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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Riddick is 5 months old now and he is doing great but one thing that concerns me is he's really scared of strangers he does pretty well when my other dogs are around and investigates and let people pet him but this weekend I took them all to petsmart and he did pretty good but what concerned me was he was growling a two children he would smell them but backed away and growled. If I don't have my other dogs with me he's really scared of strangers. I'm not sure if this normal behavior or if I should be doing socialization with people more without the other dogs? Any thoughts would be great!
Thank you
 

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When they do that,just stop,dont move,divert their attention with a treat or a toy (carry at all time!)...don't go away,dont pull on the leash...its my secret trick to get away calmly from squirrels and other dogs (doesn't work all the time at 1st,be patient)
 

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Awe jeez ... to answer your question in very few words ... no this is not "normal" for a "Boxer!" As a general rule ... by and large as a "Breed" "Boxers" tend to like everybody! Nothing special required. In as much as they are "serious" Working Dog, I'm not quite sure how "that" works out but whatever. The good news ... is you recognized the "issue" early.

Most likely ... safe to say that your goal with a "Boxer" was not to dig that deep into the dog trainer world?? But as it happens ... here you are!

You don't know me ... and by and large ... I'm just another "internet expert???" But safe to say ... many do know and me and "Rocky" .... Over Size Working Line GSD. We are "infamous" online! And unlike you ... my Dog was a full online WL OS (116lb) GSD "before" I understood he had a "People Issue (GSD Thing???)" Lesson two most diffently ..."not a Boxer!!!"

I could say ... just Google ... "chip18 and aggression" and you'll find all you need to know.
But you'd have to put the pieces together to figure it out??? I am not a "Pro" and ironically enough ... I've gotten "Flack" from Afgan K9 Vets for "flouting" my non expertise??? If "I" can do it ... (solve my dogs people issues) then you can too! That ticked them off??? On the other hand ... I have many "Pro's/PPD trainers on my friends list over on the Germanshepardforum ... so by and large ... "I'm that guy!"

I tell it like it like it is ... period (in my view)! Some like that ... others ... not so much ... the term "Prick-ish" comes to mind. :)

So all that said ... what does that mean mean for you??? Well I claimed the term "Bubble Dog" a dog that needs to be "muzzled" to be safe in public! That was "Rocky" OS WL GSD with "People Issues" he made it "Crystal Clear" that he was not a fan of uh "Anyone" outside his pack!! Still ... today he is allowed off leash, in public unmuzzled to engage or not engage with people as he sees fit! Works out fine. :)

He usually chooses "no" and steps away ... on one occasion ... he fell in love with a Vet, that stopped us to ask about him?? I'd not seen that before?? I suspect the guy must have been an EX K9 handler???

At anyrate ... job one for you ... recognize, that if you have multiple dogs ... then yes ... you need to work with each dog as an individual! Dogs "cue" off of each other! You think that Dog "B" is trained to do "X" but they are not. They see dog "A" do this and they "copy" them. If dog "A" is not there ... then dog "B" has no idea what you are saying/asking of them???

I saw that that happen with "Struddell" I was stunned and made adjustments! So you need to allocate time for one on one training with "this dog!"

Walk your dog ... one on one time "walking" with you and this dog is "extremely important!" That is how you build a bond, the dog learns to trust you. And don't put her in a postion to "make poor choices" if she is uncomfortable with "children/people???" Take her at her word! Keep kids out of her face! For "me" as far as company was concerned .. the dog was not there! No contact period!

Yo made not have to be that hard core?? It's still my policy with Rocky today and it's still valid "in the home" in public" he is much more relaxed but in his "house" ... different thing ... you know your dog. :)

"Place and Sit on the Down" train those , when company comes over "this" dog goes to "Place" your job is to keep "company" out of her face! Her job is to stay there and observe.

Details are her :
http://www.boxerforums.com/training/183298-fearful-anxious-flat-crazy-place-command.html

That alone ... is the "answer" to your issue. I don't belive in using "treats" to trick my dog into letting people into my dogs face. It's pretty much well established, that a dog can "accept a treat" and still bite the crap out of someone!"

I just accepted the word of "Micheal Ellis" on that one ... it was nothing I wanted to prove first hand one way or the other. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
One thing I did forget to mention was I also had a prong collar on him which was only the second time I have used it after I took it off and he was just fine with all the other strange people we meet. So I will start doing one on one with him more and not sure a prong collar anymore.
 

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Hmm well I don't use a "Prong Collar" myself ... I'm a Slip Lead Leash guy. But that said ...

if used "correctly" a "Prong Collar" should have "Zero Impact" on this issuse.

The problem is not with the tool the problem is with the approach. You can't "correct/tick" your dog into "accepting people" into people into his "space." Well ... I suppose you could??But it's not what I did/do. "The Secret" to successfully "rehabbing dogs with issues" is to work with the dog in front of you! If people "insist" in treating every dog like a people friendly Lab, or do the "my other dog was like thing" then the numbers would suggest ... they fail! When the dog "unexpectedly???" Bite the crap out of someone "PTS" ... usually works ... problem solved!

Yet again "Flaunting my Experience" as a none "Pro???" Yes ... I've been called out on that one?? In detail ... it's because I've said ..." if I can do it anyone can!" And ... add in "I don't care what a dogs "bite history is?? Because under my watch ... that dog will not be "given the opportunity to bite anyone!" My policy with dogs that may bite ... is "Zero Risk." And my "Proof of Concept" is my (formerly Human Aggressive) OS WL GSD. Never saw anything like him??? And he greeted people in the home with a "Low growl and a cold hard stare???"

And yet ... today ...he is as I said allowed "off leash" in public and he is "free" to "Make Good Choices" successfully rehabbed by and me and in the process. He received "Not A Single Correction for Inappropriate Interactions With People!"

And "toddlers" in particular ... yes "Rocky" was most definitely not a fan, that was "Proven" under "Extremely Highly Controlled Conditions!"

But so not a "toddler luving" dog here! But still despite my best efforts "Crap happens" and on one occasion when "Rocky" was in a clients back yard in "Place" outside the door and Grand Ma showed up unexpectedly with a "Toddler!!"

I was working with my client ... Grand Ma, showed up and fell asleep!! I finished dressing my client and was the first to notice the "Toddler" was gone!! I freaked rushed to the back door and "excepted to see nothing but carnage!!!" I opened the back door saw the "Toddler" without a mark on him?? But ... no "Rocky???"

I look and see "Rocky" not where I had left him in "Place" but 15 feet away! Apparently the "toddler" approached him. Rocky looked for "DAD" ... no "DAD??" What to do and he chose ... to make a "Good Choice" and yes broke "Place" and stepped away!

That was "his" choice and it was taught "Treat Free!" What he "understood" was that he was not "allowed" to be chomping on people and stuff! And when he could not find me to help him with a decision he chose to step away!

Lot of background there but "that" is why I don't "advocate treats to "trick People" into my dogs my dogs space. I train my dogs "to make good choices!" I don't bribe them with treats!


The rest of "Rocky's" "treat free" non bribe training is here.:
What would my dog do? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

My point here is to show that I am or least was "JQP" my experiance was purely with dogs "American Band Dawgs, APBT/Boxers and Boxers" ...that "Luv'd people! Nothing to thing about! But when I had a dog ... apparently (Breed WL GSD) that did not think that "people were the greatest thing ever??" I had to make "adjustments in my exceptions of this dog." Worked out fine. :)

Aww well ... the rest of "Rocky's" story is here.:
What would my dog do? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

And as rearguards "Fear Period" I tend to have a lot of issues with "Micheal Ellis" as I seriously question just how useful his videos are for "JQP" but I find his serious on "Fear Period" in younger dog ... quite informative. For the record ... I did not need to have a "stranger getting bit by screwing around with treats" to convince me that "perhaps this is not a good idea?? But hey ... that's just me. :)



I tend to advocate the "KISS" principle for "Dog Training" but apparently it take a lot of verbiage to do that. :)
 

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One thing I did forget to mention was I also had a prong collar on him which was only the second time I have used it after I took it off and he was just fine with all the other strange people we meet. So I will start doing one on one with him more and not sure a prong collar anymore.
The prong collar has nothing todo with that behavior, Kai was trained on one and has no issues what so ever. Perhaps you tend to tense up and tighten the leash when a stranger approaches. That will indicate to your dog that something is wrong. We prefer people not to enter the dogs space when we are walking but if the insist on petting him, he must sit first, they must offer their hand from underneath the face not on top where most people want to pet, then can work their way to head after he has sniffed them.

I sometimes have neighbors toddlers in my house and he is good with them but I never ever leave them unsupervised, just because of his size and what a toddler could do. I always do a greet after the child has been in the house for awhile 15 minutes or so, so he is not quite as curious as to who has come in.

Yes I would take him out more places and let him become accustomed to all the different noises and people. You initially do not have to have people come up to him. And do remember dogs go thru fear stages. Critical periods in puppy development

I also am not a trainer but have gone thru many a session with many dogs in my lifetime.
 

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Honestly .... your success or failure here ... depends on you! You actually got a break and you recognized an "issue" early! For me a dog that shows an "attitude with kids/people" early on is a dog that I will "never" allow around kids/people without supervision ... period!

I have a "ZERO BITE" policy! That make sound extreme but it is not ... I teach my dogs how I expect them to behave around people. And there job id to do "nothing." I don't use "treats" I don't use distractions. I train "Place" there job is to observe my job is to keep people out of there space. And I am good at my job. :)

The people that "fail" with dogs with dogs that have "attitude" problems are the people that "insist" on fitting an "issue" dog into the my dog "should luv" everybody box. Those were the types of dogs I usually had ... and then one day spectacular fashion ... I found I did not???

Rocky OS WL GSD greeted company with a low growl and a cold hard stare??? My blood ran cold??? A "cookie" or "distraction" to treat people into his space ... did not strike me as a good idea??? Place seemed to be working out "OK" at that moment so I went with it! :)

We see this on the GSD Forum "all" the time! Everybody seems to think that every dog should "automatically" like everyone. Some do but some not so much. The "owners" that fail or the owners that try and force such a dog into the people luving box.

That usually ends up like this when it fails: http://www.tsurodogtraining.com/articles/plan_b.htmup like this:


But you know fortunately this is not "Boxerworld" another forum and over there the way they roll is if a "Cookie" won't fit it ... "PTS" will! I was "Gunther" over there .... that did not go well! Click and Treat crowd ... I was not a good fit. :p

But ... back on point ... on the GSDForum ... we had a very expensive, high quality GSD 9 month old with serious freaking freaking issues! The thread was ... my dog will be "PTS" at 4:30 today!! Because she is freaking out of control and dangerous!!!

This owner actually had not one but two Cane Corso's!! The breeder was actually involved! Seemed like done deal to me?? So I paid no heeded ... over there by and large it is also a "PTS" crowd but ... sigh one of my friends asked me to pitch in. So ... I did what I do. :)

That was a year ago and long story short that was a year ago and today ... that dog is still here! :)

She was "willing" to change her expectations and approach and work with the dog in front of her! She did post a picture of her CC's and the WL GSD all laying around in "Place" with bones/treats laying around. That made me nervous but it worked for her. :)

As for me ...and my (formly) Human Aggressive OS WL GSD, who did use a muzzle in public for a time. I solved his people issues and I was more than willing to deliver a harsh correction if required! That never happened! He has never received a single correction for "inappropriate behavior" with people in his life!"

To be fair ... I just as soon no one lays hand on him. But on occasion "some people will press" and I do tend to give in and say yes. That includes kids ... because as I explain first, why I would prefer they not pet him. They tend to ask "well is he safe now??" And ... sigh ... I have no choice but to say yes ... he is safe.

Rocky has met many, many people these days. Off leash in crowds he will chose to stand by me or simply step aside while I talk to someone. So what I did works but you know I'm not a pro so I"ve only done one aggressive dog and one fearful dog (Boxer.) Same results the "Boxer" was a "NO" first time deal with him, and he was good until someone "asked" to pet him and stepped forward??

Tic Tack Toe, immediately pressed up against me (Fear of people issue and a puller ??) I never saw the "pulling thing" I used the SLL "properly" and the people thing?? I looked down at him and his eyes were big as saucers?? I stuck out my hand and said no sorry ... he's in training and off we went ... no problems. :)

But what I did with him was this, "Who Pets My Puppy or Dog" in here:
German Shepherd Dog Forums - View Single Post - New Dog, Very Challenging

As it happened I'd always did that anyway ... I just never paid any attention to it until I had "Rocky!"

That and "Place" and respecting his choice not to engage with people is all I did ... worked out fine.

But you know ...maybe the "Treats and Distractions" thing (Micheal Ellis) despite what he found to be true with his students ... can work?? No shortage of "advocates for that approach." But not how I roll! I'm a roll "zero bite" policy kinda guy. :)

Sigh ...yet again lot of words but to sum it in ... "Work with the dog in front of you." :)
 

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I do want to say a couple things.
First off, this is unrelated, but thank you Chip, I had a customer come in today with a prong collar on her Doodle, and I talked her into loosing that and trying SSL and no-kill harness instead, and I strongly utilized your info. Neither dog nor owner was a good candidate for the prong they had been using, and I thank you very much for helping me help them! I think you helped me do something that will be just do good.
Also, I'm wondering if we're overreacting with the growl. At the daycare, we had both Boxer pups we had during my stay there has weird quirky things like this. In one, it was more severe, and would actually exhibit puppy aggression toward us under certain circumstances, the other would just make goofy noises like a dork. Both grew out of it, but the owners and ourselves were careful to provide a healthy experience and help acclimate.
Is it possible he is just unfamiliar with young'uns and us making noises just in case? Since he's do young, perhaps if he just has enough experiences quickly with respectful little ones, he will learn to enjoy them?
I'm not sure, hopefully you guys will address these thoughts.
 

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Also, I'm wondering if we're overreacting with the growl. At the daycare, we had both Boxer pups we had during my stay there has weird quirky things like this. In one, it was more severe, and would actually exhibit puppy aggression toward us under certain circumstances, the other would just make goofy noises like a dork. Both grew out of it, but the owners and ourselves were careful to provide a healthy experience and help acclimate.
Is it possible he is just unfamiliar with young'uns and us making noises just in case? Since he's do young, perhaps if he just has enough experiences quickly with respectful little ones, he will learn to enjoy them?
I'm not sure, hopefully you guys will address these thoughts.
LOL ... "a leash pop??" Yes ... I do tend to be "flamboyant" at times??

I throw up walls of text and lots of details and answer questions that were never asked??? I tend to get in the way of my "KISS" principle?? Most likely it's like ... well it does not sound that simple to "fix" to me. :crazyeye:

So ... yes I take your point and I'll see if I can "Dial It Down." :chair:

Step one recognizing one has an issue.
Step two and this is where I went off ... (because some tend to get this wrong) give the dog time to adjust and become who he will be ... ultimately the dog's "Temperament" will determine if the dog likes people or does not. But in either case the dog can be managed.

OK ... link time these were already posted but kinda hidden.

The first one is what I always did anyway ... just never noticed it??
Leerburg | Who Pets Your Puppy or Dog


And if one looks they will see it's very similar to this.:
https://fearfuldogs.wordpress.com/2009/06/19/five-golden-rules-for-working-with-fearful-dogs-by-nicole-wilde/



And finally "The Place Command and Sit on the Dog" :
http://www.boxerforums.com/training/183298-fearful-anxious-flat-crazy-place-command.html

the dogs job is to do nothing. No interaction required, if the dog has a children issue. Doing Place or Sit on the dog, outside of "Play Grounds or School Yards where the kids are safely confined. Helps the dog get use to the sound of "Toddlers."

And .... spending lots of one on one time "Walking the Dog" helps to build a bond of trust between owner and dog. The dog learns to trust "you" and all of these things combined helps you to show the dog how you "expect" him/her to behave.

No "guarantees" as to ultimate outcome but it a "viable course of action." And with that ... I will stop typing. :)
 

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I do want to say a couple things.
First off, this is unrelated, but thank you Chip, I had a customer come in today with a prong collar on her Doodle, and I talked her into loosing that and trying SSL and no-kill harness instead, and I strongly utilized your info. Neither dog nor owner was a good candidate for the prong they had been using, and I thank you very much for helping me help them! I think you helped me do something that will be just do good.
I have no idea what a "No Kill" harness is???
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Update this weekend we went to visit all our family for the first time and Riddick did very well shy at first with new people and places but he warmed up right away and he got to meet my cousins who are 12 and 8 and he did well. He did meet a 2 year old and 4 year old and was shy and growled a little at them but would investigate them as they walked away and at one point the 4 year old was on the ground and he was totally fine wanted to play but as soon as she got up he got scared again. He also got to meet my dad and my dad was making a funny noise and he growled at him but then he was fine with my dad as well afterward. I also noticed he does well when I'm very positive and say good boy too him. I think he's scared of sudden movement and different noises for the most part.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
What would you recommend I do?
 

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What would you recommend I do?
By and large it's all in post # 9:

http://www.boxerforums.com/1919121-post9.html

I've done that exact same thing with H/A dogs and a Fear of People Boxer ... worked out fine. :)

Three things required and the first one is where lots of people "fail." Work with the dog in front of you, and that sometimes "requires" a change in an owners expectations for "this" dog.

It may not sound like a big deal?? But it is "huge." It is the difference between those who can and those who can't. The old well my other dog ... liked people and was dog friendly so those will also??

Well ... maybe they will ... maybe they won't?? I can't say, but I can say putting an "unpredictable dog" in a postion to make "poor choices" ... is not a good idea."

My goal is "people neutral" he doesn't get to "pick and choose" who to growl at or what color dog he does not like. Or short or tall people or floppy hats etc etc. Neutral to distractions are things that make him uncomfortable.

But that takes time and owners willingness to make "adjustments in there expectations for "this" dog. Without that willingness to except there dog for it is and make changes in expectations ... everything else is waste of time.

We are working on that now with a new GSD owner a "Puppy" stray dog attacks and she wants her "Puppy" to suck it up and fight back!!! :crazyeye:

Overly submissive dog attracting bullies? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

Working on changing the owners "expectations" it is a big deal.
That first beyond that it's a matter of how???

Uh oh ... gotta go! :)
 

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OK back again ...

Owner realizing and exceping that "this dog is different" from my other dogs?? That realization is the first step and it is the key to "rehab." Not every dog is capable of going to family outings and meeting and greeting everybody!

Gunther my American Band Dawg cold have and Struddell my Boxer uh yeah ... pretty much hog heaven for her! But my OS WL GSD ...yeah ... "NO!" Not his thing and I never put him in that postion most like he could do it now?? But I still would not do that.

For me ... a dog growling at anyone ... is not acceptable. To me that says something is off??? And if a dog growls at kids??? For me ... that's it, that is a dog that will "never be allowed unsupervised" around kids periods! I have a "zero bite policy" and even with "rehab" I would never allow a "kid growling dog" near kids alone. The growl says ... I am uncomfortable here???

Depending on who you follow ... you "Correct The Dog" for the growl or figure out the casue and address the issue. The "Pro's" pretty much just "flat out correct the dog for inappropriate growling ... end of story!

That ... makes sense to me but ... not how I roll. I chose to flank the dog. I don't address the issue directly (the growl.) I choose to address it indirectly. I prefer to give the dog time and space to adjust to people/kids.

I much prefer for my dogs to "chose not to react inappropriately" and I do that by giving them "Time and Space."

I don't use treats and I don't use distractions. I prefer the dog learns to deal with it and do nothing! I do that by walking them and allowing no one to to touch them! IE "who Pets My Puppy or Dog."

For a time (I used a muzzle) and my dog went to the rear and I blocked anyone that looks like they may want to touch him? I did say stay in the begining and stepped in front of "Rocky" but after a while he got that. And I no longer needed to say anything.

If I stopped he stopped if he was off leash he would usually take 5 steps back if I stopped and spoke to someone and lay down and wait. I never said a word.

I showed him ... how I expected him to behave with people, I showed him he had nothing to fear and I showed him what normal human interaction looked like. He got that ... and he went from a dog that did a low rumbling growl and a cold hard stare with company in the home and needing a muzzle in public.

To a dog that is free off leash to interact or not with people as he sees fit! He learned to look to me for guidance if I say it's good ... it's good it's good! I did not put him in a postion to make "independent choices"with people until he was ready to do so.
 

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Whoops sorry, No-Pull, not no kill... Autocorrect...
Hmm hopefully you'll be able to get input from here again?? I'm just not a fan of "Harnesses" that use gimmicks to trick a dog to walk to properly myself. Or as I am want to say ... I would not trust a dog that was trained on an EZ Walk ...whatever" To do as I expected. under pressure ... and ... crap does happen.

SLL is an "Art" not a science. Very very few trainers teach that skill. I am a bit surprised as I would have thought it was in wide use in aww "Britain! But I have members with the UK asking me about the SLL???

If you go with the numbers ... a "Prong Collar" properly used is the way to go for most people. Not my choice, but numbers don't lie and a "Prong Collar" is the tool of choice for "Pros" and there clients.

So unless you showed her the links, which would be her only hope with a SLL?? I'd bet she would go with the "Check book solution" ie "Harness thing." Don't know??
 

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The No-Pull, sensation, easy walk, whichever do actually work for many dogs, including mine. When the dog pulls, they end up turning sideways, and our little pullers don't want that. It's been a miracle for Wren after months upon months of stop, come back and sit next to Mommy before we continue whenever we pull with little improvement, after we exhausted typical leash training methods. Not only did even the shortest walk take AGES, it made almost no difference. It's a much better option than any of the hurty stuff if it works for the dog, and the info about the prong collar helped me advise several customers.
I would always try the Halti/whatever brand harness in store before even thinking about pinch or cinch, because for some, it works, and without any negatives. Cinch and pinch can be very dangerous if you don't totally know what you're doing. Sensation/No-Pull, etc... Not so much.
 

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Oh, and as far as the every day person goes, almost none actually know how to effectively use whatever pulling tool they have. That can be deadly with cinch or pinch, no matter the numbers. Try as you might, you can't make a person learn.
Also, I never agreed with Pinch collars unless you've exhausted all other avenues and/or consulted a trainer, but I never had eloquent easy to understand reasoning. But surely you can't be a fan of using that first?
Prongs should only ever be used if you have the info to use them, and most people don't.
 

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From our master trainer.
PINCH COLLARS
There has been a lot of discussion pertaining to the injuries caused by Pinch or Prong collars.
The majority of the injuries reported were caused by improperly fitted collars.
Too many owners read about the successes of this collar, go out and get one, and put it on their dog without understanding the manner in which it is to be fitted.
This collar does not slip over the head of the dog as many correction collars do. It is to be pulled apart in the middle of the links and adjusted to fit the dog’s neck with 2 inches of chain slack. It is then placed around the neck and refastened.
The object of this collar is to administer a pinch similar to the Dam’s bite when correcting her pups.
Like any other tool in your box, if used improperly, it is dangerous.
Used properly, and it is an effective tool.
 
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