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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 26-03-2012, 02:45 PM
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pack theory all depends on breeds, some breeds (mainly mastinos) still have breed traits which hasnt been bred out of them, and i said we did it for safety...not pack status.

you could add food sure it would work as the dog think its being rewarded extra food..... but what if 1 day it decided i dont want extra food or your hand in my bowl.... thats why i keep it old school and show the dog it can be taken away at any point if you become over protective of it, i didnt just take a handful of food and walk off lol it was done over 2yrs slowly fading out to the kids stroking him whilst eating...not touching his food...but if he growled then id take his bowl away for 5 mins and try again until he stopped growling. it may not ork for everyone but i found for larger breeds it works great, of course we might of just got lucky and had a soft dog who would of never shown agression if we took his toys and food even without training as a pup but i think its worth doing.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 26-03-2012, 02:46 PM
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I realise the thread has gone a little off topic but just wanted to say on the 'food guarding' issue. I've always taken food away from our dogs, not in a callous or rough way and they've always been rewarded when they've allowed it. All 3 of my dogs will stop eating on a one word command and not resume until told, same as they will stop and allow me to take their bowls away from them when/if I wanted/needed to.

They have not been trained in the old school way of MY WAY or else type training as I dont believe ANY animal learns from being scared into respecting its owner. I believe animals, like children, learn from a hand gesture, a smile, a tone of voice, a pat, stroke, love and caer of some sort.

Anyways sorry Freeky a bit slightly wonky from the original topic there but just wanted my tuppence worth.

I really do hope the behavourist gets the pup sorted out - he sounds like a nice little chappy but as I said I would be worried with regards to peoples, especially the childrens safety. And yes of course a child, whatever age it is, shouldn't be left alone or in charge of any animal. Animals are far too unpredictable.

ETA - my spelling is atrocious lol
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 26-03-2012, 02:49 PM
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Our new rescue had quite bad guarding issues.

We got around it on the end by following similar principles as advised above.
Wander past the dog (don't look at it) whilst it's guarding with a small but tasty treat (bit of cheese, ham, sausage or something worthwhile) and just drop it in front of the dog as you pass.

Resource guarding is a very natural thing for a dog to do, so the theory of the above is that the dog will associate your approach with something positive and instead of his item being taken away, he gets something better.

In time (and it didn't take at all long with ours) the dog will get excited as you approach when he's guarding and you should be able to progress to swapping what he's guarding for something else.

Anyway, it worked for us, and although our dog will have the odd grumble at times if you get to close when she has something valuable, it's at a stage where it's just not a problem.

We had to get on top of it though, with my Daughter in the house and a rescue dog with unknown background, we couldn't take any chances and it was quite intimidating when she was guarding something!

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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 26-03-2012, 02:51 PM
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The only problem with taking the item off the dog is that you're just reinforcing the fear that that is exactly what will happen! he's worried about losing the item in the first place, hence the guarding
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Old 26-03-2012, 02:52 PM
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hehe thats ok

He is an amazing doggy, i love him with all my heart. Its horrible to see, because you can see he is scared, and worried..

The training currently is ..

cut up his favourite sausages in to bite size pieces! put his empty bow, in the middle of the room, get all excited and happy, so maxi gets excited and wags his tail. I then say sit, wait, and then put my hand in the bowl with the sausage. I then say take it, and make happy noises.

What happens then is he eats it, its gone from, his whole body changing, his tail going down his ears going down, to his tail being half up, and coming to see me after eating it.

We are trying to get him to understand that eating is a fun and enjoyable thing - and im in charge of when he gets it..

it then gets harder and harder...
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Old 26-03-2012, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by animalsbeebee View Post
This sounds like a classic case of a dominant type of dog and submissive owners,dogs are like nearly every animal on the planet,if they see weakness they will take charge,have had dominant breeds all my life,the last 20 years with akitas.These are a very strong willed dog and i have to be dominant over them,some breeds of dogs do not need this,but some definately do.My answer would contradict everyone else so i wont say it,and if the owners are not taught to take charge it will get worse ,to the point they can't go in the same room.
Have to agree with this but would go further and say it's not necessarily down to the breed.
I had a GSD, as a puppy, at first, she would snarl and bare her teeth if you got to close to her when she had an item belonged to her or not.
My current dog was two when I go her from a rescue and she is a cross between a cocker spaniel and a golden retriever and did exactly the same when I got her.
My opinion is that the dog is trying to possessive of the object and once it has be taught who really is the master, it will eventually accept this.
When it comes to training I personally loath methods like using choke chains and have always found great success with treat based rewards.

OP, I know you said the dog was fussy with food when it was younger, but is there any type of dog treat that it really likes?
For fussy dogs a great treat is to bake some liver with garlic (smells foul to us but with a dogs higher sense of smell, they tend to love it) then cut it into small pieces, my GSD went mad for these as a pup and she was very fussy.
If you can get the dog really interested in something like this, could be worth seeing if the dog responds when offered them when it is being possessive over an item.
However, it will probably only be effective if the dog has a non food related item.
I think with perseverance you can overcome this between you and the owners.
Another quick thought about the puppy training classes the dog has been to, did they teach you / the owners to talk to it in a voice like you would to a baby or small child?
Baby talk is excellent for encouraging a puppy when training, just like a strong, stern voice does with they are misbehaving.
I'm sure many know or have read that dogs can react to our emotions, so the same applies to the tone of out voice.
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Old 26-03-2012, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobberbiker View Post
pack theory all depends on breeds, some breeds (mainly mastinos) still have breed traits which hasnt been bred out of them, and i said we did it for safety...not pack status.
It doesn't at all, dogs do not live in packs in the wild regardless of breed, they are not pack animals, do not have a hierarchy, it's just made up.
What does happen when you repeatedly abuse the dog by pinning it down, pulling it's legs out, stealing it's food, and all that other daft stuff is you end up with a dog who has shut down psychologically. They will let you do anything because you have taught them that they are helpless and can do nothing to avoid this treatment.
These are dogs who can one day snap and savage someone.
We've learned this through years of research conducted by a massive amount of people. We now have better ways to train animals and should use them.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 26-03-2012, 02:55 PM
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I would go with adding small amounts of food to his bowl at a time, and also just 'sprinkling' hand-fulls of food on the floor so that he takes longer to eat it and find it, he'll be more interested in finding his food than growling at you, and also you are providing the food slowly so you have to be there.
My dog gets fed in the bathroom (mainly because my child kept tipping his water everywhere), but it's also good to keep them in a quiet place to eat it at their own pace.

If you keep on taking a dogs food away eventually it might snap if it's hungry, especially if you take it and don't give it back.

ETA: Even with wolves... people get pack theory wrong, pack leader does not eat first, pups do, you are supposed to provide for your pack, not take their food.
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Old 26-03-2012, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freekygeeky View Post
What happens then is he eats it, its gone from, his whole body changing, his tail going down his ears going down, to his tail being half up, and coming to see me after eating it.
When his posture changes and he comes to see you after eating, do you speak to him in an excited voice and give him lots of fuss?
If so, does he not react to this and get all happy?
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Old 26-03-2012, 03:01 PM
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corsetts when we take away we always give it back and make a fuss of him etc and we rarely take away only wen he shows agression which he never did other than growl once when we put hand in the bowl then once he realised if he growls he will get it taken away he stopped.

is the dogs tail down when he shows agression it means he is scared, if its up hes angry
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