Thursday, August 22, 2013

Sammy is HOME!

So as some of you know, we sent Sam away for a month to be boarded and trained. 

Although she is great with her little “pack” (consisting of Dave, me, the girl, Meme, Poppy and Ben), she doesn’t like other people, and despises other dogs. She is highly aggressive and overly protective.  In the beginning, we just chalked it up to her being protective and that’s just how she was going to be, and the way GSD’s are.  She is super sweet with the baby and Mia and her are playmates, rough playmates, but playmates nonetheless. 

If anyone (besides her pack) tried to walk in the house, we had to have her on a leash, and she still barked and growled and acted like she was going to tear into them.  We most of the time would put her outside or in her crate during these times.

Our next door neighbor has a bulldog.  I don’t know what it is with that dog in particular, but she HATES it.  Even though we have a physical fence, AND an electric fence, Sam would still put herself IN the electric fence and would literally attack the chain link fence, trying to get to that dog.  It was always worse if Mia was outside, or if she went up to the fence by that bulldog.  Our neighbors, as you could probably guess, HATE Sam.  I can’t exactly blame them, but I was at a loss.  Sam is our family member, so I didn’t know what to do.  It was really starting to be a problem.

We researched and investigated some dog trainers, in particular, a trainer with specific experience with GSD’s.  We found one about an hour away, so I contacted him and we went for an assessment.  I had told him over the phone how she was, but I don’t think he knew HOW aggressive she was.  When we arrived for the observation, before Dave could even grab her leash, Sam jumped out of the car, ran toward the trainer and bit his pant leg!  Thank God she didn’t get any skin.  I was so shocked and embarrassed.

We knew immediately, at that point, something had to give.  I love my dog, but I couldn’t handle that behavior any longer.  The trainer was even hesitant to take her.

During the month she was there,  I called and checked on her like an over protective mother!  I missed her so much!  Every time I would call, the trainer would report that she was “the weirdest case he’d ever seen.” 

Freaking great.

Long story short, once her month was up, we went to get her and we still have 8 private lessons with her, the trainer and us.  She is a bit better as far as obedience.  However, when we brought her home, she went outside, saw the bulldog and her switch flipped.  She went right back into the aggressive dog  (we were right there to correct her) that we tried to fix.  I know it is all a work in progress, but I am so sad.  I so badly want her to know when she needs to protect and when to chill out. 

The day we picked her up….

So excited to be on her way home!!

Think she’s happy to be on her couch??

I am glad to have my fur baby home, but I would like to have her behave.  It’s making our living situation with the neighbor VERY uncomfortable. 

Anyone have any experience with this??  Tips??

Just FYI:  We use the pronged/choke collar that we “pop” to correct her.  Also, thoughts on muzzles?

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