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Thread: Don Sullivan....Dealing with Aggression & Sep Anxiety Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
06-04-2014 08:13 AM
Gwenhwyfair .....and ironically Don Sullivan used to train sea mammals including killer whales!



Bio here: The Perfect Dog
06-03-2014 10:06 PM
Cassidy's Mom
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muskeg View Post
My concern is that some people seem so afraid to label GSDs (and other protection breeds) as aggressive. It's OK for a dog to have genetic aggression, in fact, with GSD and malinois it is an important component of the breed. It's not a bad word. Aggression with high thresholds, strong nerves, biddability, clear head and training can be a great thing, a terrific thing in fact. Call it fight drive, or prey drive, or defense drive, it is still aggression (my terminology may be different than some).
I think you'll find you're preaching to the choir here.
06-03-2014 10:05 PM
Cassidy's Mom
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitzkrieg1 View Post
Then after they create the story in their head to justify the behavior they treat the dog like its made out of glass. What could take 1 month turns into a year long process or in many cases is never completely addressed. Of course the excuses abound again.
Baloney.
06-03-2014 09:27 PM
Chip18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moriah View Post

My dog found a big BBQ bone with meat on it at the park in the grass. Can't think of a treat that could've trumped that--I tried. Seeing treats were not working, I just got it out of his mouth threw it. My rules.
"Because I say" so FTW!
06-03-2014 09:22 PM
Moriah My now 17 week old puppy has fear aggression to dogs. I have DVDs on marker training, etc.; actually quite a library. And I am doing some of the beginning exercises (or games) from Control Unleashed. Lots of treats for "default" behaviors, "head whip," etc., and I think they are valuable behaviors. And I plan on continuing.

But I wii soon have a 60-pound plus male GSD on the end of the leash barking, hackles up, and snarling. I don't care WHY when it is happening. It has to stop, then I can work the exercises in Control Unleashed more effectively.

I went to a trainer with 30 years of Schutzhund experience and no-nonsense. Today, 10 days later, I was at the park with a big leashed dog jogging by with his owner and my dog at a sit with me 8 feet away from the trail. My dog actually looked relaxed and happy.

For me, some things are non-negotiables--getting yanked all over is one of them. I will extinguish bad behavior as quickly as I can (aggression does not go away on its own) and ignore the small stuff.

My dog found a big BBQ bone with meat on it at the park in the grass. Can't think of a treat that could've trumped that--I tried. Seeing treats were not working, I just got it out of his mouth threw it. My rules.
06-03-2014 08:48 PM
Baillif Blitz is right all in all it's easier to go to a great breeder. Socialization is for dogs with genetic predispositions to nervousness. A great dog with really great temperament will not need much if any socialization or counter conditioning.
06-03-2014 06:47 PM
Chip18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muskeg View Post
Corrections with a high-drive dog are almost unavoidable unless you can somehow avoid public places, other dogs, and other people your entire life.
LOL "Bubble Dogs" we did that in another thread!

And yes the only way to ditch the "bubble" was to take the dog out in public! Be a responsible dog owner! That seem to be an issue for some...taking a "bubble dog in public"
Some folks seem to think...if the dog has a "people issue" then he should not be out in public!

And of course the level of correction needs to be adjusted to the dog you're working with! The leash corrections were a bit harsh for my taste but that dogs was out of control!

He got results and got them fast! And the dog seems just fine!

There are a whole host of correction tools available depending on the dog. Hopeful this thread can keep being a discussion and not a debate!
06-03-2014 05:42 PM
Muskeg My concern is that some people seem so afraid to label GSDs (and other protection breeds) as aggressive. It's OK for a dog to have genetic aggression, in fact, with GSD and malinois it is an important component of the breed. It's not a bad word. Aggression with high thresholds, strong nerves, biddability, clear head and training can be a great thing, a terrific thing in fact. Call it fight drive, or prey drive, or defense drive, it is still aggression (my terminology may be different than some).

Certainly, some dogs with aggression are unbalanced, which is why nerves are so important. Either way, balanced or not, aggression needs to be addressed and channeled, but I have never personally seen someone meet success using the treat/click under threshold work with aggression. At least they never get to what I would consider success, which is off-leash control in the real world, within a reasonable time frame, like a few months.

Corrections with a high-drive dog are almost unavoidable unless you can somehow avoid public places, other dogs, and other people your entire life. Bird-dog trainers correct their dogs very harshly for chasing "trash" (deer/rabbits) either with e-collar or check-cord or (old school) chasing the dog down and issuing harsh physical corrections. Same idea- the drive is in the dog to chase and hunt, but they want to channel that drive into controlled hunt of birds only.

Similarly, our breed has drives like prey, defense, fight- which often result in unwanted aggressive behaviors if the handler is unskilled, dog is unbalanced, or both.

A bit off topic, but I see similar issues with people's views on wildlife. We've got a lot more bears, coyotes, and wolves around in the lower 48 than anytime in the past 100 years or so. It is wrong to pretend that these animals are somehow cuddly and would never hurt a person or domestic animal. Of course they would, they are predators! It is only when we recognize a predator for what it is, and respect its ability to do harm, that we can figure out ways to live with these animals as harmoniously as possible. I see a great deal of value in restoring predators to the lower 48 (coyotes aren't leaving anytime soon anyway), but we need to have realistic expectations of the animals and act accordingly.

While dogs are domesticated, and very different from wild animals, it is still important to recognize their capacity for harm and aggression, and not coddle an animal that is showing undesirable behaviors. I like Bart Bellon's methods with e-collar, try to adapt them to my needs. With my non-GSD dog I use bird-dog trainer methods to train recall, because he has very different drives and is a naturally soft dog compared to my shepherds.

But the important thing is to be honest about your dog.
06-03-2014 05:13 PM
Chip18 What's most significant about the video is the handlers "attitude" in dealing with the dogs! Most likely the vast majority of folks committing get that.

And yes we most likely would not need to be doing the forced downs and the hard checks on dogs we own.

I specifically trained my dogs to be carproof. They don't get out the door until I tell them to period! It looks like he accomplished that also at the same time! "Stay" pretty simple!

Still I prefer my approach...basically putting the fear of God into them if they "dare" to step out without permission! But the guy did the same thing in one shot!
06-03-2014 10:32 AM
Sabis mom
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blanketback View Post
Too late to edit: old fashioned compulsion training. Which works, as my first dog from long ago would prove. But just because I know it works doesn't mean that something else doesn't work better.
Exactly!

I am hardly wimpy about corrections and such. Since the man who trained me was a Koehler student, I am firmly in the 'because I said so' camp.
What I have observed however, is that many of todays dogs are much softer then the dogs of 20 years ago, or 40. I have grown and learned and observed, and I am comfortable adapting the methods to suit the situation and the dog. I guess if I lacked the experience, or was in a hurry I would feel differently, but since I'm basically a peaceful person I see no reason to force a confrontation if I don't have to.
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