GO!

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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Rocky *CGC*- With the- angels.

Gone but never,- ever forgotten- xxx
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 14, '12 12:06pm PST 
Everyone was talking about tools that they don't agree with, missy. E-collars were mentioned if you read back.

I was using e-collars as an example. I don't like them and I would never use one again but that particular collar saved Rocky's life... That was the point I was trying to make.

Not once did I condone the use of them.
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Missy

Miss- Pig!
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 14, '12 12:22pm PST 
Yeah, sorry, my last post wasn't very clear really. I wasn't saying that's what you said, but was just mentioning it in general as the tool was mentioned.
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Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 14, '12 12:26pm PST 
I think the ecollar comment is that you need to do what you need to do. Certainly, this does not entail distressing your dog, which clearly this trainer does not do. Good trainers do not need to intimidate dogs into working. The use of some some compliance geared training does not in and of itself equate with intimidation. As I said earlier, in the AB obedience routine, at one stage the dog barks at his handler. On a sit, he wants to go, and hollers "c'mon!!!!" laugh out loud Still holds the sit, so that makes it humorous. That's a sign of a very healthy relationship.

Some people don't want to see that. I don't know how many times I have said it here. I am really, really sorry so many people here have been with HACK traditionalists trainers. In that field, you go with someone with resume...like a REAL one, not the "I-went-to-dog-trainers-school and "my doggies are so, so happy!"....and there you will find someone who trains with a base of PR. People talk about crossover and gentler as if the only people who use or believe in the powers of PR are R extremists, which is sheer nonsense. I don't know if people are actually that ignorant or are intentionally full with the propaganda. Who knows.

It is important to spread, for people to know there are options. An R trainer, who Dogster sometimes publishes, put her breeder raised puppy on meds before he is even two because she cannot manage his behavior. That is insane to me. That is kinder? Rather than try other methods, you are going to drug a CHILD dog? That is not kinder. It's not like people on this community are not talking about that.

One of the trainers put up as an alternate. I checked into her. Seems nice enough, but I see nothing to recommend working with working drive based aggression and her testimonials are from a couple of puppy owners (Doodle and Entlebucher), a mixed breed shelter dog and a Bichon. Where in one's mind would this person be well prepared to understand working drives, which are the core problem here, let alone have this sort of experience?

Certainly, I could understand if the site was represented by cowering dogs and ecollars-r-us mentality. But you have a breed expert, ULTRA comfortable with aggression, has broken records with this breed, is a go to for AB breeders on the east coast, will also know this pedigree, works with functional and dysfunctional aggression all the time. How are those two even in the same ballpark. It's like comparing apples to a paper clip.

This is a serious issue. Sometimes you really are cutting your nose off to spite your face, but in this case it is not your nose, it is a dog's life. I cannot begin to tell you how uncool I think that is. Not if you want to put up trainer options, ok fine. But to anywhere in head think this is the "wrong" trainer for this dog is so lacking in any rational platform it is scary. This is his LIFE, he is internationally respected, his dogs thrive and love him. No one gets into the head of this breed more expertly.

Generally speaking with a dog like this, the whole "trigger," "threshold" and "reactive" mantra falls a little flat, for while you can work on that individual trigger (say cat food) and better it, you are not working on the core cause....the assertive nature of this very sensitive breed coupled with his high territoriality and defensive drive. Those are hardwired. Those never go. So you are talking about a chronic in these cases. It will be one thing after the next after the next. Anything to spark those dynamic parts of character composition. If you work with those qualities, on the other hand, build bond, focus, coping mechanism and teach him how to channel those drives, then the scenario, the trigger....doesn't matter. It's never the trigger that causes the problem, it's the character of the dog. If the triggers are isolated or limited, easy to work with. If the triggers, on the other hand, are very broad in the environment....which in this case they would be, as he is ON DUTY, in a territorial sense, 24/7 for the rest of his life; it's just what these dogs ARE....you need to work with that truer core cause. His working drives are self fulfilling. A fearful dog will get a sense of relief and be able to move away from a "horrible world." A working drive based problem is not a "horrible world." ABs are used a lot as catch dogs in hog hunting. They can go in there, get torn up, and once patched up be oh so game to race in and do it again. Those are two awesomely different bananas.

Edited by moderator Mon Dec 17, '12 4:38pm PST

Edited by forums moderator

Sanka- I'll Miss- You

The ground is my- newspaper.
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 14, '12 12:52pm PST 
Generally speaking with a dog like this, the whole "trigger," "threshold" and "reactive" mantra falls a little flat, for while you can work on that individual trigger (say cat food) and better it, you are not working on the core cause....the assertive nature of this very sensitive breed coupled with his high territoriality and defensive drive. Those are hardwired. Those never go. So you are talking about a chronic in these cases. It will be one thing after the next after the next. Anything to spark those dynamic parts of character composition. If you work with those qualities, on the other hand, build bond, focus, coping mechanism and teach him how to channel those drives, then the scenario, the trigger....doesn't matter. It's never the trigger that causes the problem, it's the character of the dog.

Tiller, I wish I was able to find the way to communicate my thoughts the way you do. That is utter brilliance and a bit of what I've tried to sputter out in other instances. There is a key to working on the inside of a dog rather than just the individual problems that pop up. A dog can learn how to handle himself as opposed to just what to do in certain set-up situations. And if you can find a way to tap into that, things go so much more smoothly. No need to constantly break everything down to little step by step actions.
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Member Since
05/21/2010
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 14, '12 3:01pm PST 
Great conversation, it really is quite interesting and informative.

Just wondering if the OP has any updates? Hope all has been well.wink
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Bon Temps

Super hard robot- puma dog
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 14, '12 8:22pm PST 
"A working drive based problem is not a "horrible world." ABs are used a lot as catch dogs in hog hunting. They can go in there, get torn up, and once patched up be oh so game to race in and do it again."

EXACTLY.
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Atlas

I'm a hot mess.
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 14, '12 8:50pm PST 
Hello everyone, thank you all for your concern, support, and information.

I wanted to mention something briefly about the discussion about training methods; I know there is an awful lot of conflict out there about training methods, which I've encountered in my search before. I think we can all agree that there are two across the board priorities when it comes to training:

1) That the training is effective- it resolves the conflict/has the desired outcome, or as close to it as possible
2) That the dog is happy

Discussions about the best way to achieve these two things are great, and different people with different dogs will have different personal experiences and opinions. I know this very personally from my experience with my previous dogs- certain methods worked amazingly with them, happy dogs, happy people, ideal behavior... But obviously not for this dog, showing that what I was previously taught is not always correct. I'd never have known that until this experience...

A lot of methods out there are going to work for a majority of dogs. I have been following the links and advice given by many, and will contact several of the individuals cited.

When it comes down to it, I need someone who has worked with a dog like Atlas before, with equal to or greater levels of aggression, similar triggers, similar breed, and who has proven through experience that they can train my dog and equip my family with the knowledge they have. Without that specific experience, general methodology and philosophy become gambles. If I was made of money, it would be a little less serious in trying different approaches. As it is, pennies are priceless, each one wasted is another decrease in what I am able to provide to help my dog.

I will let you know the results of contacting various options, and keep everyone posted on Atlas' progress.

Speaking of, a bit of an Update.

I have been keeping all of Atlas' walks shorter, but taking him out more often to try and avoid leg irritation while increasing maximum time outside. It only results in 15-20 more minutes total walking time being added daily, but my mother commented today that she feels as though he seems happier. I sure hope so. It may not be a lot more, but maybe just being taken out more than once makes it feel like more to him.

There has been a minor financial set back; I won't know how much until I call the vet, but I am beginning to suspect that Atlas has a food allergy, on top of everything. He has very sensitive skin- not uncommon with dogs with big white bellies. We treat the symptoms with cortaid and tinactin powder (its like we're powdering a giant baby...), but it isn't seasonal, we don't ever walk him through grass, and he's been getting chronic ear infections, which from what I've read altogether sounds like a food allergy causing both the skin and ear problems. Since this is not as severe an issue, I believe, as the leg and hiring a trainer/behaviorist, if it is terribly expensive to have him tested for allergies, we may move that back further on the priority list, since we can treat the symptoms to keep him comfortable. My mother is hesitant to try switching brands (we use science diet)of food since Atlas, despite being big and tough, as a very sensitive digestive track, and previous brands have given him the runs... But if he does have an allergy, I can't be feeding him whatever is causing the reaction if I can help it. I will keep you all posted.
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Winnie Mae

Just let me jump- it!
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 14, '12 9:06pm PST 
Atlas' human, your dedication to your dog is amazing and touching. Thank you for keeping us updated as to your progress with him.

Might I suggest switching to a different food? Science Diet tends to be very grain-heavy, especially corn. In my limited experience, dogs on a high-corn/high-grain diet tend to have much more nervous energy and restlessness. A low-grain or grain-free food might help with the allergies, though I hesitate to say that because allergies can be so complicated.

Please continue to keep us updated!
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Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 14, '12 9:08pm PST 
Egads Atlas, you are giving me a heart attack laugh out loud

You should try to switch to a restricted ingredients food....if you want me to find, I will to advise. ABs have sensitive digestive systems generally, but also are prone to immune disorders. Another concern...good word. So really, if you are going to be taking him in eventually to address the leg, you might want to see if a more restricted diet might help resolve it and forego expensive testing to follow. At least then if not, you can go ahead with the allergy testing, and put to rest any concerns about an immune problem.

If you would like, I can send you a link also to a recipe page for home making your own dog food, which is cost effective. It was penned by Dr Michael Fox...nothing hokey. You might want to do that. Science Diet is not a good dog food and most here will say that.

I would feed my non thriving AB rescues a mix of homemade, plus something called Prozyme and The Missing Link. You most likely need to get more enzymes into him. Is he holding his weight?

Edited by author Wed Nov 14, '12 9:09pm PST

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Atlas

I'm a hot mess.
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 14, '12 11:08pm PST 
I would absolutely adore any and all suggestions regarding his diet. And trust me, he's given me quite a few heart attacks as well. Especially when the skin problems, ear problem, and legs problems all started happening to such a young dog. Really, it was kind of a relief to read that the skin ear is likely the same cause, and something as treatable as allergies. So many question marks was making my head spin.

And then there was his fear of stairs... he's very food motivated, but I could set a full sub sandwich in front of him but down a step or two on the staircase, and he wouldn't make a move for it. Eventually it took two adults, one pulling on a leash and one pushing his butt, leading him up and down stairs multiple times with lots of praise and rewards before he finally accepted they weren't death traps.

I would say that perhaps food suggestions should go in another thread, but I think it would be easier to keep any and all "Atlas Updates" in one place, for those following along.

Edit: As for his weight, he holds it very well, as best as I can tell, at 105 lbs. I know males can really vary and get rather large, but the vet believes his weight is healthy and he look fully fleshed out. I've noticed he produces a bit more oil than our last AB, or our other short haired dogs we've had- just enough that after scrubbing his back, you can feel the slightest residue, which I usually associate with longer haired dogs.

Edited by author Wed Nov 14, '12 11:11pm PST

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