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Our question this week was:
Nino is a 1-year-old dog. He was always playful and love the doggie parks and got along well with others dogs big and small alike. I put Nino in a dog kennel that allowed dogs to play with other dogs. The first time used the service it was for 9 days. He came back thin, and a little aggressive adjusted quickly back to his loving self. I didn't think anything about it.
I put him back in the same kennel this time for 4 days. He has come back a different dog. I did notice a scratch by his eye and didn't think anything about it. But then two days later I took him to the doggie park he kind of kept to himself. When I took him back the next day they were a lot of dogs there and he started attacking any dog that came by him even the ones he knew and were his friends for months.
I took him out right away and check him further I notice that his ear had a cut that was healing and the front of his face they was something healing on that also. I called the kennel and asked what happen? They said he didn't have a fight but that he did jump the fence to be with the big dogs.
I think they are not telling me the truth something happened to Nino to change his personality not to want to be playful with other dogs. I feel so bad for him, he is so loving to have to have gone through such an experience and not be able to tell me. How can I re-socialize him to like other dogs? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
Sonia Payne - Orlando, Florida
Hi - thanks for your email. Sounds like a strange behavior change. Is Nino neutered? If not, that could be part of it. Many intact dogs around the age of 1 can have some behavior changes that can include aggression. If he is not neutered, you may want to strongly consider that.
If he is neutered, it is hard to know what happened. Weather he felt threatened at the kennel or what - we will never know. As far as how to re-socialize him - that is a tough one.
I'd recommend starting over. Keep him on a leash. It may be worth doing some general command training. Make sure he has plenty of play time. Give him lots of positive reinforcement when he interacts properly with other dogs. You can also seek help from your veterinarian or local behaviorist.
An article that might be helpful to you is Creating a Social Friendly Dog This article is written by a well-known behaviorist and I think it will help you.
Best of luck!
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