Ask An Expert

beagle that reacts aggressively towards other dogs 

Hi there I have adopted a beagle who is 7 and 5 months from the rspca. He is perfectly behaved at home with two other beagles ( 7 yrs and 4 years) but is reactive towards other dogs that try to come up to him as well as will bark and growl at bikes riding by or noisy trucks. I am trying to redirect his attention when any of the above things are coming towards him with fritz. I have taken him to a vet to be checked out including bloods and all is clear. I have also contacted the rspca who were aware of his behaviour but not to this extreme. They feel that he may not be able to be rehome but I don't want to give up on him.
Hope you are able to give me any information to help Syd who has been in and out of foster care.
Thanks Linda

Answered Wednesday 21 October 2015

Hi Linda,


 thanks for the question as this is quite a common problem in domestic dogs. I assume this behaviour is being displayed when he is on a lead? This often happens because the dog feels threatened and trapped when he is on the lead and hence responds to possible threats with aggression. 

You are on the right track by trying to distract him when the threatening stimulus occurs. Do you use play, toys or food rewards to re-direct his attention? Usually food rewards are the best however it depends on whether he is food motivated. You would be best to try training him when they are not too many threatening stimuli around (ie at night or early morning) as otherwise you will just spend the entire time feeding him! Obviously avoid busy roads and dog parks initially so that you can achieve some walks without failures. 

I would suggest that you ask your vet for a recommendation on a dog trainer that may be able to actually come out and help you re-train Syd in the field. You may also want to consider anti-anxiety medications for him, at least for the early stages of the re-training process, however your vet will be able to advise you on what is most appropriate.

If you are committed to your new pup then I am sure with a consistent and multi-modal approach you will be able to get on top of this problem however it may take some time.

Good luck and thanks for providing a caring home for a previously unwanted animal,




 Anthony and James. 


Pet Experts

Dr Ant and Dr James

These two best mates share a love of animals and are the stars of Village Vets Australia.

More Questions & Answers

Car Sickness 

Hi Donna,    thanks for the question. Car/motion sickness is quite common in dogs and cats, as it is in humans, and is often the reason that the animal hates going in the car.... Read more

Cat 'dandruff' 

Hi Lesley, thanks for your question as this is quite a common problem in cats and dogs. Dandruff usually indicates dry skin however sometimes it can indicate mites or infection. Have you had yo... Read more

Female Jack Russel x 5y 

Hi Coral,  it sounds like your poor little Jackie is in quite a lot of distress. The skin is the largest organ in the body and if it is inflammed and upset then the animals are usually in... Read more


Here we go!   I think you are asking what is the function of the bacteria in the rumen?  The function of the bacteria within the rumen is to ferment and help digest the cellul... Read more

Veterinary trainee-ships  

Hi Amy,    boy you are starting young, James and I didn't start studying until after year 12! We do offer trainee ships to both young vet students in their final year of u... Read more

3 1/2 old kelpie X choc lab 

Hi Shannan,    it sounds like you have a highly active dog in a kelpie x lab. What is your exercise and training regime with your dog?  Hole digging is generally somethin... Read more

Honey.... My Jack Russell cross 

Hi Lea,    it sounds like Lea is a little bit nervous and possibly anxious. Did she go to puppy preschool when she was young? Do you know what social interactions she had in the i... Read more

Sheep breeding 

Hi Blake,    it is generally considered a risk to breed a ram to his progeny as the risk of heritable diseases will increase. Most producers will have several rams to avoid this e... Read more


Hi Kerrill,  thanks for your question however I will need a bit more information to properly answer it. Firstly, where is your dog most itchy? The location of the itch gives us lots of... Read more

RUBY - Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 

Hi Elaine,    thank you for your question and sorry to hear that Ruby is so sick. It is hard to know whether you should put her to sleep without seeing her and conducting an exami... Read more


Sign Out

Join the Conversation

Please note, LifeStyle cannot respond to all comments posted in our comments feed. If you have a comment or query you would like LifeStyle to respond to, please use our feedback form.