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Old 04-11-2009, 07:05 PM
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jjsmommy jjsmommy is offline
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Default New here...in need of help!

I have an 11 year old black lab that I have raised since a puppy and in August we adoped a 3 year old German Shepherd from a couple we knew. My worst nightmare came true yesterday when the GS bite my son's friend. It has and continues to be a nightmare. He had never bitten before so this was unexpected. I could go on and on but to make a long story short I am very confused at the best way to get this dog help. The animal control officer handed him back to us the same night saying he wasn't an aggressive or dangerous dog so he saw no reason to hold him.

Instead of adjusting better to my family the dog seems to be getting more jeoulous of my son and other dog and will growl. I know he is telling everyone it is Mom and Me and everyone else stay away.

He has been going to a day care twice a week and they use a lot of Ceasar Milan's style. Especially putting him on his side and holding him down. The suggested I do this when he growls at my son, which I have. Once the dog gets up he seems better and will go over and lick my son's hand but I am now wondering if all this has made things in the long run worse. They also suggest a pinch collar.

A while before this we had him at basic training which uses the clicker and only positive bahavior. The teacher did not want me to use a pinch collar at all just a martingale harness.

I feel these are two completely different theories on training and am very frustrated. I plan on taking him to the vet asap. He does have a sore foot which may have caused him to snap at this boy.

I would love some advise at which way to turn. We can keep him away from other people but my main concern is my son. I can't take a chance that he will get bitten. But I just can't get rid of my furbaby without trying everything possible.
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Old 04-11-2009, 07:11 PM
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I dont know much about this.. But if i were you, i would find a GOOD behaviorist to work with your dog.. and i would NOT suggest cesar milan style.

i would also start NILIF (that stands for, nothing in life is free) its kind of like a training program/way of life. Nothing in Life is Free
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Old 04-11-2009, 07:19 PM
PoodleMommy PoodleMommy is offline
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I would ditto Frans advice and also suggest you find a new doggy daycare.

Forget the fact that I dont like Cesar Milans methods but I dont think a doggy daycare should be doing any form of training with a dog unless specifically authorized to do so.
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Old 04-11-2009, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoodleMommy View Post
I would ditto Frans advice and also suggest you find a new doggy daycare.

Forget the fact that I dont like Cesar Milans methods but I dont think a doggy daycare should be doing any form of training with a dog unless specifically authorized to do so.
thats very true. doggy daycare is NO PLACE for trainnng. tell them if there is a problem, to deal with it in a normal way. If 2 dogs are fighting, seperate them, and put them in another room alone to cool off for a while. simple, to the point. NO alpha rolling. especially because these people are NOT proffesionals
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Old 04-11-2009, 07:41 PM
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Vintage Boxers Vintage Boxers is offline
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I won't go into my liking cesar...

But for a dog daycare to USE techniques they have no understanding of, or to even do them without YOU BEING THERE is STUPID on their part.

My suggestion, go to the vet, and then find a behaviorist.

S
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Old 04-11-2009, 07:49 PM
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Can you be more specific about the situations in which he bites/snaps and growls, especially when he went for your son's friend. How serious was the bite (stitches, no broken skin but bruising etc.)I would immediately stop all Cesar Millan methods, they fail to address the reason behind the behavior forcing a dog to hold back his true emotions, show no sign of aggression until pushed to his breaking point where he will attack without warning (his warning have all been punished so no growling first, he'll skip right to the attack as so avoid the punishment for growling). They also run the risk of making him absolutely hate any situation that causes him to punished. If for instance he gets aggressive with strangers and is punished he will soon associate strangers with punishment and may get worse, he would certainly not learn to like or trust strangers.


it's hard to give advice unless we know the exact circumstances in which he gets aggressive. It would also help if you could tell us a bit about his body language while he is aggressive (pay attention to body posture, ear set, tail set and movement, vocalization, if he walks forward or back or stands his ground, if he is staring, glancing at the person and quickly looking away etc. anything you can remember).

I also suggest you post this in the training section as many members who are great at training might not say hello to the new members and could miss this thread.
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Old 04-11-2009, 07:58 PM
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I too agree with everyone and I do not think daycare should be doing this alpha rolling thing.I am curious to know how old your son's friend?

My Corgi is people dog and,she loves people and always find new people to go say hi and get nice pet on her. But when we had friends over,one of the little kids tried to catch/step on her paws and she snapped at him. First couple of time of paw touching were toleratable for her but when the kid tries to do zillions of times,she needed to warn the kid.
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Old 04-12-2009, 05:22 AM
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Thank you for all your replies. The boy is 8 and the bite was to the lip and it is bad. He will need plastic surgery although the area is very small. As the animal control officer said it was just a quick nip but because the dog is so big he can cause a lot of damage.
After examining my dog he has a very sore foot and this morning his nose is dry and warm. The control officer felt he had sore hips also. The dog was lying down when this started and we think when the boys approached him maybe one of them stepped on his foot or he was fearful enough that they might. It was just one quick nip and then he backed off.

In the house when he gets upset he will growl and the hair goes up and he starts to circle. In the past couple of weeks I have been putting him down as they suggested and it stops the behavior but now I know it only makes him more aggressive.

He now has an aversion to my son and will just circle around with his hair up when he sees him. Now that I have seen the light, it is obvious he relates my son to being punished. Another thing he has been doing for months is peeing when my husband gets up in the morning and comes home from work. We feel this started once he started daycare.

This has been a nightmare. I have been crying nonstop for 2 days now. I am so upset for the boy and his mom, I feel our friendship is over. I am so scared about keeping my dog but I don't want to tear my family apart either. My son loved that dog so much. Right now though he is terrified of him. I am trying to take one day at a time. The dog will go to the vet tomorrow for treatment and advice for me.

Thank you all!
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Old 04-12-2009, 06:22 AM
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Stop doing the Cesar Milan stuff and make sure the doggy daycare people don't do it either. They have no business handling your dog in that manner without permission anyway, and if they continue, find another daycare.

Get the dog vetted, physical pain is certainly going to make him more defensive, and find a good behaviorist who uses positive reinforcement.

Meanwhile, he needs to build up positive associations with your husband and son. Have your husband and son feed him, have your husband walk him and play with him.
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Old 04-12-2009, 06:49 AM
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I'm so sorry this is happening to you and your family. I can't imagine how upset you must be. You may be right about the negative association between your son and punishment. I too would find another daycare who does not think it is their job to "train" your dog. Now it is time for positive associations between do and son and some vet care/pain meds for the dog. From now on your son should not try and touch the dog but every time he approaches the dog he should toss a treat. He should come on walks with whoever walks the dog and should help with feeding the dog. Playing fetch and other non-physical (therefore cannot accidentally touch and hurt the dog) games is good too. Your son should always mean good things for the dog. How is he if he sees children out on a walk? Does he get nervous or is he okay?


As far as peeing when your husband comes home it's possible it's fear urination, it could be excitement as well. Does he roll over and pee or is he excited? Try and make sure your husband keeps interactions with the dog calm and gentle, he too should build up positive associations. It's possible a daycare person who often rolls your dog looks like your husband or sounds like him. When your husband comes home he should avoid looking at the dog, he needs to make himself nonthreatening.

You might consider having your son do some clicker training if he has decent timing. He can just teach her some fun commands and tricks that she'll enjoy, make sure it is nothing that hurts her hips or foot. The training should be light hearted and fun. He should use treats and the clicker to mark when she makes the right move and reward her for it. It is a great way to bond.

If she is very wary of your son you can use the clicker to mark, from a distance when you see it, any good behavior she has towards him. If she looks at him without getting worked up, if she calmly sniffs him or lies/sits near him etc. you can click and the give a treat (or even better have him toss the treat to her) so she feels even more confident about her decision to interact with him. You will need to first teach her what the click means, if you don't know how I'll teach you, just ask.


You can also make you interacting with your son and Lab a positive thing for the GSD. When you pay attention to one of them someone else should periodically toss treats to the shepherd and should stop when you stop interacting with son or lab. Or if you play with the Lab someone else should start up a game with the GSD. Again she should learn that them having your attention is not bad for her and she should learn to seek interaction from other family members so she is a little less possessive of you, you should try and step back a little in the feeding, walking, training etc. so that other members can have a chance at doing some of that and get to be seen in her eyes as someone to trust and a bringer of good things.

Good luck, I really hope things improve for you soon, please keep us updated on her progress.
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