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Thread: Training to cure dog aggression

  1. #11

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    ‘Beloz’ – today - I went on a trip down memory lane via these links below – after reading what was written in this thread :

    http://www.dogforum.com.au/search.php?searchid=695066

    http://www.dogforum.com.au/search.php?searchid=695068

    There has been a lot of really good advice given from members of this forum in the first link – and the same can be said from the advice given in the second link.

    So I really do not understand what is the problem ? Maybe follow through and being consistent are the words that you need to know the meaning of !

    My input/suggestions are:

    Banjo appears to me to be very confused and could be classed as a dangerous dog (as per relevant legislation for your state), doesn't know anything about boundaries and behaviour and is left to her own devices to make decisions of her own - hence the behaviour in the park and other examples that you have given previously.

    It is time to take control and do some serious training with Banjo. Teach your dog what is expected of her in a kind and caring way – no emotion from you - other than being happy and pleased that you are getting the message across to your dog as to what is expected. The most important thing is that you follow it through! By that I mean – you continue on with the training !

    Training pups is an ongoing daily routine. Yes – we can spend heaps of time training them when they are young – but unless you do the required reinforcing and follow up – then that early training may as well not have happened !

    So if Banjo was my pup – I would start from scratch – as if she didn’t know how to do anything - as I did with Riley when he first arrived at my place.

    The reason I did that was to form a relationship with Riley - which I feel has been lost with you and Banjo. Yes – he could do all these wonderful things as proved by the previous owner – but what was important to me – was he had to do all this stuff for me and be happy about it !

    So ‘growl classes’ may be useful –most likely a waste of money – if the basic obedience isn't there to start with - but I really think that you and Banjo would really benefit from some just basic obedience training classes !

    Good Luck !

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Adelaide
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    Hi Riley

    I don't think your search links last longer than your session. Erm they don't work for me.

    Maybe
    something site:dogforum.com.au
    in google - those links save better.

    dog aggresssion site:dogforum.com.au
    https://www.google.com.au/#q=dog+agg...ogforum.com.au

    This is a link to what I'd say again...
    http://www.dogforum.com.au/dog-train...tml#post188850

    I guess - with my dog I have to think very carefully about what I might be doing that is encouraging behaviour I don't want. And that includes anything my dog picks up in my reaction to rude dogs at the park...

    Since I've noticed that she copies me... or expresses my feelings towards dogs lunging out of control on their leads with handlers who just have NFI... I've started asking for a whole different set of behaviours... and no food comes out either.

    I've gone back to what I did when she was a puppy... asking her to do a drop stay out of the path of the oncoming trouble dog, and telling her what a good dog she is. Which she hears as what a good dog the other dog is and she is... and she's happy and stays calm because I'm happy. And if the owner starts coming over and I'm not sure their dog is friendly, I will just take my dog out the way at speed. If the other owner is polite enough to ask - I tell them I have to see their dog being calm and polite before it can say hello.

    If the dog just looks out of control friendly then I sometimes allow a greeting but Frosty is usually polite and erm "Frosty" ie the dog doesn't get much fun out of being so rude. But Frosty doesn't scold it either, she just turns her butt into its face and ignores its play invites.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    I know you don't like me, Riley and that's fine but there's no need to assume that I let my dog run wild and all over me. We have obedience, boundaries and I still enforce those important basic commands. We just don't do daily training sessions or trick training.

    That's how I want Banjo to react, Hyacinth. To just turn away. But I'm at a loss as to how to create opportunities to reward that kind of behaviour.

    I might start with proofing her drop - stay some more first because it's nowhere near as solid as her sit-stay.

    But I think I really do need one on one help with this one because I just completely lack the confidence to deal with this specific issue. I can't think of any other training challenge that evokes such strong emotions in me.. .

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    melbourne australia
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    Your local dog training club, shit even the Vic GSD club has all you need to thrive at.
    6+ dogs close by to banjo. To counter train. From scratch: sit, come, drop, and start over. Refresher courses all round here, if ive been away, or when i broke my foot. NO practice, no tricks on command seems to be the way here too.
    If i want to be the pack leader, i have to demonstrate it daily.

    From Banjo's point of view, Try rearranging your thinking a little.

    Try thinking, every dog is dangerous and wants to kill ya mum and you.
    Try thinking, your owner is piss weak, and needs your protection, coz she cant bite.
    Try thinking, your owner is disorganised, and does things in the wrong way, and you KNOW it would be better to do it your way, as you dont have a clue what she is planning. And can be unpredictable in taking risks unnecessarily.
    Try thinking, your mate has moved to a new area, filled with thugs, and wants to make friends with them, wanna come along for the ride?

    If you were out with Banjo, and you met me on a walk, i had a knife, and said im going to follow you home and stab you. Would you not keep an eye on where i was located, how close you were coming, and if too close, you have to decide to either: RUN or FIGHT.
    or would you turn your back and walk with me, taking time to smell the roses, listen to my woes about what shoes id be wearing to my work do on friday? Or would you have one eye behind us all the time, distracted, irritated by my prattling on about shoes, IN THE FACE of imminent danger?

    You have taught Banjo before. You two were a team and working nicely, now this is a adult dog, nearly. And you have quit practicing with her, so she thinks for herself now, and 2 + 2 doesnt always become 4 with dog brains.

    I think this is so redeemable with practice. On a leash. Till she gets it right again.
    Use the leash. Buy a lunging line for $8 at horse world, and when it appears safe to you to let her off leash, do so by dropping your end of it. That way you can reclaim your dog/control at any stage in time.

    This is NOT your aggressive dog of the past. This is a different dog, one you have trained. One who knows all this stuff your asking, but is lack luster in response times. So what if the down takes a few minutes, that's obedience and worth rewarding. Speeding obedience up comes with 'advanced' label, so should not be expected if you are at basic level again.
    Believe, the revision training doesnt take anywhere near as long as the first attempt. You can speed through a year in a few weeks.
    You can do this Beloz, ive read you do it over and over and over!

    Banjo's stolen ya mojo girl. Take the ****er back! its yours!

  5. #15
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    https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.n...12294316_n.png

    a lighthearted view.

    Banjo is NOT a dangerous dog! He has potential to be dangerous, as does EVERY dog. Big difference.
    Last edited by bernie; 09-23-2013 at 07:16 AM.

  6. #16
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    That is one thing that really stood out when I did some reading on Susan Garrett's site and similar on how to deal with dog aggression (lack of confidence, fear biting, whatever). That it is important to create a "thinking dog" indeed. One that doesn't just react with their reptile brain, but knows to weigh up options and choose the one that will benefit them most, mainly by gaining their owner's approval. I will take that on board. I have started doing twice daily training sessions with her. Just trick training for now. Maybe I'll finally get her to do that 'spin' without luring. And she loves the new 'crawl' cue (it's the staffy in her, I'm sure). I'll throw in some drop/stay too. Her drops are pretty good for treats (and at home too because she's lazy and I don't make training exciting enough probably, so flopping down always seems like a good option) but I've never proofed the stay part to that. It won't harm but I still think there is something more needed here.

    But it is really hard to explain where we are at and why I don't believe that stepping up my training with her alone is going to magically make her believe that I will fix her issue with feeling threatened by any dog that approaches her. Banjo is still keen to please. She still has a pretty rock solid recall. We use a whole range of different commands every day when we are out and about and at home and I have no complaints about response times most of the time. I even still give her treats for exceptionally fast or difficult recalls, etc. So I wouldn't say that I have quit practicing with her? I don't do structured training sessions daily, but I do them consistently at the dog park to give her a job to do and at irregular intervals at home. There is heaps of room for improvement in some areas but I just don't feel confident that obedience training alone will have an effect on the issue with other dogs.

    Happy to be proven wrong because if I know what specifically to train for and how I can enforce certain boundaries better, it will be relatively easy to implement. But it's those specifics that I just can't get my head round. She comes, she sits, she stays, doesn’t pull on the leash, doesn’t run away, she doesn't show aggression towards me or other humans, doesn't try to steal my food or beg for it, moves when I tell her to, goes inside/outside when I tell her, gives up toys or bones without fuss, she doesn't bark, doesn't dig, doesn't chew (anymore!), only eats when I tell her she can, etc. I struggle to find any other behaviours that might be clear indicators that she doesn't accept my leadership in our everyday life.

    And I do not have a problem with letting her off leash at all. When she is off leash, she will stay close to me or come immediately when I call her. She does not approach other dogs. She only has a problem with other dogs approaching her.

    I now sound as if I'm asking for advice and then rejecting it. But I do appreciate your feedback, please keep it coming, you're a great source of information and experience. It's just so hard to explain what's going on without you guys seeing Banjo and how we interact and how she is when we're out, etc.

    If I book the trainer she may be able to point out the flaws in how I exert my leadership or inconsistencies in how I enforce boundaries or communicate with Banjo and then I have something specific to work with. Though I still believe it will require some sort of targeted desensitisation training to reverse this behaviour now.

    And I can still enroll in obedience classes if the trainer thinks that is a good way to go. But I am so stuck that I think I need this one on one because they are there for people like me and situations like this.

    I was just about to post it when a colleague told me about this: Grouchy / Scaredy Dog Class - Geraldines Animal Training

    I will call her and see if she can first do an assessment because I really, really do need to know what I did to trigger this behaviour. And then I want to work hard to get her over it.

    Thanks for reading my long rants guys. It helps to think out loud sometimes and there is something valid in all your responses. I just need to work out a strategy and rebuild my confidence.

  7. #17

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    ‘Beloz’ – the course looks interesting and reasonably priced. Are you going to give it a go ?

    Here are a couple of links for you:

    Knowledge Base | Steve Courtney Dog Training Look at particularly - ‘Training the behavioural Interrupter’.

    Then this one from Kikopup on the same subject:

    How to stop unwanted behavior- the positive interrupter- dog training clicker training - YouTube

    Good Luck ! smiley-eatdrink004.gif

  8. #18
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    And I do not have a problem with letting her off leash at all. When she is off leash, she will stay close to me or come immediately when I call her. She does not approach other dogs. She only has a problem with other dogs approaching her.
    I know this feeling. For me - my dog is fine with most other dogs when she's off lead but she's started getting grumpy when she's on lead and approached by a dog she doesn't know or like. And this is really annoying because we'll get some rude lab coming to say hello at the park and I have to anticipate, and stop the wet muddy slobbery monster from mugging me for treats and stop my dog from scolding it.

    And if I yell at the owner with angry voice - my dog goes off and does all the scolding for me.

    Doggy Scolding in that situation is appropriate, but it can escalate to chomping and all out dog fights depending on how the other dog and owner react. So I try to avoid it.

    Throwing a handful of treats only works if you need time for a quick get away. But not if you plan to stay or be there another time the rude dog will be.

    I find collar grabbing the rude dog and holding it at arms length sometimes works. As long as it's friendly and doesn't try to bite me. If it's not, then I'm going to scold it too and let my dog do what she will. I figure if it comes down to it, my dog's on lead, their dog is not. Their dog is harassing my dog - and that's against the law.

    A lot of dogs avoid me and my dog after a collar grab, which is what I want. I haven't hit the dog or yelled at it, I've just prevented all the fun it was planning by jumping all over my dog. Long enough for it to figure out my dog isn't interested either.

    One other thing I've done successfully - is turn my back to the other dog, keep my butt in their direction and keep my attention on my dog ie use myself as a shield to stop the other dog from getting to my dog. And to stop my dog from reacting to the other dog. If I can stop her from getting grumpy and trying to do my job for me, I feel I've gone some way to getting into her head - that it is my job to deal with the other dogs before it is hers.

    And if we come out of that successfully, I can praise, ask for some heel work tricks and a nice stay and let her off lead - as long as there aren't any food scraps within scenting distance.

    I do have to pay attention to what works and what doesn't or my dog will train me much faster than I can train her.

    I watched the GSDs being trained at KCC park and they were the saddest most oppressed dogs I've seen in a while. Lots of punishment for getting to the end of the lead or failing to drop stay but no rewards for getting it right. WTF? I had a hockey coach like that - always yelling at me that I was in the wrong place on the field but never telling me when I got it right. I lost my temper when he told me to hit the ball to Susan and we had four Susans on the field - the opposition team which included the coach's ex wife, cheered for me. I imagine that's how a dog feels that's trained the way the GSDs are trained at KCC.

  9. #19
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    I had a great one on Sunday. A big fluffy adolescent dog who continued to jump up on me and Banjo even though Banjo was doing her best killer dog impression. I ended up with the dog's head in a vice between my knees when he came up behind me trying to get to Banjo who was on the lead. I held him there till his owner got to us. But I can't help but panic because my brain doesn't know what else to do. Yet.

    I talked to that dog trainer I have been wanting to meet for ages. And she called it scolding too. She said growling was telling off, lunging and snapping was resorting to bad language. She also said that it was a common problem with female dogs. That they are naturally wired to avoid physical contact with other/male dogs when they are not on heat. So she warned me to have realistic expectations about what can be achieved here. She told me that getting a dog aggressive dog 23 years ago was what motivated her to become a dog trainer. Het list of qualifications is impressive and I am very excited about meeting her and learning as much as i can. She is coming to our place for a consultation this Friday!

    I can still do the scaredy dog classes after that if it seems useful. They really do sound like a good idea, although from the dogs' point of view a group with only reactive dogs is probably not the ideal learning environment. But the owners would all be very understanding and conscious of thresholds and the need to control the environment to achieve results.

  10. #20
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    If your dog is living with another dog it's not dog aggressive.

    Your dog is reactive under certain conditions. Those conditions are obviously when she feels she's not in total control of the situation and she's happy to act like a cranky turd. I have one of those, she's a right cow to other dogs and woe betide any dog that tries to touch, paw or sniff her inappropriately. She knocked my 60kg bordeaux across the backyard one day when he tried to be a little too attentive to her lady smell.

    Some bitches are just that - super bitchy. You got the perfect combo, bull breed, female, and a bossy personality. Dogs like her need micro managing, do not give an inch. You sure as hell don't need to keep letting your dog off at the dog park, and get over the idea the dog needs to be in places surrounded by dogs that will get slammed/attack by yours. Your dog obviously does not enjoy being there or interacting with those dogs so take her somewhere she can enjoy life more interacting one on one with you.

    You need to teach your dog you will do the job of looking after the situation and there is no need to react. But, YOU need to also keep up the maintenance. Inconsistency and confusing behavior from you will let these behaviors resurface down the track because you're not doing your job in her eyes. Let her be a distance from reactive dogs, if she lunges out walk back a few steps, regain her attention and reward for not reacting/over exciting herself towards it. Repeat a hundred times and slowly get closer. If reward only doesnt work then corrective equipment that gives the dog a sharp correction when it lunges out towards the target with the owner saying nothing while the dog is behaving in that manner works fine.

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