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the semi-stray dog we're supposed to care for is insane (practical dognuts help!)

AldoAldo Hippo Hooraythe swamp, always the swampRegistered User regular
edited March 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
I'm working for an NGO here in India and we have two stray dogs that were saved by earlier volunteers and who use our building as a safehouse during the day and in return give us some affection and keep other dogs far away. One is at most 1 year old, a total cutie and very small. We have no real problems with him besides stealing slippers and shoes from time to time.

The other dog is about three years old and I'm getting more and more frustrated by him every day. He is pretty small, but he's got the muscles and agility to protect his territory. My problem with him is that he has turned rather insane. I'm fine with him getting into barking contests and the occasional skirmishes with other dogs, but he has been barking up against little children, goats, various salesmen and cows. The cows, salesmen and goats know what's what, if he gets too close they'll just kick him or put him on their horns. The little kids are a big problem, because they get very scared and he literally drives them in a corner.

The dog is very kind to everyone who lives, works or visits here and he is only aggressive outside the main gate. He lets us hold him, push and shove him, stroke him and tease him. However, I'm not going to get in a fight with him like I would with my own dog back home. I've held him for a minute by his neck making sure his mouth couldn't reach any part of my body, but that is absolutely not something I want to be doing on a daily basis.

So here's the thing: the dog has not been raised as much as he has grown accustomed to living here with humans. We don't feed them, we don't give them water and they have to go outside every evening when we go to bed. We have absolutely no idea why he is acting the way he does and I have been told that this aggressiveness is a recent change in character. Between the volunteers we've bounced around a few ideas, but nothing really convincing. Perhaps the heat is getting to him, or the younger dog has been making friends around the place and he feels threatened in his alpha male position.

Anyway, how can I (or, we, rather) convince this beast to stop being aggressive to little kids? Ignoring him is not feasible, because nearly everyone already does. Kicking and slapping doesn't work, because he's a street dog, he will not be convinced. We cannot convince him with treats, because he has never gotten much of that, so he doesn't recognize that concept. Stick, carrot and cold shoulder are the only three ways I know to get things through the thick skulls of dogs.

So H/A: help. Is there anything we could try? Anyone got any experience with stray dogs? Dogs in India or other developing countries?

Oh and we can't have a dog thread without pictures

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