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What to do with an aggressive dog?

  1. #1

    Unhappy What to do with an aggressive dog?

    I adopted a puppy when he was about 8 weeks old, and made sure to socialize him because I wanted him to be friendly, happy and healthy. Anyway, I use to take him to public places, he had a puppy play/training class, and went to the dog park. When he was about 8 months old, I couldn't take him to the dog park anymore because he started being rough with the other dogs, more than just playing.

    Fast forward to today, he is horrible. I love him, but he just is not friendly. He doesn't like any people, animals...anything. Which makes living in an apartment nearly impossible, because every time I have to walk him it is like a fbi mission to get him out around the other people and dogs. He seems to just be getting worse, which is probably my fault for trying to keep him away from people now. I did buy a muzzle when he started getting worse but he can still bark in it (a mesh one from petsmart) so he could probably still bite, even though it is tight on him.


    Sorry for the rant but I am just not sure how to help him. This morning while getting off the elevator (I live on the third floor) a lady was about to be getting on the elevator, he didn't have his muzzle because I had left it in the car, stupid I know, but I have never seen him try to bite someone that hard before....he actually bit me trying to get to her.




    I know if you don't have money you shouldn't get a pet, I have money for his food, toys, and can usually find enough when he needs to see a vet, but I just can't afford special aggressive dog training. Every trainer I have contacted that works with aggression cost 800 - 1200 dollars.



    If any one can offer me some advice, I would greatly appreciate it. Sorry for the long rant.

  2. #2
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    I'm sorry you are having such problems with your dog. How old is your dog now and what breed? I think your dog needs to go back to basic training and you can do that yourself. There is a great way of training dogs called Nothing in Life is Free. You can purchase the book on Amazon for less than $10.

    What your dog needs to know is that you are the boss and that any privileges he gets are at a cost. The costs are simple things. Like before he eats have him do a sit-stay till you release the command. When you are ready to go out your door have him sit first and then YOU go out the door first. Use this for all situations. When your dog wants a toy have him sit. When he wants to do basically anything he has to pay the cost first.

    Since he has spent some time misbehaving be sure to be patient. This could take some time and has to continually be reinforced. Work with him everyday on different commands and throw a happy praise party when he does things the right way.

    This is just in my opinion and I hope others will chime in with their training opinions. Good luck!

  3. #3
    He is really well behaved when in the house. I make him sit and stay before giving him anything. He knows a lot of commands like that, just once we walk outside it is like everything goes out the window. I will look into that book though, thank you.

    Oh and he is a mix, I believe his parents were Lab/pitbull/Catahoula Leopard dog mix, maybe some shepherd in him as well, he is pretty big, about 70 pounds. He will turn 4 in November.

    A lot of people say he is just protecting me, but this is far more than that.

    I am trying to save up for aggression training, just looking for things to do and tips on how to help in the mean time.
    =].
    Last edited by mrswindupbird; 07-06-2012 at 02:36 PM. Reason: Adding information.

  4. #4
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    Hello and welcome to the forum! I'm sorry to hear that you have such a problem with your dog being so aggressive while out and walking on the leash, yes, that can be quite nerve wracking I'm sure! I agree with Eslucky, you won't get anywhere with him unless you are cool, calm, collected and in control. He needs a confident leader, and that's you. Is he neutered?

    The dog absolutely needs a muzzle at this point whenever he's out of the apartment. It has to be one where he cannot possibly bite, I don't know if that would be the harder cup muzzles, I never used on on my dogs.

    What kind of collar are you using? I'm against pinch collars, but a regular chain choke collar will help you to train him to walk properly, at your side, without lunging out in front and pulling you uncontrollaby. It has to be shaped into a "P", while he's facing you when you put it on, because that way it releases properly after corrections. A side correction is recommended to get them off balance when pulling ahead, rather that a back correction, which just makes them pull harder.

    You have to be in the right state of mind, and like Eslucky said, be the pack leader. This will take some thought and training on your part. If the dog senses that you're nervous, afraid and feel helpless, they will not consider you their leader and their actions will reflect yours.

    Don't stress out before walks, they can sense that and will behave accordingly. Take a few deep breaths, remain calm, shoulders back, head high, be confident. Don't even talk to your dog while walking him, Cesar Millan recommends just a "Shhh" command, short and stern. With the Shhh, should come the simultaneous correction. It'll take some practice, but I guarantee the second week will be much improved from the first, once you gain confidence leading him. Make him sit and wait for him to respond for a minute or so, before even opening the door. Excited aggression can be controlled.

    The dog is big, and he need exercise, not just a short potty walk. It would be good if you can take him on at least one long walk every day, something to satisfy his needs and make him a bit tired, at least an hour would be good. If you can get him into a jog, that's even better.

    If you can't pick times to walk him when there are few people or dogs around, you must control him, and keep him right at your side no matter what. You have to anticipate when he may react to someone, and counteract the dogs motions before he even starts to do them. Be proactive, not reactive.

    Your situation is not hopeless, if I come across any info that may help you, I will be posting it on this thread. Here's an article you should read and consider for now...http://www.professorshouse.com/Pets/...ggressive-Dog/

  5. #5
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    A muzzle that's something like this, if properly fit may stop a bite, and looks like you can give small reward treats when he behaves well, sure there's many other brands out there. http://www.rayallen.com/product/Wire...Muzzle/Muzzles

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha1 View Post
    Is he neutered?


    What kind of collar are you using?



    The dog is big, and he need exercise, not just a short potty walk. It would be good if you can take him on at least one long walk every day, something to satisfy his needs and make him a bit tired, at least an hour would be good. If you can get him into a jog, that's even better.
    Yes, he is neutered. I use a harness because I am not very strong, and he pulled me all over with the collar. I am starting to get him to walk a little better, because every time he pulls I stop walking and make him wait to calm down before we go again. He is pretty smart and thinks when I stop he can just walk back to me and then just pull again, yeah..not going to work! ha.

    Oh he definitely gets a long walk in the morning. I set my alarm at 3:30 am every day since no one is outside then and walk him all over the complex ( it is huge) and then around the outside of it and sometimes down a few blocks. A couple times a week I drive him to a dog park at 4:30 am before any other dogs get there so that he can run and play (he loves to play soccer!) So he does get a lot of exercise. I try to do everything I can for him because I don't want him to have to be put to sleep for being so aggressive. It sucks that almost no one in these apartments puts their dogs on a leash too, even though it is a law and on the lease as well. Makes it harder to walk him when they might run up to him.


    Thank you for the info, I have been looking for a place to buy a basket muzzle.

  7. #7
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    That angers me to hear you also have to deal with the loose dogs coming up to him, especially inside the building. Here's a lead option for disabled or frail people who want to control a large dog that is a barker, lunger or puller. http://www.petexpertise.com/dog-coll...d-collars.html Of course, that's a lot of head gear if you use that along with a muzzle, Don't even know if they would work together. Glad to hear he's neutered, a big plus, kudos!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrswindupbird View Post
    Oh he definitely gets a long walk in the morning. I set my alarm at 3:30 am every day since no one is outside then and walk him all over the complex ( it is huge) and then around the outside of it and sometimes down a few blocks. A couple times a week I drive him to a dog park at 4:30 am before any other dogs get there so that he can run and play (he loves to play soccer!) So he does get a lot of exercise.
    Kudos to you for being such a good mom to your boy! It's very nice to hear that you get up early to assure he gets a good walk in, and taking him to the park to run free is so important in my opinion for our furkids. Exercise relieves stress, boredom, and is healthy for both their minds and bodies.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrswindupbird View Post
    Thank you for the info, I have been looking for a place to buy a basket muzzle.
    PetEdge.com is a company I have used over the years. They sell a couple of plastic ones at more reasonable prices. Their "Guardian Gear" Basket Muzzle is supposed to be for aggressive dogs who bite or bark.http://www.petedge.com/product/Guard...Dogs/47520.uts

  10. #10
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    maybe you could try classes in your local area one to one classes to show whos boss and them ask the ,am to introduce on only one dog and kepp meeting up with that one dog and then another and then another slow process but it will work ive seen it make sure youve got a professional trainer to watch ben case he strikes
    and make sure you have an mussle when your introducing to an dog just bin case
    good luck
    hope he gets better with dogs soon x

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