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Old 09-05-2012, 09:23 AM
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Default Resource Guarding...only not? Thoughts please.

Limit has been displaying some very strange behavior. He will play fine for awhile with everyone and then all of a sudden he starts what looks like resource guarding. It appears that he is resource guarding me, he hovers in between/on my feet or if I'm squatting with the camera, under my butt. He darts out and snarls/barks, hackles up, tail down at the dog and then as soon as the dog turns away from him he races back to me and assumes the same position.

Kastle:


Pan:



The weird stuff: He *only* does this to Kastle and Pan. NEVER to Finn, Eden or Poppy. Ever. In fact, he can be mid-guard against one of the GSDs and the others can run right past him and up to me and hop all over me/climb in my lap etc. He just comes back to his station at my feet and ignores the other three.

I've been verbally getting after him or physically blocking him from going after the GSDs. Pan is too sweet though so after Limit starts this, he just stays away. Kastle, however, is a very clingy mommy's boy and will put up with it for awhile and is 100% fine with letting me take care of it, BUT if my back is turned and Limit does it, Kastle will put him in his place - appropriately, but still.

I thought it was resource guarding but I couldn't figure out the pattern. Kastle is clearly mine and we have a strong mutual bond but Limit has no issues with Eden and her and I are close too. He has a problem with Pan and Pan and I are not bonded like that. I was looking through my photos from yesterday, in consecutive order from Limit playing with everyone, including Pan, to him "guarding". The only thing I can think of that is the same when he does this is he is "herding" them and one of the GSDs invariably runs over top of him, not hurting him, but tumbling him. From that point on in that play session, Limit is PISSED. He remembers and goes after the GSDs for the rest of the time outside, even though the GSDs clearly don't know what is going on after the initial snark, they are not doing it on purpose. My impression is that he thinks he is protecting himself and hiding in his "safe spot" aka me after driving the bigger males away.

Do you think this is what is happening? Anyone seen this before? How should I handle it? I am thinking getting after him for it is not going to do the trick since he feels threatened so I think when he gets that upset, I'll just remove him from the situation. He will "allow" Kastle to come to me, if *I* call him to me, but if Kastle tries to come over without a summons, he is herded off. If I call him, Limit will circle behind him and bark but won't chase/nip and it's more playful (tail up, no hackles etc). I can get them both right next to me and pet them both and he is fine. Since Kastle is not perturbed by Limit's behavior (Pan is, so I'm taking Limit away when he gets snarky), should I keep asking Limit to get over it by having Kastle come into our space and praising them both? Limit is very bright and picked up right away that when I called Kastle to me, Limit was not allowed to snark at him - he watches me and he watches Kastle and I can see him deciding what to do. I just am totally unfamiliar with dogs that hold longer-term grudges vs getting snarky and getting over it. Help please?
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:48 PM
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You've got to do something to stop the behavior. If he's guarding you he needs to be either prevented from doing it completely, or he needs to have some firm guidelines set. I'd probably start putting him in time out every time he does it, possibly leashing him and trying to redirect the eye contact/crouching behavior.

You don't want to give him too much attention for the behavior, as I'm sure it's self-rewarding and your input will just confirm this to him. I always play two-ball (I have two dogs). Each has a toy and must wait for their name to be called to get a chance to retrieve. So, they bring the toy to me and I have both toys in my hand. I'll ask them (or just wait) until they lay down, then I will call a dog's name and throw the toy. Only that dog can go get that toy. After I release the first dog, I throw the second toy and release that dog. This way I don't have a dog just wandering around being given the chance to stalk/herd. They have to have a little impulse control and listen for their name to be called.

I will say you really have got to get this under control. When I had three dogs, Zen was just a puppy. Carrie and Rumor would bolt out of the back door and take off to try and catch any squirrels that might be out in the yard. Zen thought this was great fun and would chase along with them. He was too small to catch up to Rumor or Carrie, so what I thought was just squirrel chasing quickly turned into frustrated dog chasing/herding for Zen. As he got bigger I realized this because when the dogs ran outside he was chasing down Rumor and biting her, she started getting frustrated and would correct him for it, but it was having no effect. Zen wanted the chase. It took a long time, and a couple different methods that I used, but he's much better now. For a while I wouldn't potty them together because I didn't want him practicing the behavior any more. It was a pain in the butt, but necessary.
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:50 PM
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Does it happen in the house too, or just when they are outside playing? Aura does something similar but once she gets near me, she won't snark anymore. But if Riley tries to initiate play and he's being an ass she will snark at him and then run over to me and just hang out closer to me or sit beside me. So, it could be something similar.... not sure how to fix it though!
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OutlineACDs View Post
If he's guarding you he needs to be either prevented from doing it completely, or he needs to have some firm guidelines set.

I will say you really have got to get this under control. As he got bigger I realized this because when the dogs ran outside he was chasing down Rumor and biting her, she started getting frustrated and would correct him for it, but it was having no effect. Zen wanted the chase. It took a long time, and a couple different methods that I used, but he's much better now. For a while I wouldn't potty them together because I didn't want him practicing the behavior any more. It was a pain in the butt, but necessary.
I'm fairly certain now that he's not guarding me, I'm almost positive he is trying to payback the dog that "hurt" him (although he's not really hurt, he just doesn't it like it when they plow right past him) or trying to chase them away from him, not me. I am currently preventing him from doing it but I was curious if I should just keep preventing him physically or if I should just put him up when he's that wound up. Is this something he will outgrow as he gets larger/more confident?

He also does the second paragraph to my fiance's Border Collie. But, Finn also used to do it to my GSD and outgrew it for the most part and is much more easily directed now. Maybe I should put Limit out separate after everyone gets their zoomies out so he doesn't have that urge to chase Finn? What methods did you use to get your dog to stop? He's very bright and he does listen/care what I think/want so I just need to show him what's ok and what's not, I just have not dealt with this personally before so would love some insight instead of using trial and error 100%.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jenv101 View Post
Does it happen in the house too, or just when they are outside playing? Aura does something similar but once she gets near me, she won't snark anymore. But if Riley tries to initiate play and he's being an ass she will snark at him and then run over to me and just hang out closer to me or sit beside me. So, it could be something similar.... not sure how to fix it though!
Just outside, but I don't allow zooming/rough housing/rampaging in the house. When they're inside, they can chew on toys or lay down and play bitey face but there is no running around.

It's just *such* a herding move. I've had my puppies that are pissy snark at a dog while sitting on my feet and they rapidly get over that. Limit is literally herding them out of his "safe zone". As *soon* as they look like they're turning away, he turns back to me (and it's a fast, low to the ground, whip around). He makes a bunch of noise but he only makes contact with his mouth if they keep coming and it's primarily on legs/hocks - herding.

Thanks for the replies so far

ETA: I also wanted to say that he does the herd-y stalk in play as well and his behavior is completely acceptable. He crouches, stares, bolts and then whoever he is staring with (we have all herding dogs so the stare is usually returned) bolts and runs too and then they rough-house. Also, he does play fine with everyone both one-on-one and in a group. It's only once he gets angry (usually involving being run over by someone b/c he got in the way and the GSDs are just not agile enough to avoid him all the time) that we have this problem. He's done it maybe 5 times total and I've had him since 8 weeks.
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Old 09-05-2012, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by FG167 View Post
I'm fairly certain now that he's not guarding me, I'm almost positive he is trying to payback the dog that "hurt" him (although he's not really hurt, he just doesn't it like it when they plow right past him) or trying to chase them away from him, not me. I am currently preventing him from doing it but I was curious if I should just keep preventing him physically or if I should just put him up when he's that wound up. Is this something he will outgrow as he gets larger/more confident?

He also does the second paragraph to my fiance's Border Collie. But, Finn also used to do it to my GSD and outgrew it for the most part and is much more easily directed now. Maybe I should put Limit out separate after everyone gets their zoomies out so he doesn't have that urge to chase Finn? What methods did you use to get your dog to stop? He's very bright and he does listen/care what I think/want so I just need to show him what's ok and what's not, I just have not dealt with this personally before so would love some insight instead of using trial and error 100%.

This is just coming from my personal experience, so results may vary, but Zen did not grow out of it. The behavior became more pronounced and more intense the more I let him do it. He still will grab a toy, shake it, and vocalize loudly while darting back in forth in front of Rumor. She no longer bolts out the door, but takes a slow semi-circle (calming signal) approach to making her way out in the yard.

I'm not a fan of e-collars, but if I'd have had access to one this would have been my preferred method of breaking him of the habit once it got to the point that I needed him to stop. He weighs a good 20lbs more than Rumor and was not being gentle at all. I felt a good couple of hard corrections would have stopped him and let him knoe exactly what he was not allowed to do and could be administered while I was behind the back door of the house.

I don't have an e-collar though, so he was sent out to potty alone, and so was Rumor. If they were together I was out with them. I encouraged Zen to pick up his jolly ball so that he'd have something in his mouth, that way if I couldn't physically stop the chasing, he wouldn't be able to nip/bite. Zen wore a long line while out for a while, also I'm not above saying there was a time or two that I threw a dog bowl at him, or bopped him one with the pooper scooper. Again, he's not perfect, but he will pick up the jolly ball and just kind of dart around outside of Rumor's personal bubble a couple times and then he settles, so it's much improved and I don't feel like Rumor isn't safe in her own yard.

Note this is the only time he was doing this to her. They play in the house and out in the yard with no pfroblems. It was the getting in and out of the back door thagt became the problem.

Don't know how hard-headed GSD's are, but cattle dogs and kelpies can be quite stubborn, that's why I suggest you fix this now. If you've caught it early it should be fairly easy to impress upon him "No, we don't retaliate, sorry you got your feelings hurt."
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