a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Tika Aggression

Monday, June 19, 2006

Tika Aggression

SUMMARY: Tika going after other dogs--puppy love?

Something that Tika has been doing since shortly after the puppy arrived--if the puppy starts playing with other dogs, or other dogs pay attention to her somehow, Tika starts sounding off. I've taken that to mean, "that's MY puppy, stay away from her!" I have corrected her firmly (I believe) whenever she does it, as I don't want to encourage that. Usually it's when Tika's in her crate or on leash.

Usually, when we're out playing frisbee, Tika pays little or no attention to other dogs. But, Saturday evening, we were all playing frisbee, and some friends walked by with their dogs, and we were fine, but then they stopped nearby to chat, and Boost went over to do the submissive-play thing at their dogs, and Tika launched herself ferociously at one of their dogs. She didn't make physical contact, but her hackles were up and she was making quite a ferocious and dangerous-sounding racket. I pulled her off, but it seemed so uncharacteristic of her. (Ignoring the on-leash, around-the-neighborhood sturm und drang that she provides when seeing another dog.)

Then--and this is really weird--Sunday morning, as I was setting her up on the start line, which for this course was on the side of the ring just about as close as you could get to where we were set up, there was a bit of a ruckus over near our set-up. I don't know exactly what it was. Someone with a rat terrier-type dog was strolling between the ring and our setup. Our setup was about 40 feet back from the side of the ring, so there was way more than normal the amount of space (often it's only 15 feet). The dogs camped exactly next to us (Corgis) did put up a racket whenever another dog came near them, but this dog wasn't that near. And Boost does make a fuss when other dogs do agility--and possibly when Tika does it. So she and/or the Corgis might have been the ones sounding off.

At any rate, it really caught Tika's attention as we walked to the line. I had to hold onto her, and worked hard to get her to sit, and she kept spinning herself away from me towards the sideline. As soon as I took off her leash, pow, she shot out of the ring and straight at the rat terrier, who was about half the size of her head, donig the same thing as the night before, hackles up, not quite making contact, and making a helluva aggressive racket. The other person scooped up their dog, and I chased her down and grabbed her, and then she came quite cheefully back into the ring.

We were very lucky that the judge didn't E us, either for leaving the ring or for looking aggressively at another dog, and then we had a very lovely run. I think it was jumpers.

This is a little bit of a concern. OK, it should be a big bit of a concern. Not sure where to go with this.

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