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  #1  
Old 02-08-2013, 12:17 AM
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Default Dog aggression

Has anyone successfully trained a dog not to be aggressive to other dogs whilst out on walks?
Delilah is a complete nightmare on walks. She has only been with me 4 weeks, and she was never walked before, so she is totally unsocialised. When we first had her she was very fearful outside, but she is improving and now she is more confident. I am limited in where I can take her though because she is very aggressive towards strange dogs.
Ideally i want to be able to walk all 3 together, at the moment this is impossible because Delilahs reaction to other dogs gets Harley overexcited (he loves all other dogs, he loves everyone, but when Delilah starts screaming he starts barking) and it really upsets Mouse. She is relaxed and happy until Delilah sees another dog, then she immediately reverts to shy and timid behaviour. Delilah is much worse when Mouse isn't with her, but it isn't fair on Mouse, who walks beautifully when it is just Harley.
Delilah screams and lunges at other dogs. If people get in the way, she will bite them. My main fear is that a dog will turn on her because she has no idea how to behave around other dogs.
She has so many issues that I feel a bit overwhelmed right now. I thought if I can get the walking sorted she will be calmer from the exercise. She seems to be getting worse though, not better.
We have an appointment at the end of the month with a one on one trainer who specialises in Rescue dogs. She will then be able to walk with a well behaved pack of reliable dogs. Unfortunately I don't have any friends locally with reliable dogs to practise on.
Her other issue is barking. She barks all the time, including during the night, seemingly at nothing. I am unsure how to correct the barking at night, as I don't want her to feel she can summon me from my bed with a bark.
I know taking on adult dogs is a challenge, and they will take time, but I am tearing my hair out ATM!
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:35 AM
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It was the one-on-one training that made a difference for Ruby. She was a mess and was that way nearly from the start. From puppy. Group class (not at a pet store, but an actual training facility which is well known for agility and staffed by highly certified trainers) was a nightmare.

Now she responds to, "Ruby. Hush.". I told the in-home trainer that she had gotten much better since we asked people to walk in, ignore her, let her come to them, etc., etc...You may have read me saying before that I said, "She is so much better!" "Now she only barks about 10 minutes when someone new arrives.". He said, "That is wonderful! It is 9 minutes and 55 seconds too long, but wonderful!".

He told me that she gets permission to bark once as her job to alert and protect but then that is it. He did a beautiful job of explaining what her fearful/reactive episodes do to her physiologically. It is more than embarrassing and annoying. It takes a GREAT deal of time for the internal chemical reaction to subside. That can be so damaging to her system and long term health.

He helped me understand that it was our mission to help her and we did.
Now, "Ruby. Hush." usually works. If not, the "CH" sound paired with her name gets her attention/focus.
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  #3  
Old 02-08-2013, 12:45 AM
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Do you want a fourth Chi Karen? I could quite happily pack her up and send her to you lol.
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:55 AM
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At what point did I come off as STARK raving mad to you??? haha!

haha! I would take a 4th but I am a rule follower and 3 is our city limit and of course, we are at work during the day. Perhaps when we retire in a few years.

If ANYONE can help her, it is you. Good medical care, great nutrition, vast knowledge of the breed and experience with rescue. Yep. You are FAR more equipped than me!
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Old 02-08-2013, 01:01 AM
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You are too kind, I could have cheerfully throttled her today.
When she isn't being a horrible little monster, she is actually a very sweet dog, so I'm hoping it will all be worth it and one day I will look back and laugh....
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Old 02-08-2013, 01:06 AM
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haha! That made me laugh!
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Old 02-08-2013, 01:38 AM
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It gets better with time..and if you find a magic button PLEASE can you tell me?

My Douglas is weird with other dogs and with people. I want him to be able to go to the park and run and play normally. Maybe even the dog park. And I want him to be able to walk off lead without attacking people randomly who are also at the park. I want a normal dog. But I have a snappy, biting beasty right now.

I have had good luck with just being assertive and making it known what is expected. I walk with the lead slightly loose and if he pulls and causes tension a quick tug and "Heel!" seem to be enough to get him back most of the time. When other dogs are involved we still can't calm down and he snaps and attacks both new dogs and at their owners.

If you find something that works I would love to know.
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Old 02-08-2013, 01:42 AM
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Was Douglas a rescue? Is his aggression dominance aggression or fear aggression? Delilah is mostly fear aggressive, which requires a different approach to a dominant dog. I will be posting what the trainer says, but unfortunately they don't have an opening until the 21st.
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