Aggressive Dalmatian Mix

by Toren
(Los Gatos, CA )

Hi!

I have a three and a half year old Dalmatian Mix (no idea what the Mix part is). He has been aggressive for quite some time.

We adopted him from a Dalmatian Rescue in CA when he was 3 months old. As a puppy, we took him to puppy training classes and he was much more interested in the people than in the other puppies. We also took him to the dog park and he didn't care too much for the dogs. He occasionally hid under the chairs in the room at puppy class. As he got older he started to show signs of aggression with some of his toys and special dog treats (rawhide chews and others of the sort).

When he was about a year old, we had an incident on our property where an unknown man came to purchase something from my dad. Ace was out off leash and attacked the man. He was bitten pretty bad. We immediately called the rescue organization to see what we should do. They recommended we have Ace evaluated by a trainer they suggested. We took him to the trainer and he told us to put Ace down at once. It was a very difficult thing for us to do, so we decided to keep him and be extremely cautious when people came on our property (no more out off leash either).

We were and all was okay until... a year later I opened the gate to take some things to the trash quickly and return to the backyard. At that very moment our new neighbor, who we hadn't met walked onto the property to retrieve a ball that had rolled all the way from their yard. We live in the mountains and there is quite a distance between houses. She was bitten on the arm.

The discussions continued about Ace and we were even more careful following this incident. Never again did anything happen until a few weeks ago when he got out of the gate and bit my grandma. We were unaware that she was out there or the dog wouldn't have been let out in the yard.

So here we are again and the decision has basically been made that we must put him down now. I have always been an animal lover and am deeply saddened by this. Is there any hope for him at this point? Suggestions/thoughts?

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Jul 07, 2012
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Use a Pinch Collar
by: Adam G. Katz

What you're going to want to do is: Buy and learn how to properly use the pinch collar. This will allow you to correct your dog in a manner that is meaningful. The choke chain collar is very difficult to give a motivational correction with. And it requires more "muscle" than I like.

The pinch (prong) collar is more like power steering.

Let the dog where a short leash attached to the collar, when you're in the house with him.

Your problem is that your dog didn't get a motivational correction for exhibiting the aggressive behavior.

It will happen, again. Plan on it. Be prepared, and have a way to administer a motivational correction, when it happens-- so that your dog knows in no uncertain terms: This behavior will not be tolerated. I go into more detail on how to do this, in my book.

In addition: Start teaching him obedience training exercises, and make him do behaviors he doesn't want to do. (Ex. Down-stays around distractions and making him stay down). That builds dominance/leadership and makes your corrections more meaningful.



Adam



Adam G. Katz is the author of, "Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer!" -- which you can find at DogProblems.com.

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