consistent obediance training plan/fear aggression/disobediance

Posted by DogsInShanghai
Jul 27, 2009
hello everybody!
I am new and really need your support, there are no trainers here in shanghai I know of or heard of:
ould anybody help me to create an "idiot proof" training schedule?
following is the situation:
I have 2 dogs: Thompson 2 yrs, got him with 5 months from a neighbour- Dobermann - shy--> fear aggression towards big people in narrow places/territorial aggression when it comes to appt. space/aggression towards other dogs-if other dogs are aggressiv without lead, he will come back to me and want me to pick him up - snapped (no broken skin) my boyfriend when he held him on the lead and i was going away. ( he is super soft with me, can drag him on his legs/lie on him...... - he once groweld at me when i put eye drops into his eyes for 10 mins and poking his eyes+must have burned, so that opened my eyes)
away - my bf does not live with me, he visits every 1-2months for a week or two and he wanted to follow. lately disobidient (ignoring me)
2nd dog: Molly, apprx 12 months old, found her with 2-3 months - jack russel/king chavalier spaniel mix (we think from her features and behaviour) > shy> barks for a long time when strangers come into the house, otherwise no real problems

after T. snapped my boyfriend I started the training: 24hrs ignoring and then out on the lead only, after 2 days he was behaving very well and since he needs exercise I let him play with molly and then just go and call him back when i think he is most probable to respond - i dont want him not to respond when i have no lead on him.- or should I leave him on the lead for the next 5 weeks?--> aggression is worse without excercise I think - but not sure, because it seems his behaviour worsened again since i let him play off the lead.

program i have planned for the next few weeks

2x per day 15min on lead training sit/stay/heel/ -. he confuses down and sit, so I will leave it at sit for a while. he knows all the commands already, is it ok to mix it, or should i take him down to absolute basics again?
let him run for 20 mins+molly but interact like running with him.....
when we are walking / at home do the alpha enforcements. (doors/ walk behind me..)

now molly of course is always there and free, when i am doing on lead training with thompson- i work full time and cant take them out seperatly- so whenever i tell her something and she doesnt immediatly do it T. seems disturbed.

should I leave him on the lead for longer without letting him get any play and run?(e.g.5 weeks, will it help more - or will he just get more frustrated and naugtier at home?)
does anybody know a good dog trainer in shanghai?
is it good to change environment when I am training or stay at the same at the beginning?
he has a sofa in "the dogs" bedroom, he was always allowed to sleep on it, should i tell him he is not allowed on it anymore? i cant enforce it at night and cant really take out the sofa..?
what could be a good training plan for us three?

really thankful for any advise, somedays he is really good and then it seems like he has sth in his ears the next day. there has been improvement, since I started 1 week ago, but he still has these relapses, is that normal, or do dogs get steadily better or do they have really good days and bad days?
Posted by KOPsarah
Aug 3, 2009
Hi dogsinshanghai and thanks for your post,

I would advise you to set up a very simple routine with both your dogs to work on desensitizing them to strangers. I would also recommend getting your boy friend to do some alpha training work with both your dogs so that they learn to see him as a leader even though he is not there all the time.

When desensitizing your dogs to people and other things while out on walks it is very important that you do not accidently reward fearful behavior for example if your dog comes running up to you frightened when it sees someone coming up a narrow street towards you do not pick it up or pet it instead completely ignore it until it is calm then praise it and treat.

Consider getting a head collar for each of your dogs to help in your training. Take each dog out for walks regularly and take a pocket of treats with you. While your dog is walking calmly give it lots of happy praise. As you approach other people if your dog becomes upset ignore its bad or fearful behavior. If your dog tries to jump around and bark etc then you should definitely consider the head collar as it will give you much greater control and you will be able to hold your dog close on the lead so you can safely ignore its bad behavior. As soon as the dog is calm praise and treat. Do this as often as you can with your dogs. The more you do it the more comfortable your dog will be with people and other scary things during walks.

You can practice this desensitizing in other situations too such as at home. This includes ignoring your dog any time it displays fearful behavior, and rewarding it when it returns to appropriate behavior.

Keep up your obedience training with your dogs. Dogs around the 8-18 months tend to try to push the boundaries with their owners and this can mean some days they are more obedient than others. Make sure you and your partner and any other people that visit regularly always practice alpha training with both your dogs. Flip through your secrets to dog training manual again for some hints on alpha dog training or download the full guide from our premium members guidelines if you prefer. The basics are listed below however if you are not familiar with alpha training:

Following the alpha dog training will definitely help show the dog its position. It is also important to remember the key points of dominance.
In a wild dog pack the dominant pack member controls :
-access to food
-access to favoured sleeping areas
-any interactions with lower pack members
-access to favoured items such as toys

In order to show your dog his position as bottom of the pack you and your whole family can take advantage of these keys points. For example

1) Both dogs must be the last to eat at every meal and should never get treats from the table.

2) They should never walk through doors before you. A good way to practice this is to walk around the house and make them sit at each doorway and wait.

3) If either of your dogs is lying in the hallway or anywhere you have to get past make them move. If you think they will snap leave a lead on them so you can move them whilst maintaining a bit of distance.

4) When you arrive home completely ignore the dogs for 15 minutes. Don't look at them, talk to them or pat them. After this go to them and give them some quiet attention only as long as they are relaxed and calm.

In summary: The Plan
-take each dog for a walk every day and practice desensitizing
-do obedience training with each dog every day
-practice alpha training methods with your dogs everyday as part of everyday life

Do not practice general ignoring of your dog or restrict walks and play. Ignoring is a tool to be used briefly when a dog is behaving inappropriately. Exercise is very important with all pets and lots of exercise often helps reduce bad behaviors.

I have googled dog trainers in your area and there are at least a few that you could use. At this point I would recommend just doing training yourself though as I believe you can correct the problems you a currently having with some work. However if you would like the contact details of trainers or have any other questions please don't hesitate to ask.
Posted by DogsInShanghai
Aug 10, 2009
Dear KOPSara,

thank you sooo much for your reply!
I just bought a halti:
--> for halti training, as soon as the dog sees something he wants to be aggressive towards, make him look at me and give him a comand, is that correct? is there any video on correct halti training?

just a few understanding questions to your answer:

- do I have to take them out seperatly? - if yes, is it enough if I do it for a limited time - e.g. 2-3 weeks?

- sorry, I need to double check, because this one is really important to me: so you think its ok to let him free for a bit and run, as long as obeys-correct?
--> if he is free and doesnt come back after I have called him 2x should i just put him back on the lead for a few days or will he not understand? or should i do the pebbles can trick?

regarding alpha training
-- interaction with lower pack members, so i should stop them from interacting (playingh), if I dont feel like it?

thank you also for your help referring trainers, I will try without a trainer for the next couple of weeks with the halty. then will see.

thank you a lot!
kind regards,