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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 18943
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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I have a Neo Mastiff 15 months old hasn't been fixed yet.

Customer Question

I have a Neo Mastiff 15 months old hasn't been fixed yet. Didn't want to effect the growth plates. Now I'm considering getting him fixed. Started about a week ago. Everytime I put on his collar he growls and snaps. Last night I gave him a bath. When i applied a towel to dry him off he groweled and snapped at me. When I grab him around his collar and told him that is not accepted he laid down. I feel he's starting to test me. For Alpha Domination.I need to stop it now. I am going to set up an appointment to get him fixed right away. I need professional advise soon. Thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
Hi JaCustomer,
My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.
Is he allowed on furniture?
Is he moving normally such as stairs and jumping?
What type of training has he had?
If he has had training was it group or individualized training?
In the past has he taken to not listening immediately?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not allowed on furniture
Moves great up and down stairs
Individual training between 12 and 18 weeks
He's been socialized goid around people and other animals.
He hasn't been fixed because I didn't want to effect the growth plates.
That being said I'm getting him fixed soon
I believe he's testing me for Alpha dominance. Just started a week ago.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
(Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
JaCustomer,
Phone calls do require additional services request and I have a hard time hearing some tones which makes phone calls not a good choice for me.
At this point, his growth plates should be closed or very close to it. Get him neutered as soon as possible though it may not have much affect on his dominance since he's been sexually mature for quite some time.
I'm glad he's had some training. That helps. Most male dogs will challenge the leadership in the house and that usually does occur between 12 and 18 months or so. It is very important that you not allow this challenge to cause you to back down. That show the dog that he is more dominant than you and he will then continue to push the issue until he is controlling everything.
There are ways of stopping the behavior. One is keeping a leash attached to him and when he misbehaves, give a short tug to break his concentration and a firm low toned (almost growl like) NO. In addition, you need to start his formal obedience training back up. Many owners state that they have their dogs sit and lay down, etc at various points during the day but that is normal everyday life. I'm talking about formal times set aside for training every day. This doesn't have to be with a trainer or in a group class, but a group class will be good for finishing his training.
The following site is helpful in helping owners train their dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.
http://www.schutzhund-training.com/training_theory.html
Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.
http://www.pets.ca/articles/article-dog_nilf.htm
http://www.cairnrescue.com/docs/NILIF.pdf
Once he seems to be back behaving normally, I strongly suggest a group class. This helps ensure he will still listen when there are distractions. I also think using tiny hot dog slivers for training treats work best. If he isn't' food motivated, cut back on his daily food intake so he is more food motivated.
In most cases just a few weeks of daily training and the NILF program brings them back under control when it has just started. Just remember to keep up training. It isn't about teaching commands as much as it is having him continue to acknowledge and see you as the boss and leader who he needs to obey. I am fairly positive with just a little work you will see your well behaved boy back again.
I hope this information is helpful to you. If you need more information or clarification, please reply and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. If you are satisfied, please take the opportunity to rate.

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