The RetrieverTraining.Net Forums The Retriever Academy
Total Retriever Training with Mike Lardy
Hawkeye Media Gunners Up Tritronics Outdoor Media
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 28

Thread: Scenario

  1. #1
    Senior Member DarrinGreene's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Souf Joisy
    Posts
    2,849

    Default Scenario

    Customer with 3 yo Greater Swiss Mtn dog is worried dog might bite someone over a possession it is guarding.

    Dog will pick up an object like a sock, that could be dangerous and show signs of aggression when the owner approaches to take it away. Dog begins showing reactions (according to customer) at about 4 feet.

    Customer is a large gentleman with a bad ankle, not at all agile.

    Dog has been through a local obedience program that I happen to know is done with a choke chain and a pat on the head. Dog is not wearing choke chain and owner believes that training may have triggered this issue.

    Dog's is overweight and food bowl is in the kitchen, half full at 11 am. Dog shows little interest in food rewards.

    Dog positions itself between trainer and owner and moves when with trainer to maintain it's position. Dog isn't particularly nervous but shows nervous symptoms when trainer approaches owner (mouth closes, tongue exposed). Dog does not act aggressively in this position but is obviously saying "leave me alone".

    Dog sleeps in owner's bed nightly, no crate in sight.

    Owner claims to have tried trading food for dangerous items and failed.

    What's your analysis and plan of attack?

    Remember, you need to solve this problem quickly before a family member gets bitten.
    Last edited by DarrinGreene; 03-01-2014 at 08:06 AM.
    Darrin Greene

  2. #2
    Senior Member suepuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    South Central Virginia
    Posts
    727

    Default

    Right off the bat the owner needs to take ownership. He needs to be pack leader. I would start here:

    -Crate in the bedroom. No more sleeping on the bed. That elevates the position of the dog.
    -Owner needs to be in charge of the resources. Food removed. Put out twice a day for a specified amount of time. If the dog doesn't eat it, his loss. He won't starve.
    -dog needs exercise. Need to figure out a way to get that done since owner has a bad ankle.
    -buckle collar, start obedience training again. Verbal praise since food isn't of interest and toys aren't an option.

    Questions:
    Children or others in the house?
    Does the dog even LIKE or SEEK attention from the owner or is he an independent...doesn't need anyone?
    What DOES motivate the dog?
    Sue Puffenbarger
    Wirtz, VA
    www.boynelabradors.com

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Longview Texas
    Posts
    619

    Default

    I agree with suepuff. I would also add that extreme situations call for extreme measures and you may want to spend a little time on the snubbing post before all the other additions.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Paul Brown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Pocahontas, AR
    Posts
    135

    Default

    Darrin, my wife and I have livestock guardian dogs which guard our stock. These dogs must have a job and they are hard wired to guard as their job. That is exactly what this dog is doing--guarding his stock. In this case, his owner. Typically, these dogs guard by an aggressive display and usually don't bite. However, our dogs know that they are subordinate to us unlike this dog. I bet that the dog has been allowed to get on the bed on its own and without any command, discipline or invitation.

    Our dogs are well socialized as puppies and protect their stock by placing themselves between potential predators and the flock, just as this dog is doing. I doubt that this dog was socialized properly as a puppy. I am afraid that the owner has allowed this dog to 'possess' him. It doesn't sound as though the owner will be able to change this dynamic.

    There are some very good LGD groups on Facebook that may be able to offer some help; but, realistically this may not be the dog for this owner. Fortunately, there are good rescue groups that can take and place these dogs.

    If the owner wishes to keep this dog, it is imperative that he take the leader role. Give the dog a job: carting, herding or even hiking. Instill discipline and it must come from the owner.

    If I sound pessimistic it is because I know first hand that the working breeds are independent, a bit stubborn, and hard-wired to behave in a certain way. It takes commitment from the owner, on a daily basis.

    Good luck and I hope it works out for the dog's sake.
    "Appears to have been a glitch or two." Sheriff Ed Tom Bell

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    3,337

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Brown View Post
    Darrin, my wife and I have livestock guardian dogs which guard our stock. These dogs must have a job and they are hard wired to guard as their job. That is exactly what this dog is doing--guarding his stock. In this case, his owner. Typically, these dogs guard by an aggressive display and usually don't bite. However, our dogs know that they are subordinate to us unlike this dog. I bet that the dog has been allowed to get on the bed on its own and without any command, discipline or invitation.

    Our dogs are well socialized as puppies and protect their stock by placing themselves between potential predators and the flock, just as this dog is doing. I doubt that this dog was socialized properly as a puppy. I am afraid that the owner has allowed this dog to 'possess' him. It doesn't sound as though the owner will be able to change this dynamic.

    There are some very good LGD groups on Facebook that may be able to offer some help; but, realistically this may not be the dog for this owner. Fortunately, there are good rescue groups that can take and place these dogs.

    If the owner wishes to keep this dog, it is imperative that he take the leader role. Give the dog a job: carting, herding or even hiking. Instill discipline and it must come from the owner.

    If I sound pessimistic it is because I know first hand that the working breeds are independent, a bit stubborn, and hard-wired to behave in a certain way. It takes commitment from the owner, on a daily basis.

    Good luck and I hope it works out for the dog's sake.
    Good advice from Suepuff and Paul Brown.

  6. #6
    Senior Member suepuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    South Central Virginia
    Posts
    727

    Default

    Good point Paul about the breed thing. I think we sometimes we forget that there are breed differences and each should be treated differently.
    Sue Puffenbarger
    Wirtz, VA
    www.boynelabradors.com

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Pa.
    Posts
    5,317

    Default

    It is quite reckless to administer sight unseen advice pertaining to a dog's people aggression problem.

    One thing I will say though, and that is, without regard to the size of the dog relative to the handler, there is no establishing yourself in the Alpha role if in fact you are not ... It is dangerous and in some cases life threatning to think otherwise.

    john
    "i guess the old saying 'those of us that think we know everything annoy those of you that does' " --bobbyb 9/13/06

    "A Good Dog is a Good Dog"

  8. #8
    Senior Member afdahl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    1,360

    Default

    Darrin,

    If you're not familiar with "Mine!" by Jean Donaldson, you might take a look. There's a lot of good information in there about resource guarding.

    My understanding is that the tendency is "in the dog" (it certainly is in some Chesapeakes) and is a matter of lifelong management, not of fixing the problem and moving on. That would fit with what Paul points out about breed tendencies.

    I would agree that rehoming is worth considering if the owner is not willing and able to do the necessary management, probably including NILIF (owner controls resources), keeping an environment free of problem objects, other changes in household routine, more training and possibly a job. Or if the owner is not willing to acknowledge and live with the risk of an incident.

    Other thoughts:
    An appropriate punishment for owner-guarding is for the owner to drop the loop of the dog's lead over a post and walk away, so that the aggression fails in its objective of maintaining possession of the owner (this only works if someone has proactively attached a lead to the dog).

    I wonder if food rewards might be more effective if the dog were hungry?

    Have you trained many fat dogs? In my experience they seem less interested in the person's opinions than lean dogs.

    Amy Dahl

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    132

    Default

    Sometimes we have to admit we got the wrong dog/breed.
    I tend to lean toward this being brought on by the environment.
    Obviously with a genetic base.
    Cure,no.management,yes.

  10. #10
    Senior Member JusticeDog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Illinois/Wisconsin
    Posts
    6,240

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by john fallon View Post
    It is quite reckless to administer sight unseen advice pertaining to a dog's people aggression problem.

    One thing I will say though, and that is, without regard to the size of the dog relative to the handler, there is no establishing yourself in the Alpha role if in fact you are not ... It is dangerous and in some cases life threatning to think otherwise.

    john
    DING DING DING!! Winner Winner Chicken Dinner! It's also reckless to train an aggressive dog or attempt to deal with aggression issues if you don't have the experience. Too often I have seen the situation backfire, and the dog ends up with the blue juice (Or pink, depending on the brand the vet carries).
    Susan

    FC Tribute to Justice, JH "Honor"
    FC AFC Contempt of Court "Ruckus"
    Medal Of Honor, QAA "Valor"
    HRCH Kirby's High Sierra, SH, QAA "Kirby"
    HRCH Niki Snowbird, SH, QAA "Niki"
    Southland Order In the Court, QAA "Gavel" July 17, 2002- March 24, 2013
    Southland Rusty Nail - derby points, qual placements "Rusty"
    www.justiceretrievers.com

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •