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Thread: SUDDENLY 6 month old BLM resource guarding...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Labs R Us's Avatar
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    Default SUDDENLY 6 month old BLM resource guarding...

    About two weeks ago, Henry suddenly began to show possessive aggression. I was totally blown away by this behavior as he has been the sweetest and easiest pup I've ever had and was a breeze to house train and crate train. His obedience is really good and I abide by the rule that "nothing in life is free". He has been CC'd to "here" as he had a tendency to go and visit the gunner rather than return to me. He has also been doing well with the "hold" and I'm about ready to start FF.

    His aggressive behavior first showed up a couple weeks ago when he grabbed a scarf off the floor. Normally, I could go right up to him and say "out" and he would drop the object. Not this time, he took off running and when I was able to catch him, his body became stiff and he started growling and snarling at me. I was able to get the scarf away from him by just waiting him out. Last Sunday was the worst incident thus far. I tried to get a toy away from him by telling him to "sit" and "out". I took a hold of his collar and he proceeded to bite my hands, arms, and leg. I was prepared and wore leather gloves, so luckily only ended up with some really ugly bruises.

    I am so surprised by his sudden aggression as he is a very happy and social puppy with people and dogs. I just have no idea where this aggression came from. I get conflicting suggestions from people such as to pin him down until he submits or trade him his guarded object for a food treat.

    I had really hoped Henry would be my first MH but with aggression rearing its ugly head, I'm not so sure any more. Can this behavior be corrected? (I have to admit that I am now nervous about taking any object away from him.)

    I am really upset about this so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    Becky
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  2. #2
    Senior Member JusticeDog's Avatar
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    I start with the simple nice approach, and if that diesn't work, you need to sit on him figuratively. If you are donning leather gloves, get a large wiffle ball bat and state no, very firmly and hit the floor around him. Get a copy if the book ruff love. He gets no priviledges until he earns them and you sre the keeper of the fun. Otherwise send him to me or Sharon Potter for a couple of months to make a good citizen out of. At this point, If he growled at me i'd punch him in the nose. He really is testing you, and right now you are losing. If you can't make a difference with positivethe training like I suggested to you, you're going to have to go for the aggressive approach but in a big way.
    Last edited by JusticeDog; 10-09-2013 at 10:37 PM.
    Susan

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    Senior Member M&K's Retrievers's Avatar
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    I believe I'd take him to the ground.
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    Senior Member kcrumpy9's Avatar
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    I would NOT give him food for this behavior. This will teach him that growling will get him a higher value reward.

    A few questions: Does he do this in a certain area of the house? Does he do it while training?

    First thing, go back and visit "Drop it", "Leave it", "Take it". Make sure he understands everything is yours and he can only have it if you say so and you can take it away just as easily. If he growls over a possession take the object away and place him in a crate or kennel for a few moments. Release him only when he's settled down and listening. You're teaching him that if he acts inappropriately he not only loses the object that he desires but also his freedom. He should quickly change his tune. Also, NO chew bones or toys around anyone or thing until this problem is cured.
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    Senior Member truthseeker's Avatar
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    This subject has come up before and with varying answers. So my advise to you is.

    If you are the pack leader, act like one.

    Keith

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    Senior Member Bruce MacPherson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JusticeDog View Post
    I start with the simple nice approach, and if that diesn't work, you need to sit on him figuratively. If you are donning leather gloves, get a large wiffle ball bat and state no, very firmly and hit the floor around him. Get a copy if the book ruff love. He gets no priviledges until he earns them and you sre the keeper of the fun. Otherwise send him to me or Sharon Potter for a couple of months to make a good citizen out of. At this point, If he growled at me i'd punch him in the nose. He really is testing you, and right now you are losing. If you can't make a difference with positivethe training like I suggested to you, you're going to have to go for the aggressive approach but in a big way.
    Absolutely 100% right on the money and the sooner the quicker.
    "The longer you let a dog go in the wrong direction the more they think they are going in the right direction" Don Remien.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Henlee's Avatar
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    I agree with Justicedog also. Incidentally your dog is also at the puberty age and may be why this is starting now. If you were not going to breed him, maybe it is time to have him fixed. British training for American Labradors by Vic Barlow also had suggestions on behaviors to establish your leader status.
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    One said to the other..."The thing I hate about obedience school is you learn ALL this stuff you will never use in the real world."

  8. #8
    Senior Member Mary Lynn Metras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JusticeDog View Post
    I start with the simple nice approach, and if that diesn't work, you need to sit on him figuratively. If you are donning leather gloves, get a large wiffle ball bat and state no, very firmly and hit the floor around him. Get a copy if the book ruff love. He gets no priviledges until he earns them and you sre the keeper of the fun. Otherwise send him to me or Sharon Potter for a couple of months to make a good citizen out of. At this point, If he growled at me i'd punch him in the nose. He really is testing you, and right now you are losing. If you can't make a difference with positivethe training like I suggested to you, you're going to have to go for the aggressive approach but in a big way.
    Although I have not run into this problem, I like your answer Susan. You have to be firm with them so they do not get away with anything. Good luck! Let us know how you make out. Puppies always test the limits!IMO
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    Senior Member DoubleHaul's Avatar
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    Someone posted on here in a different thread (in jest I think) "Put him on his back and hump him until he pees himself" One of my favorites

    I would just toss out that any sudden behavior change could be physical. Often these changes are not as sudden as we think, but if it were my dog I would at least get a thyroid panel run.

  10. #10

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    Before you implement any approach to address what you've labeled a resource guarding issue, I'd strongly suggest you do two things: (1) As DoubleHaul suggested, whenever a dog has a sudden behavioral change, it's worth looking into whether some physical or health issue might be involved. (2) PLEASE read this post on Patricia McConnell's blog about resource guarding treatment and prevention: http://www.patriciamcconnell.com/the...and-prevention

    If you're not familiar with Patricia McConnell, you can find more information about her here: http://www.patriciamcconnell.com/about-patricia. Her books and blog are wonderful reading. Her dissertation research was on communication between sheep herders and their dogs, she's a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist with many years in private practice (including working with 100s if not 1,000s of dogs with resource guarding issues), is well versed in current scientific literature on dog behavior and learning, has bred border collies and trained them for herding, and above all, is thoughtful and not dogmatic about all things dog. If I had a dog with a behavioral issue, her work is the first place I'd go to begin to seek guidance. Like you, she lives in Wisconsin. I don't think she's in private practice any longer, but the business she founded is still alive and well and could be a great place to seek a consultation if you think that's appropriate: http://www.dogsbestfriendtraining.com.

    Good luck with your pup.

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