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Our new rescue is dog aggressive. He is doing ok with our dog ONLY on walks (at 5am before anyone gets up and has their dogs out or late in the evening when people are in bed and their dogs are not out, and has no access to her except to watch her from his crate in the living room) but any other dog he flips out literally. Like does flips on the leash, I (we) cannot get his attention redirected. * I am meeting with a trainer on Sunday 5/12 and enrolling in classes need to give him time to settle in *. In the meantime what are some tips on redirecting at this point? He is so bad that he attempts to jump the fence out of our yard after any dog he see's. (he is leashed on a long line in the yard never by himself so he cannot) We have tried to offer treats, toys, take him away (which seems to make his flipping out worse) and cannot redirect his attention. Even if I can just have a small success at redirecting for a moment it is a start. Any suggestions until I meet with trainer on how to redirect him. I am fresh out of ideas and this is not helping him settle. I cant make people keep their dogs in so I have to take control of my own dog, I dont want to start making harsh corrections during this adjustment phase but I fear not doing anything at all may be worse.
 

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When Woolf was at his worse, it was a nightmare trying to catch his signals they were so fast. Made even more difficult with his face being black, and pupils dilated all.the.time when outside. Initial signal ended up being an ear twitch and slight eye muscle tightening on the same side. Tried everything as you are doing, but it came down to his favorite ball with a squeaker. At that first signal, mad squeaking, calling him to me and going a different direction. We built more value into the ball by removing it from general everyday play of ball fetch, made a huge deal of it when we did bring it out to play. A successful redirection hinged on capturing that first small signal, if I missed it, it was on.
 

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When Woolf was at his worse, it was a nightmare trying to catch his signals they were so fast. Made even more difficult with his face being black, and pupils dilated all.the.time when outside. Initial signal ended up being an ear twitch and slight eye muscle tightening on the same side. Tried everything as you are doing, but it came down to his favorite ball with a squeaker. At that first signal, mad squeaking, calling him to me and going a different direction. We built more value into the ball by removing it from general everyday play of ball fetch, made a huge deal of it when we did bring it out to play. A successful redirection hinged on capturing that first small signal, if I missed it, it was on.

I dont think he values much here "yet". He has ripped the squeaker out of everything but nothing seems to hold much value he will leave it and not go back without me going back to it. What does hold the most value at this point is our approval he just cant seem to hear enough that he is a good boy. I will try and watch and see what signs I can pick up BEFORE he goes into this frenzy. Its insane and he becomes so over-stimulated it takes him about 15-20 min just to settle back down and become responsive again AFTER the dog is out of sight. He is doing well inside with our dogs watching them from his crate. He stopped barking at them and just observes, so I know that there is hope :)
 

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Some dog aggression cannot be changed, only managed. Ask your trainer if they feel he is this type of dog, if he isn't then it is a long process, but don't want to see you swimming upstream.
 

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I was most successful when I experimented with rewards/motivational items while the dog was way, way below threshold. Maybe my dog wasn't overly interested in hot dog slices, so I would try pieces of roasted chicken, or baked liver. Or a piece of popcorn.

Maybe my dog had very little interest in food rewards. So I tried a ball. If he had no interest in having the ball tossed as a reward, I tried a ball on a rope and checked out how well he liked a quick tug game as a reward. Or I might try a praise party, with a ton of pats and "good boys".

Once I found something he really, really liked, I only let him have it when we were training. I paid attention when we were out that he would start to react to another dog when we were 500 feet away, so I would have him do something for me before we got that close. How was his focus on me when we were 600 feet away? Still crappy? Okay, what about 700 feet away? Did I get an instant of focus from him there? Give him a treat, throw a party. Lots of animation. Find his threshold, and then work under it. Give him some frustration tolerance skills, and work on raising his threshold.

OP, I think you're doing the right thing to get a trainer involved ASAP. Get some basic obedience on him, so you have some responsiveness to call on when you want to keep him under threshold. At this point, you're asking him to respond to you after he has gone over threshold and by then it is too late.

Spend some quiet time with your new boy and figure out what turns him on. Some dogs are harder to figure out than others, but if you keep looking and trying different things, you'll find what works for that dog.

Good luck! I hope he gets to the point where he can settle with your other dogs.
Sheilah
 

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Really great advice in this thread regarding thresholds and tricks to get attention. It does take time and patience, stick with it and remember that each day is a new day :)
 

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Here's how you start. Get a friend to bring their dog to a very large area. They will start at one end of this area and you will have your boy sitting at the other end.

I would say that you want to start with at LEAST a football field length between them.

Have your friend start walking their dog towards you and you start feeding your dog VERY high value treats - like cooked chicken or steak. Have your dog sitting in front of you - facing YOU. You will be facing sideways to the oncoming dog. Hopefully that makes sense - you don't want your dog looking directly at the oncoming dog or with their back to the dog.

The instant you cannot get your dogs attention on you - that is your dog's threshold. The distance, at that moment, between you and the other dog is the distance you have to start working with.

SLOWLY decrease that distance - but only when your dog is comfortable. Use HIGH VALUE rewards (food or toys).
 

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Cliff and Lauri have really good posts.

You are not going to be able to get his attention AFTER he has already flipped out and depending on the dog, could get hurt trying to do so. You need to manage him to keep him way under threshold and prevent him from reacting to begin with and work on counter conditioning.

Hopefully the trainer you are working with is experienced with this kind of thing. Behavior Adjustment Training (BAT) is very helpful for this kind of issue. You can read more about it at www.functionalrewards.com.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Cliff and Lauri have really good posts.

You are not going to be able to get his attention AFTER he has already flipped out and depending on the dog, could get hurt trying to do so. You need to manage him to keep him way under threshold and prevent him from reacting to begin with and work on counter conditioning.

Hopefully the trainer you are working with is experienced with this kind of thing. Behavior Adjustment Training (BAT) is very helpful for this kind of issue. You can read more about it at www.functionalrewards.com.
This is interesting. I need to learn to read him. When the last episode happened the other dog was over 100 yards away and he started to flip out. I actually could only hear the other dog barking which really set him off. There was a fence between so it was not super scary but I want to try and get ahead of the curve. I will be spending this whole week trying to learn his threshold and signs. Really focusing in on what changes about him. With him being so new its really hard right now, but I really want to try to just redirect. Food is a good thing as he is always hungry so will test the waters with some different treats. Trying to keep diet bland right now to get his tummy back on track he came with the runs but with the assist of some Vetasyl he has had two solid bowl movements. :) (sometimes its the little things in life)
 

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I don't know if this is a good strategy...It might actually be horrible advice...

But I've seen this guy walk his dog around my area and he shakes an aluminum can full of coins to redirect his pit bull's attention. It's strange. But it seemed to work well for him.

I wish you luck...keep us posted please...
 

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Had a minor short lived success yesterday redirecting his attention. I had the squeaker out of one of the toys he destroyed in my pocket (picked it up didnt want him to eat it just had not thrown in trash yet) I missed the signal he was going to have a freak out but once it started I just happened to squeeze the squeaker (maybe just out of tension IDK why I did it) And he immediately turned around and came after my pocket. I continued to squeak it trying to redirect while we went away from the stimuli but he lost interest in me and the Beggin strips I had and went back into freak out mode. It lasted about 5-10 seconds. Not huge but something. I need to find something of more value treat wise to keep his attention, if I can break the thought process with the squeaker and then keep his attention with the treat maybe we might be onto something. I also have found he does not need to see the dog at all to go into a frenzy hearing them bark is all it takes... Any one have an opinion on desensitizing? Like putting a recording on of random barking dogs and just letting it play over and over in the house while in his crate? Reward him when he settles down... (I am also having crate issues right now as well, he refuses to relax or settle in his crate I have another thread with that issue in it)
 

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That's good but that 5-10 second gap where he stopped barking and looked at you is where you remove him. As soon as he breaks focus and looks at you then turn 180 and move quickly away from the distraction and praise him as he follows you.

Where he's having his freakout is his boundary line or threshold, you need to keep him away from that distance and work your way closer. So if it takes 100m or 100' that's what you have to start with
 

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That's good but that 5-10 second gap where he stopped barking and looked at you is where you remove him. As soon as he breaks focus and looks at you then turn 180 and move quickly away from the distraction and praise him as he follows you.

Where he's having his freakout is his boundary line or threshold, you need to keep him away from that distance and work your way closer. So if it takes 100m or 100' that's what you have to start with

I tried to as quickly as possible honestly he was attacking my pocket and I tried to start jogging away with him attached to my favorite coat. Problem is the other dog was not even in sight, it was in someones fenced yard, on the other side of the tree line barking, thats all it took was the barking. I would like to think I have cat like reflexes but I cant move at the speed of sound :(

He was also walking with my other F Samoyed and never even bothered her, I thought he might try and take his frustration out on her but didnt even consider it. I really would like to just keep him in the yard here until we can meet with trainer but there is just no way his energy is going to be burned off in the yard when we cant get him to fully engage in play. He just wants to climb in our laps or stand by us when we are out there with him. He will go after the ball half heartedly pick it up and drop it and walk back to one of us. Same thing with the sqeaky toys, rope, his kong, all the toys we have tried. He would rather lay down and tear them to shreds than to chase them.
 

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Im going to try and take video this evening so everyone can see what I mean about the lack of visual and just sound creating the frenzy. The video may be horrible as he sweeps me off my feet you may see the sky in there or the tree's who knows... Its also raining here pretty good right now, I dont want to take my video camera with me in the rain and ruin the camera. But I will try to get the walk on a video so you can see what is happening, I also dont think it would be a bad tool to have to show the trainer.
 

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I tried to as quickly as possible honestly he was attacking my pocket and I tried to start jogging away with him attached to my favorite coat. Problem is the other dog was not even in sight, it was in someones fenced yard, on the other side of the tree line barking, thats all it took was the barking. I would like to think I have cat like reflexes but I cant move at the speed of sound :(

He was also walking with my other F Samoyed and never even bothered her, I thought he might try and take his frustration out on her but didnt even consider it. I really would like to just keep him in the yard here until we can meet with trainer but there is just no way his energy is going to be burned off in the yard when we cant get him to fully engage in play. He just wants to climb in our laps or stand by us when we are out there with him. He will go after the ball half heartedly pick it up and drop it and walk back to one of us. Same thing with the sqeaky toys, rope, his kong, all the toys we have tried. He would
rather lay down and tear them to shreds than to chase them.
Ah, OK. Each distraction has to be handled seperately unfortunately. Good job with the first one, he was probably still hyped up and the second distraction was too close

If he likes squeaky toys have you tried him with a flirt pole with a squeaky attached? Or taking his kibble and using a treat ball or Kong wobbler? Or even just taking his food into the backyard and tossing it around so he can hunt for the food?
 

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Ah, OK. Each distraction has to be handled seperately unfortunately. Good job with the first one, he was probably still hyped up and the second distraction was too close

If he likes squeaky toys have you tried him with a flirt pole with a squeaky attached? Or taking his kibble and using a treat ball or Kong wobbler? Or even just taking his food into the backyard and tossing it around so he can hunt for the food?

I am nervous about the flirt pole, everything says that if you dont have a good sit / stay down that it can be dangerous. I have not tried to hunt in yard with his kibble, I will be trying that (if it stops raining outside or maybe even if it doesnt) He is very food driven when there are no distractions so we WILL be doing that this evening!! Fingers crossed it will burn some energy off maybe I will even go as far as cutting up some boiled chicken into small bits and use that. (Still trying to get his stool under control)
 

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I am nervous about the flirt pole, everything says that if you dont have a good sit / stay down that it can be dangerous. I have not tried to hunt in yard with his kibble, I will be trying that (if it stops raining outside or maybe even if it doesnt) He is very food driven when there are no distractions so we WILL be doing that this evening!! Fingers crossed it will burn some energy off maybe I will even go as far as cutting up some boiled chicken into small bits and use that. (Still trying to get his stool under control)
I would start with the "find it" with his kibble to prevent further stomach upset, making him worse for every morsel of food will help keep both his mind and body working on hunting it down. Delgado will hunt the kibble off his treat ball for as long as there's kibble in it, even just one.

You do have to be careful with not making them stop too fast or jump too high to prevent them from hurting themselves. I keep the flirt pole really low on the ground, no higher then Delgado's shoulder and refrain from too fast and jerky movements. I also make sure to use it only on surfaces where he has lots of traction, mainly the backyard grass. Our favourite thing to do with the flirt is swing it in a large circle so he does laps around me, just like a horse on a lunge line. Our backyard is large enough that he can run at a decent pace and not cut corners

Edit: As for walking, is there somewhere you can drive to that's not too far away that's quiet enough there's a lower chance of dogs being around? A large quiet park maybe?
 

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I would start with the "find it" with his kibble to prevent further stomach upset, making him worse for every morsel of food will help keep both his mind and body working on hunting it down. Delgado will hunt the kibble off his treat ball for as long as there's kibble in it, even just one.

You do have to be careful with not making them stop too fast or jump too high to prevent them from hurting themselves. I keep the flirt pole really low on the ground, no higher then Delgado's shoulder and refrain from too fast and jerky movements. I also make sure to use it only on surfaces where he has lots of traction, mainly the backyard grass. Our favourite thing to do with the flirt is swing it in a large circle so he does laps around me, just like a horse on a lunge line. Our backyard is large enough that he can run at a decent pace and not cut corners

Edit: As for walking, is there somewhere you can drive to that's not too far away that's quiet enough there's a lower chance of dogs being around? A large quiet park maybe?
First, thank you for all the tips, it is a lot of help and getting my mind outside the box on how to make him more tired. I will have to look up some info on some area parks where the chances of running into another dog are less. I know there are some trails here on base but I think they are closed right now as they are doing some work on them (spring clean up) There has to be an area we can take him for at least his evening walk, we try to take him for an hour or twice for about 45 minutes. Yesterday our first evening walk was when he heard the other dog barking and flipped out so it was cut short we just could not get him to calm down so we took him back home. I can tell you he may not be getting wore out from these walks but husband and I sure are :D
 

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First, thank you for all the tips, it is a lot of help and getting my mind outside the box on how to make him more tired. I will have to look up some info on some area parks where the chances of running into another dog are less. I know there are some trails here on base but I think they are closed right now as they are doing some work on them (spring clean up) There has to be an area we can take him for at least his evening walk, we try to take him for an hour or twice for about 45 minutes. Yesterday our first evening walk was when he heard the other dog barking and flipped out so it was cut short we just could not get him to calm down so we took him back home. I can tell you he may not be getting wore out from these walks but husband and I sure are :D
No problem, I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum as I'm still working with Delgado on not trying to play with other dogs on leash. He barks and jumps and whines when another dog gets within a 5' radius, but considering how big of a distance he needed 6 months or even 3 months ago 5' is a huge difference. To top it off I'm dealing with our neighbor's dog fence fighting through our shared fence :rolleyes: You're definetely not alone in figuring out solutions to get your dog to ignore others. Humans, squirrels, cats, etc he can ignore on leash perfectly, but onleash dogs (and this neighbor's dog) are his weak points :crazy:
 

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Nobody should forget that your dog's leash is a TEMPORARY MEASURE, and your agressive pet must be obedient enough without it. You dog runs because he feels free. If there was an invisible leash - he won't run! Start working on it: if he walks distances beside you, if he sits, stands up and lie down whenever you ask him without the leash - it is a good sign. Ask him that in presence of dogs he knows, ask him to do it for longer. Ask him to sit and walk yourself the area around him. If you go to any doggy park, leave him sitting and head yourself to other dogs, keep him sitting and waiting for your call for longer every day.
Any known or unknown dogs he detects first by smell. If you noticed that he is sniffing something out in the air, or worse, he is ready to shoot forward - ask him to sit or lie down, dogs do calm down in that position. But if he has run already - the best thing to do is to call him, wait when he turns his head to you and turn your back on him - thus showing him your complete disinterest in the object he is so excited about. Many people do a mistake in this - they join the chase.
But, leaving him completely without what he wants would be wrong. Letting him to other dog(s) by using some command "OK!" would be his reward after he stopped and returned. It should be well-known dogs to whom he is friendly for a start. This way you will build a stereotype, when he is allowed to do something, but only with your permission. Of course, your permission not always has to be given.
 
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