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So I have had Midnite for about 10 days and I'm getting ready to really start working with him on a few things. He does have traces of giardia, but his poop was a little bit better. I want him to be in good shape when I start training. Kennel cough is pretty much gone, so I can use a prong and I do believe I will need to use a prong.

This dog has no manners, has had no training, and he needs lots of help. He is a strange one.

Problem 1....At first he was really defensive with the cats, they swatted, he barked like he was going to kill them. I've noticed that he barks the same way when he is playing with the dogs, but I also don't think he will back down or take the cat swatting him. Today the cat ran and had no where to go, then I see Midnite running from the cat...after Midnite recovered he went back to chase the cat, but I caught him and put him in the crate. He does not bark at the cats when they walk by the crate and he can walk right past them, with no problems. My problem is the cat who thinks he's a dog and starts with Midnite. The cat shows no fear and does not back down. I need Midnite to be able to take a hit from the cat and not react, just like the rest of my dogs. I think he can do it, but I'm not sure on how to get him there and this is mostly because I'm afraid that he will hurt them..he can just be nosing them and I feel my fear go through the roof, but I don't feel like I can put my guard down.

Problem 2...he plays way too rough and really has no idea how to play. My other GSD will correct him if he starts playing his way. He is very mouthy and I feel that he needs help with the bite inhibition?? If my hand is in the way, its in his mouth and he has a hard bite. This is probably the easiest thing to fix. I can do anything to him and I trust him, but he gets really focused really fast.

Problem 3....Other dogs. He is perfectly fine with all of mine and has never barked or reacted to them, even when he first met them...it was play time. He sees another dog and goes ballistic, I have a hard time holding him back and this is where the prong will be helpful, hopefully. I need the best prong out there..any ideas? He loves kids, he loves people, he doesn't bark when in the car or at home unless he's playing or in the crate and wants out. He is still very puppy like, but in a strong way. I don't think taking him to a class at this point will be helpful, I think that he would be kicked out. Any ideas on how to slowly introduce him to seeing other dogs and being quiet? I don't care if he ever goes and plays with another dog, but I don't want him acting the way he does. He is fine with the geese and ducks to. He loves treats and working basic obedience, but that would be out the window if he seen another dog. I have to make him better and on the level of my other dogs, its not even a question. I will work my butt off to get there, but I am open to any and all ideas. Thanks.
 

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I know something better than prong, more humane. Teach him to wear The Canny Collar The Canny Collar - The Best Collar to Stop Dogs Pulling on the Lead in your back yard. You would know better when you can discard it completely.
It is not so difficult with cats in your kitchen than in your back yard. Tether him in the kitchen, and, if your cats agree with his presence - feed them together. You can teach him patience in the same time, he must wait for his turn to receive a bit from your hand. But, please, remember, nothing should fall on the floor, that should be hand feeding only, otherwise he will start attacking cats because of food. Come around with cat in your hands petting the cat when he is in his crate.You will show him that you yourself are cat-friendly. Walking on a leash, make big circles around the cat thus telling him to stay away from cats. Cat sausers should not be placed on the floor, normal feeding time should not coinside, he musn't see cats eating anything at all except feeding sessions in your kitchen when he is tethered to something. One month of such feeding - and you might start asking him to remain in the sitting position without tethering him.
 

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Whoa. You got another doggie? Last count 4 dogs and 6 cats? Good luck my friend. Sorry I don't really have any advice...
 

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llombardo, I know you don't want to have him in a group training situation right now, which makes sense if he is losing his mind. But...please consider getting set up with a professional now for some 1:1 training. Or a group class structured for reactive dogs.

My Tanner is reactive, and I made it so much worse. I gave corrections at the wrong time and did nothing but A) ramp up his behavior and B) convince him that other dogs were a threat. I missed so many of his signals before he went over threshold. And his threshold was pretty low to begin with. If I had gotten some professional help early on, and if I had actually listened to the help I did get initially, maybe this journey with Tanner wouldn't have been so long! Or bumpy.

I also think you need to stop comparing this new dog to your other dogs. He is what he is. He might not ever behave in the world like your other dogs do. Regardless of what you do with him. If your cat gets him riled up, keep them separated. Ten days is not long at all in the overall big picture. Better safe than sorry.

Please find a trainer to start working with now. Getting a professional's eye isn't a reflection of your own skill. Two heads are better than one and one of those heads should be totally objective.

With all due respect to David Taggart, I don't think his advice is something I would use.
Sheilah
 

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I would not go straight to the prong collar. That can make things worse. This behavior may be excitement because it sounds like he is fine with other dogs when he meets them. Rafi was dog reactive when I adopted him but I was able to use LAT and a reward and retrained him very quickly. Absolutely no problems now.

As for the cat: You MUST keep him on a leash until you can train him to leave the cats alone. As in it is IMPERATIVE for your cats' safety. I cannot stress this enough. You do not want to take a chance on him killing one of your cats. The best way to stop the chasing is to teach an incompatible behavior. Every time he sees the cat you tell him to sit and you give him a super great reward. He should eventually start sitting automatically when he sees the cat.

Really it sounds like he needs to learn impulse control. I find that dogs like this benefit from tons and tons of mental and physical stimulation and it sometimes after a few months of that they will start to calm down (of course this does not replace training).

If you aren't an experienced trainer I would get someone to work with you privately at first.
 

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It's a HUGE help if you use your 'Enter' key to put in paragraphs. I couldn't even read your issues...(hm, just figured out I'm a moderator on this so can fix it so I can read it..)

How old is the dog?

:)
 

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It's a HUGE help if you use your 'Enter' key to put in paragraphs. I couldn't even read your issues...(hm, just figured out I'm a moderator on this so can fix it so I can read it..)

How old is the dog?

:)
Sorry about the enter keys.. He just turned 1 in April. I do not want to have to use the prong if its not needed. This dog is just very strong and doesn't know how to use his strengths. I do believe he is excited to see other dogs and he doesn't know how else to react. I do believe that everything is fixable. I'm not comparing him to my other dogs, but I do want him on their level as far as training goes. These are all going to be training issues.I know once one is learned the others will slowly follow and everything will connect. I have talked to my trainer about him, but I was waiting until I knew he was feeling a little better to go meet her. He's been pretty much on the two week shut down kind thing. He will be meeting a trainer this weekend. He is really a good dog, just never taught any better. Its kinda sad:(
 
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