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  #31  
Old 07-10-2008, 09:59 AM
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I was thinking about looking into a treadmill? just getting one from a second hand store maybe. I take her outside and we play for at least half an hour once or twice a day, till she lays down and doesn't wanna run anymore. It sucks being in the Midwest when its so humid you cant do anything outside without sweating immediately.

EDIT: I know we must seem like a bunch of idiots coming here, but you have to understand that my parents always did the raising of the dogs. I am hoping that now I can learn some good tools and skills to help train and rear dogs that when I have kids, they can be a part of it and not be kinda left to it by themselves like we have.

Last edited by Deedlit; 07-10-2008 at 10:09 AM.
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  #32  
Old 07-10-2008, 10:39 AM
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Okay. Now I just developed an even worse problem. I fed pug, the let her be out for about 20 minutes, let her potty then put her away and let Athena out. she pottied and then we came inside to have breakfast. I made her sit out of the kitchen, like she does every day to wait for me to prepare her food. I set it on the ground and stood outside of the laundry room, making her wait like usual, and she started to come without me saying she could. I redirected her to leave, but she wouldn't, so I walked towards her and pointed to the carpet saying "get" and she started to leave then jumped up and lunged growling and barking at the cat who was sitting on a table near by. The only thing I could do was grab her and push her down till she rolled on her side. She kept trying to get up and I kept putting my hand on her jaw till she didn't try getting up anymore. I stood there, over her, and she cowered, but kept trying to run by me, I am sure to get to the food that was sitting on the floor in the laundry room, but I wouldn't let her get passed me. I went over and picked the food up while she stayed there and then I made her go back upstairs into her kennel. She has only ever once been aggressive like that during meal time. I really think she is trying to assert herself as the dominant dog, because my father is gone. Hes been gone a week now and all this started hitting the fan in the past few days. Did I do the right thing? What more can I do?

The cat is okay. She jumped away in time and didn't get hurt which is good, but now I have to worry about more than just Pug.
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  #33  
Old 07-10-2008, 11:22 AM
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I doubt she's trying to dominate you, Next time I would not try to scare her or push her to the ground, that could result in her seeing you as a threat also (when you do this she does not see you as a leader, she simply sees it as an attack on her, she does not see her guarding her food as a bad behavior, it's completely normal for her, like you flipping out on a stranger you see open your car door and sit inside, you'd assume he's gonna steal it so you react, that's what the dog is doing, there is no "who's the boss?" involved) , she does not need to submit to you or anyone else, she is simply afraid the cat and dog are going to take her food and she needs to keep them away, lunging and biting works pretty well. from now on NO food near any animal and don't ever take her food or treats away from her unless she gives them up after being told to (such as a drop it command) or you risk her staring to guard from you.

From now on if she ignores your wait command and she stands up to go to her food you should step in front of her and block her path with your body, don't threaten her by staring or leaning over her, just block her path and move in front of her when she tries to move around you. She should quickly learn she cannot pass you and will either sit or look at you. If she sits, tell her good and then release her. If she looks at you, say her name in a happy voice and ask her for the sit again, when she sits, release her for her food. If she still does not listen you can wait longer until she sits herself or you can leash her and remove her from the room then go back and put up the food (don't remove it in front of her as she will see it as you taking it away from her). Do not allow her access to this room for ten minutes (if she goes in the room and another animal does as well she might bite them because the scent of her food is strong there), go back in, put the food down, bring Athena back in and ask for the sit again.
Chances are she'll sit after the body blocking though as she knows sitting usually works.

That's just how I would do it. From now on try to think about how your dog sees things, it's usually in a very simple way as in: When i do this, this happens. If it's good I'll do it again, if it's bad I won't (although I prefer we always focus on the positive, the less punishment the better). So, I guard my food, everyone steps away, so I'll do it again.

And a treadmill would be a great idea! Just keep in mind people may make stupid ignorant comments such as "only people who fight dogs use treadmills"

I don't know about doing weight pull at home but you can set up your own agility set, some things you can make really easily, some things need more expertise and everything you an buy online. It's a great sport!
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  #34  
Old 07-10-2008, 11:31 AM
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Alpha rolls, which is what you are doing when you're pushing Athena on the ground, are a dangerous and outdated method of "dominating". As of right now, STOP doing those. That isn't going to help your case at all. If she has seen your father as the leader and you're trying to take over that spot, all these rolls are going to teach her is that you're crazy and unpredictable. Obedience classes and NILIF are a much better and safer way of building a bond between the two of you, which is what needs to happen.
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  #35  
Old 07-10-2008, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deedlit View Post
I know we must seem like a bunch of idiots coming here, but you have to understand that my parents always did the raising of the dogs. I am hoping that now I can learn some good tools and skills to help train and rear dogs that when I have kids, they can be a part of it and not be kinda left to it by themselves like we have.
Nope, you don't seem like idiots. You seem like people who want to learn how to manage a dog who has a resource guarding issue. An idiot would sit there and do nothing and continue to let the dogs fight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deedlit View Post
The only thing I could do was grab her and push her down till she rolled on her side. She kept trying to get up and I kept putting my hand on her jaw till she didn't try getting up anymore. I stood there, over her, and she cowered, but kept trying to run by me, I am sure to get to the food that was sitting on the floor in the laundry room, but I wouldn't let her get passed me.
I would suggest keeping a collar on her with a tab so you can grab her that way if needed. Pushing her to the ground and holding her down only serves to scare her, and you risk getting bitten as well as causing an increase in the guarding behavior. The guarding is based on an insecurity - she fears that someone will take away her food. When you scare her over the food issue, it validates that fear and escalates it.

She needs to learn that people and animals in the area while she eats are not a threat.

Quote:
I really think she is trying to assert herself as the dominant dog, because my father is gone. Hes been gone a week now and all this started hitting the fan in the past few days. Did I do the right thing? What more can I do?
She isn't trying to be dominant. It's possible that your father was more of a leader (leader is different from alpha) and that she felt secure when he was around.
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  #36  
Old 07-10-2008, 12:00 PM
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yea. you guys are right. I just feel really helpless right now because I am here alone and I don't even know where to start. For me, our last pit was trained with the techniques I am using on Athena (by my father) which seemed to work very well, but I suppose if they are out dated it makes sense. I bought one of the nose collars today. I thought Id give it a try.
I don't know if there is a difference between biting and snapping, but Athena is trying to start full out fights, fur flying fights, and I guess thats why I figured it was dominance. The distance I have her sit between the laundry room and where I make her wait is AT LEAST 40 feet. I call her to me, about 6 feet from the food, make her sit, shake, and speak then she has to look me in the eyes instead of at the food, while she is shaking. THEN she can go.
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  #37  
Old 07-10-2008, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Deedlit View Post
The distance I have her sit between the laundry room and where I make her wait is AT LEAST 40 feet. I call her to me, about 6 feet from the food, make her sit, shake, and speak then she has to look me in the eyes instead of at the food, while she is shaking. THEN she can go.
The shaking indicates that she is pretty close to over-stimulated. She wants to get to her food and she's trying to control that urge in order to perform, and she's got it all bottled up and ready to explode.

I would experiment a bit with doing less, doing something different, and see if you can release her to eat while she is calm (not shaking).
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  #38  
Old 07-10-2008, 12:37 PM
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What is a nose collar? Do you mean a halti, or something that wraps around the muzzle?

I know what it's like to try and get outside to play when it's hot here in the Illinois... can you get a baby pool or a splash pool and see if she'll play in the pool? You might be able to play fetch by throwing something into the pool, so she can dive in and splash around retrieving it for you. I think you should still be able to find a pool in most stores, some of them might even be clearance right now! Generally, I think it's a lot worse for us than it is for them, LOL.

I agree with everybody else about no longer pushing her over or trying to hold her jaw shut... it sounds like things are escalating quickly and I'm worried she will bite you, not necessarily on purpose, but just because your hands are in the wrong place at the wrong time. =< Have you looked into finding a behaviourist? Depending on where you are in IL, I might be able to help you find somebody.

edit: Oops, I just saw you're not in IL but in WI - I had you confused with somebody else! But my advice for playing outside and offer for help on finding a behaviourist still stands. => I'm sure if you posted a general area you're around people could try to find someone good for you!
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Last edited by Beanie; 07-10-2008 at 01:00 PM.
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  #39  
Old 07-10-2008, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corgipower View Post
The shaking indicates that she is pretty close to over-stimulated. She wants to get to her food and she's trying to control that urge in order to perform, and she's got it all bottled up and ready to explode.

I would experiment a bit with doing less, doing something different, and see if you can release her to eat while she is calm (not shaking).
I think she means "shaking" like "shaking her paw", not over-stimulated body shaking.
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  #40  
Old 07-10-2008, 01:42 PM
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Yes I meant paw-shaking, not physical body shaking. Sorry for that. ;P
BTW- What does NILIF mean?
One reason we haven't delved too much into a behaviorist at present is because we don't have the money for that right now. Once we save some up, I know that will be the next step, but for now all we can do is work at home on it.

After the mini-outburst this morning, Athena will be on her leash when outside of her box at all times aside from being in the backyard under constant supervision.

I took her out and put a tag on her, we went outside and ate breakfast, took a nice walk, then came back and went into the backyard to play a little fetch. Then I took her inside and gave her a cool shower to help cool her off and now she is having a rest.

She didn't like the nose/head collar ("Gentle Leader") at all, but I know those things take some acclimation. I realize now the issue isn't with her, its with Dennis and I not making her feel secure enough when its food time that she doesn't feel threatened by surrounding animals.

When I was feeding her today, I sat directly next to her and stroked her and talked nice to her, even stuck my hand in the food bowl a few times and she was perfectly fine with it, licking me and wagging her tail in between bites. Any aggression she has shown towards me in the past, I feel, has been indirect and in "the heat of the moment", for want of a better term.

I feel kinda upset that she will have to spend the next month in this state, constantly on the lead and what not, but considering the other option, euthanasia, I feel she will be fine with it.

I really appreciate all your help and suggestions and will keep you guys more than up to date as to the situation and how it unfolds. As for now, we just have to make sure to keep things in check and stop them from further escalating.

If anyone else has any other suggestions, I would be more than open to everything and anything you think my help.

EDIT: We live in south-central Wisconsin, so if you live in Northern Illinois, maybe we can arrange something.
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