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After a very labor intensive few months, my daughter's dog, Chief, has learned some basic" living with others" etiquette and has become much more calm. He still has his 1 hour long moments of insanity, but he is not actively "attacking"Sammy in play. Chief has learned that body slamming, chicken legging, grabbing Sammy by the neck, wrestling to the ground and pouncing are not acceptable. I am very proud of Chief. It has been over a week that he has po-go sticked onto me, leaving bloody scratches up and down my arms. He is really trying to be a good boy.

Some things that helped:

No toys at all out in the common living area.
Feeding in separate rooms.
Leashing Sammy to me - although Sammy isn't the instigator, somehow, when Chief saw Sammy on his leash, he left him alone more.
Outdoor time or a walk for Chief prior to any transition ( someone coming home/someone leaving etc.)
Keeping ALL communication quiet and low key - that includes the TV. Chief seems to get very hyped up by sound.
Putting him in his crate and covering it with a dark cloth when he is out of control ( daughter got mad, but it helps him calm down).

Overall, he has come a long way. I am wondering if dogs can be on the autism spectrum. Alot of what I have done to help Chief self regulate is what I implement with my students. And alot of Chief's out of control behaviors mimic what young children on the spectrum display, when they are just overwhelmed and out of control ( I do not mean to offend anyone who has a loved one on the spectrum. My son was diagnosed at a young age but has now been "down-graded" to anxiety disorder). Also, Chief seems immune to other dogs' social cues. He just doesn't get it.

Anyway, my daughter and her roommates have been approved to rent a small house! She is scheduled to move on Dec. 21st. I am very happy Chief is doing better because the roommates have a jack russell mix that did not get along with Chief, when introduced earlier. Although I will miss her, I am very much looking forward to her having her own place. I am holding my breathe that it may all go south at any time.

Sammy and I are currently participating in his intermediate obedience training class again ( for the second time). I felt that with everything going on, it was good to get a refresher course and just get us back on track. Sammy has definately regressed in his training. We do have a very nice group of people/dogs that we get to socialize with weekly and it motivates me to keep up with training at home.

If all becomes more calm at home, I will pursue his CGC soon. He was one class away from graduaating. We also began agility, which he EXCELS in. Honestly, Sammy is a natural. However, the place we went to ( although the owner is nice) is not what I consider safe. Between grooming, obedience class and hopefully adding agility, I will be putting alot of miles on my car!

Thank you all for caring. I love this forum. I feel bad for not contributing more,but also feel like I'm kinda new ( and my daughter says crazy, I don't want to give bad advice!)
 

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I am so happy to hear that things are better! :D It's good that she's moving out; that sounds like a much healthier situation for all involved.

I am wondering if dogs can be on the autism spectrum.
To be honest, there's a lot of issues that could cause his weird behavior, and the only real way to tell is to have an experienced animal behaviorist watch him, since autism has technically not been found as a diagnosable disorder in dogs. The fact that he doesn't follow other dog's social cues may be an indicator, however, since autism is primarily caused by difficulties in the mirror neurons in the brain, resulting in an inability to mimic or feel what other things are feeling or doing.

Anytime the subject of autism comes up, I feel like I have to add this--as a note for people reading this in the future, please be careful when looking up autism for any species. A lot of the information out there is spread by Autism Speaks, and, well, some of what they do is about as helpful as PETA:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outl...up-is-still-failing-too-many-autistic-people/
https://autisticadvocacy.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/AutismSpeaksFlyer2020.pdf
 

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I think it sounds like Sammy wasn't properly socialized with other dogs at a young age and was never taught to behave appropriately in the human world.

I'm not sure anything can 100% overcome early social deficits, but a good temperament helps, and he's clearly making huge progress under your care. Well done. :)
 

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Hoping good things come for all of you :).
 

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I agree with PtP - Chief shows all the signs of a dog who missed out on a lot of socialisation, including the rules of dog etiquette. You have obviously helped him enormously, but I suppose for your daughter to recognise that and be grateful would require her to recognise her own failures, which may be too much to ask. Hurrah for having your own space and peace again, though - looking forward to hearing about your adventures with Sammy. And I hear you on the need for safety in Agility training - I went to one class where the instructors were lovely, but their lack of risk awareness was truly terrifying! I actually felt forced to say so on the feedback forms we were given, and I don't think I was the only one, as that particular class never ran again.
 
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Well sounds like all is going in a good direction. I do think there are dogs that are just "off" but with training most do well. Its also helpful when training dogs that they have been socialized well as young pups but its not a deal breaker. I'm not a certified trainer (though I have trained many a dog in my day) so I try not to offer a lot of advise. Like people every dog is different and what training works with one doesn't always work for another. But it sounds to me that you have figured Chief out and he will do fine but I think he will miss you and the structure he has learned to have with you. I hope all works out for your family.
 
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