"Ask the Dog Guy" with John Wade

"Ask the Dog Guy" with John Wade

Puppy and Obedience Training Without Food or Fear

Cane Corso With Dog Aggression and General Unruliness

– Posted in: Aggression, Behavior Problems, Breed, Cane Corso (Italian Mastiff), Columns, Newsletters

Manic-Mommy-MondayHi John,

I have a male 13 month old cane corso and I can’t control him when he is around other dogs especially males. When he sees them from far he cries like he wants to play with them, but as soon as he enters the dog park his back hair goes up and start barking and trying to bite them.

Also with my kids, 6 and 3 yrs old, he is always hurting them. One time my little girl 3 was walking near him and he went for her, she fell and hurt her neck and head on the floor. Good thing that I had him on a leash but still he managed to reach her. I have tried a lot of things. I called a trainer and he showed me how to train the dog but he is good for 5 min and that’s it.

I really don’t want my dog to seriously hurt my kids, me or my neighbours any more. What can I do? I walk him till he seems really tired but he takes a 10 min nap and he is ready to destroy things. We live in a really hot city (119 F on a “good” day ) so I can’t take him for a lot of walks unless is really early or late and when no dog is in the streets or the dog park.

Gabriela – Southern U.S.A.

Dear Gabriela,

I hope I’m not jumping to conclusions when I say that when you write that you “can’t control him when he is around other dogs especially males.” you actually meant to say, “I can’t control him – period. At least that’s what appears to be the case when we take into consideration your concern for your children and neighbours, the destructive behaviour you allude to, and the lack of success you had training him with some outside help.

It’s unclear as to whether his interaction with the kids worries you because he’s unruly or because he’s aggressive towards them. I get the sense it’s more the former. At least I hope so otherwise I don’t think there’s much to talk about. The dog goes.

If this was a Golden Retriever with Golden Retriever issues I’d try to offer some helpful advice and perhaps suggest you read my e-book on training difficult dogs – The Beautiful Balance – Dog Training with Nature’s Template. However, I really get the sense you’re overwhelmed and taking into consideration the age of your children and how busy you must be simply dealing with household realities that accompany motherhood you may very well simply have the wrong dog for this period of your life.

I really think the Cane Corso is more often than not more of a hobby than a simply pet and when you do it right, it’s great, but when you do it wrong someone gets hurt and/or the dog gets euthanized. Go ahead and read the book and/or do a search on my site for other Cane Corso columns to get some of that helpful advice but if you think you’re even close to being in over your head with this dog do a google search instead for Cane Corso Rescues and have a chat with them about rehoming this dog. In the long run you’ll likely be happier and he’ll still be alive.

John Wade
Difficult to Control Dog – Try the WadeCollar – http://store.askthedogguy.com/power-steering-wade-collar/

2 Comments… add one
Michelle kesterton February 24, 2016, 2:13 pm

I have a 3 and half year old neutered male cane corso, over the last 2 years he has randomly bit members of the family without any warning around 6 times, no triggers one minute laid out them gets up turns round and lunges, I can not trust him anymore and no rescue centre including cane corso ones will not touch him! I can’t bring myself to put him down which is all I’m being told! Is there anything I can do?
Thanks for your time
Michelle

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade February 24, 2016, 2:24 pm

Hi Michelle,

There are only 4 options available that I’m aware of.

  1. Try and train the behaviour out of the dog. (The use of the word “try” alludes to the fact that there are many variables impacting the likelihood one of which is finding someone experienced and capable (trainer) educating and helping the dog owner become capable. Difficult with serious behaviour problems as opposed to simply teaching a dog to perform an act of obedience.)
  2. Implement safety strategies i.e. muzzle training, crate training, leash dragging, heightened supervision etc. (I’ve never found this works. It delays the inevitable in my experience.)
  3. Find the dog another home. (Increasingly more difficult when considering rescues as legal action against personnel has become a distinct possibility if they pass on a dog with aggressive tendencies.)
  4. Euthanasia – not the answer that dog owners want to hear but when the first 3 aren’t options and the dog is considered to be dangerous – the only socially responsible thing to do.

John

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