.uk
(In the UK 'lugs' or 'lug 'oles' is slang for ears ~ and no dog has a finer
set than my Stone!)

 
 
 

'growl classes'

Post by sighthounds etc » Mon, 12 Aug 2002 09:27:24


Quote:

>OK, this is incomplete and these are very specific behaviors rather than
>typologies that you might slot different dogs into ..we are off for our
>morning run in a minute, so it's rushed, but it's a start:

And my own take on them:

Quote:

>1) (Off leash) Dog is fine with other dogs, ignores them, except if another
>dog comes into the space where she is playing ball, in which case she rushes
>to the attack, bites other dog, lots of noise, and other dog leaves with no
>harm done. (Rug and Bobby have both done this in the past, though Rug would
>only do this with uppity males, and Bobby would do this with any other dog
>apart from Rug or her sister).

This could be considered an aggressive behavior, but I wouldn't
necessarily say the dog is dog-aggressive.

Quote:
>2)  (Off leash) Dog always goes into collie crouch and stalk on seeing other
>dogs and will slowly advance towards them (presumably with intent...) unless
>called back. (Bobby used to do this)

I would not consider this alone as dog aggression.

Quote:
>3) Dog lunges and barks on leash when seeing other dogs he doesn't like (Rug
>will sometimes do this)

This is a problem that needs to be corrected, but I wouldn't say a dog
that does it is dog aggressive.

Quote:
>4) Small dog normally behaves well with other household dogs, but will
>sometimes launch himself on the 'alpha' when alpha approaches bed, where
>small dog is allowed more (Conor with Rug). No harm done.

See above; maybe an obnoxious behavior, but I would not consider this
dog to be dog aggressive.

Quote:
>5) Dog is fairly hyper, will rush out from his yard to attack some other
>dogs ( local cross, prob bully breed plus labrador retriever, which has
>attacked Rug).

IMO this is probably a dog aggressive dog.

Quote:
>6) Boxer will attack males who approach too close and take no notice of his
>signals. Dogs attacked have needed vet treatment.

Dog aggressive dog.

Quote:
>7) Bully breed will fight, apparently for fun, inflicting serious injuries.

Dog aggressive dog.

Quote:
>8) Serious fighting over resources between ***es in a household with vet
>treatment needed.

Possibly dog aggressive dog (perhaps both, more likely just one).
Probably sibling rivalry.

Quote:
>9) I have noticed that Holly, Rug's sister, not only attacks Tilly when
>Tilly has a resource she wants (usually access to cuddles from a human)
>Holly also attacks Tilly if Tilly and Conor are playfighting.

Is this an attack resulting in a fight?

Quote:
>These are behaviors people might see as 'aggression', tho' not everyone
>would agree. I'd say that misreading signals is another cause of dog
>aggression, tho' often it's the dog that is attacked that misreads the
>signal. I don't know if a growl is aggressive.

I don't consider a growl to be aggression.  It's a dog's way of saying
"get out of my face", "away from my bowl", or whatever.  It's a
warning.

I think there aggressive behaviors do not always mean that a dog is
aggressive; many dogs may exhibit aggressive behaviors in specific
circumstances but not be aggressive dogs.  

Sally Hennessey

 
 
 

'growl classes'

Post by roo » Tue, 13 Aug 2002 20:20:17



[..]

Quote:

> >9) I have noticed that Holly, Rug's sister, not only attacks Tilly when
> >Tilly has a resource she wants (usually access to cuddles from a human)
> >Holly also attacks Tilly if Tilly and Conor are playfighting.

> Is this an attack resulting in a fight?

No. Tilly is much smaller and runs away, either to hide somewhere where
Holly can't get to her, or to me for protection, which can be a problem,
because if Holly's owner isn't there, Holly wants to monopolise whichever
human is around, and then chases Tilly away from me. Tilly will fight Holly
if cornered, and will make aggressive noises from behind my legs at Holly,
but usually runs away.

Quote:
> >These are behaviors people might see as 'aggression', tho' not everyone
> >would agree. I'd say that misreading signals is another cause of dog
> >aggression, tho' often it's the dog that is attacked that misreads the
> >signal. I don't know if a growl is aggressive.

> I don't consider a growl to be aggression.  It's a dog's way of saying
> "get out of my face", "away from my bowl", or whatever.  It's a
> warning.

> I think there aggressive behaviors do not always mean that a dog is
> aggressive; many dogs may exhibit aggressive behaviors in specific
> circumstances but not be aggressive dogs.

I think we more or less agree, tho' I am uncertain as to when you start to
call a dog 'dog aggressive'. A dog that dislikes all other dogs and/or
fights for fun, yes, but when the dog usually only fights if another barges
into its space (as Bobby did) then it's less clear. I just used to think of
it as embarrassing when we took Bobby out and she got into scraps, and a
relief when we got her to be calmer and more relaxed round other dogs

Except where you are talking about very obvious cases, where dogs hate all
other dogs, this label can be a bit misleading. A local boxer who had sent
other dogs to the vets due to fights got on very well with Rug when Rug was
a year or so old. They played liked puppies. The owner was surprised, she
walked her boxer at night so he wouldn't meet other dogs, and we happened to
be out too. She shouted out for me to put Rug on a lead, but he was already
making playbows, and they just danced round each other, and then boxed on
their hind legs. Now if you had seen the serious fights he had got into,
you'd describe this dog as 'dog aggressive', but seeing him with Rug, he
looked like a sweetie. He was one of Rug's favorite playmates for a long
while, until he fell ill.

I often feel frustrated when I read about 'dog aggression' because it's used
to describe some behaviors that seem pretty normal (even if they are
annoying), and sometimes generalizations are made that don't apply to all
dogs that squabble with other dogs.

Alikat

 
 
 

'growl classes'

Post by sighthounds etc » Tue, 13 Aug 2002 22:15:05


Quote:

>No. Tilly is much smaller and runs away, either to hide somewhere where
>Holly can't get to her, or to me for protection, which can be a problem,
>because if Holly's owner isn't there, Holly wants to monopolise whichever
>human is around, and then chases Tilly away from me. Tilly will fight Holly
>if cornered, and will make aggressive noises from behind my legs at Holly,
>but usually runs away.

So do you think Holly is dog aggressive?

Quote:
>I think we more or less agree, tho' I am uncertain as to when you start to
>call a dog 'dog aggressive'. A dog that dislikes all other dogs and/or
>fights for fun, yes, but when the dog usually only fights if another barges
>into its space (as Bobby did) then it's less clear. I just used to think of
>it as embarrassing when we took Bobby out and she got into scraps, and a
>relief when we got her to be calmer and more relaxed round other dogs

>Except where you are talking about very obvious cases, where dogs hate all
>other dogs, this label can be a bit misleading. A local boxer who had sent
>other dogs to the vets due to fights got on very well with Rug when Rug was
>a year or so old. They played liked puppies. The owner was surprised, she
>walked her boxer at night so he wouldn't meet other dogs, and we happened to
>be out too. She shouted out for me to put Rug on a lead, but he was already
>making playbows, and they just danced round each other, and then boxed on
>their hind legs. Now if you had seen the serious fights he had got into,
>you'd describe this dog as 'dog aggressive', but seeing him with Rug, he
>looked like a sweetie. He was one of Rug's favorite playmates for a long
>while, until he fell ill.

I would still consider that Boxer to be dog aggressive.  I don't think
a dog has to hate all other dogs to be considered aggressive.  The
Boxer apparently liked Rug, perhaps because Rug deferred to him.  As
to dogs that behave aggressively in certain circumstances, some may be
dog aggressive and some may not, depending on those circumstances.
Our Dal *** got along with some dogs, but she wanted to kill Tasha
and often appeared to hate other dogs she met on sight.  She was
aggressive to other dogs in a number of different situations,
sometimes actually starting fights and sometimes "just" behaving
aggressively, hence my description of her as dog aggressive.  We had a
foster Siberian that was described as a rank opportunist; he wanted to
be farther up the pecking order and attacked one of my dogs in order
to further his quest.  He was aggressive in one situation, so I'd
describe him as a dog that needed watching because of his concern
about rank, but he wasn't necessarily dog aggressive.  The other day,
Boomer the Siberian decided he was willing to die for 2/3 of a cup of
dog food, and he stuck his head into Tasha's bowl and wouldn't take it
out.  She growled; he dug in further.  She snapped; he snapped back,
and a 15 second fight ensued, just long enough to leave muzzle marks.
Boomer has always deferred to other dogs and still does, but he has
become food-obsessed.  Tasha is quite *** and now more protective
of her food than before, but she is not dog aggressive.  

Quote:
>I often feel frustrated when I read about 'dog aggression' because it's used
>to describe some behaviors that seem pretty normal (even if they are
>annoying), and sometimes generalizations are made that don't apply to all
>dogs that squabble with other dogs.

I agree.  

Sally Hennessey

 
 
 

'growl classes'

Post by Gwen Watso » Tue, 13 Aug 2002 22:17:15


Quote:

> (If he's a lunger, make sure your friend is strong enough to hold him ~ but
> I very much doubt he'll lung if you do this).

> Does he continue his aggressive display or does he stop, look for you and
> then try and drag your friend after you?

What he would do in that situation would be go nuts because
I walked away. And yes he would be lunging alright. Screaming
more or less to get to me. He can't stand it if I walk away from
him and he is on a leash. Even my husband can't hold him
without him pitching a hissy fit if I walk away. Serious
separation anxiety or something.

Quote:

> [..]

> > He almost acts like "you are a dog, and I
> > am not a dog and I don't hang out with other dogs".
> > Seriously.

> GSD!!!

> Diana
> --

Indeed.

Gwen

 
 
 

'growl classes'

Post by Gwen Watso » Tue, 13 Aug 2002 22:19:39


Quote:

> I think there aggressive behaviors do not always mean that a dog is
> aggressive; many dogs may exhibit aggressive behaviors in specific
> circumstances but not be aggressive dogs.

> Sally Hennessey

That's Blade.

Gwen

 
 
 

'growl classes'

Post by Gwen Watso » Tue, 13 Aug 2002 23:05:22


Quote:

> I often feel frustrated when I read about 'dog aggression' because it's used
> to describe some behaviors that seem pretty normal (even if they are
> annoying), and sometimes generalizations are made that don't apply to all
> dogs that squabble with other dogs.

> Alikat

I can certainly relate to this and I tend to agree with the above.
I do think dog aggression is often over used to describe
a normal display.

Gwen

 
 
 

'growl classes'

Post by roo » Wed, 14 Aug 2002 00:59:05



Quote:

> >No. Tilly is much smaller and runs away, either to hide somewhere where
> >Holly can't get to her, or to me for protection, which can be a problem,
> >because if Holly's owner isn't there, Holly wants to monopolise whichever
> >human is around, and then chases Tilly away from me. Tilly will fight
Holly
> >if cornered, and will make aggressive noises from behind my legs at
Holly,
> >but usually runs away.

> So do you think Holly is dog aggressive?

[..]

No. She has never hurt Tilly or any other dog. Mainly she seems to want to
monopolise whichever human is around, and she tries to achieve this by
frightening off whichever dog is competing with her for human attention.

The four of them, Tilly, Conor, Rug, and Holly were in kennels last week,
with the smaller litter mates, Tilly and Conor, in one run, and bigger
litter mates, Rug and Holly together in another. (Rug and Holly's brother
was Rilly and Conor's father).

Apparently they were in runs next to each other and looked like they wanted
to be together, so the kennel staff let all four of them play in the same
run for several hours a day, reporting no problems.

It may be that Holly only behaves badly when there's a human around, tho'
the four also seemed to behave better surrounded by lots of strange dogs -
pack solidarity reinforced by being surrounded by strangers.

When would you argue that a dog can be classified as 'dog aggressive'? When
injuries result from fights rather than just noise?

Alikat

 
 
 

'growl classes'

Post by sighthounds etc » Wed, 14 Aug 2002 01:40:30


Quote:

>No. She has never hurt Tilly or any other dog. Mainly she seems to want to
>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.

Quote:
>When would you argue that a dog can be classified as 'dog aggressive'? When
>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.  

Sally Hennessey

 
 
 

'growl classes'

Post by Aliso » Wed, 14 Aug 2002 04:04:30


.

Quote:


> >   And I do
> > definitely agree that a lot of dog-dog aggression is
> > caused/exacerbated by the dog being on leash.

> > Sally Hennessey

> Why is that though? I don't understand it in some
> ways. Others I do because they are restrained.
> Also the pull from the leash can cause "fight drive"
> to come out. At least with some breeds.

> I never had a dog that had this issue until my
> beloved "heart dog" Blade! I love that dog
> so much I would do anything to change this.

> Gwen

 Hi Gwen,
      Its a common problem with thesmall  terriers at my local park but once
they off the lead they're ususally ok after a lot of posturing. I think its
because  they know they can't reach each other so a fights not likely. I've
noticed at the kennels that even the most tiniest yorkie will run up to a
huge mean dog and yap ferociously through the wire fence.
    Alison
 
 
 

'growl classes'

Post by Gwen Watso » Wed, 14 Aug 2002 04:43:11


Quote:

>  Hi Gwen,
>       Its a common problem with thesmall  terriers at my local park but once
> they off the lead they're ususally ok after a lot of posturing. I think its
> because  they know they can't reach each other so a fights not likely. I've
> noticed at the kennels that even the most tiniest yorkie will run up to a
> huge mean dog and yap ferociously through the wire fence.
>     Alison

Indeed Blade is no problem the minute you take the leash off.
He may not even run up to said dog if leash is removed. He
does have a few strange characteristics. I love like that though.

Gwen

 
 
 

'growl classes'

Post by roo » Wed, 14 Aug 2002 18:31:23



Quote:

> >No. She has never hurt Tilly or any other dog. Mainly she seems to want
to
> >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.

Quote:
> >When would you argue that a dog can be classified as 'dog aggressive'?
When
> >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

Quote:
> 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.

Alikat