Frustration-elicited Aggression

Discussion in 'Dog Behavior Problems' started by brodys_mom, Jun 19, 2013.

  1. brody_smom Experienced Member

    So this is the label for the new behavior that Brody is exhibiting. To compound his leash/barrier frustration, he now has added the charming response of turning and trying to bite me for keeping him from attaining his goal of lunging and barking at other dogs. (I just started using a Halti with him. He hates it, but I think I have to persevere with it. Unfortunately, it doesn't keep him from biting me, as the muzzle feature only works when he is pulling away from me.) Everything I have read about how to deal with reactions to dogs and people requires that I get his attention before he has gone off. I find this almost impossible to achieve, since the distances we are dealing with are too short. Last night, I waited until it was almost dark before I could take Brody out for a walk because there were kids cycling past our house all evening. I could hear that the dog next door was in the yard so I couldn't go out to the street and turn right. To the left, there are several dogs who are always out in their yard from 7 am til 11 pm (or later!), so I can only go that direction first thing in the morning. My only option was to go out the back gate, through the little park, but there is this lovely young Boxer who is often in her yard which has a chain-link fence. Brody stiffens up before we even can see the fence (there is a clump of trees and bushes that we have to go around to get to the park exit), and doesn't relax until we have gotten past it, if she isn't in her yard. If she is out and hears us before we see her, she will sometimes bark, which sets him off lunging and barking. If I hold him back, he turns on me and I have to try to control him while avoiding his snapping teeth. If she doesn't bark, she will stand very quietly staring in our direction until we appear (kind of creepy, actually), then just watch as he freaks out. I have tried to start clicking/treating as soon as we leave our yard if he will sit and look at me, gradually moving closer to where we can see her fence. He has gotten a little calmer as long as he can't see or hear her. If she isn't in the yard, he just gives the fence a glance, then heads to the exit and we're on our way. Last night, she was out and barked at us before we even saw her, so I just turned right around and went home with no walk or fetch. I am trying to figure out how I am going to get him enough exercise if we can't get out of our yard. We have tried playing fetch in the yard or the house, but he can't get top speed, and it gets boring pretty fast.

  2. southerngirl Honored Member

    I'm not sure what you can do about him turning on you but I can help with you being able to get Brody past the boxer. But you could try pulling up gently with the halti to close his mouth when he tries to bite you.
    I have a similar situation with Missy my neighbor has a Siberian Husky who is usually out on her chain in her yard that's on a small hill. when we go to walk past her she seems to come from nowhere and will bark and try to get loose from her chain. Forever Missy would go nuts and treats weren't helping. So what I did is if Missy started to react I would do "let's go" turn around and walk in the other direction until she chilled out than I would try again and I would do this until I walked passed the enemy yard without Missy reacting. It used to take me 5-6 times to get pass the enemy yard, but now it'll take me 0-1.
    For the halti I would put it on give Missy a pat take it off and give her a treat repeat several times. Than I would put it on toss her ball when she brought the ball back take it off treat. Just be creative and think of ways to make it more positive. Oh and don't force it on Brody lure him into it and give him jack pot when he puts his muzzle through it. After all this just work in your yard using it take a few steps and give him a treat, gently turn his head give treat, gently pull up with it give treat and so on. He may never love it(Missy doesn't) but he will learn to tolerate it.
    jackienmutts, brodys_mom and Pawbla like this.
  3. Dlilly Honored Member

    Are there any positive trainers near you? If there is, see if you can get Brody evaluated. Then you would know exactly what his problem is, and the trainer could tell you how to train him.

    I didn't know Rory's reactivity was so severe until I got him evaluated by a trainer. She was shocked at how he reacted. Getting Brody evaluated will help you know exactly what you're dealing with and how to work with it.

    It seems like Brody is going to cost you some money.... :sick:
  4. brody_smom Experienced Member

    I know. I was hoping this wasn't the case, but it's looking more like I'm going to have to pay someone. I have been searching and there isn't anyone nearby who will come to us. I don't know if going to them is the best way, they probably want to see your home and neighborhood. My stepsister works with foster dogs and she has a friend who has taken some of her fosters over the weekend to work with them. I really don't like that scenario, as I would want to be shown what I can do, not just have the dog "repaired" and returned, like an auto mechanic. She's more than an hour away, so not really the best option. I'm not even sure what her method/philosophy of dog training is.
  5. Pawbla Experienced Member

    But foster dogs are different because they are "nobody's" dogs. Having a trainer "foster" one is just having another foster home.

    However, I doubt any trainer would do that with your dog. Maybe you can pay one of the trainers a bit extra for coming to your area?
    brodys_mom likes this.
  6. brody_smom Experienced Member

    Ya, the closest one sounds really good, and she is also the only local Treiball club, which is how I found her in the first place. I got scared off because there were no prices posted on the website, not even an hourly rate for private consultation. Not sure how hubby will feel about having to pay for expensive private training for this dog that he doesn't really care for.
  7. jackienmutts Honored Member

    I think working with an experienced trainer may be your best option. Do make sure you find an experienced one, not just someone who calls themselves a trainer because they've done it a few times (trust me, there are loads out there with no clue). And do make sure they use positive-based methods.

    Could driving to a different (quieter) area for a walk be a solution, if only a temporary one, til you get a handle on the walk?

    I know my own neighborhood tends to have lots of loose dogs around lately (dont know why, but that's the way it is) so I won't walk mine in our neighborhood because of Makena, just too risky. She's doing so well and our walks are so good, but I can't risk having a loose dog run up to us - she'll still lose it, and I can't risk a dog fight. Not fair to anyone. So, we drive to a different neighborhood I'm familiar with (with no loose dogs) and walk there. It's a pain, but at least I feel much more relaxed and secure.
    brodys_mom and southerngirl like this.
  8. ackerleynelson Well-Known Member

    I don't think that to keep your pet for so long ours in a crate and that too without the care of anyone..
  9. brody_smom Experienced Member

    I don't always have access to a vehicle as my older kids don't have cars of their own currently, and my husbands car is only insured for his use. He wouldn't want me taking the dog in it anyway. And how can you know for sure another area is going to be better? Even in our own neighborhood I have seen so many new people with multiple dogs lately.

    What I have started doing is walking earlier in the mornings and heading away from the residential area and going into the commercial zone. Since no one lives there and the stores aren't open yet, I am less likely to meet anyone. If I do, I can always pull off the sidewalk into a parking lot to get some distance. I have yet to see anyone else walking a dog, so once we are out of our own neighborhood, we are much more relaxed. For our evening fetch sessions, I try going later, just before dark, then most of the kids are off the streets. I've started getting really thankful for wet weather, as this keeps the kids and dogs inside as the days are getting longer here. I have the whole school ground to myself, just one crazy lady with an umbrella throwing the ball for my dog!

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