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Hi,I have a male shepherd that is 6 yrs old and 100lbs, he is very dog aggressive.I have two other dogs that he is fine with but any strangers and he sees red.I have a harness and a head collar,but I don't think the head collar is strong enough(he saw a dog and pulled it off his head)luckily it attaches to a collar.I have a big yard and play with him constantly but I feel bad about not walking him.Unfortunately,I live in a crap neighborhood where people let their dogs loose.I was wondering of any advice,any training tips or something.I have taken him to the parks in the past and now warm weather I want to try again.I work with dogs of all sizes at my job(rescues and boarders) so I can handle him but I want to make it easier.Thanks in advance.
 

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The head collar didn't work for me either. I find that an easy walk / sense-ation harness helps with control, and the prong worked for decreasing the aggression (however, it increases aggression in some dogs).

Loose dogs are always going to be a problem because you can't get away from them. I'd say your best bet would be to drive him somewhere safer and walk him there.

Group obedience classes have also been helping. My trainer is very understanding of it and works with us to minimize her reactivity and help her calm down. I find the most valuable part of the class so far is being around strange dogs that she cannot meet.
 

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I have a dog aggressive dog, who over time has become better so that walks are usually fine, though she remains dog aggressive in her territory (although is fine with my other dog).

I used a prong when I first got her. We're working on a martingale now. A prong will give you a lot more control. You should be careful to properly time corrections though or depending on your dog, you could escalate the aggression. It was possible to do this with Teagan, but the prong was still an invaluable tool.

Change direction if you're going to come across a dog, especially a loose one. Carry something to ward dogs off with, or learn to kick them away. I do this with both aggressive and friendly dogs (though I try not to be physical with friendly ones) - no strange dogs are allowed near Teagan, and that's as much for their own safety as anything.

I also worked really hard on keeping clear, consistent expectations for Teagan. When we encounter another dog, she either has to keep calmly walking, or sit calmly by my side. It took a while for that to really take with her, but it did. Find a place where you can work on this with him where other dogs may go past but you will be relatively separated from them.

Never let your dog off-leash. If he is very aggressive, it's unfair to all involved.
 

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Originally Posted By: jarnNever let your dog off-leash. If he is very aggressive, it's unfair to all involved.
Beware the difference between on-leash aggression and dog aggression. My dog is solely on-leash aggressive, and is great when off leash. My trainer believes it's because she feels confined by the leash and it frustrates her.

Taedyn shows no aggression when approaching a dog park, while she'll be very aggressive when on a walk. In some ways, I think this may be a key to help her reduce her aggression if I can show her that dogs at the dog park are no different from the dogs she meets on the street.

Knowing the cause of the aggression is also important in knowing how to solve the problem. Pure aggression would be treated differently from aggression stemming from fear or insecurity.
 

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That's true - I was just going on the comment that the dog saw red anytime he saw strange dogs. Which is certainly how Teagan used to be regardless of where we where, and it is how she is now about any dog that comes near our house/yard. She is aggressive on and off-leash - the comment sounded so much like Teagan I assumed the dog was aggressive in both situations.
 

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What did your dog trainer suggest? Were you able to attend group classes or just privates?

Unless it's a 'no pull' training harness, a regular harness is like the worse thing you can use. Gives all the control and power to your dog and you can just hang on.

http://www.flyingdogpress.com/artlibreg.htm has great article on aggression and training. Just scroll down past the 'barn fire' stuff and start clicking, reading and learning.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the advice.I have found a place to walk him,its an industrial parkway and its fairly quiet on weekends.I think alot of the aggression comes from him trying to be protective.He also hasn't had a good past with other dogs,some idiot that used to live next to me had 2 rat terriers and he used to tease him with his dogs(dangling them over my fence).I will try some of the suggestions.Thanks much.
 

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My dog, Timber, was not dog aggressive, but bike riders and walkers aggressive.

My breeder suggested a pronged collar, tight and high up on the neck. When Timber began to chase, a firm and quick snap of the collar, strong enough so he would yelp.

A few yelps and it worked.
 

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Originally Posted By: Timber1My dog, Timber, was not dog aggressive, but bike riders and walkers aggressive.

My breeder suggested a pronged collar, tight and high up on the neck. When Timber began to chase, a firm and quick snap of the collar, strong enough so he would yelp.

A few yelps and it worked.
Yeah, I hate the yelps, but I agree that it works. Taedyn now only growls at passing dogs.
 

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If your dog is truly dog aggressive it will be very hard to work with but if it's more of a learned behavior you will need more training including attention training so that the dog will look to you for guidance. Work in your own yard first when you have complete control start adding the distractions. If your working with rescues & boarding then use it, work your dog near by but not where he could cause a problem. Ultimately what you are doing is desensitizing your dog to other dogs. He may never be friendly with them but would be to the point of ignoring them.

Quote:My breeder suggested a pronged collar, tight and high up on the neck. When Timber began to chase, a firm and quick snap of the collar, strong enough so he would yelp.
This is not the right way to use a pinch collar and could cause serous injury to a dog.
 

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Be consistent, and good luck!
Walking away from high dog traffic areas is probably best.

Of course, ya just never know when a dog will pop up. It's important to do everything you can to make sure you will be in charge when/if it happens.

Reich is dog aggressive. It has nothing to do with being on a lead, it's the dogs. In our yard, mom's yard, anywhere on or off lead..other dogs just set her off.

I hate harnesses and gentle-leader type devices. I'm not afraid to use a prong if necessary, but she is a softer dog, and I don't feel it necessary at this point.
We've got a thick flat collar and double loop leash. Normal hand loop at the end, andone right up where it latches to the collar.

What has helped so far is simply working on obedience and commands. Her urge to please me seems to be trumping the urge to react to other dogs.

We've gone from meltdowns of terror -her DA is fear-based-, to **** houndish lunging, snarling, snapping; to finally a warning bark or two with raised hackles/posturing then focusing immediately back on me with the 'leave it' command.

I don't know if we'll ever get to the point where she gets along with other dogs, but at least getting her to ignore them altogether should be an attainable goal.

I mention all of this, because working one on one with basic obedience is easy on the bank account, and can help.
Working with a tainer/behaviorist is ideal...but using what you already know and learning new techniques via the web or books may suffice.
 

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Originally Posted By: mkmagu1

Quote:My breeder suggested a pronged collar, tight and high up on the neck. When Timber began to chase, a firm and quick snap of the collar, strong enough so he would yelp.
This is not the right way to use a pinch collar and could cause serous injury to a dog.
????? can you explain what you mean?

a prong certainly shouldn't be loose and most recommend it be higher on the neck - though i know there is the idea you can use a prong lower on the neck, but my understanding is:

prong low on neck=hard corrections will be necessary (that part of the neck is low in nerves)
prong high on neck=hard corrections not necessary (in most cases) (b/c of high number of nerves)

i think timber1 has described pretty well how a prong should be worn, and how a correction on a prong should be given - you want a firm and quick pop.

i do disagree - i don't believe that having the dog yelp is necessary in order for the correction to be effective. you can correct the behaviour without causing the dog to do that, though i'm sure the relative hardness/softness plays a role (teagan doesn't bat an eye at something that would upset luc). i have found prong corrections effective for breaking behaviour (adversive) and focusing the dog on me (as the behaviour has been interrupted). i don't think causing yelping is part of an effective correction.
 

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Tank is very handsome. Funny how they don't look aggressive at all when in their own surroundings and comfortable. This may not be helpful, but Heidi used to be very dog aggressive on walks and my trainer helped me to see that I was most of the problem. You see we had a couple bad experiences and then I was so nervous that every time I saw a dog coming, especially a loose dog, every muscle in my body would tighten up, I would hold the leash so short that Heidi was up against my leg, and I would practically hyperventilate. Reactive dog classes helped me to gain the confidence that I was capable of controlling my dog. One day, I was in a really calm mood and a young chocolate lab came running up toward us. Turned out he had escaped from his owner. Heidi began to bark and I said "Oh Heidi big deal, it's just a dog. Look how cute he is." She cocked her head at me, stopped barking and the dog stayed with us till the owner caught up with him. For what it's worth, that was our turnaround point. LOL I needed reactive class more than Heidi.
 
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