please please please help!!!
as soem of you may know i got a 7 month lab puppy from this woman locally who does s&r and bomb det. with dogs. she got him from a rescue for bomb det. but he did not pan out for reasons unknown to me. anyhow i am so exstatic about our new puppy. i really love him to death already. he has been all i have been hoping for in a canine addition to our home.
just a little while ago i went to give him his food and put his bowl down. made him sit and wait and then gave him the good boy o.k. to realease him to get his food. keep in mind i did plenty of carefull watching of him and his habits and personality. i had already tested him with being food aggressive. i just switched his food yesterday and he scarfs it down in 2 minutes tops like always. well anyways my little girl(human) walked next to him while eating and he growled... i immediately went over and gave hima stern correction. we had just come in from out side so he still had on his choke collar, i corrected him and gave him a loud no. he backed off and flattened his ears, posture change...etc.... let him go for a sec and stood there watching.....my little girl(shes 2 by the way) then walked somewhat close to the bowl and he growled again.another correction. this time i lifted his front paws off the floor sternly and calmly telling him NO... anothe posture change. attention definately on me and submitting ....
he then a couple minutes later did this again when she just came close to him. i removed him after a corection and put him in the room. then put him in his crate.
after feeling so comfortable with this boy. growing quick attatchment to him, ABSOLUTELY LOVING the way he was with my children.....now i feel so uncomfortable with him and the kids. this just happened and i don't know what to do now. please help...please
I don't know what to tell you. I might contact the person you bought him from and demand to know WHY he didn't work out for their purpose. It might be a huge indicator in what you are seeing now. :no:
I am no expert but IMO albeit it may be wrong..the dog may see you as a leader and not your child, he may think he is above said child. I would get a professional trainer in on this. Have you tried getting your child to give the dog his meal with your supervision of course, asking her to tell him to sit? Maybe worth a shot. But until them supervise all contact!
I know very little at this point (first puppy in a long time) but my son is 2 also, so I know how hard it is at times. It sounds like you did the appropriate thing - but maybe someone with more experience will have other ideas for you. I sure hope everything works out...it sounds like another bump in the road...Originally Posted by stockylab08
i have a lot saved responses to the topic of resource guarding and
dogs growlings, so i hope you'll forgive me for the novel(s) i'm about
to copy/paste to you on these topics.
dogs growls because they are dogs:
dogs communicate in ways we humans are often blind to see. dogs
typically give non-verbal cues to their distress way before a growl is
uttered, and a growl can be a warning signal. it can give us a clue
that the dog is upset and that the anxiety may then escalate to
something more. if we punish/correct a dog's natural communication of
growling, then the dog is more likely to resort to biting without
warning, which is far more dangerous, IMHO.
there was a time when i would have regarded a dog growl with anger
and viewed it as a personal insult from the dog, and my ego would have
felt the need to severely punish the dog (via alpha roll, scruff
shake, etc.) for the "unacceptable" behavior, but knowing what i know
now, i know that a dog growl is simply a warning, a very valuable
punishing or correcting a dog for growling is training a dog not to
growl, which is a terrible solution. the solution should be to fix the
cause of the growl, not the growl itself. if the dog is in pain, heal
he hurt. if the dog is scared, build the confidence. if the dog is
uneasy near food, build trust. if the dog thinks he controls the resources in his life,
help him understand that all GOOD things come from you, and he can
obtain those good things with good behaviors. punishing only the
growl itself with no other changes to address the source of the growl
is simply a recipe for disaster.
if the cause of the growling is left untreated, and the dog continues
to feel anxiety and stress, such stress builds over time. you know
how you hear things like, "the dog bit without warning?" maybe they
were trained to bite without warning (no growl).
in my experience, dogs with resource guarding issues (1) have had good
things taken away from them more so than having good things given to
them, (2) did not learn to trust others in past relationships, and or
(3) feel insecure. many dogs that are insecure will exhibit guarding
behavior because they feel undue stress or worry about their
environment/situation. in the case of a new dog, keep in mind the new
dog's reaction is likely influenced by past experience with other
humans and other dogs, along with their temperment. some dogs are
naturally easy going and steady, so they may never resort to resource
guarding even when good things are taken away from them all the time
without getting any reward or praise in return.
i would start a training regiment where i teach/train my dog that my presence and my hands are not a threat and pose no danger to their hunger. teach your dog that human hands brings tasty treats, more food, or other goodies. human presence near the food bowl is wonderful! dog learns to welcome humans near the food bowl.
when you feel like you might be ready, while the dog is eating, casually walk by and toss hot dogs into the food bowl. repeat a few times for several days. once the dog is comfortable with the walk bys, walk directly towards the dog while eating and offer hot dog treats. the goal is to get to the point where your dog becomes comfortable and enjoy you being near the food bowl.
when the dog is comfortable with you being close, you can pick up the half finished food bowl, and put a spoonful of canned dog food, cottage cheese, or other tasty treat on top of the kibble, and put it back down. dog learns that it's great when humans take food bowl away!
with training, the dog can become conditioned to stop guarding their food bowl, even when you have no hot dogs or other tasty treats to offer, because by that point, the dog has learned that food guarding is unnecessary.
punishing the dog for food/object guarding can sometime have the effect of validating the anxiety that caused them to guard the food in the first place, and results in the aggressive behavior getting worse and harder to resolve.
some people say that you should punish a dog for resource guarding,
but often times, this type of training makes the guarding behavior
worse, because the dog is validated in guarding the item and tries to
work harder next time to keep the item by increased
aggression. i've tried both methods of training, and by far the least
dangerous and most effective, long lasting method has been the
people talk about being the alpha and being the boss, putting the dog
in his rightfully lowly place in the pack order, in order to fix a
resource guarding problem, but i have to whole heartedly disagree. a
one time big display of "don't make the alpha angry!" at the dog does
work for a lot of pet owners, but when it doesn't work the first time,
it is highly unlikely to ever work, and a dog with a deep seeded
insecurity about losing food or having it taken away is also unlikely
to respond well to such displays and tactics, particularly if this
kind of behavior is being repeated, making the problem worse and
harder to resolve.
i am the alpha because i provide the food and good stuff, not because
i take them away.
sure, with my dogs i can easily take away what is given, but it's
because my dogs know i will soon provide again, and i have established
a history of rewarding the dog for giving up high value items. i
don't disrupt their mealtimes so much so that they develope a complex
about being able to eat in relative peace, and i don't constantly test
them in order to prove a point.
punishing actions tend to only suppress behaviors
where the dog responds only to avoid the punishment, not
resource guarding itself. the dog's inclination to feel anxiety and
worry about losing resources is still there.
resource guarding is usually seen as alpha issue, but typcially, it's
the insecure dog who is unsure of themselves that display these types of behaviors.
one of the best things you can do is to stop the trigger for the
behavior so that the dog doesn't get chances to practice unwanted
behaviors. having repeat success with this behavior will give
confidence to the dog in an undesirable way.
physically overpowering your dog with your own strength or with
leashes and collars may be all that you can do in a particular moment
in time, but when this is a way of life for the dog,
the dog learns that strength and intimidation are the most important factors
in who gets their way. this is not the lesson you want them to learn.
teach them that responding to your cues and giving you good behaviors
results in them getting want they want.
there is no quick fix to resource guarding. it can take a long time,
ie several months, but the results are worth it. there are quick
fixes for suppressing resource guarding, but some people are
intimidated by those methods, and i personally don't like the
potential bad side effects. it's up to you to decide how you want to
handle this problem.
you'll also need to consider and keep in mind your ability to intimidate
your dog into submission is likely not something a child
could try nor should.
"Mine!" by Jean Donaldson is an excellent booklet. there is lot of good
information as well as detailed instructions on what you can do to
train your dog not to resource guard.
years ago, i had a old food aggressive senior foster lab. i started to see a positive change
in him when i started working WITH him, not AGAINST him. i stopped
making it a me vs. him thing, and it truly was the turning point for us both.
when we adopted our jack russell terrier last year, she would growl at anyone or dog
that got near her when she ate. i immediately started the training process of
teaching her that there was absolutely no need to get defensive about the food
by rewarding her with extra goodies as she ate. the growly behavior simply disappeared
when she got used to relaxed mealtimes, and she learned there was no need to
be insecure and worry about the food.
resolving food aggression or resource guarding is not an unrealitstic goal, but it will probably
take some time, but in the end, definately worth it. until you get a better handle on the situation, please keep your kids away from the dog during mealtimes.
"Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend." ~ Corey Ford
Nice post Sunjin.
Dani, Rider & Rookie
SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
SHR Endeavor Put Me In Coach, RN, WC, CGC
Member Since 6/2003
thank you Luke.. and all else who posted. sorry but i'm a bit uneasy right now ,,,.. he growled at her away from his bowl now. i think because she is the smalleshe may be trying to take her spot in our "pack" if you will. i am so not comfortable with him now. growling at my child??? i don't knw what to do.... i want a family dog. i don't want to have to worry about the safety of my children with our own family dog. so uneasy....after all the searching i am at square one i feel like...
growling is usually a defensive response, so although it may seem like your new dog is trying to climb the social ladder, status likely has nothing to do with his behavior. also, not all dogs love children automatically. a dog that is not used to being around children and one with an insecure temperment may act the way your new dog is acting. most trainers and behaviorists will tell you about the importance of temperment (from good breeding) and socialization in a dog's puppyhood and young life, particularly in regards to how well a dog might interact with children. this dog's breeding may be questionable, you don't know this dog's history, and you don't like what you're seeing. i'm not in any way trying to talk you into keeping this dog. i understand your concerns. with your daughter being as young as she is, you need to do what is best for the safety of your family.
"Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend." ~ Corey Ford
One other idea - he may have washed out of the bomb training program for medical/orthopedic reasons. He may have pain he is hiding from you and if your daughter has climbed on him - maybe he associates her with some pain inducement? Just an idea - may be a stretch. If this is new behavior I would get a vet check and talk to a trainer - unless you just don't wish to assume the risk of having this dog around your baby.
Excellent posts Sunjin.
I echo wholeheartedley what she said.
Baloo - 5 year old black lab
Peanut - 7 year old minpin
Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue