|Barked: Sun Nov 25, '12 7:16am PST |
|Holy cow... I would be biting you too!
First and foremost, you need to remove his triggers. If he's resource guarding toys, he should not have any access to toys at this point. If food is a problem, feed him from hand, or in a crate or safe room where he can be alone. These are temporary measures - the goal is to live WITH your dog, not around him, but they are necessary at this point both for your safety and to stop his behavior from escalating.
Second, you need stop all alpha rolling, "forcing him to submit," muzzle-grabbing, neck punching, use of shock collars, and any and all other physical, painful, adversive methods your "trainer" has introduced - IMMEDIATELY. Your dog is traumatized. He is living in a world of fear and uncertainty. HE IS NOT BEING DOMINANT. I can't say it loud enough or often enough. He was rescued, abused, attacked, and is now trying to find his place in your chaotic world. Teaching him that you bring fear and pain is flying in the face of everything you want to accomplish.
You need to find a new, positive trainer ASAP. I am literally shaking with anger over what your current trainer has done to you - it's just wrong. cpdt.org is a good place to start looking. There is no regulated standard to call yourself a dog trainer - anyone can - but CPDT offers a good independent standard. If you can, it wouldn't hurt to work with a veterinary behaviorist - not a trainer who calls themself a behaviorist, but an actual veterinary college graduate certified in canine behavior.
Given the circumstances, everything he's doing sounds completely normal. Specific behavioral advice is difficult to give over the internet, but there are some other general things that will help you.
First is to research your breed. Getting a dog because you love their look on sight is almost always a mistake. Huskies ARE mouthy. The sled team I've been running with uses airline cable training lines so the dogs don't bite through them while they're being harnessed. I had to teach my first Husky not to grab my car seat belts when he was frustrated. Your descriptions of his "random attacks" sound more like this than true aggression. If he were truly looking to harm you, you wouldn't be sitting on Dogster looking for advice. It's totally fixable with some basic training - and one of the things that will continue to escalate as long as you use physical methods with him.
Teach the trading game. Let him have a toy that is of little interest to him, and at your discretion, offer a bit of food that is much better, take the toy of little interest and let him have the bit of food. When you've built his trust in you, you can work your way up to higher value items. The gist of it is to teach that his favorite things come from you and your approach means GOOD things, not that his favorite things are now in danger of being taken from him when you're near. Mine! by Jean Donaldson is excellent reading for resource-guarding dogs.
Stabilize your environment, or failing that, try to stabilize his. Your post makes your home sound chaotic and without routine - which is great, I live that way too - but it sucks for a new rescue. I've gone out of my way to provide stability for insecure dogs, including setting up a room or area in a room that is closed off, secure, and they can retreat to if they're feeling overwhelmed. If I know things are about to get crazy and they won't handle it well, I just put them there from the start. Better to chill alone and maybe be kinda bored than get totally overwhelmed and backslide in rehab.
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