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Hello, first I will give a description of my dog Kostis:

  • He is 20-21 months old.
  • He is male.
  • Breed: he is a mix of Labrador and Greek Shepherd.
  • We got him when he was 2-3 months. (So we have him for a period of 18-19 months)
  • He weight reaches 50 kilos.(He is a bit fat).
  • He is sprayed / sterilized since last year.
  • We cannot afford a full monthly course with a trainer.
Okay, so Kostis is aggressive against other male dogs. By aggression I mean that he acts like he wants to do great amount of damage to them. This situation has finally led me to only get him out for a walk only on leash as I am afraid that he is going to get me and himself into trouble. When we reach the park, i use a retractable leash of 5 meter range. When we come across another dog there are two possible scenarios:

  • He begin to play with the other dog (on only a range of 5 meters as i am afraid to let him alone. He seems to be very happy and very playful with the other dog (which most of the times is female but sometimes it is male.
  • He gets very aggressive, starts barking, get his chest up, teeth out. If he is free, he is probably going to run to a male dog 40-50 meter away ignoring my commands and start trouble (a couple of time more serious).
I have search a great amount of pages and threads but none of them seems to describe the problem under my view which is : Should I continue to get my dog out only on leash who seems to enjoy that quite enough, or can I do something better like teach him without getting other people's dogs at risk?

Is it maybe that there are two leaders (me and my father) that take him out?

PS: There is enough free time i can use on training the dog.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Are you in the U.S.A.? Not a personal question just for info on your breed of dog.

I had to look up the Greek Shepherd as I was not familiar with them. You did give some info to go on. Based on that I'm looking at the dog as I might approach some of the very driven dogs I have worked with. If your dog is more couch potato you can moderate a bit. Either way you need to be the "leader" or point of focus. Yeah, I know about the pack theory and the old methods. I'm not advocating them.

Start by feeding twice a day. Give the dog 10/15 minutes to eat then pick up the food. No more other than training treats until the next meal time. Then same thing.
This little thing shows the dog you control his food. A very basic thing to all living beings.

Since he is a mix and from what you have described I'm going to disregard the Lab part as its not showing much...I don't think.

These guys are very tough dogs bred to protect the stock. Note....very aggressively. As opposed to the lesser sized herding dogs that will just try to run a pedator off. The Greek Shepherd while is a herding dog is more likely to peruse and finish off the predator on the spot.

Your dog is in excess of 120 pounds! Massive! The breed info suggests a " strong" owner/ handler with experience in training powerful dogs.

As you can see in numerous threads and posts regarding dog aggression separation is the key... Plan on at least a year of daily work. I doubt you will ever get to the point of a friendly dog meets dog. In my estimation the best you can expect is tolerance. This being a peaceful but wary walk by between your dog and another well trained dog. Anything else is asking for trouble. A frantic dog approaching is immediate action on your part to put some distance between subjects.

I would also recommend you get some kind of spray deterrent. Pepper spray or others. Sounds bad but it's better to create hard feelings than hard dog bites. You can maybe negotiate later.

I would work on getting a good bond with this dog. His very nature is going to want to be with you. Build on this. I would do all the normal obedience training; sit, stand, down, recall with a finish, heel on left and right sides. Once you get these you can possibly attend beginning training classes. Try to be as positive as possible. Getting after this level of dog with hard yanks on a prong or improper e collar could be real trouble.

In your case I would try to get a local trainer to at least talk to you and maybe guide you to start with. Sweet talk and a bribe of lunch or dinner without your dog can work. Most trainers are at least half dog themselves and respond to food rewards. Haha

One last thing for now, you need a strong 6-8 foot leash. If you have outdoor area you could get a 20-30 foot leash for training. Absolutely no flexi things. He is probably capable of pulling the guts right out of any of these. I wouldn't even consider off leash for this dog now. Others will disagree but the last thing you want is this guy running off.
 
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I would leash him. Dog aggression is a very hard problem to fix alone because often it involves a setup with another dog, that dog has to be "neutral" and you will want a muzzle and an extra person to pull them apart, ideally before they get into a fight. Attempting this without a professional is frankly not worth the risk to your dog. There's always the chance that the other dog is not 100% friendly and will attack/scare your dog, making his dislike of male dogs even worse.
 

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I had to take break to do one of our daily play exercises. It's a fast action all running for my dog...in our appt.

I'm glad that some agree with me. ON LEASH ONLY,

It isn't so much it can't be done....it just takes perseverance, patience and knowledge among others. The " just" makes it sound easy, it's not, but part of English language.

Setting up with another big gentle dog would be very good.....as long as trainer and handler communicate and operate together. Needless to say training need to be started in a "clean area" . In other words no distraction from outside. In view of distance required and difficulty in this particular situation it would be a good idea to use radio communication...and not hand held, you are going to be busy.

This all sounds way out of bounds but it's a very difficult thing to get under control even with lesser dogs. You just can't poo poo this situation. I really feel for this team.

I'm not a big fan of muzzle training but it might not be a bad idea here. I think there is a muzzle training thread here. My experience has been with protection dogs so it's entirely out of place here.

I think both people could handle this dog as long as they are consistant and follow the plan the same way. I like to map out what we are going to do. My dog knows well over 50 commands so we have to practice them at different times.

One other detail with this dog I would do is a step by step process to go in and out doors, gates, crossing paths and so on. It goes like this. Heel to the door, say "wait" the dog should sit, then open the door but have the dog remain in place, then "invite the dog to come thru the door. Then sit while you close it or just sit for a minute. This sets you up to be " in command" in the dog's mind and actually calms him down. We have to do this in herding and I took it a step further to all the time.

Once again it all part of getting the dog to focus on you and not the distraction.
 
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