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Do you have a dog training or equipment question?
Leerburg's Q&A database has 3350 entries from multiple categories.

 

Categories: Dog Aggression , Marker Training , Vets

Q. My dog becomes aggressive when I board him and my vet prescribed Prozac. I'm not really comfortable with this. What would you suggest?
I have a 6 year old male German Shepherd who has not been socialized very well and when I try to board him he becomes aggressive to whoever is trying to take him into the boarding area. Once in the area it takes him forever to calm down before the staff can do anything with him. My Vet has him on Prozac to keep him calm. I am not comfortable with doing that because he is fine with me and doesn't act out. I am currently working with a personal trainer who has me using a muzzle on him whenever I take him anywhere just in case he gets upset and snaps at someone. I have started walking him everyday and jogging with him as much as I can since I am not physically able to run with him. This makes him tired for a little but then we are back to square 1 until I need to go somewhere. I need to be able to occasionally board him but I am struggling with finding a happy medium. I am also concerned that should I get sick, my dog will not let EMS into my home so I really need some guidance with handling him.

A. Good for you in not wanting to let this vet drug the dog.

Find a new boarding facility and a new vet. You need to remember that Vets are health care providers and NOT dog trainers. My guess is less than .999999% of all vets know how to train a dog. In 50 years, I have only known of a handful that were involved in training sport dogs.

There is a reason your dog does not like this place. It could be that someone there did something to him and he remembers it.

Find a boarding facility that has indoor – outdoor dog runs with a guillotine drop door that can be opened without going into the kennel. Then no one has to handle the dog. He goes outside when they need to feed and comes inside when they need to clean his run.

As far as what to do when you're sick, find someone who is a dog trainer and have them work the dog with markers. This is a motivational method of training that uses high value rewards. Here are a couple of videos on how to train the dog with markers:

The Power of Training Dogs with Food
The Power of Playing Tug with Your Dog

Regards,
Ed Frawley
  
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