Articles on dog aggression

August 24, 2011 | By | Add a Comment

Shayna was diagnosed with reactive aggression in November 2002, when she was 11 months old.  See the video of her last moments in doggie day care, before she was kicked out (“disinvited”) here. I took this video at the request of the veterinary behaviorist to who we were referred, so she could see exactly what Shayna was doing – and what, if anything, was provoking her.

Despite my efforts to follow the vet-behaviorist’s instructions and other methods of combating it, I was unsuccessful.  Part of my limitation, I know, is what caused me to put her into doggie day care to begin with: the 2002 accident I was in, which left me with a neuromuscular disorder (fibromyalgia), which produces chronic pain and fatigue.  As a result, Shayna has not been able to play off-leash with other dogs since November 2002, although she’s okay to swim with certain dogs that don’t challenge her dominant psyche.

My medical situation aside, I think part of the reason I was unsuccessful is that within that first year, I’d not really established myself (fully) as the alpha dog, superseding even Shayna’s dominant attitude.  I was still deep in mourning, was just kind of getting my bearings as a dog “dad,” and was not as self-assured and unsympathetic as I became in years two and beyond, when it came to training issues.

Perhaps if I’d had the knowledge contained in these articles at the time, or when the problem began to evolve, I could have nipped it back then.

“Aggression in Dogs,” by WebMD and ASPCA: A very comprehensive description of the problem, and some tips on how to address it.


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