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Discussion Starter #1
So far my dog has has been purely dog reactive, and anxious \frustrated at that. But now in the last week or so he has started having reactive reactions to people,. That just isn't tolerable. Scared the heck out of of my kid's friend today

I have been using positive methods, but I'm seriously reconsidering. The trainers are 2-3x the price, it's slow, and it just isn't working, it's getting worse. I don't want to rehome him, nor spend years dealing with this.
 

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Start "pushing" with your dog, as I have suggested before, although the thread was split. Pushing works and it works quickly, I saw dramatic results in under two weeks, whereas I had been using traditional +R methods with very limited improvement for years.

Natural Dog Training Fundamentals: How to relax and attract your dog using pushing - Natural Dog Blog – Training and More

https://naturaldogtraining.com/blog/how-i-developed-the-pushing-technique/

https://naturaldogtraining.com/blog/why-we-push/

Videos

The Pushing Exercise

What kind of behaviors is pushing good for (reactivity is certainly one of them)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the info. I'm going to give it a try...but possibly in conjunction with another trainer. I can't have his reactivity spreading to people. What's funny is we were making good progress with dogs, and if his head collar is on his reactivity is a 2 verses a 6 or 7.. I don't get it.
 

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Well, he's still worse with people, and I was outside with my 4 yo and my 9 yo yesterday. I brought the dog in and the youngest to for the human to go potty. When the leash s!ipped, my 4 yo let him out so she could play with her brother. There was a small dog walking by and it was either rough play or a small fight. I heard the hussle and ran out. :( The poor lady is trying to kick my dog away and my 9 year old is frozen. I grabbed the leash and he stopped immediately. No damage at al to the other dog, which leads me to think rough play, because one nip from a spaniel to a bischon Frisch would not be pretty. Still, I was horrified.

I contacted some positive trainers I took lessons with when he could go and they gave me another trainer's name. They said he's more balanced, but he has over 30 years of experience. They also said he's very humane, and more affordable. After looking at his site and his resume, I called him and set up a private lesson.

I know balanced horrifies a lot of people, but before I send back to the breeder this dog I love deeply and raised from a puppy, , who was so good for so long, I have to try. I'm nervous, in part because I have never worked with a male trainer before. The above incident is why I can't allow worsening to continue while I walk at 9 pm and only practice in very specific situations with dogs...and people are unavoidable. People who come in our house are fine.
 

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So any person at all that comes into your home he is fine with - it's only out on walks?

Your above story doesn't seem so bad either...he didn't hurt the other dog, doesn't sound like he was mean at all to the woman (who was quite unkind to him!), and stopped immediately.

So far, he really doesn't seem that bad (but then I'd say I have the king of all reactive dogs).

By any chance, have you been able to establish if his reactivity is fear or frustration based? That would be helpful to know.

I'm not saying balanced is bad, really, because there are a lot of people who seem to think that positive training is primarily +R and won't entertain any of the other quadrants. The only quadrant that I would absolutely stay away from, personally, is +P (my exception being natural consequences....for example, dog bothers chicken, dog gets pecked, etc.).

Anyway, I'd definitely talk to this new trainer about what he thinks the core issue is, and what his plans are to remedy it. I'd also do a lot of research on reactivity yourself (if you haven't already). Read some of the stickies here, not just the reactivity one. This one is pretty good:

http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/suppression-modification-shutdown-fallout-4776/

The thing with reactivity and balanced training, especially with fear reactivity is that +P methods will make it much worse in the long run. Many will think the problem can be "solved" by punishing the behavior, but it does nothing to solve the underlying fear which will pop up eventually and often more severely. The behavioral modifications promoted here, like DS/CC, LAT, BAT, may take more time and not feel as "satisfying" but they do work if utilized appropriately.

Anyway...my main point is, ask him and analyze his methods. If it seems like something that is going to scare, upset, or hurt your dog - don't do it. I worked with a vet who claimed to specialize in behavior cases who wanted me to pen my dog in a corner of a room where he couldn't escape and just wait for him to stop barking. No. That would be an example of shut down and would be massively stressful.

Best of luck.
 

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anxious\frustrated
There you go... This is your amstaff correct?

Honestly, how much exercise is the dog getting? Any kind of a pitbull breed tend to have alot more energy than owners realize and walks every day isn't going to cut it. Next time you feel really energetic, but can't seem to burn it off - gauge how you feel. Do you feel upset? Little nippy toward people around you? You have options, you can go work out, you can get up and dance to burn it off. The dog doesn't have those options, the dog is dependent on you.

Try burning the dog down just once, run the heck out of the dog, let the dog do what it's good at, give it a job to do. Let it pull you (or someone else) on a bike, rollerblades, a cart, whatever. Then gauge the dog and how it reacts around people and other animals. A tired dog is a satisfied dog, a satisfied dog isn't going to be aggressive.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
anxious\frustrated
There you go... This is your amstaff correct?

Honestly, how much exercise is the dog getting? Any kind of a pitbull breed tend to have alot more energy than owners realize and walks every day isn't going to cut it. Next time you feel really energetic, but can't seem to burn it off - gauge how you feel. Do you feel upset? Little nippy toward people around you? You have options, you can go work out, you can get up and dance to burn it off. The dog doesn't have those options, the dog is dependent on yoiu/QUOTE]

My dog is an English Springer, not an AmStaff. He gets 1 hour walk and a second smaller one or alternative to walk stuff, plus mental stimulation with a half hour of training.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So any person at all that comes into your home he is fine with - it's only out on walks?

Your above story doesn't seem so bad either...he didn't hurt the other dog, doesn't sound like he was mean at all to the woman (who was quite unkind to him!), and stopped immediately.

So far, he really doesn't seem that bad (but then I'd say I have the king of all reactive dogs).

By any chance, have you been able to establish if his reactivity is fear or frustration based? That would be helpful to know.

I'm not saying balanced is bad, really, because there are a lot of people who seem to think that positive training is primarily +R and won't entertain any of the other quadrants. The only quadrant that I would absolutely stay away from, personally, is +P (my exception being natural consequences....for example, dog bothers chicken, dog gets pecked, etc.).
I guess it's because he's starting to growl at people on the street that I feel a switch was tipped or something. We had decided anxious/frustrated with the specialized trainer I saew, but that was when he growled/ barked only at dogs, and even then, with him off leash, the incident would never have playedf out like that. My son said he tried to bite the dog but an English Springer doesn't have to try to bite a bischon frische, he just could. We tried the dog park, where he used to play even with being reactive and he only made it 2 min. ( I know, big mistake).

Anyway, I'd definitely talk to this new trainer about what he thinks the core issue is, and what his plans are to remedy it. I'd also do a lot of research on reactivity yourself (if you haven't already). Read some of the stickies here, not just the reactivity one. This one is pretty good:

http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/suppression-modification-shutdown-fallout-4776/

The thing with reactivity and balanced training, especially with fear reactivity is that +P methods will make it much worse in the long run. Many will think the problem can be "solved" by punishing the behavior, but it does nothing to solve the underlying fear which will pop up eventually and often more severely.
I've read a ton, including the sticky, thanks :) and lived on YouTube. :). I've mostly done DC/CC and LAT. It's been almost a year an the only improvement came when we got the head collar.

My growing problem with avoiding p+ is that it seems like any correction, whthef verbal ("quiet "when he growls at someone), physicals (a gentle tug on the leash) are put in the same cabetter knowingy as a choke chain, for instance.

I'm not trying to start a debate, and I'm definitely going to question him carefully. I feel better knowing two very good all positive trainers highly recommended this guy.
 

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I don't think the methods you describe are necessarily bad, it all depends on what it means to the dog.

I think the ultimate goal is to avoid whatever the dog finds aversive and try to understand what your goal is with your behaviors.

For example, "quiet" shouldn't be aversive but for it to work you'd have to teach your dog what it means. A gentle tug on the leash could go either way....it could be aversive OR you could teach it to mean "let's go this way (away from the trigger)" and then make it rewarding to do so.

Anyway, I'm still navigating this world of reactivity myself so sorry if I don't make much sense. :). Just keep in mind that true physical corrections - choke chains, prong collars, shock collars - will make the problem worse.

Go into it with a clear head and your research and you'll be fine. And do tell us what he says!
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Well, I went. The guy spent 30 min. trying to get my dog to unfocused on me and walk his long driveway with him. He said when he got to the the bottom and the wind shifted, he was back on me . I ghouvght it'd bother me, him wanting to work the dog alone, but I was glad.
I talked to his wife a little (she's a certified trainer too). I expressed my nervousness and she was really helpful. I watched, and he did use leash corrections, but they were quick, and as soon as my dog responded, he got a great deal of praise.
We talked about the mild separation anxiety. Said it wasn't fair to my dog to be asked to work with sch a big distraction. Wouldn't even take his money from the session since he "accomplished nothing" I'm going to drop him off for 2 hours, well, my husband is, so he can meet him too.
He is now showing aggression signs if a non-immediate family member ( in this case, my FIL,) approaches the crate. He did it all the time...I often crate him during their visits if the are short because the open and close the door a lot.My FIL will come pet him through the crate. This time he bowled, almosf snapped. I wanted to see if it is the people so I had my husband come in,open the crate and hold his leash, but let it slack enough to come over. You'd never think anything happened. He was even jumping on him a d bringing him his tug. ???
I'm beginning to worry about Springer rage.
From what I unerstand, it's much more dramatic.
 

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Rage syndrome is pretty rare and neurological - I think they believe it to be seizure related. The reason it's so scary is that it's unspecified rage - if that's what he had, he'd be attacking all of you.

It sounds like a bit of resource guarding with the crate in regards to someone he doesn't trust as much. You can try to work on it, but personally I wouldn't bother, at least not now and especially as it doesn't extend to your immediate family. Let his crate be his safe space where no one bothers him when he's uncomfortable - especially people he doesn't really trust.

I'm interested in more details about your trainer visit. Why the need for leash corrections? The comment on separation anxiety also confused me. I'd also be wary, personally, of just dropping your dog off. He could do anything to him - even up the intensity of corrections and you'd not know until the fallout. Plus, as this is your dog I'm a big believer that you should be involved in his training so he can learn too.
 

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Yeah, the crate I'm worried about only in the sense it's another regression.

I'm not going to go into details. Everyone has been so nice and no one would agree with things like leash corrections. I really don't want a debate. I've had positive trainers take my dog and walk a sidewalk length, not moving till the dog stopped pulling. That's all this was. I knew he did leash corrections. And I've heard people board their dogs for training with all trainers. this is just a extended lunch..we're coming at the end to work with him and get instruction and training. I'm not physically strong enough to hold him if he really fought.

The anxiety was because he pancaked when I first handed the leash over, and was so fixated on me during the session- he's done that with other trainers. He got uo in a min and ten min. later he was wagging his tail and trotting, just kept turning for me. And that's all my details. :)

One thing I have wondered...should I contact his breeder?
 

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Did he react to the trainer, or simply prefer to be with you?

I guess some of my confusion was what the trainer was working on. Loose leash walking? The rest was clarified - I read wrong (thought you were referring to separation anxiety being a distraction earlier ;) ).

I'm not saying that sending a dog off for training is bad BUT I'd ask what he intends to do before you leave your dog there. What is he planning on trying to improve and how does he intend to achieve those ends? Make sure you're comfortable with it.

Not all "positive" trainers are created equal either. I consulted with one who claimed to be all positive and she intended to essentially flood my dog to eliminate his fear. No thanks. But then again, there are people who are incredibly opposed to BAT training, when I find it to be very useful and perfectly humane.

And yes, I would definitely consult the breeder. S/he might have some tips, and would certainly want to know.
 

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He just preferred to be with me. I could see him interacting with the trainer, and he was sniffing out the property as well. He walked back in his " all is ok " posture, then he saw me and he pulled towards me like we'd been separated all day.
I hate I can't see the quote. He is going to work on engagement/recall and work that in with dog aggression. I'm going to get more details, but the idea is to have such a strong response to you and his name when you call it,...kind of like "look at me" only not just distraction.
I will call the breeder. Thanks.
 
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