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So I am at wits end and hoping someone out there might have some ideas. I have a black lab she’s around 6 years old. She’s a rescue I got her when she was right about a year old. As she gets older her personality unfolds more and more and combined now with early onset of minor arthritis in her hip she’s becoming more and more aggressive towards people - primarily men. I am a man for full disclosure. :). So here’s the thing about shadow that just perplexes me to no end.... I have taught her DOZENS of tricks she is the smartest dog I’ve ever had she is eager to please loving fiercely loyal she never runs away off leash and is just the best freaking dog on earth ACCEPT for this one thing.... and I cannot correct it. Any time a man gets near her or really anyone showing authority or size (anything she considers a possible threat) she is very aggressive shows her teeth hair up snaps growls even nips at people and in her little mind she’s driving them off and being protective of me and her domain. I scream at her till I’m blue in the face she knows **** well it’s going to make me very angry even before she does it but does it anyway because she thinks that it’s required to keep Strange people away and it works for her because she’s like 70 lbs and puts on a great show. 90% of people run and get back in their car. But here’s the thing. I live full time RV now and we are traveling and in these parks around tons of people and other dogs and I have to correct this. It’s not so much a behavior as it is a personality trait and I am TELLING you that this dog understands the whole situation completely she knows her being aggressive will keep people away and she knows it’s gonna make me incredibly angry at her but she thinks this is required in order to keep them away and is gonna do it anyway regardless of my response. How do I get her to understand that not every single person walking by the camper is out to get her and in fact The vast majority of them would love to scratch her back and pet her if she gave them a chance - I can’t figure out how to correct this. As smart as she is and loyal and everything else it’s the one thing just totally baffles me.... looking for help out there... I had two trainers tell me it’s hopeless but one of them was an idiot and told me dogs don’t have emotions only learned behavior .... pfft. BULL ! The only piece of the puzzle I’ve been able to figure out about her past is that it involves gun shots or loud bangs because she will pee herself and cower in the corner if I so much as pop the little bubbles that come in a FedEx box. New Year’s Eve like right now all the fireworks going off she’s beside herself with fear and it’s all related to the mysterious year of her history before she was with me that I don’t know about. One person once suggested to me someone was trying to train her to be a retriever - that’s what she is a Labrador retriever and probably took her out in the woods to go duck hunting and scared the bejesus out of her with shotguns beat her to an inch of life couldn’t get her to pass expectations and finally surrendered her to a shelter - ultimately I got her. That scenario makes the most sense to me and fits why she hates loud noises and men. But now she’s safe and sound has been for 5 years with me - HOW do I make her understand !!! Please help anyone out there she’s the perfect dog in every other single way and a great travel companion loves the road loves camping but I’m gonna end up in trouble or worse someone bit with her in the RV parks and I can’t figure this out.......
 

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Yes btw she’s wearing sunglasses in my pic that actually pulled over from my FB profile pic lol. She’s a GREAT dog if not for this one little tiny thing I can get her to stay on command I can put treats on her nose or sunglasses on her face for a photo op she’s that well behaved. Until a stranger walks by.
 

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Well, dogs do what works for them. Especially when you're not doing it for them.

Stop screaming at your dog. Start teaching her that you will unequivocally and always stand up for her needs, you are the leader after all.
 

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First of all, if her hips are bothering her, find a way to alleviate the pain. Cosequin, Dasuquin. There are other anti-arthritics for dogs, and different ones help different dogs. I have one dog with bad hips that gets an Adequanshot (no space between those 2 words because this system won't stop correcting the name of the drug) every two weeks in addition to Cosequin orally.

After that. I agree that you're the one doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Stop with the yelling and expecting her to "understand." What you both need is to find a workable alternative behavior. I've never had exactly your situation, but I have a highly reactive dog that I take to shows. She'd be embarrassing if I relied on just her leash training to get her into the crating area of a show without her reacting to other dogs. Since she's very food motivated, I stick a bit of food in her face, and she's too preoccupied with that to react to the other dogs. You need something like that, a distractor, a trained alternative behavior, maybe a device such as the Easy Walk harness discussed in another thread here that turns a lunging dog back toward the handler. Anything you try will work better if you can start it at a distance from the problem until you both have a handle on it.

Also, IMO no dog who doesn't like it should have to put up with strangers touching, fawning over, or bugging. Even in a RV park there must be ways to walk her at times and in places away from other people. Develop a way to make people give her space. Teach her to sit while you call out something like, "I'm sorry, but please don't come close. My dog was abused and doesn't like strangers." Why risk her biting anyone? Keep anyone she reacts badly to away from her.
 

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What happens when you take her to a PetsMart or Petco with both male and female dog lovers? Does she ever bark at women?

If you toss her a treat, can she catch it easily? If a woman tosses it, can she catch it? If a man tosses her a treat will she catch it. Even if she barks after eating the treat, ask someone to toss 10 treats one at a time and see what happens?

Are you in one place long enough for her to get used to anyone?

Is she dog reactive in any form? If someone walks up with a very friendly dog, will she bark?
 

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You will never know your dog's past, but know that some dogs are genetically pre-disposed to fear strangers or certain genders. It is in their head and you can't change that. Or it may be she was abused. Either way, the solution is the same.

First, stop screaming at your dog. At best, it does nothing. At worst, you make the problem worse because the thing she finds scary and is telling you about makes you scream and be scary. Hence, the problem gets worse.

Second, many, many, many dogs are scared of fireworks and guns and loud noises for no apparent reason. My own dog is fine during thunderstorms and doesn't much care about gunshots, but fireworks terrify him. Don't know why, I just accept and deal with it. This isn't really something you can fix....but you can make it better for her. Thundershirts, a dark quiet crate, or even medication if you know there are going to be loud noises can help.

Third, she's not being protective or even trying to protect her domain, she's just scared. View it as that and your perspective on this issue will change. It is your job to teach her that you have her back, you will take care of the scary things, and that she does not need to react. She may never really like men, she may never be social, but she can be okay and more comfortable.

I would encourage you to look up the "Reactive Dogs" sticky in the dog training forum. There is a lot of good information in there to get you started. It is for both frustration and fear reactive dogs, but the training is pretty much the same. Here: Links, books, blogs etc for reactive / leash aggressive dogs and similar

Basically, instead of screaming at her when she reacts, you are going to teach her what you want her to do instead. Starting at a distance that she is comfortable with, when she sees a man or a stranger or whatever is triggering her reaction, you are going to LOAD her with yummy treats. Get her to focus on you, not on the scary thing, and reward her!!! Keep her moving past the thing, standing and staring is not the best. If she reacts, you are too close and need to retreat. Eventually, she will be ignoring things that she usually reacted to. It takes a long time, but keep your expectations reasonable and celebrate little successes.

Also, if her anxiety is too much and you can't make headway, you may want to consider medication to take the edge off so she can be in a place where you can train her. If her mind is muddled and running 100 miles an hour because she's terrified, you will not succeed. It also helps to avoid triggers as much as possible when you begin training. And I know, I know, that's a lot easier said than done. Believe me, I've been there, but be creative and find ways to at least try.

Good luck!
 

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Dogs are aggressive. My dog is also aggressive and I am training it these days. You need to train your dog in order to control its aggression. These days I am also training my dog and my husband recommended me a dog training this Brain Training for Dogs Review | Does It Work? | Doggyz Care as I can not take out my dog to train. The thing is you need to understand dog's brain and psyche only then you'll be able to train it properly. At the start, also had a lot of trouble with my dog but with time things are getting better and that is a great sign. Otherwise it would have become impossible for me to keep a dog.
 
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