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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-14-2007, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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Another Growling Thread

Duke, our 14 mo. old rescue has been growling at us. He was untrained and a really wild boy when we got him. He wants to do what he wants to do, when he wants. That is not acceptable. Duke and my husband and I have received e-collar training with a trainer, not as a correction, but as a device to get him to focus on each command and the collar is kept at a very low level, sort of a ticklish feeling. For the most part, the training has had wonderful results and he now has a lot more manners than before and will mostly obey his commands, but sometimes he gets really ornery. I can even see it in his eyes and face. For example, last night he was put on his place. He did not want to be there. He kept leaving place. I kept having him return to place. He then started advancing off place towards me while barking and growling at me. He'd advance, growl, and I'd command him to place again and advance towards him. He'd return to place and start the whole thing over again. I make sure that I am more stubborn than Duke and he is not allowed to ignore the commands. Training will be continued as well, but I am concerned. I've had dogs for 45 years, including two big GSDs. I have never been growled at by any of my dogs. I've read in a few books about Doberman aggression, from the males, and Duke is in the age bracket specified. Is there anything to this "Male Doberman Aggression" and can his behaviour result in his biting me? Also, we have spoken about this issue with the trainers and it will be addressed in further training. What type of training should be done to fix this? Another time he growled at me while I was eating something. I stood up and put him down on his side on the floor and held him there for a bit. He never did that again, but now, he seems a bit more aggressive, but he is also a few months older. When this ornery behaviour is not happening, or when it has passed, Duke is the sweetest, cutest, most playful boy who loves everyone. Thanks for your help.
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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-14-2007, 11:49 AM
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He is right smack dab in the middle of puberty! He is testing you..trying to see where he fits. I would say to keep doing what you are doing...you could also try feeding his meals to him one kibble at a time by hand for a while...I did this with my GSD years ago. I would park myself in front of the tv and have her there with me on a leash and feed her meal to her one morsel at a time. I think it is a good way to bond, let them know where their food is coming from and teaches patience....just an overall good exercise...kind of time consuming though, but worth it in the end. It is a way to take control in a more controlled nicer way...just my opinion.

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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-14-2007, 12:01 PM
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Yes Doberteens have hit.....Petey did the same sort of thing to me this AM, he is 12.5 months old...I took him for a very quick walk to the park, and when I came home and I was changing cloths to go to work....he tried to stop me but barking and nudging me with his nose. I gave him a very firm NO and then put him in a sit. After I released him, sadly he went and layed down, looking all depressed. He must know my work shoes, coat, etc...

Just continue to be very firm, can't let your guard down even once with them, they can spot weakness a mile away.

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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-14-2007, 12:06 PM
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Yes, they know how to work us! Our boy would know we were going to work by our morning routine. He would sit woebegone as my husband was dressing or I was putting on makeup. Funny, he also knew when we would be going outside to play just by the shoes I was grabbing from the closet. Jack tested us until he was almost three and then every so often, he would do the bark and listen to me nudge. Stay firm, I know it's hard, but it's the only way to be with a human or Dobie teenager.
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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-14-2007, 12:15 PM
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My problem is.....I've always been such a softy with my teenage sons....none of them have EVER tested me....now I have this doberteen that needs me to be strict, it isn't easy for me, but one thing I've learned for sure...the stricter and more demanding I am with Petey....the more he follows me around and seems to be getting more and more bonded to "ME" not my family! I like it when that happens! You don't win popularity contests with young male dobermans by being a push over and nice....you need to be their leader all day, every day.

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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-14-2007, 12:26 PM
 
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Raven is now 7 years old and he has calmed down quite a bit but i remember those times. He was very hard headed and it took a while but we also used the e-collar as a training method which seemed to work out great. At the time it was the only way we could get his attention. Now that he's past those terrible teenage years, he is a much better boy. Just stick it out for now and good luck with him.
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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-14-2007, 01:23 PM
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At just over 2 1/2 Java still tests me. She will bark at me when it seems that I'm not getting her dinner to her fast enough. I stop what I'm doing, I step away from the counter, turn to her and tell her to 'Hush' and to sit on her pillow. Yes at first I got a bit of attitude, some whining and a wiggly bum, but she now knows I mean business. If I hear another protest, we do it all over again. Give this breed an inch and they'll take over the house!
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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-14-2007, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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Raven is now 7 years old and he has calmed down quite a bit but i remember those times. He was very hard headed and it took a while but we also used the e-collar as a training method which seemed to work out great. At the time it was the only way we could get his attention. Now that he's past those terrible teenage years, he is a much better boy. Just stick it out for now and good luck with him.
Yes, that's Duke, very very wilful. That's why we tried other methods to train and ended up doing the e-collar, because we couldn't even get his attention! Or corrections would be followed, but he'd go right back and do it again. So there is light at the end of the tunnel! LOL!!!
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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-14-2007, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, they know how to work us! Our boy would know we were going to work by our morning routine. He would sit woebegone as my husband was dressing or I was putting on makeup. Funny, he also knew when we would be going outside to play just by the shoes I was grabbing from the closet. Jack tested us until he was almost three and then every so often, he would do the bark and listen to me nudge. Stay firm, I know it's hard, but it's the only way to be with a human or Dobie teenager.
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At just over 2 1/2 Java still tests me. She will bark at me when it seems that I'm not getting her dinner to her fast enough. I stop what I'm doing, I step away from the counter, turn to her and tell her to 'Hush' and to sit on her pillow. Yes at first I got a bit of attitude, some whining and a wiggly bum, but she now knows I mean business. If I hear another protest, we do it all over again. Give this breed an inch and they'll take over the house!
What has me more concerned than if he was just barking is that he's also growling. When your dogs barked at you, did they follow that with growling? The growling scares me a bit, and last night he growled and made a bit of a lunge towards me. I'm starting to think he may bite. He used to just whine, then it became barking, now barking then growling! Actually, we use the quiet command when he starts barking, and that's when it escalates into growling.
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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-14-2007, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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He is right smack dab in the middle of puberty! He is testing you..trying to see where he fits. I would say to keep doing what you are doing...you could also try feeding his meals to him one kibble at a time by hand for a while...I did this with my GSD years ago. I would park myself in front of the tv and have her there with me on a leash and feed her meal to her one morsel at a time. I think it is a good way to bond, let them know where their food is coming from and teaches patience....just an overall good exercise...kind of time consuming though, but worth it in the end. It is a way to take control in a more controlled nicer way...just my opinion.
Thanks Mariposa. I'd try that if Duke were not currently being fed in his crate, in an effort to get him well housebroken. He was not housebroken when we took him home (even though we were told he was) and he became accustomed to going at will while at the rescue woman's home, since she kept her door open all the time. Now he still sometimes gets so distracted outside that he won't go, but our trainer said to feed him in his crate to further disuade him from peeing and pooping in the crate. That's what he was doing. We'd take him outside, he would not relieve himself. Then he gets crated when we leave for work, he goes in his crate and my husband would have to hose him off every evening when he got home. We've finally made some headway with this, at least. No more going in the crate and no accidents in the house for several weeks now. So now the growling issue arises... what's next???
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post #11 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-14-2007, 02:12 PM
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. He kept leaving place. I kept having him return to place. He then started advancing off place towards me while barking and growling at me. He'd advance, growl, and I'd command him to place again and advance towards him. He'd return to place and start Another time he growled at me while I was eating something. I stood up and put him down on his side on the floor and held him there for a bit. He never did that again, but now, he seems a bit more aggressive, but he is also a few months older. When this ornery behaviour is not happening, or when it has passed, Duke is the sweetest, cutest, most playful boy who loves everyone. Thanks for your help.
I am not sure if you were doing a version of the "Alpha roll over". But research I have read has discredited it as a viable correction method. Some indications are that this may actually increase aggression later on. I had a dobe bitch that I rescued from a situation where she was completely neglected, as well as malnourished. She carried some strong fear based aggression with her for some time. In such a situation you have to weigh out how strong a correction you must give with the thought about if you do not get control then the dog will likely have to be put down at some point for biting someone, possibly you. In this situation you should never make the mistake of an under-correction.

This is just my personal opinion but I think that if the aggressive behavior was
directed at you, then the correction must come from you and not from a source unknown to the dog (electric).
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post #12 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-14-2007, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
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I am not sure if you were doing a version of the "Alpha roll over". But research I have read has discredited it as a viable correction method. Some indications are that this may actually increase aggression later on. I had a dobe bitch that I rescued from a situation where she was completely neglected, as well as malnourished. She carried some strong fear based aggression with her for some time. In such a situation you have to weigh out how strong a correction you must give with the thought about if you do not get control then the dog will likely have to be put down at some point for biting someone, possibly you. In this situation you should never make the mistake of an under-correction.

This is just my personal opinion but I think that if the aggressive behavior was
directed at you, then the correction must come from you and not from a source unknown to the dog (electric).
Hi. He is not corrected with the e-collar. His commands are reinforced with it. No corrections are given, just commands. In other words, he's told to sit with a nick from the collar. The nick is to make him pay attention to the word sit. If he does not sit, he's told a second time. AFter that, if he does not sit, he then is told in a rapid fashion, repeatedly, sit, sit, sit, etc. until he does sit. These sits are accompanied by nicks or taps, as the trainers call it. As I stated, the collar is on a very low setting. The idea is to show him that we will not go away, but will continue to tap him until he pays attention (like someone tapping you on your shoulder repeatedly. You'd eventually pay attention). There are no raised voices, no NOs etc. being given. That did not work with Duke. Ignoring bad behaviour and praising the good did not work with him. Redirecting did not work either. The only thing that is working is the command reinforcement with the slight nick. And the command/reinforcement IS given by me or my husband, not just the collar. The idea is to use a command to counter any behaviour that is not wanted and is supposed to be a positive method. Odd thing is that the growling is only in connection with certain commands, quiet and place mostly, occassionally sit, and it is not all the time, either. Drop it, leave it, off, kennel, let's go and heel he does well with, even in the vet's office, on busy streets and in the pet store. I don't believe its fear agression either. I've dealt with that with a rescue GSD I had and this is quite different. This to me appears to be an attempt at bullying and dominance.
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post #13 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-14-2007, 03:01 PM
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I think if you are giving nicks with the collar....it is still a correction. Unless it is only on vibrate. Someone please chime in on this.....

Rosamburg...I watched someone get bit by their 18 month old GSD the other day....he corrected him with his choke collar hard, for going nuts trying to get to Petey and fight with him, GSD grabbed his arm....guy put him into the Alpha Roll, and after the dog got up....the dog still went at his owner, after corrections....3 MORE TIMES!!! Scared the pants off of me, Petey and I just stood their watching this entire situation unfold. I think the dog must be very unstable. Owner looked scared.

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post #14 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-14-2007, 03:41 PM
 
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Leerburg Kennel's Dominant and Aggressive Dog DVD talks about how to deal with a lot of the issues mentioned in this thread. We had to implement a lot of the suggestions, basically taking away all of Harley's freedoms and instituting martial law in the household, during the peak of Harley's teenage years. He's still a young male Dobe (turns 2 in January) but I swear I've seen him blossoming before my very eyes over the past month or so. Even friends and family members have noticed that he seems to have a more affectionate manner about him, and not so aloof with a chip on his shoulder.

I think back to some of the battles Harley and I had, and I think he aged me ten years. But now as he is transforming into a cuddly chap, I think I'm getting those years back. Well, maybe he doesn't add years to my life, but he certainly has added life to my years!

We rescued Harley when he was 8 months old, so I missed all the joys and cuteness of puppyhood and went straight to the early teenage years. He's a super high drive Dobe (I swear he has Euro blood lines), which makes him a pure joy to train, but that high drive cuts both ways. In the early days, I remember one occasion where he wanted to bite me after a correction. I already knew what kind of dog he has by this time, so I thankfully had a Leerburg dominant dog collar on him. I was able to pull straight up, lift his front legs off the ground and take his air away from him until he calmed down. From that moment on, it was an epiphany for Harley. That incident, however scary it was, was groundbreaking in my relationship with Harley. I think that was the first time that he began to really respect me once he realized that I had the ability to control his breath. I know it sounds harsh, but he could have mauled me otherwise. As proof, I still have some deep scars on my arm for prior transgressions, which have been chronicled on DT as well as the Leerburg discussion forums.

While I'm not suggesting that you take a similar path as I did--as your dog never attacked you while mine did on four occasions, succeeding three times--I'm just letting you know that even the worst offenders can still make a turn for the better. Looking back, I'm shocked that we didn't send him back to DRU, but Harley met his match in terms of obstinance. I don't know why, because I certainly didn't love him at the time, but I refused to give up on him. My wife says that's why God placed Harley with me.

Good luck!
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I think if you are giving nicks with the collar....it is still a correction. Unless it is only on vibrate. Someone please chime in on this.....
She mentioned that it is set low enough so that it is just a tingling sensation to get the dog's attention. I wouldn't view this as a correction. I've felt the e-collar when it's set this low and the sensation remind me of putting my tongue across the leads of a 9-volt battery. Not painful, but attention getting.
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post #16 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-14-2007, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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She mentioned that it is set low enough so that it is just a tingling sensation to get the dog's attention. I wouldn't view this as a correction. I've felt the e-collar when it's set this low and the sensation remind me of putting my tongue across the leads of a 9-volt battery. Not painful, but attention getting.
Yes, that's it. It is not a correction, but an attention getter. Pay attention to this word, Duke... sit. And he sits, 99% of the time. Place, and he goes to place, 99% of the time. 1% of the time he does not want to obey, and he starts the barking and growling... he's saying "you're not the boss of me!" It's also NEVER used to stop or correct unwanted behaviour, only to get his attention for a command. If he's bothering something, he is not corrected, he is told leave it, with a simultaneous nick. If we go out and he's put in heel, he's told heel, with a simultaneous nick. And the voice is never overly stern or harsh, just soft but firm.

The collar is set low, it actually is like a hard tickle, sort of. We have settings from 0 to 100. The collar is on 20.

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post #17 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-14-2007, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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Leerburg Kennel's Dominant and Aggressive Dog DVD talks about how to deal with a lot of the issues mentioned in this thread. We had to implement a lot of the suggestions, basically taking away all of Harley's freedoms and instituting martial law in the household, during the peak of Harley's teenage years. He's still a young male Dobe (turns 2 in January) but I swear I've seen him blossoming before my very eyes over the past month or so. Even friends and family members have noticed that he seems to have a more affectionate manner about him, and not so aloof with a chip on his shoulder.

I think back to some of the battles Harley and I had, and I think he aged me ten years. But now as he is transforming into a cuddly chap, I think I'm getting those years back. Well, maybe he doesn't add years to my life, but he certainly has added life to my years!

We rescued Harley when he was 8 months old, so I missed all the joys and cuteness of puppyhood and went straight to the early teenage years. He's a super high drive Dobe (I swear he has Euro blood lines), which makes him a pure joy to train, but that high drive cuts both ways. In the early days, I remember one occasion where he wanted to bite me after a correction. I already knew what kind of dog he has by this time, so I thankfully had a Leerburg dominant dog collar on him. I was able to pull straight up, lift his front legs off the ground and take his air away from him until he calmed down. From that moment on, it was an epiphany for Harley. That incident, however scary it was, was groundbreaking in my relationship with Harley. I think that was the first time that he began to really respect me once he realized that I had the ability to control his breath. I know it sounds harsh, but he could have mauled me otherwise. As proof, I still have some deep scars on my arm for prior transgressions, which have been chronicled on DT as well as the Leerburg discussion forums.

While I'm not suggesting that you take a similar path as I did--as your dog never attacked you while mine did on four occasions, succeeding three times--I'm just letting you know that even the worst offenders can still make a turn for the better. Looking back, I'm shocked that we didn't send him back to DRU, but Harley met his match in terms of obstinance. I don't know why, because I certainly didn't love him at the time, but I refused to give up on him. My wife says that's why God placed Harley with me.

Good luck!
Thanks for posting this. It definitely gives me a lot of hope.
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post #18 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-15-2007, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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Duke greeted me when I got home last night by attempting to mouth and nibble my hand. I told him OFF and he stopped. He tried a second time, I told him OFF and that was the end of it. He was his usual good natured, lovable, licky self the rest of the night, even when I put him on place. I've been told that mouthing your hand is a dog's way of questioning your leadership. If he's allowed to do so, he can get the idea that he's the dominant one. In the past I've been a bit too slow in telling him off while mouthing. Perhaps this is why he began to test my position.
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post #19 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-15-2007, 09:12 AM
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He will test you everyday....Petey and he are around the same age, and we are going through the same thing. It's a male Doberteen thing. Just be confident when handling him.

c

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I just want to point out to anyone reading this that isn't familiar with the doberman breed that these things are NOT normal for the breed. I've had dobermans for 34 years, both males and females and never have I witnessed this kind of behavior in any of my dogs. Every single dog I have had absolutely worshipped me and it never would have even crossed their minds to attempt to dominate me in any way. I have never even had a stubborn doberman. My experience with the breed has always shown them to be the most amazingly easy to train, and incredibly eager to please breed I've ever been around. The puppies (especially males) are big energentic goofballs, but they should NOT try to dominate and show aggression. That is not what this breed is about. It saddens me to hear of people having these issues with their dobermans.

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post #21 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-15-2007, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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He will test you everyday....Petey and he are around the same age, and we are going through the same thing. It's a male Doberteen thing. Just be confident when handling him.

c
Thanks Luvbirds! Oh these Doberteens! Its also been so long since I've had a dog this age. My last two adoptions were of a 7 year old GSD and a 2 year old GSD. I've noticed the daily, hourly, and by the minute testing and one sign of weakness and you're done for... LOL!!!!

I was just more concerned I think because being Duke's a rescue, I really don't know his background and why he was given up, even though he seems to be a lovable, licky boy who loves everyone he meets.
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post #22 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-15-2007, 09:22 AM
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Blaming aggression on "doberteens" is not only misleading, it's dismissing and making excuses for a faulty temperament. It is NOT normal for this breed, at ANY age.

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post #23 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-15-2007, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
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Blaming aggression on "doberteens" is not only misleading, it's dismissing and making excuses for a faulty temperament. It is NOT normal for this breed, at ANY age.
Julie, how about male doberman aggression? I've read about this in several books. I wondered if it really exists.
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post #24 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-15-2007, 09:59 AM
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Julie, how about male doberman aggression? I've read about this in several books. I wondered if it really exists.
IMO a bunch of hogwash. I've had males too and known countless others and they should also NOT growl at a human unless protecting you/property from a threat. Males are actually stereotypically LESS serious and MORE bumbling goofballs than bitches and NEITHER should ever growl at their owner.

I forgot, I also wanted to point out that I personally don't agree with your e-collar method your trainer has you doing. It sounds more like a repeated nagging annoyance more than anything. Frankly it would piss ME off too. LOL But it sounds as if you are happy with it, and like I've said before, my house, my rules....your house, your rules.


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post #25 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-15-2007, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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You know Julie, I sort of agree with you about the e-collar nagging. While it works really well for a lot of his commands, for those commands he is more stubborn with, it does seem to piss him off. A sort of we push him, he pushes back. He was just so impossible, so wild, untrained and uncontrollable when we got him that we needed some results, fast, which we got. He was totally used to running the show, being the alpha dog. But now I think another approach is needed for some of those commands, those which he can get stubborn with. Come is another one of those commands, and one of the most important, in my book. It can save his life one day, and he still balks at times when told come.
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