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Discussion Starter #1
Maddie is a 16 month old golden retriever mix. She has been on a runner and exhibiting "aggression towards passersby" for a while. Now. She's learned to back out of her harness (no matter how tight it is) and runs free often. Yesterday , when my kids were playing in the yard, she began running up to, and barking at my neighbors, including their 4 year old daughter!
She's always been a little high-strung, but this goes too far. A fence isn't an option but she is unrestrainable. This aggression towards my neighbors is far worse when my kids are in the yard (like she's protecting them).

Can she be trained like my neighbors? Any suggestions for keeping her in the yard again?
 

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Get another harness that she can't back out of.

Does she really 'dislike' your neighbors or is she just warning you of someone near your property? Because my dog will sometimes let out a bark or two towards passerbyers as well, but if I greeted them he would do so too. So if Maddie is actually a friendly dog, could you get her to interact positively with your neighbors, or better yet... be around you and your kids interacting positively with your neighbors and their kids? Maybe if she learns they're just 'people who live next door' she'll be desensitized to their presence. Just throwing ideas out there.
 

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Try a proper introduction in a calm neutral environment. As for harness, take a look the ones by Ruff Wear, we have one that is fantastic.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies, I do think she's trying to warn us that people (my neighbors who live there) are nearby, but it is somewhat threatening and she will continue to stand within 10 feet of them and bark until I (or one of my kids) pulls her away and locks her up.
I did go and talk calmly to them, trying to assure Maddie that they are not a threat, but it hasn't helped. It's much worse if the kids are outside playing or someone is mowing the lawn (yesterday was both).
Thanks for the Ruff Wear suggestion, I'm checking into it now.
 

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Maddie needs to be properly introduced to them. See if they will agree to come over one evening to play with her and fed her treats. Also, you can try leaving a small basket of treats outside by her run. Whenever they come out, have them toss a few to Maddie. She will start associating neighbor = yummy good things.
 

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My boyfriend has an 85 pound chocolate lab. He uses an "e-collar" to help control his behavior when he gets out of hand. But not only that it can help train your dog too. A lot of people are opposed to using a shocking collar but if used properly its a good training tool. Use the LOWEST setting that still gets your dogs attention. (It becomes cruel when a higher setting then necessary is used) If you keep the hand-held remote with you during these situations you have all the control. There are also "vibrate and shock" and "vibrate" options. So you can teach your dog that a vibrate is a warning (by first pairing the shock and vibrate together so that she'll learn to associate vibrate with punishment) and if the behavior continues she will receive a mild shock - even a mild stimulus is enough to make the dog stop. If you don't have the option for a fence and you want your dog to hang out with you and your kids I think this is a very reasonable option if the introductions don't work out.
 

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My boyfriend has an 85 pound chocolate lab. He uses an "e-collar" to help control his behavior when he gets out of hand. But not only that it can help train your dog too. A lot of people are opposed to using a shocking collar but if used properly its a good training tool. Use the LOWEST setting that still gets your dogs attention. (It becomes cruel when a higher setting then necessary is used) If you keep the hand-held remote with you during these situations you have all the control. There are also "vibrate and shock" and "vibrate" options. So you can teach your dog that a vibrate is a warning (by first pairing the shock and vibrate together so that she'll learn to associate vibrate with punishment) and if the behavior continues she will receive a mild shock - even a mild stimulus is enough to make the dog stop. If you don't have the option for a fence and you want your dog to hang out with you and your kids I think this is a very reasonable option if the introductions don't work out.
I would never advise the use of a shock collar. It's no different than other fear or punishment based training methods and can just create a more aggressive dog. Or one that is constantly in fear of being hurt again.
 

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Well, like I said a lot of people are opposed to them. But if used the right way you won't hurt your dog - I hope that no one is ever hurting or hitting their dog. Punishment and reinforcement (both negative and positive) are key to training.
 

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Well, like I said a lot of people are opposed to them. But if used the right way you won't hurt your dog - I hope that no one is ever hurting or hitting their dog. Punishment and reinforcement (both negative and positive) are key to training.
It's not just about hurting your dog. It's about fear based training methods being ineffective. Teaching your dog to fear the shock collar is no different than making the dog fear your hand. How is making your dog afraid of being shocked any different than making them afraid of being hit?
 

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I'm sorry to offend. I was just trying to offer a solution. I'm really uninterested in an internet debate about the ethics of using shocking collars. It seems to me to be a personal decision if using one is right for your dog or not.
 

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I'm sorry to offend. I was just trying to offer a solution. I'm really uninterested in an internet debate about the ethics of using shocking collars. It seems to me to be a personal decision if using one is right for your dog or not.
You did not offend. If you have chosen to use a shock collar I hope you did so because there was no alternative and you made an educated choice. But the majority of behavior problems in dogs can be corrected through positive reinforcement. You're right, it's a personal choice. Just one I would never suggest to someone on these forums because I don't consider myself educated enough to make such a suggestion.
 

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Izze becomes.a different dog when she is at home, I live in a mobile home with no fence, they just stay around the house. Thy will bark at ppl whom she knows & sees & is friendly to at the barn. But her own house is a diff story. I chalk it up to her just warning ppl that his is her property, that's all.

I dont see anything wrong with a dog who does that, in fact I love it :)
 
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