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devastation. please please, someone help me with this. AMAZING happy update!!!! #104 - Page 4

post #61 of 114
It's very clear from reading your posts that you're willing to do whatever is best for him AND your family. I hope it all works out!
post #62 of 114
I just wanted to say, I had a crazy dog aggressive dog and it sucked. I loved her with all my heart, but I couldnt trust her. I hardly ever took her on walks, she had to be watched at all times when outside, etc. She also broke out of every fence, chain, collar, etc. She was well trained and I would have trusted her with my life. I had 2 other dogs as well which she was usually fine with, but when they did get into it, I could stick my hand in her mouth and she wouldnt bite me.

Unfortunately, as she got older, she got worse, and she started acting off around people too. (NOT saying this will be your situation at all). I ended up having to make the heart breaking decision to put her down.

Anuways, a month or two now will be hard, but could save you much heartache later. Good luck mama!!
post #63 of 114
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oneKnight View Post
Just curious daekini how much do you know about pack leadership type work? I always recomend Leerburg and I bet a lot of the info on his site would help you establish and maintain pack leadership, evaluate trainers, learn how to use prong collars and E-collars correctly so that you aren't at the mercy of some slime ball trainer who wants to shock the bejeebus out of your dog.
Leerburg is often more "nuts and bolts" training while I recomend http://flyingdogpress.com/ for a lot of nice articles about how your dog thinks and communicates and learns self control. I noticed you now have to register, but the articles are still free once you sign up.
Thank you for the links! I haven't had a chance to look them over carefully but will do so before taking him to his breeder.

Don't flame me but I really want to try a few of the suggestions I've gotten here before sending him away to "boarding school" (i went to boarding school so this is how I'm trying to think of it) - I know ya'll probably think I'm a bit nutso abt this dog... you should meet him, tho. On 2nd thought - wait to meet him after he's not so... challenging... around strangers!
post #64 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomsTXmom View Post
But it is okay for you to put you, your children, your home, before your dog. To love him, may be to let him go.
No. To fear him, would be to get rid of him at this point. She and her children are not in danger from this dog! Dog aggression does not equal people aggression.

And I'm another person who loveloveloves prong collars. I honestly think that someone who makes strong statements against them either has never used one, or has not used one properly. And I would seriously challenge that person to come to my house and put a Martingale on my 130+ lb boisterous puppy who has an incredible pain/sensation tolerance genetically (LGD/Saint Bernard) and try to control him at all. He will almost not even feel it a bit. He's also very strong, and did I mention boisterous, so despite his height (almost 31 inches at the withers, measured using a level) a headcollar would be highly dangerous for him.

Without the prong, a year ago (when he was much smaller) he slightly took off after a passing car and my then-10 year old son became airborne. The dog was alarmed, came back instantly to check on him, but with the prong (which I went to get that very day) my son has complete control, and the dog is able to feel cues from him.

My dog outweighs my son by around 40 lbs, by the way. And has a big, thick mane.
post #65 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by SevenVeils View Post
She and her children are not in danger from this dog! Dog aggression does not equal people aggression.

I completely agree with the statement that dogs do understand dogs are dogs, and people are people. Having dog with "dog aggression" is not necessary an indicator for a dog with "human aggression". However, this does NOT exclude the dog from potentially injuring a child, or any person.

In fact, ANY dog with aggression problems IS a potential problem for children. Dogs may, at their discretion, behave with "Displacement Aggression". This is where the dog can not, or "feels it can not", aggress in it's normal pattern, so it aggresses on whatever is near. Which, when children are present, certainly can be children.

It is the displacement aggression I would be concerned with.

Tracy
post #66 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomsTXmom View Post

It is the displacement aggression I would be concerned with.

Tracy
I would be too, if he had ever shown any inclination toward this. Also, if the dog is going to be exposed to other dogs which he can't reach, and her children are going to be standing next to Thorn while this is happening.

I really doubt that scenario is going to take place.
post #67 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomsTXmom View Post
However, this does NOT exclude the dog from potentially injuring a child, or any person.
Well, if you want to get technical, what exactly DOES exclude a dog from potentially injuring a person? Have it declawed, teeth pulled and make sure it is of a sufficiently small size?

Going after dogs does not predispose the dog to going after people.
post #68 of 114
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomsTXmom View Post

In fact, ANY dog with aggression problems IS a potential problem for children.
I've always felt that ANY dog - aggressive or not - has the potential to hurt a child, if inadvertently. It's a possibility with any animal of tooth and claw. Therefore the dogs are never, ever alone with my kids, and their play is carefully monitored. I take nothing for granted.

It's hard to imagine it, though, when - like last night - Thorn and my oldest are running through the house playing hide-and-seek! It was so cute - she hid in the bathroom and he peeked through the crack at the hinge of the door to find her. His tail was wagging so fast it was like a blur.

Also he figured out he could "head her off at the pass" - she'd start to go around the bend between our kitchen and dining room, thinking Thorn was behind her - but he was there waiting for her when she rounded the bend! It was like watching two kids giggling all over the house. So cute!
post #69 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by daekini View Post
Were you listening in on the conversation I had with her?

This is almost exactly what she said - that he would bond with her but that this was important as she needed to be his alpha for him to respond appropriately to his immersion in her pack. He really needs intensive socialization.

She said she thinks he'll be delighted to return to the suburbs after living on a farm for a few week and that he'll "re-bond" with me within a short time.
I sent my first weim back to his breeder for intensive bird training for a month and it was the hardest thing I've ever done. But he was so happy to see me when I picked him up after his test that it was worth it! He did love to see her after that though!
post #70 of 114
Alison, I am so sorry. I don't come around here often, but I saw your post and couldn't read without sending a

I do think you're doing the right things with sending Thorn back to his breeder. He will absolutely bond back to you in a very short time and he will remember his house manners. It never seems to affect my dogs when we travel, even for extended periods, that rules are different in different places but as soon as we return home, they remember their boundaries.

I want to mention, coming from the agility standpoint, that there is a lot of buzz about Leslie McDevitt and her book "Control Unleashed". She has a program for reactive dogs (whether that's manifested in aggression or fear). My older dog, Miles, has been through a lot with his rehabilitation due to extreme fear and I credit a lot of it to Leslie's book.

Anyway, I would HIGHLY recommend you looking into her and her methods. She is in Pennsylvania so not exactly close, but I have friends who have traveled to take private lessons with her from NC. We even have a few trainers at my club who use her methods. I know it would be about 2 hours for you to get to where I am, but I'd be happy to give you some names of folks who might be able to give you an alternative view.
post #71 of 114
Thread Starter 
Kristin, thank you for the info and support. I'm on overload right now... but now that I've calmed down a bit I'm feeling much more positively. I'm probably going to take Thorn to his breeder in mid-February, in the meantime I'll be working with him intensively (including looking into McDevitt). Thanks so much!
post #72 of 114
Thread Starter 
Well, I've been working with Thorn on dominance.
I make him DOWN for EVERYTHING.

Good grief, I've had another stumbling block placed in front of me.
NOW, it seems like he is AFRAID of me!!!!!!!
What is going on, and is this a bad thing? I just don't like seeing him cower when I reach down to pet him. One person said this means I'm dominating him effectively, but he acts like he's afraid I'm going to hit him or something!!!!

Am I doing something wrong? I do use a very firm, loud voice if he tries to go thru a door before me or grab food out of my hand. I don't hit him, obviously. What's going on? Are we just experiencing "growing pains?"

Another thing, I'm fairly certain, despite other's suspicions to the contrary, that he has always seen me as alpha. Maybe now he just sees me as... unpredictably and scary?
post #73 of 114
In addition to the firm voice when he does something wrong, are you able to praise him really warmly for doing things right? Ideally there should be a LOT more praise than correction, esp. in this situation. Even if they're simple things he does right. I would use praise after the correction also, i.e. he tries to bolt out the door before you: after your verbal correction I would tell him to sit, "good boy", and proceed. That way he can figure out better how to get rewarded instead of corrected, you know?

Another thing I would suggest is doing body blocking, esp. for the situations you described. Lean towards him or block his way with your body rather than with words. Being a herding breed he will probably understand that very well. In general dogs speak "body language" better than English anyway.

If this means that you are "dominating him effectively" well, let's just say I wouldn't take any more advice from that person - that's not the kind of relationship I want to have with my dog.
post #74 of 114
Thread Starter 
Hm, well he is clicker trained which is totally praised based, and has never really experienced "harder" methods so perhaps I should pay more attention to whether I'm praising him enough. I do body-block but the down seems more effective with him.

Sheesh, this is getting so complex, I need Freud to come assess my relationship with this dog or something. He is so high maintenance!

He's such a bizarre mixture of dominant and submissive.
post #75 of 114
Thread Starter 
Thorn just bit me when I was walking him past other dogs. The other dogs were more than 100 feet away and inside their fenced back yard. He bit my arm through 2 layers of clothes and a coat, but I have a huge welt and slight puncture.

My husband wants me to return him to the breeder - today.
post #76 of 114
Oh I am so sorry I've been following your story and hoping for a happy outcome.
post #77 of 114
Thread Starter 
I said I'd keep him "no matter what" but I never, never thought he would bite me.
post #78 of 114
I am so sorry

Kathy
post #79 of 114
Oh no!

I am so sorry this happened. I hope you can find peace in whatever decision you all come too.
post #80 of 114
I'm so sorry. I agree with your dh, but I am SO sorry.
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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Pets › devastation. please please, someone help me with this. AMAZING happy update!!!! #104