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Old 10-19-2005, 09:23 AM
Fran27 Fran27 is offline
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Default He did it again :(

Last night we bought a new toy for Boris, the kind of fire hose toy Gempress advised from petco. I gave it to Boris when we got home, and he started getting really overprotecting of it... My husband was petting him while he had the toy in his paws, and he started growling, he said 'no', Boris calmed down for a while but started growling again. After a bit he started growling really hard, and when my husband told him 'no' again, he started trying to bite him. So my husband dragged him in his crate for a time off.

10 minutes later, he stole a shirt from the bedroom... Same thing, except this time he got even worse, trashing and trying to bite him, and he ended up in the crate again...

I'm at a loss what to do. 'drop it' works fine, as long as we have a treat. We will be able to trade anything for a treat he loves without too much problem, as long as we're smart about it and get his attention off the thing he stole for enough time to grab it. But it's not acceptable to see him growl and try to bite. We won't always have something to trade, and my future kids certainly won't... He growls a bit at Tips but that's about it, he doesn't mind sharing with him.

The last two times I posted about the problem, you told me to do more training. The thing is, we do NILIF, he knows his commands perfectly, but he just refuses to obey when he doesn't feel like it. He only does something when he knows there is something in it for him. If he's outside and I call him, if he doesn't feel like it, he will look at me and refuse to come in... period.

So I don't know what to do. Obviously he doesn't respect us as he should... But how do you change that? When my husband says 'no' when he's growling, and grabs him by the collar to put him in bed, he gets worse. I was hoping that taking him to his crate would help stopping the behavior, but it hasn't. We DO NILIF, but it's not going anywhere because the whole point of it is to make him do things to get something, and it's never been a problem with him, it's when there is nothing in for him that he won't do it (sit and down he will do anytime, just not come and drop it).

So... Any advice?
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Old 10-19-2005, 10:31 AM
Gempress Gempress is offline
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Oh, I'm sorry to hear about those problems! Are you giving Boris commands only when you have rewards for him? If he doesn't do the command, do you follow through and make him do it? If not, that may be the problem. It sounds like you're no longer rewarding him: you're bribing him. There's a big difference between the two. Boris is a smart dog. He's learned that he doesn't have to listen if you don't have something he wants, and that you can be ignored. Disobedience can become a habit, just like anything else a dog does.

Try giving Boris commands without a food reward. Start with something simple, like sit. Do not let him ignore you. If he does, walk up to him (hold his collar if necessary) and get him to the sit. You don't need to be physical, just firm. Give him commands at random times, not just formal training sessions. And never, ever, let him ignore you. Only give a command when you can enforce it. You can still give him treats as rewards, but not every time.
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Last edited by Gempress; 10-19-2005 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 10-19-2005, 10:36 AM
Fran27 Fran27 is offline
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You're right, I guess I'll clip a leash to his collar for when he goes outside, so I can grab the leash if needed, and try to get him inside... it's a first step I guess. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 10-19-2005, 10:47 AM
Gempress Gempress is offline
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I hope it helps, and good luck! LoL, it must be a thing with golden retreivers. My female golden was quite the diva, and had the same problem for a while. Maybe it's because they're too smart for their own good.

edit: Oh, I forgot this, but I'm sure it probably goes without saying. Even with no food reward, be sure to praise him lavishly whenever he does well and listens.
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