Here is Bentley! We had been boxer-less for about 5 months, and decided that it was time =) Bentley came to us from West Coast Boxer Rescue, he was being held in a kennel in southern CA. Bentley came to us with a little bit of a rap sheet, he had been in a foster home previously, but had been returned to the kennel because he was fighting with their boxer female alpha dog. We weren't sure whose fault those fights were, we just knew that they were bloody. He had been back in the kennel for about 10 days when he came down to us. It turned out that he has wonderful manners with other dogs, but he does have prey drive- motivated aggression. He went after Kenzie while she was chasing her ball and gave her a pretty nasty puncture under her eye. They got in a fight and I had to (safely) break it up. We kept him on leash for the next couple days, to make sure that did not happen, and until we knew him better and he had earned some trust. It didn't take long, we saw that he was wonderful with the kids, and very respectful of Kenzie's space. He was so good with Kenzie in the house, but as soon as we were outside and she ran after a squirrel, lizard, her ball, or anything else, Bentley got a jolt of adrenaline and went in attack prey mode: head up, ears up, eyes big, pulling really hard on the leash, etc. It has been 5 days since that first incident, but Kenzie still does not trust him. I don't blame her, he went after her when she wasn't looking, that's like being shot in the back! I also think that she looks at his spine sticking out of the top of his back as his hair being up all of the time... =-( That is the only thing I can think of to explain how fearful she is of him, even when he is displaying the most submissive, non confrontational body language possible.
So anyway, we started prey driven aggression training day 3, and I saw a big change in him right away. Thankfully he is highly food motivated, so this does make it easier. Today on day 5, I dont think he would go after her if he weren't on the lease, but I still had treats, but I'm not going to test that any time soon, it's just not worth it. I will move on to a long lead for training before I go leashless.
Bentley also has severe separation anxiety =( Poor guy, he sounds so pathetic. He lost his voice from barking in the kennel, so it it just this sad squeak of a panicked bark. We worked on trying the crate thing last night, it did not go well, he never calmed down. I went in and out, in and out for an hr, but he just kept panting and barking. I decided to try keeping him loose in the house today to see if he did better...and he did, but he still never relaxed while I was gone. After 2.5hrs of working from 1 second out of the door to 10 minutes, he would over and over start barking and howling and jumping on couch after 10 minutes.
So we took a break. I will mull it over and try something else. Training is not a perfect science. What has always worked on all other dogs I have trained is not working on him, so back to the drawing board and try again!
Posted by Amanda Beasley. Posted In : Dog Training