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Update on leash aggression issue...and it's GREAT news!!!

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Dodger Doodlenski

Are we gonna- learn something- new yet?
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 17, '05 9:04pm PST 
My mom is soooo proud of me. I've been working really really hard and except for one problem today that mom corrected me for i've been doing really good. It's even gotten to a point where there's been 3 times i've seen another dog before mom and sat down on my own and refused to get up. Even better then that though.....me and mom were in Petco today and we were walking down the main isle and passed by a chocolate lab who started to growl at me....only about 4 feet away from me and I just totally ignored him! I didn't even look at him!!! Mom was so proud of me for that since not too long ago if I was in the same situation I would have responded. The one problem that she corrected me for was not entirely my fault.
See what happened was this.....we were waiting with two other people to cross a street and a guy was coming towards us with his dog. His dog saw me and started walking with its head raised, legs straight, tail up and growling a bit. Mom told the guy if he could not control his dog not to come any closer because I don't always get along with dogs acting like his was. He told her that his dog gets along great with other dogs and that it just wanted to say "hi" and then it would be fine. Well mom kept me on her right side where I usually am and when the dog got about a half inch away from my face it snapped at me.....needless to say I snapped back. Mom was not happy about that and corrected me. Then because I was still upset after the guy and two other people pulled his dog away I was still trying to go after it so mom corrected me again and this time I listened and settled back into place. I don't know if the other dog was after me or my mom but either way I hope we never see that dog again. So like I said it was not entirely my fault but I know mom was right too correct me for my behaviour.
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Dodger Doodlenski

Are we gonna- learn something- new yet?
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 17, '05 9:15pm PST 
Dodgers' mom here: I know she still has a very long way to go. However I have hope for her since she has been doing so good. I just hope what happened with that dog today doesn't cause a major set back with her training. About 10 minutes later we saw another guy with a little dog and the dog wanted to say "hi" to her and was inviting her to play. Since she did not have her vest on I decided to let her say "hi" since both dogs were leashed and she was sitting quietly while I spoke to the other dogs owner. I warned him that she does not always get along with other dogs when she is on a leash and that I was working with her on it and he said "Great then maybe this will help both of them because my dog is the same way." Well both dogs got along great with each other....neither one showed any signs of being even remotely upset. They just ran around playing in the space provided by their leashes. I am still concerned about a possible set back with what happened with the other dog though. Any ideas? I have had a previous " run in" with the same dog before when I had both dogs with me and the dog had the same reaction to my dogs....except that time the dog came charging out of its yard at my dogs who were both leashed and across the street from it. I have avoided that corner ever since but this time we were closer to our house (right down the street) so I know it was not just a territory issue. It is a medium size shepard or shepard mix dog.
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Sabrina- 2000~2012

To break- injustice we- must break- silence
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 17, '05 11:46pm PST 
Yeah! Isn't it wonderful when it finally starts to get better? Last weekend Sabrina actually played with neew doggies that she hadn't met prior to being attacked. I was sooooo happy!

What really helped us get over being upset at dogs barking and snapping is that we took a "Growly Dog" class for dog agressive dogs. We already had the auto watch down and everything before starting the class, so for us the entire class was a way to practice behaving around dog agressive dogs. I am so happy we had that practice!

And I wouldn't worry too much about the setback... While we were at lunch with Snowy another doggy came onto the patio who wasn't nice... I was really worried it might cause a setback with Sabrina but she was fine for the rest of the day and the next day she even met and played with a new doggy. So you are probably fine! Keep up the good work!
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Lily CGC- 2001-2014

Enjoying- Retirement
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 18, '05 3:12pm PST 
It is good when they start getting better. I now know what dogs set lily off and to watch her when around them. She used to have problems with just about every dog she met. It took her months before she was ok with some dogs approuching her while she's leashed. Even her former trainers said she seems alot better than when they first met her. She does much better if she meets them off leash. She now also has learned to ignore. She just doesn't like to be nose to nose with another dog on her leash. She was attacked by the neighbor's GSD the same week I got her. It wasn't even her fault.
Maybe it has something to do with that particular dog or your dog has a size preference or breed. Lily recently made good friends with 2 strange labs at an open house/party at a dog training school. Now she is going to learn very fast that she has to be nice to small dogs. We will starting watching a westie/poodle (guess mix is unknown) tomorrow during the day 5 days a week. She is going to behave! I'll have the citronella ready just in case she decides to be a brat. She has one of those remote control citronella collars that is used occasionally for such misbehavour when she's not working. When she is loose she's nice to others as long as they're nice to her. It also helps if owners would keep their dogs undercontrol and away while she's working.
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Dodger Doodlenski

Are we gonna- learn something- new yet?
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 18, '05 7:42pm PST 
in terms of size Dodger gets along with any dog. In terms of breed though.....she seems to have a problem with sled dog breeds and German Shepards. She herself is half Samoyed(sled dog breed) and half German Shepard so I would think she would get along with those two types of dogs. She does get along good with some as long as they are willing to let her be the leader.If they are not willing to do that then I have to watch her. We had her at the off leash dog park in a nearby city one day and a husky was there....I was watching Dodger and the husky came over acting dominant.....Husky started growling and snarling and Dodger....she reacted and I immediately corrected her....the huskys' owner was not even near it, they were all the way on the other side of the park and never even corrected the husky who was the one that started the whole thing and yet I was told if Dodger was going to behave like that I should not have her there because it is not safe.....perfectly understandable however we had been there for a few hours with no problem with any of the other dogs and Dodger wasn't even the one that started it the husky did....Dodger was just defending herself. I took her aside and had her "cool off" for a few minutes and she was fine after that, did not have any other problems that day.
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Sabrina- 2000~2012

To break- injustice we- must break- silence
 
 
Barked: Mon Dec 19, '05 7:13am PST 
Dodger, you're not going to like to hear this, but maybe dog parks aren't the best place for you. And I'm only saying this because I have personal experience very similar to yours and it caused a year of intense training and I almost had to retire Sabrina.

We used to go to the dog park all the time no problem. However, Sabrina was often attacked, usually by smaller dogs, with results similar to what you described. Basically a dog would attack Sabrina, Sabrina would defend herslef and not back down. Usually in my situation, though, the attacker's owner would get mad cuz Sabrina is a pit! Nothing ever came of those fights... they were stopped very quickly by myself, no blood was ever drawn (all bite inhibition etc), I just was extra vigilant about recalls and making sure Sabrina wasn't in a situation near a dog that I thought might initate an altercation. This wasn't enough. We were at the park and she was attacked by a Basenji who did not use bite inhibition. Sabrina still didn't leave a mark on him, but she ended up with a big gash across her face where there is still a scar today, over a year later.

This incident caused her to have extreme dog fear-agression. After that fight, every dog she saw she would posture and if the dog didn't do a submissive posture she would attack. It was an attack-first lest you be harmed type of mindset. Of course, we never went back to the dog park after the Basenji attack so this was all on leash and so controlled. But the point is that I have spent the last year working every single day on this. I thought I would have to retire her. I still can't go to places with lots of dogs around and have her be working because she is too distracted worrying about weather the other dogs are going to attack her. We've been to growly dog classes, we've done everything. Finally last weekend she played with a new dog for the first time since the attack. It was so great, but I now know I will never ever take her to the dog park again.

This is how I see it... I (and you!) are being a responsible dog owner by avoiding conflict and correcting conflict immediately. Not all people at the dog park are like this. Therefore, if one of their dogs attacks yours, you know that your dog will not back down (again, this is normal doggy pack dynamics, nothing to be ashamed of) and a fight will result. Even though you might break up the fight immediately or even call your pup over, your dog still has a psychological result of that encounter. There may not have been a phsycial one, but your dog is still learning about other dogs and might start to associate fights with other dogs. In my opinion, having a dog who will defend themself when attacked is setting them up for failure instead of success at the dog park. It doesn't matter in my opinion how many successful times there are at the dog park. All it takes is once for it to escalate and then you have a super severe behavioral issue (and maybe even phsycial wounds) to deal with. It is not worth it in my opinion, espeically since I rely so much on Sabrina.

You've come so far in leash agression, and I'd hate to see it all reversed by some incident at the dog park like it was for Sabrina.

This is just my opinion, and of course you can continue to do what you feel is best for your dogs... I'm just saying that I don't feel the risk is worth it. Too many people don't control their dogs at the dog park and serious things can happen as a result. I'd hate to see that happen to Dodger.

And the other issue is that if there were a fight and Dodger injured or killed another dog (god forbid), you risk Dodger being put to sleep or being ordered to wear a muzzle or something like that for the rest of her life. Just not worth it in my opinion.

(and it is completely OK if you are really mad at me right now. I was sooooo mad at the people who told me this about Sabrina... I literally almost felt hatred toward some of them! I read some articles online even and considered writing angry letters to the authors saying that they were wrong! So it's fine to be upset with me, just think about it some more when you're in a calm state of mind. You might also read in the training section of the forum someone's post about mounting behavior at the OLA.)
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Sabrina- 2000~2012

To break- injustice we- must break- silence
 
 
Barked: Mon Dec 19, '05 7:24am PST 
Wanted to add that I have proof that some pretty nutty people go to dog parks!!!

I was in a Rally-O class with a bunch of other dog-agressive dogs a few months ago. One of the people with a dog agressive dog takes her dog to the dog park (Point Isabel, for those of you around here) that is probably one of the most crowded ones I've ever seen in my entire life. I've been there when there are probably over 200 dogs there at one time. Anyway, this lady goes every day to this crowded dog park with her dog. Her brilliant solution is to yell at other dog owners to keep their dogs away from her dog! She insists it is fine because her dog doesn't attack Border Collies, so obviously her dog is not dog-agressive. This is the type of person that has the potential to ruin Dodger as a service dog for you. Thank god I never encoutered her at the dog park, but I can only imagine with the agression her dog showed in class towards Sabrina what the outcome would be if they met off leash in a dog park.

There are many many people like this who go to the dog park with obviously dog agressive dogs. These are the people that have the potential to set you back tremendously in your training.
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SHADOW,- Certified- Service Dog

BORN TO SERVE
 
 
Barked: Mon Dec 19, '05 9:25am PST 
We were told in our first class at the Service Dog School that we are NEVER to take our Service Dogs to a Dog Park... They said it can cause problems like what happened to you. It can set back the training or cause an early retirement of being a Service Dog. We never went to one anyone anyways because they're over 20 miles away. I live in the country and don't have many pooches on our street. We have 2 small ones across from us (both are royal PIA's) and the other 2 that are close to us are in a big fenced yard. I get plenty of excercise in my yard.. About 1/4 acre of pure fun. Our front area isn't fenced and I know my boundries. I run, run, run all over the place and never leave the yard. I go to the berm and do about face and head to the back.. run around the orange trees... go to the edge of the driveway and turn really fast and go back the other way. Mom calls me a jack in the box... It's like I'm all wound up and she lets go of the handle and I explode...
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Dodger Doodlenski

Are we gonna- learn something- new yet?
 
 
Barked: Mon Dec 19, '05 11:49am PST 
Ok First things first....Sabrinas' mom I am NOT in the least bit mad at you. You brought up some very good and valide(sp?) points. Secondly....where could I take Dodger to run off leash? There is a set of baseball fields near where we live but everytime I go there with the dogs people tell me there's not supposed to be dogs on the fields....only signs posted all say "No dog fouling" which even the police said does not mean " No dogs allowed". Our back yard is a) very very small and b) Not fenced on all sides...although Dodger is really good at recalls I can not trust her 100% of the time to listen if she sees another dog. At the same time though she needs to be able to run off extra energy in a safe place that will not cause her to be injured or have to be retired early. I live in a city and there really aren't very many places I can take her off leash so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated and welcomed.
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"PR" Kellys' Little Rocket(RIP

Did you kick- that rock for- me?
 
 
Barked: Mon Dec 19, '05 11:54am PST 
after our last time at the dog park I started thinking about not going there anymore anyways. Someone came in with a German Shepard that was barking at any dog that went anywhere near it. Was not at all interested in playing with the other dogs.....It almost caused a problem with another dog and my poor little Rocket was caught in the middle cause he had been playing with the other dog. He thankfully did not get hurt but got bowled over by the two bigger dogs when the Shepard went after the other dog. I would hate to see either of my babies get hurt either at that dog park or anywhere else. Would rather bring them someplace where they can run and play off leash just the two of them.
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