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Old 01-05-2014, 07:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Desperate for help!

Hello everyone, I am new here and yes I will go read all the threads, I just had to post this immediately as I am desperate!

We have a rescued labrador who is about 6-7 years old (still don't know his exact age). I have had him for 5 years and he is a very well behaved dog.

We recently rescued a dog that we are told is a shepherd mix. He is 4.5 months old and was a stray. We adopted him at 3.5 months. He knows his basic commands, although is a VERY hyper so sometimes it is hard to keep his attention. He is friendly with all people. He loves people! But he seems to be dog aggressive. He is not food protective or shy or anything. Just dog aggressive.

He ALWAYS goes after my labrador, who occasionally tries to put him in his place but to no avail. He is growing ever more dominant and pushy and we have to keep them separated or else they will fight. He also does not get along with any other dogs he meets.

We have tried introducing them on "even turf," with dogs on leashes, and things start ok but it only takes a minute before things escalate into barking, mounting, lunging. He barks A LOT. Nothing stops him from barking, not redirection, not bark collars. That tends to get the other dogs excited too.

How do we correct his aggression? He is very intelligent, but this really worries me.

Thank you for ANY help.
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Is it true aggression or just over boisterous puppy play? Any training for him in the near future? Older dogs tend not to like being ambushed by younger dogs that have no manners and the only way that they will get manners is by you teaching them. Good Luck.
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by llombardo View Post
Is it true aggression or just over boisterous puppy play? Any training for him in the near future? Older dogs tend not to like being ambushed by younger dogs that have no manners and the only way that they will get manners is by you teaching them. Good Luck.
It is definitely aggression/dominance. His body language definitely says it too. The first time I thought they were just playing but the puppy latched onto my labradors neck and wouldn't let go. He ALWAYS trys to mount the labrador.

I want to get him in obedience classes but he is too aggressive towards other dogs. I have never had an issue training or controlling a dog but this puppy really has me freaked out. It is upsetting because he is such a great puppy... when there are no other dogs around.
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I am not qualified enough to totally help you, but from our personal experience, you might have to keep him away from all dogs on walks, and work to keep his focus on you. If you see dogs approaching, turn and walk away before he starts reacting. Or if possible, stay at a place where he can see dogs walking by at a distance, but won't react (pull, bark, lunge) and reward him with yummy treats. Then walk him a couple of steps closer to the dog, walk back, calling him away and reward for following you. You can reduce the distance over time.

You could also make sure he is hungry during his walks, so he is more food motivated.

At home, can you keep him on leash and the moment he misbehaves, put him in his crate or playpen for a timeout? Pretty soon he will understand that this behaviour is unacceptable to you. When he does behave well, or is calm around the other dog, you can reward him with treats, praise, attention and play.

Good luck
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Old 01-05-2014, 08:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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find a trainer. take private lessons. work your way
into group classes.
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Old 01-05-2014, 08:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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No advice here, I just wanted to comment on how much he looks like our mix. I told my wife to look at this picture and she said "it's Buddy". I had to tell her it wasn't.
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Old 01-05-2014, 08:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I know you are definite that this is dominant dog aggression. I guess I am not so sure. The puppy is 4.5 months old. That is pretty young for that. My girls hump their mothers. They certainly are not more dominant than their mothers. It is just something they do when they are having fun or when the hormones are going crazy because someone is in heat.

I think you need to call in a trainer because you are using all kinds of devices and treating this as dominant dog behavior, and shock collars can actually create problems if used improperly or for some things, and I would not use one with a pup under six months for sure. Same with a prong. People may use the collar to agitate when working the dog in some situations. In any case we are talking about a puppy that is under five months old. These devices really should be used on older pups/dogs if at all. I am not sure that in these circumstances they would not necessarily be the right tool.

I think you got a puppy mix that plays really rough with other dogs. It may have left the litter too soon and have no comprehension of dog-dog communication. Maybe he isn't the right puppy for your situation.
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Old 01-05-2014, 09:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I want to get him in obedience classes but he is too aggressive towards other dogs.

did the trainer tell you that or are you assuming?
if you're simply assuming stop by the training place with him
and let the trainer make that decision and you might
be surprised
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Old 01-05-2014, 09:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by my boy diesel View Post
I want to get him in obedience classes but he is too aggressive towards other dogs.

did the trainer tell you that or are you assuming?
if you're simply assuming stop by the training place with him
and let the trainer make that decision and you might
be surprised
Yes, this is what I was told originally.

I just found a trainer in my area who worked with military dogs for 27 years and apparently has some phenomenal results with his live-in program in which the dog lives with him for 3 weeks and is trained and socialized in public places, in home, with other dogs, people, etc. He is going to come over for a consult this week and see what he thinks. Pretty hefty price tag in the neighborhood of a couple thousand dollars but I know it'll be worth it if his claims are true. The testimonials are pretty powerful. Our conversation on the phone makes me hopeful.

Does anyone know of this kind of training program?
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Old 01-05-2014, 09:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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i'd never send my dog away for training, for free or for thousands :-/
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