Our dog seems to be getting worse with his aggressiveness, to a point where it’s becoming a concern around how other dogs will react to him.
With humans he’s generally fine, although will back away if he doesn’t know them and he’s on the floor. Pick him up, and whilst he still shys away a little, he’s fine with strangers touching him.
Whilst walking on lead, there’s a 50/50 chance he will see another dog and start growling, barking and to a point, screaming at the other dog. We’ve tried moving him to one side, and getting him to focus on a treat instead, but even high value treats he loves such as cheese or meat, he totally ignores.
We were at the in-laws yesterday and they’re looking after their nans Lurcher, who our dog has met plenty of times before. He was sat on my lap, the Lurcher came in and our dog went mad. Snarling and snapping and in the process, he caught my arm snapping. Fortunately, the Lurcher is completely relaxed and doesn’t react.
We gave it a couple of minutes, put his harness on and a loose lead, put him on the floor and he does his usual sniff but wary about her flapping her long legs and tail.
Does anyone have any suggestions about how we can tackle this?
(note this is just a brief generalised response)
I would not recommend taking him to any group classes <another respondent suggested taking him to group classes>. He is currently dog reactive and placing him in a room with other dogs could possibly do more harm than good.
He will also not be interested in treats as he will be too aroused to eat.
You need to desensitise him to other dogs and counter-condition him to, hopefully, getting to a point where he sees other dogs as s positive but, at the very least, not a threat.
To achieve this when you see a dog in the distance, remain calm and focus your attention on him. Once you see that he has seen the other dog then, without any talk, guide him away from this dog bringing no attention to it. Once you are at a distance away from the other dog where your dog no longer pays it any heed then get him to sit (I call this a compliance sit) and give him a reward (treat, toy, praise, play).
The aim is to shorten the distance between him and the other dogs over time and the work on a meet and greet (initially short and move on).
Try to keep the chat with him limited and wholly positive and calm. This will reassure him that you have got everything in hand and he does not need to worry.
It will take time as it is now probably learned behaviour and somewhat embedder but via consistent calm and positive leadership he will learn that other dogs are not threats.
Note: most mini dachshunds are dog reactive by default so factor this in when counter conditioning him.