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Neo Mastiff (Loki)

Bree

New Member
Hi I have a 15month old neo and at the moment he is starting to show signs of aggressive behavior for example when I took him to the vet she got down to have a look at his mouth and he growled and then lunged at her. He is a very spoilt boy that's my doing, however he is very attached to me to the point if any of my family members come close he pushes himself between us, I can get him to sit and come to his name when he wants to and he listens to my commands at home but he wont listen to others and if he gets out he takes off, he has had a go a other dogs and I think this is the outcome of me taking him to a dog park when he was a pup and he got swarmed by the other dogs, I have booked Loki in to get him neutered hoping this will help, he is such a lovable big boy and I would like to be able to take him places with out the worry he might hurt someone or another dog, as well as get some tips on how to train him at home . cheers Bree
 

Boxergirl

Well-Known Member
I'm sorry you're having these issues. My strong suggestion is that you consult a behaviorist and a force free trainer for an evaluation and some help. If you can share where you're located I can try to find a fear free veterinary clinic and a behaviorist and trainer in your area. Fear free/cooperative care clinics are amazing for dogs with behavior issues and reactivity. Makes going to the vet much easier and safer for everyone.
 

glen

Super Moderator
Staff member
A vets must be a scarey place for them, i take mine as pups every month as they are growing, just for the social , even justvto weigh them, no one can resist a pup, so plenty of people around, but one of mine didnt like the touch of people all the time but at least he see it wasnt a scarey place,
I agree with boxergirl, id get some help,
 

Loverboy Skyline

Well-Known Member
Hi I have a 15month old neo and at the moment he is starting to show signs of aggressive behavior for example when I took him to the vet she got down to have a look at his mouth and he growled and then lunged at her. He is a very spoilt boy that's my doing, however he is very attached to me to the point if any of my family members come close he pushes himself between us, I can get him to sit and come to his name when he wants to and he listens to my commands at home but he wont listen to others and if he gets out he takes off, he has had a go a other dogs and I think this is the outcome of me taking him to a dog park when he was a pup and he got swarmed by the other dogs, I have booked Loki in to get him neutered hoping this will help, he is such a lovable big boy and I would like to be able to take him places with out the worry he might hurt someone or another dog, as well as get some tips on how to train him at home . cheers Bree
Be careful with him and never get him in a situation where you can't control him. I don't know what state you live in, but some states like California have what I think are very unfair rules regarding aggressive dogs.

Dog parks in the US typically have mostly neutered dogs. Neutered dogs can be aggressive towards young intact males. I think the theory is that they are not used to the scent of a young male with high levels of testosterone. They feel challenged, and those pheremones set them off. So neutering can be a good idea, not necessarily because it makes your dog less aggressive, but also because it makes neutered dogs less aggressive to him! I've been going through similar experiences with my Bullmastiff. He is a little over 2 years old now, and I'm thinking about neutering him just so I can take him to parks and doggy day care. He has never attacked another dog, but the neutered dogs that I had to step in against were really scary. These dogs included Great Danes, Great Pyrenees, English Mastiff, and Dogo Argentino. I'm not scared of dogs, and I actually kicked a few of them in the head, but I know better than to push my luck.
 

LOKI-EFC

Active Member
Do not get your dog neutered it will not help with aggression problems, it will only make your vet money. Do not go to a positive-only trainer, positive-only training is the biggest con in dog training there is, there are four quadrants to dog training that make up the whole of the pie, positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, positive punishment and negative punishment, to have a well balanced, reliable and obedient dog you must use all four quadrants. The fact of the matter is 95% of dog owners and the wider public, in general, do not know how to train dogs, they do not have obedient dogs and if you ask anyone they will have their own theories on how a dog should be trained, but often tout old wives tales that simply do not work and are outright dangerous, the positive only movement whilst well-intentioned has only served to create millions of unsafe poorly trained dogs, led by companies like PETA who have a vast amount of money and play on peoples emotions instead of observable fact. But, alas I won't spend all night going on about positive-only reinforcement issues and instead will answer your questions as best I can.

1, Your dog by your own words is very spoilt, this is a major problem with dog owners, a dog should not be babied, and certainly, a big guardian breed like yours, what you describe in your post is a dog who has no respect for his owner or the rules of our society, this is a structure and training issue, your dog simply hasn't been told what it can and can not do, you need to be a confident k9 leader and teach the dog how to behave like a well mannered k9 citizen. I advise you to find a high level "balanced" trainer who uses all four quadrants of dog training and specialises in problem dogs ( dogs with aggression issues, dogs with these issues can not be fixed with positive-only reinforcement). The reason your dog will listen in the house and not outside of it is because he has no compulsion to listen to you outside of it, your dog blocking your path when other people are around or acting aggressively towards strangers is caused by him sensing a threat and not feeling confident in you as his owner handling the situation so reacts with aggression, quite simply he does not view you as a leader so has taken a proactive role in deciding who is a threat and how to handle it.
2, do not let strangers touch your dog, contrary to popular belief dogs do not like being touched by strangers and this is a perfectly normal thing, it is incredibly uncommon for a dog to love social interaction with every stranger they meet, now of course this is a generalisation as there are exceptions to every rule.
3. in the case of your vet, your dog should be muzzled at all times when visiting the vets now that he has displayed this behaviour, you should take him on regular visits with the same vet so he can become used to that particular vet, its important to note that although this can be done over time with specific people, such as family who will see the dog regularly or your vet, dogs don't generalise well so you cant condition a dog to like everybody it's simply not possible, but with your vet, you can certainly teach your dog to tolerate handling by them, by using positive reinforcement to reward positive social interaction with your vet, and correcting any aggressive behaviours(don't try this without first being shown how to do so correctly by an experienced professional)
4, keep your dog away from dog parks this is a recipe for disaster, dog parks are some of the worst places you can take your dog and sooner or later it always ends up in a dog fight and potentially a human getting bit breaking up a dog fight, the majority of the dog-owning world do not have control over there dogs.
5, Take a look at Leerburg for some great tutorials on establishing pack structure, teaching your dog behaviours with positive reinforcement and marker training and the use of corrections in training, Michael Ellis is widely thought of as one of the best if not the best dog trainers in the world has a great free video on youtube on his philosophy of dog training.
6, Shield k9, has tons of free videos that show you how to train a fully functional offlead obedient dog, if you are great at self-teaching you can pick up a lot of info from these videos, they also have paid courses an elite off-leash obedience course and a puppy elite course, as well as reactive rehab course that goes hand in hand with their elite off-leash course, I highly recommend their system of training, if you follow their steps you can have a completely obedient off-leash dog in 6 weeks, I now walk all my dogs off-leash everywhere they go and one had a lot of reactive aggression issues.

Here is a list of top trainers you can find on youtube that will really expand your mind when it comes to functional dog training that actually works, Shield k9 (Haz), Michael Ellis, Ed Frawley, Tom Davis (upstate canine academy), Nate Schoemer to name just a few.

The bottom line, is your dog needs proper training and structure get experienced help if you need it don't go looking for a quick fix like neutering which will just waste your money and not solve any aggression issues, it's important to remember most vets are not dog trainers and have very little experience in training dogs to any decent level, the same goes for behaviourists who often lack experience actually handling dogs, instead find your self a trainer who works and fixes(ask for proof) aggressive dog behaviours regularly.

I hope this helps, if you have any more specific questions on training or would like me to direct you to videos just ask.