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Dog owners: Disciplining your dog thread

ysb

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Seems like there's a fair amount of other dog owners on the board, so wanted to get some input here on our dog that we've had for over a year.

He's an Aussie mix, on the small side, 40 or so pounds, and is great with people, super friendly with most other dogs that are smaller than him. On leash, once he's around bigger dogs, or certain dog breeds (pits, greyhounds, boxers, etc) he'll growl and try to lunge at them. Around other dogs that are about his size, he quickly gets into a dominating thing where he mounts incessantly. He's neutered, so take any hormonal thing out of the equation. I do try to take him to parks to expose him to being in groups, but I never know when he'll go off the handle.

I know this is a common topic among dog owners, but was wondering what tactics some people take on training their dog to be better around other dogs. Classes, and a trainer obviously, but what about your day to day? Do you use pinch collars? Does Cesar Millan's stuff work?
 

pdxpm

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I have two dogs, on of which is aggresive to strange dogs regardless of size. I use a prong collar but you need to learn how to use it correctly. Working with our trainer he taught us how to position the collar correctly and how to use it correctly. You need to learn when to use both rings or when to use only the live swivel ring. One thing is to get a good brand, the ones old at big box stores are not well made and can bend on you. Herm Sprenger is a German company that makes great prong collars. You can order them online or find them at a quality retailer.

Also, I recommend that you get your dog plenty of exercise daily. Both our dogs get a 30 minute walk at least 5 days a week plus I usually run with both for a 20 minute job each weekend.

I've read all the Cesar books and find that getting a feel for the idea of your energy and how it impacts your dog is huge in helping your dog. Think about what you do when you have your dog on leash and you see a large dog in the distance. You probably tense up based on your past experiences. Getting past that will help you and your dog to reduce the reaction.
 

pdxpm

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I didn't really address what I do on a daily basis to keep the dogs in check.

1. They only eat their two meals (morning and night) after they have watched me eat my meal or some type of snack. In pack order the Alpha always eats first. If you make this a habit it goes a long way in putting them in their place. Even if I have a dinner date with the wife or a breakfast meeting I make sure i have a glass of somethign to drink and a piece of cheese or piece of toast. If they can smell it even better. Also, don't hurry through this process. They can tell when you hurry and it lessens the effect. They always have to sit and wait for permission beofre they can eat as well.
2. Toys are given to them and not left out for them. They need to understand the toys belong to me and I am granting them permission to use them. After 20 minutes or so they get taken back by me.
3. They follow me through doors, I do not follow them.
4. When coming inside they need to wait by the door until released to enter the home. Mine actually wait at the bottom of the stairs until I allow them to come up the stairs to the main level.
5. They are not allowed on furniture until I invite them. As a rule they are generally not on furniture except for rare occasions that we allow them on the bed when we are watching a movie or TV.
6. Never feel sorry for them. This sounds odd but think about the life you provide your dog. You feed them, house them, keep them warm, give them affection, etc. You have no reason to feel sorry for them but as humans we tend to do this.

Hope this helps.
 

lefty

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Guy walks into a doctor's office, lifts his arm and says, "Hey Doc, it hurts when I do this."
Doctor says ...

Simple solution is don't bring your dog around other dogs. However, if you need him to be around dogs there are a few things you can do.

First off, he is not a bad or aggressive dog. He's just gotten away with a few inappropriate things. The reason he is "aggressive" around other dogs on lead is due to the tension and nervousness you're conveying through the lead. So lighten up on the lead and understand that a dog scuffle is no big deal. You need to put on an effective correction collar and learn how to use it - again, loose lead which is only snapped for the correction. By the way, there's no reason that I can think for using both rings on a prong collar. It only works when the collar is properly fitted (tight and high on the neck) and live ring is used. Both rings will not allow the collar to release properly.

If there is a dog that you want him to get on with then walk them together on loose leads and correct any unwanted aggression quickly and seriously. Once the dog is distracted or brings attention back to you, the lead goes loose and off you go again. No play. Work on that for a bit.

The work your way up to your dog sitting with attention on you as the other dog walks by. Reward attention; correct distraction.

We would often take large aggressive dogs, have them down then walk other dogs over them as an obedience exercise.

Every approach works as long as you're consistent and fair.

lefty
 

ysb

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Awesome responses, thanks for taking the time to reply. I agree with everything that's been written, that it's pretty much above and beyond consistency with the dog that makes them respond how you want them to. and I do realize that it all starts with regular exercise.

Regarding the leash tensioning and the dog sensing that. I really try to be aware of myself when I see other dogs coming head-on. It's something that I've taken away from the Cesar books (the dog is your mirror) and I really do try to be conscious of it. I try to never walk him with tension on the lead, but by no means to I let him walk ahead of me.

so the prong collar I got was from Petsmart, and I do think I'm using it wrong. I'll look up the ones recommended. Thanks!
 

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