Update on Timber's agression
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Thread: Update on Timber's agression

  1. #1
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    DefaultUpdate on Timber's agression

    Some of you may remember a few months back, I posted about my Choc Lab Timber having some serious agression issues with our Border Collie. It had escalated to the point of me getting hurt trying to get Timber off of Willow, and us contemplating rehoming her.

    Well I am happy to say that after some work with a behaviourist and a LOT of patience, we are now back to normal. We ended up moving the crates so they werent together, and we would only get them together OUTSIDE of our house. We would take them to the park down the street, and let them play near each other, but not close enough for them to touch. We worked a lot with Timber on realizing we were the bosses of the house, and we would praise her when she would be in the same room with Willow and not start anything. She only got treats , such as chews or bones, as a reward--so she had to earn them with good behaviour.

    It really seems to me that when we moved here, she claimed this place as hers, and she tried challenging Willow when she felt her space was threatened. (Hence the getting them together outside the house.)

    We made plans to go away and stay in a hotel near the beach at Christmas time, and we were leery of how that would work out. We let them check out the room together and we kept them in their seperate corners so to speak--keeping a close eye on them. The first couple nights we took trips to the beach, then let them run in the dog park. (They were the only two there.) Dh keeping an eye on one, and me the other. Willow tried initiating play with Timber, and Timber seemed to warm to her.

    I dont know what it was, but that seemed to be a turning point, and the rest of that trip was pretty uneventful. When we returned home, we still kept up with the seperate play for a week or so, but there was no indication of a problem. Thank goodness--it was really tough having to consider getting rid of one of our dogs, and I am so glad that we found something that worked.

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  3. #2
    Mia&Buddy is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Update on Timber's agression

    Congratulations on all of your hard work. I'm glad that it paid off!

    We had some issues between Buddy and Mia when Buddy was a pup, so I can relate to your situation. I'm glad that a behaviorist was able to help you out. We found the advice received from our behaviorist to be invaluable. Now, just over 2 years later you would never know that there were any issues between them, and they were even kenneled together last New Year's with no problems.*

  4. #3
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    DefaultRe: Update on Timber's agression

    Great news!!

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  6. #4
    luke from georgia is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Update on Timber's agression

    welcome back!

    i remember you.

    i'm so happy that your dogs are now able to live in harmony together. ;D
    so the dogs got treats and playtime and good things ONLY when they were near each other? was that the training approach?
    i have read that this can work very well for dog to dog aggression.

    did you have to use any punishment based training to get your dogs to behave nicely towards each other?
    how did the trainer help you show Timber that you were the bosses of the house?

    "Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend." ~ Corey Ford

  7. #5
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    DefaultRe: Update on Timber's agression

    Quote Originally Posted by luke from georgia
    welcome back!

    i remember you.

    i'm so happy that your dogs are now able to live in harmony together. ;D
    so the dogs got treats and playtime and good things ONLY when they were near each other? was that the training approach?
    i have read that this can work very well for dog to dog aggression.

    did you have to use any punishment based training to get your dogs to behave nicely towards each other?
    how did the trainer help you show Timber that you were the bosses of the house?
    Well the playtime was a must, considering the energy of a Border Collie, lol, but they were not allowed to play with each other--just near each other. With the treats and mealtimes, we made them BOTH show good behaviour. At mealtimes, they had to do sit/stay and leave it till I told them it was ok. Treats were basically a reward for playing near each other and not killing each other, lol. Timber had to get used to having her treats when Willow was near, and get it through her head that Willow wasnt going to take them from her.

    As far as how she showed us, she told us to not allow either dog on the couches, beds, etc. Anything that we "owned" was off limits to them unless given permission. This wasnt an issue as we didnt before anyway. Dh seemed to be the one person they were both territorial to, so he would sit on the floor and call Willow to him. He would make Timber stay, which killed him, but it got her to learn that if she acted nicely, she could get his attention to. As bad as it sounds, they had to earn our attention instead of getting it naturally.

    When they started to get a long a bit, we would walk them both around the house, from room to room. They had to sit in the doorway, and not come in till they were given the ok. On walks, they would have to sit till collars and leashes were on and sit till I gave them the ok to go.

    Basically they both had to learn that saying I hear a lot here--Nothing in life is free. I think Timber got used to being pushy for attention, food etc, and she had to start over with getting permission. She was pretty spoiled by dh, and he had to be the one to be the hardest on her. I have seen a HUGE change in her. She is more willing to play, and is a lot more affectionate to us. She will now seek out where Willow is in the house, and lay down by her like they used to. It really is a big relief. She even loves the two kittens that dh rescued, and treats them like they are her babies, lol.

    Punishment for bad behaviour wasnt really enforced as much as rewards for good behaviour. Bad behaviour just resulted in her being taken away from the area that the family is,a nd she hated it, so it didnt take long to realize , "If I'm good, I get to be with my people."

  8. #6
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    georgie is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Update on Timber's agression

    That is wonderful news. All of your hard work paid off. I am so happy for you.

  9. #7
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    mitziandjudysmom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Update on Timber's agression

    What a great success story.

  10. #8
    RangerMom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Update on Timber's agression

    That's a great update. Congrats to you and your DH. It took alot of effort and work on your part. Alot of people would have given up. Sounds like a great ending.

    Blackie and Ranger ...............................Reggie: 1996-2010 "Fly Reggie Fly"

  11. #9
    luke from georgia is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Update on Timber's agression

    thank you so much for sharing your story with us.

    "Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend." ~ Corey Ford

  12. #10
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    DefaultRe: Update on Timber's agression

    I would love to know if anyone has any connections to dog behaviorists in the Nashville area. Sounds like what she needs! Thanks Luke!

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