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Old 06-25-2012, 07:28 AM
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Maxy24 Maxy24 is offline
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Default redirected aggression or resource guarding

Tucker frequently "attacks" one of the cats, Neko. Never ever Willie the other cat. It's not an attack which causes any harm, but he chases him while making a little whiny scream, then once neko jumps on a table or something Tucker will leap up and nip and bark at him. It's rather frantic. Last night my brother's girlfriend was over and she is rather loud, they were all talking about disney world and she's never been so she gave this scream of frustration because she wants to go. This scream regularly makes Tucker go after Neko, so it did again. Neko jumped up on the desk in the kitchen and Tucker started barking at him. My brother put his leg out in front of Tucker and pushed him away from the desk. This was not a kick it wasn't a shove, there was nothing fast or rough about it, I would have done the same thing. he simply placed his leg on front of him and slowly moved it into the dog so he'd move away from the cat. As my brother was doing this Tucker snarled and bit him on the leg. I did not see the bite as he was on the other side of the table, but it sounds like it did make contact. My brother was wearing jeans so no harm done.


So what exactly do you think caused this bite? Was Tucker just so worked up that he redirected onto my brother or would you say it was more of a resource guarding type thing and he bit Danny for trying to remove him from the cat? Tucker used to do this type of thing as a puppy, bite you when you tried to restrain him from getting what he wanted. I never really knew how to address it on a large scale. You can address the specific incidences it occur in, but I don't know how to deal with the whole aggression about being kept from what you want. Do I just work on self control type games? I never really got going on crate games, so I could go back to that, it just seemed so incredibly easy for him I wasn't sure if it was going to do anything, but maybe once we're at higher levels it will.

But I don't know if self control games will help with the restraint problem. All the aggression he's shown towards his family has been related to being touched and resource guarding. He will not guard if you walk up and take something he stole. If you walk up and try to push him away from something he stole he'll snap. Like when he was a pup and stole something and tried to head under the coffee table with it, mom grabbed his waist as he went under and he turned and snapped. Or when he was rooting in the trash and Brian tries to push him away with his foot, he snapped. When he had jumped on the end table to steal something and dad picked him up to move him off he got snapped at (those all happened over a year ago) And at night when dad goes to bed and tries to move Tucker out of his spot he gets growled at (which is concerning me as it's happening like every night..I told dad to just bring a treat up but so far he hasn't bothered). It's not simply resource guarding, it is connected to him being touched. He isn't guarding the bed exactly, he's do the same thing if you moved him while he was resting on the floor. I'd just never seen him do it over a cat. So is there anyway to specifically work on getting him used to being pushed away from or restrained from things he wants without making any resource guarding worse?
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:37 AM
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Random thoughts, as I always say I know next to nothing about dog training, having Sophie has been learning through trial and error. I've noticed with our cats-we have seven-that they all have very different interactions with the dog.

Stumpy-Very cuddly with humans but the other cats and dog walk around her like she's Don Corleone.
Levon and Ninja-will wash the dog and Ninja sleeps with her, but both will back her into a corner if she blinks the wrong way.
Sushi-He finds the dog alluring, the dog will run to a human whining when Sushi pounces while trying to hump her.
Then there's Felicia, Boo and Chii. The same thing you describe is the way Sophie is with these three cats. I think part of it is that all three are female and they don't stand their ground. Levon especially will stand on hind legs and wack Sophie in the snoot.
But those three cats will always run and Sophie will always chase.

When we brought her home the first week I kept a mister bottle of water and if she chased any cat I gave a quick spray in the face. The second week all you had to do was touch the bottle and Sophie would redirect herself from even looking at the cat, nevermind chasing it.

Worked for us...it's how the cat reacts sometimes, but you can work with them
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:57 AM
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The funny thing is that Neko is the more powerful, stand his ground type cat. Willie is this meek scrawny little thing. Tucker doesn't chase him for fun, it is only when he gets aroused by something. A knocking noise, someone yelling, seeing a dog outside, the cats starting to play or fight etc. that he goes after Neko and he goes FAST. He is also so frantic and aroused by it I don't think a squirt bottle would do anything, plus I don't think I'd react fast enough to get the bottle before he was out of the room. And Neko is terrified of the bottle, so I think if I squirted in that direction Neko would take off running allowing Tucker to chase more. He's actually fairly easy to stop once he's "treed" the cat, just body block and he goes away. It's really not the cat chasing I want help with, it's not that big of a deal anymore, he doesn't hurt him. It's biting people who try to move him or keep him from what he wants that's an issue right now.
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Old 06-25-2012, 07:46 PM
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Hmmm...it sounds like Tucker is similar to Chloe, but not quite the same. So I'll talk from my point of view with Chloe and hope they are similar enough that it can shed some light.

Quote:
Was Tucker just so worked up that he redirected onto my brother or would you say it was more of a resource guarding type thing and he bit Danny for trying to remove him from the cat?
Sounds like redirected aggression to me. Tucker was not in a stable frame of mind when he was chasing the cat - he was over threshold and frantic. If anything, Tucker reacting to the stimulus (the scream) by chasing the cat is in and of itself a form of redirected aggression. The stimulus sends him over threshold so he redirects onto the cat. Since he has what I like to call touchy-feely issues, when your brother made contact with him while he was frantic it just made him go that much more over threshold and he bit your brother.

In order to avoid the problem, you need to keep him from becoming over stimulated. How you do that, I think, will depend on him. I've been working with Chloe for quite some time now on her threshold levels and I finally made the decision to put her on anti-anxiety medication to hopefully give us that push we need to really make improvements.

Touchy Feely issues, IMO, are another matter entirely. When Chloe is over threshold her touchy feely issues get worse, but they're always there even when she is relaxed and calm. The best thing I've done with her is to get her used to being handled. I've done most of my work in a structured setting (ie, working with her to accept a certain kind of handling from me such as grooming, restraint, physical manipulation, teeth brushing, etc.), but I'm sure the same ideas could be applied to "random" touches like bumping, pushing, nudging, etc. If I threw down a handful of cat food every time I stepped on Chloe, she'd probably be a lot less likely to snap because of it. (That's a good idea, actually. Hmmm. I wonder if I could convince my family to carry around catfood in their pocket one day and whenever they bumped into Chloe throw down a handful by her head...)

The key, it seems, is to reward with a super-special-awesome, high valued treat. With Chloe, it was cat food. I started with short, brief sessions and I would jackpot every single step in the right direction. She let me pick up her foot? PARTY TIME. Even BIGGER party when she would make bigger steps forward. And, if the scenario is uncomfortable for the dog (for instance, grooming), cutting the session short is an even bigger reward AND you get the added bonus of ending on a good note instead of pushing it too far.

Also, bear in mind that at least with Chloe, she doesn't generalize well. I can practically do anything I want to her, including stepping on her accidently and she just takes it. Mike can wrestle with her, pull her tail, grab her feet, and just be a pain in the butt to her and she tolerates it. My mom has a hard time even getting her to move out of a doorway when she doesn't want to go. I've done the work with Chloe and I handle her the right way, so she's fine with me. Other people, not so much, because they haven't done the work with her and they don't know how to handle her.

Also, teaching the dog place commands is very, very helpful. Chloe knows "get back", "get out", "off", and "move". We're able to get her to go where we want her to go and get her away from whatever we want by body language and voice command alone. This saves a LOT of problems with touchy-feely issues. We don't need to physically move her off the couch or scoot her out of our walkpath, we just tell her what to do and she does it. No conflict and everybody is happy.

Of course, Chloe's touchy-feely issues stem from physical contact in completely benign scenarios. From this description:
Quote:
l the aggression he's shown towards his family has been related to being touched and resource guarding. He will not guard if you walk up and take something he stole. If you walk up and try to push him away from something he stole he'll snap. Like when he was a pup and stole something and tried to head under the coffee table with it, mom grabbed his waist as he went under and he turned and snapped. Or when he was rooting in the trash and Brian tries to push him away with his foot, he snapped. When he had jumped on the end table to steal something and dad picked him up to move him off he got snapped at (those all happened over a year ago) And at night when dad goes to bed and tries to move Tucker out of his spot he gets growled at (which is concerning me as it's happening like every night..I told dad to just bring a treat up but so far he hasn't bothered). It's not simply resource guarding, it is connected to him being touched.
it really does sound like resource guarding, just a different form, so to speak. Chloe will drop a bone from her mouth when I ask her to or let me pull something out of her mouth that she's grabbed because I've worked with her on it. If she were to be actively trying to get something or running away from me with something and I were to physically interact with her she would snap, no question, because she views it as a different scenario and it is one that I haven't actively worked with her on.

But, again, her knowing the various place commands really helps. I don't need to grab her and shove her away from something she's getting in to because I can just tell her to "get back" or "leave it".

Hope that helped somewhat. Gotta love testy dogs, eh?
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:07 PM
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Ghastly thought...but reading the above I realize how submissive Sophie really is. There were some awful times years ago when I was trying to wrestle neighborhood strays from her...now she doesn't get within a mile of a strange kitty...
A high tension situation if there was one. And even with yelling and prying her jaws, pulling her collar...she didn't growl, didn't snap at me, didn't even pull away from me...took her awhile to drop the poor creature...But wow, some dogs would have really hurt me...
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Old 06-26-2012, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
Ghastly thought...but reading the above I realize how submissive Sophie really is.
I don't think it's so much a matter of submission, but of tolerance and just of the dog's general tendency towards or away from resource guarding. Tucker has had mild resource guarding issues since he was a small pup, some dogs are just more predisposed to it, but all dogs have the potential for it of course.


Tucker's resource guarding has been pretty much non-existent for a while, except for being moved while resting. I can touch him while he has prized items and stolen items (his guarding was always about stolen items) and I can pick them up while he has them and he doesn't care. I can ask him to bring me any item he has and he will bring it and give it to me. It wasn't that hard to do. Recently though another brother got snapped at for trying to take something from him but this brother was shouting at him before going to take it and likely took it roughly and angrily. But it could also just be because I'm the only one who has worked with him on it so I'm the only one he is not concerned about. However I think perhaps he would snap if I were to pick him up or pull him away by his collar while he has an important item, perhaps I should try working on that specifically.


He has NO issues being touched everywhere. I can handle his feet, tail, brush his teeth, etc. He gets his full body massage (tick check) every day and he loves it. It's only related to being kept/removed from what he wants.


I completely agree that his cat chasing is redirected aggression, I just find it odd that it's ONLY Neko he goes for. He will go out of his way to find him sometimes, he'll even begin to start after Willie, realize who it is, and leave to find Neko.

What you are saying about combining touchy feely issues with being over threshold makes sense. He may always be bothered by being pushed but only bit this time because he was so frantic from the cat. He was especially frantic this time because Neko was swatting back, sometimes Neko just sits up high, but this time Neko was swatting him and that just pumps Tucker up so much more.

I think I'm going to work on handling him while he's resting and maybe some pushing and picking up work, he doesn't mind being held, but he's not a huge fan of the actual lifting off the ground part. Then I'll try working on it while he has things. Then maybe restrained retrieves or something like that.
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:37 AM
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Thank you for clarifying, good point I hadn't considered. If Sophie was completely submissive she would have seen me getting excited and not of gotten the cat to begin with. And even though she didn't get huffy or react to what I was, doing she didn't drop what was in her mouth, it was more like " You can do what you want, I caught it and I'm not putting it down".
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaydee View Post
And even though she didn't get huffy or react to what I was, doing she didn't drop what was in her mouth, it was more like " You can do what you want, I caught it and I'm not putting it down".
Isn't she a pit bull type dog? That's pretty much their MO with things they're gripping. They're bred both not to let go readily but also not to redirect or guard while gripping.
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:04 AM
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Yup...gah, you don't realize the strength until you witness it up close. It's NOT because they're superdog demons, it's just the jaw and bone structure is more powerful than average. Hubby gives her a obscenely big bone as a treat sometimes, in minutes...virtually the whole thing is gone
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