Rehabilitating a Dog Aggressive German Shepherd | K9 Connection Buffalo NY


This is Henry, he came to us with pretty
extreme dog aggression and reactivity that had intensified to the point that
he had actually redirected on other humans. The first thing I want to point
out is that his manners on leash were atrocious, even when there was no dog
around. If you have a dog that’s reactive, the first thing you need to do is get
your walk under control. So that was our first step with Henry was working on
his leash manners, in the training building at first, to teach him to be
more respectful and more responsive to our leash communication. Teaching Henry to have leash manners is about a lot more than just improving the walk. His behavior on the leash is actually indicative of the fact that he has no
respect for the humans in his life. This had actually gotten to the point where, on his first day here when Amy, one of our trainers, was bringing him in from
the yard, and she simply tried to stop him from pulling her through the door, he
turned around, snapping at her repeatedly, resulting in ultimately
tearing her shirt. Once I had done a little bit of work with Henry to get him
to behave a little bit more respectfully, I wanted to introduce him to a group of
dogs to see what was really underlying his reactivity. The first thing that
you’ll notice is I make sure Henry enters the yard calmly. This is vitally
important. If you let a dog pull you in an excited state towards other dogs, you
are setting yourself up for disaster. The next thing that I do is allow him to
just settle down on the other side of a chain-link fence.
This allows the other dogs to get used to his presence, and allows me to
assess what his behavior is going to be like. Ultimately, the big thing is that I want to
make sure that he’s in a nice calm state before entering the yard. Once I
felt he was ready and that he was in a good place mentally, I decided to bring
him in. Observing how the other dogs react to him actually tells me a lot
about his overall behavior. Although Henry was a little bit apprehensive, you can see he wasn’t overly aggressive or reactive at all. What I learned right away is that
we’re not actually dealing with a dog aggressive dog. We’re dealing with a dog
who needs to understand how to be respectful, and a dog who becomes over
aroused in the presence of other dogs. Within only a few minutes I decided that
Henry was ready for a little bit more freedom, so I tucked his leash under his
collar so I am no longer holding on to him. By doing this he’s allowed to behave more
naturally, and interact more freely with the other dogs This moment was really
important, you can see there’s actually a little bit of tension as doc is
approaching Henry. I am watching very closely to see what happens. Ultimately, Henry made great choices. The interaction went well and both dogs
walked away peacefully. At this point I decided that Henry no longer needs the muzzle, and you can see that as soon as it comes off he fully relaxes and is
able to really be himself around the other dogs. Ultimately this was a perfect
first introduction into socialization. Although Henry came here for dog
aggression, as you can see, sometimes things aren’t as they appear.

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