Loki needs help - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-20-2014, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Loki needs help

Hello everyone!

I have a 8 month year old German Shepherd/ Mallinois mix and he is starting to get aggressive towards strangers and other dogs. When growing up he was socialized and walked everyday. He use to love running and playing with the other dogs at the park and dog beach.

I had to switch his dog food from blue wilderness puppy to the regular blue puppy formalu (vet reccomended) because Loki had to high of protein in his diet causing growing pains. With this I had to let him heal for about a month and walked him very rarely during this time period.

While walking he knows (not perfect) but will sit on command, stay on command, and walks to the side of me (I do have to correct him often because he is a ball of unattentive energy). He does walk with a choker chain (the chain without the fangs).

Now when Loki and I go on walks he will lunge at other dogs and other people.
While walking I keep a sharp eye on my surroundings and when someone walks by I have him sit and use a "leave it" command, this works 70% of the time but you can tell by his body motion that he wants to lunge and bark at them. I cannot take him to the dog park anymore because he acts like everydog is a threat and will snap at any dog who gets close. I was walking him in public when a guy randomly came from behind and tried petting Loki and loki turned and snipped at him. Although I know that guy approached Loki wrong I still find it unexceptable.

Things I have tried:

Repetitive walking back and forth fences with dogs on the other side
Walking him on the outside of dog parks
Walking him in very public areas
Using the clicker/ treat method when he doesnt lunge
Using a toy to distract him during walks

Any advice will help! I am 21 years old and have plans of having kids in a couple years and want to tackle his aggression immediatly. A trainer might be out of my finacial reach and really would like to try and train him myself.

Thank you

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-21-2014, 07:36 AM
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Hi Colton

I would start training again with him. In your backyard or somewhere without distractions. Master leash walking with him in a quiet environment before practicing in more chaotic and distracting places. I would also do some general bond building exercises as well.

There are tons of videos and resources..but here is a good example;

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-21-2014, 08:18 AM
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I agree with Malachi. You need to work the pup under his threshold. It's a good idea to bring him to those places, once he's ready, but you may need to increase your distance from them, and gradually work your way closer over time.

Start at home with no distractions, then build off that.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-21-2014, 09:12 AM
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training is affordable if you can take an 8 week group class. Seek a trainer and see if he is eligible for a class with his reactivity. If not it is worth the investment to just get a few one on one sessions with a trainer to get some tools and tips to work with him at home.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-21-2014, 09:32 AM
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Change from the choker to the prong collar, use a back up collar attaching to the main collar with a tab or there are leashes designed for this purpose. With his lunging, he can easily damage his trachea.

As others have said, work with him under threshold. Fence with dogs is a good idea, BUT if he reacts walking on same side of road, move to the other side of the road and walk. Saying repetitive can be any number of walking back and forth. You want to keep it to a short time/number of walks back and forth; stop before the dog's tension builds to a high level and he reacts. If he reacts, move away from the area, let him settle, once settled, come back and make one more successful round and call it a day.

The same idea applies for the other areas you work with him. Find the distance he doesn't react and start there.

For the toy as a distraction. Some dogs become more amped up when using a toy, how does he do when using food as a distraction? Not the kibble, but the really yucky stuff dogs go nuts over.

Especially with a reactive dog, having an experienced trainer involved is seriously worth the cost. They can see things we don't or we miss. With their eyes on the dog and his behavior, they can employ any number of training techniques tailored to what your dog needs.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-21-2014, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the replies and advice everybody!. Yesterday I ordered a prong collar online and awiating for it to arrive in the mail. I also found that running through a couple training excersises before taking him on a walk make him more attentive towards me. Ill keep you guys updated on his training!
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-21-2014, 10:01 PM
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make sure you have a professional instruct you on how to use the prong. my trainer made sure it was a proper fit for my dog, and then trained me how to use it properly. You can do a lot of damage to a dog if used incorrectly.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-22-2014, 05:02 AM
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I have never seen a dog damaged by a prong collar. Never.

Here is a good primer for prong collar use.

How To Use a Prong Collar Part 1: http://youtu.be/nibaQnS44FE

Starting A Dog On A Prong Collar With Conversatio…: http://youtu.be/YEnoPXgWG0U

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-22-2014, 10:04 AM
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Roxy and I have moved back to in front of the house again. I have a nice frontage road to work on and we are back there for awhile. I love these videos
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-22-2014, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by David Winners View Post
I have never seen a dog damaged by a prong collar. Never.

Here is a good primer for prong collar use.

How To Use a Prong Collar Part 1: http://youtu.be/nibaQnS44FE

Starting A Dog On A Prong Collar With Conversatio…: http://youtu.be/YEnoPXgWG0U
what about the stories that if it's positioned too low then a dog can get hurt.
also what about something someone said here, that using a micro prong on a large dog can injure them

I don't believe it either just wondering why this was said.
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