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this may be a long post. haley is my three year old gsd female. she has some aggression as well as fear issues. i'll try to list the things that i think have led to her problems. i got her when she was six weeks old and it was only her and one other litter mate left when i got her. at the time, i didnt realize that this was too early to take her from her litter. well, there's alot of things i didnt realize when i bought her about dogs in general. i always grew up with a golden retriever and thought i knew all there was to raising a dog (how very little i actually knew). i have learned alot over the last three years though. anyway, back to haley. when she was about six or eight months i think is when i took her to obedience class. she was probably the smartest dog in the class but was very scared to be around the other dogs. the trainer told me she was fear aggressive and i should seek a specialist.
shortly after her obedience classes, i was walking her and two large dogs off leash ran towards her and she got in a fight with them. i had no idea what to do or how to break up the fight. since then her problems have only gotten worse. she is now very scared and anxious on walks. her tail is often tucked and her ears back. she tries to pull the leash and i truly think its from anxiety and her wanting to get back home, not a dominance issue. im not sure if i should be using a prong collar or flat collar. should i be correcting this behavior if its fear based? well ive got a million questions that i'll be asking in seperate posts.
also i must add that i think i have had alot to do with her problems. i was very frantic and tense during the time she was a puppy. i didnt realize what a huge effect that would have on her. i have come along way in this regard, i just hope it isnt too late.
im not always sure if her aggression is fear based. i have a fenced in back yard and she goes crazy at my neighbors tiny little white dog. always barks at this dog and its owner, Fred. well a couple weeks ago i left the gate open for a couple seconds and turned my back. obviously very stupid and my fault. haley charged the dog and bit her on the side. she drew some blood but luckily no serious injury. i really considered getting rid of her and my neighbor also encouraged this. thats when i looked up this site and im hoping i can get some help and get things moving in the right direction. the whole reason i wanted a dog was so that i could take it anywhere and everywhere with me, especially hiking and camping and to the parks.
she gets along great with my brothers gsd female. theyve always been around each other. his dog doesnt have any fear issues and gets along well with most dogs. although when the two of them are together they do feed off each others energy and do quite a bit of barking.
well, thats it for this post. if anyone has any questions, suggestions, or criticisms, feel free. im here to learn and improve mine and her life. i know ive left out alot but i didnt want to ramble too much more.
 

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one follow up question. my brother wants me to watch his gsd and his maybe his wifes chihahua, sp. next weekend. i would love to watch them but want to use it to help haley and not create a disaster. dont know if its a good idea or not. mainly wondering how they'll do in the back yard with the barking and going on walks when we meet other dogs.
 

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I wouldn't do it, you already have a full plate with Haley as it is. She may get along great with the GSD, but what about the Chihahua? Plus, one wrong move by either dog, and she could attack. I think she is fear aggressive, and that you should consult a behaviorist in your area. Also, how old was your dog when it was attacked? It may be very dog aggressive if it was attacked early on. When she was a pup, how much did you socialize her? If you can find well balanced stable dogs to socialize her with might be a good idea, but I would recomend a muzzle for your dog, for precautionary reason. I also would not use a prong collar, it would probably make your situation worse, IMO. But mainly, try to find a good Behaviorist in your area.
 

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she has been around the chihuahu before. it is a male and she gets along fine with it. i thought i socialized her when she was a puppy but looking back i should have done alot more. i think she was a little over a year when she was "attacked."
i have taken her to three so called specialists. the first guy basically made it sound like this is who the dog is and theres only so much i could do to change her. his advice was to keep her at distances from other dogs. i was not impressed with this specialist.
the second place i took her to was a place that did boarding and obedience. they socialized her with the other dogs. i left her there about four nights and when i picked her up she was in a pen with four or five other dogs. these people acted like she wasnt as bad as i made her out to be and that i had something to work with.
after she bit my neighbors dog, i took her to a third lady to evaluate her. i wasnt overly impressed with this lady. she basically told me to relax more on the leash and recommended the prong collar that i have used before. she also tried to sell me a shock collar for the barking but i wasnt crazy about that idea. she also acted like i should not get rid of haley and that i had something to work with.
she has gotten better in the last couple weeks. i have really remained completely calm and confident. i had her around the dog she attacked on leash and she never barked , growled, or lunged. she seems to be doing really well on leash lately.
 

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That's great that she's improving, but I still wouldn't completely trust her around other dogs yet.

Do you practice NILIF with her? (Nothing in Life is Free) If not, I think you should start practicing it, here's a link that may help you get started, and to give you an idea of what NILIF is about.

http://k9deb.com/nilif.htm

Also, how much do you walk Haley, and how many times a day? How much do you train her?

What methods do you use right now? Do you positively reinforce her when she does good? You may want to read the book The Dog Listener By Jan Fennell. I myself haven't read the book, but I have heard great things about it, and you may want to pick it up at the local library.
 

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thanks for that link. ive never heard of nilif but i think i was practicing those things anyways. but every time i read something new i always pick up something out of it i can use. i wasnt very good at nilif when i first got my dog. my parents were never that way with our pets and i didnt know any better. but the last year i have really made some change.
i'll have to check out the dog listener. i read the dog whisperer or whatever his book was called and that was when i started to realize alot of my mistakes.
for a while, i had given up on walks. they seemed too stressful for both me and her. but lately, im really motivated and im walking her daily.
 

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Haley needs some sort of exercise every day. If it's one thing that I have learned on here, it's that a good dog is a tired dog. So make sure she gets walked 1-2 times a day. Have you gone back to an Obedience class? I think that it would be a great way of rebuilding a bond with her.

Also, if you're afraid of walking her because you don't know how to break up a dog fight, get a big walking stick, or something else to protect you and your dog with. Just continue to socialize her with a muzzle, and try to show her that not all dogs and people are bad. If you could recruit some friends or neighbors that you know to walk down your street and come up and pet her, that would be good.

Definately start practicing NILIF, and using a pack mentality. Always go out the door before she does, make her wait for her food, don't let her up on the furniture, and if you really want her up there, then only on your terms. Those kind of things.
 
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