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Old 09-03-2014, 12:39 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Re-training aggressive GSD, HELP!!

Back in OK I got a pup and through his life we moved to SC. I never really had the time to socialize him the way I wanted to, and I take FULL responsibility for it.

However, last September he went missing. Animal control picked him up and I identified him from the photos thru my local GSD club email. He was extremely aggressive in the shelter, no one could get close to him to perform any real vet analysis. He was in the shelter for 11 days, and apparently was eating right. When I identified him he wouldn't come to the front of the kennel, but the handler got him out and he kinda came when I called his name and licked my chin.

I have NO doubts this is my dog.

Since having him home, he's extremely aggressive, lunging after people on the leash, trying to get at dogs running loose and I can't tell if it's a fear, or protectiveness. The other day he was accidentally let outside, (ran out of the front door) and I ran down two blocks to leash him up and bring him home. I tried not to make a big deal out of it but it's upsetting. Today the same thing happened, and he barreled into the chihuahuas that were loose across the street and then took off. Scaring the poo out of the neighbors he passed. One girl ran to help me catch him behind and abandoned house and I'm grateful they understood that he wasn't a bad dog. And he isn't.

Odin is a good dog. He didn't bark or growl at the people who helped me, and I know there is hope for him. He chased some kids but he didn't fluff his hair or bark or growl or act hostile, I really think it's an exploratory thing but I need help containing it. Since his neutering he's eating twice a day, drinking plenty of water and listens to the basic commands I thought him. I know I need to reinforce everything,and I need a clicker. But any advice is appreciated 100%.

It's a huge transition for him to be back in my life, but I don't live in a great neighborhood and it scares me to think if he actually ATTACKS someone if he gets out. Please help, I cannot lose him again.
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Old 09-03-2014, 12:51 AM   #2 (permalink)
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No. 1. Up your management. Expect that the next time he gets out of your house, he will bite someone, the police and animal control will be called, and your dog will be ordered to be euthanized, and you will then be sued.

No. 2. Find the money and take your dog to a trainer. You need to train him and bond with him and get him under voice control. The more you work with him, teaching him praising him for doing the right thing, and letting him know it if it wasn't quite right, and being consistent in your body language, voice praise or correction, your dog will gain more and more confidence in you. When that happens, he will become less of a danger to others.

Keep him safe. If you choose to begin to socialize him at this point, go slow, and start with people or things you believe he will succeed with.

Clickers snickers! load your praise with treats, and then start phasing out the treats. Praise is free, you never run out, and you can't lose it before your walk.

Work with a good trainer who can explain what body language you are conveying to your dog, and work consciously on being consistent.

Good luck.
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Old 09-03-2014, 01:01 AM   #3 (permalink)
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All things I've started, (aside from getting a trainer). I really appreciate this, you've kind of reinforced what I already know. I'm terrified of doing the wrong thing and confusing him even more. When people see me with him outside I know they are wary, but on a leash he does SO much better than two weeks ago. I let them know that I have him and not to worry. He just runs off leash, and this NEEDS to stop. ASAP.

Am I wrong in thinking it's an exploratorium aspect rather than him running off because he's scared? Not that either is ok, just trying to understand his mindset a bit better
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Old 09-03-2014, 07:35 AM   #4 (permalink)
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He may be running off because he is looking for the home you once had. He may be running off because it is simply fun to run free. It doesn't really matter why he runs off. He needs to learn that there are more opportunities for goodies if he stays close to you. More treats, more praise, more toys and plenty of Adventures Together.

Finding a good trainer is getting another set of eyes on how you are handling your pup. It is amazing how a small nuance can change things. And I agree with Selzer, socialize but go baby step by baby step.
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Old 09-03-2014, 08:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
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A good exercise that you can do daily and throughout the day is call him and when he comes give him lots of praise, pet him and give treats, then tell him to go play. Do this as many times a day you can. He will start to understand that when he comes to you it's a good thing. Don't ruin that by calling him to you for bad stuff, like nail trims or ear cleanings, etc. you can also play tug with him and let him win and make sure he knows it. This will build confidence and help you guys bond. How was he before he went missing? It makes me wonder what happened to him in those couple weeks he was gone.
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Old 09-03-2014, 08:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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He has escaped twice through your front door. Create a physical boundary at your exit doors. Once you have the physical boundary in place, you can begin working on a place command.

This is not protectiveness you are seeing. An experienced trainer, after an evaluation, would be better able to give an idea what is going on.
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Old 09-03-2014, 08:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
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He has escaped twice through your front door. Create a physical boundary at your exit doors. Once you have the physical boundary in place, you can begin working on a place command.

This is not protectiveness you are seeing. An experienced trainer, after an evaluation, would be better able to give an idea what is going on.
I'm thinking it has something to do with his time he was missing. I'm really interested in knowing what he was like before that? I would also like to know how old he is?
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Old 09-03-2014, 08:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llombardo View Post
I'm thinking it has something to do with his time he was missing. I'm really interested in knowing what he was like before that? I would also like to know how old he is?
OP states to begin with that her dog is not socialized. Then lost (how long ?) and then in shelter for 11 days, now lunging at people and dogs. This isn't protection.

A trainer needs to get their eyes on the dog. The OP needs great management ideas for this dog to keep it safe in the meantime.
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Old 09-03-2014, 08:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twyla View Post
OP states to begin with that her dog is not socialized. Then lost (how long ?) and then in shelter for 11 days, now lunging at people and dogs. This isn't protection.

A trainer needs to get their eyes on the dog. The OP needs great management ideas for this dog to keep it safe in the meantime.
I'm not disagreeing on the training part, that is a given. I don't think I would rule out some kind of trauma while he was MIA. Most dogs if not all that I know of are excited when they see their owners after not seeing them for such a long time period, this dog did not seem to be so thrilled. I walk to take the garbage out and my dogs act like I was gone for days when I come back in a minute later.
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Old 09-03-2014, 09:54 AM   #10 (permalink)
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He wasn't missing for 11 days, he was missing for a year. He was in the shelter for 11 days. He wasn't I like this before which makes me think he he may have been abused wherever he was. He was never overly friendly but he wasn't this misbehaved. I spent countless hours training and working with him to avoid this problem as an adult but the year he was gone did NOT help.

I agree with who said he wasn't thrilled to see me, however I think the shelter freaked him out a bit. He's excited and jumpy and twirls around when I come home from school or work, so I know he recognizes when I'm gone. And his demeanor in the house is just the same as before. Only when he's outside does he misbehave. And when he's on a leash he acts the same, I need to be firmer with his commands, but he does listen eventually (I know eventually isn't an option, it should be an immediate response, but we're working on that)

I know I need a trainer, that is a given, but money is tight right now. I'm hoping one of the ladies from my local club can help, I meet with them on the 9th.
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