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Old 06-01-2012, 04:47 PM
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Default GO AWAY cue

I need one. It'll really be a "go away and stay away doing your own thing" cue. Mu spent most of last weekend guarding me from the eeeeeevil intentions of my parent's dog. I'm a little over it, especially because she emits piercing banshee shrieks every time she flies at Max's face. So, how do I teach it? I have a touch target that she will go away from me to but I don't know how to teach the stay away part. Ideas?
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:09 PM
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Is it just a socialization problem? Does she generally act aggressive towards other dogs? Because that would be a whole different issue
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Cthulhu7 View Post
Is it just a socialization problem? Does she generally act aggressive towards other dogs? Because that would be a whole different issue
This behavior is really a resource guarding problem. And since the resource is me it makes it very hard for me to work on. Time outs are extremely effective but I can't always institute a time out when she's doing it. She does have some socialization issues that we're working on (with a behaviorist) but she's not aggressive. She's just very pushy (hello heeler side lol) and she doesn't know when to quit.
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:18 PM
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We use "beat it" for everybody.

Initially we taught it as a "place" command (so reward for leaving and lying down in a particular spot), but we gradually stopped enforcing the particular spot and instead rewarded for general motion away from the person giving the command. It takes a ton of repetition at first, but at least with our guys it stuck pretty quickly.

Very useful when we are cooking or everybody is underfoot!
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Old 06-02-2012, 08:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taqroy View Post
This behavior is really a resource guarding problem. And since the resource is me it makes it very hard for me to work on. Time outs are extremely effective but I can't always institute a time out when she's doing it. She does have some socialization issues that we're working on (with a behaviorist) but she's not aggressive. She's just very pushy (hello heeler side lol) and she doesn't know when to quit.
If it's a resource guarding issue, remove the resource when she displays that behavior. When the other dog is around, feed her good things. Result: the unwanted behavior causes the good thing (you) to go away. displaying "nice" behavior (and the presence of the other dog) causes the good thing (s) to be given to her. (You + treats)
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Old 06-02-2012, 11:11 AM
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Yeah, I dunno, if you've dealt with corgi bitches before, you know that adding food into an equation that's already guardy is a bad idea. Tried it, been there. LOL. Food will often just increase the arousal level in these situations. Keeva will guard me from dogs at work that she feels are too pushy, and adding food to the situation didn't work well at all, for anybody - especially for the stupid labs who thought she didn't REALLY mean go away.

This sounds like a great case for mat work. Teach her to drive to the mat and then add duration (no moving until released), just like a stay. Or crate games! What about crate games, using a pop-up crate? Then she also has a sense of safety and privacy from pushy puppies.

Keeva screams when she's trying to drive dogs off too, it makes me lol. I dunno about Mu, but Keeva DOES NOT do your typical "resource guarding" behavior, hunched shoulders, growling - non of that. She just goes, "I DARE you..." and then when they push it, they get a face full of teeth. So far, she's just learning that acting like an ass gets you booted from my lap.

Oh corgis, LOL.

Also, Cthulhu7... Just because a dog doesn't want to tolerate a rude puppy near its owner doesn't mean it has "socialization issues." Dog on dog tolerance is highly variable based on way more than socialization. Heeler/cattle dog types are not known for dog tolerance nor are they SUPPOSED to be uber friendly with every dog. A desire to control the movements and behaviors of other animals in part of their nature.
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Old 06-02-2012, 11:24 AM
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I totally agree with Emily's post. Adding food to the picture just adds more resources to guard. Crate Games and mat work would be excellent tools to use. Also something that works with some dogs is as soon as you see the first sign of resource guarding, get up and walk away. This can get tiresome because you have to do it every time but it works with some dogs to show them that guarding is making the thing they are guarding (you!) go away.
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Old 06-02-2012, 02:11 PM
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I had an issue with my Doberman for a few weeks getting guardy over me and directing snarls toward my male Chihuahua. It was limited to one room, my den when I was on the computer and they were both in there. No other place did this happen. Something about that den. lol. I did some exercises every day where I'd put Jose` under a chair with rails where he was somewhat protected. I took Lyric, the Dobe out of the room into an adjacent room for a half minute or so and pay no attention to him, stood there in a very boring situation, then brought him back in the presence of Jose`and started feeding high value treats to him and paid lots of attention to him, then took him back out and ignored him. The food treats made a positive association with Jose`. In other words, he found out that Jose`'s presence didn't mean he would lose out on my attention and in fact, would increase it and all kinds of wonderful things happened. I have used this kind of method with clients' dogs who had similar issues successfully. If a dog is guarding the food, then that has to go away until he isn't. OR....the food has to come quickly before he gets a chance to display that "naughty" behavior, rewarding him for calmness. If it comes after or during the snarking, then that may be taken the wrong way. And yes, with some dogs, it can raise the excitement level, so the individual needs to be taken into account. But it works well with many dogs, as I have come to find out.
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Old 06-02-2012, 07:27 PM
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Oh, I'm sure it has worked well in many cases. But I have the sneaking suspicion that I know exactly what kind of dog Taq is dealing with and my hunch is that it will only amp things up.

ETA: Also, I just wanted to point out that I understand the proper delivery of food in this situation. But the fact is that for many guardy dog, the mere presence food (regardless of its delivery) raises arousal. Caution should always be used when introducing another resource into a resource guarding case.
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Old 06-03-2012, 10:25 AM
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I've used food many times in treating resource guarding, not only with dogs in my personal life, but professionally…with clients’ dogs. That’s a common issue with dogs.

My son’s dog, who lived with me for a couple years and visits with me a great deal of the time these days, was going after my dogs when I would be preparing their food or handing out goodies to all of them. She didn’t bite, but threatened to, lunging toward them with teeth barred. It was scary. What I did to cure it was toss a kibble to her at a frequent rate of delivery as I was preparing their meals on the counter. The little dogs would be near by and I’d keep tossing a piece of kibble. (She’s incredibly good at catching flying food.) Yes, she was ampt up because she always is when it’s food time. She‘s a sort of intense dog anyhow in general. But it kept her distracted and she learned that having the dogs around meant she would get what she wanted, not that they’d prevent her from getting food. It worked well. Now I don’t need to do that and they all 3 stand around watching me fix the food with no problems. She is perfectly confident that she will get food and the little dogs won‘t have any affect on whether she gets it or not.

It use to be that when I’d hand out some left overs or treats to them, I’d have them all sit in a semi circle near me. Well…she’d crane her neck over to the dog next to her in a quick motion with a snaky, snarly threat. What I did was put some space between her and the next dog….about 3 feet. She did sit and stay where I asked her but she’d reach over to threaten the dog next to her. I’d hold a treat in my closed fist in front of her to keep her head over there…. while I fed the other dogs first. I showed her that by not getting the food (right away) she would get the food, even in the presence of the other dogs. Lots of treats and praise. That behavior is no longer existing. They can all be fed, given attention, given toys and there is no resource guarding at all on her part.

As a side note: sometimes one resource is important and a dog has a problem with that, but not necessarily with another resource or not necessarily the same resource in every context. I can give examples of that left and right. Well, for one, as in my other post, my Doberman resource guarded me but ONLY in the den. Out on the couch in the family room…no problem. Kitchen with food involved…no problem. No problem with guarding his food bowl or the furniture or toys. Outside the two dogs were bosom buddies. It was only me when in the den, specifically. Lol. That problem was stopped by using food, another resource to get him over the resource of ME. LOL. "Oh, I guess she's not that great. I'll take this food and Jose` anytime, any day of the week."

I totally utilize the doggie zen concept. So, using one resource to guide the training of resource guarding of something else….and combining the training that to get something they want by “not” getting what they want first, has proven very successful. Yes, the timing needs to be good.

There was one dog I was hired to work through some problems with when I was back in Idaho. That little dog was resource guarding his owner. When I got there to her house, I couldn’t even get too close or he’d snarl and lean away from her lap in an attempt to bite me. He was not a resource guarder of food whatsoever…just his “Mom.” I used chicken pieces to teach him that I wasn’t a threat to him…that I wasn’t going to keep him from his owner. I got so I could sit down next to her on the couch, pat her on her shoulder (something that he would have bitten me for before) and then we moved onto borrowing neighbors and other family members whom he had issues with too, of course. That is another example where the use of the resource of food was a viable tool in getting him over his resource guarding of his owner.

Another dog I was called in to help was biting certain people when they came to the owner’s house. This was a big yellow mutt. Again…food was put in a coffee can outside on the porch for willing friends to help us with this dog. He was kept on a leash and brought outside. Anyhow, without going into details, this dog too, stopped biting people when they came over to visit. Of course, I emphasized that this dog must always be managed with care and not ever think that he is cured, just that the behavior is under control and they should not let their guard up on this issue…ever. But yeah…he hasn’t bitten anyone so far since then that I know of.

I find that taking the resource away is partially effective. In the example of guarding their owner, if the owner gets up and walks away, it shows the dog that his behavior causes the valued thing to go away. If the dog is guarding a toy, the toy could be taken away in a safe manner to the owner. But taking things or making the resource go away can cause some stress at the same time which can make the process go slower because they can‘t learn as well when they‘re stressed out. So, I have found in my years of working with dogs, that if you actively teach by using another resource to distract and reward, while showing them that they get something good by giving up something else that’s good temporarily, it seems to drive home the point more solidly, I think. The bulk of my business has been made up of treating dogs with various kinds of aggression. Yes, there are incidences or particular dogs that this will be ineffective and sometimes detrimental. But I have found that to be less, not more common.

There was another dog…a Pit bull type that bit select people also. He was sweet as honey to me. I could hardly believe he was biting some friends of their 20 year old. I worked with him a little bit, but they didn’t have me come for long enough and they put the dog down, as they didn’t feel they could manage him with a muzzle or anything. I don’t blame them. I wouldn’t like to live like that either. And that dog was so seemingly random with his behavior.

When a dog is lashing out because he is guarding his owner, a toy, a couch or a room and one brings food into the picture, I have found that it is a good interrupter of their train of thought...or the road they're going down for a second... and at the same time, they can associate it with the person or dog they're guarding against, as a non-threat. Now, you can do this without food if they're guarding some other kind of resource. To get what it is they're guarding by not getting it first is the heart of the concept. But adding food seems to really drive home the point, I have found. Yes, you have to be careful with timing and beat them to it. Start dishing it out before they "go off." Set up situations to prevent them from "going off."


I'd ask myself what it is you want to teach the dog. To not feel threatened by the presence of so and so when there's a valuable resource close by, right. What happens to the dog when a perceived threat is near the valued thing? Well....good things happen and the valued thing doesn't go away. That is...when the dog isn't "going nutso." But you have to beat him to the punch with the good things. Conversely, if your timing is bad and the dog has those extra seconds to "go snarky," and you haven't set up the situation to help prevent him from going snarky, then it's too late. You have to leave the room, take the good thing (you) away from the dog... with no positive reinforcer. It's effective, but not as effective imo as being able to actively load him up with PR and positive associations between threat and something he likes.
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"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."

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Last edited by Doberluv; 06-03-2012 at 10:38 AM.
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