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Elly is my 16 month old, very energetic pup. I have two problems: when she is in the midst of running and herding other dogs I can not break her concentration at all! I am at a loss about what to do to get her to listen to my command. My other problem is that 2 weeks ago she decided to target a woman at the park aggressively; barking and surrounding her. Elly has encountered this woman almost every day for a year with no problem...basically ignored her. But 2 weeks ago she saw her and decided to bark. The woman and I have tried everything to show that the woman is my "friend". Today was Elly's most aggressive day towards the woman. Elly has NEVER done this with anyone before; there has never even been a slight inclinging to be aggressive to a person before. Does anyone have any suggestions? All would be helpful.

Thank you,

Jen and Elly

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Sounds like Elly still needs a little work on her recall. Put her back on a long line, even when she's off playing with her doggy friends. You need to be able to enforce that command every single time you give it. She hears you, but she just thinks she has better things to do. It probably couldn't hurt to reinforce her down command some, too, as I find it to do wonders to settle my dogs down when they're getting overly exuberant.


As far as the aggression towards the lady, don't coddle the dog with the typical baby-talk and "It's allright" stuff--all that does is make it worse. Elly needs to stay on a leash until this problem is fixed, and you can use the leash to give her a very strong correction by snatching her off of her feet and shouting "No" into her face a couple times. She'll get the message quickly. And thumbs up to you for trying to fix this before it became a bigger problem.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'd suggest that Elly needs additional work on her recall as she doesn't feel she has to obey you if she is doing something else she likes better. Even if she grumbles as she does it, she needs to come when she's called.


It's hard to say what would suddenly trigger her with the lady in the park. It may have been anything - a mannerism or something which triggered off a memory of something else. I'd suggest don't try and be nice and say 'what's the matter girl?' Just be very firm with a no and put her in a submissive position before the lady. A very firm 'down!' reinforced with your foot on the lead may work. They don't like being picked up by the scruff of the neck and shaken either. This is pretty extreme but may also work. She must know that you are the boss and won't tolerate such nonsense.


Good luck. I have the sweetest natured, most submissive dog. The first time she snapped at a dog which got in her face and kept blocking her return to me, I got the shock of my life. The thing is that dogs think differently to us, and you may never quite anticipate what will trigger them and what they will do. That's why it is so important to keep up the obedience training and have good control of your dog in any situation. She must know that your are the top dog of her pack, and respect you.




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