Two sides of "Stella".

by Garry S.
(Brentwood, CA USA)

I have a 2-year old American Staffordshire Terrier mix, named Stella. She is the sweetest dog I've ever had the pleasure of sharing my life with; she loves meeting people, especially children, and is so full of snuggles and kisses. However, at about 18 months old she suddenly began exhibiting a behavior I had not seen in her, and it occurred like a switch was flipped! When playing at the dog park, when another dog her size or larger challenged her "dominance" during play she suddenly "flipped" and became vicious, attacking, downing the other dog and going for the throat like a wild animal on a hunt. I was able to control it with "stop" and "come" commands at first, but there came a time they no longer worked and she ended up absolutely savaging another dog before they could be separated; needless to say, she no longer goes to the dog park and she wears a basket muzzle on walks. I can't afford the liability and I don't know how to train this behavior out of her. She is my favorite dog of all time (I'm 55 and have had many dogs) so I'm very emotionally attached; rehoming her is not an option. Any help?

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Aug 28, 2017
Nothing In Life Is Free
by: Adam G. Katz

Employ the "Nothing In Life Is Free" approach, so that your dog starts to view you as the "pack leader." If your dog doesn't see you as the leader, then your corrections will be meaningless. So, if you're doing subtle things (inadvertently) to undermine your leadership role around the house-- it will be counter-productive.

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