12 month old mini schnauzer aggressive behaviour


(Sydney)

My 12 month old mini schnauzer (Cooper) barks at every chance he gets when walking a leash and sees another dog, even if that dog is across the street. I understand that this is because he feels uncomfortable in some way at seeing the other dog, so I try to distract him by giving treats, but he rarely eats them once he sets off barking.

I thought maybe he wasn't socialised enough (although we did take him out to large dog parks with few dogs as a younger puppy) so I started taking him to the local dog park. He seems to enjoy his time there a lot, although he is evidently cautious of other dogs. He would run up to another dog and play bow, and then run back up to me. Sometimes he would hide under the bench I'm sitting on but once the other dog goes away he's back trying to play. Despite this he has on occasion showed some aggressive behaviour towards other smaller dogs. He would chase them and sometimes I can see him trying to bite. I don't know what play biting looks like and whether that's what he's doing but he only does it to smaller dogs. Sometimes I wonder maybe it's his schnauzer instinct kicking in, as he was originally bred to catch rodents.

Does anyone have any experiences like this? Any advice would be really appreciated:)

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Aug 08, 2016
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Advice for lead training
by: Anonymous

I have commented already but want to reply to your comments today. Dogs on a lead get their energy, negative or positive from the owner, that is why some of them behave differently when on the lead. He wants you to be in charge, if you are not and "hiding" is definitely not you being in charge, it is definitely giving him the message that he has to protect you when he is on the lead and the way he is doing that is to act aggressively. Hiding is telling him that you do not know how to be in charge. You know that because of his actions when he is off lead. You have to get your confidence going down that lead and until you do you will not be in charge of this little man. Practice a bit of being in charge, make sure you let him know what you are happy with, praise often whenever he is doing something you approve of such as lying or sitting still, being quiet and relaxed. Dogs will do what makes their owners happy and gets them praise.

Aug 08, 2016
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Cooper
by: Linda and Max

If you can afford a session or two with an animal behaviourist, I would go for that.
I also think that obedience classes would be a good idea as he will learn to socialise normally with other dogs there. Either way, or both, I would take action quickly while he is still young.
Let us know how you get on.

Aug 06, 2016
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Cooper
by: Anonymous

Thanks for all your advice everyone:)

It's very confusing because at dog parks he seems excited to see other dogs and will almost prance around, but on a lead he becomes very aggressive (barking and snapping) towards other dogs. I've tried distracting him with treats or hiding behind cars but this doesn't seem to work for him. He doesn't even pay attention to the treats he usually loves, it's like he's gone into attack mode until the dog

I will have a look at Caesar's videos as I have heard about him, but I'm thinking Cooper may need some professional intervention too... I used to think he was just overly excited to see other dogs, but know I'm beginning to wonder if he has anxiety issues. Would anyone recommend obedience training?

Jul 31, 2016
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Young Schnauzer needing guidance.
by: Anonymous

You need to watch Ceaser Milan who is The Dog Whisperer.
He deals with these behaviours regularly on his programme. I know you must be thinking that this sounds silly but if you listen at the beginning of the programme they tell you what the dogs problems are so you can decide if that's your problem or not. He is so clever and gets these behaviours sorted very quickly, especially what you are talking about. While on his lead and you are giving him plenty space from the other dogs on other side of street. You need to pay attention to your dogs actions, whenever you see him looking at the other dog coming ( it's all about timing) then you need to get his attention by tugging on his lead to distract and pay attention to you. You will have to do this several times on each of your walks until he understands not to bother about what's happening else where. Do not reward him with treats for bad behaviour. It takes time but if you love him then you'll put the time in. It worked with my Skye Terrier.

Jul 31, 2016
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Aggession
by: Anonymous

I hope I can pass on a few things that I have learned. If you try to "distract your dog with treats", he won't see it as that, he will think that he is being rewarded for what he is doing. What you have to do is to be the leader, be in charge. He is not allowed to exhibit that behaviour so checking him immediately with a sharp inward and upward pull on the lead/collar should give him this message. Keep doing this until he gets the message. Every time he does anything that you don't want him to do let him know by a sharp noise or a "no" (no long sentences or using his name). You have to be the boss. I used the technique of being the boss when my dog who was a new rescue and who was very nervous of other dogs used to go into meltdown trying to run away whenever a neighbours dog would come running towards him (a German Shepherd). I started to assert my dominance by standing in between my dog and the other dog and telling the other dog "no" in a loud assertive voice, this made the other dog run in the other direction and took away the fear from my dog who then became calm and less fearful because he then knew that I was obviously in charge. It does work. Look at some of Cesar Milan's programmes on Sky, you will learn a great deal from him about being a "pack leader".
Good luck.
Jenny

Jul 31, 2016
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Cooper
by: Linda and Max

We are not dog behaviourists, but it loos like a couple of things could be happening.

Firstly, he is at an age when he is pushing the boundaries - his teenage years!
Secondly he seems to have a little fear which is triggering his aggression.
Most dogs growl and nip each other when they play. Are his hackles raised or is he genuinely playing? Sometimes this can look rough, but it is often normal play between two or more dog.
Does his tail wag?
It sounds like he could be bullying the smaller dogs. I don't think it is his Terrier instinct, as this normally applies to small animals of other species and birds, I think it is his character.
You are right, now ids the time to nip it in the bud.
I'd advise more socialisation sessions with controlled behaviour, rather than running free biting, and/or a visit to an animal behaviourist/trainer. It doesn't sound like it would take long to cure.
Good luck.

PS Any readers have other ideas?

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