Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Outer Banks, NC
I am fairly certain this is not fear-aggression. Nothing he is doing (or the other dogs are doing) makes me even consider it. I'm no expert, but I think it has a lot to do with him trying to make sure the other dog understands their place. I've been thinking since I posted, and the more I do, the more I think it is a dominance thing. I realized that he HAS turned dominant (even when he wasn't before) and constantly does subtly dominant things even to dogs he has no problem with (head over their backs, for example). He has also ALWAYS reacted to dominant or aggressive dogs, dogs that blatantly started things, but this reaction to most any dog (even puppies) is a new thing. I also realized with further thought that he reacts more to bully breeds and labs. I don't know why this is though. Its also obvious to me that he prefers females, because once he rushes up to a dog (if I'm unable to get to him beforehand) and then realizes its a girl, he's all fine and dandy. Then again, there are some males he just adores (like the little boston terrier across the way who can literally steal a toy out of Kaiser's mouth with no problem).
As far as the correction thing my trainer wants to do...I was concerned about it pissing him off even more (or even hurting him, if she's planning on yanking as hard as I have a feeling she will). And my goal IS for him to be a social boy, with acceptable behavior around other dogs. He really does LOVE playing...with the "right" dogs...and I hate to have to take that away from him. I just can't see taking Dakota to the park without him. In fact, she won't play with any other dogs unless Kaiser is with her.
Oh, and as far as re-directed aggression...Kaiser bit me once from it. The minute his teeth hit skin he freaked out and looked at me like "oh crap, I'm sorry mom". That was when I had to pull him off of the white dog that went after him for going to say hi to his owner, so he was VERY hyped up to begin with. He didn't break skin, and he hasn't done it since. I'm glad that he seemed to realize he did something wrong, even though he was so worked up. I suppose I would prefer that over him being blinded by rage and not having a clue. Eh :-\
My goal, as I said before, is to definitely get to the root of this issue and get things figured out. My trainer is the best there is here, from the few that we have, and she knows the breed. She knows I'm not old school in my views toward corrections (I prefer positive training with minor corrections when required) so I suppose she wouldn't suggest such an extreme form of correction if she didn't think it would work. But again...Kaiser is not a hard dog. I don't want him to shut down. I don't want her to hurt him. I don't want him to redirect, or worse, get even MORE worked up after the correction.
Because I just had shoulder surgery I still have some time before I'm able to get back into training...so I have time to think this through. I'm just nervous about it. And I'm stressed because I've tried SO very hard to socialize him and set the foundation to be a great dog, and now he is acting like a complete butthead. Yea, he's a wonderful dog at home and an inspiration when we are out in public. As long as there aren't any problem dogs for him to key in on. Heck, a pit bull got kicked out of Bass Pro Shops a month ago for being HORRID when he saw Kaiser, and all Kaiser did was look at him, then redirect his attention to me because I asked him to (I was so proud!). I had people coming up to me all night telling me how amazing Kaiser was and how they were so impressed he wasnt like that other bad dog that got kicked out.
Kaiser ~ Jan 25, 2012 (GSD)
Dakota ~ Oct 2005 (GSD/Collie)
Mya ~ Dec 2013 (GSD)
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