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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Gracie is now 17 months old and is becoming quite the little pistol. I feel as if I have a rebellous teenager on my hands. From what I've read, this is a natural phase she is going through on her way to maturity but I guess I just want to make sure.

She is challenging me quite often now. When I say challenge, I don't mean aggressively, I am referring to her trying to push the limits to see what she can get away with. It reminds me of the Velociraptors on Jurassic Park testing the fence for weakness. LOL
There's also times when she tries to hump me or my purse which I take as a sign of her trying to be dominate.
There are times when she won't listen or stop bad behavior and I've had to take her down to get my point across. She has always been required to sit before meals and before exiting the door to go outside. She sleeps in a crate-not with me. and I frequently have her wearing her leash indoors in order to correct her quickly if needed. Is there anything else I should be doing?

Also her prey drive is off the charts and her DA is becoming quite apparent and hard to control at times. I know this is to be expected with this breed, but since I have never dealt with this before, and I want to contine to be able to take her out in public, I thought I'd ask for advice. :)

Training wise, she completed obedience classes last fall and she did awesome. And I have tried to keep up on the various things we learned by having her do sits/downs/stays ect. at random times through out the day. And more reciently, we just ended a 7 week class in preparation for the CGC test.
Well let me tell you, that was a colossal fail! There were 7 other dogs in the class and she wanted nothing to do with me. I tried using treats to get her attention, popping her prong collar, blocking her view, and nothing worked. She wanted to get at them all. Well except for the St. Benard. That was the only dog in the class she was able to stand next to and not react one bit. I think the reason was, the saint was very docile, never moved fast and never actually looked at her.

Same thing when we are out taking a walk. She is able to pass the dogs that don't react to her just fine, but as soon as they so much as look at her, she starts to act the fool by growling, screaming and lunging. In an attempt to correct her, I try popping her prong and saying NO! Or putting her in a sit until the dog passes. Neither of these things seem to work. And trust me, this is not the image I want to convey for the breed either. I've thought about taking her to the park and just sitting on the bench while other dogs walk by and treating her whenever she doesn't react. And then gradually work up to walking past other dogs. What do you think?

My daughter is getting concerned that it will get to the point where we won't be able to walk her in public any more. And I guess I'm starting to wonder that myself.
Should all dogs be able to control their DA (somewhat) with training? Or are there some dogs who just aren't able to be around other dogs at all?

As far as her prey drive goes, she wants chase after literaly anything that moves, whether it's an animal, children running, or someone on a bike. To be honest with you, this it the part that concerns me the most. if she were to accidentally get loose, I can totally see her chasing after some kids who were running around and possibly knocking them down. Now once down, she would fill their faces with nothing but kisses, but it would be very scary for the kids and she would be labeled "agressive". Is there any way I can handle this besides making sure she never gets loose?

I am looking for training advice from people who have experience with this breed. I haven't been able to find anyone locally and I know you all will give me great advice. While it might not sound like it, Gracie really is a good girl and a sweet heart and I just want to do right by her :) TIA

Edit to add: During her CGC classes, she was able to remain at a sit/stay while kids rode bikes by her and ran around bouncing basketballs next to her, but this was indoors, in a controlled setting - not the real world.
 

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Read the book "Control Unleashed" by Leslie McDevitt, specifically at the Look At That (LAT) game (part of which you referred to, re: treating her when other dogs are nearby).

The problem with correcting her by popping her prong collar every time she goes nuts after another dog/moving object is that you're exacerbating her reaction. She sees a dog, goes crazy, you pop her collar, she associates getting the correction/hurt with seeing the other dog/moving object and so barks even more furiously to try to warn dogs/moving objects away so she doesn't get hurt.

The important thing with LAT is to keep her sub-threshold, meaning it's important to keep her at the point where she DOESN'T react because every time she does, she's practicing the behavior. The sub-threshold level may be when the other dog is a speck in the distance, and you shovel the best treats in the world into her mouth (warm hot dog, chicken, something super delicious she wouldn't get otherwise). When she DOES react, you need to do an immediate GET OUT OF THERE FAST, pull a U-turn, and totally ignore her reactions, don't even look at her.

This will take a long time to overcome. It won't be an overnight fix. And while she may never get along with other dogs ever, this is the first step to teaching her she doesn't have to go ballistic when she sees one and can eventually ignore them as she passes them.

Again, I highly recommend Control Unleashed; it will really help with her reactiveness to other dogs.
 

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I have one the same way. When you have a dog like this, all training is out the window when they go off. She's also testing you, trying to see what you can take. You may not be feeding at table, but is somebody else? The rules you make must be the same for everyone who is with her. If she can bend one, she'll bend another.

Not all dogs can control it, and they weren't designed to as a breed. If I were you, I'd work on controlling her with humans. Don't pet or greet unless she is sitting. I wouldn't take her to dog parks, as you know you can't trust her, which is good. She won't decieve you there.

I believe you when you say she is good girl. But don't expect her to be the dog you want, in having her around other dogs...wrong breed. You take them as they come...some are fine, many aren't. Would you call a cat bad that wanted a mouse?
If her prey drive is so high, you'll only be disappointed by trying to control her instincts. Constant work with her, and a means to let her use her energy are your best bet. You have to fully understand the things in her you find "bad." I talk to my dog, and I know what he's thinking at all times. I know I can trust him around puppies, small dogs, and some large dogs, labs, retrievers, ect. But Mastiffs and other Bulldogs, GSD's, Rotts, forget it.

I'd explain more, but I gotta head to work in bit. I'm sure others will have plenty of tips.
IMO, though, you MUST control her behavior around people and children...that you can fix. But other dogs, when you know how she is? Don't set her and yourself up for an impossible task that will end in failure. Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
K8, thanks for responding. I haven't heard of that book, but I'll take a look.
As far as Gracie responding to the pain of the prong, I don't think it's the case. She's not a dog who's sensitive to strong correction - there isn't much that phases her.

Eagle, it's good to know I'm not alone :) I 'm not looking to be able to have her play with other dogs, just walk by them on leash.

PK, are you laughing at me? LOL I'd love to hear your thoughts!
 

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Not at you but at the dog! lol
There is a lot going on and it all boils don to no control and no respect from the dog. Can you take a picture with your dog in the prong collar? My guess is your prong is not fitted correctly and not the correct size. This is a very serious problem and yo need to fix it ASAP, these types of dogs end up on the news when there is no control and no respect for what you say. Not for going after a person but maybe killing a dog or going after a kid in prey drive and knocking them down. I would say send her to me, this can be fixed easily if you know what your doing. Lets look at the prong collar set up and address that first then instead of typing over the internet I will give you my number and I will give you some things to try. What is going on is you are not able to make an appropriate correction to stop the behavior. If you equipment is not on correctly then it means nothing to the dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Wow, that bad huh? Maybe that's why I didn't get a lot of responses LOL

She's been using the same prong since she was approx 6 months old. I just keep adding links. Some people might cringe at having her in a prong at 6 months, but she's always been a hard case.
 

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It may be an issue of too much energy, it sounds like you've done the right things. How much exercise is she getting? Have you tried doing flirt pole with her? Maybe make her a spring pole? Take her on bike rides for a good run?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
She gets daily walks during the week and on Sunday mornings I take her in the woods to run for at least an hour off leash. We also play with tennis balls and toys and that sort of thing. She swims at the lake when we're down there too. I try to keep her active although I'll admit that due to my long hours during the week, sometimes I slack off, but try to make up for it on the weekends.

I'd love to be able to ride my bike with her, but I know she'd take off after something and I'd go flying. Maybe once the quad gets fixed I can try running her behind it.
 

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Well the prong is perfect so then it might be your corrections. I am taking the day off tomorrow feel free to call me. Exercises is great but that is not the reason she is acting this way. 505 203 9586 My number is on my website so I have no issue posting it.
 
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