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How to find some kind of dog boot camp for my dog?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

**UPDATE** Please see last post...


I have been googling and am not having much luck. The only real issue is that my dog is not socialized with other dogs. He becomes dominant right away and has no dog to dog manners. I can't trust him with other dogs. I want to send him off somewhere for a few days where he can become socialized with other dogs with a professional in a controlled enviornment. This would be in the north bay (CA).

Edited by Mama Soltera - 11/17/12 at 11:20am
post #2 of 25

please do not send your dog to boot camp, there are way too many horrifying stories of abuse and neglect.


It is really important for YOU to train your dog, sure you can send them off for someone else to train but they will be in a different environment and there is no guarentee that your dog will continue to behave when sent home and there is no guarentee that they wont come back emotionally shattered from abusive practices.


Dominance is an overused term and is very misunderstood, it sounds like he is either a pushy dog or doesnt know how to behave around other dogs. Your very best bet is to hire a certified behaviourist to give you a hand with his socialization skills. Remembering that dogs dont need dog friends! Not all dogs are social and need to be around other dogs.


You are in North Bay Ontario? Try searching on http://www.apdt.com/petowners/ts/intl/default.aspx

or contact James O'Hare who is in Ottawa, he may know someone in your area.http://www.jamesoheare.com/bio.html




post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 

California. :)


While I agree that dogs don't need doggy playdates and such, dogs are pack animals and I do think they prefer to be with other dogs and I do think it's an issue when they are dog aggressive. He's not out for blood, but he does set off other dogs by not knowing anything about dogs and how to act around them and he does get dominant and aggressive and I always end it before it's a full blown fight.


I did not know that about dog boot camp. The thing is, because of his history with dogs and my anxiety surrounding it, I know he needs to be around someone else while he relearns how to be with other dogs. Once he's acting more appropriate around them, I will be totally relaxed and I can take it from there.


I'm worried about hiring just any dog behaviorist. I know a woman who is a dog trainer and her dog is horribly behaved and growls and bites people! Anyway, it's hard to know who to trust.


Thanks for your input. :)

post #4 of 25

A lot of dog breeds are prone to dog aggression, its a normal trait especially in bull and terrier type dogs (no idea what kind you have lol). Dogs absolutely dont need friends, yes they are pack animals, but YOU are their pack, wild dogs dont associate with dogs outside of the pack they live with.


Check out this website for behaviourists (these are people with degrees in animal behaviour, not your average random person):



I have no idea where North Bay is in California lol however I do have several contacts with behaviourists there who are exceptional and can ask who they recommend.


About doggie friends



post #5 of 25


Edited by ChitownTracy - 7/19/12 at 7:44pm
post #6 of 25

they dont need doggy friends period. If a dog develops dog aggression or intolerance it will not in any way shape of form hurt them to be kept away from other dogs for the entirety of their lives. Coming from someone who owns bull and terrier breeds and is involved in several communities, I have seen many dogs who are not able to co-exist with other dogs live full and happy lives. As long as they are getting the required mental and physical stimulation they need as well as time with their people they will be fine.


Originally Posted by ChitownTracy View Post

well i think the other poster was suggesting they don't need to be "friends" with every dog,  But they should be able to co-exist in a space together.  This is way many Large corporate pet stores hold Puppy Hours.  Socialization early & often is very important.  Lack of socialization is a pretty big reason many dogs are re-homed.  It's those re-homed dogs that sound like what you are saying OP.  We have had dogs in our rescue that do not know how to be a dog.  They don't know how to intergrate into a pack, they don't know how to read dog signals/language etc. 

OP Has the dog been with you since puppy hood?  I agree with the other poster's suggestion of a behaviorist.  Sounds like you have a pretty good understanding of your dog & his/her needs. 


post #7 of 25
Edited by ChitownTracy - 7/19/12 at 7:44pm
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 

I really appreciate all the input. I do understand what you're saying and honestly I think it's strange when people think dogs need to have constant playdates arranged. 


His dog aggression is a problem for me because I can't just relax when other dogs are around and people always try to bring their dog up to "meet" mine. They always think I'm rude when I say no. It would be nice to not have to worry and to be able to trust him more.


He's not a breed that is prone to dog aggression, he just never had enough exposure. The other huge problem is that I can never leave him anywhere. If he could get along fine with other dogs I could actually go away for a few days. As it is, unless I can come up with huge money to pay for boarding I am trapped at home for the rest of his life. And even those boarding situations I know would have a bad effect on him. He'd come home fearful and hyper and I'd have to bring him back to normal.


So, these are my two huge problems with his dominance with other dogs that really do cramp my lifestyle.

post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 

And to clarify, I'm in the San Francisco bay area, north bay.

(any other parts of the bay area would be too far for me because my car is not great)

post #10 of 25

ok! i will get back to my contact and let you know :)

post #11 of 25
post #12 of 25

there is also this person


post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thank you! That one in San Rafael looks very promising. :)

post #14 of 25

I hope it works out :) if you need more suggestions just let me know.

post #15 of 25

My dog acts aggressively toward other dogs, but we realized that he isn't so much a bully - he's afraid of other dogs, and his response to that fear (since he's on a leash and can't run away) is to raise his hackles and growl. We have been able to help him overcome his fear a bit by praising him and giving him treats when he gets near another dog without growling.


Another thing that seems to have helped our dog is to do a lot of training with him. I've taught him a bunch of tricks, and it seems that learning new things not only gives him more confidence, but he trusts me more, so he is less afraid of thinks in general, and knows that I will protect him when we're out on walks.


We do board our dog, but our kennel is terrific - they always put him on an end, so there's only one dog next to him, and they make sure that dog is as non-threatening as possible. We've had him for 6 months, and he has definitely gotten better.


Dogs are pack animals, but they pretty easily accept humans as their pack!

post #16 of 25
Thread Starter 

Well, Leaps and Hounds said she couldn't help me. :(  She referred me to another place that is way too far away for me. I checked out their website and my dog does not fit any of their categories:




They would come all the way to my house to find a dog that does not jump or bark and is good with the kids and cat and mellow in the house. They'd find a dog that not only does all they "train" them to do (sit, stay, lay, come, etc.) but would be on a downstay for the entire time they were there if I asked him to. I can leave him home all day free roaming in the house and he does not do one bad thing. He is not dog aggressive either, he is dog dominant. And just today he encountered a few mellow dogs at the mark and, while I was cautious just in case, there were no issues. He was very good. If a dog is not a totally calm, mellow, stable dog, that's when there can be an issue and the majority of dogs out there are not that unfortunately (including mine, I realize). What I'd really love is to just let him go in The Dog Whisperer's pack for even a day. I swear, that would do it. Oh well...


I think what I really need is some willing owners who will not be scared for their dogs and will trust me to discipline him and deal with his behavior so he can get through it and over it. I know I could do it, but he gets his head on top of the other dog and does this little growl and starts playing way too rough and they get scared, which I totally understand.


Anyway, thanks for listening.


ETA: I just don't agree with their philosophy that they will only be able to discover all your dogs problems in their own home. He's perfect at home. It's when he's out in the world that any of his issues start coming out. Maybe they'd bring a dog in? It didn't sound like it and anyway that seems like a weird way to do it.

post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 

I know I referred to him as "dog aggressive" in an earlier post but that was because a poster had said that dominance is an overused term and I wasn't sure if I was making it clear that it's more than him just trying to be the boss of another dog. I do believe it would be classified as dog dominance. He's not out to tear another dog up. We see all kinds of dogs out on walks ripping at their leashes, lunging, barking vicously at every dog they see. He would never do that. He doesn't pull or make any noise. It's more when he's meeting a dog and it looks like he's playing but it's VERY rough and his hackles are raised and he's trying to keep his head over their neck and puts his mouth there and does this weird little growl that almost sounds like a play growl but I can tell it's just beyond that. He starts acting a little predator-ish. Hopefully I'm describing his behavior well enough. It's hard to say in words. :)

post #18 of 25

dominance is an overused term, dogs arent usually vying for gaining the top position.

What kind of dog is he? Some breeds play very rough, bully breeds especially. He probably needs some guidance on how to act around other dogs.


Its not unusual for trainers to start in the home, they want to meet the dog and find out whats going on before plunging into the situation especially if there is any risk of aggression involved.


Where exactly are you located? I could try and find more trainers for you.

post #19 of 25


Edited by ChitownTracy - 7/19/12 at 7:40pm
post #20 of 25
Thread Starter 

I don't have a recording device but that's a great idea for showing exactly what the behavior is. I guess I am just trying to explain it in a way that hides nothing and most people explain it in a way that downplays it so they assume it's much worse than I'm actually saying? Just a guess.


Oh, and he is a gun dog, so he should really naturally get on fine with other dogs I would think. He did have a bully friend when he was very young and yes, she played *very* rough, so maybe he just stuck with that way of socializing with other dogs?

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