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Change of personality with 11 month BC

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I am desperately looking for advice from some BC owners who have had similar experience. 
This is a very long post but I feel it’s important to give the full picture.
This is our first BC. Please only provide constructive help as we are doing the best with the advice we have been provided.
I’m going to give you our full story 
My 12 year old daughter had wanted a Border Collie since she was 5yrs. Last March we brought home our 8 week old puppy (A farm puppy with a loyal mother and apparently a lazy Blue Merle father.)
My daughter is a sensitive, shy child and we felt that having a dog could bring her out of her shell and teach her about responsibility. (I myself got a dog for my 12th birthday and feel  that I am the most responsible out of my 4 sisters.) My daughter has done amazingly well with our dog’s training and interacting with the class and trainers.
We didn’t get a collie lightly. We looked into the breed. We spoke to breeders and owners. We realised they could be challenging but decided we were a good family (mum, dad, 8yrs old and 12yr old) for a collie. We are very active, spend a lot of time out-doors and like routine and discipline!
I have my own business and spent a lot of time working at home when I am not teaching.
We live in Glasgow, Scotland. We are in the suburbs and have a country park 15 minutes walk from our house.
Jess went into her crate from the start. She spent nights in her crate and never had an accident in there. She was house trained after 2 weeks. She was taken to puppy socialisation classes and then puppy foundation training and intermediate training. 
Jess came everywhere with us. We holidayed in Ireland (to visit my husband’s family) and did a bit of touring, choosing dog friendly hotels.
She is the friendliest dog in the world and very caring to other smaller dogs. We are a very sociable family and have friends round often who would also bring their dogs. Everything was good.
Then in August Jess hit the teenage years. She became a little defiant. She would dig holes in the garden to bury her bones, she would guard her bones and she would refuse to come back on the leash. In order to keep her focused while in the park we would always have her chase a stick or a ball (we now realise this wasn’t the best idea).
She became more vocal in her training classes and barked and barked until it was her turn! She turned from the class prefect to the class delinquent!
My children went back to school after the summer holidays and after 7 weeks of us all being together it was now just me and her during the day. She became challenging and looked for my attention frequently. If I left her in the kitchen to go upstairs (even for a minute) she would bark and on my return she would’ve stolen a piece of clothing to chew. (attention seeking I think and perhaps soothing to her)
I was aware that I should think about having her ‘dressed’ but also aware that I wanted her to be fully developed before we did this and wondered if letting her have one season would be so bad!!!!
We went away for a week to a log cabin in October. Jess had her crate with her but all of sudden she would growl when asked to go into it. We went on some lovely daily walks but on our return Jess would go into a corner and growl if anyone walked by or went near her.
On our return everything was worse. Every time we went out for a walk she would lie across the front door to stop people going in or out and would growl. The crate issue became worse and she would snap at my husband (though only when in it).
She went off her food and became very protective of herself. We sought advice and were told the dog was probably being dominant and that we were not to let her off with bad behaviour. The only command we over used was “go to your mat”.
Everything escalated and we sought the help of a behaviourist. We had a full vet examination first. Their diagnoses was that she was having a phantom pregnancy and was given a 4 day course of anti-hormone drugs. This improved her mood but then sent her into her first season (so obviously wasn’t a phantom pregnancy). She stopped bleeding on 19th November so now we are waiting the required 9 weeks before having her ‘done’.
Our behaviourist told us that our dog was stressed. She explained all the signs and stages and said that the next stage was that Jess would bite. As you can imagine, this stressed me out as I had to think about the safety of my 2 daughters. We were also told to give her space and don’t call her cage ‘bed’ and to lure her away when she would guard the doors.
We have changed everything. Jess gets more freedom round the house. I don’t take her in my car anymore (her leg got trapped by her leash on one trip and she was vicious when I tried to get her out. I had to get my husband home from work and I do understand that she was protecting herself).
She no longer is given a ball or a stick on her daily park walk. We realise she would go into ‘work mode’ and would be more stressed afterwards.
There is a little part of me that thinks she is calling the shots.
We even considered rehoming her and visited a foster home. At that time she was doing well and only went ahead as we had made the appointment (she has 6 collies and does agility at Crufts). She complemented us on our friendly dog and felt she seemed very balanced and not at all stressed.
Anyway the holidays have been stressful. Jess obviously becomes over stimulated when there is noise and company and although she has various options to find space she will come through to the crowd. Keen to be petted she will seek out a good rub. With certain people we have watched her body language change and asked the visitor to back away or stop stroking her.
Her crate is no longer a chosen destination for her but we are working on ‘CRATE GAMES’.
Unfortunately visitors do not always listen and now on 2 occasions she has nipped. The skin has not been broken but she did make contact with their hand.
We considered rehousing her when it happened but my 12 year old had asked for agility equipment for her Christmas (nothing else) so we feel we want to make this work.
I know I’ve mentioned rehoming twice but please be assured that I want this to work. I want to know if it can?
Please advice or tell me if I’m mad and just enabling Jess by making excuses for her.
We have watched many Victoria Stillwell programmes and many have helped.
On one occasion when she was growling we refused to engage with her (other than walks and food) for 24 hours. This improved her behaviour for a few days.
I can see she is overwhelmed, at times, but I feel I’m on tenderhook a lot of the time. I am anxious about putting her on her Halti Harness as she bared her teeth with me one day on removing it. The next day she had a slight limp but am I enabling again??
For anyone who has read this through, thank you for your time.


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You will probably get more complete answers from others, but here is a little input:

You said that she has had a full vet examination. Did that include a thyroid test? Low thyroid levels can be linked to aggression. From what others here have said, the expert at interpreting thyroid levels is Dr. Dodman (in the USA). If you go that route, you might get a referral to a similar expert in your area or maybe send the blood directly to Dr. Dodman.


It sounds to me like you need to consult a behaviorist who is able to come to your home to observe directly the behaviors your dog is displaying. S/he can come up with a plan of action so you can be consistent in implementation. A dog will get confused when you keep switching up training techniques.


Good Luck.

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It's Dr. Jean Dodds, not Dr. Dodman, who is a behaviorist.


11 months is about the time that many behavioral issues can surface, but I agree that a thyroid check is in order if it's not already been done.


One thing that may be happening is that your dog was used to having a lot of attention over the summer, and now that the kids are back in school, she's bored and lonely and acting out.


But the aggressive issues and resource guarding would seem to be more than just that.


You say the behaviorist you consulted said that the dog was stressed. Did s/he identify the source of the stress? And what was the recommendation for working with the dog?


It would be a good idea, imo, to seek out a qualified veterinary behaviorist or, at the very least, a positive reinforcement trainer with experience working with aggressive dogs.


Does the dog have rules that she's expected to observe in your home? I wonder if maybe she has too much freedom and she's taking matters into her own paws. My dogs have clear expectations about what they can and can't do in my home, and having that kind of leadership and routine is good for them. They know what to expect.

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Hi and welcome.


I'm in the UK too.


Remember that any advice given here is by people who haven't observed your dog and will be based on experience of the behaviour of dogs they have known with similar behaviour to what you describe, which sounds pretty common to me.


I know how hard it can be to trust a dog that you know may have the potential to bite but she hasn't done it yet. So far she's only snapped with good bite inhibition. Don't push her into biting harder. With the right guidance you have a good chance of getting her over this.


Forget the person you consulted who labelled her "dominant". It's a simplistic term that doesn't really mean anything in terms of human - dog relationships and could lead you down the damaging track of dealing with her in a confrontational manner which could make matters worse.


You say you also say you consulted a behaviourist. Anyone can call themselves that without qualifications. Some non qualified ones can be good though. The better qualified ones such as those belonging to the APBC only accept clients through vet referral but vets are often not the best people to judge who is capable of giving good advice. If you would like to pm me the name of the person you saw I can check them out or come up with another suggestion in your area. ("Veterinary behaviourist" isn't something you would see as a qualification here though small handful of vets are qualified behaviourists too.)


I'm curious as to who the agility person you met was too. That's partly me being nosy and partly thinking she may be able to help with advice.


Whoever you consult you need a clear written plan how to deal with her issues that doesn't involve bullying her.


You mention that you have watched Victoria Stilwell and found her helpful but then go on to say that you ignored your dog for 24 hours which is something I'm pretty sure she wouldn't have recommended. That's more the sort of thing you'd get from someone who is into considering dogs as "dominant" towards us. Dogs don't have a concept of time as we do time out for 5 mins or less can be just as effective as 24 hrs.


One thing though - spaying her won't make any difference to the issues you describe. I'm not saying don't do it, but it is a completely different issue.


She doesn't sound particularly unusual to me, just confused as to what you expect from her and using the only means she has at her disposal to communicate, plus she's at an age when most dogs will test the boundaries.


Crate - Don't make a big issue of it (or anything else for that matter). Go back to basics trying to restore the idea that it is a good place to be by feeding her in it and leaving the door open. I would normally say use toys too but maybe not yet as she is showing the tendency to resource guard. Never reach in to get her.


Resource guarding - I would first remove all objects of guarding then start a programme where you allow her items of low value to her and swap them with her for something of higher value, but ideally you need someone who can assess her in person and work out what is likely to work for her.


If you need to move her around the house physically leave a short tab lead on her so you don't need to be so hands on.. Tuffstuff make them.


Attention seeking - As already said, not unexpected if she has been used to a lot of attention during the holidays. Give her plenty of down time whether the kids are home or not. She needs to learn to be content with her own company. I'm not suggesting ignoring her completely, just that she should learn the times when you are available to be fun and those you aren't.


Snapping when stroked by strangers - Oh I recognise this so well with our own collie. Your dog is probably conflicted; she wants physical contact but can't cope with it. She could be the cuddliest dog in the world with family but still wary of strangers. You may or may not be able to turn her into a dog that trusts strangers but I'd be happier if the extent of her behaviour were properly assessed in person first. For the time being the safest course of action is not to allow strangers to touch her. They can drop treats in her presence while paying her no attention to start with.


You may also be dealing with a degree of person guarding too. She may be more inclined to object to the attentions of strangers if her person is present.


Halti - What have you done to introduce her to it to make it a pleasant experience? Is she most sensitive around her head? Does she not walk well on a lead? (No criticism, I know plenty that don't.) If not I would look for a harness that isn't too hard to put on. Google Dog Games harnesses.


Blocking the door - Controlling movement is what collies are supposed to do. I wouldn't even give her the attention of luring her away. If she's blocking the front door I'd use the back, rendering what she is doing pointless. Obviously if she doesn't get the message you'd need to rethink, but if she's hand shy physically moving her may not be the best option.


You don't say what actually training you are currently doing with her or what methods were used in the classes you went to. What have you used as a reward for her? From what you say you may be depriving yourself of a really high value reward by not using a ball, but preferably one on a rope so you are in control. (Sticks no, too dangerous.)


The more training you do, you may find that her current issues diminish, but don't count on it. She will have less time to obsess over things and will get used to the idea that doing as you say gets her good things.


I'm not saying that those are the only ways of dealing with her but they are the safest to try with a dog none of us have seen. The one thing to avoid is making matters worse or getting someone bitten.


Another thing to consider is whether she is suited to living in the house all the time. She may find it difficult to cope with the comings and goings and be happier to spend at least part of her time outside. I know it's usually frowned upon in the UK for non working dogs but if she is from a farm she may not have been bred with regard to the ability to cope with the stresses and strains of domestic life. You say that she cowers and growls when she comes back from a walk (at least on holiday). Maybe it would help if you had an outside run and kennel she could go in to wind down after her run and then come back in the house later. You might all benefit from the break.


Just something to consider.

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Thank you all so much for reading and reply. I'm going to send my response in bits as I keep losing what I have written.


gcv-border and GentleLake: I have looked into Dr Jean Dodds and found the info very interesting especially as my husband insists Jess's issues have been causes by a reaction to her worming drops (ADVOCATE). She received 2 doses but it was only after the 2nd dose that we made the connection between the drops and her being violently sick!


My behaviourist did mention that do a thyroid check down the line may be an idea but I think she was going along the idea that her hormones were the issue. Of course Thyriod is a hormone too and maybe what has been causing her imbalance. We first consulted with her at the beginning of November but it hasn't been mentioned since.


I'll discuss house rule in my mum24dog bit.


Sandysfarm: Yes she can be extremely affectionate. Her whole body seems to wag and not just her tail. She has definite times when she wants attention outwith the usual just in and just up routines. She will fall over at your feet and want her whole tummy rubbed, though she does want more attention from me and hubby than the 2 kids. She can be indifferent to my youngest (8 yr old) unless she wants her to play a game.

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Mum24dog: Thank you so much for your lengthy reply. I'm going to title the various sections in response.


Behaviourist: She is a lovely young girl who is a qualified vet and then went on to do a postgrad in Behavioural studies. Both degrees here in Britain. She is very qualified but of course that doesn't count for experience. Most of her cases are aggression related and I assume are often put down to stress. Like us humans there are varying degrees of stress and we allreact differently.................I realise we are dealing with a very sensitive breed here and I'm not sure if she will have had much experience in this field. I will PM you her info and a copy of the report which was provided after 7 hours spent in our family home. This included analysis of her behaviour in the car and during an lengthy walk on leash and off.


Victoria Stillwell: A mum at the school gates told me about her so we have spent hours watching "it's me or the dog" on youtube. We have picked up lots of snippets and found it really helpful, especially as it make you realise how badly behaved some dogs are and make you feel less lonely! Your right we didn't get the ignoring or dominant approach from her. We picked this up in the book Border Collie Owners Guide by Alice Singer.

We did pick up the titbit of pretending to eat our dogs food before giving it too her from one of the Victoria programmes. Isn't that about showing who is leader? I'm not sure what the general feeling is about this. I did discuss with my behaviourist and she felt it did nothing more than make the dog think it was tasty although said her mother swore by that technique.


Food: Although not specifically mentioned we have been given mixed views on food. When we originally got Jess we wanted to put her on Orijen. One assistant in our pet shop told us that this would make a border collie hyper, so we put her on James Wellbeloved.

When Jess's aggression problems started she also went off her food. She didn't seem to like the bigger kibble for a teenage dog. We had a lengthy chat about Orijen with the petshop owner who felt that the information given about Orijen wasn't entirely true as the protein was purer and the higher fat made the protein more digestible. So we switched and Jess loved it.

I'm not sure if this has made her more hypersensitive and is partly to blame. After our initial consultation with our behaviourist she felt that we shouldn't change her food just yet. I decided to reduce the amount of Orijen given at each meal and add some boiled brown rice or some crumpled oat cakes to increase the carb content.

Instantly her 4 poos a day (on th orijen only) reduced to 3. On discussion it was felt that her excessive pooing might be done to stress and not diet!


Part 2 to follow:

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Part 2:......

Crate: Not sure why the crate became a problem. In the past 2 months we have had varied response. From having to put a kong at the back to stop her snarling when I shut the door to her lying down and allowing me to place her treat in front of her. This is sometime followed by a low growl when the door is closed.

She used to go in and sleep every morning but its been a while since she did this. I have started placing treats in there randomnly.

She never refused to go in. At night she would start to get anxious (ears back watching every move) as she would pre-empt the instruction to go to crate. We have stopped using a verbal cue and just place treats there.

She has always been intuitive and if she sees me putting my makeup on she will go to her crate as she feels it signals me going out.

Jess would normally spent the night in the crate and if I'm out during the day (max one 3 hour stint). Over the past few days we have let her sleep on the quilt in our dining/kitchen (where her crate is). I'm not sure if this has added to her confusion/stress but we have decided only to crate her when we're not in the house.

Unfortunately when she showed aggression at the start we would tell her to go to bed "crate" or her 'mat'. We don't use these terms now. Also a couple of aggression episodes occurred prior to me going out so she had to be put in the cage. I do understand the association for her but it couldn't be helped.

Resource guarding: She never guard her toys. If she is in a strop she will take the stuffing and squeaky bits out of her toys. She does guard bones, rawhides etc. I bought her a new chewy bone shaped toy which smelt of bacon - this was a big mistake as she growled if anyone came near. She chews on her antlers but doesn't guard them.

Attention Seeking: This has improved. I have been ignoring her attempt or will leave the room if she starts barking. Jess never seemed to sleep while I was home. She would do her sleeping while I was out working for a couple of hours in the morning but this wasn't every morning.

Snapping: She seems to be more wary of those who get a little over friendly or those who pat the top of her head. All in all she's the one who approaches people but I do agree she becomes over stimulated. If I stop at the traffic lights she thinks everyone should pet her.

Halti: We were using a non-pull harness which was a little more restrictive. I only use the harness when we go to the park as she will pull like crazy till we get there. On the school run she is fine with collar and leash. I encourage her into it with a treat and will now do the same on the way out. She's usually really tired after her walk so can be grumpy about removing.

I do feel she is calling a lot of the shots. I've stopped cleaning her paws or drying her down when I come in and lets face it it rains a lot in Scotland! She is most volatile after a long walk and I am most nervous.

Training and rewards: We are doing reward based training but she was never very food focused and would then obsess over the ball. When the ball, Frisbee or stick (and we did get one of those plastic ones) comes into play she goes into work mode/position.

All training classes have been in line with the association of pet dog trainers and Kennel Club code of practice.

We did get into the habit of not using treats but we have changed this since enrolling the behaviourist.

We now use Holling dried sausage of a bit of ham of a kong stuffed with peppers or carrots. This seems to work well.

My daughter baked her some spelt and tuna dog biscuits which she really loves.

Outside time: Yes I agree. In the summer we would all walk in the park in the evening. When Jess came home she loved lying on a towel on the deck until she would bark. As the winter set in I stopped letting her out. She was using it for attention seeking - she would ask to go out the garden, then once out would bark of scratch the door till I opened (even though she could see on the computer through the doors). I would open she wouldn't come in, she would want me out to play. So between this and the fact I couldn't clean her feet I stopped doing it.

My husband did want to put a kennel outside but I felt I didn't want an 'outdoor' dog. I also asked our behaviourist and she felt dogs were sociable and should be indoor!

It may be worth considering though.

In summary we have a pretty rotten day:-

1) we went on a walk with friends. One of the little girls stroked Jess on the head and she snapped (making contact but again no breaking of skin).

2) On our way back the leash got wrapped round her leg in the back of the car so she was baring her teeth as we tried to get her out. We did let go of the leash and coaxed her out.

3) My 12 yr old daughter did her usual 5 minute training routine (stay, leave, sit etc) she decide to start working on roll over. As she moved her hand over the dog to encourage the roll (with treat) she watched her stiffen. She did repeat it (on my hubbies request) and Jess jumped up and snarled and snapped at her (no contact).

We all just got up and walked out of the room.

OUr first reaction was that she now has to go..........................................now we don't know. We are exhausted. We're trying to be consistent but the dog most definitely has more freedom than ever.

Initally she was kept to the back of the house and only allowed in the livingroom at night. Now she's stressed when the girls are having breakfast and wants out of the room. She's stressed at dinner so I also allow her the freedom of a bed in the livingroom. She does seems more stressed when it's dark and I feel when the clocks changed everything became heightened.

Perhaps there are no longer boundaries. Previously we were not treating positibe behaviour we were just verbally telling her 'No' or go to mat when we didn't like. I think perhaps we letting her control our home..............

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I think mum24dog has excellent advice and if I were in your place, I would PM her to start a conversation. She knows many resources in your country that should help you. Some of what you describe suggests to me that you need, again, someone to see how you interact with your dog. I also agree that someone who is throwing around the term 'dominant' is not going to help you with your dog.


Regarding patting a dog on the head: This is one of my pet peeves. IMHO, dogs do NOT want to be petted on the head. How would you feel if a total stranger came up to you and started petting your head? In most cases, dogs are wonderfully tolerant of head patting because they really love us humans. And I think most dogs also come to like it, particularly from 'their' humans, but a sensitive dog will not want to be patted on the head and will show their displeasure.

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I do see many of our errors but just worry that we've made things worse.



Keep in mind that it's never too late -- or too early -- to start over to retrain and rehabilitate.


Probably best not to focus on what you may have done wrong -- except, of course to learn from any mistakes and resolve not to repeat them -- and focus on moving forward.


Good luck.

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Victoria Stillwell:.

We did pick up the titbit of pretending to eat our dogs food before giving it too her from one of the Victoria programmes. Isn't that about showing who is leader? I'm not sure what the general feeling is about this. I did discuss with my behaviourist and she felt it did nothing more than make the dog think it was tasty although said her mother swore by that technique.



That must have been a very old VS programme, one of her first which weren't great as they were too much inclined towards the "Pack Rules" way of thinking which includes pretending to eat out of your dog's bowl.


Thankfully she has learned more up to date approaches since then and her later shows are better. Still TV entertainment though and no substitute for advice in reality from the right person.

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I don't know if you do Facebook, but I've just learned of a group there that may be helpful. It's Force Free Trainers - Solving the Aggression Puzzle: https://www.facebook.com/groups/429559543775183/


It was recently recommended on the Aggressive Behaviors (AGBEH) Yahoo list, which might also be a resource for you: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/agbeh/

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My husband did want to put a kennel outside but I felt I didn't want an 'outdoor' dog. I also asked our behaviourist and she felt dogs were sociable and should be indoor!


Your behaviourist sounds to have a good theoretical understanding but you say she is only young and may fall into the category of not having met enough dogs yet. Plenty of much older people fall into the same category. One day the dog will come along that challenges all previous experiences and opinions.


Dogs should be treated as individuals and some do not fit well into a domestic environment, or at least need some time away from it. I don't know whether this may apply to your dog or not, just that it is inaccurate to make a generalisation that all dogs are best suited to the indoor life.


It's huge credit to the canine species that so many of them do adapt to living with us in our homes, many of them because it's what we want rather than what they want out of life specifically.


A few other things -


Beware of drawing false conclusions. Just because your dog was sick after being given Advocate is in no way evidence that her changes in behaviour are linked, and it is highly unlikely. Behaviour isn't that simple and much of what you describe is pretty common.


Food - There is no good evidence that a high protein diet makes a dog hyper. It's a myth. Pet shop employees are not the best people to rely on for nutritional advice as they are heavily influenced by what they are told by the sales reps of the manufacturers of the food they sell.


Your dog has very limited ways of trying to communicate with you and I'm glad that your behaviourist has talked to you about looking at her body language. Sometimes she will try to let you know how she is feeling in a way you don't like but it's all she has. Often dogs are better at reading us than we are them. She isn't trying to rule your house.


No pull harness - Is it one that digs in behind the front legs if she pulls like the Lupi? If so, stop using it.


Don't look for reasons for everything she does. 5-8 months or longer is a typical fear period for dogs when they can be seriously spooked by things that didn't used to bother them. This could be part of the problem, especially her dislike of the dark. You will probably never know the initial trigger. Work with what you've got now.


Consistency - You seem to have tried a number of approaches, and understandably as you are looking for something that will work, but moving the goal posts will only serve to confuse her and make her feel less secure. Decide on one approach that everyone will stick to and don't assume that if it doesn't work quickly it isn't going to.


Have you read "The Other End of the Leash" by Patricia McConnell? It may help you see our human behaviour from your dog's perspective.


Generally speaking dogs don't like to be hugged, they don't like people leaning over them and, as already said, they don't like being patted on the head. We are very lucky that most will tolerate what we do so well but some, like yours, are less tolerant.


You are clearly a conscientious person who is trying her best but conscientious people often worry too much. Take a step back and try to relax; you don't have Godzilla sharing your home, it's a pretty small and worried dog. From your original post you seem to have had high expectations of your daughter's long awaited pup and it hasn't worked out as planned so you will all be disappointed. I do understand that and I'm sure so do others here. Life doesn't always go to plan but it doesn't mean you can't get through it.


As GentleLake said



Keep in mind that it's never too late -- or too early -- to start over to retrain and rehabilitate.


Probably best not to focus on what you may have done wrong -- except, of course to learn from any mistakes and resolve not to repeat them -- and focus on moving forward.

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I want to put a disclaimer on my response that I am in no way an expert and not nearly as experienced a dog owner as many on these boards. However something you've mentioned a few times keeps raising a red flag for me.


You've said that her displays of aggression and other bad behaviors (whining in another room, let's say) have been gradually earning her MORE freedom in your home. It seems to me her tactics are working out well for her. Many owners would begin to restrict freedom as these behaviors began to surface. I don't mean this in any cruel way... what I mean to say is they might take a step back and re-implement some "puppy rules" in an attempt to squelch the unwanted behaviors before they have a chance to become learned behaviors.


In my experience (limited, I admit) this breed craves structure. It sounds to me like she is very confused right now and giving her more freedom in your home might be confusing or stressing her out even more. There is a program called "Nothing In Life Is Free" (NILIF) that might be worth researching. A lot of the literature tends to use the buzz words of "dominant" or "pack leader" (which I do NOT buy into) but if you can get past all of that the program does make some sense. It gives the dog rules and structure and teaches good impulse control, all of which benefit this breed.


I agree with others that, at this point, you should consult the professional you choose, pick a training plan and stick with it, lest your dog be completely confused as to what is expected of her. I would NOT implement NILIF on your own without consulting you vet/behaviorist beforehand, but I wanted to toss it out there as an idea to research and consider.


I do think you should talk frankly with the vet/behaviorist about the level of freedom the dog has gotten in your home as these behaviors have surfaced and see if s/he thinks that is helping or hurting the situation. I'm no pro, so s/he may tell you it's neither here nor there, but I'd still mention it just to be thorough.


I want to wish you and your family the very best. Don't give up on her... sometimes the things most worth doing in life are the hardest.

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