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My almost 4 yr old border jack mix has on multiple occasions attacked me, but he has only done this when others are present. Thus far I am the only person he has ever attacked, and I am constantly on my toes to his signals when he is out walking or in the house.

When I finally put my foot down to my husband and said either you follow through with how he has been trained and be serious about giving him boundaries about appropriate behavior he has to go or you and he will. I won't put him up for adoption, and I will have no qualms about putting him to sleep if we can't find a solution.

He prefers men over me, my daughter or any other woman over me if no man is around. We have been able to stop the attacks on me, but I have to watch him around strangers and other dogs, even our other 2. He still gives me the signals when he is on the verge of going off on me, but there are times he will wake up from sleeping and attack without the signs if I am too close to my husband or him.

He seems to know he is doing wrong when he growls or grumps at me. All I do is give him the look, and he backs down, walks to me on his hind feet and gives me a kiss then goes to his crate for a time out. He will harumph and grump all the way over, but he hasn't been told to go there. He has been trained that aggressive behavior gets him a time out there.

I have not been physically attacked now for over a year. I have scars where he has attacked me in the past, and I am super careful when out with him. Hence the halti wearing when on walks or outings.

What have I done wrong, and is there anything more I can do?

I have looked for a pet behaviorist in the area and the closest is a 3 hour drive away and charges 0.50 a mile each way to do the 3 in home visits she insists on. I don't mind spending money to get help, but that is a little out of my range when added to the hourly charge for visits and then the follow ups at her place of business and the gas to get there and back.

My vet reccomended Petsmart, they recommended I find a local trainer but to find one that doesn't use aggression techniques. The non-aggression training exsists, but none are willing to take on this kind of behavior problem.

Any help is much appreciated!
 

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I would consider you employ the help of a professional behaviourist, as this seems to be an ongoing problem. They will be able to advise you of what you might be doing wrong, and also help you to put things right.

Because of the previous history of him biting you, it's hard to advise without seeing you both together.

If you're serious about keeping him, then there's nothing else for it...
 

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I'd go a step further than a behaviorist, and find a veterniary behaviorist. A local trainer, and esp petsmart trainers (...even if they are above average in skill!) are not qualified to be working with 'aggressive dogs', both technically and often practically speaking. I had to go quite a ways for a vet behaviorist, but that allowed me to get help I could not receive in any other way.

This could be a conflict behavior, he wants he resources/personal space. But then you are there and either within those boundaries or may take away the resource...and so he response...though inappropriately.

In the mean time, do what you can to avoid confrontations. Do not insist he comes up to you before hand or goes to the crate after. Be mindful of his personal space. Wake him up from a distance before approaching. If you have any experience with clicker training, that could be a good way of teaching him to go to a mat (yes...he goes to his crate, but it sounds like he's a bit distressed over that), get off furniture, hold a stay, respond to name... keep the other dogs in a different room. If the treat pieces you toss are seen as a resource, consider standing behind a barrier for your safety during the training sessions.
 

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A true behaviorist has gone to vet school. Some people call themselves behavioral trainers, which can confuse people into thinking that they are dealing with a behaviorist.

It sounds as though he doesn't respect you for some reason. It's extremely stressful to have to walk around on eggshells all the time. I lived that life for 10 years with a corgi/chow mix who would attack my lab at the drop of a hat and was very stranger aggressive. After 10 years of working with her, we finally put her to sleep. I don't think she was very happy when she was alive because she was constantly under stress, too. She never attacked us, her humans, just Jasmine and she would go after any strangers who came to the home (washing machine repairman, cable guy, etc).
 

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We had a Shepherd who was very aggressive to any person or animal outside of our family. One thing you want to know is when your dog goes to attack or bite, can you or someone stop him? Will he calm down after someone steps in? How focused is he on the attack/fight?

We worked with our Shepherd for a long time. He was perfect in our home. He was very intelligent and learned everything quickly. We had so much hope - then, the disappointment came. Given the least bit of opportunity, he would lunge, pull, jump in the air, and even go for the face of a person. He would not calm down even if one of us tried to intervene. The trainer we worked with told us that was not good - that we could never trust him.

Something was triggered when another dog or person would be near and all the training meant nothing. He could not be trusted and we had to keep our home secure for fear of him getting out.

Without getting into all the details, I can say that in our case, every time he had an opportunity to be aggressive, we lost more of him. He grew in his own sense of dominance. We did not have the resources that are available today - but I am not sure that would have made a difference. We had to put him down.

Your dog has not bitten you in a year. I think that is good. It seems like there is something in your energy that he is picking up on. You may not be as self-assured as you need to be with him - a difficult act, if you have been bitten.

I am not an expert - but I know your concern and can relate to your description of the stress. Your dog is smaller than our Shepherd. Part of our problem was our shepherd's size and physical strength.

Not to minimize your worries, but what you have described is not even close to what we went through. Still, you are going to need professional help with this. You are going to need an honest opinion - someone who can evaluate in person what is going on.

I was so invested in "saving" our dog, that I did not think clearly about what we should do. Sadly, we had to put him down - and even then, in the last minutes, I was hopeful that the vet would advise us differently - that there was something else we could try.

Although we have good memories of him and loved him, we were so relieved when our lives returned to normal. We will never forget him. We will never live like we did with another dog. That is the main reason we have had a collie and three goldens since our shepherd - and it is the main reason we raised the last 4 dogs from the age of 8 weeks old.

Know that there are people out there who have experienced some degree of what you are going through and feel such empathy for you in the situation. I never judge a person with an aggressive dog - I do what I can to help - if that means, crossing the street, or whatever. I know first-hand how when your dog is an outsider because of his behavior, you and your family also become outsiders. No one will come to your home - everyone stays a safe distance. I am sorry. I will be thinking of you.
 
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