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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
Recommended Products
Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet
Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet
4 Hours
The goal of our pack structure training program is to produce a dog that is calm and submissive and a dog that follows the rules of the pack leader. This DVD teaches people how to become a pack leader that their dog respects and loves. Most people are not born pack leaders. In fact, far from it. The majority of dog owners (many who have owned dogs their entire life) simply do not know anything about the instincts that control our dogs or how strong these instincts are in the domestic dog. Oh people may have heard that they need to be a pack leader or they may have heard they need to be an ALPHA with their dog but they do not understand what this really means or how to accomplish it.

The Power of Training Dogs w/ Markers
The Power of Training Dogs w/ Markers
3 Hours, 33 Minutes
Marker training (also called clicker training or operant conditioning) is one of the most profound systems of dog training that I have seen in my 50 years of owning, breeding and training working dogs. In its most basic form, it's a method of communication that is very clear for dogs to understand. Dogs learn the marker language quickly and when they do they thrive in training. The marker system produces dogs that love to train.

Metal Ex Pen with Door
Metal Ex Pen with Door
This exercise pen is durable and affordable. Exercise Pens are good playing ground for your Pets whether indoors or outdoors. This exercise pen is made of Acri-Lock™ Acrylic Coated Gold Zinc for long lasting protection. It has a secure double latch door access to make your pet secure. Also, this exercise pen is easy to set up and you don't need tools to build this one. It's a versatile exercise pen; you can even have a variety of pets in it.

Option 1:

$25 off Michael Ellis 3 Day Workshop and Raising Your Puppy with Michael Ellis, and $15 off The Foundation of Puppy Bitework with Michael Ellis, good through Thursday, August 6, 2020 at 11:59 PM CT