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dog aggressive Great Dane - MMOB?

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  • dog aggressive Great Dane - MMOB?

    Have a friend - a gal who is retired - lives up here in the summer, and is en route to FL for the winter.

    She has always had Great Danes. Her family showed them when she was young, and she's always had one since. Lost her last older one last summer. Got a female puppy, took it to FL - everything fine over the winter. Walks, went to dog parks, she was great.

    Returned up here this summer, and suddenly the dog started going after other dogs.

    She has been beside herself - is a small person, so this isn't something she can handle on her own. Walked, went everywhere with the dog. She was taking her to a trainer this summer who was working with her quite a bit. A woman who just moved up here from NYC. Otherwise the dog stayed with my friend, but her routine of walking her several times a day just couldn't be done.

    I don't have many details other than the dog will not leave other dogs alone - she'll tear across the road to go after one. My friend has a hard time talking about it. She's a very nice woman - and her Danes have always been her constant companions. But the dog didn't improve enough to head south with my friend. So she has left her with the trainer for the winter.

    Asked her if she tried talking to the breeder. Evidently the breeder won't do anything.

    The trainer told my friend she shouldn't visit the dog before she left, because the dog will get upset if she sees her. I have her meds. After two days finally heard from the trainer that she got my message to set up an appointment to drop them off. Told her I also wanted to see her, and she reluctantly agreed, although mentioned that 9-10 in the morning was early for them to allow the house dogs out? I'm seeing her on Monday.

    I have googled this trainer, and the only thing I've seen about her is that she takes in severely undesirable dogs unwanted elsewhere. For instance, a dog the Courts wanted to destroy in another state, was spared to be sent to this woman. She runs a rescue up here now where she has moved, the location being donated to her.

    I just got a butt call from the trainer. After I picked up, I could hear the woman yelling at this particular dog to shut up. The dog was yelping in the background. Not a hurt kind of yelp, but a let me out kind. Trainer yelled again for her to be quiet. Phone disconnected. Not like we don't all yell at our dogs...

    But talk about feeling like it was a sign... I'm torn about calling my friend. She has been upset all summer about the dog. But changed the subject every time her dog was brought up by anyone. Wondering if I should e-mail her, but I don't want her to feel worse. She is visiting her daughter and grandchildren several hours towards FL.

    I also googled aggressiveness in Great Danes, and guess it can be an issue in some lines.

    If it was my dog, I would have first found someone in the breed to discuss options/get training - not necessarily someone who takes in overall aggressive dogs.

    I know the dog, and she is fine with people. But I'm worried she'll only get worse with the others kept there. Then again, she's not my dog.

    Would appreciate any advice, especially from those who have experience with Danes. I'd offer to keep her for now, and even work with her in the meantime, but understand she will possibly go after cats, and I have a lovely one. Let alone I'm not sure how she'll be if I'm out. My wolfhound was a couch potato.
    But he thought, "This procession has got to go on." So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn't there at all. H.C.Anderson

  • #2
    My first suggestion with any major personality change is to get a vet check, including a full blood panel with thyroid test. A low thyroid can cause aggression.

    But I would tell friend what you've heard/observed. Also google trainer's name.

    Comment


    • #3
      Can you just drop by unannounced for a visit? There are some really sketchy aggressive dog trainers out there...I would say or do something.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'd have to know more- is this actually aggression, or reactivity, or just over-exuberant rude play behavior?

        but bottom line any dog can be trained to stay with their owner on a leash despite the presence of nearby dogs. Suggest reading "control unleashed" about the Look at that game- I know quite a few reactive/aggressive dogs who learned how to behave around other dogs via this simple game.
        Many places offer special "rowdy dog" or "reactive dog" or "problem dog" classes in order to deal with these kind of problems.

        A prong collar, or even one of those head-halter things, might be necessary to allow a small person to control a big dog, and adding a muzzle for safety during the re-training period won't hurt. Danes tend to be fairly thin-skinned and thin-furred and rather soft, so an excellent desire to not pull into the prong collar tends to develop rapidly and even a slight person can keep one from bolting off after another dog or a squirrel.

        -don't know about the particular trainer, obviously, but I'm not a fan of dogs being "sent away" for training. A lot of how a dog behaves has to do with their relationship with the person working them; so the dog might learn to behave with the trainer, but that doesn't mean the dog will behave ok for the owner after the owner gets the dog back. The owner needs to be the one doing the bulk of the work, under guidance of course.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
          Can you just drop by unannounced for a visit? There are some really sketchy aggressive dog trainers out there...I would say or do something.
          Tend to agree, and sorry to generalize, but we see it so often here - city people becoming animal experts up here in the country where we're all rednecks. But the trainer's location is even more remote than my place. About the only reason you'd be out there, would be to go there. Although, maybe I can just drop by with the meds sooner, because Monday doesn't work...

          Originally posted by jetsmom View Post
          My first suggestion with any major personality change is to get a vet check, including a full blood panel with thyroid test. A low thyroid can cause aggression.

          But I would tell friend what you've heard/observed. Also google trainer's name.
          Good suggestion about the thyroid test.
          I did google her. She was in the paper for taking a dog the Courts would have otherwise had destroyed.

          Originally posted by wendy View Post
          don't know about the particular trainer, obviously, but I'm not a fan of dogs being "sent away" for training. A lot of how a dog behaves has to do with their relationship with the person working them; so the dog might learn to behave with the trainer, but that doesn't mean the dog will behave ok for the owner after the owner gets the dog back. The owner needs to be the one doing the bulk of the work, under guidance of course.
          Wholeheartedly agree with this, and did suggest it to my friend, but the summer was almost gone. Think she's impressed with this trainer otherwise.

          Love the suggestions, as if I do e-mail her, I can add in alternatives. Hoping to hear more.
          But he thought, "This procession has got to go on." So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn't there at all. H.C.Anderson

          Comment


          • #6
            Is the dog spayed? If not thats the first thing that needs to happen.
            --Luck is what happens when preparedness meets opportunity--

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Justmyluck View Post
              Is the dog spayed? If not thats the first thing that needs to happen.
              Spaying can actually increase aggression in bitches. I would aggressively pursue some diagnostics before I would attempt to focus on behaviour modification. Looking for pain and doing some thyroid tests would be my first stop. Are you familiar with Dr. Jean Dodds? I would follow her protocol. Maybe it is genetic. The breeder's response isn't the mark of a responsible breeder either, but I would certainly want to explore possible medical issues first.

              OP, do you have any dog training experience? Would you have the set up to take the dog and/or would you want to? I'm just wondering if you would be up to try her with you for a couple months providing your answer is yes to all of the above and her owner is on board.

              Seems to me something is up with this "trainer." I see a number of red flags. While the phone call was only a brief snap shot in time, her dodginess over you coming out to drop off meds would make me highly uncomfortable.

              You asked if you should tell your friend. I'm in the heck yes camp. I think you also need to gently talk to her about the dog in general. I might be really off base here, but it seems like she's so distressed by her "failure" that she's chosen to bury her head in the sand regarding all things Dane related. It's very common for owners to feel at fault when their dogs are struggling, but her coping mechanisms are doing a disservice to her dog. There is no shame in having a difficult dog and I would be willing to bet her dog would do much better living with her while working with a competent trainer.

              It is quite easy to change a dog's perception of other dogs playing look at that while working under threshold. That doesn't mean the problem is solved, but it really helps prevent dogs from "locking on" to other dogs, which then quickly escalates to charging. It can provide an alternative to that destructive fixed action pattern. Besides look at that, BAT works fairly well if carried out under threshold. It's more difficult for the human to learn than LAT is, but it's very helpful.

              I am very tiny, probably smaller than her. I fully understand what it's like to walk dogs that weigh more than I do, but I wonder if she's become so nervous that she's passing all that tension and angst on to her dog. Tight leashes can be huge triggers for reactive dogs. Instead of a prong, why not use a Freedom Harness? It's a front clip, so she would have more control and any tension wouldn't be as jarring to the dog as a prong. I would also suggest a gentle leader at the same time. Buy a 10-12 foot leash. Clip one end to the harness, buy a carabiner and clip it to the other end of the leash and that end is clipped to the gentle leader. Then she can practise relying on the harness as the softer piece of equipment, but has that gentle leader there in the event she needs it. I wonder if she can be more relaxed if she builds the skills needed to handle her pup, but also knows she has the equipment needed to prevent her dog from taking off if she's made a mistake and let the dog go over threshold. I admit I'm reading a lot into what you've written, but just passing on some suggestions based on very common human reactions to issues like this.

              Comment


              • #8
                CV-you know the owner, does she want to know this or would you just be causing her more worry? If she knows this and it worries her, will she do something about it?

                I would definitely do the meds as a random drop in (oh sorry not to call first, I just happened to be here!) and scope it out *IF* you want to pursue informing the owner and being the contact point.

                Spayed, collars, ect: none of that matters if the owner doesn't want to move the dog.
                “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Justmyluck - I don't know either way. Because she is only a companion animal, I'm guessing that she is spayed, but honestly not sure.

                  Originally posted by ChickenLittle View Post
                  Are you familiar with Dr. Jean Dodds? I would follow her protocol.
                  I am not, but will look her up.

                  It's very common for owners to feel at fault when their dogs are struggling, but her coping mechanisms are doing a disservice to her dog.
                  I think this is a very valid observation. We are near a resort area, and you know how it is living near one - people want everything to be just fine - do golf, go to the theatre, eat out in the evening - and be totally optimistic. I myself am optimistic, but also a problem solver and realist. Have others in the family who have a hard time talking about tough issues. And this friend has become friends with several in my family, even though we're scattered. I don't think she wants to face what might be - but she may have done more than I realize.

                  There is no shame in having a difficult dog and I would be willing to bet her dog would do much better living with her while working with a competent trainer.
                  Absolutely agree, but she's already half way to Florida - will be staying in the Carolinas for a couple of weeks. Then goes to The Keys where she stays until late spring.

                  OP, do you have any dog training experience? Would you have the set up to take the dog and/or would you want to? I'm just wondering if you would be up to try her with you for a couple months providing your answer is yes to all of the above and her owner is on board.
                  All I've done is taken basic obedience when I first got into Labs. But I raised, showed and had 3 litters over 20 years. Highly encouraged anyone to take a course right off the bat. But of course, you know a lab will do almost anything you ask if you start off that way.

                  Just lost my lovely Irish Wolfhound. Got her at 5, she had no obedience training, was pretty assertive, found a trainer who knew the breed, did some one on one with her, trained her with just a cloth choke collar - and that, and time turned her into a lovely dog.

                  I am concerned about having the dog at my house, because of my indoor cat. Although certainly used to large dogs. Also not sure about keeping her as long as my friend is in FL.

                  It is quite easy to change a dog's perception of other dogs playing look at that while working under threshold. That doesn't mean the problem is solved, but it really helps prevent dogs from "locking on" to other dogs, which then quickly escalates to charging. It can provide an alternative to that destructive fixed action pattern. Besides look at that, BAT works fairly well if carried out under threshold. It's more difficult for the human to learn than LAT is, but it's very helpful.
                  Not sure I understand the BAT and LAT. Except (don't groan everyone ) but watching Cesar Millan, I've noted a lot of what he does with difficult dogs is basically distract them - the touch to the side the second they are showing an unacceptable behavior. And have them respect your leadership. Makes sense to me. Although I know there is certainly more to it than watching him.

                  I am very tiny, probably smaller than her. I fully understand what it's like to walk dogs that weigh more than I do, but I wonder if she's become so nervous that she's passing all that tension and angst on to her dog.
                  I don't know that she is entirely. Although small (believe she's under 5') she's a pretty assertive gal. Except, perhaps, the getting older, with a big puppy. And she is certainly cognizant of not wanting anyone to be hurt as a result of her dog.

                  Which is why I believe she has left her with this gal.

                  My difference, and I did this with my horse, if I don't find who I need in the immediate area - and we are out in the middle of nowhere - about 50-70 miles to 3 different cities - I go to wherever it is I need to until I can find the right solution.


                  In the meantime, I have googled this trainer some more, and discovered a bit more. She has a very impressive history - a lifetime of volunteer and animal service in NYC. A true advocate. Although I also found a detrimental letter to the editor directed at some lack of professionalism and organization in an animal rescue issue in NYC when one of their organizations was revamped. So she is not without detractors.

                  Although I haven't seen a resume, nor mentions in any discussion by/of her online, of any professional training or organized methods insofar as her work with problem dogs is concerned. Nothing on her website other than the years of experience. Found another mention of a dog she took in that did fatally injure a youngster years ago. Of course experience means something, but some people can work for years at anything (horses? ) and not be the kind of expert I'd care for.

                  If this was my dog, which it's not, based on what I've found, I wouldn't send her there. It's not like she's staying with a pack of balanced dogs either. Sounds like perhaps she keeps individuals this dog could only pick up worse behavior from.

                  What tipped me off to be concerned in the first place, was my friend not looking into one on one work - or rather her doing the class with the dog. And this trainer not insisting on it.

                  Which is also why I'd like to know more about aggression in Great Danes, and if any are familiar with the breed, and its propensities to be that way.
                  Last edited by CVPeg; Nov. 21, 2013, 07:21 PM. Reason: clarification
                  But he thought, "This procession has got to go on." So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn't there at all. H.C.Anderson

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ChickenLittle View Post
                    Spaying can actually increase aggression in bitches.
                    Excuse me what is your source for this statement? Hormones including estrogen and testosterone can cause fluctuation in moods and thus cause aggression in animals. Hormones drive pack behavior and the need for competition between animals due to reproductive opportunities. No reproductive organ, no hormones thus less aggression. Ive heard of several papers on the myths behind spaying and your statement takes the cake.

                    Mares in heat due to increased estrogen can become aggressive. Humans get massive mood swings. What makes you think dogs are so different?
                    --Luck is what happens when preparedness meets opportunity--

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by cowboymom View Post
                      CV-you know the owner, does she want to know this or would you just be causing her more worry? If she knows this and it worries her, will she do something about it?

                      I would definitely do the meds as a random drop in (oh sorry not to call first, I just happened to be here!) and scope it out *IF* you want to pursue informing the owner and being the contact point.

                      Spayed, collars, ect: none of that matters if the owner doesn't want to move the dog.
                      I don't know that she wants to know the bad news. But she was so involved with her dogs, that it's hard to think she'd totally ignore a truly wrong situation.

                      One of the criticisms of this trainer from one who knew her in NYC, was her failure to be realistic with those leaving animals at shelters. So I can see her painting butterflies and rainbows to my friend.

                      Starting to think since she said mid Monday morning was just ok, that it would be nicer to just drop in and visit over the weekend...
                      If anything, maybe it will help MY peace of mind.
                      But he thought, "This procession has got to go on." So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn't there at all. H.C.Anderson

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by wendy View Post
                        A prong collar, or even one of those head-halter things, might be necessary to allow a small person to control a big dog, and adding a muzzle for safety during the re-training period won't hurt...

                        -don't know about the particular trainer, obviously, but I'm not a fan of dogs being "sent away" for training. A lot of how a dog behaves has to do with their relationship with the person working them; so the dog might learn to behave with the trainer, but that doesn't mean the dog will behave ok for the owner after the owner gets the dog back. The owner needs to be the one doing the bulk of the work, under guidance of course.
                        I agree.
                        "Oh, sure, you may be able to take down one smurf, but mark my words: You bonk one smurf, you better be ready for a blue wave."---Bucky Katt

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I adore Great Danes. They are my breed of choice.
                          I had to put my big boy to sleep in July because of osteosarcoma and just got a female puppy in September. He was such a love, but was dog aggressive. He loved our dogs, but others he would snap at. He was also incredibly fearful of other people other than my immediate family and boyfriend, to the point where he would become aggressive.
                          There was absolutely no care in his breeding. And since you are saying the breeder of your friend's Dane will not do anything and is not helping her at all--then I'd say there was probably not much care in the breeding of this Dane either.

                          You are correct when you say that aggression can be present in Great Danes. If proper socialization is not utilized at an early age--that can be a huge problem. BUT I do believe that for the most part bloodlines are an even bigger cause of aggressiveness.
                          My guy was very well socialized when he was a puppy. He went to my boyfriend's house with me all the time where his parents and their friends were, we went to the park, we went to dog parks, Petsmart, Petco, dog days at our local lake, etc. However as he grew older, he became more and more fearful of people (ESPECIALLY males), and he started to become aggressive with other dogs.

                          He wasn't to the point that it sounds like your friend's dog is. I was always in full control of him. I still took him to the park and lake and Petsmart, but I never had a problem with keeping him close by to me. He never tried to lunge or run after other dogs. I just made sure to walk far away from other dogs and told people he wasn't friendly. That did the trick most of the time. There were some stupid people, especially when we were at the vets, who thought that they and their dogs were exempt to the "he is not friendly, don't touch him" rule, but then I would just take him in the opposite direction and take him away from the situation. I also used a muzzle on him when he was at the vets, just in case.

                          ANYWAY, after that long post about my experiences... what I can say is that I don't think it is a good idea for her dog to be at this trainer's place. As a rule I believe it is always much more beneficial when the owner does one on one training with their own dog, with help from a professional. Just because the pro trainer might "rehab" the dog does not mean that the owner will then be able to get the same behavior. Just like those smart horses that know they can push a particular person around, but are then complete angels with someone who they know they cannot be bossy with.

                          Also, I know we all sometimes get frustrated and yell at our dogs. It just happens. But yelling at a dog who is in training for a behavior issue just doesn't seem like a good idea to me.

                          I would really suggest letting your friend know what is going on and what your gut feeling is telling you. I know for sure if this was my dog then I would absolutely want to know what was going on. And even if I was already on my way to Florida, I'd make the trip to retrieve my dog and find a reputable trainer in Florida that could help me and my dog.

                          I love the breed and have done a lot of research on them. I don't know everything obviously, but I do have a pretty good knowledge base of them I'd say. If you have any questions please let me know. I also have a lot of other Great Dane friends that would be more than happy to help answer questions if I don't know the answer. The puppy I just got in September was from a very well known, knowledgeable breeder/shower of Danes and I know she would not mind at all if I asked her a couple questions if need be.
                          http://www.youtube.com/user/NBChoice http://nbchoice.blogspot.com/
                          The New Banner's Choice- 1994 ASB Mare
                          Dennis The Menace Too- 1999 ASB Gelding
                          Dreamacres Sublime- 2008 ASB Gelding

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            What are your friend's goals for the dog? In other words, is she the type of person who wants to release the dog in a dog park and have her get along with every other dog? Is she just wanting to be able to walk her on a leash better?
                            If she wants the dog to get along with every other dog she encounters, then I think this is going to be tough. If she just wants the dog to be more under control on leash and not, for example, lunging at other dogs, then I think it might be more doable.
                            I am not a big fan of sending a dog away for training, but for a special circumstance like lunging at other dogs on walks, I think it can be helpful in some cases. Someone else who is less nervous can get the dog over the major hurdles. It is always a lot of work to maintain the gains the dog makes with the professional, though.
                            I don't think that there is anything wrong with voicing your concerns to your friend, but I'd also keep an open mind as long as you aren't seeing or hearing about actual abuse. There is no way to please everyone, so a few bad reviews here and there are not alarming to me.
                            I do think the whole thing about a dog that has fatally injured a person is a bit odd and I've never heard of a dog that was involved in a fatal attack being kept alive. However, the statement that:
                            She was in the paper for taking a dog the Courts would have otherwise had destroyed.
                            could mean a lot of things. Recently, there was a huge controversy about a yellow lab described here: http://blogs.riverfronttimes.com/dai...imon_salem.php. In that case there was some controversy about whether or not the dog bit or what, but just because a court would have destroyed a dog does not necessarily mean that the dog is dangerous.
                            I think the bottom line is that I don't think that there is anything wrong with bringing it up, but I'd also keep an open mind. If it could be arranged, you might enjoy visiting the trainer and the dog. Hopefully all is going well.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Well, I'm just rereading more articles. Looks like I goofed about the woman keeping a dog involved in a fatality, but an understandable error. She has the same name as the dog's owner! And the rescue group the dog was supposed to be given to was in NYC?!?!? I'm reading these clips from different newspaper articles. But there are photos, and this is not the same gal.

                              The other dog a court in another state wanted destroyed for causing injury, however, was sent to her. This is so bizarre...

                              However, this trainer is still the one who has run rescues, did get mentioned negatively in press over a NYC rescue group's internal disruption. Sigh. If I'm this confused, you all would be, so I'm not going to go on... Also, she has been involved in rescue since Adam.

                              NBChoice - thank you so much for your first person story. And not sure if you've followed any of mine, but I just lost my IW to osteo. So we have some camaraderie. As far as my friend - I wonder if in her past experience she's seen Great Dane aggression?

                              Casey09 - again my friend has held so much in, I can't really ID what's going on. But know her dogs have been so much a part of her life, that perhaps she can't see really being able to be happy with the dog if she has a constant worry.

                              Still don't get why to this place for training. And she is pretty straightforward in most instances. Will pay a visit soon.
                              Last edited by CVPeg; Nov. 22, 2013, 10:43 AM.
                              But he thought, "This procession has got to go on." So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn't there at all. H.C.Anderson

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                              • #16
                                Do not put this dog in a prong, shock, choke collar that would only make the problem worse. When you put a dog into one of those collars that is already dog reactive and then put pain into the mix that will only make the issue worse. I would look into getting a SENSE-sation harness for this dog. They are wonderful.

                                How old is the dog? It is not unusual for female dogs to hit two or three years old and suddenly not get along with other dogs.

                                I would say this lady needs to find a competent positive reinforcement trainer who has experiences with b-mod.
                                "No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world."
                                -Dead Poets Society

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Justmyluck View Post
                                  What makes you think dogs are so different?
                                  The behavioural study papers on dogs where researchers reported increased aggression in spayed female dogs ... it's been awhile ... as I recall the dogs in the study were spayed early, including some paediatric spays (ie not looking at intact females that had been recently spayed).

                                  There is aggression observed in intact females, especially german shepherd owners/breeders report some to the death fights BUT these are within a pack not random aggression displayed to strange dogs; note that this sort of aggression has also been reported for spayed females within a pack.

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                                  • #18
                                    After our first dane had to be put down, we adopted another that was one year old. Good lord he is night and day different than our previous girl!!! He is EXTREMELY high energy (we did not know that danes came in this variety...), a bit slow to learn things, hard on everything due to size, has separation anxiety (destroys dog beds when left alone or thinks he is left alone so has to be crated in these circumstances), and has doggy acne.

                                    His most frustrating quality? Trying to take him on walks. Below are the problems that I have had to deal with and am finally making some decent headway:
                                    - Lunged at dogs while on walks and barked viciously
                                    - Lunged at dogs in fenced yards and barked viciously
                                    - Lunged at birds, squirrels, cats... leaves (being a little sarcastic on the last one)
                                    - Pulled constantly (actually cut his nose on a gentle leader from pulling so much)
                                    - Pulled harder when he saw people because he wanted them to pet him
                                    - Barked at some people that he found 'threatening'
                                    - Had trouble paying attention for more than 1 second. I would correct him and 1 second later we would do the same stinking thing over and over again.


                                    For one, I am not a slight thing and as such am capable of fixing the problems because he can't get away from me (unless the leash 'emergency releases' him but that is a story for another day...). He has gone from completely stopped to lunging at full speed a couple of times but with my size, fitness, and horse experience I have been able to hang on. After those few times, he has not done that again. If I had not been able to hang on? I am sure he would still be doing that.

                                    What is working? When it is just me and him, I use a gentle leader and every stinking time he pulls we turn around and go the other direction. One walk our total net positive distance traveled was 1 block in 30 minutes. Seriously. We still have to turn around a lot and sometimes we just come to an abrupt halt because I am tired of turning around. When it is the baby jogger with me and him, he has a prong collar on and the gentle leader. Every time he pulls we either turn around or forcibly stop. However, whenever we come across something exciting the whole process starts over again with turning around over and over and over again to get him to stop pulling.... I am pretty sure people think I am an idiot but whatever.

                                    Now for lunging at passing dogs, with more and more walks this has gotten to the point where he stares at them and pulls towards them (HUGE improvement to the ferocious beast he was before). I had to be extremely firm with him to get him to stop lunging and barking... He got in LOTS of trouble... leash corrections, yelled at, etc... to get to where we are. Now if he will not stop obsessing about a dog on a leash or something, I take the leash attached to the gentle leader and pull straight up. ETA: I release as soon as he does. Otherwise, it was not uncomfortable enough for him to quit pulling and turn towards me, granted I have to do this over and over and over again. Sigh... I sound so mean... I really did try lots of 'nice' training methods without any improvement. Clicker training did not do crap with him.

                                    Now if I was not of a size/fitness that could handle his size, he would either not get walked or would have to be rehomed. With your friend being petite, she may not be able to handle this dog. IMO, behaviors never completely go away and can come back what may seem randomly years later. If her dog lunges at something, can she hang on? If not, this may not work out...

                                    Hoping for the best with your friend and this dog!
                                    Last edited by TheHotSensitiveType; Nov. 22, 2013, 12:24 PM. Reason: Added into

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                                    • #19
                                      Maybe a running W would be handy!
                                      “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

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                                      • #20
                                        You have an uneasy feeling about the trainer. Trust it. Drop in!

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