Dog Site - Dog Stuff
Dog Forum | Dog Pictures

Go Back   Chazhound Dog Forum > Dog Discussions and Dog Talk Forums > Dog Training Forum


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-28-2010, 09:24 AM
Lilavati's Avatar
Lilavati Lilavati is offline
Arbitrary and Capricious
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Alexandria, VA
Posts: 7,643
Unhappy Docket's problem

I've not posted on this because well, its sort of embarassing, and because we felt it was under control, but I am beginning to feel at a loss.

First, Docket's birthday was Friday. He's two. Happy birthday, Corgi-boy.

On a less cheerful note, Docket has developed some serious DA problems. I'm going to describe the sequence of events and what we have done/been told.

When we got him, he had never seen a dog that wasn't a corgi, and at first reacted fearfully to Sarama. BUt within a day, he was playing with dogs of all descriptions. He didn't have the world's best social skills, but he clearly wanted to play and had no trouble finding playmates at the dog park. He was like that until early last summer.

He had begun to develop at taht point, a habit of lunging for other dog's ears. It appeared to be play, but the other dogs, understandably, did not appreciate it. Then, some time in June, he went nuts at a black goldendoodle who had in no way threatened him, barking and snarling.

The next week, at agility, he did the same with another large black dog. From then one, dogs that were larger than he received barks, snarls, yanking at the leash, growls and air snaps. After a particulary unpleasant encounter with a few standard poodles, I took him to a trainer I knew who specialized in agressive dogs. She said that we had spoiled him, and that he was resource guarding me. THat seemed plausible. Sarama used to pick on him, and we would let him hide behind us, even climb up next to us to get away from her. He was permitted (as was she) to curl up on the bed. So we went through the program the trainer recommended. His behavior at home (which was being bratty, mostly to Sarama, who when then clobber him) improved. His behavior in public also improved as I made a real effort to be the leader and convince him that I didn't need protecting . . . but it only improved so much. I moments inattention from him and I had a vicious landshark at the end of the leash. But by and large the problem seemed under control. He was even politely saying hi to other dogs that were not huge and black.

In the winter, both Sarama and Docket were enrolled in agility. I was handling Sarama in agility II (which we take over and over because III is at a time I can't make) and Mike had Docket in Agility I. After about three weeks, I took over Docket in I. He was throwing terrible scenes, and seemed to have decided that two big white curly dogs (a poodle and a labradoodle) where unholy, and would actually try to get loose and attack them. The agilty traininer, when asked, told me to take over Docket's class because Mike was getting very upset, embarassed, and angry.
Once I took over, Docket's behavior improved, but only in the sense that I could handle him when he acted like that and see it coming, which Mike could not. Notably, Docket has no good reason to resource guard Mike . . I was the one who spoiled him, Mike actually didn't like him that much and paid attantion to Sarama.

Docket has made progress with me handling him at agiliy. THe agility trainer has had a dog that has similiar problems and is wiling to work with us (she also teachs obediance and rally). She thinks that Docket, for whatever reason, has developed a fear of larger dogs, and that it has spread to most dogs he doesn't know. With strong leadership, I can convince him that there is nothing to worry about, and he will eventually get to the point that he, if not friendly, will not be a menace. However, Docket has bitten me (not drawing blood) during several of his psycho barking and snapping episodes, and although I don't intend to get rid of him, it is getting old. He has also snapped at Mike. But outside of these fits, he has never shown aggression to a person. He is also very submissive when he is not going after another dog.

There is another twist. I took him down to the farm over Christmas. I warned my family that he was not good with other dogs, but my aunt (who is a dog trainer) suggested we put him out in the yard with Ticker, a border collie about Docket's age. Docket had reacted badly to BCs before, but we gave it a try. Not only was there no violence, Docket was delighted! They played together for the next three days. When another corgi and BC got out in the yard, he played with them too. No problems whatsoever. Indeed, when Ticker was removed to go to an event, Docket cried, and cried and cried for his friend. And he did not become protective of me when I would go out there. Note, he was off leash the entire time.

We are taking Docket to the corgi club meeting today (it is cool enough we can leave him in the car if he goes nuts) I have my fingers crossed.

But what on earth is going on? And how do I fix it? I don't think its mostly resource guarding . . . I think he is genuinely afraid . . . he may also be trying to protect me, and herd me away, but I think he is more scared than aggressive. Our agility instructor thinks that being on leash makes him feel helpless, but we can't take him off during class, its just too dangerous. If I keep Docket focused on me, with a handful of treats, I can get him quite close to dogs he was threatening before.

Ideas?
__________________
I'm a lawyer, but I'm not YOUR lawyer. Nothing I say should be taken as legal advice.

The Court's extensive review of these pages serves as a useful reminder that loaded guns, sharp objects and law degrees should be kept out of the reach of children.

-- United States Magistrate Judge Paul Cleary




Laughing Shadows Bead & Design: http://www.laughingshadows.com
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 03-28-2010, 10:23 AM
lizzybeth727's Avatar
lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
Top Dog
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 6,403
Default

So the only times he's shown these behaviors is when he's on leash?

When he bit you, how bad was the bite - didn't break the skin, broke the skin, required stiches, etc. - and where did he bite you?

Are you still seeing the trainer who specializes in aggression?
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-28-2010, 11:14 AM
corgipower's Avatar
corgipower corgipower is offline
Tweleve Enthusiest
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: here
Posts: 8,233
Default

In addition to Lizzy's questions, have you had him vetted? Especially to check for any indication of back pain?
__________________
The slayer of all things happy since 2010
Kibble feeder since 1973

Extreme owner of four herding dogs

puzzles, poetry and so much more ~ Doggy Puzzles created by me
sleep!!!
My dog Votes!
proud member of the MUMS 2009 7th place team CISRA 2009 1st place team SUMS 2009 2nd place team
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-28-2010, 11:29 AM
Maxy24's Avatar
Maxy24 Maxy24 is online now
Top Dog
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 7,734
Default

It doesn't sound like he's guarding you, you didn't say the dogs were coming towards you at all or that you were paying attention to them.
Sounds like fear, many dogs are more fearful on leash because they know they are restricted. if the other dog decided to get aggressive he would have no where to run, so he decides to keep the other dogs away with a big display instead of risking interacting with a possibly aggressive dog when he's stuck on a leash.
I suggest the "look at that game" which basically involves teaching the dog to look at his trigger (in this case another dog) then back up at you for a treat.
You start by taking the dog a comfortable distance from the dog, far enough that the dog is pretty calm and can see the other dog but not close enough that he fixates on the other dog or starts throwing a fit. When Docket looks at the other dog click (of course he'll have to know what that is first) and then give a treat. Repeat many, many times. As long as you are not too close your click should break his looking at the other dog, he'll look at you because a treat should be coming now that you've clicked.
Eventually the hope is that he'll look at the other dog and then quickly back at you even before you click (because he knows it's coming). So then you'll be clicking after his eyes return to you. basically you are teaching him to ignore other dogs by rewarding him for paying attention to them lol.

slowly you move closer to the other dogs while you continue to reward for glancing at them. practice heeling, sitting, lying down, etc. and still reward for glances.



Now say he is playing with a dog off leash, then you put him back on leash, will he suddenly become aggressive towards that dog he was fine with before?
If he is on a long leash does he still react?
If you walk with him on leash behind another dog who is simply walking straight ahead not looking at him does he still react?

If he is fine walking behind dogs it might be a good way to break the ice, let him follow a calm dog, get in close and butt sniff (important the other owner knows their dog is tolerant and will not allow their dog to turn around) and then stop, ask for a sit as the other dog moves on and reward Docket for the kind greeting with food. If he is always fine off leash you could also then allow him to play off leash with the dog. You must be careful with this though as if you are not reading him well the dogs could get hurt. probably best to do this with a trainer.

I also suggest the books:
Control Unleashed by Leslie McDevitt
Click to Calm by Emma Parsons
__________________
~Erin~



Thank you ~Dixie's Mom~ for my awesome siggy!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-28-2010, 01:42 PM
Lilavati's Avatar
Lilavati Lilavati is offline
Arbitrary and Capricious
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Alexandria, VA
Posts: 7,643
Default

Docket's behavior was above reproach at the corgi meeting. He was a perfect gentleman the entire time. So whatever his trigger is, it is not other corgis (but he has gone off at a Jack Russel). In fact, one other corgi growled at him and all he did was softly growl back, and another snapped at him and all he did was give a warning growl and back off. He behaved perfectly (at least for a congregation of corgis)

To answer questions, the aggression specialist moved to another state. Because his beahvior has improved somewhat, we have not sought another one out yet; I'm a little leary of trainers that I don't know from a more ordinary context (I knew the aggression trainer because she also taught Sarama's CGC class, so I knew she was good and stable).

He has never drawn blood with his bites, unless a scrape counts. He has left bruises. He usually snaps at my legs, which are right at his level. He got me on the arm yesterday, but that was because I swooped down and grabbed him before he could maul a JRT that had gotten loose and was heading right for him and that he was about the maul. I basically grabbed Docket and tossed him onto the A-Frame, so I don't really blame him for that nip. But none of the bites are serious in the sense that they where puncture wounds or required stitches.

He saw a vet recently for a basic check up. We didn't discuss the behavior issue, but he checked out fine. He gives no sign of being in pain and is extremely active, and roughhouses with Sarama.

I did not notice that he became aggresive with the dogs down at the farm when I put him back on leash, but he has a good recall and is usually off leash down there.

Yes, he reacts on a long leash, although the only place we have tried that is at agility. I'm wondering if the location hypes him up and makes him more nervous.

No, he generally does not seem to react to other dog's hind ends. THe other dog looking at him or moving towards him (even if friendly) seems to be a factor. I can't say he's never reacted at a rear end, but it doesn't happen often. He has gone after (as in tried to cross a field) to get at a dog he had previously triggered on, but that seems to be a specific dog. He really, really, really hates that white labradoodle.

Maxy, I have been doing essentially what you describe at the advice of both trainers, and it seems to be responsible for his improvement . . . I know this takes patience. But I wish I really understood WHY he does it . . . and what is really setting him off. THe worst part of it is that it is unpredicatble. He doesn't always do it, so I can't just assume it will happen and cope . . . and yet it happens enough (reliably at agility) that I can't consider it a rare event. But it can't just be agility, because it has happened elsewhere.
__________________
I'm a lawyer, but I'm not YOUR lawyer. Nothing I say should be taken as legal advice.

The Court's extensive review of these pages serves as a useful reminder that loaded guns, sharp objects and law degrees should be kept out of the reach of children.

-- United States Magistrate Judge Paul Cleary




Laughing Shadows Bead & Design: http://www.laughingshadows.com
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-28-2010, 03:11 PM
Criosphynx Criosphynx is offline
Top Dog
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,242
Default

Forgive me....you say "through leadership he improved" can you explain what you mean by this? How did you lead him? I guess what iam asking is for the specific protocol the trainer instructed you to use to fix this.



sounds like me that he has cumulative triggers...like dogs are fine, but several dogs might not be....or a dog is fine on a good day, but not on a bad day...if that makes sense.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-28-2010, 04:17 PM
Lilavati's Avatar
Lilavati Lilavati is offline
Arbitrary and Capricious
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Alexandria, VA
Posts: 7,643
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Criosphynx View Post
Forgive me....you say "through leadership he improved" can you explain what you mean by this? How did you lead him? I guess what iam asking is for the specific protocol the trainer instructed you to use to fix this.



sounds like me that he has cumulative triggers...like dogs are fine, but several dogs might not be....or a dog is fine on a good day, but not on a bad day...if that makes sense.

The trainers stated that I could not be apprehensive of how he would behave, or at least, I could not show it. I was to at all times to be calm, collected, firm, and in charge. Basically, no matter what HE did, I needed to be calm, reasonable, and (of course) ready to act to prevent disaster. If he did get worked up, I was to calmly, firmly, remove him from the scene. If he started to get worked up, I was to get his attention and have him focus on me.

The aggression trainer also added that he was to lose all of his priveleges in the house, and bascially get broken down to "bratty puppy", so that I could restablish that all good things come from me, and he must obey me to receive them.

This is mostly common sense, but when your perfectly normal dog has rather suddenly started lunging at dogs many times his size with the full intent (appearently) to do them harm, it takes some reminding.

Yes, I think it might be culmalative. He clearly hates poodles and dogs like poodles (I don't know why, I love poodles) but other dogs it seems to be a progression of things. He also seems to lose all sense of what other dogs are telling him. He will repeatedly threaten a flat-coat we know who so obviously wants to play that it is almost sad.

I should note that he went off at the Jack at agility, not at the corgi meeting. At the corgi meeting he was placid the entire time.
__________________
I'm a lawyer, but I'm not YOUR lawyer. Nothing I say should be taken as legal advice.

The Court's extensive review of these pages serves as a useful reminder that loaded guns, sharp objects and law degrees should be kept out of the reach of children.

-- United States Magistrate Judge Paul Cleary




Laughing Shadows Bead & Design: http://www.laughingshadows.com
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-28-2010, 04:39 PM
Criosphynx Criosphynx is offline
Top Dog
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,242
Default

thanks for the clarification I'd say all those things are a good start.

so is he being rewarded at all for good behavior? Lets say a poodle walls by at a distance and he doesn't react, does he get treats?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-28-2010, 04:40 PM
Lilavati's Avatar
Lilavati Lilavati is offline
Arbitrary and Capricious
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Alexandria, VA
Posts: 7,643
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Criosphynx View Post
thanks for the clarification I'd say all those things are a good start.

so is he being rewarded at all for good behavior? Lets say a poodle walls by at a distance and he doesn't react, does he get treats?

As many treats and as much praise as he can stand.
__________________
I'm a lawyer, but I'm not YOUR lawyer. Nothing I say should be taken as legal advice.

The Court's extensive review of these pages serves as a useful reminder that loaded guns, sharp objects and law degrees should be kept out of the reach of children.

-- United States Magistrate Judge Paul Cleary




Laughing Shadows Bead & Design: http://www.laughingshadows.com
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-28-2010, 04:47 PM
Criosphynx Criosphynx is offline
Top Dog
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,242
Default

hmm....does he have these outburst often? Every time they happen its very reinforcing to the dog. My thought is that perhaps hes having them often enough to just keep you in the place you are.

it he being rewarded for focusing on you, for looking at the dog and not reacting or both?

the only other nugget I can think of that hasn't been covered (if I missed it sorry!) is turning the other dog into a training prop...teaching him to target other dogs and then return to you for a treat.

I did basically the same protol as maxy outlined and it took about a YEAR to see predictable results...maybe just more time?
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:26 AM.


1997-2013 Chazhound Dog Site