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Discussion Starter #1
We had a professional trainer come out to show us where to really begin with Rose. She is a typical 7 month old Rottweiler from what I hear. Unmannerly, bullies, wants to do her own thing, nips, pulls on the leash (drags me around rather), flat out doesn't listen. I was to the point where I am getting new bruises every day from her.
The trainer that came has worked with dogs for 20 years and currently trains German Shepherds as police dogs. So I figured his training would be pretty aggressive. The entire session was done on leash. He would walk Rose and if she tried to pull him or go where she wanted, he "popped" the leash straight up and said NO. By the end of 15 minutes, she was a completely different dog on a leash. She was walking right next to him and not pulling at all. Obviously, she was scared of him, but she was minding. Then he had me do the same thing. It took a bit longer, but she finally understood she had to listen to my commands. While he was here she actually listened to me! She stopped pulling me around and sat when I asked, even laid down when I told her down! As for the nipping me he said to roll her lip over her teeth to show her she has teeth, and do it every time she bites.
Anyways, it's been two days since the trainer was here and she is back to her old ways. I still do the training he taught me...it seems the only way she listens is if I get an angry tone in my voice. She is much better about the crate (she was bulldozing me to get out) Now she sits and, for the most part, waits for me to say OK come out. The idea was every time she flat out ignores my commands to take her straight outdoors and work her. Walk, sit, walk, sit, stay, down walk etc. & come back in and try again.
Does anyone else train with these techniques? My main issue is it's pretty physical-so I am sore, and also, she doesn't seem to want to follow any commands while inside :( Also, it was odd to have zero treats involved, which is all I was doing before-positive reinforcement.
While I'm posting, I'm having issues with her snatching up whatever she wants in her mouth. I tell her drop it and she eats whatever it is faster!! Absolutely refuses to drop it. (I know I'm supposed to offere treats to trade, but 99% of the time that doesn't work)
 

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Your trainer is old school isn't he? You know it is all baby steps. You have to build on what you have taught. There is no miracle that a perfect dog happens with one training session. Is there a resource that you can learn clicker training? I would look into that as clicker training will build a bit at a time on previous lessons. Not over loading your pup all at one time. And LOL, she is snatching up stuff while you are on the computer? She is trying to get your attention. I don't trade I just take stuff away. And play, she wants to play with you.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
No, lol, I had her on the leash getting ready to go outside to walk when she snatched my daughter's eye mask. There is no "taking" from her unless I want to rip whatever she has or my hand bitten. I would say he was old school yes. Clicker training is a good idea, that's what your use with only positive reinforcementioned & treats correct?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I reread my original post, lol, it does sound like I meant as I was literally posting! Haha I'll proofread from now on
 

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Geez, old school is all I've ever done and my dogs are healthy and happy... I feel that some Rotts need a bit of negative schooling because they can be bullies and you are dealing with a really large potentially damaging dog. Not all are super headstrong, some are more mellow, but many are, and so many soft-hearted people just want to be buddies... I have trained horses and that is a way to get severely injured by a horse. You can't be buddies, they must do what you want them to do when you want them to do it or you can risk severe injuries. I feel that way about these dogs too.

If I didn't use voice strongly and my Fiona didn't respect voice the day she popped the screen door open to run at a guy at the front door we might have had a very negative incident. But she listened to me, listened to a harsh voice, knew that was associated with being "bad" and punishment and was only out the door 2 steps towards the guy before she heard my angry voice, re-thought her position and came back in because she was -- well, you call it whatever you want-- she either was afraid of my wrath or you can say she respected me... either way I'm fine with it. She behaved and the poor guy who just had his life flash before his eyes was fine. You have to do what you have to do to establish ground rules and dominance. Rotties that are very headstrong are not like dealing with Chihuahuas or Pugs, they must respect you because the consequences could be devastating. Now... not all Rotts are that extreme in the bully department. I've had a few that were just as gentle and sweet as could be and trained super quickly without incident with minimal negative reinforcement, but I don't think your dog is one of those types. She needs to respect you and obey you and if you use negative reinforcement it doesn't mean she won't love you or you are being "mean" to her. She needs to pay attention to you and respect what you want her to do unquestioningly.

For those of you that only use positive reinforcement, great, if it works for you, great...but when you are working with dogs with problems and you need immediate reactions I'm not confident in it as a quick solution, but that's my POV. You are entitled to yours.

By the way - we fixed that front door screen immediately after that happened. We were not aware that it would pop open when a dog jumped on it.... or perhaps Fiona was enough a bulldozer to break it... also worth mentioning for those of you who don't know, Fiona was adopted a little over a year ago and had multiple issues with a lack of socialization and being aggressive, had been dumped in the pound twice because of her issues.
 

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Steph King, I'm interested in your advice on this newest issue. When I am putting Rose outside on her long lead to run around in front she "fights" me! (Bites at me)Today as I was undoing her leash & hooking her lead she got up in her hind legs, put both paws around my arms & mouthed-bit at me! I was so frustrated, she stands pretty much as tall as me that way so it was difficult to get her off! She ignored all commands. All I could do was grab her collar to pull her off me but she kept standing up & clawing at me with her paws. I'm at a total loss in this situation. She wasn't aggressively biting with teeth, but definitely mouthing & being way too rough.
 

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Well, your dog is the most dominate female I've ever even heard of.... but she didn't get there without help. Dog responses are trained by their owners, whether you realize it or not. It seems like you have let her get away with a lot of that over time. Anytime I've had a dog do something I don't like that is aggressive I will pop them on the nose (not super hard, but enough to get their attention) and say "Bad" or "no". I demand respect right away and I am assertive. These types of dogs need you to assert your dominance. You must be the leader in their pack. I think you've let her get away with being a bully for so long she thinks she can push the issue once again. You cannot be afraid of her. If you are her owner/trainer she should respect and fear your wrath, not just love you and that's what you need to work on. If it makes you uncomfortable to have her jump on you, tell her no in no uncertain terms, make her get down by pulling her down with the collar or leash and smack her nose. When you smack her on the nose IF she makes an attempt to bite you (even gently) I would smack her on the nose again and say "no."

In response to your first post: As far as dropping food or something she picks up on a walk, no, no matter how much your dogs respect you, that's not a behavior that is easily trained in my book. If my dogs do that (and I walk my dogs in a business park where workers will throw food into the bushes occasionally) I reach down and pull it out of their mouth with my hand while saying "No." "drop it" (and probably adding "you are so disgusting.") Some dogs will drop it, most in my experience do not, no matter how well trained they are. It's gross, but it could be a chicken bone or who knows what.... I will go all the way to the soft palate on that... it's gross, but they won't bite my hand, so I get it out and they get the point not to eat strange stuff. Now, every one of my dogs could drop a pound or two, especially the Rottie who tries to finish up everyone's leftovers when I feed and I have to be eagle eyed about it... so no one is starving. My husband is the cookie giver, rarely me. I use little training treats or bits of cheese when working on sit, down and stay but that's it. Nothing wrong with that food incentive, whatever works is good.

If you cannot help yourself in being intimidated by her, I recommend finding her another good home and this breed is not for you. You cannot be afraid of her, you should not let her intimidate you and this could escalate if you do not put a stop to it now. This does not mean beating her, or continually punishing her physically, but it does mean being a bit more physical than you have been (my opinion). Again, this is my opinion, I'm not a professional dog trainer. (Although I do have a degree in Psych and Behavioral Psych is my favorite. BF Skinner is the bomb.) But the bottom line is most behavior is learned, albeit good or bad behavior and somewhere in her training your dog learned to intimidate you with bad behavior and it worked, so she keeps on....

Let me illustrate by telling a little story. I have told the story on the threads about the time my horse (many years ago) was attacked by pit bulls and I let myself fall off when he reared (after he was bit in the chest by one of the pit bulls) and I let this happen because the owner of the dogs could not get his dogs away from attacking and so my horse could run home away from the dogs - he was from the racetrack, I had him a short week and didn't know if I could run and stop him at the pavement (I had a previous horse who could not be stopped when she started running in a snaffle bit, horses easily slip and fall on pavement, I had dislocated and broke an arm recently on a falling horse...all of these things flew through my mind during the dog attack and I chose the best course of action at the time - to get dumped so he could run home... weeks later to find he pully-reined like a dream...oh well....) At any rate, this horse thought he learned from that experience that if he reared he could dump me and run home (yeah, that quick, one time taught him this negative behavior) so what do you know, we are out riding and out of the blue he rears up... I beat him with the crop within an inch of his life and spun him in tiny circles til he was silly. (A rearing horse can kill or severely injure someone) and he tried it two more times and he got the same reaction from me... so he stopped rearing.... but that one incident had trained him to believe that if he reared he could lose me and run home, so I re-trained that behavior out of him immediately and thoroughly so if he reared he knew he got beat up and spun, not something he enjoyed. No, with a horse, you should never lose a battle, you reinforce bad behavior if you don't... so with any animal it is the same. You don't want your dog to learn that biting you (soft or hard) gets them what they want. It must have worked one or more times... so you must never again let it work. Every single time you have negative behavior you have to show your dog that this does not get her what she wants...no matter if she does it once or five times and eventually she will learn that she gets nothing out of it and it will stop. If she thinks jumping on you will get you to leave her alone to sleep or be left alone she should learn that it doesn't.

FYI for those who don't know about how to use a crop on a horse "beating the living hell out of him" means about 4-5 crops while spinning, which was a lot (because rearing and falling kills people and can injure horses too, so that is one of the worst things for a horse to do, at least in my book). Usually training means one crop if necessary at a time and most of the time I might have been riding him and never used it... but it was one of those things I always carried just in case whenever I rode. I miss my horse (he had to be PTS several years ago, arthritis had fused two of his vertebra together and he couldn't stand). I had him most of his life (from 2-1/2 to 26) and he was a really good horse, not just beautiful (16 hand black bay with a beautifully muscled body but lean enough to be sleek and he had the cute blockier quarter head) but also very smart, very kind and loving. I miss riding but haven't the time or money for it these days.... but I have memories, and some of the best in my life were with him. Honestly, you people who do positive training only have me paranoid about negative training.... so I had to add this paragraph. There is no substitution for negative training, even mother dogs use nips when their babies are misbehaving.
 

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Couldn't agree more with Steph King!!
I just would like to add - you should keep going to dog training classes, one class won't teach neither you, neither your dog, also instead of trainer doing the job You should do it all and the professional stands by you and tells what and how to do. In my experience if the dog is taught by another trainer/ professional, the dog respects her/him more than the owner because they KNOW what they are doing and you are just copying and trust me, dogs know the difference. Training process is simple - professional teaches you and you - the dog.
I am harsh with my dog, I love him to bits but he is a very dominant animal, we still have some role issues at home, he can't accept my husband sometimes and that's a work for all of us. Don't get me wrong, I don't beat him but we have some strict routine, when he does something bad I send him to his corner and make him to lay down and he stays there till I tell him he is free to go, etc. You have to improve your daily routine - dog enters and leaves the house the last one,eats only when you allow, plays only when you want, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you both for insight! Yes while trainer was here he had me do it all as he watched. But, we didn't encounter things like switching from leash to lead or her refusing to get back in her crate (ughhh) I find when she is gets to run more she is happy & listens better. How much full on exercise should she be getting at this age?
 

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She should be getting as much exercise as she wants. Young dogs especially have a lot of energy. How much time is she spending in the crate overall? I have only crated young dogs overnight or temporarily while going out for an hour or two. I am lucky enough to be self-employed and keep them with me all day in the office and at home when I am there. We have a large fenced yard that they can run around in whenever they want when we are home - in and out through a doggie door, but are walked 2-3x during the day. Young dogs need more exercise and also VERY IMPORTANT is they need something to chew on that keeps them busy as well. My Fiona who is between 2-3 y.o. really needs to chew. I do buy rawhides, but I have a Boxer who inhales them and literally just eats anything he can chew up, so I have to be careful what I give her does not end of being something he can get hold of and ends up getting caught in his intestines.

I do not give my dogs beef bones.... I know, I feel really bad about it, but the worst broken teeth I have had with my dogs through the years has been by giving them beef bones. The jaw strength these dogs have can break their teeth off on beef bones... and they have - one broke a large front canine tooth on a bone and one cracked a back tooth. They love them so much.... so I feel really bad about it... Fiona has the most strength I've ever seen in any of my Rotties. I've been giving her rubber rings that are very thick and durable, (they are meant to be tug of war rings) and I'm sure the manufacturer didn't intend for them to be chewed into bits, but that's exactly what she does with them. She loves them and she doesn't eat them, she spits them out, but even if she did, they say on the packaging nontoxic. I've given her some other types of rubbery chews that she can chew up too. It helps to keep them busy, exercise helps and giving them something to chew on. All dogs are fascinated with squeaky toys, but to date I have never found a squeaky toy that can last more than 15 minutes with one of mine (with the exception of this calendar toy I found that had a different squeak for every day of the month...it took Fiona a few days to kill all of the squeeks of the month on that one and she had a great time doing it... wish I could find another...

Speaking of not knowing her own strength... Fiona got a bath this weekend and when I was attempting to dry her off and while shaking her head around in the process, she hit me in the arm with her tooth and gave me a good sized gouge...the girl just doesn't know how strong she is! ...or I am getting very weak and thin skinned... ugh... hate to think it's me, of course not, it couldn't be me!
 

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Ditto to the last two responses. Our Max is cut almost from the same mold. He is is highly prey driven, alpha, headstrong and hardheaded. It's his way or the highway or it's been that way from the day he came home as a puppy. We tried FOREVER with positive reinforcement. All that got out of him was zip. My husband finally hired an old school trainer that had trained dogs in the military. It took many lessons with this guy. Max was SO hard, he even had to be hung from the ground off his front legs with the lead chock chain to get his attention. A time or two. Got down to a shock collar for him when we trained in the park with little kids running in the distance with a bright glowing ball that he wanted. That's all he saw all he wanted. No command was gonna change his mind. Until the shock collar turned almost all the way up and then he obeyed commands. Hard head and stubborn!

It hurt me to a see that happen to him. It did. But I'd rather see that than to see kids attacked for their ball. Since then my husband has been diligent to train him old school. And I handle him the same way in the house. Neither of us EVER let him forget who the masters and pack leaders are in this house. And he's still a hardhead. But we love him to death and he's really very loving and a softy now but that hardheadness will always be there lurking I think.

But...it takes that firm hand that never gives in to them, never an inch with these tuff ones. I've had several rotties and I've never had a tuff nut like him before. Oh, and did I mention how extremely smart he is. His probably the smartest one we've ever owned and LOVES to work. That's helping him too. My husband is training him in agility, bite work. Last summer he took swimming classes. I think maybe it might help this type of dog to work at something and to be learning. Thats my thoughts on it anyway. Good luck to you!

Anyway, I hope any of this helps you. I hope you don't give up. Get hard with her, startle her. Give her what for when she needs it and of course praise her when she does good because rotaries nthrive on praise. I know my Max does.
 

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We had a dog like your Max many years ago (our second Rottie, got him as a puppy) Haus. And we had a few battles with him for dominance in his early years, including hanging him up and pinning him against a wall for 10-15 seconds. Yes, there are Rotts like that and they need extreme treatment for extreme reactions. We haven't had one that dominant since, (although Fiona came close) but they are out there and no one should be ashamed of dealing with it in a manner that handles the problematic areas. However, this type of Rott is not common (at least from what I've seen - he was the only one out of the 9 we have had who was that dominant) so for anyone reading this, do not be quick to rush to judgment that your dog is this horribly problematic and requires this drastic solution. And most importantly, NEVER NEVER NEVER challenge and pin a Rottie who hasn't earned your trust or doesn't trust you. If a dog like that is up for adoption I would not take them (I only adopt now.) Unsocialization is hard, but trust is harder to come about with Rotties that are headstrong and you would be asking for trouble... if it was a just one on one adoption on that kind of dog, we could do it, but not with our other dogs, that adds too much stress and competition to the mix, they can fight and the dogs who have been your dogs for years can see this over-dominant dog as a threat to you and come in to "protect you." (We learned that the hard way with Fiona last year. Moqui got into immediate scrapes with her at first thinking he was protecting us and for the first few months he would come in and try to stand in between us because he was worried that she would hurt us. Fiona was not a mean dog, just unsocialized, headstrong and not used to being handled, and certainly not used to being told what to do by a strange dog!) Also, that technique of pinning or hanging is sort of a final step to get an over-dominant dog's attention and respect, not just every dog, or every Rottie. Most do not need this, just the dogs who think they should be the boss over every living creature. That's what Haus was, and it is imperative in controlling a dog to be their boss and pack leader. Also, if you are adopting a full grown dog, you must bring a dog along slowly, gain trust, work with them, get confidence in them and let them get confident in you before asking for more...it's a gradual process with an adopted dog. You don't take them in and expect them to love and obey you immediately.

Max was lucky to get you, Haus was lucky to get us... Fiona lucked out too... not sure many people could have handled her, she was so squirrely in the beginning. I can't even think about the other Rotties out there that might end up in horrible situations without the proper training, socialization and love who have these character traits.

This is another reason to be concerned if you are getting a Rott as a puppy, you need to make sure you are going to a breeder who is breeding for temperament as well as healthy/proper conformation etc. We got Haus from a backyard breeder, the father had a very dominant attitude (and little to no training) and the female had poor conformation... (Haus had to have his back leg ligaments reattached when he was 7 or 8) live and learn... I'm so glad Rotties are not being as overbred as they once were. I liked it better when no one knew what the breed was back in the 80s.

Still, Haus had personality plus. He was so much fun, watched TV, chased lights, was a blast to have fun with and he was very loving to us, but when he didn't like something or someone he was frightening looking.... he had these open mouthed snarls that would put off anyone else but us... we had gotten used to them (sad but true, there was no changing his overt reactions). He never bit us either... never bit anyone his whole life, but boy, did he ever look like he wanted to when he was annoyed.... not a good thing. Also he thought it was his job in life to dominate every single dog he met. He never played with other dogs. He would walk up to every single dog he met and try to mount them in domination. (He was fixed.) So... we never let him meet strange dogs, after we learned this hard truth about him.

On the other hand, Fiona has a good temperament under that bravado, it was just she was never handled for the first year or so of her life, just kept in a pen for breeding. She has a jagged cut on her tongue, and I sometimes wonder if that is why she wasn't sold as a puppy.... and why the breeder kept her to breed and then completely ignored her in a pen with multiple dogs in it (judging from her personality when we got her)... she is a dog who thought she had to fight for everything she had with other dogs and the first time she ended up in the pound the breeder gave the pound the recommendation to PTS. So did the first adoptive owners... A rescue group got her and we got her from them. Boy, we didn't know what we were getting into! (Well, we kind of did, because she wouldn't let herself be petted without snapping when we met her - fell in love with her anyway!) She's great now, 15 months later, very loving, attentive, obedient, very respectful of the Chi and somewhat respectful of the Rott mix (she still occasionally likes to dominate him) and the only rough edges she has is she still wants to go after trucks as we drive down the freeway and when the UPS truck pulls up to the office she goes ballistic. We are working on that. We never had to hang her up, it was never like that with her. She was just unsocialized to the point of not knowing what was good (petting and patting - she initially thought patting was being punished) and what was not (bullying and biting the other family dog members).... tough one, that girl... but worth the work. But I digress, I think the point is that even a dog that is tough is not necessarily one in need of the hanging up technique... it's a training technique that should only be used on extremely hard headed, belligerent dogs who do not accept your will any other way... and it's not a question of being mean or demanding, it's a question of keeping something bad from happening if your dog absolutely needs to listen to you. There are instances where this is critical - just like with Max and the children with the ball and Fiona and the person at our front screen door she popped open... and if you have a Rottie or any large dog, it is your issue of personal responsibility and safety to be able to control them at all times, preferably by solely voice, but whatever route this takes you to get that respect and attention, it is very necessary. It is the crap owners that choose to let their dogs run wild and do horrible things that makes it difficult for those of us who are responsible owners to coexist in society. It is the crap owners that cause insurance companies to rethink their coverage of houses with certain breeds, that causes some cities to ban certain breeds, that causes misconceptions and ugliness. So it goes..
 
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