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Whenever I take my dog to the park, the following happens:

  1. When a dog barks at him, even if it is a small Chihuahua, he immediately gets scared and jumps back.
  2. Otherwise, he just plays normally: running around with the other dogs, fetching a ball, etc.
  3. However, whenever there is a shy dog, usually if it's a 5-8 month puppy that makes a lot of crying sounds, my dog immediately runs over and rough houses, mounts, etc. Today it got a little out of hand and he bit another dog's(8 month old husky) butt. It was quite a struggle to pull him off. Luckily, nothing happened to the other dog and he was fine. Maybe that triggered him? This other dog was continually letting out crying sounds.

I was told that dogs don't suddenly do something like biting. It's usually a longer behavior pattern. I don't want him to behave aggressively towards shy dogs and so I would like to know the best way to train him against this.

He never ever barks at home. I've heard him bark just once at the park when we had to leave and he didn't want to go. Otherwise, he never barks, I've absolutely never heard him growl or pounce on any human. He doesn't lick either. And I take him to the dog park almost every other day, and he's never bit another dog. So to me, this really was a first. Any advice would be super helpful.

His current training: He's really good with sit/stay/come. I can usually immediately re-direct his attention and he comes when called. Also, he never pulls on the leash. Although the "re-directing" part didn't work too well when he was biting onto the other dog.

He's a 70 pound American Staffy. They estimated him to be about 3.5 years old. And he is desexed.

  • You say that he gets scared when another dog barks at him. Is it because he jumps back that you think he is scared or are there other signs, too? – Haras Brummi Sep 14 '17 at 11:55
  • If another dog barks or is more excited/aggressive, he jumps back, his tail tucks(or at the very least no longer wags), and he runs to a different dog. – Jonathan Sep 14 '17 at 17:14
  • How long do you have him? Does he have any history? – Haras Brummi Sep 21 '17 at 10:20
  • I've had him for almost 2 months now. They said he was a stray. But he came pretty trained. Because from the first day, he was potty trained, no barking, pouncing, pulling, etc. So I think he might have been someone's pet before and was let loose later? @HarasBrummi – Jonathan Sep 21 '17 at 18:29
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I am not sure with this answer, this is just a suggestion. It would be good to see what his body language is when he is biting the other dog. Is it stress? Aggression? Fear? But you can do a test, if it is triggered by the crying sounds.

There are toys for dogs which make crying sounds when are pressed like squeaky ducks. How do he react with it?

We had a dog which didn't liked it first. If we played with her and this toy and whenever the crying sound raised, she immediatly stopped playing with it. She had a naturally inhibition to hurt someone, even a toy. We thought that this is stupid and animated her to play with it anyway. And after a while she loved it madly. She was really fixated on it and started to bite this toy even harder when it cried. She was so into it that we could stop her hardly to bite this toy. So we took this toy from her because we did not want to desensitize her. She should stop with playing/biting/whatever she did if someone cries and not start to bite even stronger.

So maybe your dog learned to bite and he is triggered by the crying sounds. If he is, you can train with those toys to stop him or to sensitize him.

  • Hmm, interesting! I'll definitely try it! And, it doesn't seem like aggression or fear or even stress. No growling/barking occurred, no hair on the back stood up, it was just a very rough playful thing, it seemed like. – Jonathan Sep 22 '17 at 8:45

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