Join Date: Jul 2010
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So sorry that you were hurt, and I certainly understand your not feeling comfortable walking your boy.
If you haven't taken him to basic obedience classes, it would be a good place to start. Teaching, rewarding, and generalizing a solid foundation of basic obedience skills can help a dog become more calm and well behaved - he knows what you expect from him and he knows how to do it.
Bolting out the door. Start by preventing him from doing it, put a leash on him everytime you are going to open the door. (A bother yes, but he is being rewarded by freedom every time he gets out).
Work on door manners. You can start with an 'inside' door if you choose, to teach him what is expected of him, but you will also need to practice with the door he usually goes out. Have him on leash near the door, cue him to sit, reward with treat or praise, reach to open the door, if he gets up, say 'wrong' and wait for him to sit again, praise when he does.Repeat until you can open the door, wide and he remains sitting, then immediately, calmly release him to go through. Practice in short sessions, once he understands he is to sit and wait for release, gradually increase the time you ask him to wait before releasing him to go through - this helps build self control. Be patient and consistent, it is important that your hubby follow the 'rules' (for the dog) as well.
Practice Nothing in Life is Free - ask your dog to do 'something' (sit, down, shake a paw, make eye contact) before he gets anything.
Practice and reward his attention on you. If he is not paying attention to you, he is not 'listening'.
Reactivity, barking and lunging (pulling towards) other dogs and people can be over excitement (lack of self control) or can be fear based, ( a fearful dog will make lots of noise and 'posture' to try to 'chase off' the 'offender') if at all possible, suggest enlisting the help of an experienced behaviorist/trainer who uses positive reinforcement, to work with this. It is key to understand what is going on, so that you can manage and work with it properly.
'Don't pity the rescue dog. Adopt one. And be proud to have their greatness by your side.'