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aggression issues - where to from here

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I posted about a month ago about my BC Sam who was acting aggressive toward other dogs at Obedience class. He's 13 or 14 months now and I got him neutered 10 days ago. I took him back to obedience class and he is not any better. I've read that it takes up to 6 months for the testosterone to leave his system (does anyone know it that's true?) so I'm not surprised the neutering hasn't helped him. Anyway, its going to be hard to go back to class- I can't keep Sam from growling and barking loudly at the other dogs. He will do tricks and look at me for treats and I will say good good and everything seems fine— and then suddenly he catches site of another dog and lunges to the end of the leash growling barking at the other dog- and I will pull him back while he growls and pulls. I've tried to give the leash pops "corrections" going sideways and it doesn't stop him. I've tried giving tugs going up- doesn't stop him. Another student said pull him down- not up so that he feels less dominant - but when I pulled him down- I felt like he might bite my hands. The instructor said to really yell ARRGGG! at him. I've now watched a whole slew of dog aggression videos. I've watched the Leerburg dominant and aggressive dogs video— Leerburg says to use a "dominant dog collar" which is basically a nylon choke- when you pull calmly up- it cuts the dogs air off. I've been watching the Dog Whisperer and he never says he is cutting the dog's air off - but that's also what I think he does- he puts the collar very high on the neck and pulls up as well. Here's a link to the Leerburg video and instructions for the dominant dog collar— http://leerburg.com/746.htm

Do you think I should try this- if not what else should I do? Does anyone know of another training video or method for dog aggressive dogs?

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First, It may take a lot long than 10 days to get all the extra hormones out. Some dogs take a bit longer than others. Be patient. In the meantime, you may want to consider a private class or a semi private with only one or two other dogs where you can work on the aggressive stuff in a more controled setting.

 

Second, Ceasar is an idiot. This is not the best training method to follow. There are bits and pieces of his training that seem OK and every trainer has their place, but he is way over the top dominant and force just doesn't work for most dogs. The leash popping and choking out the dog doesn't do anything to correct the issue. It only causes more discomfort in a situation they are already not happy about. IMO, they can associate the discomfort with the aggression. This has the potential to spiral out of control.

 

Find a possitive bevahioralist in your area, not just and obedience trainer. Anyone can hold a class and teach a dog to sit. They can be pricey, but it's totally worth every penny. I took Lucia to one not long ago for one 3 hour session. I thought I had things under control until I went to her. We went over trigger points, reconditioning training, what is an acceptable outburst and what we need to walk away from and work on. I haven't been back, but continue to do the training and reconditioning. I would also recommend Control Unleased and Click to Calm. Susan Garrett also has several agility DVD's that are awesome for self control work, even if you never do any agility ever. Crate Games and Success with One Jump work on self control in a very fun way.

 

The first thing you need to do is figure out his threshold point. How close does the other dog have to be for him to react? 20ft or 3 blocks away? Figure out that and that's where you begin. If he sees another dog from 3 blocks away and reacts, move farther away and start over. It's a gradual process that feels like it will take forever. You start his training below the threshold and gradually work on getting closer. Each step has to have 100% success or you have to step back. For example, if a dog can walk by across the street and he pays attention to you with no outward aggression, move a bit closer to the street. If he freaks out, then you start farther away until he's calm. You also have to proof the responses by training in different places and situations. Just because they can work in a classroom doesn't mean they can work in public or even in the home.

 

Training a dog like this has the potential to take a couple months, a couple years or in the long run, an entire lifetime. Good luck and be patient. It's amazing what we can learn from dogs like your about our own self control and threshold level :rolleyes:

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From what you describe, it sounds like the class environment may be setting Sam up to rehearse the very behaviors you'd like him to stop, and it just may be too challenging an environment (for now) for him to learn to be nonchalant with other dogs. I would recommend working one-on-one with someone to start with. (Depending on what's going on with him, it might even be helpful for him to stay in the class, but using techniques you've worked out in the one-on-one setting). There are a handful of methods other than the ones you describe that can reduce or eliminate behaviors like the ones Sam is showing. The key is to find someone one knowledgeable and experienced so you don't make things worse or let this go on too much longer.

 

To find the right trainer and an effective approach, I would start by asking your veterinarian and friends with dogs who they'd recommend for a situation like yours. You might also try doing a search at apdt.com or ccpdt.org. Either way, I would get a couple of references of the trainers' clients who were helped with a similar problem and call them before deciding on a trainer.

 

I'm sorry you're having this trouble. These are behaviors that can very often be turned around, though, so hang in there.

 

Barbara

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Why you or anyone else would even consider hanging a dog up until it stops breathing is totally beyond me, and makes me want to scream. So I'm going to leave that image right now and try to be more helpful.

 

Patricial McConnell has some good info right now on how to work with reactive dogs on her blog. I have all her books. They're very good.

 

http://www.theotherendoftheleash.com/

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What Georgia said. Good advice from in2adventure, too.

 

Sam sounds like Jack in obedience classes. Bless my husband for sticking through it with him, for two classes! Jack was just too reactive in the closed-in classroom setting, with 11 other strange dogs way too close to him for his comfort. It was too much for him to handle, dominance had nothing to do with it. If the class had been say, outside, with less dogs, or more space, maybe he'd have been more successful. You have to know what your dog can handle and what he can't. Personally, I'd take him out of the class for now. Give the testosterone time to get out of his system. Work with him one on one (with private lessons if you feel you need to). Gradually start seeing if you can work him closer to other dogs without him reacting. Or, better yet, see if you can find a training class tailored to reactive dogs, with a good trainer who understands these types of dogs. This may be a challenge you'll have to manage with your dog for life, it's better to get a good understanding and grasp on it now, because all the yanking, jerking or rolling you want to do won't change the underlying problem.

 

I haven't read Patricia McConnell's recent blog entries, but she knows her stuff, and you can't go wrong with her. I'd definitely check it out.

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1 y/o BCs are not dominent and agressive dogs. Period. Stop. Dominent and agressive dogs are serious working dogs that like to fight with you and may try to bite your arm off. For fun. They are typically bred for police work, bite/protection sports, and military working dogs. They do not make good pets. Trust me, if you had one of those you'd either already be seriously bitten or be working the dog in serious protection sports.

 

You pup needs desensitazation. The class is stressing him to the point where he feels he needs to react. Slow baby steps. If he is reacting to another dog, he is too close to them. It's your job to keep him far enough away that he doesn't feel the need to react. At this point it may be a dog 200 ft away while you are a hot dog dispenser. He needs to associate other dogs with good things, not stress. The book Control Unleashed should give you some very good ideas that you can use with you dog. As would a good trainer who would work with you one on one.

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You've been given some excellent advice that I can't really add too and I truly hope you find positive training.

 

Stringing a dog up for reacting to something he is either over stimulated by or fearful of is only going to lead to disaster. You will teach him, in the long run, that his 'trigger' is something that causes pain (being strung up does NOT feel good). Granted he may stop lunging and barking, but it's out of fear of your retaliation not because he's learned an appropriate, alternate behaviour and one day he may just attack another dog seemingly 'unprovoked' because you've taken away his ability to tell you he's uncomfortable (the barking and lunging).

 

Learning your dog's triggers and thresholds and finding a good positive behaviorist will help you immensely.

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Working with a positive trainer would be best. However, Control Unleashed is a book that has a lot of great information that could benefit you as well. You can adapt the protocols outlined there to best suit your needs.

 

Lisa

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I've watched the Leerburg dominant and aggressive dogs video— Leerburg says to use a "dominant dog collar" which is basically a nylon choke- when you pull calmly up- it cuts the dogs air off. I've been watching the Dog Whisperer and he never says he is cutting the dog's air off - but that's also what I think he does- he puts the collar very high on the neck and pulls up as well. Here's a link to the Leerburg video and instructions for the dominant dog collar— http://leerburg.com/746.htm

Do you think I should try this- if not what else should I do? Does anyone know of another training video or method for dog aggressive dogs?

 

The Leerburg dominant dog collar is not meant for generic dog aggression. It's meant for handler aggressive working dogs that will redirect when a standard choke or prong collar is used in training.

 

I think the Leerburg methods are good for certain types of dogs, but the dominant dog collar is kind of a last step when training a dog for police, military or PP work. The only time it's not used in that way is as a backup collar alongside a prong collar.

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wow! thanks, this has helped me so much. I was thinking about getting the control unleashed and I am going online and getting it right now.

I should add a bit to what I told you about Sam. When he was about 4 months I took him to 4 obedience classes- he was fine and had

no issues with other dogs. He also played with dogs at the beach and at the park- although as he got a little older his playing seemed

a bit too aggressive so once or twice I took him and put him back on the leash for not playing nice.

He seems to be ok with most dogs if I walk past them through a park- but if there are groups of dogs he growls.

It also seems like there is a protection thing going on- like maybe he doesn't like dogs near me.

When I took him to be neutered the woman that took him to the cages to wait for his operation said that

all morning long he didn't growl at all at any of the dogs— she said maybe he was only doing it with me because he wants to guard me.

Anyway- for now I will get the control unleashed book and follow it - also will go look at the Patricia McConnell blog.

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Well, that's what you need to figure out before you can begin to work on a solution....the best advice I ever got when working with a problem rescue dog was to just stop every now and then through out the day and look at him for about five minutes, observe what he was doing, write it down and then think, what is the dog doing and why is the dog acting in that manner? It's quite easy to label a behavior as a certain thing, but another thing entirely may be going on, or there are several contributing factors to the situation which might require different responses, depending on the situation, though the resulting behavior might appear to be the same -- i.e. reactive barking --

 

Liz

 

 

— she said maybe he was only doing it with me because he wants to guard me.

Anyway- for now I will get the control unleashed book and follow it - also will go look at the Patricia McConnell blog.

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Canine Body Language: A Photographic Guide Interpreting the Native Language of the Domestic Dog by Brenda Aloff is a good reference for people who are not sure of how to read their dog.

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A few posts up in this thread someone posted border collies aren't dominant and aggressive dogs— and in way I agree- I watched the Leerburg video and those dogs where handler aggressive - and would bite anything. Sam's not like that- he loves people- I've never seen him growl at a human- I can take his bones, food, toys right out of his mouth- and I think a stranger could to-- towards people he is very sweet. But..... I still think he is dominant and aggressive- towards other dogs. Sam doesn't seem like other border collies- and I think its because he is related to a line of border collies used to herd Cattle that are bred to be fearless and are different to other border collie types. When I got Sam he was the last puppy left that a farmer gave to a pet home because he couldn't find enough working homes. One of the parents was used to herd Cattle. When I looked up the names and numbers of the dogs on Sam's pedigree by googling— a lot of Sam's cousins pedigrees came up in Texas- linked to pictures of border collies on ranches biting huge Bulls- in the face. Sam has some of the same genes as those dogs. Sam is not just confident he is fearless in a way that seems very different than my other two border collies- I think it is the cattle dog in him. The dogs that Patricia McConnell writes about with on her blog are not like Sam-- they seem like most of their aggression is from fear--and most of her writing is about boosting a dogs confidence - Sam's the opposite of fear aggressive- he is dominant aggressive. I think he wants to be king of the obedience dogs- or better yet- he wants to drive all the other dogs away- and he wants all their owners to pet him and give him treats.

 

I found a site about the difference between border collies that herd sheep, and border collies that herd cattle-- I think this is fascinating... http://www.possumhollowfarms.com/aboutbord...s%20on%20Cattle

Here's a quote from the site...................

"COWDOG? GOATDOG? SHEEPDOG?

What Does Your Border Collie Want to Be When It Grows Up?

Most working BCs will work sheep. Sheep are light (meaning easy to dominate and move most of the time).... Only a few dogs will work cattle. Cattle are stubborn and will not move unless forced to move. Lots of eye does not always mean power on cattle. The only thing that cattle understand as power is bite. A cow dog must be willing to bite the cow if it must. Sometimes cow dogs need to be able to fight. So, a dog that is going to be trained on cattle, must have a desire to bite the stock.... Dogs working in ranch and farm situations at some time or other usually will find a need to grip. When evaluating a dog for working cattle, we usually look for a dog that likes to bite, has a high tolerance for pain, and will leave sheep or any other stock in preference for working cattle. We advise against anyone training a dog to work cattle if it does not show this preference. This often, but not always, is related to the genetics of the dog.

One way to evaluate an adult dog's potential for working cattle is to see what it does when the stock turn to face it. This can be done with sheep, but is better done with goats or calves, and must be done without a fence between them. If the dog turns away (or worse, runs) when faced, it is likely not going to make a cow dog. If the dog stands its ground but has a "ready to run" attitude, it may be able to work cattle with the right training and confidence building. If the dog stands its ground with a "let me bite" attitude, you may just have a cow dog.

 

Anyway -- I think Sam might just be a Cow dog.

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A few posts up in this thread someone posted border collies aren't dominant and aggressive dogs— and in way I agree- I watched the Leerburg video and those dogs where handler aggressive - and would bite anything. Sam's not like that- he loves people- I've never seen him growl at a human- I can take his bones, food, toys right out of his mouth- and I think a stranger could to-- towards people he is very sweet. But..... I still think he is dominant and aggressive- towards other dogs. Sam doesn't seem like other border collies- and I think its because he is related to a line of border collies used to herd Cattle that are bred to be fearless and are different to other border collie types. When I got Sam he was the last puppy left that a farmer gave to a pet home because he couldn't find enough working homes. One of the parents was used to herd Cattle. When I looked up the names and numbers of the dogs on Sam's pedigree by googling— a lot of Sam's cousins pedigrees came up in Texas- linked to pictures of border collies on ranches biting huge Bulls- in the face. Sam has some of the same genes as those dogs. Sam is not just confident he is fearless in a way that seems very different than my other two border collies- I think it is the cattle dog in him. The dogs that Patricia McConnell writes about with on her blog are not like Sam-- they seem like most of their aggression is from fear--and most of her writing is about boosting a dogs confidence - Sam's the opposite of fear aggressive- he is dominant aggressive. I think he wants to be king of the obedience dogs- or better yet- he wants to drive all the other dogs away- and he wants all their owners to pet him and give him treats.

 

All the dogs in Mick's lines herded sheep, but he is what I would consider a dominant/confident dog. He can be aggressive towards dogs in certain situations, like if a dog takes his stuff or if a dog gets too pushy in his face. For the most part, he gets along just fine with non-pushy dogs (never had a problem with another Border Collie). He'll completely ignore dogs on the street or in places like pet smart. He does greet other dogs with a pretty dominant stance usually.

 

Beag, the other Border Collie I had, was much more submissive with other dogs that she didn't know, and she was from cattleworking lines.

 

So in terms of whether it's fear aggression/dominance aggression in a dog, I wouldn't really put too much into whether the dog came from sheep or cattle lines.

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Think about when and where your classes are. Are they at the end of a busy day, when Sam is tired? Beginning of the day, when he has all his pee and vinegar behind him? Further, when have you had him around other dogs when things went RIGHT, not wrong? What were the circumstances?

 

Build from there. If he's less likely to lunge when he's tired, then exercise him well before class. If he's more likely to lunge when tired, the opposite. Also I can say that my dog definitely feeds off my cues--as soon as I would get anxious, tense, or start yelling, she would go hog-wild and be more aggressive. Keep your guy on the leash, keep yourself calm, and lead away from situations that bother YOU before you allow yourselves to get too close to other dogs. I preferred using a harness collar which had the loop at the back. I would pull my dog back, get in front of her, block her view of whatever, and make her sit. It took some time.

 

I might also suggest stepping out of formal classes for a short time and take your pup as often as possible to populated places (on leash) where you can quickly distract him away from other dogs/people with treats or a ball or whatever. After a month or two of that, join a very small class where there is A LOT of space to learn in. I think the atmosphere of dog training classes is unlike anything we normally encounter in the real world, and as one poster mentioned it will produce the behaviours you are trying to avoid. Consider working privately with a trainer familiar with BCs, you might go further in less time.

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A few posts up in this thread someone posted border collies aren't dominant and aggressive dogs— and in way I agree- I watched the Leerburg video and those dogs where handler aggressive - and would bite anything. Sam's not like that- he loves people- I've never seen him growl at a human- I can take his bones, food, toys right out of his mouth- and I think a stranger could to-- towards people he is very sweet. But..... I still think he is dominant and aggressive- towards other dogs. Sam doesn't seem like other border collies- and I think its because he is related to a line of border collies used to herd Cattle that are bred to be fearless and are different to other border collie types. When I got Sam he was the last puppy left that a farmer gave to a pet home because he couldn't find enough working homes. One of the parents was used to herd Cattle. When I looked up the names and numbers of the dogs on Sam's pedigree by googling— a lot of Sam's cousins pedigrees came up in Texas- linked to pictures of border collies on ranches biting huge Bulls- in the face. Sam has some of the same genes as those dogs. Sam is not just confident he is fearless in a way that seems very different than my other two border collies- I think it is the cattle dog in him. The dogs that Patricia McConnell writes about with on her blog are not like Sam-- they seem like most of their aggression is from fear--and most of her writing is about boosting a dogs confidence - Sam's the opposite of fear aggressive- he is dominant aggressive. I think he wants to be king of the obedience dogs- or better yet- he wants to drive all the other dogs away- and he wants all their owners to pet him and give him treats.

 

I found a site about the difference between border collies that herd sheep, and border collies that herd cattle-- I think this is fascinating... http://www.possumhollowfarms.com/aboutbord...s%20on%20Cattle

Here's a quote from the site...................

"COWDOG? GOATDOG? SHEEPDOG?

What Does Your Border Collie Want to Be When It Grows Up?

Most working BCs will work sheep. Sheep are light (meaning easy to dominate and move most of the time).... Only a few dogs will work cattle. Cattle are stubborn and will not move unless forced to move. Lots of eye does not always mean power on cattle. The only thing that cattle understand as power is bite. A cow dog must be willing to bite the cow if it must. Sometimes cow dogs need to be able to fight. So, a dog that is going to be trained on cattle, must have a desire to bite the stock.... Dogs working in ranch and farm situations at some time or other usually will find a need to grip. When evaluating a dog for working cattle, we usually look for a dog that likes to bite, has a high tolerance for pain, and will leave sheep or any other stock in preference for working cattle. We advise against anyone training a dog to work cattle if it does not show this preference. This often, but not always, is related to the genetics of the dog.

One way to evaluate an adult dog's potential for working cattle is to see what it does when the stock turn to face it. This can be done with sheep, but is better done with goats or calves, and must be done without a fence between them. If the dog turns away (or worse, runs) when faced, it is likely not going to make a cow dog. If the dog stands its ground but has a "ready to run" attitude, it may be able to work cattle with the right training and confidence building. If the dog stands its ground with a "let me bite" attitude, you may just have a cow dog.

 

Anyway -- I think Sam might just be a Cow dog.

 

Umm, I don't buy it. I'd be willing to bet that your dog is just plain reactive to other dogs. He doesn't know how to deal with the pressure they put on him so he acts aggressive toward them. And it can be rooted in fear/lack of confidence - think the best defense is a good offense.

 

I've got a reactive dog. From cattle working lines. His problem? He's not sure how to deal with the pressure and it gets so built up that he can't think so he just reacts. This isn't confidence. A confident dog could care less about the dogs around him, not act up toward them. Give my dog a job to do, something else he can focus on and he leaves the other dogs alone. Put him in his crate and other dogs can walk past him with no big issue. He doesn't feel any pressure to interact with them and it changes his attitude.

 

Around my other 2 dogs he is totally submissive, relaxed and playful. The youngest can walk over to his food bowl and he just turns away and lets her have it (note - not something I recommend allowing at all, but it happened and that was his response).

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Umm, I don't buy it. I'd be willing to bet that your dog is just plain reactive to other dogs. He doesn't know how to deal with the pressure they put on him so he acts aggressive toward them. And it can be rooted in fear/lack of confidence - think the best defense is a good offense.

 

I've got a reactive dog. From cattle working lines. His problem? He's not sure how to deal with the pressure and it gets so built up that he can't think so he just reacts. This isn't confidence. A confident dog could care less about the dogs around him, not act up toward them. Give my dog a job to do, something else he can focus on and he leaves the other dogs alone. Put him in his crate and other dogs can walk past him with no big issue. He doesn't feel any pressure to interact with them and it changes his attitude.

 

Around my other 2 dogs he is totally submissive, relaxed and playful. The youngest can walk over to his food bowl and he just turns away and lets her have it (note - not something I recommend allowing at all, but it happened and that was his response).

 

I agree. Besides which, the text quoted by the OP is in relation to how the cow dog works stock, not reactions to other dogs. Obviously we can't really diagnose Sam over the interweb, but he does not sound like a dominant, confident dog to me.

 

Mara's Kipp sounds EXACTLY like Jack. Jack could not handle strange dogs too close to him in obedience class, but take him out to our trainer's place for lessons, where he is more confident, relaxed and not closed in, and he is much better with other dogs, even playing with my trainer's border collies.

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Umm, I don't buy it. I'd be willing to bet that your dog is just plain reactive to other dogs. He doesn't know how to deal with the pressure they put on him so he acts aggressive toward them. And it can be rooted in fear/lack of confidence - think the best defense is a good offense.

 

 

100% agree. Dominant dogs walk into a room like they own it, with confidence. It's the insecure beta and omega dogs that growl and bicker trying to establish what their place is in the hierarchy.

Unfortunately the terms dominant and aggressive have been thrown around so much as blanket statements that most dog owners using them to diagnose their dog problems, are doing so incorrectly.

 

I'm curious what does the trainer in the class advise you to do when the dog behaves this way?

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I'll agree with Psmitty. As someone who breeds, raises, and trains working border collies to work cattle, I agree with the quote, insofar as that's *generally* how a dog bred to work cattle will act WITH STOCK. HOWEVER (it's a HUGE however), saying your dog is a cowdog is simply ridiculous. Your dog is reactive, aggressive, whatever, to OTHER DOGS. That's like when people say all the time that their dog MUST be a "great herding dog" because it "herds" the kids all the time. What your dogs is doing has nothing whatsoever to do with working cattle.

A

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Yes I agree with the above answers.

 

One of my dogs (ACD) was fine up till about 6 months old, we went to obedience classes etc and then she started to play a bit rough and I had to pull her up and put her on a leash and she eventually by age 9 months was fully reactive to other dogs unless she knew them.

 

The first behviourist (with a PhD I might add) I saw tried to tell me it was because she was a cattle dog and all that stuff about how she was bred to work cattle and it was a dominance thing. Well having never been through anything like this before I just did not buy it. I have owned cattle dogs all my life including working bred from the rangelands and none of them were like this.

 

I found my self a wonderful positive trainer well versed in well known positive trainers of this era. She taught me all about desensitisation and counter conditioning, how to read dog body language and many other things. I worked very hard on all this along with her obedience skills. The obedience club I belonged to were also very helpful. I would work her on the edges of the classes at the distance where she was not reactive. Over time we moved closer and eventually joined in the classes and ended up being able to do off lead stays in the line up of dogs.

 

She also was not reactive to other dogs when she was in the vets for elbow dysplasia surgery or several other surgeries she had to under go.

 

I also own what I would call a dominant dog - my matriarch and she is not aggressive but she owns the room. She is calm and authoritive and she has good skills with other dogs and other dogs seem to respect her. She never seems to get into any confrontations with anybody. She is an extremely confident dog, quite different from my reactive dog who I believe felt the best defense was offence. I also suspect her temperament was not entirely sound, which is possibly due to a genetic component. Her father I discovered was quite a reactive dog.

 

As to choking and hanging dogs I believe that would have served to make things worse and possibly destroy your relationship with him to. I tried to change the way my dog viewed other dogs by rewiring her responses to them.

 

Good luck because I have travelled down the road you find yourself on but there are many things you can do. You just have to be patient and if you chose to go down the positive training route, remember it takes time and to rush your dog through any of the stages is just not worth it. You may always have to have some level of management with Sam but things did get better for me and my extremely reactive dog.

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I'm not an expert, I'm only on my second dog but I recommend you go to a Karen Pryor certified trainer. Clicker, reward-based training, all positive feedback. No aversion, no corrections. You can read her book "Don't Shoot the Dog" which is a classic in dog training. The thing is, if you can train your dog using only positive feedback, surely that's the best route for both of you and the first one you should try.

 

It takes a lot of patience, but you don't have to beat yourself up for mistreating your dog because you're not choking him and punishing him. To me, that's the best of all possible worlds.

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Gentle Leader (not halti)

 

I adopted a pup in June and the best thing I've found is to put the Gentle Leader on her before going into a potentially stressful situation, then take it off once we're in and she has calmed down.

 

also helps to bring her focus back to me without yanking her around untill she calms down and is ready to "remember" what we're there for

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I also don't agree with the cattle dog bred theory. I have a cattle bred BC. Both his parents work black angus cattle and pigs. There is not an ounce of aggression whatsoever in my boy. The most aggressive act I've ever seen him do was grab a ewe's nose because she wouldn't come off a fence. All his dog on dog corrections have been totally fair and have never left hurt feelings.

 

Like everyone else has said, find a good possitive trainer/behavioralist. It may take a couple tries to find the right one. Just like every obedience trainer is not always the best trainer for dog, neither is a behavioralist. It's obvious your current trainer is not the right one. Don't let feelings get in the way. Do what's right for your dog.

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I don't know how bad the aggression is, but my young man can be snappy in stressful situations, and when he is over stimulated. Rievaulx is 14 months and un-fixed. In casual play situations, e.g off leash at the park he plays well with other dogs. On leash just hanging out he is fine. But if he is over stimulated or tired from playing he can get "aggressive". I then stop play, leash him up, have him focus on me for awhile and he can normally go back to play. If I think he is over tired then home we go.

 

The last few weeks he has been coming to agility trials with me, and he has occasionally growled at a passing dog. He is in a stressful situation that he is not used too and over stimulated by all the goings on as well as me focusing on my other dog. Usually I just quickly ahah him with a quick check on his leash, and then have him lie down and focus on me. He usually calms down, and is fine being within a few feet of the dog that worried him. I have no idea if this the correct approach but I am trying to stop this from becoming a habit.

 

Rievaulx is not a dominate dog and is quiet soft, and I think the growling is more likely coming from stress and fear rather than aggression.

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