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Categories: Basic Obedience

Q. My dog has gone through obedience class, but is starting to show animal aggression when we are on our walks. What can I do?
I have a purebred GSD that is 11 months old now. he went to puppy classes at 10 weeks old and has been going to socialization classes and walks with the class and he is fine around the other dogs and people. He wears a pinch collar and a choke collar when we are at home and he wears a Halti collar when we walk with the class. we bought the Halti collar because he went after a strange dog on the trail one evening.

Last night my wife had him out and he went after a dog that he has been around and has played with. He pulled so hard my wife lost hold of the leash (it was hooked to the pinch and choke collar) but he had his mind made up to go, hair standing and barking, he did not get into a fight but he would not listen to any command come, stop or down.

We also have a tri-tronics collar that we use it was not on him at the time.

This is not our first GSD and I know that they all have different personalities.

I am hoping that this is just a stage he is going through.

Any ideas that you have would be appreciated.

Thank you,
Bob

A. The problem with a lot of people who own dogs is they do not have access to sound training advice. That’s what has happened here.

The following is a list of things that jump out at me from your email:

1- A choke collar is not a training collar. There are only three kinds of training collars: a flat collar (like a leather or nylon buckle collar), a prong collar and a electric collar. Choke collars are terrible collars and damage dogs neck muscles.

2- A halti is NOT a training collar. It certainly should never be used by a dog like you have. Diverting the dogs gaze IS NOT A CORRECTION

3- Dogs that are animal aggressive when on leash have RANK issues with their owners. They don’t respect the owners pack leadership. The pack leader decides when aggressive is appropriate – never a lower pack member.

4- A dog like this should never be take outside without his electric collar on – the best of all worlds is to make the dog wear it and NEVER Have to use the button. The biggest mistake in the world is to own one and not have it on the dog when you need it. In this case you have to change the way you approach the dog – it has to wear the collar ALL THE TIME and it must get a shock for even LOOKING at another dog. It cant EVEN LOOK at one much less fight. When you allow it to get to the fighting level the dog will think that the pain of the correction comes from the other dog and not from the handler.

5- Your dog is not obedience trained. If it were you would be able to stop the dog from doing this – and you cannot. The goal of all obedience training is to teach the dog to follow voice commands. So in not being able to stop your aggression with a voice command indicates your dog is not trained to distractions.

I would also recommend my Basic Dog Obedience training video.
  
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