Hi! I need some advice. I adopted a 3 year old Germ Shep/Beauceron mix almost a year ago from a family leaving the area. (just my 7 year old son and I in the house) In many ways she's been crazy good (in my opinion) - she doesn't dig up the yard, chew up furniture, is fully house trained, is loving to come lay down by either of us and be pet and loved on... However, we have had some issues with her being VERY stubborn to the point of absolutely refusing to go outside when told, leave a room, sit, pretty much anything... unless she is given a treat. I completely understand and have read up on rewarding to train good behavior. Yet, I have so many friends who have dogs in the home and their dogs were trained this way - but also, at this age, know now to actually obey even without a treat. I guess I personally have an issue that she will absolutely not obey unless she is "bribed" with a treat. I've been consistent for just short of a year now. I literally will have to put on her leash and drag her out the door...
Sorry for the long intro, now the issue: there have been several times when my son has been playing in the backyard and she has chased and nipped at him. A trainer told me at her age and not knowing a whole lot of any prior training (it was a nice home - just no kids - only adults) it is probably best to simply not let her out back when my son is running and playing to avoid this behavior. Ok - so I've done that. Today we were taking her for a walk (it is ALWAYS an issue when we encounter another dog or cat - she goes insane on her leash - which includes a pinch collar and at 46 pounds she is very difficult to hold back; she really goes nuts). A cat was one house in front of us and she saw it and started to bark, twist, pull, yank, etc. I kept hold of the leash and tried to continue walking past with her when she bit me on the thigh and my 7 year old who was right near me on the calf. We both had jeans on and she didn't break through the pants/skin, but we both have large bruises/bite marks on our legs now. I am really unsure what to do. My 7 year old is now scared of her, I'm just pretty mad and my first priority, as a mom, is to keep my child safe.
I am not one to just go give a dog away because of an instance of poor behavior, but I'm also not on the boat of potentially having my child and myself bitten again. She is absolutely horrible on walks if we encounter ANY other animal (there are many in my neighborhood - always people out walking their pet) - she acts like a rabid beast. There was one other instance when we stopped (while on a walk with her) to talk to a neighbor and when my son went to pet their dog (a sweet collie) our dog, Gypsy, bit my son on the arm. That time it more grabbed his shirt and he didn't get injured. Help!!!! Again, sorry this is so long... I am just so unsure what to do... The trainer also did say that some breeds are "mouthy" and, if not trained at a young age, can become extremely difficult to break the habit.
Just as an extra note: the issue with going nuts on her leash is an ALWAYS event. When we are going for a walk, if she sees a dog or cat even a block and a half away she will begin the twisting, growling, barking, straining, etc - literally to the point where I can barely hold onto her leash until the other animal is completely out of her view.