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It sounds like you like your breeder-that's great.

If you think of people like llctzh (I spelled that wrong-sorry) or Chris Wild and how closely they evaluate their dogs and their breeding dogs even more so-and reading about their puppies, you are seeing that they are breeding very strong dogs with good temperament and that people listen to what they say.

I was just making an assumption (shame on me) that she had not maybe worked the parents of your dog to know them well enough, to push them to see if they exhibited possible faults in temperament that might get passed along.

So then if you follow my logic, I would look at the trainer you went to and follow more her recommendations (because I believe she may be more the type to work her dogs). But this could be faulty logic if your breeder is titling her dogs! Sorry! I could be very wrong here-I apologize.

Regardless, to teach a dog you are in charge you can just use NILIF. jarn has a good thread about an aggressive dog she has and is leaving with her brother.

I posted those http://www.flyingdogpress.com articles there. It's all about that relationship.
 

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Discussion Starter #122
Yes my breeder has Miyah(mom) working with her 13 yr. daughter in 4-H. She has done very well in this particular area. She doesn't do the conformation AKC show route, but does 4-H, Miyah has her CGC and was first place in agility for a novice at the fair in '06 and was the only GSD competing(mostly border collies). Miyah is also a working herding dog on a horse and cattle farm. Renae prefers to use a chain throw for calling off the dogs, verses E-collar when they are being trained for herding. She is a knowledgeable dog trainer, but doesn't have the facility or kennel set-up that the one I went to here has-that place is heaven in my opinion!!
I have been reading Jarn's threads on Teegan with interest as Onyx also seems to be a confident dog most of the time, tail high and first in line.
 

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Glad things with Onyx are going well. I think NILIF is the way to go as well as to continue with the clicker training. I am rereading "Click to Calm" and had forgotten how good it is! Rafi is having issues with other dogs--he bullies them, especially if they are submissive and he's getting possessive of toys if another dog is interested. So I'm starting him on the Click to Calm stuff.
 

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Originally Posted By: onyx'girl
My breeder(Renae) gave me some suggestions(E-collar may be a possiblity), and because she does know Onyx' temperament, thought some of the more gentler ways of handling things may not work for her. Onyx is a dominant girl in most situations. One thing that was interesting when Renae came over~we were trying to get pictures of Onyx stacked, so she could have that pose, and Onyx tucked tail and got scared when Renae handled her. So stacking was a no go. There was alot going on, with four GSD's running around, though! I will try again with my daughter behind the camera.
In the past week, Onyx has really been a good girl with people coming over(teenage boys). I give the dogs treats when people arrive, so they will focus on me and not bark, bark, bark.
None of this sounds like dominance. Dominance and fear are on opposite ends of the spectrum.
 

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Discussion Starter #125
Quote:None of this sounds like dominance. Dominance and fear are on opposite ends of the spectrum.
I agree, but Onyx does act in a dominate way in most situations when she is comfortable.
 

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Originally Posted By: onyx'girl
Quote:None of this sounds like dominance. Dominance and fear are on opposite ends of the spectrum.
I agree, but Onyx does act in a dominate way in most situations when she is comfortable.
Perhaps, though truth be told "dominant" and "fear aggressive" rarely come in the same package, since one trait that makes for a dominant personality is a high level of self confidence.. something that a fear aggressive dog is lacking, or else it wouldn't be fear aggressive in the first place.

Either way, since this is about how to deal with fear aggression, whether or not Onyx is truly dominant is a moot point. Frankly, I would seriously question the actual knowledge and experience of anyone who viewed fear behavior as dominance, or advised you to deal with her dominance issues. I don't care if it's the breeder, a trainer with a stack of credentials, or someone who has mind-melded with the dog. You need to deal with the fear aggression, and the approach for that needs to be completely different.

The absolute WORST approach to deal with fear aggression is force training. All this does is prove to the dog that yes, indeed, they do have cause to worry and be afraid because sure enough, something bad *will* happen.

Jumping from one trainer to another, or from one person's advice to another, is just going to cause more frustration and confusion and isn't going to solve the problem. You need to pick one trainer and one program and stick with it for a while. Of those you've mentioned you've worked with, I'd stick with Taking the Lead. Julie and the people who work with her, like Kari, are experienced, knowlegeable dog people, who also have a lot of experience with GSDs in particular, and they truly care about the welfare of the dogs and helping you through this situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #127
I agree and am working with Julies methods only. I am not confusing Onyx with different methods. I just was giving updates and that was about my breeder coming to visit. I didn't say that I was doing anything different with Onyx~treats and working on taking her places in small doses. I am not jumping from one trainer to another, it is nice to hear feedback on this, and I am not going with different training methods anytime someone suggests something different. and I know that Taking the Lead is a great facility and Julie has the credentials that are trustworthy:)
 

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I have read this thread in bits and pieces. I think that some females go through a funky stage, some what unsure of themselves, some what bouncy and up and down on the emotional scale. I think just being consistent with training, showing her you care calmly in charge and it sounds like working with Julie will be very helpful.
 

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Originally Posted By: Wisc.Tiger I think that some females go through a funky stage, some what unsure of themselves, some what bouncy and up and down on the emotional scale.
I agree. In my experience, too, the girls that are right around 2 yrs (+/- a few months) can be difficult. They seem to get more reactive around that age and then mellow as they get a little older.

I also see dominance and fear reactivity as opposite ends of the spectrum, although I can understand why someone might confuse the two in certain situations. Sometimes a dog that is reacting to another dog can be doing so out of fear, and not because they want to be "top dog." You really need to understand the subtle body language to discern the difference: the commisure of the mouth, ears, eyes, tail.

It sounds like Onyx is making some good progress!!! YAY!!
 

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Discussion Starter #130
Update on Onyx ~she has been fine with Clover, the elder of the pack and I haven't had to crate or muzzle her since the eye to eye talk we had. When I prepare the RAW meals, Onyx is sitting focused on me and what I am doing. She has only growled when she is extremely hungry.
I haven't had the opportunity to socialize her, with other people or children but am working on the NILIF and clicker training. We have gone for walks on the gentle leader and she is doing as well as to be expected. She still froths and jumps somewhat as she knows the dogs will be in the yards barking. She just gets excited and knows where they are and anticipates them. I would like to get her in the next froup type of OB-tracking would be great. There is a herding instinct test at the end of April, but I would just like to go and observe that...Onyx is a natural herder, but no formal training has been done. She has the nose and herding in her genes so maybe either one will be beneficial to her growth. This a.m. she jumped up on the bed and plopped sideway(spoon) with me...weird, I know but was so cuddly and sweet I loved that even if it was 5:30....
 

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Discussion Starter #131
Today I was walking both dogs- Onyx was on a gentle leader, Kacie on prong. Two sibling mixes, chow/bullies (about 60 lbs) came running up from a house that my dogs have heard barking from, but never saw the dogs. My dogs were fine- no fur rise, barking and so were the others. Then the owner came up and the guy put his hand right at Onyx, she didn't do a thing, but sniff his hand ! I was really surprised at this as she was focused on sniffing the dogs and didn't even pay attention to the human as he approached. The whole time I was saying " good puppies" and stuff in a happy voice. There was another guy and a 8 yr old child at the driveway, she was fine, no hackeling at anyone.
The guy apologized for dogs off leash, I said no problem, good test for mine! Onyx was fine with him petting her.
It must have been a fear stage a couple of mos. ago, or the gentle leader is what calmed her. maybe she was reacting to my calmness, or the other dogs lack of aggression. I didn't have treats w/ me or my clicker at this time, so I couldn't re-direct focus with that approach. I was very proud of both Kacie and Onyx during this experience:))
 

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Discussion Starter #132
Update: 5/08 Onyx and I joined a new SchH. club http://www.schhmi.com/
that meets2x a month at Taking The Lead where I went for the private training. When we got there a pup charged her and Onyx was ok, but a bit nerved up. Other dogs were in crates, barking in their vehicles. Bitework was done first, as one of the members needed a breed survey done. Onyx was very uncomfortable with this and wanted out, so we went outside, she was freaked out when a dog started barking from his crate and tried to get the H out of there. We did go back in and she settled when we started doing basic ob and playtime. All the dogs were GSD's, about 6.
The next training was cancelled due to severe weather, and we missed the last one, as I was in SC. So it has been 6 weeks since we were there, went last night and Onyx remembered it as we went down the drive, she started shaking,& acting anxious. Went inside and let her sniff around opposite side of the room of the others, to calm. We were working on the CGC and Onyx did very well, she let stranger approach, stand for exam and when I left the room for the 3 min, she was ok. It was a positive night and she left with a wag in her tail. She was on a no-slip collar and was fine w/ it.
I know she isn't SchH material,or maybe the tracking and ob only, but being around great trainers and knowledgable people will do nothing but help her, IMO I am also going to the local Kennel club for the CGC training class which starts next week, I think she is now ready for larger group training. So if fear aggression can't be overcome, it can be managed:))
 

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Wow. That was quite a read!!!

So, um, what's the outcome? To shock or not!?

Have to admit as someone new to this debate, I have to go with the side of Lou. Purely because he's been able to factually back up every but of rhetoric that had been thrown around. **removed by Admin**


A lot of knee jerk reactions. Any method can be abused. My dog was a rescue who had been beaten over the head with some kind of pipe. Bloody welt on her head when we got her. So should all blunt objects be banned from society? The first trainer we hired brought a choke and preferred to hang our dog from it until she submitted. No lie. That was traumatic. So where are the anti-collar debates.

Let's all just agree that WE will do whatever is best for our dogs. And no one will abuse any technique. I know you are all coming down hard on Lou. But remember he is a dog lover too. And I her his dogs are pretty darn happy.

Peace and namaste
 

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Discussion Starter #135
Welcome Ben8jam
Lou Castle is the E-collar guru for sure...
Just an FYI~ we aren't allowed to talk politics here so don't be surprised if your first post gets edited by the admin or mods.
In the case of Onyx, I didn't go with an e-collar. She matured and mellowed, but still has issues with small kids and the vet doing anything with her. In those cases I use a muzzle or crate her when kids are around. I did take her to a class based on the book Control Unleashed by Leslie McDevitt. That was a turning point in managing her.
I'm not against using an e-collar, but for this case it wasn't needed.
 

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Thanks for the update! I just came back to ask how Onyx was doing. Didnt realize this was over two years old!!! Oops.

Glad to her she's doing well(er).
 

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fear aggression can definitely be managed through the right conditioning, being a good leader, and trying to keep the dogs from repeating reactive behaviors.....learning your dogs triggers and thresholds is a good start.......

i also think a very helpful exercise is teaching your dog to get behind you.........so you can use this in unexpected situations and take control so your dog can relax..........
 
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