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So me and my wife got a dog from the pound a couple months ago. It's a small dog he was awesome... until we bought a new house and we have to put him on a lead when we let him out or he runs straight into the woods. The issue is, since we have been putting a collar on him (me) he acts scared pees on the floor then tries to bite me. I have no idea what to do. And I just got bit agian ready to get rid of him. If anyone has any ideas of what to do I'd appreciate it. ive tried treats
 

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This should be very simple.

Training for the collar and leash. Begin with the collar. Just lay it on the floor, let the dog investigate, reward with a nice treat. Pick up the collar, let the dog investigate, treat. Touch the collar to the dog, treat....... Lay the collar over the dog's neck, treat. Fasten the collar on the dog's neck, treat. Do all these steps gradually, if the dog shows any sign of hesitancy, then back up a step or two.

Follow the same guidelines for the leash.

When you fasten the collar, you should be able to place two fingers under the collar. Never strike the dog, even if you have been bitten. You'll create an animal that will associate the collar with pain. Respect the dog's fear and understand his signals regarding the collar.

Somewhere in the dog's past he has had a bad association with the collar. This may take time to overcome.

Meanwhile, you could try a harness. You should introduce the harness using the above guidelines.
 

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Assuming you need a right-now solution while working on training, and also only if you can leave a collar on the dog without safety concerns - I'd leave the collar on and I'd put what a lot of trainers call a "tab" on it. That's a bit of leash (depends on dog's size) that hangs down only a short ways from the collar, say halfway down the shoulder. Definitely ends at or above elbow.

Again, for safety, the tab should only be on when the dog is in the house and someone is home to be sure it doesn't get caught on anything. The tab is easier to take hold of without provoking so much reaction from the dog and can help you gain control to fasten the leash to the collar. You could even put a little loop at the end (that you're sure will hold), and fasten the leash to it and perhaps cause even less reaction.

Temporary solution. Definitely work on eliminating the extreme reaction. Since you say he's a small dog, a harness might be the best solution for walking him and not provoke whatever extreme negative connotations he seems to have with a collar. I'm not sure if there are harnesses you can put on without putting a something collar-like over the head, though, so that would also need some training.
 

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This dog is showing fear and is biting in defense. It does not matter that you have never abused the dog and it is very likely NO ONE EVER abused the dog. This is hard wired defensive fear.

First and foremost, dogs find it threatening when you bend over them. So, somehow, you need to eliminate that behavior in you. I suggest you put a slip lead on the dog that does not require you bend over him.. it is a noose and you simply put it over his head while standing up and then take him out.

At another time when NOT going out, use treats and the collar. Sit on the floor and simply make an association between the collar and treats. Dog sniffs collar, mar that with Yes or click and reward feeding AT the collar. Slip the collar on.. (and this may be incremental) again, mark and reward. Essentially, make the collar on and off a good thing. I would use a martingale type collar that slips over the dog's head. Sometimes, after getting the collar on, take the dog out. Eventually, what you want, is for the dog to WANT the collar and the process.

Leave the leash attached to the collar. This way you avoid bending over the dog to put the leash on.
 

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Yes, good points. I forgot to mention to be on the same level with the dog. Leaning over the dog can be a sign of dominance or aggression to the dog. This is likely to illicit a defensive response.

When I put the collar on my dog, I kneel on one knee. This is the position I took while training him to the collar/leash.

Now, at 3 yo old, I can take the collar/leash off the storage hook, he comes running to me. I open the collar, kneel, he places his head over the collar, I buckle. He walks around me and does a shake, comes back, I attach the leash, then I stand. No words are spoken. He knows the routine and loves the walks.

Give it time, take it slow. Watch the dog's reaction. Any hesitation or resistance means to back off and return to the previous sequence.
 

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So me and my wife got a dog from the pound a couple months ago. It's a small dog he was awesome... until we bought a new house and we have to put him on a lead when we let him out or he runs straight into the woods. The issue is, since we have been putting a collar on him (me) he acts scared pees on the floor then tries to bite me. I have no idea what to do. And I just got bit agian ready to get rid of him. If anyone has any ideas of what to do I'd appreciate it. ive tried treats
buy one of these and keep it on him for awhile until he gets used to it, then all you have to do is attach the leash insteal of putting a collar on him which probaby makes the dog feel not in control...which is probably the real issue as in the dog is playing the dominant role and you might not be showing your pet who's the alpha.
 

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Reacting out of fear, which it sounds like what is happening, is NOT dominance. And dominance based alpha theory stuff has been thoroughly debunked in the last decade or so.

OP, if you can find a good, positive based trainer with experience in working with fearful dogs, that would be your best option.
 

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Agree. Appears to be more fear based than dominance from the dog. The act of bending over the dog could be triggering the reaction.
 

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As everyone already knows, dogs are pack animals and there must be a lead dog. If a dog is showing signs of fear or dominance then it's confused about who is leading the pack and that fear or dominance could simply be the dog acting out because it's being forced into being the pack leader. When there is a clearly defined pack leader then the entire pack behaves as expected.
 

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Focus on your relationship with your dog...... you can't accomplish any level of trust and learning when you have one foot out the door on the dog.. Have to be sincerely committed... The best training advice and approach wont help when your not truly present and committed to the dog. Going through the motions of training while your focusing on why you want this dog out of your life, will not get you to success. And your dog knows it , that is the response you get back from them for the negative interaction. Dogs are honest creatures, be honest with yourself as well ...
 

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As everyone already knows, dogs are pack animals and there must be a lead dog. If a dog is showing signs of fear or dominance then it's confused about who is leading the pack and that fear or dominance could simply be the dog acting out because it's being forced into being the pack leader. When there is a clearly defined pack leader then the entire pack behaves as expected.
I'm very sorry you've been mislead by a charismatic celebrity with a great PR team. It's a real shame he was given such a big platform by a channel that once promoted educational, science-based content, and that Nat Geo has continuously ignored pleas by reputable experts and organizations specializing in animal behavior to stop promoting his outdated and sometimes dangerous methods.

Dominance theory begins and ends with an 80 year old study where unrelated wolves were thrown in a stressful, unnatural situation (ie a pen/enclosure smaller than what even one wolf pack would have as a territory), reported on by researchers who were incentivised to find some kind of hierarchy in their behavior. This was then assumed to be true of dogs, who despite being physically and genetically very close to wolves, are significantly different behaviorally. And then there were further assumptions that intra-species behavior will be exactly the same as inter-species behavior - IE that dogs think of us as other dogs and interact with us socially exactly as they would with other dogs.

Every modern study has shown that wolves form family units - no alphas, just parents and offspring. Current research suggests that dogs, left to their own devices (ie feral and pariah populations), form and dissolve loose alliances with other dogs based on their current needs, but do not have permanent packs or leaders, nor do they form family units like wolves do. Multi-dog households are a little less 'natural', as our pet dogs don't get to pick and choose which dogs they spend the most time around, but they still aren't hardwired to conform to some strict social hierarchy.

Dogs do tend to thrive better when they have boundaries and clear expectations, no argument there. I mean, don't we all? But this dog is terrified. Maybe it's genetics. Maybe he's had a bad experience with a leash, or collar, or someone bending over it. That doesn't have to be abuse, of course, could be as simple as he never had a collar introduced positively, or he's just so overwhelmed that something slightly worrying/uncomfortable is too much to handle. Caleb, he needs time and space to decompress from the shelter, positive exposure to the leash and collar, and gentle desensitization to having his head/neck handled. Leaving a short tab or traffic handle on him is a great way to avoid having to put him through something he finds scary as much as possible until you can work through his issues. And just bonding will help. Silly games, simple tricks, just hanging out and letting him know you won't hurt him and respect his limits. He's been through a lot, give him time.
 

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As everyone already knows, dogs are pack animals and there must be a lead dog. If a dog is showing signs of fear or dominance then it's confused about who is leading the pack and that fear or dominance could simply be the dog acting out because it's being forced into being the pack leader. When there is a clearly defined pack leader then the entire pack behaves as expected.
No. This is not about leadership or dominance.

This is about a dog that is fearful and defensive. The job is to help the dog be less fearful with a less powerful presence to the dog.

Cesar.. another person who has come up with a way to make money, not necessarily be good for dogs or dog training. His inability to read dogs baffles me with all the time he has spent with them.
 

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I agree with PatriciafromCo. Dogs have an innate sense of knowing what you are thinking. Yes the collars and other suggestions might be helpful but you have to decide if you really want to make a commitment to this dog. Having a dog isn't easy. They get sick and they can run up big bills and can do things we wish they didn't do. But if you truly want to make it work, you will. I once had a dog that was biting everybody (but had been locked in a cage for breeding before she was rescued so had very few teeth). It was hard to want to keep her but my vet encouraged me to try. She ended up being an awesome dog. Look into your heart and see if you really want the dog. If you don't then it's better to help find the dog another home than to keep it with one foot out the door.
 
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