I dont know what to do with my dog

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Missy G

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Hi,
I have a dog who is a cross between an Akita and American bulldog, and is nearly a year old ,she is becoming quite a big dog and is quiet strong ,i have recently invested in a face collar for when we go out for walks,which has made walks a more of a pleasure,now today i took her out in the woods with my six yr old daughter,it was very quiet so i let her off the lead ,im a bit weary of letting her off the lead as anything she sees move she will chase it.We were having a lovely time throwing her a stick and then she spotted someone with three little dogs,and she was gone,she normally comes back to me if i call her ,but if she sees another dog ive no chance of getting her back.When she got to the dogs she was jumping all over them,she was just pleased to see them ,and wanted to play,she is not aggresive at all ,now the women who was with the dogs became very stressed as her dogs were continually barking and my dog still kept jumping over them,in the mean time i was running over & calling my dog but she completly ignored me.The women became even more stressed and started hitting my dog,shouting abuse at me,calling me a stupid b**** for having the dog off the lead,and said i ll kill your dog if you dont get it off mine,i couldnt even manage to say anything as i was so out of breath from runing,my daughter was also crying from seeing this women hit our dog too.
I ve also had a situation i let her off the lead in a park recently ,no one about,untill she walked into the woods there was an old couple walking out,she immediatly jumped at them (pleased to see them),and i got a load of abuse off of them.
Now ive come back home thinking is this dog going to always be like this or is it just a puppy thing ,or is it just the type of breed she is.Please can Any of you dog experts give me advice,i cant really afford a personal trainer,so any advice from all would be great,if its going to carry on forever i dont think i ll be able to keep her,do you think i ll be stuck with just keeping her on the lead all the time,was i in the wrong for having her off the lead?:rolleyes:
 

ValencianNails

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How does she behave in a controlled situation? Does she sit, stay, down etc to command?

I used clicker training for my labrador cross springer, it was recommended to us by an animal behaviourist who our vet recommended, we had to get the behaviourist to help us train Max as he was a so-and-so. Have a chat with your vet and see if they can recommend a behaviourist for you, even for one or two sessions, it'll start you off on the right track. You'll be able to buy the clicker and relevant training booklets through them too.

I don't think it's very responsible having her off the lead if she doesn't come back when you call her, especially not with the breed she is.

It's hard work but worth it in the end :hug:
 

Missy G

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She is fine normally does respond to commands,but like i say its just when shes out and she sees another dog,im just hoping its a puppy thing, and like you say because of her breed,..she has lots of energy and thats why i like to let her off the lead,my husband takes her over the park late at night and he usually comes back saying shes been chasing a fox,but i just want to be able to take her up the park and woods at the weekend and not be on edge its not so much of a prob if its another big young dog ,its great then seeing them playing,but its when it comes to the smaller and older dogs,anyway thanxs i will be seeing my vet next month for her years check up so i ll speak to them then.
 

ValencianNails

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Search Champdogs for the Top UK and European Dog Breeders

Try Champdogs, they have a message board and lots of fab info.

Also, have you thought about the amount of protein in her diet? I had to put my dog on a low protein diet, less than 25% and eventually 20%, due to it making him too hyperactive, it could be something to discuss when you see your vet.
 

nailzandbeauty

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Sandi's right in what she has advice you to.I can understand why you let her off but now you know she will not come bacak when you recall her when she sees another dog its not a good idea to let her off really.People will be very scared when they see the size of this dog bounding up to them n their dog and will porbly say alot of things to you in pannic.Have a look in your local papar for dog training school as it will be cheaper than a 1to1 probly.Your dog will be with other dogs and may calm down abit and you will be training at the same time,usually doing it this way in a school it only a few pound a week to pay which will be worth it.Im a big dog lover my self and love to see them off lead to play but i have this with mine so i dont let him off anymore when iv got him.He dosnt do it when hubbys got him just showing off when iv got him.Hes not agressive but very fast and strond so the other people hes running to play pannic which i can understand really.I hope you get it sorted like i say have a look in paper for a school be the dog gets any older,it will do the dog good and she will love it aswell n have fun! Good luck xx
 

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I'm with Sandi on this one - you really need some kind of training and your dog does need to obey 'recall' before you let her off the lead. I have a Staffy and a Wolfhound, the Staffy is excellent, so obedient, and so is the Wolfhound now, but they weren't always like that. It takes a lot of time and commitment to train a dog, especially when they want to be off across the field with another dog - you need to make them want to be with you more than anything else! I used a long 'lunging' rope (type used to train horses) which gave the dogs enough space to explore whilst still being under control - those extending dog leads aren't very long. Try teaching her 'recall' whilst on a long lead/rope and only let her off when you know she will come back every time.

Try the Clicker training, I'm sure there's heaps of info on the internet about it, but always reward using treats and praise, never let yourself get so frustrated that you end up shouting at your dog, and always end 'on a good note' - when your dog has done something right. Always carry treats with you and while she is on a long rope/lead, let her get ahead of you then call her, when she comes give her a treat - and just repeat this throughout the walk, works wonders on greedy dogs!!

As for the woman, well, you can kind of understand her reaction, although I would only ever hit another dog if it was actually attacking one of mine, but an Akita/Bulldog cross is going to be a large and powerful animal and anyone with little dogs who has a large dog pestering them is going to be worried for the safety of their own animals - you know that your dog only wanted to play, but strangers don't know that. Look at it another way, your dog might want to go play with a dog it sees in the distance which turns out to be a real brute with a killer attitude - your dog could end up being seriously hurt.

My mum's dog (little min. schnauzer that thinks it's a doberman!) used to jump up at people all the time - the best way we found to stop him doing this is to enlist the help of a few different people and get them to carry a plastic bottle half full of stones. As they walk towards your dog, if she tries to go over to them or jump at them, they shake the bottle of stones LOUDLY and shout 'no'. Repeat as necessary shouldn't take too long. Your dogs need to realise that it should only go to people if the person is calling it.

Another tip - watch Dog Borstal on tv - absolutely great ideas, or better still, write in and ask to go on the programme!

Your dog is very young at the moment and likely has no aggressive tendencies and will cower if challenged by an older dog, but as she matures, remember that Akitas and American Bulldogs can be very aggressive with other dogs so try not to let her approach dogs that she doesn't know, to protect her as much as the other dog.

I know it's no fun having to be on your guard all the time, but as soon as she's obeying 'recall' your life (and walks) will be so much easier. In future, it's so much easier to get this done when they are still young, start training them at 3 or 4 months so they're still at a size that isn't difficult to control.

If you persevere I'm sure you'll get there, but you need to do about 10 minutes training every day - don't do long sessions or your dog will get bored.

Best of luck!
Jackie
x
 

JackieMc

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And 'Major' is spot on, group classes are very affordable, you only have to go once a week then practice what you are taught the rest of the time, plus your dog will be getting properly socialised and learn how to behave with other dogs.

I'd love to see a pic of her!
 

Sassy Hassy

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Dog Borstal is such a great programme, Max my dog sits and watches it the whole way through! Wish he'd learn something! But what the programme usualy proves that it is down to the inexperience of the owner and not the dog. It's just a case of knowing what to do - if you can't afford then see if your local dog rescue centre can help. I got Max from the Blue Cross and we had many many problems with him and they sent the behaviourist out to us twice free of charge - they'd rather the dog stayed with you than it ends up back with them. He did also suggest the stones in bottle trick, and they often use this on Dog Borstal!
 

Missy G

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Search Champdogs for the Top UK and European Dog Breeders

Try Champdogs, they have a message board and lots of fab info.

Also, have you thought about the amount of protein in her diet? I had to put my dog on a low protein diet, less than 25% and eventually 20%, due to it making him too hyperactive, it could be something to discuss when you see your vet.
Well ive searched Champdogs i think i may of found my prob ,she doesnt understand other dogs body language !!!which to me is right ,it doesnt matter how much a another dog growls or barks at her ,she still thinks they want to play,if she realises they dont then i would hope shed turn round and come back to me,heh great think ive found me prob just need to solve it,she did go to a course of puppy classes before,but i found it so hecktick i came away with a head ache each time and she has had alot of other dog contact over the months too.
 

nailzandbeauty

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That could be right Debbie about body language but i dont know much about that im afraid.Yes puppy classes are hectic but i would go for an older class as the dogs will be more under control aswell {headaches yes i remeber well i was exhausted when i got back from class}Anyway good luck with it all got any pics for us to see i love pics of doggys mine is my aviator xx
 

BABSann

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Youve been given some fab advice,clicker training is excellent as well as food(especially if the dog is food orientated as a lot are)Chop some ham up or chicken breast then take it out with you.Go out when nobody else will be around,or better still go to a field where you are unlikely to bump into anyone or their dogs.
Let your dog run off then call her back,when she returns give her food,then after a bit,dont reward her,other than verbal praise,then every so often give her food again.This works wonders with dogs that like food,if they are not that bothered but love their ball try that instead.

I have 2 dogs one food orientated and one ball orinetated,I used to despair when they didn't come back when I called,I taught them slowly but surely and I went to obedience classes.

It isn't easy having a dog that dosn't come back when commanded,it can prove so stressful and I can only begin to imagine how you felt having your pooch wacked,I would've been mortified if someone started hitting my two but on the other hand I wouldn't be happy either if someones dog was jumping on mine,especially a big dog.

Anyway,there's lots of great advice so good luck, you will get there in the end.:hug:
 

fifitrix

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Well ive searched Champdogs i think i may of found my prob ,she doesnt understand other dogs body language !!!which to me is right ,it doesnt matter how much a another dog growls or barks at her ,she still thinks they want to play,if she realises they dont then i would hope shed turn round and come back to me,heh great think ive found me prob just need to solve it,she did go to a course of puppy classes before,but i found it so hecktick i came away with a head ache each time and she has had alot of other dog contact over the months too.
I agree with everything that has been said and have just had a thought as well, you could get a long training lead, not an extending one, and this will giver her freedom to go and play but you are in control as you have the lead and can recall easier, your only problem may be her strength so perhaps you get hubby to try it first with the combined use of the clicker. All my dogs have been clicker trained and been very obedient in fact the 2 pups I have are only 15 weeks old and sit and stay with clicker training.

Good luck with it all :)
 

Missy G

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That could be right Debbie about body language but i dont know much about that im afraid.Yes puppy classes are hectic but i would go for an older class as the dogs will be more under control aswell {headaches yes i remeber well i was exhausted when i got back from class}Anyway good luck with it all got any pics for us to see i love pics of doggys mine is my aviator xx
I posted a picture of her in the geek gallery,first time at posting a pic /hope its in the right place,thanx for your advice all im feeling alot happier now,than from earlier when i come home from my walk xxx
 

Missy G

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I agree with everything that has been said and have just had a thought as well, you could get a long training lead, not an extending one, and this will giver her freedom to go and play but you are in control as you have the lead and can recall easier, your only problem may be her strength so perhaps you get hubby to try it first with the combined use of the clicker. All my dogs have been clicker trained and been very obedient in fact the 2 pups I have are only 15 weeks old and sit and stay with clicker training.

Good luck with it all :)
I do have an extending lead ,but weve recently brought a face collar to stop her pulling ,and find it great,the only trouble is if i use it with the face collar the lead gets caught under her legs,so im back to her original lead,i am looking round for a field somewhere thats unoccupied,but im worried it may be private land,and i might get a load of verbal abuse from a farmer ,if that makes sense.
 

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"ain't misbehaving" by David Appleby is the book you need. he trains guide dogs/RAF dogs and is a really well known dog trainer. 1/2 hour with this guy turned my dog from a snarling vicious menace into the dog she was meant to be. he sold us the book too which i'd recommend to anyone. if you actually want an appointment with him, you can get one through the PDSA.

and don't let your dog off the lead again until s/he is properly trained, and even then i would think twice about it. you might think she's soft, and she may well be with you, but the sad fact is that she is bred from two different fighting breeds, Akita and Bulldog! Akita in itself is bad enuf but to throw in a bit of bulldog! she's a dangerous breed and given the right stressful circumstances (ie. someone else hitting her because they are afraid) could easily set her off and you must never 100% trust her, even just for her own sake. No dog should ever be 100% trusted, and your dog may not be any worse temperament than something like a poodle, but these breeds hang on if they bite and don't let go, which is why they do so much damage. if she had reacted badly to this woman, it would be your dog that would be down the vets getting put down, no matter how much she was provoked. so for her own sake, keep her on the lead.

also, if someone complained to the police that you had a dangerous breed off the lead, they could take her off you and decide to destroy her, if a vet agreed she was dangerous. this woman may already have reported you.
 

Buggy

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ps. i don't think it's a major problem that you have to keep her on the lead, even if you can never let her off in public ever again. it doesn't mean she's a bad dog just because she's excitable and i think you are focusing too much on this one problem. you can still get a lot of enjoyment out of her.
 

ladybgemini

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I'm not sure how dominant your dog is but things like if the dog nudges u and u stroke her show she is dominating you. Also, make sure you eat before the dog because in the wild the most dominant eats first. Also, if she leans on you while you are sitting, she is making you stay where you are and dominating you. Once she understands you are the boss she will be easier to train, they have to know where they stand in the pecking order in the household or she will become confused as to what is expected of her.

These are things that i picked up from a dog trainer that trained police dogs before he retired and started doing it with the public. he had a real no nonsense approach to training dogs, reward good behaviour but a very stern voice to show you are not happy and plenty of eye contact.

my dog is very obedient now, she sits, stays and wont move until i tell her to, regardless of who is about, be it a person or a dog. She will go out and do her business on command and a few geeks will tell you she is soft as s**t lol.

Best thing you can do is look at training, someone who knows what they are doing will ensure that you end up with a balanced dog, who knows where she stands, and is not confused. my lessons were about £12 a session i think, possibly not even that much as it was a while ago now that i went.

Good luck and keep us posted xxxx
 

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How about a few dog obedience classes, there must be some in your local area.
 

ValencianNails

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and don't let your dog off the lead again until s/he is properly trained, and even then i would think twice about it. you might think she's soft, and she may well be with you, but the sad fact is that she is bred from two different fighting breeds, Akita and Bulldog! Akita in itself is bad enuf but to throw in a bit of bulldog! she's a dangerous breed and given the right stressful circumstances (ie. someone else hitting her because they are afraid) could easily set her off and you must never 100% trust her, even just for her own sake.
I quite agree.

No dog should ever be 100% trusted, and your dog may not be any worse temperament than something like a poodle, but these breeds hang on if they bite and don't let go, which is why they do so much damage. if she had reacted badly to this woman, it would be your dog that would be down the vets getting put down, no matter how much she was provoked. so for her own sake, keep her on the lead.
Again, I completely agree...
The fact of the matter is this, the dog, regardless of what she's like with you, can be a different animal in the company of people.

I have 3 dogs in total... Max (8, and my baby) came with us from England when we moved, Joe (3) was one of a stray dog's litter and he isn't 100% trustworthy, Ben (8 months) is a gorgeous puppy who is being moulded into what we want him to be... none of my 3 are the same, they all have different personalities, Max is the BOSS, Joe is THE guard dog, and Ben tows the line to the other two.

You need to make sure that your dog is fed after you've eaten your evening meal, you need to make sure that she is bottom of the pecking order, regardless of how it makes you feel personally, dogs aren't only pets, they need to know their place within the family home too, and that IS bottom of the pecking order (or bottom of the pack).
 

sian1979

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i totally agree with buggy, after seeing the documentary (panorama) about fighting dogs and their temperament i would not let he/she off their lead in public and even though yours is not bred and built for fighting it is still in their nature unfortunatly. I know the doc was mainly about pure bred american pitbulls but even still its in its dna somewhere.
Its in their breed that they act this way and one day when he/she is older (and stronger) it may well turn nasty if someone starts hitting out because they are afraid.
I would still take the advice on board about some kind of obedience training as others have suggested, try searching the net and see what turns up.

HTH's:hug:

sian xx
 

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