Kfer avatar image

Sisy's newly found aggression

Sisy is an intact female about to be 3 years old. She's always been a very friendly dog with adults, kids and other dogs. I take her out daily for walks around the neighborhood and she meets and greets everyone. Every week or so I take her to the dog park to meet new people and dogs. Never a problem with aggression.

However, about 2 months ago her behavior started to change. She's now standing her ground and growling at dogs and people who approach us (the same people and dogs we see every day). She's charging at joggers and cyclists and has no patience with little noises around the house and starts investigating and growling. I've had a couple of handy men working around the house and she got really upset and I had to put her inside the crate. It looked like she wanted a piece of them.

Has she reached maturity and needs to be retrained? What am I doing wrong? The food is the same, she has no apparent health problems. She's the same sweet dog with my wife and kids.

Thanks for any adivse...

Kathy Ollie Chester and Newman's picture

I'm wondering if there could be a physical problem...

that is causing this.  I would take her to the vet and get her a checkup first to make sure everything is okay.  They don't become aggressive when they mature, something is causing this, especially if the change was fairly sudden.

Deb and MacKenzie and Ester's picture

Well they can become more BITCHY

as they mature. And bitchy can include all of the nasty behavior she is portraying. She is becoming overly protection and that can come with maturity. She is taking charge. I personally do not like dog parks as once there you have lost all control of what happens. So she has taken on the incharge roll.

I think you need a trainer to assist you in modifying her behavior. Have you done obedience classes with her? That would be a start. She needs to know YOU are incharge, not her.

It's only a matter time before her attitude will cross another dog that is only to happy to ingage in a fight. That you do not want to have happen.

I'm curious why you have not had her spayed?

Kfer's picture

There's no particular reason

There's no particular reason for not having her spayed yet. She's almost 3 and hasn't had a single health issue at all. I'm afraid having her spayed might start health problems.

I think I might need to pay for a trainer. She's been a model dog until now.

Deb and MacKenzie and Ester's picture

Actually Spays

for bitches is far better then not spaying healthwise. Pyo alone and mammory tumors would be 2 very good health reasons to spay. Oh and uterine cancer. Then add the unpleasantness of heat cycles. If you are not planning on showing her it really is better health wise to spay. I think it also can help some with temperament on these bossy girls. Hormones you aren't dealing with.

If you find a trainer make sure they use positive reinforcement methods and you are totally involved. It does no good to send the dog to a trainer if you haven't gone to school yourself to learn more then the dog.

My guess is, her change in behavior is not as

sudden as you think it is. Dogs, as they mature can and do become far less tolerant to what they perceive to be rude behavior, especially with other dogs. She has told you that she is uncomfortable at the dog park, listen to her. Personally, I don't like dog parks, daycare play groups etc., they appear to be gatherings designed more for human social interaction while the dogs are allowed to run amuck.

Keep in mind, our dogs rely on us to make the best decisions for them, to keep them safe and sane. She may have been giving low level indications that these social encounters were making her uncomfortable, but nobody listened. So now instead of whispering, she is yelling. Not all dogs are social butterflies, it doesn't make them bad dogs, its just they way they are.

I urge you to seek help from a trainer that uses positive methods of training to help all of you to understand each other a little better.

Best of luck. In the meantime, avoid placing her in situations that have caused her to react.

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Lynn King CPDT-KA