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*Tuesday update
Well last night didn't go so well. First we worked on getting her to go to a "mat" or bed which she seemes to be doing pretty good with and we will continue to work on. Cherie (the behaviorist) had not seen Mocha have a fit yet the last two times she was here Mocha was too interested in her and the treats she had to pay much attention to Aubrey. Well last night I suggested we go up to her room and work there because that's where she starts it the most when I'm bringing Aubrey out of her room. She didn't do it at first she sat like a good girl and was getting her treats. She got a little excited when Zeus came upstairs so I went and picked up Aubrey because I knew she would start doing it and she did. I wish I could describe it better but it's scary she barks fairly aggressivley and at first backing up some then she'll start to jump up and nip at Aubrey. She's got her twice already not bad just a nip but enough to get Aubrey screaming obviously and me really upset. Last night we had her on leash and Cherie was holding it so she could keep her down and controled. I didn't even leave the room with Aubrey just picking her up sets her off and I can't figure out why. We worked a while longer where Cherie was holding onto her leash when she was calm and looked at Aubrey she would click and treat her. After a bit she put Mocha downstairs so I could come down with Aubrey and we sat down and talked for a bit. After seeing her fit Cherie was really concerned she said it was more of a defensive barking and action and that is when they are more likley to bite. Especially with Aubrey getting more mobile and wanting to be on the floor more.

She suggested working with her some more like we were doing trying to build a positive exerience when we are holding Aubrey (that's the only time she does it when your standing or picking her up) and see if she improves any. She's also going to check into a "Control Unleashed" class they offer at the humane society she knows the trainer and see if she things it would help her. Then just trying to prevent the fits by seperating Mocha from the room when we are going to be moving around with Aubrey. Finally she suggested possibly rehoming her. Just the thought has me crying :'(. She's my baby and I love her so much but I can't have her bite Aubrey I don't think I could ever forgive myself if that happened.
Anyway thanks for listening to me ramble I'm at a total loss and so upset I just don't know what to do.


Monday
Well unfortunatly things have just got worse and I'm about to pull my hair out. I don't know what to do with her. We've been working with a behaviorist and trying to get her more exercise and mental stimulation but it's just not helping. She's started jumping an nipping at her now when you pick her up and I just CANNOT have that happen but I don't know how to stop her. The behaviorist is supposed to come out again tonight so I hope she has more suggestions.

So far the behaviorist told us that most of Mocha's behavior was attention seeking which I agree with and told us to ignore any barking, pushing for attention, and jumping which we've been doing to the best of our ability. I can handle ignoring the barking or nudging for attention, but the jumping is really hard I turn away from her like the trainer said but she just keeps jumping and now she's trying to nip at Aubrey's feet or hands and I can't turn around fast enough to get away from her. I've tried to keep her collar on her and grab her collar and get her to sit which worked the first few times but the last time she almost bit me and as soon as I let go when I thought she was calm she started again. I know the trainer said it would get worse before it got better because if one thing doesn't work that used to they will try harder to get your attention for a while. But I CANNOT just ignore the jumping and nipping and I really just don't know what else to do that won't make it worse.

It's only when you pick Aubrey up and start to carry her. Mocha starts barking at whoever is holding her (or maybe at Aubrey I don't know) then she'll start jumping and nipping. If Mocha's not in the room when you pick her up most of the time she's fine and if you're sitting with Aubrey or she's in her exersaucer she's fine with her she still tries to lick a little but she's gotten MUCH better about that and will go lay down a lot of the time (which gets her praise and treats). We've been working on clicker training and getting her too lay down when Aubrey is in her exercauser or I'm trying to feed her. For the most part she does seem to be picking up on that.

This weekend we got to the point where we just decided to try to prevent the situation instead of correct it at least until we can talk to the trainer. Anytime we were going to be moving Aubrey or carrying her we would put Mocha either downstairs (there is a babygate at the top of the stairs) or outside for a minute while we moved with her then let her back when we were done. She still went bazerk but at least she couldn't get to Aubrey.

I'm still so frustrated I started to cry last night. I love Mocha so much she's always been my baby although I tried not to spoil her too much. I took her to obedience classes, got her CGC, and tried to socolize her at least some. I feel like I've let her down somehow. I really hope the trainer has some other ideas tonight I just don't know what else to do.
 

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Re: Update on Mocha and Aubrey

Thanks for the update..really dont know what to suggest..good luck tonight let us know how it goes :(
 

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Re: Update on Mocha and Aubrey

It sounds to me more like she is guarding the baby. My shepherd would do this with my neighbor's kids (mine were pretty big when we got Lucy). She LOVED the neighbors babies and would spend as much time hanging around with them as she could. But when anyone picked one of them up she went into overdrive protecting the baby. Her pupils would be totally dialated, she would circle the adult holding the child and if she perceived any threat (which could be loud talking or hand gestures) she would get quite snarly/barky and launch herself at the person.

I sharply corrected her (verbally) when she did this and eventually she got to understand that people holding babies did not mean they were in harms way.
 

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Re: Update on Mocha and Aubrey

I am sure the trainer probably mentioned this idea but I will mention it anyway.
Can you redirect her at all? Can you redirect her to a toy?

Can you make her go to her bed and into a down stay when you are going to pick up Aubrey?
 

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Re: Update on Mocha and Aubrey

oakley said:
I am sure the trainer probably mentioned this idea but I will mention it anyway.
Can you redirect her at all? Can you redirect her to a toy?

Can you make her go to her bed and into a down stay when you are going to pick up Aubrey?
NO she's totally fixated once she starts. I've tried as soon as I can tell she's getting agitated using my happy voice and getting her to sit and lay and do her tricks and I've been trying to keep my treat bag and clicker in reach since she normally does better if she knows I have treats. It helps sometimes but not always and once she starts there is no stopping her. I've been trying to corral her and put her outside and even then she'll stand out there throwing a fit for at least 5 minutes.
I've tried putting her in a down stay when I pick her up sometimes she does great and stays but not always.

I don't think it's anything against Aubrey though she seems to really want to be around her she will even lay outside her door a lot when she's in her room sleeping.
 

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Re: Update on Mocha and Aubrey

Oh Barb, I'm so sorry. I know how sad you must be over this. :(

Totally different situation, but what you're describing is exactly how Macy and Frankie get whenever I'm holding Yoshi cat. They flip out, jump up, try to bite him, it's crazy. One on one though, they're fine with him. My husband thinks it's a "pack thing". I dunno. I don't know how to stop it either, other than not putting them in the situation.

I hope the trainer can help you out. I'll be looking for an update. :pray:
 

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Re: Update on Mocha and Aubrey

I wish I had something helpful but I can only say good luck. I can imagine how much this must be weighing on you!
 
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Re: Update on Mocha and Aubrey

I just wanted to chime in and say that I hope the behaviourist is able to help you with this problem. I can only imagine what you are going through. I'm sorry you have to go through all of this, it must be very stressful. :-*

Let us know how things go.

Bev.
 

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I am so sorry you guys have to deal with this. For you and Mocha. I cant imagine, what your going through. I hope things work out for you.
 

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Oh Barb, I'm so sorry. That has to be so stressful. Sending tons of good thoughts that the trainer can help figure something out.
 

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I do not have any suggestions but am wondering, Does she do this with everyone that picks up Aubrey, or only you? If it is only you, then I believe it is more a a protection of you than of Aubrey or it is a jealousy thing. The first dog that DH and I owned became upset when DH would hug me. She did eventually adjust.
 

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So sad to read the update. Darnit. :(
 

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Im crying reading this i cant imagine how you feel right now, I hope the classes help but like you said Aubrey comes before Mocha :'(
 

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Discussion Starter #18
ownlabnjrt said:
I do not have any suggestions but am wondering, Does she do this with everyone that picks up Aubrey, or only you? If it is only you, then I believe it is more a a protection of you than of Aubrey or it is a jealousy thing. The first dog that DH and I owned became upset when DH would hug me. She did eventually adjust.
She does it to DH too but not as often.
A friend suggested getting her to go find a toy when I'm getting ready to pick Aubrey up that way if she's holding the toy or trying to find it she'll be distracted and not nipping at Aubrey. We might try that too since she will go get a toy if you ask her too.
 

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This may sound crazy...but if it were me in that situation and say, Tucker, I would find someone who can communicate with dogs before rehoming. Anything to find out the problem. Hey, it's worth a shot!

I wish I had some advice for you, Barb.
 

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She only behaves like this when you are holding Aubrey? I would disagree with those that have suggested Mocha is acting in protective manner towards you or Aubrey. More likely, she is reacting because she perceives the action of you holding Aubrey as strange. Carrying another human is foreign concept to a dog. Have you ever taken your dog to the off leash park, only for someone to scoop up their little dog when your dog is near? if your dog has not been 'exposed' to this situation before, he or she is likely to act with excitement or even suspiciousness/wariness at the little dog that is suspended in the air!

In my opinion, this could be what you are seeing with Mocha. Only now, her reaction towards you carrying Aubrey has gone beyond the initial excitement and escalated into something more - something which has the potential to be dangerous. She has also learned that behaving in such a way will get her a reaction. Afterall, any attention is better than no attention.

I'm not sure how I would approach this, but I do think you need to FIRMLY set the boundaries with Mocha. I'm not a fan of using negative training techniques, but in this case I would certainly use a very stern verbal correction to let her know that this will not be tolerated. Of course, you should combine the verbal correction with another action -- the 'place'/'on your bed' command is an excellent idea. You must enforce this though for it to be effective, even if it involves putting her on a drag line and making sure she has no choice but to obey.

I would also make sure she is DRAINED of energy. Attention seeking behaviour is generally spurred on by boredom. If she is tired, her motivation to seek attention will be reduced. Plenty of structured walks/runs are the key.
 
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