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We recently adopted a Border Collie from an organization that saves dogs from high kill shelters. The dog is about a year old, and when he was found (out in the middle of nowhere), he was emaciated and had multiple open wounds, apparently from dog fights. This dog has extremely strong herding instincts, great focus, high energy, all the traits you would expect in a Border Collie. He is extremely loyal to his owners, but is distrustful with strangers. He was neutered just before we adopted him. He is not a destructive dog, and he has been doing well with his obedience training, is house-trained, and crate trained. He is a wonderful dog in almost every way.

 

We exercise him with a five mile bike ride in the morning. In the afternoons we toss balls and frisbees for him to chase. He didn't know how to play when we first got him, but he really enjoys these activities now. In the evenings we take him for a two mile walk. The walks have become nearly impossible, because any time he sees another dog he fixates. He has that laser stare that Border Collies are noted for, which I think is viewed as dominance by a lot of the dogs we encounter. We cannot break his gaze when he fixates on another dog. We have tried distracting him, telling him no, making him sit, yanking on his leash, getting him to look at us, but he is determined to not let the other dogs get any closer. He fixates about 200 yards away, and if the dogs get closer than 40 feet he lunges, growls, and bares his teeth. It does not matter what breed of dog he encounters, their sex, their age, or their size. He responds the same way to every dog he meets. The only way this aggressive behavior ends is when the other dog leaves the area. This situation is complicated in our neighborhood, because a lot of our neighbors allow their dogs to roam freely, and I'm afraid that if one of these dogs comes too close to our on lead dog, I will not be able to stop a serious dog fight. When our dog is in these rages, it is as if we do not exist; no matter what we do, he ignores us.

 

I'm asking for any advice you might have regarding this situation. We have taken the alpha role with him (making him sit before he eats, we eat before we feed him, we go through doors before him etc.), so he is not responding to these dogs because he feels he needs to protect us. We feel that his aggression is more fear based. Can dogs like this be rehabilitated? Is dog on dog aggression common in this breed? We are not sure that we will be able to keep him, because we are very concerned about his behavior. We have small grandchildren (the youngest is 3) that we haven't exposed him to yet, because we are afraid of how he might react to them. If we felt that we had some control to break his fixation before it becomes rage, we would feel a lot better about the situation. Thanks in advance for your insights.

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There are folks on this board who have dealt with dogs like this and will probably be able to offer you some good advice. Most of it will involve desensitizing him over a period of time to his triggers (other dogs). If he's been in a lot of fights, he may well feel vulnerable when he's on lead and so his reaction is to be aggressive.

 

I would also suggest considering a consult with a board-certified vet behaviorist. Such a vet can create an action plan that may involve the use of meds while you work on the desensitizing.

 

He most likely is fixable, but it will take time, planning, and most of all, consistency. For now I would avoid situations that trigger him, as he's just self-reinforcing the behavior that you would like to stop.

 

J.

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Part of the problem may be the tension you are feeling regarding the possibility of one of these dogs entering your dog's space and creating a fight. I don't blame you, I'd be tense as well. If I were you, I would start to carry a deterrent on your person in case you encounter such a scenario. They make several sprays for these situations -- DirectStop is one brand off-hand. It's a citronella spray that you spray in the oncoming dog's face to keep them away from you. It's kinder than say, pepper spray. The dog's owner will still pitch a fit if they see you spraying something at their dog, but I figure it's just part of life's lesson of keeping your dogs contained.

 

I would look into using a halti or other brand of head halter, perhaps in addition to his normal collar. With a halti, you can physically bring his nose/attention to you and off the oncoming dog.

 

I disengage my dogs when they first hint at that behavior. I'm not typically a huge fan of Cesar, but that little tap on the flank that he does really does snap them out of it -- at least it works for my dog that fixates. Note, I'm not "kicking my dog" as many people like to say Cesar does -- I'm bumping her flank lightly with my heel to get her to stop her bad behavior and look at me. Border collies are sensitive, it doesn't take much.

 

The key is not to let it escalate to the extreme level. It is very hard to get them to come back down at that point. I'd definitely recommend finding a very good trainer or behaviorist. I'm not so sure that medications are needed in this case, though.

 

In the case of an off leash dog, I'd probably turn around and go the other way. If you are meeting an oncoming dog, I'd step off as far as possible and ask my dog to sit and focus on me. It's all in the timing, though -- Because if you wait too long to ask for this behavior you'll have a very hard time getting the focus you need. You need to be paying attention and start asking for the attention behaviors before your dog even notices the oncoming dog(s).

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What a frustrating behavior to contend with. What's his name? You described a number of very good traits, as well. The replies(above) are excellent. Like Julie said, think counter-conditioning and desensitization, and patience. Clearly, take it slow and cautious with children, until you see how he reacts. I agree, seek qualified advice and training...and yes, until he has progressed, avoid circumstances in which he can practice bad behavior. Are there routes, parks, times of day in which meeting dogs is less likely? I want to emphasize, with persistence and effort, I feel sure his difficulty with dogs can be remedied. Be cautious for a while, and hang-in there with your dog.-- Best wishes, TEC

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You don't say where you are from.

 

Brenda Aloff in Midland Michigan is an excellent resource for dogs with aggression issues. She is experienced with Border Collies. I sought her out when I was working with a dog with fear aggression.

 

She also tours the US doing seminars and clinics.

 

You can find lots of info by Googling her.

 

Jennifer

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The rescue you got him from, did they ever see him around other friendly dogs off leash? Your dog may just display this behavior while on a leash. I'm not saying he isn't dog aggressive but many times what you describe is often just a dog reacting badly on a leash and is over exciting and definitely can lead to aggression (pulling and adding tension on the leash is just going to make it worse).

 

Seek professional help obviously if you can't get a handle on it but I would first contact the rescue and ask if he was fostered in a home with other dogs (I would be surprised if the rescue did not test him with other dogs before adopting him out). Then I would do what others have said and start working with him at a distance where he is not reacting or fixating yet on the dog (even if it is 600ft away as you say).

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Thanks for all of your responses.

 

Julie - I do think that desensitization is the key. The problem that I see with such a high energy dog is that he needs the walks and runs in the community to burn off a lot of this energy. Our romps with the ball and frisbee in our yard aren't enough. Up until now, we thought that we could handle his behavior, but it does seem to be getting worse. A behaviorist is probably a good idea.

 

Secret - I try to stay very calm and relaxed on our walks, because I understand my energy could have an effect on his behavior. At the first hint of fixation, I do try to get him to disengage. I try the gentle tap on his flank before he even begins to fixate, as you describe, but it has no effect on him at all. He goes from alert to fixated to raging in the matter of seconds, and once he even notices another dog, there is absolutely no distracting him. The halti collar does sound like an excellent tool, that I will look into.

 

TEC - His name is Edgar. Yes, it is a frustrating situation, because he is such a great dog otherwise. I'm not sure a lot of people would expend a lot of time and energy to deal with him. We are afraid we might be his last resort.

 

JVW - We live in the New Orleans area. Brenda does sound wonderful. Hopefully, someone on the boards will know of someone closer to our area.

 

Snappy - Thanks for Brenda's link. Maybe I can get some useful information off of her site.

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Waffles - The foster parent who was originally keeping him had several dogs in the home. She only kept him for a couple of months, because, she said, "he did not want to share me or my husband with the other dogs in the house." We interpreted this as possessiveness of his owners, and weren't concerned because we don't have any other dogs in our home. It should have been a red flag. After his original foster home, he was kept at a dog groomer's/boarding facility in a crate. While we were meeting him for the first time, he reacted very strongly to a lab that walked past him to leave the facility. Both he and the lab were off leash at the time, but we weren't concerned because there was a lot of noise and activity around him, so we felt his reaction might have been due to the stressful environment. This probably should have been our second red flag. We'll try keeping a greater distance, but it is difficult in a community with a large population of dogs.

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The problem that I see with such a high energy dog is that he needs the walks and runs in the community to burn off a lot of this energy. Our romps with the ball and frisbee in our yard aren't enough.

 

I found this to be a very curious comment -- Simply for the reason that it's more or less the opposite with my dogs. Going for a walk around the neighborhood does NOTHING to appease/tire out my dogs. If we go for a leashed walk it's more because I need the exercise -- Then we come home and I have to throw balls or frisbees for them in the yard to get the real energy out of them.

 

Heck, the other day we went on a 4 mile walk where they were off leash (meaning they probably put in a couple more miles) -- After an hour of running around on the trail, Secret was still bouncing off the walls when we got home. She just needs that release that comes with fetching, I guess.

 

What is the scenario with the five mile bike ride each morning? Is there a reason why you could not do the bike ride again in the afternoon if the dog needs the outlet? It doesn't sound like you guys have an issue with other dogs/fixation while biking -- why is that? Location? Time of day? Extra exertion? I will say, when I take my dogs out on roller blades they are far less inclined to look at other dogs because of the speed at which we are going.

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Secret - Actually, he reacts while biking too. I started the biking thinking that maybe he would be so distracted by the fast pace that he wouldn't pay attention to other dogs. Sometimes he almost pulls me off of the bike as he lunges at dogs we pass on the street.

 

We have adjusted the time of day that we bike/walk to limit his exposure to other dogs.

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Katrice,

 

Thank you for taking this boy into your lives. Here is a blog address http://vanyaproject.blogspot.com/2010/06/thinking-about-pit-bulls.html that details life with a rescued, highly people social and dog/reactive, dog/aggressive pitbull named Vanya.

 

Nancy details a LOT of the work she's done with Vanya to change his responses. I think this blog might give you some great ideas.

 

How far are you from Texas A&M, in Bryan, TX? They've got a great veterinary school and a great behaviorist. I'll have to go look up her name and come back.

 

You might join the Clicker Solutions yahoo group for more ideas.

 

Good luck! Pictures, since no one else has said it, are welcome.

 

Ruth and Gibbs

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The BAT method explained here (I believe also used with Vanya) makes sense to me for fear-aggression.

 

http://ahimsadogtraining.com/blog/bat/

 

http://functionalrewards.com/

 

You have a dog that is not a quick fix nor a guaranteed fix. You say he is suspicious of strangers and are hesitant to introduce him to your grandchildren. Please, please, please, be careful of his interactions with people. If he ever bites someone, the rescue cannot take him back and adopt him out. It can be a death sentence. I've had to deal with something like this this week and it's breaking my heart...so...be careful.

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http://texasvetbehavior.com/about-dr-haug/ The vet I spoke about is in Sugarland now, which is near Houston.

 

If that's too far, google veterinary behaviorist Louisiana. DO NOT be fooled by 'behavior consultant', etc. You need a board certified vet behaviorist.

 

You might call Dr. Haug and see if she can refer you to someone closer to you. Jedismom is correct, you want to be very, very careful with your boy.

 

And, try some trick training or the like to engage him mentally. Exercising his brain will help him settle, and it's a great way to strengthen the bond between you.

 

You can also work on any simple behaviors he doesn't have - stay, go to your spot, drop it, come, etc - to engage him. Don't misunderstand, these tricks and manners routines don't make him any safer, but they do get him focused on you, and that's a good thing.

 

Ruth

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In addition to the physical stimulation, don't underestimate the effect of mental stimulation to help burn some steam off of him! Mental exercise would probably do more for mine than a walk would!

 

http://texasvetbehavior.com/about-dr-haug/ The vet I spoke about is in Sugarland now, which is near Houston.

 

Dr. Haug is EXCELLENT. From time to time, she also teaches a Reactive Dog class that is based on the book "Control Unleashed" by Leslie McDevitt. That book is another great resource for information on training fear-reactive dogs.

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I don't know that she'll be in your neck o' the woods anytime soon, but Sue Sternberg is also excellent at dog/dog interactions. Google her! And she also has an excellent DVD - in the comfort of your own living room! It won't be specific to you and your dog - but she has many examples, and perhaps something will "click."

 

Good luck.

diane

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Thanks again for everyone's comments. I've gotten a lot of good advice from you all.

 

Ruth - Thanks for the Vanya link. I started reading the blog this morning. Hopefully, I'll be able to glean some useful tips to help Edgar become less reactive. We are about 6 hours east of Sugarland, TX, so Dr. Haug might be a little too far to work with directly. As you suggested, I'm going to contact her to see if she can recommend someone a little closer to where we live. Edgar is doing really well with obedience training, and already responds to sit, stay, down, crawl, and come. So, he has been fairly easy to train.

 

Jedismom - I glanced over the BAT method links that you sent. I like the idea of positive reinforcement. A friend suggested aversion training, in the form of a shock collar and clicker. I don't really like the idea of the shock collar and I'm afraid that if the dog is already fearful the shock collar may increase his anxiety. Your comment about being very careful about his interactions with other people really struck a chord. I am very worried about Edgar's unpredictable reaction to strangers. Yesterday, we had a neighbor that he does not know give him several treats and rub him for a few minutes. Edgar seemed very relaxed and happy to be around this neighbor, until she came over to throw him a ball to chase, and then he growled, bared his teeth and lunged at her. He was unleashed at the time. This was especially distressing since it seemed that they had already made friends. This morning, on a walk, Edgar lunged and growled at a man who was checking his mailbox. The man's back was to Edgar, so Edgar should not have felt threatened by him. Edgar's unpredictable nature has me most concerned. Thus far, he hasn't bitten anyone. I know there is no quick fix for Edgar, but I wish there was some way of knowing whether he can be fixed for certain. I wonder if a behaviorist would be able to assess whether he can be rehabilitated. Are some dogs really lost causes?

 

Jake - In addition to obedience training (sit, stay, down...) we have been playing mental stimulation games like find the dog treat, find the person etc.(using the book "The Cure for the Useless Dog Syndrome" by Emma Lincoln), and we've begun some agility training. We're taking these things slowly, but he seems to enjoy them.

 

Diane - I'll look into the Sternberg DVD. It doesn't appear that she will be in our area in the near future.

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Hello, link lady here. :)

 

This one is a directory of vet behaviorists. Not sure if there is one closer to you than Dr. Haug. There aren't that many of them.

 

http://www.dacvb.org/resources/find/

 

This link might be helpful in how to choose a trainer. They all have different philosophies and methods and its good to educate yourself on these. Find someone that is skilled and has had success with the method that you choose. There is a directory at the bottom of the page of APDT certified trainers in the US. Perhaps there is one in your area.

 

http://www.apdt.com/petowners/choose/default.aspx

 

and this:

 

http://www.ccpdt.org/index.php?option=c ... Itemid=102

 

You are correct that using aversives on a fearful dog could increase anxiety. I wouldn't do it and I'm not a person that is totally against them. When Jedi decided 2 yrs. ago, out of the blue, that it might be fun to chase a truck, and his head almost connected with the trucks bumper, I was..let's say..aversive. He never tried it again.

 

Your hope with Edgar is that he will start to form more positive associations with the world outside of your immediate family.

 

To answer your question, yes, there are dogs that are lost causes. You just won't know until you try. Thank you for giving Edgar a chance. I'd love to see a picture. :)

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I can't stress enough how it would behoove you to seek out professional help from a board certified vet behaviorist. I know others have already suggested this, but I'm going to stress it again. You need someone who understands dog behavior and can give you a program specific to your dog. Not all methods are right for all dogs. There are a lot of people out there that think they know/understand dog behavior and how to "fix" it, but if you listen to the wrong person (Your friend, for example - a shock collar with a clicker?? That's a new one for me. And, to add, a VERY, VERY BAD idea), you could make things worse. A lot of people bristle at the thought of shelling out $200-300 on a vet behaviorist. But, those same people wouldn't hesitate to shell out that kind of money on a regular vet, if their dog was sick. It's the same thing. Please get professional help, and the sooner, the better.

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I can't stress enough how it would behoove you to seek out professional help from a board certified vet behaviorist. I know others have already suggested this, but I'm going to stress it again. You need someone who understands dog behavior and can give you a program specific to your dog. Not all methods are right for all dogs. There are a lot of people out there that think they know/understand dog behavior and how to "fix" it, but if you listen to the wrong person (Your friend, for example - a shock collar with a clicker?? That's a new one for me. And, to add, a VERY, VERY BAD idea), you could make things worse. A lot of people bristle at the thought of shelling out $200-300 on a vet behaviorist. But, those same people wouldn't hesitate to shell out that kind of money on a regular vet, if their dog was sick. It's the same thing. Please get professional help, and the sooner, the better.

I want to second this as well! After reading about his behavior towards strangers I definitely think it is in everyone's best interest to seek out a true professional. You said he is unpredictable but chances are he is very predictable, you just haven't had him long enough to see what the triggers are and how to see them before they even happen. This is something a professional can sort out with you. Most people can't pick up on the tiny signals dogs give through their body language. Keep us posted though on what happens in the future. Keep up the good work.

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I feel your pain Katrice. I would recommend a behaviorist as well. If North Carolina is close enough, NC State has a Behavioral Science program <NCSU Behavioral Medicine>. I saw a Resident there but they have a (non student) Behaviorist or two on staff as well. My Resident(Dr Hopfensperger) was excellent but she's going into private practice in the next couple of months and won't be with NCSU anymore... you might be able to find her online.

 

I have one dog who is fear aggressive and one dog who is obsessive like yours. The fear aggressive dog is doing WONDERFULLY on Prozac and behavior modification techniques taught by Dr H. I tried taking her off of the drugs for somewhere around 2-3 months and just working on the behavior modification to see if I could wean her off and get the same results... nope. The difference between her on Prozac and off Prozac when everything else is the same is amazing. Clover (that dog) just completed a beginning agility class a couple of weeks ago and is getting ready to take her second level of classes. I never could have had her in a situation like that before.

 

Clover does not do well with negative reinforcement... however... Zeus on the other hand. Zeus fixates. He gets VERY intense and will shake with his intensity. With him it is about exposure, exposure, exposure...in super small amounts at a time. At one point Zeus regressed to the point where any time he saw another dog that wasn't part of our pack he went bananas. With him positive reinforcement doesn't do squat. A little negative reinforcement or even a preemptive reminder to behave when he starts showing any sign of focusing too much has become the key to keeping his head from exploding. He still can't handle Flyball tournaments (which we do with 2 of our other dogs) but we're going to start doing the beginner agility class with him on Tuesday in hopes that we can slowly work up to more stimulating situations. The nice thing about the agility classes I'm taking is that they accept dogs with behavior issues and everything is on leash so there's no chance of harm coming to any dog and if your dog gets over stimulated then there is a time out area where they can decompress.

 

We did not go to a behaviorist with Zeus but I used the techniques I learned with Clover for Zeus. I had to modify a little when he didn't respond to the positives like Clover does.

 

I also went to a Leash Aggression workshop held at Paws4Ever in Mebane, NC. That was with a travelling behaviorist I believe and that has helped a TON with Zeus. She taught techniques for holding the leash to maximize hand freedom and bracing your arm to calm the dog and keep him/her from pulling like crazy and encouraging the frenzied behavior. That workshop was really helpful with Zeus, who is/was the leash aggressive one.

 

Keep in mind...I've been working with my dogs for YEARS on overcoming these issues. I encourage you not to give up and to definitely explore all of your options. I understand that some people really do not believe in negative reinforcement and I am not trying to push my values or beliefs on anyone but I have found that some dogs, like Clover, only respond to positive reinforcement and will shut down if you use negative reinforcement which does *not* solve the problem and can make it worse. BUT, some dogs like Zeus need a heavier hand and using only positive reinforcement doesn't work.

 

A note about gentle leaders: they work for some dogs. Unfortunately for Clover they exacerbated her fear issues and it took a LONG time to undo the damage that caused. They work great for Zeus though.

 

As far as exercise goes: I agree with SecretBC... a walk is a JOKE to my dogs. We go cross country hiking in the morning through the woods and streams and hopefully go again at night and we play chuck it... but there are a couple of things that I have found that work wonders. Clover LOVES water. She used to play in kiddie pools but she'd burn holes in them digging and splashing and playing so we were only able to get a few play times out of each pool. Now we have horse troughs from Tractor Supply... they have black heavy plastic ones that hold up extremely well and Clover will spend hours playing and getting rid of excess energy there. Zena, Zeus' littermate also loves the trough and will play there too. We also invested in a treadmill from Craigslist. We maybe spent $75 on a cheap treadmill and taught all of our dogs how to run on them. Now in the morning when I do yoga I will put a dog on the treadmill at 2.0 mph while I get my mat set and video in etc... then I turn it up to 3-4mph and have the dog run for 20-30 minutes while I do my yoga and then cool down for a few minutes at a lower speed. I also play with the incline. The dogs have to concentrate or they will fall off so it helps with mental as well as physical stimulation.

 

I rotate the dogs so they don't do the treadmill every day but it's an excellent tool for those dogs that seem to have never ending energy. It's also great for when it's super nasty out and you can't go outside for more than a potty break.

 

Good luck!!!!! You're doing a wonderful thing trying to help rehabilitate that dog :)

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Thanks again for everyone's comments. I've gotten a lot of good advice from you all.

I don't really like the idea of the shock collar and I'm afraid that if the dog is already fearful the shock collar may increase his anxiety.

 

Your comment about being very careful about his interactions with other people really struck a chord. I am very worried about Edgar's unpredictable reaction to strangers. Yesterday, we had a neighbor that he does not know give him several treats and rub him for a few minutes. Edgar seemed very relaxed and happy to be around this neighbor, until she came over to throw him a ball to chase, and then he growled, bared his teeth and lunged at her. He was unleashed at the time. This was especially distressing since it seemed that they had already made friends. This morning, on a walk, Edgar lunged and growled at a man who was checking his mailbox. The man's back was to Edgar, so Edgar should not have felt threatened by him. Edgar's unpredictable nature has me most concerned. Thus far, he hasn't bitten anyone. I know there is no quick fix for Edgar, but I wish there was some way of knowing whether he can be fixed for certain. I wonder if a behaviorist would be able to assess whether he can be rehabilitated. Are some dogs really lost causes?

 

 

I'm only sharing my experience with my one very specific fearful and reactive dog, but in Buddy's case:

 

First: I spent a couple weeks doing the "collar yank" when he reacted out of fear - and could see that all I was doing was adding ME to the list of unpredictable things in the world that scared Buddy. Yeesh. Was glad I let that go very early.

 

Buddy's behavior seemed very unpredictable at first - why he would react with growling and barking. But after a little while, I began to see that it was very, very (entirely) predictable. Once I learned his triggers, I was able to desensitize him. I learned that if I gave him enough distance at first, and did treat/reward when he was near them, he could overcome them. NOt fast. It took months, and patient fellow dog walkers, before he could walk next to people rather than 50 feet behind them. To get used to specific men bending over him, or patting him, he had to work for long, long times with those specific men. I say "friend, friend" in a sing-song voice, which he equates with someone who gives treats. There was no real generalizing: he still doesn't like strange men moving too quickly toward him. But, after 7 years, he sees the potential for treats when strangers move near him, and it's starting to sink in, I think. Ran into my brother and sister-in-law out walking this morning; he hasn't spent much time with them, but he happily approached and offered kisses.

 

So, the theme of the above paragraph is: yes, absolutely, dogs can get over these things. But it's often one step forward, two steps back. And it's not fast. And it's work. But totally worth it.

 

Now, I know it seems like your neighbor made friends with Edgar, and then shouldn't have evoked reaction from him later, when he approached the ball. But, for my dog, many meetings - canine and human - are required to produce familiarity. And then there's context, context, context. Buddy can sit with my friend in the living room, but if she goes to the bathroom and then comes back in, it's like a new situation entirely. Or, say, she's in my car instead of my house. Or she comes in a different door. I can't explain it, but I just deal with it.

 

Don't let Edgar get into situations where he's over threshold. You'll soon be able to predict them. I learned to keep Buddy under his threshold by removing him from situations that got "too much." (One dog is OK. Two dogs is stressful. A dog park is hell.)

 

I go along with those who tell you to see qualified professional help. I found a trainer early on who just happened to be experienced with reactive dogs and with reading Buddy's body language. Having good advice made me far more comfortable with my own behavior - and from then on, it was just a matter of practice and fine-tuning.

 

I have a content, pampered house dog now, when seven years ago I thought I had a candidate for euthanasia. He's got foibles that I guard against, but he's a great companion for me. Thought you might like to hear a success story. :)

 

Mary

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Vickkers and mbc1963 - Thank you for sharing your stories. I appreciate all of the advice and insights that I have received on this website.

 

We took Edgar to the vet yesterday, because he started excessively licking his lips and swallowing hard a few nights ago. This has happened every night now for the last five nights, and the episodes last about an hour each time. He also licks the floor, the coffee table, the sofa...anything he can get his tongue on. We thought that he might be having some intestinal distress brought on by allergies. He seems to be extremely anxious when this happens. The strange thing is that it seems to be triggered when one of his family members leaves the room that he is in.

 

Although the vet thought that allergies could be a contributing factor, he believes that Edgar has an extreme case of OCD complicated by an anxiety disorder and possibly some other neurological problems. He told us that licking can be a symptom of OCD and anxiety disorders. He also told us that he feels that Edgar suffers from an extreme form of separation anxiety. The vet's impression is that Edgar's fixation on other dogs and his indiscriminate dog aggression are also symptoms of these emotional and neurological problems. He feels that we have a very steep uphill battle in order to conquer these problems and asked us to seriously consider whether we want to keep this dog. My heart is broken. We want to get another opinion, but we obviously have some soul searching to do.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm sorry to hear about Edgar, makes me tear up a bit, I've heard of dogs with anxiety disorders, like extreme shyness being given Prozac and it helping. Maybe that's something you could try as a last resort.

 

Also would like to add, I know your not going to use a shock collar but.... But I did massive amounts of research on shock collar - e-collars a few years ago, one of the things I found out from my research was.... Never use a shock collar to correct aggressive behavior-- an aggressive dog will most likely think whatever he is focusing on, the other dog - is what is shocking him and attack it.

I know you aren't going to use a shock collar- but posting this incase others read this.

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