Help with barrier frustration
So I recently decided to take the leap and change dog trainers, to someone who works with positive reinforcement, for Saphira's dog aggression. It turns out, after one session, that the new trainer believes that Saphira isn't necessarily dog aggressive but has barrier frustration. After looking it up, it seems to make more sense to me. We live in a 2nd floor apartment and she will tug and pull her way down the stairs barking all the way till she gets out of the building most mornings. She will bark at passerby's and dogs while she is in the car, but does fine with people when she's on leash. The barking is high pitched and repetitive, her ears are pressed back to her head, and she will always stick her head out of the car and bark, whether there's someone there or not, especially on the road leading out of our apartment complex. I know from experience that her barking and her ears flat against her head are signs of anxiousness. I am working on desensitization with her seeing dogs, feeding her peanut butter every time she sees a dog, to change her reaction, and I'm seeing very slow results. She no longer tries to run/lunge towards the dog as long as the dog is about 50 feet away. While I am relieved that this is barrier frustration, its becoming hard to take her on car rides since she barks every time I put her in the car. Distracting her with peanut butter is only momentary, if I toss a heaped spoon into the back seat and have her lick it. She's quickly learnt that this is a distraction and will go back to looking outside and barking anxiously after taking a few licks of the spoon. Since I can't obviously drive and feed her peanut butter at the same time, I need another solution.
A bit of history: The previous trainer I took her to recommended I use a slip lead to keep her in check, and while that had worked for a while, it did slip down her neck a couple of times and caused her to choke when she pulled towards dogs. I moved to a prong collar(fitted correctly high up the ears) later and while the pulling got less, she would rear up on her hind legs and bark more aggressively at a dog and bit another dog in the face at the local Petco. This didn't have much repercussions for us since the other owner wasn't paying attention to his dog when she came up to Saphira, but Animal control has said this is the last chance she gets(one previous bite last year in March). Since then I have switched to a front clip harness to remove any negative reinforcement and her walking has gotten calmer. I am now more alert to dogs being nearby so I am making sure she doesn't get at another dog again. She is still extremely friendly with people, even strangers.