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  #81  
Old 09-24-2012, 03:00 AM
j0equ1nn j0equ1nn is offline
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Yeah, the girl who found Sam called the number on his collar and it was out of service. The vet he was taken to was able to identify the clinic the tag was from, but nobody was able to get in touch with any owners or anyone looking for him. The way Sam behaved when I first got him, between submissive peeing and food aggression, as well as being so young, it seemed likely someone could have abandoned him. But all the looking into that was done by the girl I got him from, who takes in a lot of stray animals and does this sort of thing a lot (she's thinking of trying to open a shelter).

Sam is doing good by the way. He's finishing his food more often, but progress is very very slow. Our strategy is to just leave him alone when he eats. At this point I can walk right by him or even touch him and he almost never growls. It's also easier to tell when he's getting nervous - you can see him stiffen up - and I just back off, maybe talking in a high voice, and give him his space. The only problem usually is when he loses interest in his food, and it stays there, and every time someone goes anywhere near it he runs to it, but will barely eat it. At first I tried to trick him into not paying attention when I removed the leftover food and bowl. More recently he won't seem upset as long as I don't do it when he's at all thinking about actually eating it.

Anyway what we have done about it is:
-make him lie down and stay while we put the bowl down, and wait for a release command before eating
-don't touch him while staying or when eating and give him some space
-decrease the portions slightly
-bury a couple of small treats in the bottom of the bowl (Zukes mini-naturals, salmon flavor - Sam doesn't like a lot of dog treats, but would do anything for these)
-praise him and give him a treat if he finishes his food and doesn't guard it, as soon as he's done.

His darting at things during walks is also still going on. It's happening less and less but again progress is extremely slow. He's gotten really good about most other things about being walked, but when there is a squirrel or rat nearby it's like he has no control over himself. He needs to sprint to it. So I'm still usually the one walking him. I think he got a little bigger even.

We got this face harness thing called the Gentle Leader. I gave it a try because all I had that worked for when he got like that was a pinch collar which I'd rather not be using. Sam had to get used to it, but it works. He can't pull with it on. If he pulls, he is pulling against the ring that hangs right under his jaw. A thin strip of nylon goes over his nose, and is connected to the ring below. Normally it applies no pressure (and he can open his mouth as usual). If he pulls, it tightens around his muzzle which is not a way that is comfortable to tug in. He cries a lot sometimes but only because it's working and he can't do what he's not allowed to. He is amazingly good at healing with this leash on, it's completely different if you try to give him a few feet. So he's usually walked now either healing right next to me, or doing his thing with the harness and retractable leash.

He still does not like the face harness thing, and will try to take it off. But most of the walk he's able to forget about it. I still take him to the park every day, and use the retractable leash and harness. But the first time he goes for a bird or something and doesn't stop when I tell him to, he's back on the face leash thing and we do the rest of the walk like that. He seems to be understanding those consequences and has passed up some temptations recently that really impressed me.

And finally, I'm not kidding, Sam prefers baby dill pickles to bacon.
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  #82  
Old 09-24-2012, 05:18 AM
SevenSins
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Originally Posted by j0equ1nn View Post
Our strategy is to just leave him alone when he eats. At this point I can walk right by him or even touch him and he almost never growls. It's also easier to tell when he's getting nervous - you can see him stiffen up - and I just back off, maybe talking in a high voice, and give him his space.
Congrats, it sounds like the DOG has YOU trained extremely well. He's already won, and you're too ignorant to see it.

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Originally Posted by j0equ1nn View Post
We got this face harness thing called the Gentle Leader. I gave it a try because all I had that worked for when he got like that was a pinch collar which I'd rather not be using.
There is nothing "gentle" about a Gentle Leader. Especially on the face of a reactive Pit Bull. If you're not capable of correctly using a prong collar, you most definitely don't need to be messing with those.

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If he pulls, he is pulling against the ring that hangs right under his jaw. A thin strip of nylon goes over his nose, and is connected to the ring below. Normally it applies no pressure (and he can open his mouth as usual). If he pulls, it tightens around his muzzle which is not a way that is comfortable to tug in. He cries a lot sometimes but only because it's working and he can't do what he's not allowed to.
You seem to be using this thing because it sounds "nicer" than a prong collar. Do you know how many dogs I've seen with injuries from those things? All it takes is a reactive dog trying to bolt after something for their head to get whipped around and cause all kinds of injuries. Not to mention what I've seen happen when a dog panics and tries to get OUT of one. Those don't belong on highly reactive dogs, period, and especially a reactive Pit Bull.

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He is amazingly good at healing with this leash on, it's completely different if you try to give him a few feet.
The dog doesn't know, and/or doesn't respect what you're asking of him.

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I still take him to the park every day, and use the retractable leash and harness.
Pray tell, why on earth are you walking a human aggressive Pit Bull on a retractable leash? And WHY are you walking a dog that you know is a puller, who doesn't respect you, on a harness?

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But the first time he goes for a bird or something and doesn't stop when I tell him to, he's back on the face leash thing and we do the rest of the walk like that. He seems to be understanding those consequences and has passed up some temptations recently that really impressed me.
I think you have a very serious problem comprehending a dog's level of understanding when it comes to "consequences." You know the dog is probably going to react to something. You're setting him up for FAILURE, and then when he predictably fails, you implement a "consequence" that you seem to think the dog understands, but in reality, the dog doesn't understand nor does he respect you. He may somewhat respect the pressure from the tool you're using because it's unpleasant, while you're actively using it, but you haven't actually TAUGHT the dog anything. All you've managed to do is slap a bandaid on and call it good enough.
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  #83  
Old 09-24-2012, 07:44 AM
crazedACD crazedACD is offline
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  #84  
Old 09-24-2012, 11:21 AM
~Tucker&Me~ ~Tucker&Me~ is offline
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Originally Posted by SevenSins View Post
Congrats, it sounds like the DOG has YOU trained extremely well. He's already won, and you're too ignorant to see it.
There isn't a battle to be 'won' when it comes to modifying behavior. There is also nothing wrong with allowing a dog to eat his meal in peace. Quite frankly, while I would like to see the OP actively working on the RG through trading games and creating positive associations with humans being near food, giving the dog his space is also incredibly important and the next best thing. Instead of looking at this as "the dog has you doing what he wants and has 'won'", I look at it as the dog is clearly and effectively communicating to you his level of comfort via growling. This is a great opportunity to use that communication to improve how he feels about the OP approaching his bowl.

I don't understand which part of the RG thing you are criticizing.
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  #85  
Old 09-24-2012, 11:54 AM
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I agree with Tucker&Me, I think leaving the dog alone while he eats is MUCH better than what the OP was doing before. Resource guarding is the type of thing where doing nothing is a lot better than doing the wrong thing. If the dog doesn't continually feel threatened during meal time he's probably a lot less likely to lash out, or will do so with less intensity, on the rare occasion the OP does get too close. the dog will be less concerned with his owner being around the food if he never tries to take or touch the food.
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  #86  
Old 09-24-2012, 12:10 PM
SevenSins
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Originally Posted by ~Tucker&Me~ View Post
There isn't a battle to be 'won' when it comes to modifying behavior. There is also nothing wrong with allowing a dog to eat his meal in peace. Quite frankly, while I would like to see the OP actively working on the RG through trading games and creating positive associations with humans being near food, giving the dog his space is also incredibly important and the next best thing. Instead of looking at this as "the dog has you doing what he wants and has 'won'", I look at it as the dog is clearly and effectively communicating to you his level of comfort via growling. This is a great opportunity to use that communication to improve how he feels about the OP approaching his bowl.

I don't understand which part of the RG thing you are criticizing.
Is it April Fool's or are you actually suggesting that an acceptable solution to a human aggressive APBT is to sing-song "there there, good doggie, good doggie" while averting eye contact and backing away from the dog? I'm sorry but how in the **** is that a viable solution? Are we really that deep in the "furmommy" society that...this...is "ok?" It's not just leaving the dog alone while he eats (which is, again, a bandaid and not a fix), it's the walking on eggshells around the dog while offering no real solution that just makes me want to punch something.
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  #87  
Old 09-24-2012, 12:29 PM
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Sounds like the dog needs a dirt nap to me. Holy moly.
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  #88  
Old 09-24-2012, 12:43 PM
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Sounds like the dog needs a dirt nap to me. Holy moly.
It sounds like an dog who would be good with an experienced owner and not one who has no idea what they are doing.

Personally I think this person is a troll. The visit once a month around the same time to stir people up.
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  #89  
Old 09-24-2012, 07:29 PM
~Tucker&Me~ ~Tucker&Me~ is offline
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Originally Posted by SevenSins View Post
Is it April Fool's or are you actually suggesting that an acceptable solution to a human aggressive APBT is to sing-song "there there, good doggie, good doggie" while averting eye contact and backing away from the dog? I'm sorry but how in the **** is that a viable solution? Are we really that deep in the "furmommy" society that...this...is "ok?" It's not just leaving the dog alone while he eats (which is, again, a bandaid and not a fix), it's the walking on eggshells around the dog while offering no real solution that just makes me want to punch something.
Um.. Ok. I guess I will try to address your points one at a time.

1. It's not April Fool's. This dog is not human aggressive, he is resource guarding. The vast majority of dogs I have heard of and seen who display these behaviours do not want to engage in conflict with a person, they want to be left alone with what they consider 'theirs'.

2. I don't understand how being a 'furmommy' and being too lenient plays into this. It comes down to having a rudimentary understanding of dog behaviour; the dog is scared of having his 'things' taken away, which motivates him to behave in ways he think will prevent that from happening (warning people to back off through growling and posturing). The OP essentially has two options here, manage the dog for the remainder of his life or actively attempt to modify the behaviour. Obviously I vote for a mixture of both - managing him to prevent an incident and improving how he associates people approaching his bowl. However, as Maxy stated, an issue like RG can get ugly really, really quickly if not dealt with appropriately. Since the OP has a history of using punitive, dominance-based approaches to training, than yes, I would actually prefer that they diligently manage than try to apply such methods and make this issue much worse. However as I stated earlier, clearly a mixed approach to manage and change the behaviour using appropriate methods is much more preferable.

3. Management can be a viable option for people, and there are folks out there that regularly manage things with success. For example, keeping multiple dogs with a predisposition to be DA in a house together, dogs who aren't trustworthy off-leash and are managed by being kept on leash (), dogs who are afraid of children, dogs who are kept intact, etc. While in this case I think modifying the RG is easier than managing and is ultimately much more preferable, lots of people manage issues with their dogs just fine.

I don't know if you realize it or intend to come across that way, but when you post you can be quite condescending and aggressive, and that can make people less likely to take your posts as seriously. Also, please don't punch me

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Originally Posted by Barbara! View Post
Sounds like the dog needs a dirt nap to me. Holy moly.
What is a dirt nap?

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Originally Posted by yoko View Post
It sounds like an dog who would be good with an experienced owner and not one who has no idea what they are doing.

Personally I think this person is a troll. The visit once a month around the same time to stir people up.
I agree. I think this dog would really benefit from the owner seeing a certified behaviourist, and I encourage the OP to contact one. As for being a troll, eh. That's a lot of effort and long posts for a troll.
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  #90  
Old 09-24-2012, 07:37 PM
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Danefied Danefied is offline
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I canít remember if it has been brought up already in this thread, and Iím sorry, I just donít have the energy to go through and find if it has, so apologies in advance if this has already been said.

I think in addition to management and b-mod/trust building, this guy needs some ROCK solid obedience commands on him. This way, if there IS growling and posturing over a resource, and its something that he really canít have, you can get a leave it, drop, and come here and not risk escalating the situation.

He sounds really stressed, so stressed he wonít eat but still guards the food. Not good. This level of stress is going to impede any significant learning.

Iím assuming ďdirt napĒ is a crude way of saying the dog should be PTS.
I donít think any of us are qualified to advise anyone to PTS a dog without ever laying eyes on him. And yes, I do think this dog very possibly would be just fine in a qualified home.
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