We own a rescued Husky-chow mix who is SUPER laid-back with people and children (even toddlers), but is aggressive with dogs who are either similar or larger in size (doesn't seem to have problems with smaller dogs.) I'm sure it's a "defense" issue, but what is the best way to teach her to get along with other dogs? Doggy day care? Any suggestions are welcome and appreciated!
How old is this dog? Socialization can really help with younger dogs, but an older dog -- especially with that particular breed mix -- may already be "set in its ways" and not be willing to socialize with other dogs. Both huskies and chows are notorious for producing alphas that attempt to dominate other dogs, and even well-socialized can't mix with some dogs because of their more aggressive forms of play. Definitely do NOT take the dog to a doggy daycare when she's known to pick fights with other dogs; that just hands a potential problem over to someone else and puts their customers' dogs at risk. Instead, take the dog to parks and such where they may come near other dogs who are leashed and under tight enough control that a fight can not break out, and if you know people who have laid-back dogs of the type this one is generally aggressive with then arrange to meet with them...again, in a tightly-controlled situation where the dog is restrained and can easily be removed at the first sign of aggression.
I have a large Alpha dog, who started out nice and friendly, but the older she got the more aggressive she became. She would attack any dog that came onto our property or near our family, when we were out. She actually seemed to attract other aggressive dogs, as she never went out of her way to get into fights. We were considering getting rid of her, until we realized she was perfectly calm, when away from home and the family was gone. Her aggression was all tied to the property she felt was hers to protect.
When we realized that, we found a doggy sitter that had individual kennels for each dog, so she could be around other dogs, without being in direct contact with them. At first she was really nervous -- scared really, but after three days, she had learned that other dogs could be fun. Now, as long as she is not at home or being attacked, she is friendly with other dogs.
We take her to the doggy sitter every time we go on vacation, to keep her socialized, and she is always so relaxed when we bring her home.
My mom took in a female stray that appeared to be a chow/husky/golden retriever mix.
I agree that this combination makes for a dog that is very protective of its own turf. At least that's what I get from her behavior. Sunnie sometimes even picks up on the owner's feelings. Rarely, she growls at strangers, but only because the owner didn't want them on the property! Sunnie was always aggressive to my male dog, but after he died, I took my two small female dogs to mom's house. I made sure that I gave Sunnie plenty of attention. The first time she jumped on my new mini schnauzer, I squirted Sunnie with my water pistol, and that seemed to work after the first two times. She now accepts my schnauzer very well. I'm not saying this will work for everyone.
Dogs always accept my toy poodle.
Any chance you could take all this really good advice across to the political thread - there are a couple of cros-bred conservative christians who need anti aggression therapy !
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