Problem dogs and the magic cure - Fiberglass RV

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Old 06-14-2007, 10:17 PM   #1
Gina D.'s Avatar
Name: Gina D.
Trailer: '77 Leocraft 17 & Former Burro owner and fan!
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A few days ago, I saw a TV program with an English dog trainer that helped out a ridiculous couple with 2 big Lab/Dane crosses.

Outside of them being spoiled beyond belief..well beyond the point of any excess I have ever seen (Or indulged in myself) these dogs had a dog aggression problem. The couple actually had to RENT a field to walk their dogs in so they would be isolated from all other dogs. The field was only a block from their house, but they had to drive the dogs there to avoid contact with other houses with dogs.

Some of you have seen my male beagle.. and he has just this behavioral issue, and often redirects at my elderly female. I don't rent a field, but I do leave him at the vet when going to rallies or any other place where there will be known contact with other dogs. He camps with me on my own, when I can devote time to keeping him contained and under control when confronted with other dogs, but this can be quite a bother, not to mention time consuming.

The trainer had the couple fit the dogs with one of THESE, a Gentle Leader Head Collar.

The dogs immediately, and I mean INSTANTANEOUSLY ceased to pitch a fit in the presence of other dogs. Oh yes, they were still upset, I am sure, but they did not fight, pull, attack or even struggle to get at the other dog.

The collar is not a brute force collar.. it uses the technique of directing the dogs head away from the other dog. Controlling the head and direction of the nose creates the restraint, and not force or pain.

"I need to check that out", I says to myself. So, tonite, I stopped at a local big box pet store to look at them. It just so happened they were having an obedience class, and I managed to stumble across it at just the point where the trainer had an owner put one on his aggressive German Shepard's head. Again, with one second of correction, the dog calmed down and ceased the behavior. And it wasn't even a strain correction.. a simple two fingered "Tug" in the right direction was all it took.

This made me rush to the leash section and pick one up. I read the instructions, watched the enclosed DVD and set out to try it on my otherwise adorable guy. He was only mildly irritated by it, but that went away in less than a minute. Off for a walk down the street past several houses with outdoor dogs to try it out. I had the female on another leash.

I got the same reaction. He started to pitch a fit at the first dog, but he ceased with the proper correction, which is simply pulling the lead to redirect his head. He didn't even attempt to go toward the female.. who was oblivious to all the goings on. The next house, the fuss was not as dramatic, and he corrected instantly. By the third house with the WOOFING white shepard.. he kept his head straight without tension, and basically ignored it.. from what I could tell. But he also just ignored my female.

I have seen these collars before, but never investigated them.. they have been around awhile, and they make sense once you understand what they do and HOW they do it.

I have an outing this weekend. Can't wait to try it in the campground. This will make my walking them WAY more pleasant and less time restricted. Not to mention less disruptive to other campers who sit stunned at this little Beagle pitching a fit with a barrage of only squeaks coming from his mouth. And less embarrassing for me. Ever tried to explain to someone that the dog has been debarked? They either never heard of such a thing, think there is something wrong with him, or think you are an ogre for doing so.. they don't wait to hear that YOU did not have that done.. he came that way when I adopted him.

I am hopeful that working with him more with this will solve, or at least minimize the issue. He would have been put down for it had I not come along and had been willing to live with the restrictions. He really is a lover of everyone, and everything else.

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Old 06-14-2007, 10:56 PM   #2
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Wow, Gina, good for you for taking in a dog no one else might love--or maybe you didn't know better? I love Beagles!

A friend and I walk our dogs together every morning. She uses a gentle leader with her 100 pound dog, Blackjack. He would be extremely difficult to control without it, as he does not listen. She, too, swears by it. I'm glad it looks like it will work for you. Try leaving it on him (while you're around), even when he's not on a leash. He's better just wearing it, doesn't even have to be on a leash.

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Old 06-14-2007, 11:08 PM   #3
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Gina - I used a gentle leader on my big guy during his adolescense. He doesn't have any dog aggression (or any other aggression) issues, but he is huge and strong and stubborn. It worked well and I used it for almost 2 years with him. He is 5 now and finally realized that I am in charge of the walk.

At any rate, he is a little bit slobbery... if you find that your beagle is getting the part that slips over his nose wet in anyway and that piece occassionally works itself up close to his eye, you might want to pick up a 2nd leader and alternate and wash them occassionally... I thought Henry had sensitive eyes and was getting infections a few times a year, but after he was finally off the Gentle Leader, the eye cleared up..

We now use the gentle leader harness product that has the clip part in the front because now the puppy thinks walking is some sort of competition with Henry to see who can walk in front... and it works well too...

Good luck! It sounds like you've found the solution!
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Old 06-15-2007, 02:00 AM   #4
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My Basset Hound, Ruby is a rescue and I am owner number 3. So often resuce dogs come with baggage, and lots of issues. Ruby absolutely loves people, but have a Poodle or Maltese come close and she lunges nearly pulling my arm out of the socket. We can't go for a run along the beaches without the GL because she can spot another dog a mile away. Like who needs a law suit anyway.

The Gentle Leader has made all the difference that even my small grandson can walk her effortlessly. What puzzles me about the tourists here is when they think they should have their dog meet mine. I fixed that by putting a skull and crossbone sign with "Crabby Basset Beware !" She has bitten other dogs, but the Gentle Leader has solved that.
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Old 06-15-2007, 04:01 AM   #5
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Yes, these collers have been around for quite a while.
As a dog lover and a former owner of a 120lb German Police dog and a couple of German Shepards I have never had to use them because of the time spent in training my dogs and the type of bread.
In the wild, and lets face it there is inbread habits to all animals, the Alfa or head dog will go around and bit the muzzle of the subordinant dogs to show who is the boss.
I used this same tactic when training my dogs...NO I DONOT BITE THEM, but place my hand around the muzzle, again and again, till they calm down.
This done from thier young age and all I would have to do is place my hand down by thier face and they would behave instantly.
I taught my new wife this and in just 3 days she was also an Alfa dog in thier eyes.
"OPPS Maybe I shouldn't have called my wife a dog"
Anyway I think these collars use the same principal as this and will work
Do not think that I made sissys out of my dogs because is a little tug on the Right ear of the Police Dog and the "Get Em" command was given....Don't even try to run.
Gerry the canoebuilder
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Old 06-15-2007, 08:19 AM   #6
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Snoopy had the same problem. But they gave HIM a typewriter.
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Old 06-15-2007, 08:53 AM   #7
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My daughter has been using one of those on their Boxer/Elk Hound mix. The effect is nothing short of amazing. This dog will jump on you and tear around the house, etc. One this thing is put on him he immediately calms down. He's a very overly friendly dog. Thinks hes a 90lb lap dog and with out the restraint will be on my lap is seconds.

As far as I'm concerned they're great.
Byron & Anne enjoying the everyday Saturday thing.
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Old 06-15-2007, 10:52 AM   #8
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This topic is near and dear to my heart! I am a "positive" dog trainer and recommend the Gentle Leader or Halti all the time. I have not used the ones that snap on the front, but have heard of them, and am quite intrigued.

The dog halter acts much like a horse's bridle, in that it controls the head movement. It also is pressure on the face, and causes a slight distraction of sorts. It is not a "training device" per se, in that it will not train any dog do anything. It is a management tool, but a humane one.

Just remember that it does not stop the dog from being agressive or from disliking other dogs. All it can do is prevent him from going after a dog. The dog still feels the same way, but reacts differently, due to the controls. Perhaps it may even help with desensitizing a dog to otherwise perceived threats, if the exposures are kept positive, fun and enjoyable. A correction will just makes things worse. The dog may stop reacting, but will like other dogs even less.

I use them with my big dogs, because of their size. Plus the fact that I live in the country and have not had opportunity to train them to walk properly without pulling. But they pull to give kisses and meet other dogs to make friends. People should ALWAYS ask if their dog can say "hello" before allowing any introductions. I have no patience for people who rush up and assume all dogs will be great together. One of mine does not like Boxers...I have no idea why.
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Old 06-15-2007, 11:16 AM   #9
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I saw an interesting training tecnique a few days ago. It has to do with dogs pulling on the leash. You see it all the time wonder who is taking whom for a walk.
You an open space to do this. Start walking your dog, everytime the dog goes ahead of you change direction to put the dog behind you. Pretty soon the dog is paying more attention to you than what's around him/her.

The explaination I heard was that it teaches the dog that you are the leader of the pack. Dogs are pack animals and if you establish that you are the pack leader they behave much better.
Byron & Anne enjoying the everyday Saturday thing.
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Old 06-15-2007, 11:22 AM   #10
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I have used the gentle leader it worked wonderful on Sam. Sam was a rescue who was never on lead until almost 2, at 150lb he is much stronger then me. I did switch to a prong because he is now knowing how to behave to the point most of the time the prong is on but the leash is hooked up to his flat collar. with the gentle leader he would know when it was on or off and only listen when it was on. Maybe he grew up maybe I got better at training but for him the prong works better. Glad you found what works for your dog..
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Old 06-15-2007, 12:24 PM   #11
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We recently adopted a dog and have enrolled her in an obedience class. One thing the trainer told us is never use a retractable leash because you don't have control over the dog. She recommends using the standard 6' nylon leash.

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Old 06-15-2007, 01:07 PM   #12
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Do they make one to fit an 15 y/o human....sigh.
Donna D.
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Old 06-15-2007, 01:58 PM   #13
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Gina I know this is like Christmas early to you. I am so happy for you! Happy doggie walking
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Old 06-15-2007, 06:10 PM   #14
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Do they make one to fit an 15 y/o human....sigh.
Donna, have you ever noticed how well behaved the Young Princes of England are? Even though constantly watched by the media, which is always ready to provide enthusiastic narrative about the lives of the royals, you never hear about any sort of mis-behavior from a Prince of England until they are into their adulthoods, graduated from high school and on to college.

Being a parent myself, I have often wondered how the royal family accomplished this amazing task. To answer the question I traveled to Europe, visited a castle where quarters were assigned to two young princes to investigate.

What I learned was that the British Royals do, indeed, have outstanding tools available should a young prince step out-of-line.

Thinking of princes, have you noticed (and this is absolutely true) that Prince William and Prince Harry are both 6'2" tall? I find that amazing; none of my brothers (there were three of us) were the same height.


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