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Categories: Pack Structure

Q. Our mixed breed 7 month old dog attacks our coats and shoes when we are out in the yard. He lunges and won’t let go. Please help us.
Please help me! My husband and I have consulted our trainer who has suggested things that just don't work and I have yet to find an answer that really relates to our problem. We have a 7 month old Boxer mix (we think--we adopted him from a shelter at 2 months). He is such a good dog! He has been in obedience classes since he was about 4 months old and does amazing everywhere but in our backyard. Even then the only issue (but a big issue) is that he will attack our coats and shoes when we are down in the yard. This doesn't happen all the time and it seems random. I know it's not but I can't figure out what the problem is. When he crouches down in pouncing position, I immediately correct him with a "ah ah ah" sound in a low voice. That does not stop him. He lunges and he will not let go. I tell him "drop it" and "no" (commands he usually listens to), but nothing stops him. We have to grab his collar and pull him into the house or on the deck where he becomes calm again. It is so strange. Please help us!

A. I would not allow him anywhere off leash, not even in your back yard or inside your home.

This way you can interrupt the behavior and block his lunging with the leash. Dogs only do what we allow them to, so taking control of potential opportunities he may have to misbehave puts you in the power position.

I think he finds this fun but it can (and likely will) get you hurt.

I'd highly recommend the video Pack Structure for the Family Pet.

Even dogs that do well in formal obedience classes often have issues during the "non" training times around the house. You need to show him that rules apply ALL the time. Inspiring good behavior and cooperation is all about leadership and it's as much a lifestyle as anything else. Some dogs are more challenging than others and adolescence is a challenging time (for dogs and humans).

We also have a number of eBooks, which include topics that may help you.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes
  
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