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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I currently have two dogs, a 3 year old great dane named danielle and an approx 3 yr old wiener dog mix named black. My great dane has shown signs of female dog aggression. She has attacked 6 different females one of which we had to put down because her lung was pierced (poodle/pom) and another who has gotten several large puncture wounds in her neck(athena- lives on same property si around every day). She has never attacked a male and our dog black is also male. These attacks seem to occur randomly and are few and far between. I am constantly stressed. I feel I can't turn my back on her. The most recent attack between danielle and athena occurred just outside of our front yard. I was helping load furniture to a stranger. Danielle got in athena's bubble (standing over her practically) and athena growled and danielle attacked. At least from what I could hear and see. Not only this but I have goats in the next yard over(only a fence in between) I have worked with her to make sure she does not go after them because she looks at them way too interested. I can't tell if she wants to play or eat them. None have been harmed yet and I was informed she escaped one day and got in their pen. The goats just had babies and one in particular she has her eye on and mouthed today. I saw no wounds on the baby but a lot of drool and feared for a time it would die. I had her shock collar on and got her just as I heard the baby but did not see anything. Later I made her sit while I held the baby goat and put it next to her telling her no. I can't have her doing these things and it's driving me nuts. I don't want to get rid of her but will not have another choice if we can't get her under control. She has most basic obedience down, sit, stay, lay down, heel, etc... We live in a rural area where we are used to not leashing our dogs, mine are leash trained. We have 28 acres and this beast jumps the field fencing and has attacked my neighbors dogs. She also know how to open our front gate if not locked and has randomly taken off for a time. Please help. I do not know where to go from here and am afraid to even attempt to take her to training for fear of lack of control. I have also taken her on walks and she will somewhat ignore other dogs if I keep her focused. I have used leash training, shock collar, and choke chain in attempts to help control.
My dog black was a stray when found. We brought him home and only kept him because he is so good with our kids. His issues consist of biting the back legs of other dogs, barking and fearful when people show up, and has issues with being touched/pet on belly. He will growl and nip if you touch him.
 

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In your place I would get a proffessional trainer in as danielle has such serious issues and it is vital that you are able to read her body language correctly to interpret her state of mind. in the mean time this link may help you to see the difference in her being alert and being aggressive.

Canine Communication - Dog Body Language

There are always signs when the dog is about to react. I would try having her meet other female dogs from behind so she follows them for a while as walking behind a dog she does not know is less threatening than a face to face greeting. Slowly get closer when she is calm, caslmly praising her good reaction. If she gets over excited or lunges, just make a distraction noise and turn the other way, this should let her know that she is not giving your desired reaction. then turn back again to follow at a greater distance and start again.

This is a lot of work and you yourself have to be calm as you are her leader and if you are nervous she will wither get nervous herself or feel the need to protect you.

Personally im not a fan of shock collars as in some cases the dog will just realise that when she does something she will be hurt, if that something relates to a person or dog she may be inclined to attack it before it hurts her again. It may not look as nice but i would also put my fences high enough so she can't jump them and an extra lock on the gate.

I think Black would benefit from the same tecnique as i said about for Danielle as this could help him to be calmer around other dogs so less likely to nip at them.
I would take a similar approach with his problems with people, calmly walk him past people and just be matter of fact about it, dont give him time to react but stay calm yourself. if you can, try having people he doesnt know dropping really yummy treats in front of him so he comes to associate strange people with something good. Also i would teach the dog to sit in a certain place when the doorbell goes as he will not be anticipating someone coming through the door to tower over him and frighten an already nervous dog.

This frist video shows the technique used but in a different situation.

This next video will show you how to get black to sit on a mat away from the scary newcomers until you tell him its okay to greet, this should help him to remain calm when they arive

again,you may not have the exact situation but hopefully it will help him.

regardless of this i would still get in a professional trainer or behaviourist.
I hope this helps.
 

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This dog does sound dangerous to me also. I would say you need to consult a pro. This is way too much stuff going on for a bit of internet help, IMO anyway.

If you are using a shock collar on her, you may actually be making the situation worse, as shock collars are such strong aversives they produce all sorts of "fallout" behaviors, including aggression.

That said, you should consult a behaviorist to find an alternative, because if you take the shock collar off of her, her behavior may also change all of a sudden if she realizes you have no control. (you may be between a rock and a hard place right now)

For now, she needs much better management so she cannot have access to the dogs she bites or any access to goats. She needs 100% physical containment for everyone's safety. Fencing that is tall enough, strong enough and without holes...

Understand that when something bad happens, as sounds inevitable, it will happen way more quickly than you can respond to, even if you are standing right there. And this is a large and powerful dog, so a lot of damage can be done in just a few seconds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
There is a local trainer that has an obedience class, however, it is called a steps class because there are levels of training you can advance to up to dealing with certain issues. Honestly, I am scared to take her there. Afraid of what she might do. I would have to take a muzzle with me and that just breaks my heart too.
I don't like the shock collar either and there is a difference when it is not on. It was the solution post her killing my smaller dog. I want this to work/to make it work but my husband isn't the most supportive. His suggestion was death or get rid of her. We have had her since a puppy and its our fault she is the way she is. We were unable to socialize her at a young age, due to rural living and obvious size of dog. We also have three children ages 5,3,1. We got danielle two days before my middle child.
She is excellently leash trained. She is an awesome dog and you can see all she wants to do is please but she doesn't know how and I don't know how to communicate it properly.
She is exposed to athena (one of the dogs she has attacked) on a daily basis and does nothing 99% of the time. She sniffs her and leaves her be. Athena also makes sure to have head down always. There hasn't been an attack for a couple months now. the collar is not always on.
I thank you all for your tips and opinions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you. I followed link for behaviorist and there is free help. Sending now and will contact some behaviorists. Thank you all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wanted to ad an update to this situation. We took her to a trainer for the initial evaluation. The trainer made one correction and she didn't look at that dog again. She is apparently a very nervous dog, she has several ticks. Ie: eye twitch, leg lift. She is scared of everything. We could not even begin to take her to group training classes at this point. We have to build her confidence and our leadership while strengthening her basic obedience.
We have been advised that we can work with her which will take probably another thousand min in long run and there are no guarentees that her behavior can be modified. Other than working with her our options were to put her down or take back to breeder due to the liability.
We have decided to keep her and work with her. We have to keep her confined to her pen unless we are working with her and have to establish leadership because there is confusion there, no surprise. The training classes will just happen at a slower pace due to funds. We will also be pushing the basic obedience cause apparently she is not as good as I thought. And hopefully, we can get through this with flying colors. I greatly appreciate the support from other members and Thank You All. I will continue to post updates as we go.
 

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I'm really glad you got some help, but the corrections and leadership talk have me a little worried.
What sort of correction are we talking about? Was she showing those calming signals to the other dog or the trainer? Is the trainer suggesting that her fearful behavior is due to your lack of leadership, or just her reactivity?
Regardless, I hope you can give her lots of exercise and puzzle toys if she has to stay in a crate for long periods.
Good luck with her, I'm glad that you feel that you can keep her and are dedicated to working through her reactivity :)
 
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