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19 hours ago, GentleLake said:

Another franchise based chain. <sigh> 

There are positive reviews online, but please also consider the reviews here: http://zeebyrd.com/dog-training-reviews/real-sit-means-sit-dog-training-reviews/ and here:  https://sit-means-sit.pissedconsumer.com/review.html

And, again, please try some of these shock collars -- at different settings, because inexpert trainers who don't get the results they want on lower settings are pretty likely to increase it to try to achieve the results they want -- on yourself before believing they don't cause pain.

Would these places allow you to observe some actual training sessions before you commit -- especially sessions with dogs that have issues similar to your own?

It might also be helpful to ask some positive trainers and/or applied behavior consultants or vet behaviorists to see them at work. I believe you're a lot closer to Dr. Reisner in Media (http://www.reisnervetbehavior.com/) than to any of the Sit Means Sit franchises.

I just did a quick search on IAABC's behavior consultant locator: https://iaabc.org/consultants and there are a number of folks within 45 miles of you. I'd be willing to be money I don't have that just about any of these folks would be willing to allow you to observe some classes, even if they're not specific to your specific needs, just so you can see their techniques.

And guess what. Remember the book I suggested you look into -- Bringing Light to Shadow by Pam Dennison, a diary of her experience rehabbing her own aggressive border collie? Well, she's only about 45 miles from Jim Thorpe. Honestly, if I were still that close to her (I used to live in your area and she's probably closer to you than where I used to live) and were having to deal with what you're dealing with, I'd be calling her so fast it'd make your head spin.

I've been in some pretty frustrating situations with dogs in the past, and to answer an earlier question, yes, I did use a shock collar on a car chaser once. I'd never do it again. It was painful for him (and for me when I tried it), it made him nervous and insecure in ways he never was before for a long time afterwards, and it only worked short term. When he started chasing cars again I wasn't willing to do it to him again.

I guess I just don't understand is why this seems to be the only option you're considering when it doesn't seem like you've tried any other kind of professional help first. Like others have said, I can see how there might be situations where a shock collar might be necessary in an extreme case, but only after I'd exhausted and failed with other more humane approaches.

I truly wish you and especially your dog the best.




I'm just worried the trainers I've spoken to around here have poorly trained dogs of their own.

Obedience has been a nightmare with him. Unless he sees I have a treat, forget about it. You tell him to come and he just stands there and stares at you. No amount of reinforcement is working. This is ontop of him being triggered by every little thing even in my house.

The vet just thinks hes being a brat. I agree with offleash he has confidence issues, but unsure how to fix it.

My older girl was confident through doing tricks and is very ppl pleaser type personality. At 5 months, she was very obedient and smart, confident. Hes almost 8 months and just blows me off to do what he wants to do. I'm trying to give him a better life of not sitting In a crate all day. I'd rather take him with me and have fun. The positive trainers ive seen around here dont believe in any type of correction.

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Have you tried a drag line on him? If he doesn't come when called, you simply pick up the line and reel him in. That way he's not practicing being disobedient--you can call him once and then just reel him in. I wouldn't let him off leash or a drag line until he was reliable with a recall. At his age, they are approaching "teenage" years and will test the limits. One of mine at about that age, who was trained, would look at me when I called and then take off to the pond two farm fields away. Usually when I was trying to head out somewhere. I'd have to go walk her down. But I did. And she got no emotional response from me whenever it happened. So she finally realized that she gained nothing from it and stopped. She had a reliable recall the rest of her life.

It doesn't have to be all positive (treats, treats, tears) or all negative (e-collar). My normal process (which is the foundation by which I train stock dogs) is that I will give a command/request, if the dog complies, it gets praise and perhaps a treat (if I've planned ahead and have some with me). If it doesn't comply, it gets some sort of correction word (a sharp "hey!" or "aaht!" especially if it's sniffing around and ignoring me), and a repeat of the command. If it still ignores me, then I'm going to walk it down or reel it in. I start this when they are quite young, and I do use treats when training basic manners on a pup.

With a slightly older dog you didn't raise yourself or that has "issues," it's up to you to figure out what motivates your dog and adjust your training to that individual dog. If he's behaving aggressively toward other nearby dogs when on leash, then I'd avoid putting him in those situations while I trained him to improve his confidence (basic obedience, tricks, agility, whatever can build a dog's confidence). I'd work on his leash walking skills away from places where you're likely to encounter other dogs that trigger him. Once he's reacting, he can't learn (because he's full of adrenaline at that point, and that overrides everything else), and all you can do is remove him from the situation.

One of my dogs, whom I got at around 18 months, was fear aggressive. I found that out the first time I grabbed for his collar, I don't even remember why. My first reaction when a dog snaps at me is to whack it across the muzzle, and that's what I did. There was an instant change in his demeanor--his lips came forward and his eyes hardened. It was clear to me that he was prepared to meet my aggression with escalated aggression of his own. So I had to figure out how to communicate with him in a non-confrontational, non-aggressive way. I never used treats or what might have been termed purely positive training with him (not because I was against it, but because it simply wasn't part of my training lexicon then). Instead, I took my cues from him, figured out what his triggers were and minimized them, and let him "tell" me what what training methods were suitable. He was a biter, but he lived with me until he passed away at 15 and I got bitten once in all that time, and that was my mistake. The point of this missive is that he was a clear case for which any training method that was harsh or hurtful would have just solidified in his mind that he was *right* to be fearful and that his aggressive reaction to protect himself was necessary. By figuring out a way to communicate with him that didn't add to his fear and worry I was able to have a long, productive partnership with him with minimal damage to either of us. The irony was that he was generally very friendly with everyone, but I had to be careful because I couldn't always predict what other people would do that might trigger a fear aggression reaction.

An e-collar on a dog like Farleigh may have extinguished some unwanted behaviors but I'm certain it would have turned him into a ticking time bomb. Because I wanted a dog that I could take places (I was doing a lot of trialing then so traveled a lot to places where we were around a lot of other people and dogs) without fear of random aggressive behavior toward others, I took the time to figure out what things made him fearful enough to react badly and then worked on those things while also letting him learn to trust that I would protect him so that he wouldn't need to react. It did work.


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3 hours ago, reploidphoenix said:

I'm just worried the trainers I've spoken to around here have poorly trained dogs of their own.

By "around here" I assume you mean right around Jim Thorpe? As I'd mentioned, I'm familiar with the general area and that doesn't really surprise me in such a rural area. When I started with my first dogs I traveled an hour down to Quakertown every week for training (I was a bit further south than you are).

I gave you the name of one of the most well known certified animal behavior consultants in the country, who specifically works with aggressive dogs, is reasonably close to you and also has personal experience with an aggressive border collie of her own that she rehabbed and earned several titles in obedience, tracking and agility as well as CGC with. Would you consider that a poorly trained dog? https://www.pamdennison.com/

Yet I have to ask if you've even looked into her? If not, I really have to wonder (not in a snarky or condescending way) what mental block is keeping you from even considering other alternatives.

Again, wishing you well.

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I would want to see the trainer in action. 

There's a world of difference if you look at the e-collar website and Pam Dennison's. I don't want to necessarily see the end result, but would be more interested in the process. On the e-collar website you only see a before and after. It doesn't show you how different dogs respond during the training or even how the dog in the video reacted. 

I have just watched one on Pam's website about letting people pet your dog (or not) and that gave me more insight into her methods and how different dogs respond, because you see a puppy class with different owners and different puppies.

If you're set on a trainer that uses e-collars at least try to find one that shows you beforehand what it does during training and on a dog that has the same issues as yours. I feel it is important to not only read about it, but really see for yourself as well how dogs respond to it to fully understand training methods.

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