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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 20217
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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since my dog was attacked ny another dog his temperament has

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since my dog was attacked ny another dog his temperament has completely changed. he has become terrified of everything he constantly cowers. and he has started to get aggressive with all other dogs including mine and has snapped at my kids a couple of times for no reason. he is constantly hiding by my legs he never relaxes and his behaviour with the kids especially is becoming a real concern. he has always had seperation anxiety but has now gotten a lot worse the only person he is ok with is me. I don't know what to do or what my options are
My name is Jane. I have been working professionally with animals especially dogs in both health and behavioral issues for over 18 years. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
In order to supply you with the best information, I do need to ask for some additional information. Once I receive your answer, it will likely take me about 30-45 minutes to type up your response. I hope you can be patient.
How long have you owned him?
What type of things is he scared of?
Were you present when he was attacked?
Can you describe what happened?
What did you do to help stop the attack?
How much time daily are you training him in obedience?
What is going on when he is aggressive toward kids?
Can you describe an instance of the aggression?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


I have had rusty since he was 7.5 weeks old

he is frightened of bangs (not fireworks) shouting, other dogs(apart from mine) he gets nervous of other people.

When he was attacked we were out on our morning walk him my other dog and my toddlers. we were in the field opposite my house no one was about so they were off lead. then someone entered ther field from the top end with a dog so I called mine to me and put them on lead we continued walking then this womans dog side swipped him so hard it took the lead from my hand rusty didn't attempt to fight bk he just cowred the other dog had him around the neck. my kids were screaming and other dog barking I managed to grab the dogs collar and knee him off rusty he was still trying to get to rusty I shouted to rusty to away at which point the lady grabed her dog. rustys neck was bleeding and he was so frightened he wet himself and wouldn't get up. I had to carry him home and took him straight to the vets it was more superficial than anything.

he gets about 20-30mins 1-1 in the morning and same on a night. then I do things with the two dogs walking, recall, play etc.

The most recent incident with one of my daughters is he was led on the floor having his tummy tickled and as soon as my daughter went to tickle hime he went for her. he immediately know he did wrong and went into his bed. other than that my other daughter lent down to him when he was lying down to tell him he was a good boy and he went for her. before the incident with the other dog he was fab with everybody a lil clingy and bouncy but trusted. he saved my kids lives. I really miss that rusty I just don't know how to help him

Thanks for the additional information. It is helpful. Dogs become aggressive for several reason. Dogs are aggressive toward people and other dogs for a variety of reasons. It might be that they are fearful of people or other dogs and thus are aggressive before the person or dog can be. In other cases, a dog is aggressive in order to dominate the people or other dog. Other causes could be that the dog feels they are the alpha member of the pack and as the alpha member they must protect the pack (you) from threats (people). Obviously this is fear related.
You are on the right track. You need to restart obedience training and train as if he didn't know anything. In addition, have everyone in the family participate in training. The following site is helpful for teaching you how to train your dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.
Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.
He has to see both you and the other humans as the boss. Dogs do not attempt to reprimand the leaders. So having them help with training establishes them as boss as well. You also need to take him to places where he can be around people but not have actual contact with them You can take him to places where they have classes and sit away from the group so he can start feeling more secure around strangers and other dogs. Don't allow interaction at this point. Each time he is in this situation and acting relatively normal, reward him with hot dog slivers.
You will probably also want to enroll him in a group class once he seems a little better so he can be closer to other dogs in a controlled atmosphere and see that not all dogs are going to attack him. You also need to come up with a plan to protect him in a similar circumstance. Carry an umbrellas and some pepper spray. You can use pepper spray to scare off another charging dog. The umbrella can be opened and used as a barrier allowing the other party to grab their dog. You can also use the hooked end of the umbrella to snag the other dogs collar and keep them away from your dog. Your dog needs to see you as the protector.
Your children also need to learn how to interact with dogs. What he used to allow, is no longer acceptable. Dogs do not like to be tickled, poked and prodded. They do not like be kissed or hugged. THey like knowing what to expect and training will help that. Have your children learn to throw the ball or frisbee for him instead of other games like tickles or dress up. If your daughter is like mine sooner or later they try to dress the dog.
You might also get a professional behaviorist in to address the situation especially if the situation is not improving using the techniques I describe. You can usually find a behaviorist by asking your Vet for a recommendation or you may be able to find one using the following site.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

my children are only three how do I get them involved in training without endangering them. ive taken to putting a muzzle on rusty when he has to be in the same room as them which I hate ive never believed in muzzles

I've started children as young as 2. The dog has to have some training first like listening to "SIT". As long as your child can say SIT in an authoritative tone which most can at 3, they can help. All they need to do is state sit and when the dog does, toss them a small treat. With adults we usually have the treat in the hand and open it, but with children, we don't want the dog thinking they can take food out of their hand so we have them toss the dog the treat for obeying.
Each time a dog obeys a command from a person (even a little person and even if it is for the treat) it makes them a little more submissive to that person. I have rottweilers and have been breeding and training for 20+ years. 2 of my own children started working with the rotties at 2.5 years and an 11 year old who has been with me since she was 3 years old started working with them at 3 years of age. I also recommend my clients (in person) also start their children at a young age. If you don't, the dog sees themselves as higher than the children and feels free to reprimand them if they don't like what they do. Reprimands are growls and snaps.
Muzzles are a great tool but be sure it is the basket style that allows them to open their mouth, eat and drink relatively normally. Keep a leash on him and any sign of growling or aggression should be reprimanded by you with a short tug and a firm "NO". Let me also give you a site that lets you tell how your dog is feeling before he reacts.
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