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Old 02-14-2010, 04:31 PM
Blue one of Six Blue one of Six is offline
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Default Territorial & Dominance Aggression

We have a large fenced property in a rural area with 4 dogs and 2 inside dogs. Of the 4 outside dogs one is both Territorial and Dominance Aggressive. He is a mixed Golden & Retriever, very large and about 13 months old. He has been with us since we found him at about 5 weeks old and has always been around the other dogs on the property. He is the pack leader even though Boots our mix doberman/rottweiler (female spade) is more food aggressive but only with Blue and another male dog, Tux a Black Irish Setter mix. Blue demonstrates his dominance by putting his paws on all the dogs, Paws on any adult's shoulders if sitting down low or wraps around your legs. He is also constant barker when something happens outside our property like a car or neighbor walking or other dogs are outside.
The big problem is that another neighbor has 4 dogs, one a male (Kirky) a little older than Blue and of the exact same breed background. This neighbor is not here regularly so they are loose in the area and other neighbors feed them. They are good to have outside the gate as security and are all friendly to people and dogs other than Kirky and Blue who always try to fight through the gate. So I know the problem, I know to work with Blue on commands but most information I find says to work with the dog and his problem (dog) who is not always at the gate. And of course when he is I know from the barking which may not be at training time. Does anyone have good experience with solving this type of problem? Professional training is not an option as we are too far away from these services
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Old 02-14-2010, 05:34 PM
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I suggest that you post this in the training section, this part of the forum is actually for help with forum problems, not dog problems.
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Old 02-14-2010, 05:34 PM
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I'm sorry, what exactly is the problem? I have something about food guarding, pawing, barking, and fence fighting with the neighbor. Can you be a little more specific??

You might also want to post in the "Training" forum, you will get more help there as not many people read this particular forum.

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Old 02-16-2010, 11:54 AM
Blue one of Six Blue one of Six is offline
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Default Territorial and Domanance Agression

We have a large fenced property in a rural area with 4 dogs and 2 inside dogs. Of the 4 outside dogs one is both Territorial and Dominance Aggressive. He is a mixed Golden & Retriever, very large and about 13 months old. He has been with us since we found him at about 5 weeks old and has always been around the other dogs on the property. He is the pack leader even though Boots our mix doberman/rottweiler (female spade) is more food aggressive but only with Blue and another male dog, Tux a Black Irish Setter mix. Blue demonstrates his dominance by putting his paws on all the dogs, Paws on any adult's shoulders if sitting down low or wraps around your legs. He is also constant barker when something happens outside our property like a car or neighbor walking or other dogs are outside.
The big problem is that another neighbor has 4 dogs, one a male (Kirky) a little older than Blue and of the exact same breed background. This neighbor is not here regularly so they are loose in the area and other neighbors feed them. They are good to have outside the gate as security and are all friendly to people and dogs other than Kirky and Blue who always try to fight through the gate. So I know the problem, I know to work with Blue on commands but most information I find says to work with the dog and his problem (dog) who is not always at the gate. And of course when he is I know from the barking which may not be at training time. Does anyone have good experience with solving this type of problem? Professional training is not an option as we are too far away from these services
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Old 02-16-2010, 12:16 PM
Blue one of Six Blue one of Six is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizzybeth727 View Post
I'm sorry, what exactly is the problem? I have something about food guarding, pawing, barking, and fence fighting with the neighbor. Can you be a little more specific??

You might also want to post in the "Training" forum, you will get more help there as not many people read this particular forum.

Welcome to Chaz!
Thank you it's re-posted the thread. The problem is how to stop the dominance and aggression. And more specifically the fence fighting and barking. The dog is in good health, obviously gets a lot of exercise, and we recognize him over the other dogs as pack leader by letting him be first with food, or other things. In addition I spend time with him so he gets individual attention. Also he is in good health. During his fence fighting and barking we call him and he is distracted and will not come. So generally I go to the gate and take him back up to the house on a leash where I tie him and scold him. He seems to recognize that he should not do this as he sees me with the leash and cools down and although sometimes he pulls back but ususally walks up to house at my side. So he is not uncontrollable
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Old 02-16-2010, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue one of Six View Post
Thank you it's re-posted the thread. The problem is how to stop the dominance and aggression. And more specifically the fence fighting and barking. The dog is in good health, obviously gets a lot of exercise, and we recognize him over the other dogs as pack leader by letting him be first with food, or other things. In addition I spend time with him so he gets individual attention. Also he is in good health. During his fence fighting and barking we call him and he is distracted and will not come. So generally I go to the gate and take him back up to the house on a leash where I tie him and scold him. He seems to recognize that he should not do this as he sees me with the leash and cools down and although sometimes he pulls back but ususally walks up to house at my side. So he is not uncontrollable
Quote:
and we recognize him over the other dogs as pack leader by letting him be first with food, or other things.
So, what you're saying is that you reward his pushiness?


Quote:
During his fence fighting and barking we call him and he is distracted and will not come. (needs more practice with the recall in contexts where he will succeed) So generally I go to the gate and take him back up to the house on a leash where I tie him and scold him. So he comes to the house, like you wanted him to do in the first place when you called him, and then you punish him for coming. He seems to recognize that he should not do this as he sees me with the leash and cools down and although sometimes he pulls back but ususally walks up to house at my side.
He does not recognize that he should not do this. He is not human and does not share human values. He is a dog and this is normal dog behavior.

In addition, scolding him in association with the other dog will escalate the reactivity to the other dog. A desensatization program needs to be implemented to soften this behavior. But you can't expect a dog to not defend his territory. That's the way dogs are. You can pair the other dogs, cars and things with high value treats when he sees them from a great distance, where he's less likely to get so aroused and work very gradually so he can get closer. He could get so he sees dogs and thinks good things happen in their presence. But not if you scold him in their presence. That makes them look even worse.


From your other thread:

Quote:
He is the pack leader even though Boots our mix doberman/rottweiler (female spade) is more food aggressive
How do you know that he is the "pack" leader?

Do you find that food "aggression" is absnormal behavior? Do you mean he is worried and insecure about losing his food and defends it? Is this defensive or offensive behavior?

Quote:
Blue demonstrates his dominance by putting his paws on all the dogs, Paws on any adult's shoulders if sitting down low or wraps around your legs. He is also constant barker when something happens outside our property like a car or neighbor walking or other dogs are outside.
Why is putting paws on all the dogs or barking at something outside the property dominance? Is wrapping around your legs a dominant trait? Or an insecure one? Or something else? I'm just not quite perceiving a connection to dominance there. And wondering how you figured that out?

There are methods for tempering down manic barking. But it is normal for dogs to defend their territory from other dogs or cars or anything out of the ordinary that comes close. This is how dogs are. But you can teach them to not get too frantic by desensatization and making them feel more familiar with these "intruders." But I wouldn't expect the dog never to bark or show interest in "intruders." That's their "job."

As far as the other stuff, what do you do with your dog as far as obedience training? Is this dog always outside? How does he act in the house? (if he spends any time in the house) Are you outside with these outside dogs most of the time? Or are they on their own most of the day?

I see a need to look at your dog from another angle. I'm sure we can help you with more specifics on desensitizing him to a degree with the fence fighting, getting a more reliable recall and teaching him to stop barking on cue. But punishment is not included in the very best methods. IMO.
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Old 02-17-2010, 10:18 AM
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JPuckett1989 JPuckett1989 is offline
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I agree with doberluv. He doesn't know that barking at the other dog is a bad thing and knows to stop when he sees you with a leash. He sees the leash and stops because he knows he's about to be in trouble. Leash means trouble,bad,punishment, not barking at the dog. Once again,you give him the benefit of being the "pack leader" but then want to punish him for what you believe to be dominance behavior. You need to show all of them that you're the one in control not any of them if you're going to go this way.
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Old 02-18-2010, 12:43 AM
Blue one of Six Blue one of Six is offline
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Default Dominance

Doberlov, No we do not reward him for being pushy and by every article I've read he fits the description of pack leader. Further giving him recognition seems to be working somewhat as he has become more gentle since we started this.

As for the food aggression, he is not food aggressive, a little possessive my comments in my post "even though Boots our mix doberman/rottweiler (female spade) is more food aggressive" is a comment about Boots his sister.

You question "Why is putting paws on all the dogs...", and "Is wrapping around your legs a dominant trait?" Their are numerous articles about dominance clearly describing these actions as dominance and a statement of pack leadership.

Recognizing the dog's job is to bark, it is not normal or reasonably acceptable for the dog to stand on the entry gate and continually barking for an hour as another dog sits across the road. But you mention "desensatization and making them feel more familiar with these "intruders."". These intruders are dogs outside beyond our control and who fight with Blue given the opportunity. Under that condition how do you make them "feel more familiar with these intruders?
To further respond Blue is one of six dogs we have he is always outside.
JPuckett, when he is excited like this he will not come to the house and the only way I've found was to go with the leash and walk him up to the house and let him know that this is unacceptable. What do you suggest I do?
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Old 02-18-2010, 04:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue one of Six View Post
Doberlov, No we do not reward him for being pushy and by every article I've read he fits the description of pack leader. Further giving him recognition seems to be working somewhat as he has become more gentle since we started this.
What articles have you read?

Why don't YOU want to be the "pack leader"? Why don't YOU want your dogs to trust YOU enough to feel comfortable in the presence of the other dogs and resources like food. And to obey YOU, not one another. I don't favor either of my dogs with anything... they know that they have to wait, be polite, and eat only from their own bowls. I do not want them to feel that food is something that they need to compete for; that results in big issues!

Quote:
You question "Why is putting paws on all the dogs...", and "Is wrapping around your legs a dominant trait?" Their are numerous articles about dominance clearly describing these actions as dominance and a statement of pack leadership.
He is still a puppy! He's barely a year old! Dogs are not even socially mature until they're 2 years old... much less a pack leader. He's a pushy, obnoxious adolescent dog - like many adolescent dogs. Especially of his breed. Labs and Goldens are very slow to mature, especially if you don't teach them manners and give them boundaries instead of dismissing their rudeness as dominance.

Quote:
Recognizing the dog's job is to bark, it is not normal or reasonably acceptable for the dog to stand on the entry gate and continually barking for an hour as another dog sits across the road. But you mention "desensatization and making them feel more familiar with these "intruders."". These intruders are dogs outside beyond our control and who fight with Blue given the opportunity. Under that condition how do you make them "feel more familiar with these intruders?
Yes. You can make a dog feel comfortable under just about any condition, with proper desensitizing and classical counter conditioning. You might have to start the training from a very far distance and very slowly inch closer. You might have to keep your dog contained/away from the stimulus until your training is complete. But if you really want to solve this issue, the core of the issue which is your dog's reactivity, it's going to take time. However, positive training is something that changes your dogs emotions and behaviors, and it's something that lasts through out their life. It doesn't require you to be abusive or forceful, and constantly supress the behaviors, like punishment training. I highly recommend the book Click to Calm, it can really help to cure a reactive dog, if you're down for the training!

Quote:
To further respond Blue is one of six dogs we have he is always outside.
JPuckett, when he is excited like this he will not come to the house and the only way I've found was to go with the leash and walk him up to the house and let him know that this is unacceptable. What do you suggest I do?
Why is Blue outside only... just curious? It's much easier to train our dogs to do what we want them to do when we're present and able to control the situations they're in.

You can remove him from the situation without scolding him... you SHOULD remove him from the situation, but scolding him is only heightening the negative associations. Remove him emotionlessly from the situation (or distract him with a verbal scolding, like a "shh" or an "ah-ah"), then walking him to a distance where you can work with him, give him lots of treats & praise for watching you and for looking at the other dog without reacting, and rewarding him heavily for coming to you in the presence of the other dog, is a much more effective way of managing the behavior.

You will find that many of us on Chaz don't believe in "dominance theory", where every behavioral problem seems to be a result of dominance. Dogs do what rewards them the most, period. If being pushy is tolerated and rewarded, that's what they do. If barking and fence fighting is more rewarding than coming to you, that's what they do.
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Old 02-18-2010, 09:47 AM
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I posted this on the other thread you posted in. Did you read any of it?

http://www.chazhound.com/forums/t16165-3/

In my opinion, (and that of a lot of behaviorists) domestic dogs and the idea of a rigid ranking system, a hierarchy... does not go together. Many people who study dogs see that they are more of a scavanger and not a true pack animal. Familial and social, yes. Operating as a pack animal...primarily a hunter, no. Domestic dogs do not have the organization or rigidity or consistence that a linear hierarchy does.

Dominance is very over-romantized and misinterrepted by people. Humans make all kinds of assumptions and skip over all kinds of logic to find an answer for their dog's behavior. And the answer is so often, automatically related to.....hierarchy and pack theory. Science states that the simplist answers should be sought first. Using dominance as a panacea for every behavior we don't understand or don't like, is jumping leaps of logic.

The articles that you read are outdated and old school. Newer scienctific research and better studies debunk dominance theory and pack behavior as being a significant factor in our lives with domestic dogs. I never think of my dogs in terms of rank. It never comes up. And I don't have a lick of trouble with them and haven't for 50 years. LOL. I've had dog breeds that people label "dominant breeds." Working dogs that have forward personality types. "Type A." LOL. I never had one try to stage a palace coupe. They're nothing but juvenile equivilents to wolf pups. (neotenic) Wolf pups don't try to take over their family. Why on earth would they? It's easier to have a mom and dad bring you food. Why would a domestic dog want to be the one to go shopping and buy dog food? It's so easy for them to have their person do it and bring it to them. A "pack leader" has many responsibilities. Neotenic animals don't tend to be driven to do adult things like run for president. They can, however become "spoiled brats" who, like any adolescent learns how to misbehave. It doesn't mean they're trying to be the "pack leader" with all those responsibilites like hunting, breeding, raising young. Wolf pack leaders are merely the mom and dad. Like any species, mom and dad organize certain things in the family. Pack leaders in wolves are not violent or harsh. (or they're ousted from the family) They don't even care about most things that the others do, not nearly as involved as many mistakenly think. They don't get into a frenzy about things. They're not overly domineering. Think Clint Eastwood...He doesn't have to do anything, but walk around looking cool. And he is respected. (especially in the westerns)

You posted with concerns about behavior in your dog. You're having some problems with your dog. You've been reading these articles touting dominance and pack theory as the place to look for answers. Yet, you are continuing to have problems. That's why you posted, right?

I don't think the way you do about dogs and hierarchy. I treat my dogs as though they're my kids and I'm the one who steers them in the way I want them to behave. I do this by means of positive reinforcment training. (for the most part) I reinforce behaviors I like, prevent those I do not, I use counter conditioning and desensatization for dogs that have "issues" with up close and personal. I train other people and their dogs with similar problems and worse. This is what I do. I don't talk about hierarchy or pack theory. I talk about how to fix the problem. And as it was mentioned in the above post, the book, Click To Calm would be a great way to get started. It will give you a step by step method that is effective and what most behaviorists would use....or something along those lines. In fact, this afternoon I have a consult appointment with a dog that gets into a frenzy at the door when someone comes to visit. He is practically biting the woodwork around the door and clawing, barking frantically. I'm worried that if this continues, he may re-direct onto his owner who is trying to pull him back. While barking at intruders is normal behavior, this over-the-top frenzy can be tempered down. The dog is going to learn to give a few barks and go to his "safe place." He is going to learn that the cue to go to his very rewardable safe place IS the knock on the door. He's going to learn to calm down and that good things happen when his owners handle the situation and he doesn't have to.
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Last edited by Doberluv; 02-18-2010 at 10:14 AM.
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