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I am having problems with Titus (The mastiff mix). He wasn't properly socialized as a young pup, thanks to my sister, and now I am having to pick up the pieces and try to start over again. He does everything just fine when I am with him and when we go on walks around the neighborhood. BUT, when it comes to other people, or leaving his familiar teratory, he goes completely crazy in the head and trys to hurt everyone that comes within 30 feet of me! :mad:
I tried meeting up with some friends of mine at a park on Sunday, but he litterally lunged at them the whole time and almost bit one of them at one point. I did the best I could to keep things calm and to keep them walking with me till he could relax, but he wanted nothing to do with that! All he was thinking of was how he was going to get the guy as soon as we would come to a stop. There were other people and dogs around as well and he did the same thing. I know that I need to get him out of his 'comfort zone' and get him to relax with any situation that comes at him, but I don't know where to start with him being a ~100# dog and almost as tall as me. :)
Also, do you have any kind of muzzle that you would recomend for me to use? I know that he will need one, if only for other people to know that he might bite and that he is at least a little under control. I have never experienced a dog so far into the agression state that he is in right now. He is fine with other dogs coming into the house and all that, but he doesn't really care for them outside of his place. Through a fence, he will try to kill them if it weren't for a fence in the way. He deffanently knows that Owen and I are the leaders, but he will get into a state of mind where he doesn't care and he tries to take over. When I am in public, it looks like I have a killer at the other end of the leash, but at home, you couldn't ask for a better dog!
I know that some of you are going to say that I am not the pack leader if he acts like that in public, and that might be true, but I need a little advice to work with him on that.
When we go for walks, I exit first and he has to sit and wait for me to close the door behind and all of that. We walk and he is right beside me, on the left side (Owen is usually on the right side) and he doesn't walk in front of me or pull me. When we pass someone on the street, he will glare at them till we pass and he might give a bark 'warning', but that is all. If they are 'too close', he will present himself as being bigger and start to take the 'guard' posture. I will usually tell him to settel and maybe if he doesn't listen, give a light tug at the leash to get his attention and tell him to settle again. That usually works... for the neighborhood!
Can anyone give some input, WITHOUT beign mean or blaming me for this, or putting me down like I am someone that know nothing?!?! I am the only one in the family that doesn't want to give up on him and just put him down. But if he continues down this path, that might be my only other option.
Thanks everyone for all the help I know I will get.... and the hell some will put me through in the process. :)
 

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Why do you feel it necessary to take him out at all? Obviously none of you enjoy him being out including the dog. I would put a wire muzzle on him to take him to the vet but otherwise, keep him at home. I think you have other dogs you can take with you when you go out. He will be perfectly happy if he never leaves your property.
 

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Why do you feel it necessary to take him out at all? Obviously none of you enjoy him being out including the dog. I would put a wire muzzle on him to take him to the vet but otherwise, keep him at home. I think you have other dogs you can take with you when you go out. He will be perfectly happy if he never leaves your property.
This is very true, but I can't always keep him locked up when I have visitors. He sits there and barks the whole time. Plus, I don't always have the energy to take him for the long walks that he likes. When he isn't worn out, he starts getting stupid in the head again! Plus, He needs to learn to accept people. I like having people over and right now I am turning into a hermit because he won't let me have visitors. They are locked up all day while I am at work, so they have to have some time to play and be dogs, so that takes up time that I could spend going out to meet new people. Plus, thanks to my landlord, my backyard isn't big enough for them go get enough exercise.
 

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This is very true, but I can't always keep him locked up when I have visitors. He sits there and barks the whole time.
The dog you have is not the dog you want. You are going to have to close him in another room or put him in the back yard when you have company. You might try not isolating him w/ company until the very first incident of misbehaving. POSSIBLY in time, he will learn that he gets put up when he misbehaves and will stop that. My Abby used to be similar except it wasn't aggression, rather exuberance. An exuberant 130+ lb dog can be a handful to guests. :smile: I would close her in the bedroom at the first hint of misbehavior. Now she will go to another room when we have company. For example if we are in the den, she will go to the living room and vice versa to keep from being closed in the bedroom or she will just lay on the floor in the room we are entertaining in. In your case, I don't think your dog will do this because he is being a nusience for a different reason but it's worth a try.

Plus, I don't always have the energy to take him for the long walks that he likes.
From the picture I have in my mine (and it may be inaccurate), this is not a walkable dog. It's not your fault, it's his. He may or may not be able to control it but regardless this isn't a walkable dog.

When he isn't worn out, he starts getting stupid in the head again! Plus, He needs to learn to accept people.
I have serious doubts that he is capable of learning that. I think his behavior is too deeply inplanted in his brain.

I like having people over and right now I am turning into a hermit because he won't let me have visitors.
Thats where you have to make a decision. Either don't have company or close the dog away when you do or get rid of the dog. I know you are dog savy and you are capable of handling this situation IF it is possible to handle it. I think you really really want to handle it and are grasping at straws but I don't see the solution you are looking for.

They are locked up all day while I am at work, so they have to have some time to play and be dogs, so that takes up time that I could spend going out to meet new people.
Some dogs will never be social dogs. Again, you have 3 choices. I understand you don't like any of them but I don't see any others.

Plus, thanks to my landlord, my backyard isn't big enough for them go get enough exercise.
It's been my experience that dogs usually don't get exercise on their own. My dogs have access to our fenced in back yard which is about 80' X 70'. When they go out, they immediately lay in the sunshine and sleep instead of laying on the couch sleeping. Sometimes if they hear a noise, they will run to the fence and bark for about 30 seconds but thats about the extent of their outside exercise when left to their own devices.

I wish I had a good solution to your problem but unfortunately I don't think it exists. You have some decisions to make. Good luck.
 

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Titus sounds similair to my St. Bernard, Clyde. In his first 8 months of life he went from a puppymill, to the petstore, to a extremely neglectful home where he lived in a small crate and was alone 22 hours a day (and had fleas so bad his entire back was bald), then to a home with a single mom with 4 kids under the age of 10 (she put the dog and kids in the backyard alone all day, all summer and the kids beat the heck out of Clyde). SO at 8 months he came into rescue completely unsocilalize, untrained, neglected and abused (cuts all over his face and body from the kids). So I fostered him thinking I could fix him because at this point he was labled "unadoptable". We went to obedience classes, advanced obedience classes, saw a few behaviorists...etc. I guess my point is that I learned that dogs learn their social skills at a very, very young age and after a certain point I don't think they are 100% fixable. I think breeding factors in here a bit too. I don't think Clyde will ever win any CGC awards and I will constantly be working with him and training him for life. I adopted Clyde and still have him because his only alternative was to be PTS. It's a huge commitment and it sounds like your in the same situation.

He has improved and is manageable. I still practice obedience daily with him. I strongly recommend obedience classes. I still work on desensitizing him. If you can give your friends a high value treat to toss to Titus (chicken, hot dogs or Natural Balance soft treat rolls work well). Take Titus when he's hungry, but also wear him out first before meeting friends. If he's tired and hungry he'll appreciate the treats and hopfully be too tired to lunge. He'll begin to associate the treats with other people being a source of yummy things. I haven't been very successful in recruiting my friends to help me with this though. LOL

I recently bought a wire basket muzzle from Dog muzzles, collars and harnesses at Morrco.com for vet visits. I like the wire basket because he can still take treats, pant and drink water. I honestly don't think Clyde would bite anyone and he never has, but I also don't want to risk finding out that I'm wrong. I think Clyde has fear aggression and barks and lunges to scare strange people or other animals away. The muzzle is more for my peace of mind and my confidence.

After that long story...haha. I agree with everything RFD said. Clyde goes in his crate EVERY time I have company. I used to feel bad about it, but honestly I think Clyde is much happier and he feels safe there. And I am MUCH less stressed. I know how you feel because no one would come to my house for a loooong time. :) I have also come to terms that he just isn't the happy-go-lucky, social dog I wanted him to be. He mostly stays at home. He's happier and I'm less stressed. I take him for short walks because I'm still trying to work on him and I'm still hoping the older he gets the more he'll calm down. Haha, I don't know about that one because he's almost 5 yrs. now!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I will try some of these things.
He walks well when we are in the neighborhood and as long as nobody wants to pet him. He stays right beside me with a short, but loose leash and only requires a quiet 'here' when he starts to get too excited and wants to trot. Hen is a walkable dog, just not in public. Again, I will try some of your suggestions and let you know how things go.
Thanks! :rolleyes:
 

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The dog you have is not the dog you want. You are going to have to close him in another room or put him in the back yard when you have company. You might try not isolating him w/ company until the very first incident of misbehaving. POSSIBLY in time, he will learn that he gets put up when he misbehaves and will stop that. My Abby used to be similar except it wasn't aggression, rather exuberance. An exuberant 130+ lb dog can be a handful to guests. :smile: I would close her in the bedroom at the first hint of misbehavior. Now she will go to another room when we have company. For example if we are in the den, she will go to the living room and vice versa to keep from being closed in the bedroom or she will just lay on the floor in the room we are entertaining in. In your case, I don't think your dog will do this because he is being a nusience for a different reason but it's worth a try.
I will try to isolate him when I have company at the first sign of misbehavior.


From the picture I have in my mine (and it may be inaccurate), this is not a walkable dog. It's not your fault, it's his. He may or may not be able to control it but regardless this isn't a walkable dog.
He is walkable, just not in public.




It's been my experience that dogs usually don't get exercise on their own. My dogs have access to our fenced in back yard which is about 80' X 70'. When they go out, they immediately lay in the sunshine and sleep instead of laying on the couch sleeping. Sometimes if they hear a noise, they will run to the fence and bark for about 30 seconds but thats about the extent of their outside exercise when left to their own devices.
Hehe! Same here. If I am not out there playing with them, they will just sit by the door and wait for it to open so they can go back to sleeping on the couch. I was actually refering to the fact that I can't throw a ball without them running into another fence. My yard is only like 40X25. Big enough for them to go to the bathroom, but not much else. I can see where it wasn't clear about that before though. :)


I wish I had a good solution to your problem but unfortunately I don't think it exists. You have some decisions to make. Good luck.
Thanks. I will see what I can do and try some of theses tips.
 
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