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  1. #1
    Senior Member Santosha's Avatar
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    Default It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. NFP and The Demon Boxer.

    Any of you NFPS's adopt a warm, uber-cute fuzzy, of the canine descent.. only to find that a demon resided within?

    I have a 1 yr. old boxer. Got him at 7 weeks. He potty trained and crate trained very quickly. He also picked up all the basic commands; sit, stay, down, shake, along with others like "no kitty" "toy" "ball" "Barney bear" "outside" "treat" "no bite" etc. It's actually amazing how many words they will pick up! I saw this video clip of a dog that had memorized over 100 words, specifically to different toys. Point being, they are smart. Perhaps, much smarter than we give them credit for. Anyhow, on with the demon like tendencies.

    My dog hates, loathes, despises other people. He is totally cool with all other animals. Never showing any agression to our cat, or other dogs. Just a big-fat-playful baby. Until other people show up.

    And it doesn't matter if that other person is a shady looking guy, a 70 yr old grandma, or a child.. he HATES them, instantly growling, barking, or whatever else he can muster up to be an asshole.

    So right about now your thinking poor socialization right? I would be too. EXCEPT that we have taken him around other people his entire life! When he was really little, I'm talken 2-3 months.. he hesitated with others and would only come with me and my family. RIght by our side. When others would try to pet him and give him treats.. he'd hesistate, take the treat, and run back under our legs. We just kept taking him around others.. but as he got older he started to bark and show hostility. This made it dificult because not too many people want to approach a barking frothing boxer, and I dont blame them! So eventually we had to muzzle him in public. Still we tried to take him around people.. I'd bring treats and constantly reward him when he didnt bark at people. Correct him when he did. I ask people to slip the treat through his muzzle, which again didn't happen much because he'd lunge at them as they approached.

    So here's my question. Is it possible that a dog can just genuinely hate people, despite training and socialization? We've racked our brain on what else to do. My vet suggested PROZAC! I really, really don't want to dope my dog up to function. I wonder if being an NFP, and you know us NFP's can have a hard time disciplining.. if I have some how inadvertently created the behavior by spoiling him rotten?

    All suggestions welcome.
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts

  2. #2
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    I really don't have much advice, except that the dog will sense the owner's hesitation. If you think that "oh, no, there's a guy coming towards us, and I bet the dog will attack" the dog will notice that you are keeping the leash tighter or walking differently, or something like that. It's like you get stuck in this loop:

    You hesitate >> The dog will get afraid >> It attacks >> You will hesitate in the future >> Repeat

    It is like, you need to prove to yourself and the dog that the history doesn't have to repeat itself.

  3. #3
    Senior Member FakePlasticAlice's Avatar
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    As a pup, when you tried to socialize your dog with people and he would hide..what was your response?
    "You can't take a picture of this...it's already gone."

    “But who prays for Satan? Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most?”
    -Mark Twain

  4. #4
    Senior Member Santosha's Avatar
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    When he would draw away from another person, a few times I would try to pull him back out and *make* him be around them, put him in their lap and let them pet him and give him treats but he would just run back to us. So then I tried just letting him be, and would not force anything.. hoping he would relax with other people after watching them for a while etc. but it didnt make a difference.

    There is one event that happened to him when he was about 3 1/2 months. I would regularly take him to Petsmart (to get used to other people and dogs etc) and this one time I took him to the Vet area.. to ask one of the workers how much they charged for neutering. While I was standing there talking to the cashier, a vet had come into the area (i didnt even see her) and just grabbed him from behind (he didnt see her either) and tried to grab his personal area, I guess to see if his balls had dropped. He WIGGED out. I've never seen him so upset. He actually peed ALL over the Vet and tried to bite her. She held him down and he was wimpering and flailing. It actually REALLY upset me. I didnt like someone just grabbing my dog like that, vet or not. It took about all of my energy to not yell at her to take her efen hands off my dog. But she acted as though that approach was just totally normal and that she saw dogs do that all the time. She was a bit surprised that he piddled all over her though. DO you think that ONE event could have messed him up?
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts

  5. #5
    Senior Member FakePlasticAlice's Avatar
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    Did he have his people fear before the vet incident? If not, then i think you have your answer. And if so, i'm sure it didn't help. I'd be pretty pissed if someone did that to my dog too, vet or not. Vet doesn't mean good with dogs either.

    The reason i ask you what you did when people approached your dog as a puppy was to see if you, in any way, rewarded his fearful behaviour. It doesn't sound as if you did, however that doesn't rule it out..very subtle things we do can be perceived as rewarding to a dog so it would be difficult to say without witnessing it myself. While our intention may be to push a dog away, when we touch a dog..even as a little shove...the dog can see that touch as being rewarding. Also, if you've ever picked him up when he acted like that that would be considered rewarding the behaviour. When trying to correct such behaviours i definitely suggest the use of a leash. You may just have a shy dog on you hands...however that doesn't mean he can't change his ways with your help.

    I'm going to make 2 suggestions:

    1. Keeping with what nolla said above, your energy. Personally, this is my biggest hurdle with my dogs. I'm a very anxious and fearful person and they pick up on that. When you approach other people with your dog, or they approach you, you need to remain as calm as possible. You need to make yourself feel that you have control of the situation. If your dog feels you aren't a strong and calm leader they aren't going to listen to you. Do NOT tighten the leash when people approach. A tight leash is always a bad idea. You could try a martingale collar for corrections. Start with walking your dog every day past people and other distractions with calm & assertive energy..if you catch yourself being nervous just stop..take a few breaths and start again. Never let your dog in front of you. The moment your dog starts to do anything other than follow your lead give a quick little correction by giving a short tug (not a pull!) on the leash upwards. This walk isn't about him peeing and smelling wonderful things..it's about getting him use to following your lead. Eventually you should be able to work your way up to stopping and talking to people on your walk. Don't hesitate, and get someone who is willing to exude that same energy and completely ignore your dog to help you in this stage. So start with the walk and gradually work up to people, keeping your own energy in check.

    2. Step 1 may be sufficient enough, however you can try this as well. I would first start on neutral territory. You want him to associate other people with good things...TREATS! Where this a huge problem area for him you wanna bring out the big guns..so whatever is his favorite thing. It's unlikely that he's just going to walk up to another person and you can reward that behaviour so you need to break it down into much smaller steps. Again you will need to exude that same calm and assertive energy. Having another person around, reward him as he takes one non-aggressive step towards that person. Just one paw in the direction of that individual would warrant a reward. Then 2 steps. And so on and so forth. You can also bring out the treats while walking. Immediately after he passes someone give him a treat..just a quick little treat there's no need to stop and give him all sorts of attention. If you can just reach down and do it while he's walking that would be the best. Just keep in mind that when rewarding a behaviour you should be rewarding it within 5 seconds of that behaviour so he understand the association. Walking by a person = treats. Being calm around a person = treats.

    Just keep in mind this is going to take time, patience and lots of practice. You may want to give up.. but if you never give into him these things really should work. Never give in with a dog. The one time you do they will realize that if they do something enough..you will give in to them. Especially if you have a dominant dog.

    Also, how much do you exercise your dog? If he's not getting sufficient exercise he's going to act out in other ways. Boxer's are high energy working dogs. We need to cater to the breed of dog we have and their special needs, if not we're just asking for trouble. You could have him wear a dog backpack filled with bottles of water and such on your walks as well to help him wear out more energy.

    I'm currently raising a pitbull/boxer puppy myself. It's my first large breed (well large compared to the other dogs i have), high energy dog... i sure hope i'm doing it right! Good luck...keep posting on how it goes! You should post a picture too
    "You can't take a picture of this...it's already gone."

    “But who prays for Satan? Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most?”
    -Mark Twain

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huxley3112 View Post
    There is one event that happened to him when he was about 3 1/2 months. I would regularly take him to Petsmart (to get used to other people and dogs etc) and this one time I took him to the Vet area.. to ask one of the workers how much they charged for neutering. While I was standing there talking to the cashier, a vet had come into the area (i didnt even see her) and just grabbed him from behind (he didnt see her either) and tried to grab his personal area, I guess to see if his balls had dropped. He WIGGED out. I've never seen him so upset. He actually peed ALL over the Vet and tried to bite her. She held him down and he was wimpering and flailing. It actually REALLY upset me. I didnt like someone just grabbing my dog like that, vet or not. It took about all of my energy to not yell at her to take her efen hands off my dog. But she acted as though that approach was just totally normal and that she saw dogs do that all the time. She was a bit surprised that he piddled all over her though. DO you think that ONE event could have messed him up?
    Reading that made me quite angry. It's so frustrating when other people come and mess up your dog! I would guess that this incident is it.

    I've personally known two dogs that had been traumatized when they were young and they both really showed it. The other was hit with a certain type of leather mitten, and would attack anyone with those kind of mittens, no matter who they were. The other one had saved a child who was drowning in a lake, and after that the dog wouldn't let anyone swim when it was around. It would just come and "rescue" you. That means a lot of scratches and possibly some bites. You really don't want to be rescued by a rottweiler if you aren't seriously drowning. Neither of these traumas ever went away. With the beaten dog, I just learned to watch out for those mittens and be ready for that, and the rottweiler was kept away of swimming children.

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