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Old 09-04-2006, 07:38 PM
SadieBaby77 SadieBaby77 is offline
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Default Problems with putting dog to bed

My sister has come to stay with us for a while and she has a 3 year old bichon/shitzu dog. Ever since my sister had her dog spayed she has shown aggresive behaviour. When she doesn't get her way she will growl and show her teeth and bark really loudly at you but the big problem is when she is getting put to bed. She usually will tell a person when she wants to go to bed so we put her outside to go pee and she runs to her crate but when you go to close the door she barks and acts completely mad. She has her teeth out and if you come close to the door she will jump at it. We had a dog trainer come in to see her and she did it for him and he said he had no clue what to do with her. It is really scary to see her act like this. She is a very gentle dog otherwise but when she is mad she is mad. I have a small dog as well and she nips at her and I am hoping that she won't bite her. Does anyone know anyway of helping her. At this point the trainer said to give her a carrot when she goes to bed. Basically all the carrot does is gives you enough time to shut the door before she bolts at you. I really don't beleive giving her something for bad behaviour really helps. My husband doesn't give in and he spends up to an hour trying to calm her down before he can close the door and when he gets the door closed and leaves she is like a wild dog in her cage. I am just really scared for her. I don't know what will happen if she bites someone. If any one can help it would be appreciated. Thanks
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Old 09-05-2006, 01:30 AM
Herschel Herschel is offline
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Location: East Central Illinois
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Call a licensed behaviorist--not someone that says that they can't help you.
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Old 09-05-2006, 02:04 AM
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Rubylove Rubylove is offline
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This is not something I believe that you can deal with completely on a forum, unfortunately. There are obviously some deep-seated issues here and a behaviourist is what you need. I know that they can be expensive but for what they do, and the grief they can help solve, they are worth every penny. And they are not an ongoing expense - often it takes few visits or sometimes even only one to sort out the problem and advise you on how to deal with it.

You're right when you say that rewarding her bad behaviour will not help. Absolutely right. Whoever the trainer was gave you what you have realised is a band-aid solution to a serious problem.

You say this has happened since she was spayed? This is strange to me because neutering often helps calm aggressive behaviour, not start it up. What that tells me is that something happened either during her stay at the vets or immediately afterwards that has seriously set her off balance. And the first thing that comes to mind is some kind of physical problem. As you directly relate the onset of this behaviour to the time of her spay I would get her back to the vet asap and explain what has been going on. Anything could have happened, she could have an infection or something inside that is causing her pain - that is your first and foremost port-of-call - you MUST rule out a physical problem.

That being said, dogs will behave how they are conditioned to behave, but again, this all just sounds terribly strange and clearly some kind of event surrounding her spay is what has triggered this.

PLEASE take her to the vet, and please do some research onto really professional, certified behaviourists (NOT trainers) in your area who can help you. Because this kind of thing can escalate quicker than you would believe and you do not want to have to have your baby put to sleep because she attacks someone or another dog.

This dog needs professional one-on-one help and she needs it now. Good luck and please keep us posted - I would very much like to know what happens.
Chester and Ruby

We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare, and love we can spare. In return they give us their all. It is the best deal man has ever made
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Old 09-05-2006, 02:37 AM
SadieBaby77 SadieBaby77 is offline
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Thanks for your replys. The problem I have is that this is not my dog, its my sisters. I know I have to sit down with her to help her solve this problem before something bad happens. The dog is actually going into the vet this week for shots so I am going to get my sister to talk with them about it. Thanks
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Old 09-05-2006, 10:04 AM
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Doberluv Doberluv is offline
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Location: western Wa
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Really good advice from Herschel and Rubylove. Your husband trying to calm her is only reinforcing the behavior. It's like a reward, all that talking and cooing etc.

So, until you get a behaviorist (who uses gentle methods) I suggest that you both be pretty aloof with this dog. Don't set her food bowl down but hand feed her. If she knows anything, like "sit," ask for a sit and give her a few pieces of kibble. Do that throughout the day rather than giving her the whole meal in it's entirety at one time.

Make her earn her resources (toys, going outside, coming inside, food, treats, attention of any kind....whatever is important to her) and see you and your husband as he leaders. Does she want to go out? Sit first. Does she want a toy? Sit first. Does she want a pat? Sit first. Do give her a treat for good behavior.

With the crate, during other times, besides when it's time for bed, I'd encourage her to go in, and you can sit in a chair next to the crate, reading (or something) Just sit there for 15 minutes or so. When she is quiet and "nice" toss in an extra yummy treat. And just continue sitting there. Don't close the door. Let her come in and out if she wants for now. If she stays in there to chew on a toy or just rest, hang your hand down by the door after you've done the treat thing several times. Do this every day a little bit. When she stops making a fuss, try closing the door, then open it again and sit there some more. Only reward her or speak to her when she's quiet. If she growls, snarls or anything like that, ignore her. Don't look at, don't speak. Maybe something bad happened in connection with going close to her crate or closing the door....maybe something frightened her at one time. Could she have been punished and put in her crate with the door slammed or anything at any time?

What else does she not get her way about that she growls at? You need stop reacting to her when she wants something that you don't want her to do or have. What about furniture? Does she growl when you want her to get off or anything? All the things she likes need to be earned. And when she wants something.....whines, barks, growls, you need to stop reacting to her in any way. Don't look, turn your head to her, speak. All that reinforces bad behavior.

Make her earn it by sitting or coming when called (if she knows those things) Don't do a lot of talking to her when you walk her. But reward her for good behavior.

A little deprivation makes a dog need you more and look up to you as her provider. So, if she is a little hungry (don't go to extremes) food will increase in value. Get her to need her leaders more. Your being somewhat aloof will make her need more socializing. (if she's always liked that before) Get her to want it. When her behavior is good, let her know how nice a little gentle socialing is...nice pat, treat.

I don't know what has caused this so don't rely on my ideas to fix this. Get a behaviorist to come observe. This is just what I'd do in next get started before you get in a behaviorist to really see what's going on.

Let us know what you find out. I hope your sister will go for the idea of some professional help. Because without it, this little dog may indeed end up having to be put down. What a shame. Best wishes.
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