I couldn’t take Rover to classes because 1. he couldn’t do group classes obviously because he was aggressive toward other dogs and 2. private training was too expensive for me at the time because I got him when I was 21 and in my senior year of college.
When I got Rover, the shelter didn’t warn me that he was aggressive toward other animals, very protective of food/toys, and showed obvious signs of anxiety and past abuse. They sort of just handed over the keys and let me go for it - which I think is a really terrible thing for a shelter to do, obviously. I got him home and was at a total loss for what to do when he tore apart the house every time I left, had accidents when I left, and pulled me down the street trying to get to another dog to attack it any time we saw one. When I was home, he was a timid but loving guy. He would listen really well but needed a lot of space of his own. I could tell he wanted to please me. But if anyone approached him too quickly, startled him, raised their voice near him, came near him with a sticklike object (like a broom), if a man/taller person cowered over him, or if he was left home alone for any length of time, he quickly turned into a frantic and unpredictable mess. Basically I had to start from scratch with him in terms of building up his self-confidence - all while working on my senior thesis in school. It was not easy.
Here’s what I did. Novel below.