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extreme aggression

Abraxii
May 28th, 2009, 05:03 PM
I've had my mixed breed dog since he was 4 months old..he is now 5 years of age. He weighs about 80 lbs.
Over the last two years he has been getting more aggressive..growling and showing teeth to keep people away. With me his aggression has resulted in
several serious bites.
He is exercised, well treated, in excellent health and has had basic training.
Two trainers have refused to deal with him and one who deals with aggressive dogs said the prognosis is not good and suggested putting him down.
Clutching at straws I might be but i'm looking for any course of action that I could try.
Thank you for any help.

lUvMyLaB<3
May 28th, 2009, 07:33 PM
serious bites? this is big, I am glad you are trying to help your dog, and not pts, that is good, but you need to protect yourself and your dog from this happening. A trainer may refuse because they cannot help, it is not something they can fix, they dont want to say they will help you and then a bite happens you know what I mean? Maybe try getting a behviorist they can be helpful was for me, I had to pay to bring one from 2 hours away and it was worth it.

Do you know what the cause of your dog being aggressive is? I don;t know that I can help at all, but I understand your pain. You need to be aware of the smallest changes in behavior when your dogs begins to escalate. ears perking up, hackles up, stiff tail, stiffened body ect, THAT is when you correct, right then, a quick correction with the collar, a SHH, a tap, something that works to snap your dog back down, you will have to repeat, as your dog will escalate again. With an aggressive dog I would say DO NOT use force, or pain or anything at all like that negative. That will FEED the aggression. You need to be calm calm calm to help your dog stay in that balanced state and not escalating.

Good luck, I hope you find someone that can work with you as this is a very serious situation, usually after one seriious bite the dog is not given another chance, it is probably not your dogs fault he feels this way, there are things that you can do. In the mean time, control the envornment, make sure your dog does not get the chance to escalate into that state, and again, dont ever use force, or negative energy toward your dog, that will make it worse.

Abraxii
May 28th, 2009, 08:06 PM
Do you know what the cause of your dog being aggressive is?

What triggers his aggression is getting a command he doesn't want to obey...he will growl his refusal..if i repeat the command he'll show teeth and approach...and then when i've attempted to put a leash on him he's bitten.

luckypenny
May 28th, 2009, 09:51 PM
What triggers his aggression is getting a command he doesn't want to obey...he will growl his refusal..if i repeat the command he'll show teeth and approach...and then when i've attempted to put a leash on him he's bitten.

Abraxii, may I ask how did you teach him these commands?

Please consult a certified behaviorist experienced with aggression, not a simple trainer. If you give us an idea of your whereabouts, we can help guide you to the right one.

In the meantime, please, please DO NOT put yourself in a position where you are challenging him. This includes any and all corrections as you may be exacerbating the problem. If there are rooms in the house where his aggression seems to escalate, keep the doors shut and don't allow him in them (eg bedrooms, livingroom, etc). Avoid confrontation at all costs at this point until you've sought qualified help.

Abraxii
May 28th, 2009, 11:50 PM
Abraxii, may I ask how did you teach him these commands?



The commands I am speaking of are the basics he was taught at
school, sit, stay, come etc...compliance being rewarded.
I've had no problem in the past calling him in from outside:
"come", and he'd come galloping.
He's now decided he'll come when he's ready.....the same applies with other simple commands..this change is very confusing to me.
I'm not sure what you mean by "challenging" but I never get in his face.
My second attempt at a command is a little firmer but never confrontational.

TeriM
May 28th, 2009, 11:51 PM
Please consult a certified behaviorist experienced with aggression, not a simple trainer. If you give us an idea of your whereabouts, we can help guide you to the right one.

In the meantime, please, please DO NOT put yourself in a position where you are challenging him. This includes any and all corrections as you may be exacerbating the problem. If there are rooms in the house where his aggression seems to escalate, keep the doors shut and don't allow him in them (eg bedrooms, livingroom, etc). Avoid confrontation at all costs at this point until you've sought qualified help.

I totally agree with this advice from Luckypenny :thumbs up.

Good luck :goodvibes: :fingerscr.

cell
May 29th, 2009, 07:34 AM
have you gone to a vet to check his hormone levels and to make sure nothing is physically wrong? I would rule these out before starting training because if it is a physical/medical condition no training will help.

lUvMyLaB<3
May 29th, 2009, 09:02 AM
But what is the root of it do you know? When or why did it start happening? It sounds more aggressive and deeper than just not wanting to obey you, and not understanding the boundries.. Like I also said, I think you really need to find a qualified behaviorist, and in the mean time, keep everyone safe..

maui_blue_eyes
May 29th, 2009, 10:04 AM
I agree that taking to the vet to rule out a physical problem is very important. It is unethical to try to train a problem that is caused by something physical. I am dealing with a case very similar to this right now, the dog was owned by the same family his whole life and suddenly started showing aggression once he was older, for seemingly the same reasons as your dogs.

The things you should have checked are thyroid, t-3 and t-4. Also, B-Vitamins can help. If there is a holistic pet store near you visit them and see if they can reccomend any homeopathics. I have heard of cases like this where it was causes by a brain tumor which would be hard to tell.

Get him to the vet as soon as you can and get the tests done. Find a qualified behaviourist in your are as suggested not just a trainer. Someone who can evaluate him and find the triggers of his agression and help you with a behavioural modification program. The chances are he showed signs earlier but may have been missed.

If you are worried about being bitten, have him wear a muzzle. He should lose all his privledges, no going on the furniture, on your bed at all, no free access to toys, treats, chewies or food (you control them, he can have them but has to sit etc for them, food comes in scheduled meals no free feeding). Make a list of everything he enjoys and make him work for all of it. He needs to learn he doesn't run the show and that he must listen to you to get what he wants.

les
May 29th, 2009, 10:56 AM
That's clear cut dominance aggression. The dog shows aggression when asked to do something it doesn't want to do.

You need to find a trainer in your area. (Not sure where you are located.)

What I would start in the time being (you should find a trainer ASAP) is a bit of NILF.

Do not give the dog anything without him sitting first. When it's time to eat and you have his food - ask for a sit - if he doesn't put the food up and walk away for 5 minutes - you don't want to sit - you don't eat - simple as that. In 5 minutes, repeat - back to the food - ask the dog to sit - if he sits, great - give him his dinner - if not - put it back up and walk away again.
If he's going to bite you doing this - don't do it - get a trainer first. If you can do this without getting bit - great. If he growls at the command - I would do nothing - walk away - no correction - you don't want him to bite again.

Do not free feed this dog. Do not allow this dog on any furniture - again, don't try to drag him off - you don't want to get bit but if you can prevent him from having access to any - great. He's got to learn he's at the bottom of the pack - not the top.

Where are you located? I may be able to help you find one in your area.

Abraxii
May 29th, 2009, 11:28 AM
Thank you all very much for your responses.
I'll be following all your suggestions, starting with the vet
and i'll certainly be posting back with an update.
Thank you again, appreciated.