What to do about a leash aggressive dog?

So my dog had kennel cough when we got her from the SPCA six years ago. She never got to socialize because it’s contagious and she couldn’t get any other shots until that was cleared up. It went away when she was a year old. Oh, we got her at two months. I love walking dogs and I want to be able to walk her, but she freaks out whenever she sees another dog and she’s a german shepherd. Sometimes I can’t hold on she’s so strong. I want to know some tips on walking her and making it so she can walk with dogs. We have another dog and she knows him (obviously) so they can walk together, but any other dog… she runs up and barks and growls. So what could I do to re-train her mind to think dog on walk=good!

No choke collars. No "don’t walk her"s. Gentle leaders don’t work because she can take them off no matter how tight we do it. I walk her when I think no dogs will be out but that is not always the case.
She has had a ton of trainers and even was sent to one of those "boot camp" training things where she leaves for a few weeks. All that did is teach her to heal, which doesn’t work when she sees other dogs. The only trainers I know of left in my town are the really expensive ones. One said 0 up front. No way.
She’s banned from Pet’s Mart, Palmetto Paws, she’s been asked to leave PetCo before but not banned. I can’t get training from any one of those places. I’m not getting a trainer because we’ve put hundeds into getting her trained and all we got was heal. I’m asking for things I can do ON MY OWN.

And for the person who said kennel cough lasts for two weeks, it doesn’t. She coughed and threw up 24/7 until she was a year old, so don’t even give me that "you’re lying" crap.
For those of you who didn’t read it right: where you got that she had it for five years, I do not know. SHE HAD IT FOR TEN MONTHS. Reread the first paragraph.

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7 Responses to “What to do about a leash aggressive dog?”

  1. Julissa says:

    Teach her to focus on you when you are out walking. You should also be walking her with a harness. Kennel cough doesn’t last 5 years!

  2. ♥ Bichon ♥ Mama says:

    Never in the history of Veterinary Medicine has there ever been a dog with 10 month long kennel cough.

    People usually didn’t socialize their dogs because they either didn’t know how important it was, or they were too lazy to do it. Just suck it up and admit it.

    Anyway, since she is older now and you aren’t having success trying to train her to not be aggressive, you would do well to get a professional trainer involved.

  3. Maxi says:

    Kennel cough doesn’t continue for 10 months and after the kennel cough you have had 5 years ….so don’t blame a dog which has not been trained and socialised…as many do blame the dog and don’t take the responsibility of their own lack of activity until it gets to a point that is becomes a problem.

    NILIF http://k9aro.webs.com/nilif.htm book a training class and inform the trainer your dog is dog reactive……….twice daily lead walks and buy a muzzle if you are concerned, at least you know you have done your best so she will not attack…..read the same website about training and behaviour and get this sorted out….it has taken 6 years to achieve this level of reaction…so be patient, calm, quiet and consistent and in 6 months you will have a dog that can mix and play with other dogs happily……it needs a change in your thinking and behaviour and she will then follow her leaders ways……………I wish you luck, keep at it, she can do it, it is all down to the work you put in

    Add: Poor dog, no wonder she is confused, ‘tons of trainers’ all with different methods so completely inconsistent training, ‘boot camp’ where you send dogs because the public think that it is the dog that needs the training ( its not it is the owner in the majority of cases)…give the dog to any TRAINER and the dog will behave 100% because the dog will respect that person to lead it…sorry but it doesn’t respect you as a leader, which is NILIF ( at home training you do yourself daily…costs nothing but your time and consistency)
    Clearly what your dog had was NOT kennel cough it is 2-3 weeks only for isolation any longer the dog will not pass the virus on…so you wasted 10 months and you certainly don’t need to do outdoor training or with other dogs, you can still train your dog, in your garden, in your house and still daily do NILIF…and you have wasted 5 years AFTER KC not training your dog and taking it into places that the poor dog can’t deal with…you only go into those places with a puppy to socialise and with a well behaved dog as part of their socialisation, not to stress your untrained dog out further…………………as I said a change in your thinking and behaviour and your dog with change its…………..if you don’t then please give your dog up and don’t get another one to train to be anxious, it isn’t fair on dogs if owners are not able to understand or don’t want to understand and gives dogs a bad name

  4. Lorraine says:

    Please don’t give us all the "she never got to socialise" business.

    Basically kennel cough lasts approx. two weeks … Not 10 months.

    You need to approach a trainer on this and hopefully she will introduce you through a class to other dogs. Make sure she doesn’t run up and bark and growl at other dogs as that is totally unacceptable.

    When I have a dog in that is so strong (rotties) and they are like this, then I do start off on a gentle leader along with a collar and a double ended lead so I have control with both hands. I possibly use a choke chain along with the gentle leader as well. If you just hold the dogs head up when they start battling against the gentle leader then you WILL win. You just have to persevere.

    It is not that he hates the gentle leader. It is because he cannot do what he wants when on it.

    I have had many dogs in like yours and you really can work through them if you try. Don’t dismiss any particular training tool.

  5. Mama Tex says:

    You have to desensitize her from other dogs. a choker is not a bad thing and in fact will help ensure her training and safety. To not use a safe restraint that will tighten and prevent her from getting loose could cost her dearly. You need to contact a trainer to help you with this to make sure no one including her or other dogs are injured while fixing this issue. She may never like dogs but she must learn to respect you on the other end of the leash and to ignore other dogs.

  6. Single Worker 1230 says:

    You need to train her to focus on you during your walks. You also need to start desensitizing her to other dogs. Start working with a good trainer to help her learn these things. Find a trainer who used a balanced positive approach. Stay away from those who use a lot of "dominance theory" training.

  7. Voelven says:

    To control her, I would suggest a harness and a gentle leader or a halti, each attached to a leash. The harness is to hold her, the leash harness should always be shorter the gentle leader harness, you can get a special leash to clip around your waist to give you more strength and stability.

    The gentle leader leash is to control her, nothing else.

    Control is vital, you cannot risk her harming another dog, and her behaviour is likely self-rewarding.

    Then look up desensitizing training and start training her. Take your time and don’t increase the difficulty level until she’s completely relaxed at her current level. The best thing would be if you can get the help of a professional trainer or animal behaviourist that has a few non-reactive dogs that can help with the training.

    At the same time look up NILIF, treat-based no-exercises, and focus exercises and start practicing it and training it, this will all be of help when it comes to her actual training.

    It is difficult to make up for lack of early socialization, but hopefully you will reach the point where she might not love other dogs, but can at least ignore them.

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