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Categories: Puppy Training

Q. I’ve been reading some of your Q&As about puppies. I have to tell you that you are so right that a pup being attacked by another dog can have dire consequences.
Hi Cindy,

I?ve been reading some of your Q&As about puppies. I have to tell you that you are so right that a pup being attacked by another dog can have dire consequences. My almost-4-year-old Doberman came from a breeder who took great pains to socialize him to be a very confident, almost unfazeable boy who loved all people and other pups. He was a dream of a puppy. Not knowing any better at the time, I took him to a puppy class when he was about 12 weeks old. He was great for the first couple of classes. Then the instructor brought her very large, intact Rhodesian Ridgeback to the class so the puppies could have contact with an older dog. For some reason, this adult dog focused on my Spencer, chasing him aggressively until my poor puppy was cowering under a chair. All this happened in a matter of seconds before I could rescue him. After that, Spencer was aggressive towards less confident puppies and became quite a menace. I worked with him diligently for over a year to overcome this setback because he could not work as a therapy dog if he was dog aggressive. He has such a sweet temperament, loves to work and to please, and he now can get along with any other dog and shows no aggression. We have just started competitive agility, and he has no problem at all being around hundreds of other dogs in a confined space. Of course, I am very careful about who he plays with and NEVER take him to dog parks, except to stand outside the gates and reward him for paying attention to me and not the other dogs. I didn?t realize that the Ridgeback incident was most likely the cause of his problem until I found your website about a year and a half ago. I now warn anyone with two ears about dog parks and refer them to your website. I also advise friends who have gotten new pups to NOT take them to classes until they have already obedience trained them themselves. That is what I did, unintentionally, with my first Doberman, and she ended up being as close to perfect as a dog could be.

Thank you for all you do for the good of dogs. I hope Ed is recovering from his knee surgery and that you all are recovering from the fire and tragic loss of your pet.

Judy

A.
  
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