How can I train my kennel aggressive Miniature Pinscher?

She is 3 years of age. My fiance whom I have just moved in with, never trained her, and never socialized her. She knew nothing but him. I have pushed him now to take her with him everywhere that he can(PetSmart, friends’ houses, relatives, etc.) so she can be socialized more.

I even hired a trainer to help. She doesn’t know how to help me with her kennel aggressiveness (She wasn’t a great trainer…)

We are currently crate training her, and crating her at night. She still has accicents in the house.

When I go to retrieve her from her kennel for play time, dinner, or bathroom time, she snarls, growls, and lunges to bite and she has bitten me, and left open wounds three times to me, and twice to my finance. She does it even worse when she has a chew toy in there.

She is extremely dominant. On the totem pole, it’s my fiance, the dog, then me. She is constantly humping my Shih Tzu to show dominance and she growls when my Shih Tzu will try to run away. She is very embarrassing to take her places because when a stranger even comes near us, she will growl and try to bite. We want her to be socialized, but – how do we do it when she does this?

Can you help me? We’ve tried everything. Thank you, and rude comments will be ignored.
I’ve been looking around for different trainers, but I can’t find one with good experience, and I don’t want to take her to PetSmart trainers. Thank you, dartass224, 🙂


I know how to crate train, and I’m not one of those people who think that the crate will train the dog for a person. No, that’s very wrong. She is in the crate NO MORE than 2-4 hours in the day when we are gone, and she is crated at night.

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5 Responses to “How can I train my kennel aggressive Miniature Pinscher?”

  1. Paul says:

    You have a lot going on here, my first suggestion is to get a better trainer. You and your fiance need a trainer that will explain leadership, structure, boundaries, obedience, and understands the social behaviors of dogs. I would not recommend advice on a message board, take the time and find the right person that can help you.

  2. Rayven ~Count Down to Sept 13t ~ says:

    Ok so she’s kenneled all the time? That’s not kennel training. She needs to be in the crate at night and when you guys are at home, that’s it. That is why she is biting you.

    ADD: When you are out she needs a muzzle on to keep her from biting at anyone. You guys need to go and work with a behaviorist and a trainer.

  3. Meggy Jo <Go Cubs!!!!> says:

    Try a different trainer.

  4. dartass224 says:

    First off thanks for giving this dog a second chance and doing what is right. For socialization you are right she needs to go everywhere and try to learn things she missed out on when she was a puppy. Feed her a little less in the AM and take some yummy treats out with you. Have people kneel down and offer her food. Praise her when she is accepting of strangers.

    For the crate, keep a lead on her when you can be around, and leave the other end outside of the crate. Greet her with a treat and say ‘lets go!’ and give her a tug out of the crate. This way she dosn’t feel as cornered when you try to take her out.

  5. oregano13 says:

    First, is she spayed?? If not, it may help once the hormones subside a bit. Also, it sounds like you are reaching in and physically removing her from the kennel?? That’s a BIG no-no with crate training. Don’t ever reach in the kennel and force her to come out. The kennel is meant to simulate a den. It’s her ‘safe place’ and you should not invade it ever.

    Play ‘crate games’. Does she go in willingly on command now, or do you make her go in? If she doesn’t go in happily, that’s part of your problem. You need to make the crate, both going in and coming out, fun! Toss a treat in the crate, say ‘go crate!’, and then toss her another treat while she’s in there. Then say ‘Go Play!’ or whatever you would like the ‘release’ word to be and put a treat a foot or so outside of the crate. Lots of praise for coming out and taking the treat. Repeat. A lot. Over time, she should very happily and willingly go in and out with no fuss.

    As far as the dominance issue in relation to your dog, again, if not spayed, that will likely help. Otherwise, put a 6′ leash on her collar (so you’ll be out of strike range when you grab the leash) while you are supervising and let her drag it. When she mounts your dog, step on or grab the leash end, say ‘No!’, then pull her off your dog, and put her in time out somewhere other than her crate (maybe a bathroom?) for 5 minutes or so, then let her out. Repeat each and every time she starts the behavior. Don’t leave them alone together because you can’t correct the behavior then.

    As far as her behavior towards strangers, with little dogs, this is usually rooted in fear and anxiety. Enlist some friends she doesn’t know and start in your home. Have some come over, approach you as close as they can get before she growls, say her name, and toss her treats. They should be able to progressively get closer to you over time, as the approach of strangers will mean ‘treats’. Repeat in the driveway, on the sidewalk, in PetSmart, wherever you have problems. The more people you can get to help you, the better. I’ve even asked strangers to toss my dog treats as we walk past to help get her over her shyness. If you are patient and persistent, this will help, but it is not an instant fix.

    It sounds like she is also resource guarding?? Does she growl when you reach towards her food bowl? Towards toys and chews when out of her crate? If so, start hand feeding her out of the bowl. So, empty bowl on the floor, you use another bowl and hold it with her kibble. When she looks at you, say "Yes!" in a happy tone (or you can click if you like to use a clicker and she knows what it means), and put a couple kibble in her bowl. When she eats those, wait until she looks at you again, ‘Yes!", and kibble in her bowl. You are teaching her that you are the source of good things. Since she obviously is not respecting you, this will help with that as well. For toys and chews, take them all away and put them up. You control the toys and chews. She gets them only when you give them to her. Play the ‘exchange game’. Give her one toy, let her play for a moment, then take a second toy and exchange. Wave the new one, squeak it, whatever to get her to drop the one she has and grab the new one. Then say "yes!". Repeat with all kinds of toys and treats. Also occassionally take something away and give it back once she’s let you remove it without a fuss. A treat will be helpful at first. Wave it near her nose, she should take the treat, you take the item and say "Yes!". Same concept with a ‘drop it’ command: Wave a treat, say ‘drop it’ and say "yes!" and treat as soon as she releases the toy or chew.

    None of this is easy or fast and I would very much recommend a professional behaviorist or trainer since this is an aggressive dog. I know you had a bad experience with one trainer, but most are quite helpful. Ask the local shelter and your vet who they would recommend for aggression issues, there is surely one nearby who can be of more help than the one who failed. Good luck!

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