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Teachiing Doggie sports to aggressive dogs

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I do flyball with my dogs. I have a bc/mix, australain cattledog and now a miniature poodle. I am one of the trainers for my club and help teach the flyball class. So I do have some credible knowledge and I will give you info based on my teams thinking about aggressive dogs.


We have in the past taken on training of aggressive border collies and other breeds and this was when we were still sort of new and needed dogs. We had one border collie in particular that was never socialized as a puppy, the owners never did a thing with her and she was handled by a teenager that is not part of her family. This dog had the makings of being a great flyball dog except for her aggressiveness. Doing flyball did help though....she became more social and during actual practice and competition we did not have to worry about her going after another dog except for one. Of course, we had her in training for a long time before we trusted her to compete. There was a dog on the team that we had to keep away from her because no matter what they would go after each other. Our team has decided to stay away from overly aggressive dogs as much as possible. We have even get some out of class. This dog has since retired for the mot part because the handler has a dog of her own and no longer has time for this border collie. This dog was truly making great progress with taming her aggression but WE all knew to be careful when she was around and we kept our dogs away from her and her belongings unless we were outside in neutral territory.


So yes you can teach your aggressive dog flyball, it might help with the socializing, it might help with exercising the dog but be VERY careful. Before you start training for dog sports, I would start working on the aggressive behavior then worry about the dog sports. Flyball can hinder your obedience training so make sure that your dog knows commands first and is very reliable. If you have a very knowledgeable flyball team around, talk to them and ask questions. Some teams do not want to deal with aggressive dogs but others like the opportunity to retrain aggressive dogs. It all depends on the teams in your area and what they expect from a dog.


I cannot comment on agility and aggressive dogs since I do not do agility.


Have you thought about herding lessons? I would recommend herding lessons before you go into the other sports.


Before anything work on finding a good trainer who knows how to deal with aggressive dogs, socialize and work the obedience. You would be amazed at the difference in your dog once it has to use its brain.


Do you know what sets your dog off? Why is it so aggressive? Some background info might help.

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I for one do not think an aggressive dog belongs in dog sports. We did a flyball class where one such dog participated and during the class one day as I was petting my dog and talking to someone that particular dog raced away from the course and nailed the dog I was petting. Neither I, the person I was talking to or my dog saw the other dog coming. My dog was thrown to the ground and attacked. She was terrified and peed all over herself. I was furious--it's not fair to everyone else to have such a dog in the class OR everyone should be notified first so they can decide for themselves if they want to be in a class with such a dog. I would not have participated had I known that dog was in the class. It attacked a second dog later that night and was finally removed from the class. Quite honestly it ruined that class for me and we never went back. My dog was completely nervous and couldn't concentrate because she kept darting her eyes around trying to look at all the other dogs. My dog attacked is Ms. Social, gets along with every dog she's ever met and loves to play with other dogs. She'd never been attacked before (or since then) and she was just terrified.




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