Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Western Massachusetts
1. e-collars may break up fights or they make the dogs fight harder. E-collars are intended to be used on dogs trained to respond to them, while working at a distance from the handler, under the influence of high prey drive. They are mainly used by hunters for signaling to their dogs in the field, and by ranchers who use cow dogs.
I would not use an e-collar in these circumstances at all.
2. Just because you didn't see a provocation doesn't mean there wasn't one that you didn't see. It could also be that something had been building up without human notice between these dogs and the one saw his moment.
3. Obedience training has very little effect on dog-on-dog aggression. Once two dogs go at it, they are blind and deaf to all else anyway. Remedial social training by a specialized trainer is the only kind of training that matters. "All Positive" training (the bane of reality-based dog trainers everywhere) is even less useful.
4. A person should never be walking a dog so big they cannot fully control it despite good equipment. People end up in the hospital that way. Side note: a harness is just about the least effective thing to walk a dog with. I wouldn't walk any dog in a harness that wasn't perfectly okay OFF leash, unless it was small enough to grab and pick up easily. With a big dog, you'll become a human sled.
5. Pulling and aggression are two separate issues. The reason it is so hard to train a dog not to pull is that dogs LOVE to pull -- it is a self-rewarding behavior. You either have to provide a punishment worse than the pulling is enjoyable, or provide a pleasure that tops pulling, to get a confirmed puller to stop, if you are using a flat collar.
The only thing I can say about the aggression issue is to not jump to conclusions (poor breeding, crazy dog, poor training . . . ). If you don't know why it happened you need to get someone who is skilled at dog psychology to help you figure it out.
I have never seen an 'all-positive' dog trainer who didn't have incredibly ill-mannered dogs. I could tell you a million stories but it just gets me furious all over again. I can't believe anyone pays these people.
Short horse lover