|Barked: Wed Feb 11, '15 6:26pm PST |
|Oh for cripe's sake, you're just spilling out this gooberfied generic bull everywhere now, aren't you Jasper?
First, Malinois are NOT known for dog aggression, and NOT generally human aggressive in the genetic sense. They are what I would call a "limited window" breed... you gotta get in there and socialize the crap out of them within their crucial socialization periods, else you're going to have a big problem on your hands.
Which is why the advise of "get him out and socialize him" is terrible, sappy advise. The time to "socialize" is over, it ended around 14 months of age after his final fear impact period. Whatever went wrong during that time, the damage is done... just getting him out and "socializing" him wont do a darn thing, save for maybe make things WORSE if his handling is poor.
No, now is the time for modification. Not "socializing", not "training", someone needs to get into this dog's headspace and change how he feels about his world, else he's going to need to get out of the situation he's in and go into the hands of someone capable of giving him a better environment.
The kids are a big deal here. He's bitten you, he growls and retreats from your children. This is BAD, and this can escalate. Kids are a huge variable in these sort of issues, as kids are highly unpredictable... especially when its your own kids. I know most people don't believe that, but BECAUSE they are living every day in the house with the dog, interacting with him (regardless of how on the razor's edge those interactions may be), people build up this false sense of security. They feel their kids just somehow "know" how to deal with the dog because they've been with them for long enough to understand what does and does not trigger something from him... which is a false assumption. Kids don't know how to read a dog, even kids that are GREAT and well behaved around them, cannot possibly understand the very intricate and complex signals that dogs give off. Heck, most ADULT humans don't get them either! So having him acting this way around your kids is a big deal. He is uncomfortable around them, and that needs to change. You can't just get rid of your kids, so you're going to have to do 4 years worth of counter-conditioning to get somewhere here, but this needs to be addressed first and foremost.
As some other notes:
The more I leash correct the more he goes out of control, pinch collar works when he's in a calmer state, but gets worse as he intensifies.
What you are essentially doing, is building drive in the dog by doing this. You are agitating him, which is amping him up and making things escalate. Jasper said chokes, prongs, and e-collars don't work... this is false. They do not work when they are used improperly, and this is a perfect example of that. If you're going to correct the dog, it needs to mean something. I'm not trying to say you need to get tough on the dog, "mean something" doesn't mean you spin him around like a helicopter or give yourself whiplash yanking his throat back. What it DOES mean, is you have to find at what threshold he is able to take a correction without shutting down, but that isn't minor enough that its going to build up frustration and start amping up his drive. Your timing also needs to be perfect. Not "kinda ok", perfect. This is why its better to not take on these sort of issues yourself... MOST people do not have perfect timing when correcting a dog, and this leads to many other issues. You cannot correct him once he's already started reacting, and you have to be the one who's eye is sharp enough to catch him before he does- not easy to do, and most people don't truly understand where a reaction starts. You get in there and correct WELL before the dog makes a peep, before a single hair on his back bristles... you correct the second the dog's brain quantifies that there's another dog in the area that he's going to react to. He's hardwired himself to react, to the point that he no longer knows of any other way to be around other dogs. You stop it before it happens, and you give yourself a very tiny (but very crucial) window of opportunity to get in there and start building other behaviors that are more appropriate. At that point, you are literally putting your foot in the door, just long enough to keep it from slamming shut, so that you can open it up again and walk through with whatever you're going to do to resolve the problem permanently. This isn't an easy thing to do- I don't honestly recommend you try doing it on your own, but its food for thought.
Either find yourself a top-flight behaviorist (not a "dog trainer", you're looking for a degree in animal behavior) to help, OR someone in the breed, who know's these dogs like they know themselves, and are accomplished enough to prove that and take the dog.
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