Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Training Updates

Magically, Bruno has responded amazingly to the muzzle-lead. It is called a "Halti" and doesn't give off the impression to others that he's scary.
It gives us control over him so that he can't lunge or bark too easily and keeps him walking like a perfect gentleman beside us. Also, the best thing so far has been using the "U-Turn" and the treats. Every time we go out, we take a whole handful and now he is trained to sit and wait for the elevators and sit in the elevator as well. People are very impressed with how our two dogs sit so nicely waiting. Its amazing what treats can do.

He hasn't barked at a child in days. Actually, we had to walk him through a crowd of kids and he remained completely composed. I wouldn't let the children approach or pet him and I think that gave him more confidence. Knowing that I will keep the kids away and that he will be protected has definitely done wonders for him.

Thanks so much to everyone who posted advice. I agree that fear agression and agression are two very different things. I know deep down that he is not an aggressive dog. Last night he slept with us the whole night and buryied his head deep under the covers to shut out all the light. He is such a sweetheart and a cuddler. I wish I had had him since he was a puppy to give him better socialization, but he is responding extremely well now.


  1. Maybe it's just me - but I think my other comment was eaten again - so here we go for round two. Forgive me if it posts twice again?

    Congrats on the success with the head halter - they're really incredibly wonderful tools with proper introduction and handling.

    A word of caution - try to abstain from referring to it as a "muzzle lead." It is not a muzzle - he can very easily bite someone in it if he so chooses, it in no way interferes with his ability to open his mouth. Calling it that may also give people a worse impression of him, though if he's fearful, it may not be the worst thing if people keep their distance.

    And just a point of contention - I don't think there's a difference between aggression and fear aggression. Both are a display of aggression, it can be very difficult to ascertain based solely on said display why the dog is making said display. The point is that by using the term "fear" aggression, you're describing why the dog is making the display. Fear aggression just falls into the larger pool of all aggression. I think *a lot* of aggression is fear/insecurity based, but it looks the same as all other aggression. You would need to compare it to another "type" of aggression for me to agree that yes, it is different and needs to be treated/viewed differently.

    With all that said, there may be dogs who can have had the same upbringing as he did (or even my Emma) and come out of it without issues (aggression).

  2. It just takes time. And what a great success with the Halti. I have used them before and they worked great. The more you find out what works for Bruno and get to know him more, you'll find the answer to your questions. So happy things are working out for you.

  3. Yay for finding some success! I know what it's like to go for a long time with very little hope of change. That first moment where you notice a real difference feels incredible. Good for you and Bruno for finding a tool that will help him on the road to recovery. I wish you lots of luck!


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