German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 68 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
804 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I made the decision to send my dog to Ivan Balabanov’s training center. As some of you may know, he developed dog aggression after being attacked a couple of times by off leash dogs. It’s been a nightmare walking him around other dogs.

I took him to off leash dog park (not inside!) to desensitize him. Started at a non-reactionary distance and gradually got closer over months. That didn’t really solve the issue. I couldn’t control him on a prong and had to get a dominant dog collar. But there are so many loose dogs in Florida that it kept setting me back.

I took him to a police canine trainer and worked with exposure. But once a week classes weren’t enough.

He also has an issue with strangers man-handling him. In taking him to his last vet appointment, he had to be sedated just to get shots and an exam.

Off leash and around familiar people, he’s fantastic. Took him to a pool party around a lot of people and he was excellent. But if he feels cornered by a stranger, it’s on.

I basically need him to know that even if he doesn’t like something, he can’t just lash out.

Around me and family, there isn’t an aggressive bone in his body. I can touch him anywhere, take food/bones away from him, bathe and groom him with no issues.

He’s house-trained, crate-trained, not a marker, doesn’t nuisance bark, doesn’t chew/destroy things, SUPER affectionate, wants to be with me more than anything, craves engagement, loves to play, super focused. He’s everything I wanted. I just have a few kinks I need ironed out and want him to have the best I can afford to have the best quality of life. I hope I’m doing the right thing.

He cried when I left him, and I’m just feeling sad and missing him. That’s all.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,008 Posts
It's heartbreaking to leave your crying dog,even if it's in his best interest.He's in good hands.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
425 Posts
Well, even if it's sad, it's for the best if you can't fix his problem yourself. I'm sure that you're doing the right thing. He's getting wonderful treatment and good training. He'll be a saint (hopefully) when you get him back. How long is he being boarded there?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
814 Posts
I thought you had done some training at Ivan's facility before?

I think missing your dog is pretty natural. At least you have some very good training available to you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
804 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I thought you had done some training at Ivan's facility before?

I think missing your dog is pretty natural. At least you have some very good training available to you.
I took him for an evaluation about a year ago. It was an Instant Solutions session. That’s when they told me he wasn’t afraid of people, and was dog aggression. I thought I could resolve the issues myself, but it didn’t quite go as planned. I’m now bringing in the big guns...lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
804 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Well, even if it's sad, it's for the best if you can't fix his problem yourself. I'm sure that you're doing the right thing. He's getting wonderful treatment and good training. He'll be a saint (hopefully) when you get him back. How long is he being boarded there?
Thank you. He’ll be there for 3 weeks. They told me I won’t even recognize him when I get him back. lol

They do several videos updates to show me his progress. So I’m sure that will help. 😊
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
425 Posts
That's great. It's always nice to get updates and pics. Three weeks is a long time! I'm sure they are going to get a ton done with him! You probably won't recognize him at all!:D
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,423 Posts
It probably doesn't feel like it, but 3 weeks will be over in the blink of an eye. It's really great that you have high quality training available - I hope time flies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
I have the same issues with my 4 year old male GSD. He was attacked by an off leash dog when he was about 9mo. We were at agility training and I usually kept a distance from everyone trying to train him to keep calm. We would gradually get closer a bit at a time to the group. We were making progress- Then a dalmation who was off leash and had a history of attacking other dogs(and should have been on a leash-but owner was in denial) charged at us barking. I had my dog by the leash but he lunged so hard it broke his collar and we had a full dog fight. I was able to pull my dog off and get him to the car for a new collar. I wanted to get both dogs on a leash and work with them side by side at a distance- but the other owner left in a huff acting like it was my dogs fault! anyway ever since then my dog has been fearful. He gets along fine with my second dog and a friends dogs, but hates my daughter dog. He is fine around people once he is knows them. We usually have both our dogs behind a gate in the kitchen, but they can still see into the family room- after a few visits they get used to the person we are trying to get him aquainted with. But in March I am taking him to a two week board and train- K9 off leash is the company the trainer is associated with. I am nervous and hope the training helps him to be calmer and less reactive and fearful. I would love to see someone post a success story for encouragement! thank you for letting me vent and any advice is welcome!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
804 Posts
Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I feel your pain, Dieter and Freida!

I got a call from the trainer the first week Dexter was there. They told me they needed to wear a bitesuit to go into the kennel to leash him up. I knew they would. They were strangers cornering him in a tight space. He had to be sedated at the vet so I knew what they were in for. They told me they want to keep him for five weeks instead of three due to these issues.

The good news is that she sent me a picture a few days later and then a video a day after that showing how happy he is now and they no longer need the bitesuit. He looks like he’s having a blast now. They’ve earned his trust. Now they are going to work on him being neutral to strangers who haven’t earned his trust. I’m very hopeful!

Here he is in the picture they sent me looking relaxed and happy:
 

Attachments

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,008 Posts
That's great!He does look relaxed in that picture.Hope you can relax a little too now:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
998 Posts
About the bitesuit/kennel...my dog Rumo was an unpleasant guest in the beginning, at boarding.
They reported that he growled at them and refused to leave his kennel.
I told them to offer some cheese, call him out, ask him to Sit, and clip on the leash. They told me it worked great, and that's how they do it now!

Anyway this is not to undermine your trainer at all, I know they are good, and famous!

But anyway that's how I handled a similar issue with my dog.

Your dog looks really happy and settled in the photo!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
804 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
About the bitesuit/kennel...my dog Rumo was an unpleasant guest in the beginning, at boarding.
They reported that he growled at them and refused to leave his kennel.
I told them to offer some cheese, call him out, ask him to Sit, and clip on the leash. They told me it worked great, and that's how they do it now!

Anyway this is not to undermine your trainer at all, I know they are good, and famous!

But anyway that's how I handled a similar issue with my dog.

Your dog looks really happy and settled in the photo!
While the kennel makes it worse because he’s cornered, he’s also like this when strangers try to manhandle him in the open. So he would have growled and snapped while they were putting a collar on him in or out of the kennel. A stranger is reaching for his neck. That’s a no go with him. lol

He’s fine with people he knows. Strangers? Not so much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
814 Posts
I feel your pain, Dieter and Freida!

I got a call from the trainer the first week Dexter was there. They told me they needed to wear a bitesuit to go into the kennel to leash him up. I knew they would. They were strangers cornering him in a tight space. He had to be sedated at the vet so I knew what they were in for. They told me they want to keep him for five weeks instead of three due to these issues.

The good news is that she sent me a picture a few days later and then a video a day after that showing how happy he is now and they no longer need the bitesuit. He looks like he’s having a blast now. They’ve earned his trust. Now they are going to work on him being neutral to strangers who haven’t earned his trust. I’m very hopeful!

Here he is in the picture they sent me looking relaxed and happy:
Do you know if any of his siblings display the same behavior toward strangers? What has his breeder had to say about his aggression? Is it something they expected from their lines?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30,874 Posts
Do you know if any of his siblings display the same behavior toward strangers? What has his breeder had to say about his aggression? Is it something they expected from their lines?
I know these lines well. No, there is no human aggression in the lines.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
804 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
As far as I know, there is no aggression. He’s always been watchful even as a pup. Very focused and contemplative. Never one to run over to strangers, but also never shied away. He would accept petting and attention from strangers. In fact, his vet gave him a gold star early on for being so good and agreeable. They marked his chart that he was great!

I’m someone who would take him to the vet just because. They’d weigh him and give him treats so he didn’t associate with just shots or pain.

He’s been to obedience and agility classes, stores, outdoor restaurants, other people’s houses. I had dog sitters come over during the day as a puppy. I took him everywhere with me. As far as I know, he’s never had a bad experience with a human. And with people he knows, he’s fantastic. The issue I have is with strangers in his space, and I can’t figure it out.
 
1 - 20 of 68 Posts
Top