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Can I train dog aggression out of my 2yr old GSD at the dog park? I’ve tried many methods from ecollar, prong dollar, choker, treats, redirecting to her favorite toy, redirecting to a new toy, and plain positive reinforcement. I’ve been doing this for months and the most progress I’ve made is that she will sit on command if she’s on a short leash and the other dog is a ways away even though she can still see it. It’s not easy to train her not to be dog aggressive in a public place because other people become scared. Is the dog park a good place? She went most of her early puppy life and had no problems off leash. Even when on leash it’s all for show. She’s super friendly and has NEVER been in an altercation.
 

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I think since you previously let her play in the dog park, what you're mainly seeing is frustration. Taking her into the park now is only going to build that. Keep using distance, build that desire to play without the competition of something else like the other dogs. When she sits like you mentioned, keep everything calm, even moving away when you do. No big expectation of anything, reward or correction. Try giving that some time.
 

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You didn't mention if you have a trainer. If you don't, find one who knows the breed and works successfully with reactively and agression and one who know the difference. And stay out of the dog parks. If you suspect it is all show and hasn't yet had a bad encounter, keep it that way and stay out of that park. You need an environment that will set her up for success not failure. The only way to do that is a well controlled environment with the help of a knowledgeable trainer.

My advice is from experience and not from things I've read, I tried on my own, same as you (excluding the dog park bit). Took over a year with some progress, got fed up with myself and found a trainer. The diy rabbit hole is deep and not fun.
 

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I would add that you might have better luck if you view training *anything* a bit differently. Training is all about what "to do", not what "not to do"! Trying to teach a dog "not" to do anything is difficult, and often leads to frustration for you and the dog! In fact, I'm not sure how you'd go about achieving that in an all positive way...

Teaching a dog "to do" something though, that's easy, and you can see and celebrate incremental improvement and praise and reward that! Just my 2 cents...for what that's worth >:)
 

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I would add that you might have better luck if you view training *anything* a bit differently. Training is all about what "to do", not what "not to do"! Trying to teach a dog "not" to do anything is difficult, and often leads to frustration for you and the dog! In fact, I'm not sure how you'd go about achieving that in an all positive way...

Teaching a dog "to do" something though, that's easy, and you can see and celebrate incremental improvement and praise and reward that! Just my 2 cents...for what that's worth >:)
Yup! Just having her sit so she can watch the other dog imho isn't that great an idea, at least at the stage that she's at now, no matter how far away but engaging her and to focus on you is. Focus is actually a fun behavior to teach.

But still find a trainer. It will probably cut the training time she needs greatly by pointing out inadvertent novice mistakes.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I agree the dog park isn’t the best place and according to a trainer I met yesterday, she sees my dog as going into protection mode for myself the my family. I may end up working with here. She said pet smart is a great place to walk around and leash train your dog if you don’t know someone with a dog that willing to help as a distraction.
 

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My experience with a dog like yours and "Pet Stores"?????


People inside the store never ask and say "Ohhhh my dog is friendly, she wants to say Hi" .....and then they let their dog make a b-line to yours!!!!!:surprise:

.....AHHHH.......NO THANK YOU......my dog is NOT friendly!


Possibly working her at a distance OUTSIDE the pet store, watching dogs go in and out would be more constructive for her.


Moms :)
 

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My experience with a dog like yours and "Pet Stores"?????


People inside the store never ask and say "Ohhhh my dog is friendly, she wants to say Hi" .....and then they let their dog make a b-line to yours!!!!!:surprise:

.....AHHHH.......NO THANK YOU......my dog is NOT friendly!


Possibly working her at a distance OUTSIDE the pet store, watching dogs go in and out would be more constructive for her.


Moms :)
Agree! People casually let their dog pull them over, because they figure if you are in a petstore, you must have a friendly easy dog or you are wanting to "socialize". There is also the fun experience of rounding the corner of an aisle, and running smack into another dog nose-to-nose. I found that the easiest places to go were wide-open areas...parks, fields, parking lots, very wide streets, where you can control the distance from the other dog. Pet stores were actually pretty stressful.

(My dog is not aggressive but he used to get frustrated if he wasn't allowed to go greet...to others, it looked like whining, howling, lunging and rearing up. I don't know if your dog is aggressive or not, but if she's not growling, maybe she's not aggressive? The ones that want to kill your dog, seem to usually growl/snarl...)
 

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Finding a reputable balanced trainer with knowledge and experience that has german shepherds is the best way to go. You can do private sessions and do not have classes. A trainer will help to make sure timing is right and to watch your dogs body language before they react.
 

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The problem with dog parks is that even though your dog is on leash the other dogs aren't. You can keep your dog from running up to other dogs but you can't keep them from approaching you. It's an uncontrolled situation, the exact opposite of what you need to try and work through this. Pet stores aren't much better because even though the other dogs are leashed, you're still in pretty tight quarters, and a lot of the owners may be clueless about dog behavior and training.

Mom's suggestion of outside a pet store is good, or anywhere else where you might encounter leashed dogs at enough of a distance where your dog can see them but not react. That distance will vary, and at first it may be quite far, but over time you should be able to reduce it. I've had reactive dogs and it's a pain. It helps to use places where you have an exit route, so if your dog loses it you can quickly bail out and retreat. Wide open spaces are better than narrow walking paths.
 

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Somebody has probably already mentioned it........but I found the dog park an excellent place to train some reactivity out of my dog.......but we were on the outside looking in......proximity slowly changed as the dog learned to keep her crap together...started off across the street and eventually we were training in the parking lot and next to the fences..


SuperG
 

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At pet store just watch out for flexi leads. I had a dog come cruising out of another aisle to sniff noses with mine yesterday. Luckily the other dog was friendly and my dog wasn't bothered. My bad not seeing it coming. Owner didn't even notice right off.
 

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Somebody has probably already mentioned it........but I found the dog park an excellent place to train some reactivity out of my dog.......but we were on the outside looking in......proximity slowly changed as the dog learned to keep her crap together...started off across the street and eventually we were training in the parking lot and next to the fences..


SuperG
I’ve tried this as well but the trick is to get her tired before hand then walk the outer perimeter of the dog park. That’s what I’ll do next time. Thanks
 

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I’ve tried this as well but the trick is to get her tired before hand then walk the outer perimeter of the dog park. That’s what I’ll do next time. Thanks

No doubt exercised beforehand helps.......but distance and the dog focusing on you....whatever distance that requires....probably will have more benefit than the dog's energy level.....as you already know....it's quite a balancing act as the process begins.




Hang in there and be patient......one step forward ....no matter how small ....is much better than the dog losing its crap.




Super G
 

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You could try taking her hiking where there's less overwhelming stimuli and all people and dogs are focused on their mission. People are usually too busy enjoying their hike to let their dog haul them all over the place. It's almost like you need to go with LESS stimuli rather than more. Plus, dogs feel more relaxed when in the "wilderness".
 
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