Hi! My name is Jessie and I am a fear aggressive dog. Wow that feels good to get that off my furry chest.
To be more specific I'm a fear aggressive dog when I'm with my parents in public. My poor humans love me so much that there must be something inside me that makes me feel like I have to protect them all the time. This is tough for my humans because they know how loving and kind I am, but everybody else, especially the little humans, only see me as a barky, teeth baring, lungy dog, which is really scary.
- My first experience with another dog while I was on lead and they were not was very scary for me. This big furry black and white dog bounded up to me and wanted to play. How was I suppose to know? It was the first time I had ever seen a dog that didn't look like me; and it was the first time I met a dog when I was on a lead and they were not.
- My first experience with a little human was a little boy who smacked me on my snout. Ouch! That hurt. So, it makes sense to me that I'm a bit fearful of those little ones, even more so because they're at my height and stare straight into my eyes. . . not fun for me.
- My mum is an anxious person by nature. Because of the above encounters any time another dog or child comes close to us my mum tenses up, which travels straight down the lead to me and I go into protect mode.
Giving up and sending me back to my Auntie Teresa, aka my breeder, is not an option, because as I mentioned my parents love me too much and plus I'm super cute when I'm not being this fear aggressive beast. If that's not an option what needs to change?
What worked for us:
Read dog behvaiour books, websites, blogs
Allow your dog to trust and respect you completely as leader. When they do, they will let go of the leadership role that they felt they needed to have. My humans achieved this with practicing the four basic principals of Amichien® Bonding that Jan Fennell, the Dog Listener, advocates.
Human parents need to relax and be confident with their fur babies. This needs to be mastered in the home, a sanctuary for both dog and humans, before venturing out into the big scary world.
Practice, practice, practice. Overcoming fear aggression is a long process and needs regular practice. It will not go away overnight. Practice with a friend who you trust will be relaxed.
If you have a fear-aggressive dog don't give up on them. With a bit of love, patience, trust and yummy treats you can break the behaviour. Please talk to an expert before venturing down this path on your own. Their expertise will make the process that much easier.