I have never heard of Don Sullivan, but I watch Cesar Millan every Friday, and although I've heard negative comments about him, I personally think he really good with dogs, and understands them perfectly. It doesn't take him long to achieve what the owners want him to.
He is good, but this guy is called the Dog father and he has great reviews.
The one sentence that speaks volumes is that you "love them very much." My guess is that you show affection the majority of the time hoping to be rewarded by the behavior you want to see. Dogs aren't wired like that. Sure, they love affection, but they respond to leadership from their Pack Leader.
A strong pack leader isn't mean, abusive, angry or impatient, but rather firm, patient and calm. You may have had a teacher at one point in your life who could control an entire classroom with a mere look. That's the kind of communication dogs understand.
I think you need some one-on-one assistance with a veterinary behaviorist. A behaviorist is a totally different animal than an obedience trainer. You'll learn how to recognize your dog's body language so you can effectively communicate to him what you want him to do. That will make you a pack leader that your dogs respect. Right now, they're running you and your household because there is a leadership vacuum. Any dog, no matter how submissive will step up to the plate if there's no leadership. If you have a dog who is naturally fearful and sees no pack leader in sight, then fear aggression and other neurotic behavior is sure to come out. Dog's who are natural followers and are forced into a leadership role get very stressed. They keenly feel the responsibility of taking care of their pack members - whether it's other dogs, humans, or both. Imagine some activity that you're thoroughly afraid to do - skydiving, mountain climbing, whatever - and then imagine yourself doing that activity every day of your life for the rest of your life. That's the kind of stress a dog can undergo when his personality isn't suited to leadership.
I learned a lot about that from my own mistakes with one of my dogs. God bless her, that crazy dog taught me so much! Had we not had so much trouble with her neurotic behavior, we never would have learned anything. Once we learned how to be a pack leader (among other things) she turned into a calm, submissive and very fun dog who was trusted around anyone who visited.
You can turn around your relationship with your dogs, but you need the right tools to accomplish it. If you aren't making any progress with books and DVDs, then you really need to consider hiring a professional. Once you learn leadership skills, they can be applied to any dog you own or come into contact with for the rest of your life. It's an investment in yourself more than your dogs.
This 'pack leader ' thing really has rewards too. It is a fact that once you get the right frame of mind, and thinking patterns going, it will soon take no more than a word, or a gesture, or a whistle, or whatever, for your dog to be a very good dog.
And in my experience, dogs generally find those skills attractive! The more I learned -the more any dog I met, any size, most temperaments....would end up wagging at me, and come and sit with their backs against my legs (I interpret that as a sign of trust) after a very short time of knowing me. And that eternally brings me joy.
They do sense your leadership. It doesn't have to be hammered home. But it does have to be worked on, with full awareness, every day. And dogs are fast learners.
Thank you, for all those tips, it is mostly the one Dog who suffered a lot of pain with IBD, and is very nervous, he had a bad year but is in remission with low dose steroid. I wish the Doc had tried this right away instead of infusions etc.
I will follow all your tips above. Just now he went to run for the fence and i got him to sit and wen over and bought him back, he cowers if he thinks i am angry , but i never hit him or hurt him, but it is because i think of experience, but neurotic is a good word to describe.
I will keep working at it . thank you