Dangerous and capable. Severe aggression help.

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

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I'm a hot mess.
Barked: Sun Nov 11, '12 11:43pm PST 
Atlas's leg did start acting up again after the amount of walking we did today, but only barely. Fortunately, using the new walking method, with all that turning around, during his walk in the evening I can ensure that we are never far from home when we approach the time where I can see a slight change in his gate. It went away within the hour as soon as he rested at home.

I made a call to the vet to double check on his medical records from when we had his legs checked, since it has been a while and I wanted to refresh myself on exactly what he thought was the problem at the time; as I mentioned, he has injured both legs in the past in the same way. Since it started when he was in the young and crazy stage, it was difficult to keep him from re-injuring himself without time to heal. One of the x rays at one point showed clearly that there was a severely strained ligament, but it was not torn. It does take a very long time to heal. While I'm not sure we can afford to take him to a physical therapist consistently, I'm thinking it might be a good idea to have at least one visit with one for an evaluation/consultation to have an idea on his progress with healing, and get some advice on what we can do ti help speed his recovery.

Tiller- thank you so much for your support, and for the information you provided; Bryan Hendricks looks absolutely perfect for our needs. Furthermore, watching those videos with the ABs led me to recall when I used to be able to run, off leash, with my previous one through a field at high speed... It was a wonderful feeling for me, but more importantly it served as a reminder for how badly I want Atlas to be able to move like that, at his full potential, without causing himself harm. Because he works so physically with these dogs, I have a feeling Mr. Hendricks might also be a reliable source to ask about potential physical therapists in the area.

We have a long training lead now, and there's a park nearby that's empty in the evenings, aside from deer; but fortunately they clear out fast and won't try to approach, unlike people or dogs. It's perfect, except that its closed after sundown, and it starts getting dark so early right now. We're going to try going there while we look for another place that is more empty during the day/is open after nightfall.
Rocky *CGC*- With the- angels.

Gone but never,- ever forgotten- xxx
Barked: Mon Nov 12, '12 11:11am PST 
I'm glad you seem to be getting yourself and Atlas on the right track puppy Hopefully the advice you've received, helps...

He's very lucky to have you. A lot of people wouldn't give him the chance and would just have him euthanised, so thank you... You are the perfect human for him and I have high hopes for you both puppy

Please keep us posted on how you get on...
Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
Barked: Mon Nov 12, '12 12:01pm PST 
I am so thrilled you are looking into Bryan Hendricks! It's a luck of the draw thing and you are very fortunate to be in his neck of the woods, he being one of the most successful AB handlers in the nation. And with his Schutzhund basis....part of a selected international team....it's not as if he will weird out about the aggression issue. You will find some are just too overwhelmed by the sheer size and intensity of ABs, while others don't appreciate the sensitivity. This is absolutely the right man for your plan smile He will see the potential and know where Atlas is coming from.

I like your thinking, too, in that he is expert at developing these dogs as sports dogs, he will be experienced with injuries they can face, will likely have good contacts for you on the leg issue, and may be able to give you some interim advice.

Wishing you the best of luck. I am so thrilled, SO thrilled, you are determined to stand by this dog. His ability to mitigate his aggressive responses speaks the world for his potential. Please keep us all posted!


How You Doin'?
Barked: Mon Nov 12, '12 12:28pm PST 
Good luck!hug

I agree with Chandler on the rehab vet check.

Chance was diagnosed by 2 different vets at 2 different clinics about 2 months apart has having an "aggravation" to her hip dysplasia that was slowly getting better, hindquarter muscling "adequate."

The rehab vet could tell immediately it was not at all related to her dysplasia just by watching her move.
A hands-on exam came back with:
Back injury that resulted in poor hip flexion, iliopsoas over use, spinal restrictions, cervical restrictions, quadriceps hypertonicity, pelvic flexion and loss of hindquarter muscling to the point where it was "inadequate."
Jax (earned- her wings- 5/30/12)

Give me your- toy.
Barked: Mon Nov 12, '12 7:12pm PST 
Please keep us posted. We would all like to know how the two of you make out. way to goway to go
Sanka- I'll Miss- You

The ground is my- newspaper.
Barked: Mon Nov 12, '12 7:41pm PST 
Just want to say that this thread is awesome.way to go

Everybody helping, giving their thoughts and opinions, OP actually taking advice and giving updates.

I wish you the best with Atlas. And yes, do keep us updated.dog

"Stubborn" dogs- don't need- corrections
Barked: Tue Nov 13, '12 11:41am PST 
Personally, I would be wary of Bryan Hendricks. While he seems overall a good person, I'm wary of any "trainer" who talks about dominance as a personality trait and pack theory. But I would have to see him working with the dogs to really say if I'd go to him or not.

I went ahead and searched for some trainers for you, looking specifically for trainers who work with aggression. I don't know exactly where in Bucks County you live, so I just kind of looked up a lot of different zip codes. laugh out loud

Linda Lelak is one I found. She's in Newtown, PA. Her website: http://lindaspawsitivepaws.com/

You can search, too, here: http://www.apdt.com/petowners/ts/default.aspx

I also decided to look for a veterinary behaviorist.


http:/ /www.k9behavioralgenetics.net/


Edited by author Tue Nov 13, '12 11:45am PST


we will dance in- the ring without- words
Barked: Tue Nov 13, '12 12:42pm PST 
Given that you own a brachycephalic dog, I would avoid trainers who need to rely on leash pops and corrective collars to change behavior.

This advice is from the American College of Veterinarian Behaviorists:

How to Hire a Dog Trainer

It is advised that dog owners call, interview, and ideally observe a trainer prior to hiring them. If the trainer you are considering using falls into any of these categories, you should pick another trainer.

1. The equipment recommended for basic obedience includes or is focused on choke collars, prong collars, or shock collars.

2. Trainers who ban head collars of any kind may rely unduly on force.

3. The trainer instructs you to manage your dog’s behaviors by pinching toes, kneeing the dog in the chest or abdomen, hitting the dog, forcibly holding the dog down against their will, constantly yelling at the dog, frequently yanking the collar constantly, or using prong, choke, pinch or shock collars or electronic stimulation.

4. The trainer believes most or all training is about encouraging the person to be “alpha” and teaching the dog to “submit”.

5. The trainer explains that most dog behavior, for example, jumping on people, occurs because the dog is trying to be “dominant”.

6. A trainer recommends “alpha rolls”, “scruffing”, “helicoptering”, “choking” or any other painful or physical methods as a means of “training” or modifying behavior.

* Please note that having initials after one’s name is not a guarantee of a trainer who will not engage in these practices. To maximize the chances of recommending or using a qualified trainer, the dog owner will need to ask the trainer some basic information, and see for themselves how the trainer treats the dogs in the classes/consultations.

Should your dog ever start to show signs of aggression, fear, anxiety, distress, or any other condition that you find worrisome during training let your veterinarian know. If you ever feel uncomfortable with something the trainer asks you to do to your dog, stop working with that trainer and alert your veterinarian so they can give you guidance.

"Stubborn" dogs- don't need- corrections
Barked: Tue Nov 13, '12 2:09pm PST 
"This dog has been to a trainer. It did not work."

According to the OP, the trainer suggested punitive methods, not the type of methods that have been suggested.

A veterinary behaviorist is a wonderful route for this dog; that way, his leg issues can be cared for, and a vet. behaviorist can help make sure he's sound in body and mind. There's nothing wrong with having to go to a vet. behaviorist. When I was working with a friend's dog, we had to call a vet. behaviorist to make sure she wasn't mentally unstable. I honestly thought something was mentally wrong with her - turns out, she was triggered by something I didn't notice until after I started explaining what was happening.

I don't disagree that a normal trainer probably won't do much good. But a trainer who suggests punitive methods and talks about the dominance and pack theory is not a good trainer, either.

And Tiller, the "high drive" excuse is getting tired. I know of plenty extremely high-drive dogs who were trained without corrections. I know of plenty "hard" and/or "stubborn" dogs who were trained without corrections.

"This dog needs to be worked on to bring him to complete recovery. He MUST be walked. He can't be hidden out in the backyard while his whole damned world falls into nothing with some penning of "reactive.""

Who is suggesting to "hide" him in the backyard?! Where did you pull that from? We all KNOW that he needs to be worked on; that is clear. He also obviously needs mental and physical stimulation; that is also clear. He isn't 'reactive' either - who said that?! He's guarding resources.

And I'm only being honest when I talk about my own personal reasons for not wanting to choose Bryan Hendricks. The most recent studies have already disproven the dominance belief. So long as Mr. Hendricks understand that punitive methods are going to be the dog's downfall, then fine, go with him. All I said was that I'm wary of anyone who talks about dominance and pack theory, but that I would have to see him in person/in video actually training to completely decide.

I also want to add that in an everyday, sound dog, I don't care about the end result, so long as the dog is happy and enjoys training. In Atlas's case, the end result is very important, yes, but with punitive methods, I don't see it getting any better.

Again, so long as Mr. Hendricks understands that, I don't have a problem.

Edited by author Tue Nov 13, '12 2:12pm PST


The Cowardly- Lion - I'll find my- courage
Barked: Tue Nov 13, '12 2:46pm PST 
I don't really have much dog experience, and as such, I'm usually more of a lurker than a poster, but in this case I felt the need to speak up.

I was curious about Tiller's suggestion of Bryan Hendricks, and so I went to his website to see what he had under his belt. In this case, I have to agree with Tiller, this guy seems amazing. His ideas about pack dominance may be outdated, but frankly, the proof is in the pudding - are his dogs happy, are they successful, are they learning? In all of these cases, the answer seems to be 'yes.' In fact, I managed to grab two videos of him working a young Malinois for OB and Schuzt, both using R+ methods, both with the dog just looking happy out of his mind to be there.

Malinios OB, with food rewards

Malinios Hold command, with tug rewards

So, it looks like he is open to using what works, not just what was popular once upon a time. At the very least, Atlas's owner can meet with him to see if he fits their needs; it surely can't hurt in a situation as urgent as this.
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