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jankrom September 3rd, 2012 12:53 PM

Help with a needy and aggressive dog
 
Hello,
I am looking for some much needed advice on what to do with my dog Chase. He is 6 years old and he is a rescue. I believe he was abused as a puppy and has some traumatic memories. He has always been very clingy to me and I have tried to curb that. Only just recently has it gotten worse. He is very protective of me and very aggressive towards his older brother Zeke. He will just flat out attack him. But only with Zeke, not with other dogs. I am afraid that might change one day though. He is very needy and clingy. Whenever Zeke comes to me for attention, Chase either blocks him or growls at him to get away. I try to stop it but he just keeps doing it. eventually zeke just runs away. He has been hit, kicked, picked up and thrown by other people that get frustrated with him, but I am NOT going to do that. Those people think I do not punish him right and think I am feeding that neediness. I just feel that he has been so abused that he is just looking for loving attention but it has gotten increasingly out of hand with aggression and possession. HELP!

marko September 3rd, 2012 01:26 PM

Welcome to the forum jankrom!

You left out some key info here like what breeds the dogs are but with what is presented, here's my honest opinion.

For me this phrase is the most telling " I try to stop it but he just keeps doing it."

To me this suggests that the dog is not well trained and does not respect you as the leader. Especially if you are in the room, and you tell a dog that is getting aggressive to back off - and he does not listen? Dogs listen to the leader in my experience. Dogs are hardwired to please the leader in my experience.

I would suggest that the DOG thinks it is the leader and he is challenging your authority. This is the problem.

There is ZERO need that this dog be punished in a physical way. Proper punishment is done with the raising of a voice or other non physical punishments.

If this were my dog, i would be getting professional advice on how to become the leader. The dog would be enrolled in group obedience classes from a REFERRED trainer. Referred by someone you trust.

And it would be done asap. Aggression and potential aggression are dangerous.

here are 3 articles that may help.

Good luck!
[url]http://www.pets.ca/dogs/articles/whos-in-charge/[/url]
[url]http://www.pets.ca/dogs/articles/nothing-in-life-is-free-nilf/[/url]
[url]http://www.pets.ca/dogs/articles/dogs-canine-rivalry-dog-fighting/[/url]

jankrom September 3rd, 2012 03:57 PM

they are both german shepherd mixes. Not sure of the mix part since they are rescue. Chase was not really trained properly. Too many inconsistencies between me and my ex. He not aggressive towards other dogs. He has been socialized since he was a puppy and he listens very well. He just gets aggressive with his brother around me when attention is wanted. I really do agree with you though that he could get worse. I have been reading about how not to give him anymore attention and make him sit or something before I pet him. I will just probably have to seek out a trainer. Which I do think would help, he is a fast learner. Thank you

LavenderRott September 3rd, 2012 08:50 PM

First, you have to stop assuming that he came from an abused past. In all honesty, this sounds like an issue of "nerves".

So. In order to offer some advice, we could use a little bit more information.

What are you doing when your dog is being clingy or aggressive?

marko September 4th, 2012 08:04 AM

[QUOTE=jankrom;1045576]they are both german shepherd mixes. Not sure of the mix part since they are rescue. Chase was not really trained properly. Too many inconsistencies between me and my ex. He not aggressive towards other dogs. He has been socialized since he was a puppy and he listens very well. He just gets aggressive with his brother around me when attention is wanted. I really do agree with you though that he could get worse. I have been reading about how not to give him anymore attention and make him sit or something before I pet him. I will just probably have to seek out a trainer. Which I do think would help, he is a fast learner. Thank you[/QUOTE]

Pleasure. German Shepherds/mixes are usually very smart and learn fast.
I personally like group obedience training because the other dogs make the environment more challenging and if the dog will listen there, he will likely listen in less challenging circumstances. But if you get a fab trainer 1:1 and that's better for you, it should work.

The only caveat, is that in most places, the title of "dog trainer" has the potential to be 100% meaningless....because it is an unregulated profession. This means that there are puhlenty of losers out there calling themselves "dog trainer" and possibly adding other fancy and meaningless words in front of that title. Because of this, i hate to say it many dog trainers are NOT professional and their experiences and training styles may be very unsatisfactory to you. This is why the referral from someone you trust is ESSENTIAL.

Sandi912 October 12th, 2012 12:33 PM

[QUOTE=marko;1045628]Pleasure. German Shepherds/mixes are usually very smart and learn fast.
I personally like group obedience training because the other dogs make the environment more challenging and if the dog will listen there, he will likely listen in less challenging circumstances. But if you get a fab trainer 1:1 and that's better for you, it should work.

The only caveat, is that in most places, the title of "dog trainer" has the potential to be 100% meaningless....because it is an unregulated profession. This means that there are puhlenty of losers out there calling themselves "dog trainer" and possibly adding other fancy and meaningless words in front of that title. Because of this, i hate to say it many dog trainers are NOT professional and their experiences and training styles may be very unsatisfactory to you. This is why the referral from someone you trust is ESSENTIAL.[/QUOTE]

Hi, I agree 1000% with this comment! Hopefully you've been able to find an authentic trainer who specialises in aggression. It does sound to me like Chase is the alpha and leader in the pack (which includes you). There are so many things that loving pet owners unnowingly do to encourage and praise aggressive behavior. An example would be giving affection to chase when he bullies his brother out of the way to greet you when you arrive home from work. In that example, I would encourage you to walk into the house and ignore the dogs until they stop trying to greet you and go about their business. That is when you can pet and praise ....this is one exercise that will help you establish leadership.

Anyway, my best suggestion, for what it is worth, is a good trainer of aggressive dog behavior.

Best Wishes,

Sandi


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