Rocky is a beautiful 90 lb red nose Pit Bull! Perfect dog at home, never chewed a thing, well behaved. Problem of his and ours is his aggression towards anyone he does not know since puppyhood. He has had 5 trainers, 1 worked with him on our property. Problem is we live in the country and he does not see people much, but, in the summer are many vacationers and walk up on the road, then Rocky becomes a mad dog, biting the leash, his eyes, nose and mouth turning beet red, like blood ready to shoot from there. Hard to get him under control to turn him away and get him in the house. For the vet said he should be put down, that he will bite me one day. I do not fear Rocky, he is a loving great dog, as long as he doesn't see anyone. I keep a baskerville muzzle on, walk him with a gentle leader and collar and double leash. He doesn't like to go to strange places. One trainer said to just take him in the car to see and smell new places, I do this with a crate. We have come a long way. He used to want to attack anyone that passed the vehicle. Now he lets people walk by without attack mode. He does not like coming out of the car unless we are home. He does not bark or growl when someone comes to the door. It is only when he sees them that he wants to attack them. I have a granddaughter that comes 2 x a week I keep him downstairs and her upstairs, I don't think he would bite her, but, he is so powerful with his paws, that have bear claws I feel he would jump on her for sure. I am looking for all the help I can get. I would love to send him away for training, but, that is so expensive. Have spent a small fortune on Rocky with 5 trainers, all the equipment I have bought to try and the dog park we had built to exercise him. HELP
Hi Tina, thank you for building up Rockys profile. I would not suggest having strangers come give Rocky treats. This is dangerous and can put others at risk and would also be a liability to you. You need to work on control with Rocky. As far as the E-collar you need to do things step by step before you can start using this correctly and appropriately. I would not suggest you go straight to the collar when he is in an aggressive state as this can often back fire, sometimes firing the dogs up more and sometimes even causing them to redirect on the owner. We want to keep you and others safe and also don’t want to hurt the relation ship you have with Rocky either by skipping steps or not doing things appropriately. Control is an important step by step process and unfortunately not a quick fix. I would advise you to review all the layers of the triangle starting from the bottom and working your way up so you are familiar with it. This can be reached by clicking on starting self help on the main menu bar. Then the most important thing you can do for yourself and Rocky is to read through the leadership section. The leadership section is one of the most important and overlooked sections. I would advise anyone to read and review it thoroughly. Start off by implementing all of the leadership that is outlined. You may or may not be doing some of these things already but the goal is to have all Rocky fall into the “provided” for section for each one. The first step to gaining control is to start working on “phase 1” training with him. There are “phase 1” videos for you to watch in the video section of the site. Although you may think this is going backwards I assure you it is not. We need to make sure you build a good foundation and do things in the correct order so that as you move along we know that both you and the dog fully understand everything. This phase may not take long at all especially since you have done work with Rocky for treats before. Once he understands everything in “phase 1” with the treats, we like to start fading off of them and start replacing the treats with love and affection from you as a reward. After mastering “Phase 1”, including leash manners (this “leash ninja” video can be found under “Dog Behavior Lessons and Tips Videos” ) You can then move to phase 2. After mastering “phase 2” we can discuss going to “phase 3” with the e collar to get more reliable control. Phase 2 will take a while and should not be rushed. This will take time and patience. The more you do in phase 2 and the more consistent and predictable you are with Rocky, the better it will be when you are ready to move to phase 3 with the e collar. Managing the situation with the muzzle and the double leashes right now to help keep everyone safe is the first goal. If there is a way you can video any of your sessions with Rocky, you are able to upload them right into your training Journals. This is a great way to allow us to see what you are doing and give you better direction and advice. If you have any questions re starting with the Foundation Style Training System and how to start please post them and we will help you. We want to see you succeed in gaining control over Rocky. Will Rocky ever be able to become best friends with strangers? Probably not. It can take a long time for a dog to gain trust in someone and accept them as part of their “inner circle” if they are even willing to do so. But that does not mean that you can not get Rocky to a point of having reliable control in various difficult situations. A lot of it will be management for Rocky but if you put in the time and have patience, you will feel good being able to at least control him in situations that you currently are not able to. Please feel free to ask questions in the forums. We want to help you and we want you to get to a point where you at least feel comfortable taking him outside or for a walk and not worry about him pulling you towards someone, or being able to control him when you have someone come over. Leadership and control with him will be key to any success you would like to achieve. I hope this helps as a starting point. So here is some homework… 1-Review the triangle from the bottom up, 2-Review and start implementing the leadership exercises with the goal of Rocky falling into the “provided” for category, 3-review leash ninja video and start practicing with the leash on a chair, the fridge door, anything you can find, 4-Review the command structure section. It is very important to be predictable and consistent with rocky. 5-Start doing the “phase 1” training. I know rocky has had trainers before and may know a lot of these things already but I would suggest reviewing this and being sure you are able to preform all the exercises as shown before moving forward. If you have any questions we are here for you! I hope this can get you started 🙂
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One question I forgot to ask, have you ever used a Starmark or a prong collar on Rocky? Hopefully soon there will be a “leash manner” video on the site. That is where you would first start off to teach the dog on the leash.
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