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Old 04-20-2013, 10:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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The Dozer is almost 18 mos. He is a big boy at 75 lbs. My husband thought it was cute and, as a puppy, allowed Dozer to play with the shoes strings of his sneakers. I knew better, but DH wouldn't listen. This dog has caused more stress to our marriage than anything ever. As a 75 lb boxer, it is no longer cute and at times he has been so agressive that husband felt threatened. To get him to stop, he has tried ignoring, chasing, vinegar, cheyanne pepper, diversion, etc. He doesn't go outside with Dozer without treats to have him sit. Since I don't typically wear sneakers, he's hasn't tried it with me...until last night, and I was wearing shoe boots. He chased my feet so hard that, I could feel his teeth on my heels, but without pressure, and he ripped my jeans. I don't like this game and it has to stop.
Dozer has been a challenge, to say the least. He is not our first boxer. If our first, Boomer, had acted like Dozer, there would not have been a Dozer. He literally controls our life. On one hand he is a good dog. He has slept through the night since we brought him home. He has not had an accident since 6 months. He stays off the furniture, has chewed up a couple hunderd $ in cushions, but finally sleeps on his own. He is crated during the day and we play hard at night. On a scale of 1-10, he is a 9 with the (3 yr old) grandkids. We are teaching them to say NO when he tries to lick their face. He gets a little close to them for comfort on the steps to the basement. We accomany them up and down. He doesn't chew on our stuff, because we keep everything picked up. The pepper works to keep him from eating my plants. He walks well with a loose leash. On the other hand, we have had little company, we live in the country, and family can't tolerate his greeting. We take him out in public with a pinch collar. We are trying very hard, but I have to admit he has come very close to being a statistic. I am venting. Do not comment if you are going to judge me. You have not walked in our shoes with this dog. Dozer is a keeper. I am asking for help to get him to stop chasing our feet.

Last edited by Lodalady; 04-20-2013 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 04-20-2013, 11:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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So sorry you are dealing with these issues with Dozer. I think bringing in a trainer that will visit your home and give training advice based on your specific situations is in order. I'm sure it will be more expensive than group training; but if he is running your lives, it sounds like it would be worth it. He needs to learn that you run his life and not the other way around. I would do it before he gets much older and "set in his ways."

Also, just remember consistency is key. Since you have tried many things to correct/stop him, try one correction consistently for a longer period of time. Have you done clicker training? If not, you can use it as a correction instead of a praise. Just like some use it along with a treat for praise, you can condition him to associate it with something he doesn't like - like a spritz of water, loud NO, or something like that which works. Eventually he will not want to hear the clicker and associate his bad behavior with the sound of that clicker - and hopefully stop at that point.

Best of luck!


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Old 04-20-2013, 11:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Being that he has basically learned that this behavior was allowed it's going to be a little harder to train him out of it. But patience, persistence and repetition is the key just like with all other training.

Have you taught him "leave it" ?

To teach "leave it" put him on his leash (start inside) and place a tasty treat down in the middle of the floor (also have treats on you). You want to walk him from one side of the room right past the treat to the other side without him snatching it up on the way.

As you get close to the treat he will try and grab it - say "leave it" and give a leash correction and keep going. This may take you several tries before you are successful. When you do manage to get past the treat and it's still on the floor where you left it. You tell him "good boy" and give him the treat from your pocket. Never pick up the treat from the floor and give that one. Repeat this over and over and then start doing this in different rooms, places - even outside on a deck or driveway. The key to this is that until he learns it you must practice with a leash on so you control the outcome. Set him up for success basically. Eventually you will no longer need the leash correction along with the verbal "leave it".
You can then start using this command when he goes after your feet (you still might need treats in your pocket), eventually fade out the treats when it comes to your feet.
"Leave it" also comes in handy for everyday things. Like if you're outside on a walk or trail and he goes to sniff at some trash or something gross (like road kill).

This isn't an instant fix for you as you need to teach the command before applying it to your feet, but it should help in the long run.

Hope this helps you.
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Old 04-20-2013, 12:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I agree with the above posts! Time to get serious with his training I would enrol him in a good training class. (positive is always better) and start changing up the rules in your home. Often its not just the behaviour that has to be worked on but if fact everything.
I really like the NILIS nothing in life is free! Start getting him working. Also one thing I always say to clients is, sometimes its best to think about what you want him to be doing rather then what you dont want him doing! So if you dont want him running at your shoes where would you like him to be?? And teach him to be there instead! ... Maybe (just as an example) you can teach him WATCH ME! and when he looks up he gets a treat! Then when you have on shoes with laces ... take a few steps saying "watch me" and when he looks at you rather then your shoes reward him!

Hope this helps a little! Dogs are a part of the family and can be equally as challenging on a couple or family as they can be joy! He is still young.... so get cracking on that training! And let hubby know ... NO MORE BAD HABITS! they are much harder to break
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Old 07-30-2013, 08:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I feel the need to follow up on the feet chasing, in the event it would help a fellow dog owner. He still has episodes of chasing sneakers, but we are getting it under control. The trainer told us to carry a toy for diversion. That cant' always happen (six acres of play ground), but now when he starts growling at our feet, we send him for a toy. When we tell him to get the ball, he will stop chasing and look for the ball. It will divert him until we can get to the house for an actual toy or control. When he would do this in the beginning, it was a scary feeling to be 100 feet from the house without an out.
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