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    1. #1
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      training fearful dog & feeling frustrated

      I have a confession to make… My youngest lab is a basket case, and not in a good way.
      I guess the first thing is admitting that I have a problem…better known as Keene.
      She is 1 ˝ year old female spayed black lab and doesn’t like people!!! The lab qualities that she does possess are chasing ball and dock diving all day.

      She’s had “issues” from very young with submissive/excitedurination and we have mitigated most of that. But then she started exhibiting fear/insecurity issues with humans,except for DH and me. What Keene would do is runaway from people and bark at them, never towards people. It’s so bad that she stood outside for 45 minutes in a snow storm barking at my father refusing to re-enter the house,when both my DH and I were stuck at work. So I enlisted the help of a dog trainer (a company we have used in thepast with this specific dog). After explaining the situation we have been categorized in the “aggressive” spectrum and been referred to a trainer in the company specializing in this area.

      The first lesson went pretty well, and Keene and I proceeded to do “our” homework over the course of the week with mixed results. So today we attended our second private lesson and Keene almost bit the trainer. Granted the trainer knows what she was doing as far as how she was approaching Keene and having food inher hand, but I am beside myself. I amtrying to be a responsible dog owner, but am so conflicted. I am realistic about the results of the training. I know this is a lot of work and dedication on my part, and it doesn’t mean Keene will be cured. The trainer says not to blame myself, could be a multitude of reasons why she behaves this way. I was beginning to believe this is just her personality, but I don’t know what to think anymore.

      I started out this venture committed, but tonight I am feeling very defeated. It doesn’t help that DHand I are on separate pages as far as this topic is concerned. After today’s training episode he’s ready to slap a muzzle on her, yup that’s his solution. And if you didn’t catch it earlier, Keene and I do the homework, not the DH.

    2. #2
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      In the same boat as you, as of now. Yesterday turned out to be a not a nice day. Lilly attacked my husband, out of the blue. She had done this one other time, but not with the intensity that she did yesterday. Husband's arm is very sore. Not slapping a muzzle on her, but I am with a very heavy heart going to take her back to the shelter.

      Can't have this. Sorry, I have been working with her non-stop 24/7 and so has my husband, so that's what is really odd. Just like your Keene, all of sudden something snaps and Lilly will not come near us, and will run (we watched her for 5 minutes) forget everything we taught her as she would not listen. And then the attacks from behind.

      I started this ventured committed, but this is something way over our ability. And the liability of taking her out and trying to social her? I would never know when she would explode. If something would happen, I could never forgive myself. It's baffling and heartbreaking at the same time. But I didn't sign up for this.

      KAZ

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    4. #3
      Real Retriever
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      KenZ71's Avatar
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      Black paws keep your chin up and keep doing that homework! A muzzle wont solve the problem the trainer will. Our Scarlett had similar issues but after lots of love and consistent training we now have an extremely loyal family member. We found slowly expanding the circle of friends helped a lot. We found friends who would offer treats and work with us. Also found a dog walker who was not scared by Scarlett. As she learned that people are nice she warmed up. The trainer gave us tips to get through the rough spot.

      Zrabits also sorry to hear your rough spot. Obviously I am not in your shoes but hope you keep trying with Lily.
      -- Ken, owned by:

      Max - Black Lab mix gotcha 4/23/2012 Born 12/2011
      Scarlett - Yellow Lab gotcha 4/19/2013 Born 2008? 2007?
      Lizzy - Terrier mix gotcha 6/29/2014 Born 2006?
      Zeus - Papillon mix gotcha 1/30/2015 Born 3/26/2014

      Avatar: Ziggy, my kitty who crossed the bridge a few years ago.
      He slept in the sink for years, silly boy.
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    6. #4
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      Unfortunately done trying. This little girl has been exposed to something you and I will never understand. We don't blame the dog at all. But there's some things you can't fix with lots of TLC.

      Black_paws, if you feel strongly, and want to try, go with a trainer. Wishing you luck.

      KAZ

    7. #5
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      Black Paws, hang in there. It's hard, frustrating work sometimes. You're going about it the right way involving a trainer and working hard. You're husband may be right about the muzzle in specific situation, i.e., if a vet visit is needed or something along that line. It's not the answer, it's a tool to help along the way. There will be good days and some not so good.

      My thoughts are with you.

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    9. #6
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      I would really ensure the traininer is a good one (not saying they are not, but you need the RIGHT TRAINER here for this to get better). Things will NOT gett better in a few visits. If she is as bad as you seem to describe it will take time and she will never be "totally normal" but your goal would be to make her more confident/less fearful.

      Nothing wrong with a muzzle. Part of being a responsible dog owner is keeping your dog and other people safe. HOWEVER, you do NOT slap on a muzzle. You need to desensitize the dog to it first, make it a good positive thing. Lots of dogs are quite happy with their muzzle on. Get the right one, the right size and work on making it a good thing. Honestly you trainer should be able to show you how to do that.

      Also, if she doesn't like people, other than the vet and the trainer (within reason) she shouldn't HAVE to be touched and bugged by people. Even if there isn't a risk of a bite, if she doesn'T like strangers in her space you can tell people to back away. Then you work on making new people less scary but the first step here involved no touching and no eye contact and throwing (gently) treats at the dog. This is just an example, the trainer should have something more concrete and that works for your situation based on their assessment.

      The muzzle doesn't mean you don't have to keep working. It just keeps everyone safe while you are.

    10. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Tanya For This Useful Post:

      black_paws (05-31-2014), Labradorks (06-03-2014), Maxx&Emma (06-01-2014), sheltieluver (06-01-2014), ZRabbits (05-31-2014)

    11. #7
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      roro's Avatar
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      I'm so sorry to hear you are going through this. A friend of mine dealt with the same situation. She is single with no kids and hired a trainer to work privately with her. It was a long road but the dog now is amazing. She had the right living environment with this dog, no family being in the home to worry about being attacked. Only you know what is best to do. My heart breaks for you both ZRabbits and black_paws

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    13. #8
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      Polly Pipkin's Avatar
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      black_paws - try not to be discouraged. Work with a trainer using positive training methods, anything negative will only increase her fear and then aggression. It will take a lot of calm consistency and patience, which is hard. Working with a fear aggressive dog is obviously more difficult and time consuming. Will your husband step up and help with the training?

      Even reinforcing basic commands with healthy treats will help her gain confidence. Try and minimize her stress (as in don't try and expose her to a great number of people at a time or move too fast in training) and keep your training sessions short and fun.

      ZRabbits - so sorry that you are feeling the only option is to take Lilly back to the shelter. It is heartbreaking.
      Hidden Content Katy & Polly

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    15. #9
      Senior Dog
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      Quote Originally Posted by Polly Pipkin View Post
      black_paws - try not to be discouraged. Work with a trainer using positive training methods, anything negative will only increase her fear and then aggression. It will take a lot of calm consistency and patience, which is hard. Working with a fear aggressive dog is obviously more difficult and time consuming. Will your husband step up and help with the training?

      Even reinforcing basic commands with healthy treats will help her gain confidence. Try and minimize her stress (as in don't try and expose her to a great number of people at a time or move too fast in training) and keep your training sessions short and fun.

      ZRabbits - so sorry that you are feeling the only option is to take Lilly back to the shelter. It is heartbreaking.
      Thanks, got a lot of positive feedback from the professionals I met, that it was the right thing to do. Definitely heartbreaking.

      KAZ

    16. #10
      Best Friend Retriever
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      ZRabbits - when the time is right, I hope you find your special dog to help with the pain of losing Lilly.

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      ZRabbits (05-31-2014)

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