I spoke to a concerned dog owner from Plymouth today who had rescued a 4 year old staffy bitch who was dog aggressive. This is common in certain breeds if the dogs are not socialised from an early age, but it is possible to work sensibly to desensitise the dog in a controlled way.The rescue centre had warned that she should be kept on the lead. Wanting to do his very best, this owner contacted a so called professional who proceeded to tell him to buy an E Collar ( a shock collar to the layman ) He then put his own dog in one tennis court and the rescue dog, wearing the collar in the one next door and proceeded to let them fight through the mesh – instructing the owner to turn the collar on his dog up to maximum shock levels – which unsurprisingly made her worse.
It is simple – she is getting punished by the presence of another dog. Everytime she sees a dog and reacts to it , she is shocked. It makes her more aggressive not less, because she is a terrier and they dont run away, they stand and fight. So this so called professional is increasing her aggression to other dogs. From a short conversation, it seems likely she is fear aggressive and copes until dogs come to close to her, then panics and would attack if not on lead and muzzle, which she is. So, her fear is heightened, she never gets to learn through patient, controlled on lead walks with other dogs that they are not a threat and could therefore be persuaded to ignore them as they go by – she just gets more scared and more aggressive. Nice days work!