My dog has been fear biting ever since an incident while traveling by plane. I don't want to do anything that will cause more damage, what do you suggest?
I sincerely hope this email reaches you. I have been an avid reader of your web site. and have purchased some of your material in the past. I have a problem. I am a dog trainer of six years, I have experience dealing mainly with working dogs. Sled dogs, some entry level sport, and personal pets. My problem lies with a female Malinois I own from an irreputable breeder from Oklahoma. I have raised this dog as of 5 weeks of age, the dog is now approximately 16 months old. Early developmental stages were good, however she has been well traveled. At one year old an inexperienced airport employee decided to reach into her vari-kennel, after a ride down the escalator and she bit. Since then she has turned into the most unexplainable case of fear aggression I have ever seen. She hates strangers, no one can enter my home, as of today she has come at me 6 or 7 times purely out of fear. Now let me start by saying, I am very dominant over my dogs and in training styles, but not so that I am inexperienced enough to deal with a fear aggression case. Her nerves are not allowing her to overcome any sort of stress. I took it as dominance (food aggression, the whole nine) when she was much younger, and we have since overcome those issues. Today, and since the "Situation" Fear aggression is full blown. I am at my wits end! Please any advice? I can always go into more detail, but any no hassle help would be good.....Would hate to do the inevitable. Thank you for your time.
Mals often times have very strong pack drives. This means they don’t buddy up to non-strangers. You need to support this by not allowing anyone near here. You’re the pack leader – its your job to protect pack members and make them feel safe. Read the eBook I wrote on WHO PETS MY DOG.
You also need to teach the dog that unwarranted aggression is not tolerated.
In regard to her going after you. If the dog is not dominant they normally don’t do this unless they feel threatened. The dog did not understand what you wanted and expected. This happens with correct training.
Run this dog through the pack structure program in my DVD Establish Pack Structure With the Family Pet. Don’t vary from it. You don’t know enough to improvise (sorry but it’s the truth) This dog needs STRUCTURE – so it know what you want at every moment.
Also change the way you train. Learn to train with markers. These kinds of dogs respond to this.
With this said I hesitate to tell you this but fear based dogs respond to remote collar training (AFTER PACK STRUCTURE and AFTER MARKER TRAINING) Learn to work with LOW LEVEL stimulation. This low level work is important. If you work at the YELP level your making a mistake.
And you don’t use it for someone coming into your home. You teach the dog to go to the crate under high distraction – with markers. When people comes the dog knows its safe in the house – it knows YOU NEVER ALLOW PEOPLE NEAR THE CRATE because you’re the pack leader and it knows YOU NEVER allow people near enough to touch – you never allow people to give eye contact – you never allow people to try and give the dog a command.