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 Post subject: Re: fear aggression?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:22 pm 
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You're a great dog-mom! You're doing all the right things and like everyone else already said, I'm sure the new trainer is definitely the answer. I would have RUN from someone putting one of those collars on a young puppy :bang I hate watching certain tv personalities using "dominance theory" as their training method. "You catch more flies with honey..." is as true with dogs as it is with people.

Karen Pryor's book "Don't Shoot the Dog" (which I'm halfway through... eek still need to finish it!) has been quite influential and is scientifically based and I'm happy you found someone who uses her methods. :Clap

Victoria Stilwell is another great proponent of positive reinforcement training and I love watching her show "Its Me or the Dog". She also has a list of approved trainers on her website in case you need it. I found a trainer on her site for my mom and she was fantastic.

Well done you for seeking other opinions, and I'm sure you and Rocky will have a lot of fun training together :sm

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 Post subject: Re: fear aggression?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:14 pm 
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I wanted to add that he may not be food motivated, Kasey is not a fan of the dog treat. He loves the marrow ones, but he only gets those at bedtime or when crating. He responded really well to frozen blueberries for poops outside, and he LOVES carrots. So I cut them up and use them when leash training. Once I find something that works for Kasey, I only use that treat for the 1 thing I want from him. Glad the vet gave you another name who does positive reinforcement...hope it works out for you!


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 Post subject: Re: fear aggression?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:17 pm 
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Trainers who bring high-value treats definitely have a great starting point! Glad you found a good trainer. Keep us updated and have fun with training! You're on a good path just keep it up and don't forget to have a great time along the way!

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Charlie "the middle child- Orange Tabby G-day 7/4/2005
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 Post subject: Re: fear aggression?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:30 pm 
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Gina,

I want to share a personal horror story with you. No matter what their certification is, not all clicker trainer are created equal. Clicker trainer does not automatically equate to a positive training experience. I happened to run into a clicker training school from hell in Seattle (who is ranked very high by customers who just want quick results with treats and don't mind putting their dogs down when told to.) The owner of that place has something against rescued cockers.

My experience with the Seattle trainer was horrible. They treated us very rudely (because we trained with somebody else prior to enrolling in the CGC class and my dogs already knew the commands) and were not praising my dogs. All they wanted to do was click and bribe. When Heidi was not comfortable around some very excited dogs, they asked us to bullet-treat her when she was in the excited state. Guess what was the end result? Food aggression that took more than one year of very hard work to undo. They have advised another adopter of ACSR to put a one-year-old cocker rescue down just because they could not train him. It turned out that his issue was health related in the end and he died an early death.

My main mistake was that I did not run after the first session. Since I paid $119 per dog, I wanted to complete the series. Big mistake! I felt belittled every single second by the owner of the place and there is absolutely nothing positive about "her" training method.

Since you have had some challenging experience of finding a good trainer, instead of paying for a lesson, could you ask the new trainer if you can watch one of his/her class before paying for the first lesson?

In any case, good luck again!

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 Post subject: Aggression - Fear or Dominance - or?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:09 pm 
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We have a simular problem.

Arlo is now 5 months old.

As a puppy (8 weeks!) he had what we called a "Cujo" moment when he was rolled or held belly up.
This greatly concerned us as we had never experienced this in a past puppy. We hired a trainer right away and she told us how to deal with this.

Arlo came to us as the Alpha litter mate and it was obvious right away. So, we did all the things one does to establish leader of the pack. Other than this issue he is very sweet and we love him.

TODAY: A new low.
We took Arlo to be groomed while we shopped. He has been with this person at least 3 times before. And, today when he went to take Arlo's collar off (it is usually on - so we don't take it on and off every day) he tried to bite him and growled. When he brought Arlo out we tried to put the collar on and he became very aggressive - and had to be held down to keep from biting.

When we got home .. I then tried to take his collar off and he became so aggressive - I'd call it vicious and he bit me very hard on both hand drawing blood. I had to give him the wrath of God (VERY loud NO and held him down.. kept saying NO! over and over - calmly but with clarity). He finally stopped.

So, then with his leash on .. had him do some simple things - Come, Sit etc so I could give him praise. Once he seemed himself I pet him all over while saying good boy and he was perfectly fine.

If I went near the collar to begin removing it - he growled. I'd say "NO" (and stop removing the collar). and when he stopped growling I'd say "good boy". I know from my other sessions I'll have to use positive training and slowly get him used to the collar coming on and off.

BUT - that said .. WOW! We were so SAD about this. I mean he bit me HARD on both hands.

I'll be seeing our trainer Tuesday. But, I wonder has anyone here gone through this?

One more thing. He is teething and has JUST begun to play with other dogs. So, wonder if that has anything to do with it. His dog playing does not show him being dominate or aggressive.

So - again.
Is his behavior
Fear Aggression
Or Dominant issues
Or
Aggression

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 Post subject: Re: fear aggression?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:19 pm 
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see a vet...don't assume it is simply aggression that can be fixed with training.

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 Post subject: Re: fear aggression?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:46 pm 
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Cocker rage :sad

I have seen it most in Reds & red and whites..I have one
her name is Greta.
she is a cute red and white....small, freckles, just as cute as they get.
I love Greta soooo much, she is a rescue, abused from day one almost abused to death. .....this maybe why she has rage??? we have NEVER ever shown her anything but love.....but she has cocker rage.

Greta is around 2/3 now, she has lived with us for a year and a half....she is sooooo much better now....we have learned her trigger points, dont push them, once she is in her "CYBLE" time, she almost does not no what she is doing.......Ignore her, walk away, she comes out fast and gives more kisses then you can imagine.
Greta is more afraid of her cyble momenets then we are, she feels so bad its sad.....she shakes so hard.........when she first came to us, she drew blood, in fact she won many rounds with my husband....( she is a daddys girl, she is glued to him)
now her moments are less and less, he works with her all the time, shows her love....she is his baby.

I dont no if this ever goes away, maybe some of the forum members can advise us on that.........the strangest thing with Greta, she ONLY does it to Tom and I...she has never even acted goofy around other people...she loves kids..I will not allow her by them...but she wags & wiggles and cries to play with kids..............she is perfect at the groomers......she loves going to work...in 2 years not 1 "cyble" ever???? hmmmmm?? right:)

"maybe because the people that had her abused her so much, strangers saved her??? but yet we have never ever hurt her???

PS: we love Greta...she will live as part of our family the rest of her life...it will be interesting..but we will make it work:)

Just my life with Greta:)

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 Post subject: Re: fear aggression?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:12 pm 
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I'd recommend anyone dealing with possible or confirmed aggression to check out dogster's series on aggression. It's 12 parts, which are an easy reads and really give insight into the facts and myths of dog aggression in any breed with a lot of good information. (Note: these somehow track out of order. I'm giving the link for #1 but check the parts if you want to read them in order.)
http://blogs.dogster.com/dog-training/myths-about-dog-aggression-part-i/2011/01/

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 Post subject: Re: fear aggression?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:37 pm 
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I just want to pop in to say there is NO such thing as "Cocker Rage" or "Springer Rage" (the two mis-used terms I am most familiar with, as these are the breeds I am personally closest to). There is "Rage" however. Very Rare. Extreme. And possibly closely related to an epilepsy type of disorder.

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 Post subject: Re: fear aggression?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:38 pm 
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What is "cyble"?

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 Post subject: Re: fear aggression?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 6:03 pm 
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Thanks Peggy. I'd heard this but didn't have much personal experience. I'd also like to add that "dominance" theory has been roundly debunked by reputable trainers (read: not most TV personalities) and alpha rolls, flooding/exhausting and popping/choking are detrimental to dogs and counter-productive in most situations as they cause the dog to stop giving the common warnings before aggression and just go from 1 to 100 since the warnings caused nothing but negative reinforcements. Positive punishment is an advanced skill not to be used by an inexperienced owner/trainer. I'd find a behaviorist with aggression management experience and credentials to teach management by both the owner and the dog.

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Charlie "the middle child- Orange Tabby G-day 7/4/2005
Sadie "the princess"- Grey Calico G-day 9/14/1996

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 Post subject: Re: fear aggression?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 6:11 pm 
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Ashley, I couldn't agree more! In mentoring rescue volunteers, I've always said that it's a GOOD thing when a dog gives a warning - and the clearer the warning the better. It's their way of communicating that they are uncomfortable and you are in their space. A dog that doesn't growl (warn) and goes straight to the snap is not a safe choice for pulling into a rescue, unless the rescue has good solid training resources to reshape behaviors.

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 Post subject: Re: fear aggression?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:05 pm 
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I have to chime in here again-

1) As Peggy said: "Rage" is real and does exist, as a neurological disorder, either as a form of or closely related to epilepsy (the vet schools haven't agreed yet).

I have seen it in a couple of rescued dogs- it is very sudden, totally aggressive (i.e. acting OUT), totally irrational behavior, such as a dog biting a chunk out of a car bumper (no joke, it really happened). Something just flips off in the dog's brain, and they go beserk. In the rage state, the dog is unresponsive to all input. Nothing and nobody is safe within their range. In a few moments to a couple of minutes, they snap out of it and go back to being a normal, responsive dog. Some can be controlled with doggy meds and some can't. This is a very serious, relatively rare condition that should never be confused with other behaviors. If you have a dog that fits this description, please find a vet who will help you try the meds.

The other thing I want to say is that MANY cockers -- don't want to be touched and behave badly -- either because their EARS hurt, or because they have strained their BACKS. Our beloved breed has long floppy ears which are prone to ear infections because air cannot get to their ears. And they love to run and jump off, over, into things and can easily hurt their backs. In either of these cases, when they are handled, they are prone to be "snappy." They are protecting their hurt selves and talking to you in the only way they can, by using their mouths!! Again, please find a vet who will consider these possibilities and help you with meds and muscle relaxers.

Sometimes, it takes consulting another vet.

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 Post subject: Re: fear aggression?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:10 am 
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We sadly had to put down our Vinny who had rage. He came into rescue at 14 weeks with severe rage. We worked with several behaviorist, trainers and vets and nothing helped, not even meds. Sadly, at about a year and a half old we had to put him down for safety. He would just bite out of nowhere, and would bite anybody. He got my son very badly and sadly, we had to make the horrible decision to put him down.

I am not saying all puppies are bad, or that all dogs who show some sort of rage need put down, just saying that sometimes all the training, behaviorists, and meds are not enough.

I think this situation was more caused by your trainer than you or anything else. I hope your little guy goes on to find a great trainer and does well. Good luck.

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 Post subject: Re: fear aggression?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:44 am 
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I wrote yesterday about Arlo's new strange behavior with his collar that resulted in him biting me.

Today we met with a behaviorist with aggression experience and she ended up feeling that Arlo does not exhibit overt aggression.

He DOES have something going on and we've not fully learned what he is going through. Tonight, he growled again when we went to put his leash on. And, when Melinda had him move over in her seat. Just a growl no biting. He also did a growl and an air snip.

We learned something interesting - it happened at the exact same time of day. Between 6:30 and 7:30 pm.

I called the behaviorist as she had been there earlier for 2 hours and we did many things- including taking his collar on and off and he did NOT show any aggression or growling - he was a sweetheart.
She is suspecting a few things.
1) He is now 5 months and hormones are changing - Not yet neutered. Plan on doing so at 6 months.
2) He is teething - already has some teeth coming in..
3) She said puppies CAN have certain times of day - usually at night when they act out. Like a baby when they are over tired and need to go to sleep but fight it and are really cranky. We are watching to see if this is Arlo's issue.

Tonight- she had me take him on a walk.
Not a play walk - (we sometimes play fetch) - but a walk where he got to earn high value treats and be a good boy. I had him sit/stay - down/stay etc along the way. It was about 30 min. and it helped. We arrived back home with him in good spirits.

We have both a life time trainer and our new behaviorist. Both the trainers and our Vets feel Arlo is a sweet wonderful guy. So, we are "nipping this in the bud" as they say and working very hard to give him the help he needs so he can feel safe and protected in his environment. I noticed the very respectful handling of the behaviorist and he responded very positively to her.

I'll keep everyone posted on his progress as I suspect there are others like us who worry.

I also have a you tube video of an aggressive dog before and after a TEN day treatment. The difference was amazing .. but MOST important - made me have such faith that we will get Arlo though this in a good and loving way. Not sure if I am allowed to put a link up - if so and anyone is interested I am happy to add it.

:)

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 Post subject: Re: fear aggression?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:02 am 
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links are allowed - go ahead. And tht is great news!!!

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 Post subject: Re: fear aggression?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:20 pm 
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This is a video I found on You Tube of a dog with aggression -older dog not a puppy.

The video shows the dog before and after a 10 day boot camp training.
The training is positive.

We were very encouraged because Arlo is not at all this bad. We have begun with our new behaviorist and will keep everyone posted.

At 5 months Arlo is displaying behavior that lets up know we need to work NOW to move him away from this behavior and make sure he feels we are his leader (not alpha) and he is safe and loved. Our hope is he gets through this bump in the road :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sr3jtVCkIBE

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 Post subject: Re: fear aggression?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:41 pm 
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I am happy to report that I had a one-on-one training session with the new trainer who uses positive reinforcement (read = food...chicken..lol) with training. Rocky responded very well. he only barked at her for a little bit and it wasn't the bark like when he barked that that mean ol' man trainer that tried to put the ecollar on him. He was even going up to the trainer mid-way through me working with him and tried to give her his squirrel toy so she could play with him. He jumped up on her and tried to be social (yay!!...not yay at the jumping, but yay at the being social). She showed me how to ask him once to sit and then when he does reward him, as opposed to constantly asking. She even showed me how to work with him to get him in his house (crate) after one time of asking. it was raining chicken in his crate!!

She said she doesn't think he's a lost cause!!!!! I'm so excited. I couldnt' have done it without all of you guys on the forum and your support and encourangement to find a Karen Pryor trainer. Now my only decision is if I should keep doing one-on-ones, move to a group class with her, or do a combo. I told her that I am going to have him in my life for the next 15+ years, so he needs to be respectful and respectable, so I want to do training, its just a matter of figuring what works best for us. For the next few months it might be one-on-one sessions because of my school schedule (i'm getting my MBA) but after that, I should be able to go group sessions, but I do want him to socialize before the window lcoses for good ont hat option.....still things to consider. But thank you all so much for your suggestions. They did not go un-noticed. Thank you again.


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 Post subject: Re: fear aggression?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:20 pm 
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I think our Amber has that potential to be a fear biter.. She's never nipped but she does dodge and duck when you try to pet her sometimes and we've never hit her and she's been with us since she was 8 weeks old...
She used to be one to piddle everytime you reached to pet her but she quit doing that at 2 years.

I've fostered fear biters and abused dogs and it takes time to work through their issues.

I took Amber to doggie socialization and basic obedience training and I'm sure it helped. She loves people,just a bit leary when people reach,you have to give her a little extra encouragement,once she gives you a good sniff, she's like velcro!

I'd take him out more,maybe look into a socialization and obedience class with other dogs. I wonder if he's intimidated by the one on one...maybe it's too intense for him...
I took all my fluffs to classes where there were about 8 dogs total,enough to learn to be around other dogs and people.

I wonder if it wasn't more the trainer's approach than your fluff. I'm no expert but we've had a lot of cockers and very few behavoural problems. All we've done really is take them bye,bye,everywhere we'd go practically,make sure they meet other people and other animals from the time they were pups through adulthood. I didn't even do formal obedience until a few years ago after working in a shelter and seeing so many bringing in dogs that had issues...

We also take all our fluffs to the nursing home to visit my mom,they really love it.

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 Post subject: Re: fear aggression?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:49 am 
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Gina in Frederick wrote:
Now my only decision is if I should keep doing one-on-ones, move to a group class with her, or do a combo. I told her that I am going to have him in my life for the next 15+ years, so he needs to be respectful and respectable, so I want to do training, its just a matter of figuring what works best for us. For the next few months it might be one-on-one sessions because of my school schedule (i'm getting my MBA) but after that, I should be able to go group sessions, but I do want him to socialize before the window lcoses for good ont hat option.....still things to consider. But thank you all so much for your suggestions. They did not go un-noticed. Thank you again.


If that were my dog I would do a combination of the one-on-one WITH the class for at least a few more sessions and then transfer to just classes. It's not that I am anxious to spend your money but since he had such a bad first experience and you have specific concerns I would give him the extra "umph" (so to speak). It can't hurt him.

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 Post subject: Re: fear aggression?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:27 am 
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Good news, Gina!

Leigh, you might be onto something with the time that your dog gets reactive. Misty has a very strong, dominent personality. I noticed that certain times of the day, when Misty is tired, she definitely is more prone to behave inappropriately. I don't know if you have children, but it is kindof like when they get overtired and just can't control their behavior very well. I also tended to have more of a problem with her when she was teething and uncomfortable.

Also, did they show you how to counter-condition Arlo? For you, this will probably take two people. First, have one person bait him with a favorite treat, and hold onto it. Then the other person should proceed to take off or adjust his collar. Once the collar is off, and only after it is off, give Arlo the treat. So you are doing something he doesn't like only when he is getting a positive stimulus at the same time. If I'm not explaining this very well, perhaps your behaviorist can help you with it.

Good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: fear aggression? - Arlo update
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 9:56 pm 
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Arlo Update:

Thanks for your post Jackie.

Our behaviorist has us holding the treat in the center of his collar - and as he reaches for his treat we say good boy and place the collar on. Then as we offer treat - take the collar off. Then lots of praise each time.

A few things to update.
1) We saw the vet today and Arlo DOES have a problem with his right ear. In fact there is a "growth-polyp?" about the size of a pencil eraser and his canal is swollen. He is on anti-inflammatory and antibiotics. She wants to treat it for a week and if it does not improve they will do a biopsy. Since Arlo is only 5 months she said it would be very rare for it to be cancer.
2) The ear issue might explain his extreme reaction that night (biting me).

That said - the vet saw his aggression today and does feel absolutely that he has "handler aggression".
It is presenting stronger now as he is 5 months. He is teething and ready to be neutered which we will do once he is well.

Still. No doubt- he has handler aggression.

The good news:
He is a very sweet dog - good spirits. Likes people and other dogs. No problem there.
And, he is responding very well to the positive training.

In fact, the vet tech said he was excellent for his age in his behavior. (that is until they wanted to look in his ears - :)

We will be doing 2 one on one trainings next week. And, once he feels better we will do 3 a week.
Also - the trainer is going on a hike with Melinda (my partner - Arlo's other parent) so that she can observe Arlo in that setting and make sure Melinda knows the best way to handle him.

These next few months are critical and we are very happy to know we have good help.

:)

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 Post subject: Re: fear aggression?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:41 pm 
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"handler aggression" is a new one for me. I've never heard of it.

The ear infection and collar issue makes perfect sense. Good Luck in your training. It sounds like you are trying everything and on the right track.

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 Post subject: Re: fear aggression?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:00 am 
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I've never heard of handler agression either. I'm no expert and of course didn't see the behaviour either you or the vet did, but it sounds like he was reacting strongly to being touched near a very painful ear / ear canal.

Gina I'm glad your little one is making progress, and that the horrible trainer didn't do too much damage to him, poor puppy. I'm sure this new trainer will be able to help, she sounds much better. :th-up

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