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Discussion Starter #1
Its been a long while since Mr. C has been snarky with another dog and I really hoped that we had turned a corner but no. Yesterday we encountered a lovely male black lab mix pup - about 5 months old.

Mr. C was playing with one of his female doggie friends named Lexi when this lab mix came along. He was so cute - all legs. I did notice that he seemed a bit unsure but he was friendly. They were all just running around nicely and then the pup stood next to Mr. C. I had my back turned and next thing I hear is the pup crying out with Mr. C on top of him pinning him down, snarling like a mad dog. I yelled at Mr. C to stop it and he came to me right away and threw himself down on the ground exposing his belly.

WTH!!!!! I asked Lexi's owner what happened and she said nothing happened. They were just standing next to each other and then bam! I was so embarrased and angry at my boy.

I've been feeling so very low about this. For the first time since bringing him home I questioned how much more of this I can take.

I've had to re-adjust my expectations of what I wanted in a dog and what I got in him. I was basically looking for a good companion that I could take on long walks. Nope, can't do the long walk thing because he is afraid of noises and unfamiliar areas. We've been walking the same route every morning for two years and he's still afraid. The only place he likes is the parkette.

Of course I love my boy but truthfully, I'm tired and upset.
 

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I just don't believe "nothing happened". There can be very suttle body language that we owners don't pick up. Your back was turned. Give C the benefit of the doubt on this one. If Mr. C wanted to hurt that pup he would have. I think he was giving him what he felt were corrections needed. if there really was more than that Mr. C wouldn't have come back to you so fast.
 

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Kate
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Since he's unpredictable with strange dogs, I would keep him on leash around them until you are 100% sure he's not going to be jumping on them.

The long walks - keep at it.

I have a video somewhere of Jacks when he was at his WEIRDEST point last summer. He refused to leave the shadow of our house. It took thyroid meds and a lot of handling, socializing, FORCING him to head out - and about now he's almost normal. This summer even I was able to walk him down to a lake by a shooting range. He was so excited about swimming that he didn't even notice the constant pop-pop-popping. That was a huge victory, even knowing he might always regress back to his panic state if he has any bad experiences.

It does get better, but it take a lot of training, handling, and determination on your part. And of course a whole lot of love.
 

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Gunner and Honey's Mom
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I'm so sorry that you had such a bad day with Mr. C. Hugs from Cathy and Gunner
 
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I'm sorry you had a bad walk. I know how it is to have to readjust your expectations of a dog. Flora is not very good around other dogs and I always dreamed of having a dog that I could watch play with other dogs. So now, sometimes when I read people's posts about their dogs playing with other dogs it makes me really, really sad.

What does he do if you try to walk him somewhere he's unfamiliar with? Does he just stand there and refuse to move?
 

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I just don't believe "nothing happened". There can be very suttle body language that we owners don't pick up. Your back was turned. Give C the benefit of the doubt on this one. If Mr. C wanted to hurt that pup he would have. I think he was giving him what he felt were corrections needed. if there really was more than that Mr. C wouldn't have come back to you so fast.
I had the same thought. Something happened. Dogs rarely pin other dogs for no reason, especially considering that Mr. C has been doing relatively well lately. WE may not pick up on it, but they have a reason. It sounds to me like he was correcting the pup, putting him in his place for some reason. It could have been something as simple as the pup trying to put his chin over the back of Mr. C's neck, or the pup was posturing a bit while he was standing there. It could have been so subtle that his owner missed it, but it could be enough to make an insecure dog react.
And I agree - he didn't want to hurt the pup, or he would have.

I understand your frustration, though. It can be difficult having a reactive, insecure dog. Believe me, I know! But look how far you have come with him. Don't let one little setback, if that's even what it was, jeopardize that.
 

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Penny wasn't the pup I thought of when I thought Golden Retreiver. I thought about Polly who was always sweet and loving, never bit even as a puppy, never pulled a leash, never needed toys aside from an old bone or a sock.

It took YEARS for us to get on the same page. Give yourself time, give him time.

I get all sad when I see pictures of dogs playing together (Penny is too shy) and people cuddling with their Goldens; Penny is so 'don't cuddle with me'. None of them are perfect but we love them just the same. I have no doubt you love Mr. C or that you are pretty exasperated right now
 

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New Mommy
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Sorry you and Mr.C are having a set back. We had 3 reactive dogs at the Howloween party, it made things quite interesting. But you know it is what is it. We love theses guys and the parties wouldn't be complete without them. They are all basically good, sweet dogs, just didn't learn how to play with other dogs properly when they were pups. We had many new dogs this time and an old blind one, so the 3 "trouble makers" were kept mostly on leash as was Jordan. Please don't feel too discouraged, you are doing a wonderful job with him. I shutter to think of what might have happened to him if it hadn't been you that adopted him:uhoh: I think these things happen from time to time to keep us on our toes. No dog is 100% because the world never is. Hang in there, we love you both !!!:smooch::smooch::smooch::smooch::smooch:
 
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My third rescue was afraid of soooo many things. I don't have any good photos of him because the camera was one of them.

I had Chance for 2 years and 4 months before I lost him to cancer. We made a lot of progress and he learned to love instead of fear my car and me too! Yep - he was afraid of me for the first 2 months or so. I did a lot of work on desensitizing him to noises and new things and it slowly paid off, but he still had "weird" phobias unti the day he died.

Copper was male dog aggressive when I adopted him and we never played with other dogs when he was first adopted. As he aged and mellowed we did, but never free range except for the other dogs that live with me. Copper actually never hurt another dog, but it sure sounded scary!

Any chance that Mr. C was being protective of his property - Lexi? I do know that the little mama dog I recently gained from my neighbor will pin her puppy (who is bigger than her now) when she thinks he needs correction. Tucker screams bloody heck, but he isn't hurt and he behaves better once she corrects him.

I'm so sorry you are tired and upset, but I do understand. I hope Mr. C keeps improving and he comes closer to the dog you thought you were getting.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the support everyone. I'm digging deep today for more patience and understanding.

I have to admit that it is very tiring having to be on your toes every second you leave the house with your dog...but I'm not giving up.
 

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Missing Selka So Much
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I understand. Gunner doesn't like strange dogs, is afraid of thunder, guns, fireworks but he has mellowed and made great progress. I was so scared when we got Sasha but he has adjusted wonderfully! He never growls at Sasha and puts up with his puppy antics.

I don't take Gunner to places where he would be confined with other dogs or if I think I couldn't handle him in an emergency. He has great obedience so if he is in a sitstay , he is a good boy.

Good Luck and sending you and your boy good thoughts!
 

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I'm sorry to hear that Mr. C had a setback reacting to another dog. When Roxy starts to react to another dog, she suddenly "freezes". At that instant, I try to redirect her.

After a year of training with her fear aggression with strange dogs, we have made remarkable progress. She goes on walks without reacting to neighbor dogs, plays happily with the Border Collie mix puppy down the road, she has fun at off-leash play classes twice a month, and she ran her first agility trial after nine months of weekly classes. She is still not ready for dog parks, however.

I started reading "Behavior Adjustment Training" by Grisha Stewart and I highly recommend it. I wish I had the book a year ago. Grisha also has DVD's available.
 
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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Thanks for the book recommend Jim. I'm going to look into too.

We had a much better day yesterday and I'm far less frustrated. I'm going to call his previous trainer and see if we can't get in a few more sessions too.

I guess its always something. I was speaking to a dog owner yesterday who said that her dog is destroying the house. I couldn't say much other than sympathize because when it comes to behavior within the house Mr. C is an angel - I couldn't ask for more.

Keep up the great work with Roxy. I hope to one day write in a post that we've got this problem licked.

Edit: I was looking at the website for this book and guess what? Mr. C's trainer that uses these methods and contributed an article as well - 4th from the bottom. http://functionalrewards.com/
 

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Edit: I was looking at the website for this book and guess what? Mr. C's trainer that uses these methods and contributed an article as well - 4th from the bottom. Behavior Adjustment Training (BAT) | Official site for BAT: dog-friendly training for reactivity (aggression, fear, frustration) by Grisha Stewart, MA
Sounds like you have a great trainer! Maybe Mr. C and you could benefit from another private session. I forgot to add that there is a Yahoo group for Behavior Adjustment Training:
functionalrewards : Behavior Modification, Real-Life Rewards
 

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Thanks so much Jim for the link! I've joined the group. Just waiting on acceptance. Can't wait to get in there and do some reading.
 

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I think all dogs have some kind of issues. Those that are fortunate have understanding, loving owners that will learn how to deal with them. And then there are the others :(
So glad Mr. C has YOU !!!
 
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Dog Lover
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Mr. C

Mr. C

Don't give up!! Glad you called the trainer.
I agree that all dogs have some issue!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks SM and Karen. I am so glad that there are people like you and others on this forum to help me to keep going. I've learned a lot here and appreciate the support.
 

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I know it can be very frustrating and really sad. Rose can be around so few dogs. We were really worried when we got Jordan. I was hoping that she would at least tolerate her and not try and kill her (I'm not kidding here). What we got was BFFs. Rose will let Jordan do or have anything. I am a little worried things might change when Jordan grows up, but for now I am just enjoying it. It makes my heart sing to see Rose finally have a friend !:)
 
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