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Hi everyone,

I have not been logging in a lot (lost my password for a while) but have continued to read and ponder the good and the bad of pet ownership and reflect upon the behavior of my own two dogs.

I was reading a thread on here recently about a dog suddenly getting out of hand with members of his/her household at 3 years of age. My oldest shepherd is 7 and is basically a good boy. Stays home, listens to commands, sit, stay, wait, get your butt back here and as such is generally left to do his own thing. My second pup is just turning 2 and is reactive and bites! He has had as much training as I can get him (nobody wants a reactive dog in a class setting) both at home and out in the world when I can find him something to do with someone who wants to let us train with them. He is trainable but not biddable...I am sure you all get the picture. So my "good' dog is a spoiled brat and my "reactive" dog is very trained. Now my good dog is a very good dog, despite the fact he does not do 12 tricks and a half-assed focused heel. This has really come to light recently. Not because of any gut wrenching bad behavior, but because of the contrast between the two dogs.

This leads to wonder how many of these dogs that develop attitudes suddenly are really good dogs? That is, were so biddable and well behaved that you do not see the pack structure slowly skewing in their favor? So one day you are asking or the kids are doing something your young adult canine takes offense to and the growling or the snapping starts. Or maybe that is what you have all being saying by suggesting NILF and such, but I just did not get it. Still that also means the signs of it coming could be very difficult to detect

So my good dog is now being forced to wait at the door like my bad dog and my good dog has to sit and wait for his meal like my bad dog, just to try and get the balance back where it belongs. And that folks is my thought for the day.
 

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Very interesting observation! I agree with you that it is important to have balance and in a multi-dog household to treat all dogs the same - the rules are the same for all. I have often thought also when I read those threads that there may have been actions that are easy to excuse or miss and so the behavior continues to worsen until there is an incident.
 

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My dog is a little older than yours and got reactive in a treat only class where the trainers shoved treats at us rather than training. I pulled him out, tried another class which didn’t work out and switched to a better trainer. It’s not the class’s fault but any trainer that won’t allow your dog in class due to reactivity is not a good trainer. A good class will teach him to get along with other dogs. Keep trying. Look for a different type of training.
 

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Oh I have LuvShepherds. One lady who would take him in a group setting simply does not have the space available that he would need. Her training hall is very small. So that reduced me to very expensive privates of which we just completed the final meeting.

Another that could do it does not seem to want to. I have done two different classes (4 weeks each + the initial 12 weeks (2 classes x 6 weeks each) of reactive rover classes which we failed spectacularly both times) with her, both not obedience (tricks was one and that dance stuff was another). In both instances she had another reactive dog parent that wanted to do specific things and I joined and went along for the ride. I figured any class was better then no class. And frankly he does a whole bunch of tricks now and "dance steps" which amuses me. Nobody will ever see it cause he might try and nip them but who cares :) That class ended a couple of weeks ago too and she said we could pick it up in the fall. Summer is her busy season....

Another trainer I went and saw last month wanted to ecollar train him first (said he as making decisions he should not be, which I guess is true in a way) and then allow him in her obedience class. Really, my bad boy would shrink with a ecollar. Honestly, it might stop the behavior but would change nothing going on in his head. I might get away with it...and I might not.but my gut tells me to avoid them with this pup.

Saw a trainer Carmspack recommended last year and I liked him but....it is a long way (11/2 hr drive and a lot of gas.) Also it was privates and so doing nothing for socialization.

The good news is we can go into a gas station without him freaking out. He sometimes cries a bit as he watches me go into pay but that is it now. Used to be a complete meltdown as soon as you pulled in, barking and lunging at the windows. A drive thru is safe now too, course he has had a lot of burgers. He can walk nicely on a leash now unless having a meltdown and I can walk safely by some people but have I not figured out prerequisites yet. and the majority he still reacts too. And strange dogs, forget it. As time goes on there is definitely a greater comfort level with women then men. Typical. Just wish he had never taken that first bite. He has not broken skin yet and mostly it is just nips to the hand but has grabbed forearms on two occasions Both times were people who just walked into the house so really cannot really blame him except one was my son who does not live here. My kid should have known better, but it was very sad for me. Probably the hardest to take actually.

He is a strange bird which I am sure continues to be a result of a lack of confidence. Sometimes he seems soooo submissive. But he is my suck now and ironically enough, a very sweet, pup. Beside, he can do a spin while he heels :grin2:
 

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Yup, that was an epiphany. I had a big one almost 2 yrs ago. It sure helped me get on track and straighten out what needed fixing.
 

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Sounds like he is making progress. I drive to training, 45 minutes one way 2x a month and 2 hours 2x a month. It sucks, west to east directly towards lake Erie, so the wind sucks even more gas out of my gas guzzler.
But the price I pay today is worth it in the long run.
 
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