Okay, here's my dilemma. I have posted here before regarding a new adopted Jack Russell that is about a year old now. We have been spending a great deal of time on the training part like sit, fetch, etc. But we're still having some problems with a grumpy dog in the evening and when he is tired.

This dog was previously mistreated. ( I hesitate to say abused because I don't think there was a lot of hitting but the dog was put in a kennel as punishment).
The major difficulty now is that when we return from a walk or from swimming and we reach down to remove his harness, the dog goes bananas growling and snapping. He even nipped me last night and broke skin. We have NEVER raised a hand to this dog. We have used the "flip over on back" method and try to "alpha"betize ourselves but that doesn't seem to be effecting any change. We have tried different methods of removing the harness like getting on the floor, calling him up on a chair so he's at our level, distracting him with toys, etc. But when it comes to removing that harness or collar, he gets stupid.
Any help or advice would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.

-Bill
The major difficulty now is that when we return from a walk or from swimming and we reach down to ... to removing that harness or collar, he gets stupid. Any help or advice would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.

Go to a competent in person trainer. You will make progress MCUH faster with in person help. And stop flipping your dog over - it obviously hasn't helped and it doesn't do what you think it does. Unless your dog accepts it (and obviously he hasn't) then all it does is cement a conflict between you. Submission has to be GRANTED or it does not exist. You cannot force it. You can, by getting in person aid in how to communicate with your dog, learn how to get your dog's willing cooperation.

Diane Blackman
http://dog-play.com /
http://dogplay.com/Shop /
Have you taken the dog into the vets for an evaluation?

I don't think the dog is stupid I think he's trying to tell you something and you are missing the message. To me this is a sign the dog is in pain from the walking or the harness it self and he is and responding the only way he knows how to when you try to remove harness. I had Barney for almost
12 years and the ONLY time he ever responded this way to me or anyone elsewas when he was in pain from his arthritis. Even a young dog can have arthritis or something with it's spine that could be causing pain. Just because you don't see physical signs of limping doesn't mean there isn't something wrong. Dogs can be very good at hiding pain till it gets extreme and then they get nasty.
Celeste
We have NEVER
raised a hand to this dog. We have used the "flip over on back" method

These two sentences are contradictory.
I know your intentions were good, but as Diane said I think it would be best to seek in-person help from someone who does not use physical methods of training that focus on "dominance."

Melanie Lee Chang > Form ever follows function. Departments of Anthropology and Biology >
University of Pennsylvania > Louis Sullivan (Email Removed) >
Have you taken the dog into the vets for an evaluation?

Yep. He's in perfect health.
: We have NEVER : raised a hand to this dog. We have used the "flip over on back" method These two sentences are contradictory.

Interesting. I never thought of it that way.At the suggestion of a trainer that we will be seeing on Saturday, we have begun with other methods of alpha-betizing ourselves such as walking with a focus on keeping the dog behind or beside us. We change paces so he recognizes that we are in control. This seems to be working great for the last few days. We have put all his toys away and only let him have a few at a time. After a walk today, I was playing a bit with him.

When I laid on the floor, he approached me with ease and layed down next to me. So I tried something that I was told years ago and I put my chin over his head while gently stroking his chest which he had opened up for me. He immediately got that gaze in his eyes and seemed content with the situation. I only did it for about 5-10 seconds so as not to agitate him.
I know your intentions were good, but as Diane said I think it would be best to seek in-person help from someone who does not use physical methods of training that focus on "dominance."

See above.
What I find strange about the behavior is that it occurs predominantly in the evenings and particularly when we make an attempt to release him from his lead and his collar after exercising. I'm hoping the general aspect of conditioning ourselves as the alphas will cure this.

Thanks for the replies and I will keep y'all posted.

-Bill
: We have NEVER : raised a hand to this dog. We have used the "flip over on back" method These two sentences are contradictory.

Interesting. I never thought of it that way.At the suggestion of a trainer that we will be seeing on Saturday, we have begun with other methods of alpha-betizing ourselves such as walking with a focus on keeping the dog behind or beside us. We change paces so he recognizes that we are in control. This seems to be working great for the last few days. We have put all his toys away and only let him have a few at a time. After a walk today, I was playing a bit with him.

When I laid on the floor, he approached me with ease and layed down next to me. So I tried something that I was told years ago and I put my chin over his head while gently stroking his chest which he had opened up for me. He immediately got that gaze in his eyes and seemed content with the situation. I only did it for about 5-10 seconds so as not to agitate him.
I know your intentions were good, but as Diane said I think it would be best to seek in-person help from someone who does not use physical methods of training that focus on "dominance."

See above.
What I find strange about the behavior is that it occurs predominantly in the evenings and particularly when we make an attempt to release him from his lead and his collar after exercising. I'm hoping the general aspect of conditioning ourselves as the alphas will cure this.

Thanks for the replies and I will keep y'all posted.

-Bill
UPDATE!!So we saw the pro yesterday and WOW, I think I traded my dog in on another one. After spending about 10 minutes with Rex (appropriately named), he began to understand that he wasn't the boss anymore. It took a bit with the choke collar but it wasn't at all what I had anticipated. The trainer told us that it wouldn't be pretty and I was prepared for a whole lot of kicking, screaming, etc. After just a few corrections with the choke collar, Rex was putty in our hands.

We took him for a good long walk when we got home and he was just a charm. He was really pooped when we got home so we let him chill for a few hours. When he awoke from his nap we fed him and then it was out for another walk. Again he was fantastic. When we got home, I started fussing with his collar (which just a few hours earlier really set him off). I was forced to give him a few corrections and then he was fine. I could tell he was a bit shell-shocked so I didn't press the matter.

Just let him rest as he had a busy day and his life was changing.

Today he's like a new dog. It's odd that in the few months we have been walking him around our new neighborhood, nobody has noticed him. Last night and today he found several new friends who all remarked on how well behaved he was. I couldn't help but laugh.
We have another appointment Tuesday with the trainer for some followup but I'm confident he won't need much help.
Soon we're starting on some extensive training for him including the agility course and perhaps some search and rescue kind of stuff. I don't want him to be a working dog but would like to give him a mission.

Thanks y'all for suggesting the pro trainer. This dog is just a treat now.

-Bill