Have A Heart for A Chained Dog Week on February, 2019: failed my dog? (dog bite)?
Have A Heart for A Chained Dog Week 2019. Belchertown Veterinary Hospital: Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week Have a Heart for Chained Dogs
I had a Rottie, until he died of a heart condition. I am also a long time trainer. What type of training did he receive? Traditional training involves a lot of correction, which contrary to popular opinion is not always necessary and can in fact make aggression worse. Animal Behaviorists agree across the board that punishment makes aggression worse. If your dog received a "correction" for any behavior, i.e. jumping on people, rushing to sniff, barking at etc. they start to associate people with the corrections and something to be avoided, because pain/unpleasantness accompanies the presence of people. Believe it or not, they do not always associate their behavior as the reason for the punishment, but more often than not they associate the presence of people, dogs, etc. as the cause of the unpleasantness. Punishment has a strict criteria in order for it to be effective. And it is too easy to mess things up.
At first, they may bark or growl when approached by people because punishment is starting to be associated with their presence, which in turn causes them to receive harsher punishment, they then silence themselves, otherwise give no more warnings that the approach of people makes them nervous. We think, ah ha, they are cured. Not really, the behavior has just been suppressed, until something happens to push them beyond their threshold, and they bite. It is often sudden, without warning, and more severe than normal. Which could be what happened when the person came within a foot of your dog and on the end of leash he has no where to go-Fight or Flight- he couldn't run so he had to "fight".
I would find a trainer that uses Positive Reinforcement methods, knows how to do Counter conditioning and Desensitization, and know how to use a Gentle Leader headcollar correctly. A Gentle Leader gives you control of the head, and even has a calming effect, and does not cause pain the way a choke chain or prong collar can.
I started out using traditional training with my Rott and as a result he became very dog aggressive (from his point of view, the presence of dogs came with pain-corrections with a prong collar as I was instructed to do by my trainer) it took over six months, using the CC & D protocols mentioned before, a head collar and lots of reinforcements during the presence of dogs, and good, calm behavior before I was able to greatly reduce that by 95%, He was not food motivated, so I had to use other reinforcements, but I still had to change his perception that the presence of dogs meant good things would happen, not the pain of punishment.
Punishment barely shows them what not to do, it does not show them what to do. Positive Reinforcement does work, it is not bribery, or letting them get away with wrong behaviors. It is actually a science based method of teaching. Anyone who says otherwise is actually uninformed. The APDT can help you locate a +R trainer, please check carefully and observe, because not all trainers listed use +R. More punishment at this point will make your problem worse, and please stay away from shock, there is new research findings that show that is NOT the way to go. I hope this helps.
Someone mentioned getting their thyroid checked, Dr. Dodd is the expert in that field, and yes , it can cause aggression, as can arthritis or hip dysp. pain, pain from unknown causes (once the dog ended up having a cancerous tumor in his stomach), diabetes, epilepsy, and a number of other ailments. In such cases I usually require a complete physical with bloodwork before I will take the case, along with completed evaluation.
Keep dogs in fence?
First of all, whoever said you should get rid of your dogs has no heart. Get real. We have two labs and NOTHING keeps them in ! Not even an eletric fence. It has helped but they still manage to get out once in awhile. We have also tried chicken wire- yea right ! We have a 6 foot chain link fence around our property but these dogs are like gophers ! You could try a taller fence but I doubt that will help for very long. We have tried pouring cement under the chain link- no help either ! The only thing left for us is to train them with a dog shock collar ! It sounds terrible but we have tried everything. You might need to try one. They are expensive but E-bay has them for around $10.00. In a couple weeks they will stay away from the fence. Our friend had to go that route too. It sounds worse than it really is. But, you don't want your dog to get run over or run away. This is a serious answer by the way.Good luck and wish me luck too !
What do we do with our agressive dog?
Your dog may have a psychological problem (yes there are dog psychologists). I don't know how old your pet is or from where you got her, but pets that have been abused before you received them, (regardless of whether they are pure breed or not and sometimes you have no way of knowing) or raised in a puppy mill (like pets you get from a pet store) may be fine and well behaved for awhile and then suddenly start biting familiar people, even it's own family. What can make it worse are high-pitched, over-excitable voices, like children at play but screaming; people running by, like joggers; and correcting the dog physically. A dog needs to hear low-toned (speaks authority) and calm voices. Yelling and high pitched voices only excite the dog further. That's why they get excited when they are praised and you are making high excited squeeky noise). They do not see a jogger as a jogger, they see the runner as someone running towards you to attack you and then goes into protection mode (protecting you). Hitting a dog only reinforces that by violence, that is the way to solve problems or get what they want...not good. Dogs are extremely intelligent, but prior abuse messes up their brain just as it does in people. It is possible to take a dog to a professional, but it is very expensive and may not be a guarantee the dog will remain a non-biter. I learned all this by real-life experience. I once purchased a beautiful pure breed dog from a pet store. At that time I had never heard of a puppy mill or know that most pet-store purchased dogs come from one (it's a way to make money). The dog was very happy for awhile, then seemingly, without warning, everything that fell on the floor, the dog saw as his. When I tried to retrieve the object, the dog went into aggressive mode--showing teeth, growling, and acting as if it would bite if I pursued. He was also petrified of going down stairs. After having learned about puppy mills, I came to the conclusion that either the pup was thrown or kicked down stairs, or pushed off. The dog had never been around a jogger before, so the first response was to lunge at the person, not knowing jogging is a safe activity. Hitting a dog to correct him is animal abuse and if a person has to resort to violent behavior, then pehaps that person should not have a dog. People that do this are clearly uneducated and out of ignorance and following what society has done in the past, such as forcing the dog's nose on the place where it urinated indoors, is inflicting great harm in that animal. After a few weeks, I noticed that my dog's eyes would glaze over and the aggressive behavior would follow. After trying everything- training, choker chains, shock collar, etc.-I took him to the vet. That was the beginning of my learning experience. I researched his breed, read all I could about dogs and aggressive behavior and realized what was happening. This was confirmed by a vet. After 4 attacks, including a friend of my daughter's (left an entire set of upper and lower teeth scarring on her belly--I didn't know this had happened until much later--the girls were running and screaming through the house), attacking me twice, and the last being my daughter, I had to put the dog down. I loved that dog very much and was with the vet when he administered the injection. It broke my heart to have to do that, and I became a basket case for awhile, but eventually accepted that even though my dog was only 2 years old, he was turning out to be quite dangerous. If the dog is an older dog, it may be having a health problem and could be in pain. I once also had an older, large dog that became that way. He didn't want to be touched or approached. I would advise just to rule out the dog is suffering, to have him examined thoroughly by a seasoned vet. I have heard of some dogs with aggressive behavior being taken to a farm where they can run free with other animals, get socialized and end up being fine there. It may be an option. I have been reading answers on this blog about dog problems and it makes me so angry that some people think they know how to care for a dog, yet they know nothing and think training is always the answer. It's not. Training a dog for obedience does not address the cause of the behavior. And dogs who pull on leashes, until trained how not to, do that because when something is around their neck, they instinctively pull. That is their nature. When they run after cars, that is also instinctive of their innate hunting skills--when something moves they chase to catch it. I hope this helps and educates other dog owners about not knowing how to handle their animals.