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  #51  
Old 06-20-2012, 06:44 PM
Kaydee
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I don't know from dogs since I was always a cat person but is it possible that if a dog has peace and quiet eating that eventually they'll realize the food is there and isn't going anywhere and they don't have to freak out about guarding it anymore? I've had cats that wacked any other cat near the dish but stopped eventually on their own. Of course a snapping dog is another thing.
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  #52  
Old 06-20-2012, 07:30 PM
crazedACD crazedACD is offline
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Why must the dog be proofed around food? Are there kids/will there be kids? Does he do this over treats, chews, and toys too, or is it strictly the food bowl?
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  #53  
Old 06-20-2012, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Emily View Post
Will you AT LEAST consider buying a book called "Mine!"? It's written by an actual expert (Jean Donaldson) and gives step-by-step instructions on this issue. You can find it easily on Amazon - I'd link to it but my browser is acting up.

What you are doing now is dangerous. Your dog believes you are going to steal his food. He express discomfort with your proximity to his food. You punish him, severely and physically. The dog learns that he must not express his discomfort but he still has the same urge to protect his food. Do you see where this is going? "I must protect my food, but I must not growl or snap..." This dog is going to bite you, and hard. You have NOT made him more comfortable, you've just taught him that you're going to force yourself on his food and if he expresses concern you're going to literally jump on him. This a recipe for escalating aggression, and I have seen it happen in dogs trained this way.

You can be as quippy as you'd like about internet experts, but plenty of us here train dogs professionally in real life, and we're telling you, straight up, that this is a recipe for disaster.


I sincerely hope you think about what we're saying.
I agree with this. I have rehabilitated several resource guarders, the last one a 140 pound great dane who failed the eval at the shelter and climbed up the assess-a-hand and went for the human holding it.

I can assure you that alpha rolling and muzzle grabbing was not even remotely on the agenda with his behavior mod. Today he is totally mellow about food and treats. Right now he’s munching on a deer antler bookended by a kid on each side, totally relaxed.

Read “Mine”. Forget about trying to punish the guarding out of him. It often doesn’t work and very often WILL make it worse.
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  #54  
Old 06-22-2012, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaydee View Post
I don't know from dogs since I was always a cat person but is it possible that if a dog has peace and quiet eating that eventually they'll realize the food is there and isn't going anywhere and they don't have to freak out about guarding it anymore? I've had cats that wacked any other cat near the dish but stopped eventually on their own. Of course a snapping dog is another thing.
Hmmm...I don't know much about cat behavior.

IME, resource guarding doesn't go away just by leaving the dog in peace. Obviously if the dog is left in peace, he won't guard while nothing triggers it, but as soon as a trigger comes along, the guarding starts up again. Unless counter conditioning is done to change his perspective on the "scary thing that's going to steal his food".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emily View Post
Will you AT LEAST consider buying a book called "Mine!"? It's written by an actual expert (Jean Donaldson) and gives step-by-step instructions on this issue. You can find it easily on Amazon - I'd link to it but my browser is acting up.

What you are doing now is dangerous. Your dog believes you are going to steal his food. He express discomfort with your proximity to his food. You punish him, severely and physically. The dog learns that he must not express his discomfort but he still has the same urge to protect his food. Do you see where this is going? "I must protect my food, but I must not growl or snap..." This dog is going to bite you, and hard. You have NOT made him more comfortable, you've just taught him that you're going to force yourself on his food and if he expresses concern you're going to literally jump on him. This a recipe for escalating aggression, and I have seen it happen in dogs trained this way.

You can be as quippy as you'd like about internet experts, but plenty of us here train dogs professionally in real life, and we're telling you, straight up, that this is a recipe for disaster.


I sincerely hope you think about what we're saying.
^THIS!!^ Absolutely!!

Oh, and Danefied, I love your siggy.
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  #55  
Old 06-22-2012, 01:32 PM
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Don't have much to add except to say what your are doing is probably going to make him stop giving warning but keep on with the behavior and that isn't a good thing.
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  #56  
Old 06-22-2012, 01:36 PM
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Oh, and Danefied, I love your siggy.
Thanks
Love Suzanne Clothier, she has a way with words for sure. Even more so as a speaker
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  #57  
Old 06-22-2012, 03:36 PM
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I'm only going to comment on the spats with other dogs. This is very common Pit Bull behavior. I'm just a 'net nobody, but Pit Bulls I know better than anything. Him tuning you out and going tunnel-vision on the other dog is a very familiar scenario to me. Him going from keyed up during treatment at the vet's to redirecting on another dog afterward is another familiar scenario. Keep him restrained around other dogs -- no leash contact or whatever -- until you can figure out what's setting him off and get better control of the snapping. You don't want to risk him redirecting on YOU if he already feels its acceptable to put teeth on you. He may never be trustworthy with other dogs. That's something you're going to have to decide for yourself whether or not you're able to deal with it.
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  #58  
Old 06-22-2012, 10:46 PM
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Hey there, so I'm back from my trip. My friend gave Sam very good reports about when I was gone. He took my advice about not messing with certain things, he said there was no growling at all. He did enforce a stay command when giving meals, and I noticed his response to that had improved. However he lives in a more congested place, less room to play, & my friend said the walks were difficult sometimes but that makes sense. The main issue is that Sam got sick while I was gone. I took him to the vet a couple days after I got back and he had giardia. He went through the usual treatment for that and after a week he was all better. He was on a special diet when he was sick, from the vet, and was also very very lethargic. So I did not mess with getting him back into training right away, I waited until he was better. He was not too happy at the vet's office. We had to wait a long time with lots of other animals around, he was crying a lot. He barked/snarled and snapped at the vet when she touched him in a certain area, though the vet and I agreed it seemed like a sensitive/painful spot. The vet asked me to put a muzzle on him for the rest of the examination, which I did, but she also commented that he didn't really strike her as aggressive, it was just a precaution. Then on the way out the door he snapped at a little dog in the waiting room and got his foot in his mouth. He wouldn't let go of the foot though was not biting it hard, the other dog wasn't crying. A lady started giving me all her opinions about what I should be doing with my dog as I was just trying to get us out of there and kept saying "If you don't mind my saying," so eventually I just said "I do," and paid my bill and left.

Did the vet not try to find out WHY this spot was painful? A dog in enough pain to snap probably has something really wrong with it...

When I did restart the training, yeah it was definitely a step backward from where I left off. His growling is worse than before if you approach him. He's even back to mild growling about toys very occasionally, but not that bad. What is bad is he snapped at me one time to try to get food from me. This happened as I was rushing out to work. I was really angry at him and when I did the no-bite command he did not seem to get it. Still just fixed on the food. So in spur-of-the-moment thinking I stuck the food in the fridge and left him there by himself without breakfast until I got back 4 hours later. Then I started over and he did fine.

It sounds like YOU have taken a step backwards. The dog hasn't seen you in how long? You need to start ALL OVER, with hand feeding him.

Another incident: he had gotten himself really filthy jumping into a mud pit in the park, so I gave him a bath. When drying him, he snarled and snapped at me. He did it viciously enough that it really scared me. I held his snout closed and pinned him down by the scruff of his neck, not even thinking about training as much as self defense. Though in hind site if he were really trying to bite me I'd be finding it harder to type right now. These couple of occasions I felt his teeth on my skin but very little pressure, it's mostly the sound that's scarey, and what bothers me most is how angry it makes me that he's trying to intimidate me like this. I get angry with him and feel like I lose control of what I should be doing exactly, lose touch of how to communicate to him that this is just inappropriate.

Holding his snout closed and pinning him is probably about THE worst thing you could have done. It sounds like it was probably the same painful response as the vet got. Which, like I said, should be looked into.

For the most part otherwise he has been very good. Has not been chewing anything up, occasionally takes the kitchen sponge and just leaves it on the floor acting guilty, otherwise has very good household manners. No peeing on the floor anymore ever. Has gotten better at walks too. It was bothering me how hard it is for my fiancee to walk him sometimes so I got stricter with him about not even hanging out near the end of the leash, and about walking past dogs of I say so, and he's learning these new policies fast. He's been great to walk usually.

Well this is good at least.

BUT.. he has these very sparse unpredictable incidents where he attacks other dogs! I've been letting him and other dogs sniff each other and interact when the other owner is okay with it all this time, and have not had a problem. But suddenly there have been 2 times that he just switched and bit at the other dog making some really ugly sounds. What upsets me most about this is that there seems nothing I can do to get across to him that this is bad. I can yell "No," I can hold his muzzle closed, I can pull him off the dog by the back of his neck, obviously angry as far as I can tell, and he still is either fixated on the dog, or acts like "That was fun! What are we doin next?" At that point I generally just put him on an extremely short leash and take him straight home. He did this today when I was getting ready to go out, so I with-held breakfast until I got back - did not know what else to do. But I really feel like he doesn't get it.

STOP LETTING HIM SNIFF OTHER DOGS. There is absolutely NO reason for this, and he is going to seriously hurt another dog. You said it exactly - It IS fun for a Pit Bull to grab other dogs. It is what they were bred to do, and they enjoy it. So no, he isn't going to "get it." YOU need to get it. Stop letting him meet other dogs.

I'm still working on those feeding sessions as you described. But there's a part of me (and this is just me voicing my musings - not saying this is totally my opinion on it) that feels like I may just be making him worse. One way of looking at it is that there is this one thing that he dislikes so much (being touched while eating) that he will growl, so what do we do? we go in and make him be touched while eating, and it makes him all weird and seemingly more violent. I mean, I don't want to be pet while I'm eating either. Like I said, I'm not adopting this philosophy but just wanted to share some thoughts going through my head. Reading what you said recently about how it could take months before he turns around, I'm remembering how gradual of a process it's meant to me. Also, it is definitely not cool if we have to always worry about aggressiveness with food. But lately he is showing new aggressive behavior.

The whole point of the training is a safety measure. It's not meant so that you can sit there and pet the dog the entire time while he's eating. It is meant so that if you need to get near him while he's eating, you CAN. And the only way to do that is to prove to him that you aren't out to steal his food. So what if he doesn't "like" being petted while eating? Some dogs don't "like" to potty outside in the rain or snow... but they still have to do it. Or, you can invest in a crate and feed him in there so you don't have to worry about anyone interacting with him while he's eating...


My replies in bold.

(And for the record, I'm not an "internet expert" and am a real life dog trainer.)
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  #59  
Old 06-24-2012, 07:39 PM
crazedACD crazedACD is offline
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I missed that last update about the vet and stuff...I'm not going to waste time typing something you won't listen to. I'm going to put myself out there as a psychic and say this dog is going to SERIOUSLY injure you, another person, or someone's innocent dog if you don't start taking some of the wonderful advice in this thread, or preferably seek a trainer. I'm not saying this to offend you or trying to be a jerk, I am thankful you came to a forum to seek help. This dog is showing some very clear signals of being very problematic and the last thing you and the dog needs is a lawsuit on your hands. At least if you do a few consults with a trainer you can get the tools you need to manage him properly.

I know a few people in your area, what if I could hook you up with a trainer? I will ask around...
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  #60  
Old 06-24-2012, 09:03 PM
Kaydee
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N' I am not a dog trainer and more a cat person (meaning I don't even pretend to know zoo about dog behavior except what I've observed in my own dogs). But the growling and all concerns me. With any dog especially if you are primary special human there must be reasonable submission on the part of dog.

Especially having a big strong boy you've gotta find you a trainer to work through this. Somebody with experience with bullies. There are effective non-violent ways to get it established "I am food-giver person you are dog, you do not talk back to me ever. "
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