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    1. #1
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      Reactive Dog Headaches!

      Hi guys it's been a long time since I've posted.

      My 4 year old yellow lab has always been reactive and I've been able to control it with voice commands and treat rewards. We went through 10 weeks of reactive dog training. He was doing good. We moved to a new area (Sonoma County) with lots of dogs. We are near a very busy lake and we walk the lake weekly with walks around the neighborhood daily.

      Poor Mozzie has become extremely reactive over the past year. Not only with other dogs but now people recently. I don't believe he would ever hurt anybody but his bark is extremely intimidating and he will sometimes rear up on his hind legs. He never tries to get away from me. When we visit the dog park he is fine. It's just when he is on leash. I am able to control him and get him to stop but damage done. He scares the heck out of people. I will get yelled out on walks that my dog doesn't belong outdoors. I refuse to keep him inside. I know the training techniques and they work most of the time. He is so worked up that with the treats he bites my palm and tends to break skin on every walk.

      I'm so frustrated. I'm looking for a new trainer in Sonoma County at this time to help. Any tips from the forum are greatly appreciated.

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    2. #2
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      I wonder if a trainer who employs Leslie McDevitt's techniques would help? She wrote her book, "Control Unleashed" specifically for sport dogs who are fearful, reactive or are easily distracted. Don't let the unleashed or sport parts deter you, it has wide applications. I used the book myself for some things we had trouble with but I do believe you can find trainers and seminars on this too.

      Leslie McDevitt: Control Unleashed®, The Book
      Hidden Content

      Oh boy. A stick in the SNOW! Hidden Content

    3. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Snowshoe For This Useful Post:

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    4. #3
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      Thank you @snowshoe I'll look into that book. I greatly appreciate it.

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    5. #4
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      I feel your pain. My dog was very dog aggressive and got herself into some serious altercations. I worked with a behaviorist and it seems to have stuck. If your dog's problem was fixed, and now has come back, that would be something I'd want to discuss with a dog behaviorist. It's kind of puzzling.

      But really, aggression... real or threatened... you have to take a zero tolerance approach. I've heard pro trainers say "You own what you condone."

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    7. #5
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      I met with a trainer today who had some really great ideas on how to help.

      He suggested a prong collar for correction. Does anybody use that technique?

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    8. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by Snowshoe View Post
      I wonder if a trainer who employs Leslie McDevitt's techniques would help? She wrote her book, "Control Unleashed" specifically for sport dogs who are fearful, reactive or are easily distracted. Don't let the unleashed or sport parts deter you, it has wide applications. I used the book myself for some things we had trouble with but I do believe you can find trainers and seminars on this too.

      Leslie McDevitt: Control Unleashed®, The Book
      I originally trained with her technique. It worked for a while and now he bites holes in my hand when I reward the look. I love the technique though! I'm at such a loss right now.

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    9. #7
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      Regarding the dog taking the treat in such a way that it hurts your hand. I can tell you what an agility trainer (who teaches all positive stuff) told me to do. Put treat in your closed hand. If the dog tries to snatch it... you give his nose a little pop with your "fist". When he sits still and waits, you slowly open your hand. If he comes in to snatch it aggressively, close your hand and pop him again. You keep offering the treat pretty close to his mouth, and allow him to have it when he can take it calmly and politely.

      Yes, I've used a pronged collar. If you have a trainer/pro available to you, let him/her size it for you. I've heard that 99% of the time, owners have way too many links in it and it is way too loose. You have to be able to give it a quick, abrupt snap so it can't have a lot of slack in it.

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    11. #8
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      I send this to my families when they have questions about prong collars,

      I also have them have a trainer show them how to use a prong collar properly. The prong collar is essentially 'self correcting' if used correctly, and the leash correction, or "pop" is relative, some dogs need very little pressure, others might need a small "pop". A prong collar is a training tool, and should never, ever be left on the dog after a training session.

      I also second the fisted treat technique. Sit with him and practice feeding him his dinner one kibble at a time, and only give him a kibble when he is polite about it. You can add a conditioning word while you do this, such as 'easy', or 'gentle', that way he will know what you want when you ask him to take the treat correctly, and use the conditioning word, in other situations. If you work first on just taking the treat nicely, until he gets that down, he won't get confused later when you are trying to reward him for good behavior, but get mad at him because he bites you. That sends confusing messages and he will get frustrated.

      Leerburg Dog Training | How to Fit a Prong Collar

      My best to you, good luck!

    12. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Shelley For This Useful Post:

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    13. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by TuMicks View Post
      Regarding the dog taking the treat in such a way that it hurts your hand. I can tell you what an agility trainer (who teaches all positive stuff) told me to do. Put treat in your closed hand. If the dog tries to snatch it... you give his nose a little pop with your "fist". When he sits still and waits, you slowly open your hand. If he comes in to snatch it aggressively, close your hand and pop him again. You keep offering the treat pretty close to his mouth, and allow him to have it when he can take it calmly and politely.

      Yes, I've used a pronged collar. If you have a trainer/pro available to you, let him/her size it for you. I've heard that 99% of the time, owners have way too many links in it and it is way too loose. You have to be able to give it a quick, abrupt snap so it can't have a lot of slack in it.
      Thank you for the advice! I'll get a trainer to help me size for sure. He's such a good boy I just need to get the control back and bring his anxiety level down.

      Sent from my VS986 using Tapatalk

    14. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by Shelley View Post
      I send this to my families when they have questions about prong collars,

      I also have them have a trainer show them how to use a prong collar properly. The prong collar is essentially 'self correcting' if used correctly, and the leash correction, or "pop" is relative, some dogs need very little pressure, others might need a small "pop". A prong collar is a training tool, and should never, ever be left on the dog after a training session.

      I also second the fisted treat technique. Sit with him and practice feeding him his dinner one kibble at a time, and only give him a kibble when he is polite about it. You can add a conditioning word while you do this, such as 'easy', or 'gentle', that way he will know what you want when you ask him to take the treat correctly, and use the conditioning word, in other situations. If you work first on just taking the treat nicely, until he gets that down, he won't get confused later when you are trying to reward him for good behavior, but get mad at him because he bites you. That sends confusing messages and he will get frustrated.

      Leerburg Dog Training | How to Fit a Prong Collar

      My best to you, good luck!
      Thank you for the advice. He takes treats nicely normally. When his level of excitement goes up he just about bites my hand off. I don't get angry at him ever. He's really a good boy.

      I watched the trainer we met with work with him on the pronged collar and he responded to a very gentle correction. I was surprised. Today we worked on heel and sit in the living room just with the flat collar.

      I'm sending the trainer an email about the size he used. I wish I could use this trainer. Its just really expensive over $3K and we can't afford his 3 week course right now. I'll look at that link you sent.

      Sent from my VS986 using Tapatalk

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