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Hello! I am new to the forum and am in desperate need of advice. First, a little background: I have two dogs, a 5 year old Husky and a 2 year old German Shepherd. About a year ago, I moved in with my boyfriend. He has a 5 year old Bull Mastiff. All three of the dogs live together in the same house. All dogs are male. My two are neutered; my boyfriend's is not.
Over time, problems started brewing between the GSD and mastiff. The mastiff would occassionally hump the GSD, which would spark aggression in the GSD. He would growl or snap at the mastiff to get him to stop. The humping has stopped, but the aggression on the part of the GSD has worsened. He has attacked the mastiff many times, leaving puncture wounds on his face and neck. It is an awful, high stress living situation that is not fair to the mastiff. I am fully aware of this.
I have taken the GSD for a one week "boot camp" at the facility near our house that trains police K9s. They trained him with a prong collar. While his obedience improved, the aggression towards the mastiff remains. Last night the GSD attacked the mastiff just because I told the mastiff, "NO" for something he was doing. He left a large hole in his ear. This was the worst attack yet.
The big problem with using police K9 trainers to train pet dogs is that while police K9s have to be trained to a very high obedience level, they rarely bother to train out or curb any dog (or even human sometimes) aggression. Generally, their methods are reliable for producing good K9 working dogs and nothing more or less than that. Simply put, you chose the wrong facility for your specific situation and needs regardless of how well regarded or rated that facility is in the police world
I am now exploring the option of using an e-collar to further train and curb the GSD's aggression. I would love some advice on how to use the e-collar to ensure that I do not inadvertently worsen the aggression with the use of the collar.
Don't use it. I have seen the negative effects of a "professional" trainer (who, in other situations had done a good job of training) use one on a dog aggressive dog. She basically shut him down and then, once the collar was off and he wasn't being shocked, he attacked and killed another dog and injured his owner in the process. He was put down. When a dog is genetically dog aggressive, he isn't so much "disobeying" your commands (like say, refusing to sit) as he is following an overwhelming natural urge. Shocking him (creating PAIN) for this will do nothing except create more aggression as he will likely associate the pain with the mastiff and become more and more aggressive towards the 'source' of the pain. Using an ecollar to train other commands, unrelated to the times he is being aggressive, is highly unlikely to help and honestly, I have seen the use of ecollars CREATE dog aggression because the dog ends up so stressed and frustrated they lash out at any easy target
Please, I do not want this to be a discussion of why not to use e-collars. I also do not want people telling me to rehome my GSD. I want to correct this issue and do everything I can do myself before looking into any other options. I would really appreciate any feedback anyone could give me on using e-collars with aggressive dogs.
People are giving you feedback on using e-collars with aggressive dogs---- they are overwhelmingly telling you not to do so
Thank you so much for your help!