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Ask Jane Lefler Your Own Question
Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19661
Experience:  Behaviorist /Trainer and Dog breeder 18+ years
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My dog gets into a Red Zone over the mail truck, ups and any

Customer Question

My dog gets into a Red Zone over the mail truck, ups and any dog passing the property. He is a Great dog other than this red zone I can't get him out of. He has gone after other dogs and certain vehicles. It's dangerous for other and for him. How can I make this behavior stop before he is taken away.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Dog Training
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Is a little over 1 year and a Belgian Malinois so his dark face scares people the neighbors are worried about him Crossing the property line and I'm afraid he's going to be taken away because I can't keep them in
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 3 months ago.

Hi JaCustomer,

Welcome to Just Answer. My name is Jane. I have been involved professionally with dogs in the healthcare and behavioral fields for over 20 years. I’ve worked as a Vet Assistant and Behaviorist and have extensive experience in dog reproduction, as a breeder, for even longer than that.. Canine behavioral issues and training are also my specialties. It will be my pleasure to work with you today. I am reviewing your question. I will likely need to ask some questions before supplying an answer.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
He's a little over a year. Belgian breed.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 3 months ago.

It is necessary for me to get a little information from you before I can type up your reply. Your patience is appreciated.

You mention not keeping "them" in. Is there more than one dog involved?

Is your yard fenced?

If not, are you allowing the dogs to run free or are they escaping.

How is he with dogs away from your own home?

Is he vehicle aggressive regardless of where he is?

What obedience training has he had?

What have you tried so far to stop the behavior?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
There is only one dog involved away from the home he is not aggressive like this he is vehicle aggressive only towards motorcycles away from the home and he is on an electronical fence
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 3 months ago.

Thanks for the additional information. I am typing up your reply now and it will take a little time since each answer is unique to your situation.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 3 months ago.

While I type up your reply, can you tell me if it is an underground system or an instant fence type of system or and electric hot wire style of fence.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
He wears a shock collar around his neck and there is a wire line around the perimeter slightly Underground yes this system works he's willing to take the shock for certain things
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 3 months ago.

Many dogs have boundary aggression. They know where their territory ends even if in an invisible fence situation and they do become aggressive toward people, dogs and vehicles that come by. Dogs growl, run and bark at dogs, people and cars that come by and they leave. If the dog is trying to scare them away from his property, in his mind it works well. Normally what we suggest with a "physical fence" is to use an invisible fence a few feet inside of the physical fence to create a "buffer zone". This buffer zone reduces the dog's territory but also keeps people, vehicles and dogs further away from the dog's territory which makes him less likely to lunge to keep this away.

Now without a physical fence, there is nothing actually keeping people, dogs and vehicles out of your yard and the dog's territory. This can increase a dog's territorial response as a result. Now what you might try is moving the current fence in a bit while retraining your dog to the new boundary and putting a small fence along the property line to help create that buffer zone. It doesn't have to be a large fence. I've had clients put up flower bed fencing so that there is a physical fence. It really isn't enough to keep out things, but a dog often perceives it as a physical boundary and thus will remain further away from your dog.

Underground wire systems are really not a great fence system without a physical fence because a dog can and will run through the shock zone with proper incentive. This put your dog and other dogs at risk as well. The instant fence systems can not be run through as they shock when a dog is outside of the zone until they come back in. The underground one shocks when they are within 3-5 feet of the wire. So if he runs through it will stop shocking.

I'm going to send this and now discuss how to correct the problem.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 3 months ago.

You will definitely need obedience training if he hasn't had it so far. 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.

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.

A well trained dog recognizes the owner as the boss and as the boss, the territory belongs to you not the dog so they are less likely to protect the territory unless you indicate you need their help doing so. It will be helpful if you can find someone with a dog to help you once you have your dog listening to commands consistently. What you will do is have your dog on the leash. You will have your helper off in the distance. Your helper will gradually move their dog a bit closer to you preferably walking past your position in the distance. As long as your dog ignores them, you can give your dog praise and a treat. The second you see him fixate on the other dog or show any other sign of aggression (hair standing up, etc.) give your dog a correction by giving a short tug and a firm low toned "NO". It shouldn't take your dog long to realize you will not tolerate the aggression and that if he ignores the other dog, he gets treats. Once this happens you can repeat the training moving the other dog closer until he is no longer trying to lunge at other dogs. You will need to practice this when you and your dog are walking as well.

The best treats are hot dog slivers or chic***** *****vers. The treat has to be higher value to your dog that lunging at the cars or person. Once he is fine with one dog, see about another helper. You use the same tactic with vehicles but since you are unlikely to be able to control who is driving by, you will have your dog further away from the cars instead. Use the same reprimand and reward with calm praise and treats when he acts acceptable. It isn't a quick fix but is proven to correct the situation. I still recommend some sort of visible boundary if at all possible. At my home we have what is called field fencing. It is not exceptionally sturdy but easily put up and keeps other dogs out. As I think I mentioned, some clients use very short flower garden fencing to create a physical boundary as well.

Now some trainers will use a remote electric training collar for these types of situations stating you can give a shock correction when the dog starts toward the car or dog but often when a dog is shocked in this manner, they associate that shock with the other dog, etc and it can make the situation even worse. So if you get that suggestions from anyone, please do not try that solution.

I hope I've given you great service. If so, I'd appreciate a 5 star rating. The rating should be based on my answer and not any site issue. If you expected something different from the site, please don't rate my answer lower as a result. If you have any other questions at all, please reply here and I'll be happy to follow up with you.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 months ago.

Hi Again,

I just thought I'd check in to see how things are going for you and your dog. I strive to provide the best answer possible. Did you find my answer helpful?.

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