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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys!

As of late, I have been dealing with some increased aggression with my 1 year old Czech WL Shepherd. He's always demonstrated some resource guarding which we managed. Since his first birthday, he's been increasingly bossy and aggressive. We're noticing it mostly when trying to take off his collar. It has been such a hard time lately... I am stressed to the max trying to address it and find my dog again. He's a good boy 90% of the time, super obedient with commands but seeming to lack respect. After watching the Leerburg video on dominant and aggressive dogs, we've started to address our pack structure. Also planning to get him neutered ASAP.

Anyway, the point of this post isn't for advice for the aggression.... The point of this post is to ask you all for SUCCESS STORIES with aggression in your adolescent dogs... or really any aged dog. I am looking for some light at the end of the tunnel and some motivation. I want to stay calm, hopeful and confident because I know that's what kind of leader my dog needs.

Thanks guys!
 

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Here's mine. Griff is 9 months old. Had a recent thread on that. Saturday, he refused many things that were a given before. Guess what? 2 days on leash (inside as well), outdoor kennel time, no escape for anything, no privileges and a lot of obedience and exercise or NILILF.
Now, two days later: pleasant company in every way. But....we are not done yet. And...he won't see the vet to surrender his testosterone because it is completely unrelated.
 

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I agree with wolfy dog. Fixing them, dosen't "fix them". I neutered my Pyrenees/Bernese. Made no difference at all with the resource guarding like I thought it would. It takes training, and a lot of it. What happens, is they can loose confidence, which makes it worse. I didn't learn this until it was too late.......

I will not fix my female GSD.
 

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With multiple dog house holds, neutering can potentially have negative impacts. I’m fairly certain it played a role in some problems we ran into.
 

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I only have him... not a multiple dog household right now. There are a lot of conflicting opinions when it comes to neutering and it is a lot to dissect. The plan to neuter isn't strictly for aggression... I realize that it's not a quick fix. A lot of time and effort goes into training with him; it has from day one. The purpose of this post was mainly to read success stories with aggressive dogs.
 

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The reason we do mention neutering /no neutering is that you cannot undo it. I have never seen a dog improve by neutering alone so indirectly it has to do with success stories. My question would be if anyone has a success story from neutering alone or am I stealing your thread?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The reason we do mention neutering /no neutering is that you cannot undo it. I have never seen a dog improve by neutering alone so indirectly it has to do with success stories. My question would be if anyone has a success story from neutering alone or am I stealing your thread?
Well, I have stated that the aggression is not the only reason for the neuter and that an immense amount of time and effort has gone into and continues to go into training... By no means do I think that neutering alone will fix his aggression issue. So, yes, you are low key highjacking the thread... lol But it's okay.. I'm open to reading about success stories from neutering alone as well. Any type of success story is worth reading!
 

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I only have him... not a multiple dog household right now. There are a lot of conflicting opinions when it comes to neutering and it is a lot to dissect. The plan to neuter isn't strictly for aggression... I realize that it's not a quick fix. A lot of time and effort goes into training with him; it has from day one. The purpose of this post was mainly to read success stories with aggressive dogs.
The problem is, neutering may be a step backwards at this point. It may cause more aggression because it may make him less confident, and in turn, a need for more training to overcome this. I am only trying to help you not make the same mistake I made, along with many others....
 

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I just lost a long reply and couldn't retrieve it. ugh! It was a good one too. The gist was that I see a happy pup with good focus in your pics. You've obviously done right by him so far. That 10% That still needs work, just remember that the hardest part of any goal usually comes just before the finish line.

My guy, now 7yo, is dog reactive. By the way he use to act out, I was convinced he wanted to kill other dogs if he had the chance. Most of his lineage is Czech with a bit of DDR. I am a novice so owning my guy has been quite an education for me and one that I will always cherish. He and I worked hard, very hard to get through it, But it was so worth all the effort. The success that we have experienced is sweet and the bond that I feel between us I think is stronger than it may have been had we not had to work through it all. He and I are still not perfect, but we can do things together that makes us happy.

We just trialed for our NW2 title. Achieving it was great. We love the sport and I love how we work together, but the topping on it all is when we are closely parked to others and he and I present ourselves as well behaved. There is a joy in this that is hard to explain.

I know you aren't asking for advice so I offer this as food for thought: I think You can use that focus that your guy is giving you to your advantage in helping him work through the collar issue. It is a powerful positive behavior to build on. Keep a pleasant expression while working through it. Keep your eyes soft but firm. You are not conflicted and neither is he, he just doesn't know it yet.

That's just some stuff I learned and the mindset I took with my guy. It help a lot so it may help you also. Good luck.
 

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I just lost a long reply and couldn't retrieve it. ugh! It was a good one too. The gist was that I see a happy pup with good focus in your pics. You've obviously done right by him so far. That 10% That still needs work, just remember that the hardest part of any goal usually comes just before the finish line.

My guy, now 7yo, is dog reactive. By the way he use to act out, I was convinced he wanted to kill other dogs if he had the chance. Most of his lineage is Czech with a bit of DDR. I am a novice so owning my guy has been quite an education for me and one that I will always cherish. He and I worked hard, very hard to get through it, But it was so worth all the effort. The success that we have experienced is sweet and the bond that I feel between us I think is stronger than it may have been had we not had to work through it all. He and I are still not perfect, but we can do things together that makes us happy.

We just trialed for our NW2 title. Achieving it was great. We love the sport and I love how we work together, but the topping on it all is when we are closely parked to others and he and I present ourselves as well behaved. There is a joy in this that is hard to explain.

I know you aren't asking for advice so I offer this as food for thought: I think You can use that focus that your guy is giving you to your advantage in helping him work through the collar issue. It is a powerful positive behavior to build on. Keep a pleasant expression while working through it. Keep your eyes soft but firm. You are not conflicted and neither is he, he just doesn't know it yet.

That's just some stuff I learned and the mindset I took with my guy. It help a lot so it may help you also. Good luck.
If your not already doing so, try the "remember me" button near the log in box, This has kept me from losing posts. Sometimes if you hit submit and lose it, you can back up a step and it may reload your post again, not always though.
 

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What do you mean by aggression when taking his collar off?
Is he growling at you? Biting you?


My boy went through a phase where he would flop on the floor when I tried to take off or put on his collar and he would bite my hands - it wasn't aggression, he was just being an idiot. He would get a stern "hey" and a "sit" command and I'd wait until he was behaving before we would continue.... I think you must be referring to something more than that tho.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I just lost a long reply and couldn't retrieve it. ugh! It was a good one too. The gist was that I see a happy pup with good focus in your pics. You've obviously done right by him so far. That 10% That still needs work, just remember that the hardest part of any goal usually comes just before the finish line.

My guy, now 7yo, is dog reactive. By the way he use to act out, I was convinced he wanted to kill other dogs if he had the chance. Most of his lineage is Czech with a bit of DDR. I am a novice so owning my guy has been quite an education for me and one that I will always cherish. He and I worked hard, very hard to get through it, But it was so worth all the effort. The success that we have experienced is sweet and the bond that I feel between us I think is stronger than it may have been had we not had to work through it all. He and I are still not perfect, but we can do things together that makes us happy.

We just trialed for our NW2 title. Achieving it was great. We love the sport and I love how we work together, but the topping on it all is when we are closely parked to others and he and I present ourselves as well behaved. There is a joy in this that is hard to explain.

I know you aren't asking for advice so I offer this as food for thought: I think You can use that focus that your guy is giving you to your advantage in helping him work through the collar issue. It is a powerful positive behavior to build on. Keep a pleasant expression while working through it. Keep your eyes soft but firm. You are not conflicted and neither is he, he just doesn't know it yet.

That's just some stuff I learned and the mindset I took with my guy. It help a lot so it may help you also. Good luck.
Thanks so much! This is what I was looking for!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
What do you mean by aggression when taking his collar off?
Is he growling at you? Biting you?


My boy went through a phase where he would flop on the floor when I tried to take off or put on his collar and he would bite my hands - it wasn't aggression, he was just being an idiot. He would get a stern "hey" and a "sit" command and I'd wait until he was behaving before we would continue.... I think you must be referring to something more than that tho.
Yes, it's more than that. It's aggression where his whole demeanor changes and he has lunged at and bit my husband at I, he's also bit a trainer. The first bite over the collar actually was the trainer and really that's where the collar issue seems to have started. He's like a totally different dog when he's in that mind state.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I might have missed it but what collar are you using? Or you don't want advice still? Let us know.
Been using a prong collar for months. It's worked amazingly well... didn't have an issue until recently. Now when trying to take it off, unless you can do it .25 seconds, he gets tense, shows us warning signs (lip licking, tense body, occasional growl) and then lunges and bites.

He never had this problem until a recent session with a trainer. I wasn't there (he was there with my husband), but apparently the trainer was in front of my dog adding a link to his prong collar when he lunged and got the trainer in the arm (no blood drawn). Ever since then, he's had this issue with taking the collar off (never have a problem getting it on, it's taking it off that's the issue).

We also use an e-collar for off leash work and that's work amazingly as well, but we've had the same issue with taking it off since this started... because it takes longer than .25 seconds.

No issue with his flat collar cause it comes off fast.
 

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Evidently he has had a negative experience with a certain collar and now generalizes it. His aggression has probably worked for him since it startles the most of us. In this situation you cannot meet aggression with aggression or forceful corrections as he shown that it will only aggravate him. Following are my two or three cents.This idea just popped up in my head and I think if it were my dog, I would give this a serious try. this. Choose a collar he reacts the least to (flat martingale, maybe?). I guess putting it on is no big deal? If it is, you can use the same approach. Start this plan when you are in a good mood. Before you even start working with him, have a happy, relaxed expression and attitude. Carry the best yummy treats you can think of in a training pouch to have it easily accessible. Have him sit and reward him with a treat (T). Touch the collar: T, repeat, T. Then start walking, have him sit, touch collar, T etc. Random exercises broken up with these collar touches. Increase the time you are touching the collar by a second, but sometimes making it shorter to give him a break. I would keep him on leash for a few hours or even a day and work with him until he is able to handle the the duration you need for taking it off. That way you don't have to take off the collar all the time but can leave it on (supervised only). Use his regular food for rewards. If this goes well, use the next level collar, but then decrease the times you touch it. etc.
Please keep us posted. I am very interested in how this would work if you decide to try this. Remember that he is just a dog who is confused and probably afraid.
 

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Evidently he has had a negative experience with a certain collar and now generalizes it. His aggression has probably worked for him since it startles the most of us. In this situation you cannot meet aggression with aggression or forceful corrections as he shown that it will only aggravate him. Following are my two or three cents.This idea just popped up in my head and I think if it were my dog, I would give this a serious try. this. Choose a collar he reacts the least to (flat martingale, maybe?). I guess putting it on is no big deal? If it is, you can use the same approach. Start this plan when you are in a good mood. Before you even start working with him, have a happy, relaxed expression and attitude. Carry the best yummy treats you can think of in a training pouch to have it easily accessible. Have him sit and reward him with a treat (T). Touch the collar: T, repeat, T. Then start walking, have him sit, touch collar, T etc. Random exercises broken up with these collar touches. Increase the time you are touching the collar by a second, but sometimes making it shorter to give him a break. I would keep him on leash for a few hours or even a day and work with him until he is able to handle the the duration you need for taking it off. That way you don't have to take off the collar all the time but can leave it on (supervised only). Use his regular food for rewards. If this goes well, use the next level collar, but then decrease the times you touch it. etc.
Please keep us posted. I am very interested in how this would work if you decide to try this. Remember that he is just a dog who is confused and probably afraid.
I have actually been doing this... collar touches and rewards. Glad to hear you recommend that. We've also been working on pack structure within our household (i.e. he's on leash in the house, not allowed on the furniture, no excessive attention, etc...)

It's so confusing because I'm not sure what the negative experience would've been, he wasn't correcting him at the time, literally just messing with the collar. But for some reason or another in his mind it was a negative experience.

The trainer believes he's a dominant dog. Our vet actually told us the same thing when he was just 10 weeks or so old. I know truly dominant dogs are rare so I'm not entirely convinced.

He's surely a whole lot of dog. I was expecting that when I got him, knowing he was a working line shepherd. That's what I wanted. The aggressive tendencies was definitely not what I expected.
 

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While you are working on the suggestion that Wolfy dog made this may also help: If he loves getting affectionate scratches behind the base of his ears, extend that to gentle back of the neck massages and under the jaw scratches. This would be done through out the day during non stress times, when his eyes are soft like the pics. When he's got the solid understanding that your touches around the neck are amazingly rewarding, I would incorporate that with the food reward.

It sounds like you are pretty in tune with his body language and eyes expressions. Your touch can help reduce the amount of stress. I have had good success with it with my boy. It's pretty amazing to watch hardened eyes turn soft with a mere praise and chest rub or chin scritch.

It's not a matter of coddling but letting him know that you hear what he is telling you.

"Just messing with a prong collar" i.e. Adjusting, taking off or adding a link, perhaps the collar was inadvertently tightened more than normal while the trainer was doing it and your boy took it as an unfair correction. Adding to your description that he's been pushy and considering he is in the teen stage... Put it all together and an issue is created.
 

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Griff is a very strong willed dog. I don't want to use 'dominant' because we can only be dominant in certain situations, depending who you have in front of you. It actually is a behavior, not a trait. An animal behaviorist labeled these type of dogs 'social climbers'. They are not leaders. Griff is one as well. He could have easily developed similar behavior like your dog. One example: I had to fight him by holding him down to just do his nails as a little pup when I was still physically stronger than he was at 11 weeks. It took 3 sessions before he understood that he wasn't going anywhere and then it was OK until so far. Maybe while you weren't there someone gave in to his antics or startled and stepped back, which may have given him more ego, enough to raise his bar. In short, make touching and collaring a positive experience. I like what Heartandsoul added. Take your time, he is young. Pushing too fast will set you back further from where you started. We all have challenges with these types but they are our best teachers and make us better trainers. But I have to admit that having Deja, who is all sweetness and obedience, who loves order and harmony, is a relief next to this adolescent boy (but she is almost 5 years old)
 

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Prong collars can be useful, but I prefer a slip lead (dominant dog collar) for aggression like this. Prong collars can build aggression, the slip lead takes it away.

When I want a dog to be calm, I always go with slip lead. The slip should sit high and tight on the neck. It really does have a calming influence- I used to HATE "choke" collars because when I was a kid we trained with a choke chain and our dog still pulled, she just choked herself.

But just a cheap-o nylon slip lead from the vet, and I can easily handle my 95 lb boy, with distractions, (and training). A slip also reduces the chance of redirection or handler aggression in a dog prone to that.... which it sounds like OP dog might be. I like prongs for some things, but for a dog who is showing handler aggression, on top of reactivity, I'd go with a slip. Doesn't look as serious, but it works if you do it right- on any dog.
 
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