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  #11  
Old 05-16-2013, 09:36 AM
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Applebear Applebear is offline
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Thanks for the very helpful and generous replies!

No, they do not just leave him loose when strangers are over. He is confined to a back room, as are their other 4 dogs [all their dogs react poorly to strangers, Benny is the only one that reacts poorly to me]. I talked to mom yesterday about the issue and I was right about the muzzle...she thinks that's all that needs to be done. I said he needs to be leashed or confined. She was like no, he needs to get over it.

I just watched a video on changing the emotion of the dog with treating and the rest of your post makes a lot of sense. Benny is clearly not in a thinking mode at all when I come in. The only word I can think of for his current emotion is rage...he sees me, he wants me dead. Mom feels he's trying to protect her. I pointed out you aren't there to be protected...this may be true other times, but def not all and even if that is the case, the behavior is still unacceptable.

My guess is mom will choose to just confine him back to a room when I push the subject. She wants a quick fix and she thinks the dog should just know better and get over it. I tried to get her attention with the fact she has a new grandbaby coming [which she will be watching a ton] and pointing out there are cases of SMALL dogs seriously hurting or killing babies. I may be one of Bennys problems, but I am far from the only one.

In the end, I really agree that a lot of it is about management. I personally am ok with not being friends, and I think Benny too could care less. This is becoming more mom insisting but she needs to realize, if she's not willing to put in the work...she can't have it both ways. I did make it clear yesterday I won't be coming over without him at least leashed...she's not happy, but I think we tried it her way long enough.

Thanks again, it helped so much just to be able to talk it out and get some clarity on the subject.
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  #12  
Old 05-16-2013, 09:54 AM
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Applebear Applebear is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxy24 View Post
As for actual training she should do, it's really hard to say without seeing the dog. Different things work for different dogs. I can only tell you what I do with my own dog, who sounds very similar to Benny, albeit with better bite inhibition. Does his reactivity decrease at all during your visit (does he start super bad, reacting when you do barely anything and then get less easily upset throughout the visit?).
Forgot to answer this...he starts out super bad, then slowly calms down [takes couple hours to stop chasing me if I need to get up]. But always reacts when I move with something, growling or barking etc. I am also noticing he will try to force eye contact [or at least seems to, I'm not sure what you would call it]. I will be watching tv and he will pop his front legs up on the couch looking directly in my eyes. I have learned to not shift my eyes down [at first I thought it was one of the other dogs trying to come up to see me and it was just a reflex, I really wasn't meaning to provoke him here], as he was waiting for that exact moment for our eyes to meet for that one brief second so he could go into another fit. He still tries, but long as I keep my eyes on tv and resist that urge to look at movement in the corner of my eye...he won't react.
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Old 05-17-2013, 09:21 AM
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Maxy24 Maxy24 is offline
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I am also noticing he will try to force eye contact [or at least seems to, I'm not sure what you would call it]. I will be watching tv and he will pop his front legs up on the couch looking directly in my eyes. I have learned to not shift my eyes down [at first I thought it was one of the other dogs trying to come up to see me and it was just a reflex, I really wasn't meaning to provoke him here], as he was waiting for that exact moment for our eyes to meet for that one brief second so he could go into another fit. He still tries, but long as I keep my eyes on tv and resist that urge to look at movement in the corner of my eye...he won't react.
Tucker does the EXACT same thing, I always thought it was just him! This usually happens after he's calmed down a bit, I call it "the test". For him, if the person "passes" by not looking back at him he can then usually start to warm up to them. If they "fail" by making eye contact he flips out. I always have to tell people "I know he's staring at you and it looks like he wants to be your friend, but whatever you do don't look at him". Because it really does look like he's being all friendly, approaching, having curious but not nervous body language, he may even cock his head. So a lot of people want to look straight at him and say hi, in the past even offer a hand to sniff because it looks like that's what he wants. Not so.

I hope your mother respects your wishes. You shouldn't have to be afraid to go to your parents house and see your father.
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