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Thread: Fear Aggression.. Do you believe you can totally change or is it mainly management? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
01-06-2014 04:08 PM
huntergreen fear agression, no matter how improved, will always need to be managed.
01-06-2014 12:02 PM
Tiffseagles I didn't choose any answers.

It depends on the dog and the situation. My dog was fear aggressive when having her nails trimmed - running away and when caught growling and air snapping. Had she been pushed further, likely biting. However, I used CC on her in the beginning. This is a recent video:

I have no worries about being bitten and she has improved since this video - she will now come to me and lie down without prompting if she sees or hears the clipers. And if I clip the other dog's nails first, she will lay and watch (and if she becomes impatitent will paw at me for her turn).
01-05-2014 09:44 PM
Jax08 I voted but I probably shouldn't have. I have two fear aggressive dogs. One that has improved but still needs management and the other that is a genetic hot mess and will always need management. I do believe there can be some improvement for all but it could take years so the real answer is always MANAGEMENT.
01-05-2014 09:41 PM
OriginalWacky I also agree this is a case by case basis, but chose the second answer because I would like to think that's the most comon result. I say this as somebody who had to put an aggressive dog down after years and many thousands of dollars on treatment to try and 'fix' her, so in the end, all four choices are probably POSSIBLE, but not likely. The second and third are likely the most common by far though, and I'm not sure I'd ever totally trust a dog that had had fear aggression in the past with strangers and no management.
01-05-2014 10:28 AM
Blanketback I agree that this is a case-by-case issue, so it's hard to vote on it. I also think there should be a 1.5, where at first when you're working with the dog then you need to manage the environment very closely, but after a few years when the dog is more mature and after having enough neutral experiences with whatever it fears, then the dog will adapt and accept it. IME, anyway.
01-05-2014 08:05 AM
JakodaCD OA I didn't vote either, it depends on the dog in my book.

I had a fear biter, he wasn't over the top, with management 24/7 , he was ok , lived a pretty normal life, but it was manage manage manage..
01-04-2014 10:29 PM
BowWowMeow I rehabbed Basu to a point where he was _almost_ normal but he still needed management. It took many years and a lot of daily training and exercise but people really couldn't believe he was the same dog I adopted.
01-04-2014 10:24 PM
Draugr In my experience (which is admittedly just with one dog), it's largely just management. I've seen very minor improvement with positive reinforcement and a small diet change, but he is never going to be a dog I can safely have around other people.
01-04-2014 10:15 PM
selzer I would have chosen all three of the lower ones. And I do not know about the first one. But I chose the second as the answer I think in most cases to be true.

I think that weak nerves is a continuum. A dog with very weak nerves, many symptoms, with bites, maybe the best thing for such a dog is to put it out of its pain.

I think most dogs do not fall into that extreme. And for those dogs, it is dependent on how weak their nerves are, what symptoms are showing, as to whether it will be mostly management with some improvement, or definite improvement, but of course management.

I think the dog is what it is. But by managing the environment, carefully socializing to new situations and people, building the confidence level of the dog and of the dog/owner team through training, the dog can be brought much farther than if the dog was put on a chain in the back yard and neither socialized or trained, and possibly allowing some negative experiences where the dog is as well. If you take that same dog and push it beyond its threshold and give it harsh corrections for any type of aggression, you can make a dog into a ticking time bomb.

I think the amount of improvement possible under ideal conditions is dependent on the dogs genes.
01-04-2014 10:04 PM
boomer11 depends on how fearful the dog is but imo no you cant fix it, you can only manage it. a dog should be your best friend that you can take everywhere and enjoy your time with. not something you need to constantly worry about. a pet should be therapeutic and not a source of stress.

you can try really hard with a dog and train constantly but sometimes its more humane to put a dog to sleep than have them sleeping with one eye open and nervous and fearful for 10+ years of their life.
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