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Old 11.05.2014, 14:50
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my puppy keeps getting attacked!

Hudson, my 7 month old corgi mix is the kindest and most friendly pup I've ever known. He lays down and shows his belly to every dog we meet while merrily wagging his tail as they sniff him and seems to respond well if the dog isn't into playing.

However- in the last month or so it seems like every dog we meet gets super aggressive super quickly. I asked our vet if she had any ideas of what could be the cause and she just shrugged (we are looking for a new vet). I'm wondering if anyone has any insight about this issue? I am starting to get anxious whenever I see another dog when we're on our walks and I don't want to put Hudson on the leash all the time because he behaves so well off of it.

Would love to be told it's just a puppy thing that will stop happening
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Old 11.05.2014, 15:25
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Re: my puppy keeps getting attacked!

I would say the problem doesn't lie with your pup, but with the owners that allow their dogs' aggression.

I can see how you think it is somehow your dog's fault because of the frequency of the attacks, although you said yourself that your dog is well behaved and non-aggressive, it sounds like you are just unlucky and encountering a higher than average number of ratty dogs.

What kind of aggression is it? Is it highly threatening and at risk of injury, or does it look like a lot of warning snaps, growling and bared teeth that could just be the older dog teaching the young pup who is boss?
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Old 11.05.2014, 15:28
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Re: my puppy keeps getting attacked!

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Hudson, my 7 month old corgi mix is the kindest and most friendly pup I've ever known. He lays down and shows his belly to every dog we meet while merrily wagging his tail as they sniff him and seems to respond well if the dog isn't into playing.

However- in the last month or so it seems like every dog we meet gets super aggressive super quickly. I asked our vet if she had any ideas of what could be the cause and she just shrugged (we are looking for a new vet). I'm wondering if anyone has any insight about this issue? I am starting to get anxious whenever I see another dog when we're on our walks and I don't want to put Hudson on the leash all the time because he behaves so well off of it.

Would love to be told it's just a puppy thing that will stop happening
i feel for you, one of my dogs is very friendly, just loves other dogs, if they don't love her back she just walks off. i never have to worry about her behaviour so thats one big big big plus.

Mine are girls though, it may be Hudson being a male? its other male dogs having a go at him, you might be in an area with a lot of male dogs?

is it possible he's not castrated, maybe it gives off more scent than if he were..

sorry this is no real help, all i can think of is walks would be much worse if he were dominant and aggressive too.

what i find with my other one who is dominant, any scuffles never lead to blood. its a lot of noise, even though i have a zero tolerance for aggression, other dogs are off leash and aggressive to her, so i talked to the owner of the other dogs and asked if we could try on leash because i can't explain to her, in every other situation (zero tolerance), she's not allowed to do this growling snapping chasing thing, except with these dogs to defend herself!
so far so good, it would be nicer if they could just get on though.
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Old 11.05.2014, 16:03
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What kind of aggression is it? Is it highly threatening and at risk of injury, or does it look like a lot of warning snaps, growling and bared teeth that could just be the older dog teaching the young pup who is boss?
The warning snaps he responds to really well, I don't worry about it as these dogs just want to be left alone and he does that. The dogs that are a problem aren't so much biting or attacking (though that has happened) it's the ones that are overly dominant and pretty much bowl him over and won't let him up. It's extra frustrating because I usually have to pull them off while the owner stands by.

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i feel for you, one of my dogs is very friendly, just loves other dogs, if they don't love her back she just walks off. i never have to worry about her behaviour so thats one big big big plus.

Mine are girls though, it may be Hudson being a male? its other male dogs having a go at him, you might be in an area with a lot of male dogs?

is it possible he's not castrated, maybe it gives off more scent than if he were..

sorry this is no real help, all i can think of is walks would be much worse if he were dominant and aggressive too.

what i find with my other one who is dominant, any scuffles never lead to blood. its a lot of noise, even though i have a zero tolerance for aggression, other dogs are off leash and aggressive to her, so i talked to the owner of the other dogs and asked if we could try on leash because i can't explain to her, in every other situation (zero tolerance), she's not allowed to do this growling snapping chasing thing, except with these dogs to defend herself!
so far so good, it would be nicer if they could just get on though.
There are A LOT of dogs around us. I went from hating rainy days to loving them because it's the only time I have a chance to take him out without meeting other dog.

He isn't castrated. I am kind of hoping it is all just a case of him being the new young stud on the scene and all this is mellow out when he's a little older. fingers crossed!

He seems to get along with females better than males

Last edited by 3Wishes; 23.05.2014 at 19:27. Reason: merging successive posts
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Old 11.05.2014, 17:18
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Re: my puppy keeps getting attacked!

If it is always the same dogs, it CAN be harmless. Our dog had his best buddies, and when they met it sounded as if they were killing each other when, in fact, they were just having the best of times, running off through the no-leash part of the forest. People who did not know them were really concerned.

However, it does not really sound like that in your case, and I am afraid I cannot really offer much comfort…

What about dog school, how did it go, there?

Wishing you and Hudson the best of luck
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Old 12.05.2014, 11:06
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Re: my puppy keeps getting attacked!

I totally feel your stress. Our little dog is very playful. With small dogs she has a lot of fun. With bigger dogs it can become a little too boisterous for her so she starts making this really horrible high pitched crying noise. It sounds like she is being really hurt and I want to step in, however our trainer told us she does it as it stems from puppy days when they would do it in the litter to say enough now, I don't like it. And we shouldnt step in as dogs need to have the chance to read each other's body language and listen to each other's noises and work it out themselves. Of course if they were actually fighting then it's different and we own oiled step in but that has never happened. Part of our training has also been about reading doggie body language so we know the difference between boisterous play and something else.

Do you mean aggressive and attacked as in vicious and teeth out in a threatening way? Or is it just boisterous play? Does your puppy seem unhappy when it happens? Do you have a trainer? Do you go to puppy school? If you did you could ask them for advice. If you need recommendations I can pass ours on, Although they are in zug.

Don't worry too much, dogs are quite resilient. Certainly don't make a fuss when it happens otherwise he will start to associate with it being a big deal.
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Old 12.05.2014, 11:28
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Re: my puppy keeps getting attacked!

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Hudson, my 7 month old corgi mix is the kindest and most friendly pup I've ever known. He lays down and shows his belly to every dog we meet while merrily wagging his tail as they sniff him and seems to respond well if the dog isn't into playing.

However- in the last month or so it seems like every dog we meet gets super aggressive super quickly. I asked our vet if she had any ideas of what could be the cause and she just shrugged (we are looking for a new vet). I'm wondering if anyone has any insight about this issue? I am starting to get anxious whenever I see another dog when we're on our walks and I don't want to put Hudson on the leash all the time because he behaves so well off of it.

Would love to be told it's just a puppy thing that will stop happening
My two cents:

For what it's worth, I don't think there is much you can do for your dog other than to help build his confidence up.

The fact that Hudson is submissive by nature (rolling over) generally invites other dominant behaviour from the other dogs.
I equally agree with a few earlier posts that I doubt that that the other dogs are 'attacking' Hudson, but rather asserting their dominance over him because.... well... they can.

But you don't need to be told the obvious.


What I would suggest (if Hudson was my dog) would be to sharpen up on 'body language' signals from dogs. Both Hudsons, and other dogs.
Firstly, and if only to quickly identify what is a 'real threat' and what is not. Sadly, this is usually learned the hard way but worth looking into.

I would also focus on improving Hudson's social confidence by keeping a sharp eye on his behaviour. Look for signs in his ears, raised hair, and in particular the tail position.
If the tail is tucked between his legs it's obvious he is scared or worried.
.... Lift his tail back up and reassure him that it's OK. If you're by his side and his tail is up he will beging to associate this scenario positively.


Keep an eye on your own behaviour. As you said "I am starting to get anxious whenever I see another dog", this will also send signals to Hudson which could start to create a negative spiral (or a self fulfilling prophecy) and you need to nip this in the bud now.
ALWAYS be confident.
If you start to lose confidence you will begin to over react. Intervening when you shouldn't, and creating tension by doing things like "pulling on the lead" to protect Hudson.... yet Hudson will only associate the lead tension driving further fear.

Anyway, this is just food for thought for now. But if you start to keep a sharper eye on your own, Hudsons, and other dogs behaviour, you will start to pick up on how best help him.

Hudson is just a pup and he is learning. You have to help teach him how to have the confidence around other dogs.

Hope this helps.
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Old 12.05.2014, 19:15
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If it is always the same dogs, it CAN be harmless. Our dog had his best buddies, and when they met it sounded as if they were killing each other when, in fact, they were just having the best of times, running off through the no-leash part of the forest. People who did not know them were really concerned.

However, it does not really sound like that in your case, and I am afraid I cannot really offer much comfort…

What about dog school, how did it go, there?

Wishing you and Hudson the best of luck
Puppy school went so well! He loved it and got on well with all the other dogs, we started when he was 10 weeks and we both learned a lot. I do sometimes feel like part of the problem is that he approaches dogs the same way he did as a puppy. Just super happy and ready to play instead of sitting back a little, like you see with older dogs.

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I totally feel your stress. Our little dog is very playful. With small dogs she has a lot of fun. With bigger dogs it can become a little too boisterous for her so she starts making this really horrible high pitched crying noise. It sounds like she is being really hurt and I want to step in, however our trainer told us she does it as it stems from puppy days when they would do it in the litter to say enough now, I don't like it. And we shouldnt step in as dogs need to have the chance to read each other's body language and listen to each other's noises and work it out themselves. Of course if they were actually fighting then it's different and we own oiled step in but that has never happened. Part of our training has also been about reading doggie body language so we know the difference between boisterous play and something else.

Do you mean aggressive and attacked as in vicious and teeth out in a threatening way? Or is it just boisterous play? Does your puppy seem unhappy when it happens? Do you have a trainer? Do you go to puppy school? If you did you could ask them for advice. If you need recommendations I can pass ours on, Although they are in zug.

Don't worry too much, dogs are quite resilient. Certainly don't make a fuss when it happens otherwise he will start to associate with it being a big deal.
We learned a lot about doggy body language in the puppy school and it has been SO helpful in these situations. I try to let hudson figure it out most of the time but there are times when he is pinned to ground and everytime he trys to get up is just pushed back down, and if he dares to growl to show he unhappy the other dog tends to escalate so I try to pull them apart as soon as I see Hudson can't get away.

It's really so stressed that I time out walks when the least amount of people will be around.

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My two cents:

For what it's worth, I don't think there is much you can do for your dog other than to help build his confidence up.

The fact that Hudson is submissive by nature (rolling over) generally invites other dominant behaviour from the other dogs.
I equally agree with a few earlier posts that I doubt that that the other dogs are 'attacking' Hudson, but rather asserting their dominance over him because.... well... they can.

But you don't need to be told the obvious.


What I would suggest (if Hudson was my dog) would be to sharpen up on 'body language' signals from dogs. Both Hudsons, and other dogs.
Firstly, and if only to quickly identify what is a 'real threat' and what is not. Sadly, this is usually learned the hard way but worth looking into.

I would also focus on improving Hudson's social confidence by keeping a sharp eye on his behaviour. Look for signs in his ears, raised hair, and in particular the tail position.
If the tail is tucked between his legs it's obvious he is scared or worried.
.... Lift his tail back up and reassure him that it's OK. If you're by his side and his tail is up he will beging to associate this scenario positively.


Keep an eye on your own behaviour. As you said "I am starting to get anxious whenever I see another dog", this will also send signals to Hudson which could start to create a negative spiral (or a self fulfilling prophecy) and you need to nip this in the bud now.
ALWAYS be confident.
If you start to lose confidence you will begin to over react. Intervening when you shouldn't, and creating tension by doing things like "pulling on the lead" to protect Hudson.... yet Hudson will only associate the lead tension driving further fear.

Anyway, this is just food for thought for now. But if you start to keep a sharper eye on your own, Hudsons, and other dogs behaviour, you will start to pick up on how best help him.

Hudson is just a pup and he is learning. You have to help teach him how to have the confidence around other dogs.

Hope this helps.
There have been 2 real attacks, where he was bit hard enough to bleed. Once near his ear and once just under his eye (I'm still thanking my lucky stars his eye was missed). They both happened when he was pinned under a dog and tried to unpin himself.

I spoke to a new vet today and he told me it's a good sign that Hudson still bares his belly to new dogs, so he hasn't developed antisocial behaviour after the bites.

Signed up for another training course and hoping this will all pass!

Last edited by 3Wishes; 19.05.2014 at 22:26. Reason: merging successive posts
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Old 12.05.2014, 20:12
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Re: my puppy keeps getting attacked!

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I totally feel your stress. Our little dog is very playful. With small dogs she has a lot of fun. With bigger dogs it can become a little too boisterous for her so she starts making this really horrible high pitched crying noise. It sounds like she is being really hurt and I want to step in, however our trainer told us she does it as it stems from puppy days when they would do it in the litter to say enough now, I don't like it. And we shouldnt step in as dogs need to have the chance to read each other's body language and listen to each other's noises and work it out themselves. Of course if they were actually fighting then it's different and we own oiled step in but that has never happened. Part of our training has also been about reading doggie body language so we know the difference between boisterous play and something else.

Do you mean aggressive and attacked as in vicious and teeth out in a threatening way? Or is it just boisterous play? Does your puppy seem unhappy when it happens? Do you have a trainer? Do you go to puppy school? If you did you could ask them for advice. If you need recommendations I can pass ours on, Although they are in zug.

Don't worry too much, dogs are quite resilient. Certainly don't make a fuss when it happens otherwise he will start to associate with it being a big deal.
My dog does exactly the same.

She's a small dog, under 6kg, but full of energy. She plays very well with dogs her size (especially jack Russell's) but she tends to be very wary of bigger dogs, after a few bad experiences.

When a big dog is a bit too enthusiast when playing with her, she starts running and shrieking, an awfully high-pitched sound like the other dog is actually killing her!

But I witnessed such scenes several times, and I realized my dog was shrieking just in case, and the other dog was never hurting or even touching her! So I just stay impassive, in order not to reinforce her feers.
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Old 12.05.2014, 20:19
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Re: my puppy keeps getting attacked!

If your dog is prone to this at the moment, I'd be tempted to limit the unsolicited socialising that he or she is exposed to.

When you encounter another dog, keep your dog under control (and not beginning the natural whatever he or she is doing) and get the dog to sit.

Position yourself between the two dogs to show dominance and to break the natural reactions that both are having.

Your dog is potentially overwhelmed with the smells and sensations of the walk and needs to adapt. My dog as a puppy would not pee anywhere else but our garden - all down to feeling comfortable.....

So it's slowly slowly slowly progressing. And with you between your dog and the other one, you will avoid the nips and snaps.

I assume the other owners have the dog on the leash?
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Old 19.05.2014, 20:40
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Re: my puppy keeps getting attacked!

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If your dog is prone to this at the moment, I'd be tempted to limit the unsolicited socialising that he or she is exposed to.

When you encounter another dog, keep your dog under control (and not beginning the natural whatever he or she is doing) and get the dog to sit.

Position yourself between the two dogs to show dominance and to break the natural reactions that both are having.

Your dog is potentially overwhelmed with the smells and sensations of the walk and needs to adapt. My dog as a puppy would not pee anywhere else but our garden - all down to feeling comfortable.....

So it's slowly slowly slowly progressing. And with you between your dog and the other one, you will avoid the nips and snaps.

I assume the other owners have the dog on the leash?
I think he definitely is over excited and may be too puppy-ish for these older dogs, who also smell that he's not just a little puppy anymore.

I actually reached out to a neighbor with 2 older German shepherds and we go on our walks together now. It's amazing how much better it has been all around. Hudson seems to be more relaxed in their company and will let them take the lead in saying hello to oncoming dogs.

It's not a forever fix but it's working for now.

Also, no, it's a very dog friendly town and most of the dogs are off leash- if I see one on I will call hudson back to me and ask before letting him approach.
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Old 19.05.2014, 23:07
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Re: my puppy keeps getting attacked!

I have a couple of advices, as I used to train dogs:

You said you learned about body language, but it's never too much to remember:
- if he has he's fur up (in the middle of the back next to the neck and the back next to the tail)
- if he has his tail between the legs

DO NOT CALL HIM OR PULL HIS LEASH but ask the owner of the dominant dog to call/pull the leash of his dog
This is very important: in a tense situation if you force to move the submissive dog, the dominant one might read his attempt at coming to you as signal that he it's time to attack..

And please see: if the play seems hard for you but your dog seems ok (without the 2 alarming sounds), try to relax, is just rough playing

Good luck!
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Old 20.05.2014, 02:23
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Re: my puppy keeps getting attacked!

Almost nothing that you've described sounds unusual to me, particularly for a pup that is only 7 months old.

I'm curious at how far you're going / what activities you're taking with your 7mo puppy to get into what seem like quite a few interactions with older dogs. Is it in a doggy playgroup or on regular walks?


The part that does sound strange is that he was bit hard enough to bleed. As others have said, it could be your actions that are provoking the attacks (kinda like my young cat running away putting a visiting lab into "hunt mode" even though he'd been calm the whole rest of the time). Puppy reactions are going to be primarily instinctive at that age, and while your "mama" reactions make you want to protect him, at the same time, it gives the wrong signal to the other dogs.

Walking him with two older dogs he knows well (and you trust) is a good idea, partially for his benefit to learn to read the dogs but also because YOU are more relaxed. In addition to that, maybe you can find an actual puppy play group where he can socialize with dogs closer to his own age. Another idea would be to get him involved learning and doing some "working dog" type activities, learning games revolving around hide and seek (sniff and sound), agility, or other activities that go along with dogness.
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Old 23.05.2014, 16:51
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Re: my puppy keeps getting attacked!

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Almost nothing that you've described sounds unusual to me, particularly for a pup that is only 7 months old.

I'm curious at how far you're going / what activities you're taking with your 7mo puppy to get into what seem like quite a few interactions with older dogs. Is it in a doggy playgroup or on regular walks?


The part that does sound strange is that he was bit hard enough to bleed. As others have said, it could be your actions that are provoking the attacks (kinda like my young cat running away putting a visiting lab into "hunt mode" even though he'd been calm the whole rest of the time). Puppy reactions are going to be primarily instinctive at that age, and while your "mama" reactions make you want to protect him, at the same time, it gives the wrong signal to the other dogs.

Walking him with two older dogs he knows well (and you trust) is a good idea, partially for his benefit to learn to read the dogs but also because YOU are more relaxed. In addition to that, maybe you can find an actual puppy play group where he can socialize with dogs closer to his own age. Another idea would be to get him involved learning and doing some "working dog" type activities, learning games revolving around hide and seek (sniff and sound), agility, or other activities that go along with dogness.

There are really just a large number of dogs in our area. We live next a whole bunch of forest trails so it's ideal for anyone who wants to walk, hike or run with their dog off the leash.

To be honest when he was bit under his eye (when he bled) it was before I had any nerves when it came to other dogs. I think I was very relaxed though after I saw the bite and heard the cry and saw the blood I did have to walk away and let my husband deal with it as I knew I couldn't hold it together.

I have wanted to join a puppy playgroup and hoping our new vet, who we will meet today, can point us in the right direction. I do think part of why walking with the older dogs helps is because Hudson gets his excitement out with them in the beginning so he's not so overly eager to play with everything he sees on four legs.

We do play a lot of games with him, he loves football and hide and seek and is starting to understand fetch. He is a real bundle of energy and we can't tire him out just with walks and he's to young to run with us so we do a lot mental exercises as well. I'd love to do agility with him when he's old enough.
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Old 23.05.2014, 17:51
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Re: my puppy keeps getting attacked!

Once, an unknown Swiss lady approached me and suggested MY DOG AND I take homeopathic medication to increase our " strength"....as we were too soft ( nice?).

The next day I found a bottle of "globūles" ( tiny pills) in my post box! Apparently she had observed me, and even knew where I lived!!


NEVER would I walk up to some random person and suggest they medicate themself and their dog! Crazy!


However, with our present Berner Sennenhund we have gone to Dog School and Dog play group, which is a GREAT experience. I had not realized how much there is to know...:-))

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Old 23.05.2014, 18:44
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Re: my puppy keeps getting attacked!

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...

NEVER would I walk up to some random person and suggest they medicate themself and their dog! Crazy!

...
hehe, plenty of women i meet, i think are off their meds, (mostly swiss women), i've often thought about suggesting to them they take some meds.. is that so wrong?
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Old 23.05.2014, 18:59
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Re: my puppy keeps getting attacked!

Well isn't that obvious? He is getting old enough to be sexually active and start to give off adult smell - he is not a puppy anymore. He will also become more and more aggressive towards other dogs so my suggestion is to neuter it before it is too late.
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Old 23.05.2014, 19:21
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Well isn't that obvious? He is getting old enough to be sexually active and start to give off adult smell - he is not a puppy anymore. He will also become more and more aggressive towards other dogs so my suggestion is to neuter it before it is too late.
He has shown zero aggression. I agree that part of the problem is smelling like an adult and acting like puppy.

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Once, an unknown Swiss lady approached me and suggested MY DOG AND I take homeopathic medication to increase our " strength"....as we were too soft ( nice?).

The next day I found a bottle of "globūles" ( tiny pills) in my post box! Apparently she had observed me, and even knew where I lived!!

I wish I was more surprised that such a thing could happen here

Last edited by 3Wishes; 23.05.2014 at 19:27. Reason: merging successive posts
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Old 23.05.2014, 19:45
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Re: my puppy keeps getting attacked!

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Well isn't that obvious? He is getting old enough to be sexually active and start to give off adult smell - he is not a puppy anymore. He will also become more and more aggressive towards other dogs so my suggestion is to neuter it before it is too late.
Also 7 months is too young to neuter a puppy
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Old 23.05.2014, 20:09
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Re: my puppy keeps getting attacked!

Does your puppy (probably a large dog now) has a lot iof fur and are his eyes difficult to see, then i was told it is hard for other dogs to "read" your dog. If he has a good haircut it may get a lot better.

I have an almost 2 years old Kooiker dog who is very sweet but gets aggressive if he sees another male dog. We went to a special "dog meets dog" training and it worked really well for our dog. (Fair train in Ottenbach is the dog school i went, no conncection)

Another point was that the dog teacher suggested that my dog got chemically castrated, this means it is reversible after 6 months (a chip is being put in his behind) but you can see how he reacts when he would be castrated. For my dog it worked also fine, he is much more reliable when it comes to listening and he is not so nervous around other dogs anymore...

hope this helps!
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