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Hello - we are new to this board, so I will give some background on us, as a family:)
Kayden is a 4 year old female GS/LAB dog. In her puppy years, we would take her to work with us daily (i worked as a nanny for a family out in the country with 2 other dogs) Along with coming to work with us, we would socialize her daily either at dog parks, beaches or friends houses with other dogs. Either way, her first 3 years were pretty "free" in behavior and very rarely was she leased, she is excellet off leash and is very well voice controlled. I trail run her off lease and Justin mountain bikes with her off lease and her loyalty keeps her right by us (sometimes I even trip over her). Justin and myself had labs before hand and b/c she is a lab mix - we raised her in the same manner (allowed on funiture and such). As she grew older, her behavior began to become more and more "attentive" and "sucipisious" of other dogs. Within this past year, she has gotten into 3 dog fights and b/c she only seems to have aggression towards the dogs that are smaller and louder, she tends to "win" and causes a bite mark. This year has been tough for her, its like her anxiety has gone through the roof. Every noise she hears, she reacts...
Right after her first dog fight, we found a dog behaviorist who specilizes in GS. We have meet with him 3 or 4 times, attended a obidence and argility classes and she does great with him and within the class. Once she is comfortable with a situation or a dog - her aggression decreases. Its the first initatial interaction that can either go good or bad.
We (the dog behaviorist and ouselves) have also noted that she is anxious in certain situations and has grown to become really sucisipsious. When walking her at night, she is paranoid of who is behind her, always looking behind herself and scared of snowman and such. With this in mind, her behaviorist and vet recommonded that we use Prozac to decrease her anxiety, which in turn will decrease her aggression towards dogs that make her anxious (the loud, small, "yappy" ones).
However, she has been on it for 2 months and although there are times when we think she is calmer, her anxiety is still there and sometimes, we think it is worse. We no longer allow her to "own" the house, she is not allowed in the bedroom and we can only invite her on the funiture when we are ready for her. We love her so much and at first the behaviorist said absolutly NO funiture, however - that broke our hearts to do...we love to cuddle with her, she loves it and we love it. it is an important part of our family....
we do not know what to do. having a dog that does not like certain dogs is frusterating. she does have 3 dog friends that she sees daily that she loves and plays with, but other than that, its like she does not care to ever meet another dog again.
any ideas, support or suggestions?? thank you
 

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I think I would work on continuing to have you both be the 'leaders' in her life right now.

For some reason, she thinks it's a scary and distrustful world and SHE'S responsible for being alert (and anxious?) in it. If you can start to tilt this so she knows YOU are in charge. YOU will be taking the lead and she can look to you, regard and trust you, she can back off, calm down and not feel she has to react.

If you can find a good positive based group obedience class, it's a way for her to see you are in charge and nothing will happen to her with new dogs/new place. And she'll also learn to trust and look to you for new information and learning.

There's also a bunch of great articles/books about 'leadership'. And it doesn't mean us being Alpha rolling pack leaders, or harsh and demanding. There are alot of nice quiet and calm leadership things we can do to help.

I really like The Dog Listener by Jan Fennell http://www.janfennellthedoglistener.com/

The DVD (not just the book, we need to SEE what our dogs are doing) Calming Signals by Turid Rugaas http://www.canis.no/rugaas/

And some great articles that are FREE on this site, and I'd read from puppyhood on:

http://www.flyingdogpress.com/articles.html
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for your reply - We understand that, for some reason, she feels responsible for us. how do we change that?

We have done an obedience and an argility class, we make her sit and stay before she can eat, same with going outside - we make her sit and stay until we are outside and than we call her...when i run through the city, she is on a gentle leader. We really have tried a lot and understand that, to a point, we simply need to accept her and this. We own a duplex and our friends live downstairs with their dog, whom she loves. the two of them are so adorable together when they play. She has so many pro's, her loyalty to us is amazing, she is so smart and listens soooo well - we would never change those things about her, we just wish we could make her anxiety and stress level go down. When we chose to not allow her on funiture until we invited her - she grew really attached to her dog bed and it has become her nest - even sometimes when we invite her on the couch, she would rather stay on her bed.
 

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Get the book and read it. Get the DVD and watch it and watch it and watch it. Go to the flyingpress articles and read the articles ( click here and click here )

It's taken a slow 3 years (? on the timeline) for your dog to get like this so it's not going to be a quick fix we can give you for an immediate turn around. But if you are both consistant, you will be amazed.

And being a 'leader' isn't particularly about 'obedience'. It's about tons of little things you can do in the day (go thru a doorway before the dog? Eat before the dog? ) that put your dog in a confident happy secure position in the world with YOU as her leader.

It sounds like you gave her a good base early on so I'm thinking you can turn this around. Wouldn't hurt to go back to more agility classes or other fun stuff like freestyle or flyball or tracking or rally or frisbee or herding or ............
 

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I am just going to throw some things out for consideration.

First would be a complete blood work up, there is another post about aggressive issues and health.

Next I would see an Canine Eye Dr. (lol my brain isn't working and I can spell it.)

Val
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thank you for the recommondations. the articles are interesting and i will look into the books as well.
Kayden has had blood work done, and all is clear on that end.
thanks again...
 
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