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 Progress and Anti-Progress: Snoopy's Resource Guarding.

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dahowlers
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PostSubject: Progress and Anti-Progress: Snoopy's Resource Guarding.   Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:21 am

I was running a little experiment on "teaching" Snoopy to be picky with food by mixing wet food in with his kibble for about two weeks and then stopping, once I ran out. Details can be found here.

In terms of the food portion of his resource guarding he seems to be making leaps and bounds. No more tension or outright aggressive body language toward the other animals outside of a certain distance, consistently leaving the bowl (Tuesday) after he's already started eating, not fixating on the other animals while valued food is present. He's made a lot of progress in this area and I'm really proud of him here. I haven't worked on toys with this yet directly but we've had no outburst from the dogs figuring out how to open the toy bin and chewing on/playing with toys in the living room.

He did so good today with leaving the bowl and not fixating and remaining (mostly) relaxed! Full details can be found here.

On the other hand, it seems like every time something good happens or we seem to make progress, we a step backwards somewhere else. Like, after such a good day and seemingly much progress, Snoopy attacked Telmo when I let him in after work. For the first time in the history of me working with this dog he stopped mid-attack when I growled "HEY!" at him, so that's progress at least? I'm trying to remain positive and overall I'm happy with how far he's come but sometimes... dang. @.@ Here's the post I made about him attacking Telmo.

I mostly just wanted to post an update so here it is.
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moto1087
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PostSubject: Re: Progress and Anti-Progress: Snoopy's Resource Guarding.   Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:12 pm

I have been working with my dog rikku on her aggression/possession issues, I completely understand everytime you go forward , you end up going backwards in another direction. we finally got it to the point where we can leave old toys laying around between them, down side is, new toys still start a fight. We have also managed to be able to bring out the high valued treats with out starting a fight. we can even given both dogs a treat from it, for long as we are slow about it and have a couple feet distance. Then right as i was feeling good, rikku was very sleepy, we where at a friends house, and she tried to start 2 fights, one someone brought treats out, and it instantly got her worked up. the second one, treats were out but she was doing really good, then i caught her getting annoyed and went to push the other dog away so it wouldnt get bit, and managed to do so just in time to get my hand in the way.... I have noticed with rikku, when she is tired, she becomes extremely grumpy, and has a very low tolerance to just about everything.

Out of curiosity, what do you do to work with your dog?
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: Progress and Anti-Progress: Snoopy's Resource Guarding.   Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:13 pm

Wow! Great blog and very helpful for people to see what you are doing about his resource guarding. Even though he had a set back today, it sounds like overall he is making a ton of progress! Is Telmo a cat or a dog?
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simplify
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PostSubject: Re: Progress and Anti-Progress: Snoopy's Resource Guarding.   Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:23 pm

I will definitely have to check out your blog since Mishka gas some resource guarding issues as well.

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TheBadGuppy
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PostSubject: Re: Progress and Anti-Progress: Snoopy's Resource Guarding.   Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:52 pm

Love the idea of keeping a blog. I had considered doing that for tracking Gus's separation anxiety progress, but I'm not a very good writer haha. Gus is a food guarder with other dogs, and i'd really like to work on this with him. But he's the only dog in the house so we never get the chance Sad
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dahowlers
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PostSubject: Re: Progress and Anti-Progress: Snoopy's Resource Guarding.   Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:42 pm

@moto1087 wrote:
I have been working with my dog rikku on her aggression/possession issues, I completely understand every time you go forward , you end up going backwards in another direction. ... i caught her getting annoyed and went to push the other dog away so it wouldnt get bit, and managed to do so just in time to get my hand in the way.... I have noticed with rikku, when she is tired, she becomes extremely grumpy, and has a very low tolerance to just about everything.

Out of curiosity, what do you do to work with your dog?



Thankfully Snoopy has a certain bond with me and he's very careful about not biting me. He has never bitten me on purpose but he did smack me with his teeth one time when I was trying to separate a particular violent fight between him and Nunya and he didn't know I was in the way. And the funny thing is, all the dogs can be sitting next to each other and they can take turns taking a treat and he's completely fine. As long as he knows he'll get a treat, he's okay. He still gets stressed, the whites of his eyes still pink, but he doesn't lash out. I HAVE had Porscha decide that it would be a really good idea to stick her nose in Snoopy's mouth to try to take a treat I was handing him. Immediately his eyes dilated, growl and snap, but my hand was in his mouth because he was in the process of taking the treat from me. Thankfully he has an aversion to biting me and as soon as he realized his teeth were on my hand, he made a face like he bit a lemon, put his ears back, laid down, and put his head down like, "I did wrong!" And then there was Porscha, completely in LaLa Land.   

As far as what I do with him, consistency is the biggest thing with Snoopy. He gets fed at about the same time every day. We work on patience before eating: I put his bowl down and walk away, he follows me because he knows I have to release him before he can eat. (My mom forgot about this and tried to feed him once when he was outside and he literally sat next to the bowl for an hour before she came back and realized he was waiting for her to release him). In order for him to be released to eat, he has to be calm, not fixating on the bowl, and we do a few tricks, a little more waiting and then I release him.

It took me several months to get to the point where I can get him to leave the bowl. Before that milestone I simply sat next to the bowl while he ate and tossed very very high value treats around the bowl. If he took his head out of the bowl to eat the treats, mark and reward calmly. For about two weeks he would not take treats from me after I marked and tried to reward him, he would shove his head back in the bowl and eye me suspiciously so I tossed the marked-reward treat into the bowl. After this, when I marked and tried to reward I could put my hand in the bowl, palm open with a pile of treats. After about a week or so, to teach him to leave the bowl with "leave it" I would lift my hand while he was eating out of it, blocking if he tried to go around it to get back in the bowl. Come off bowl - mark and reward, eye contact - mark and reward, sit - mark and reward, release to eat. I only did this about three times a meal because I didn't want to stress him out to much by forcing him off the bowl. After he's finished eating I reward him for walking away from the bowl with lots of good treats and play and affection. Having to write that out really made me think about how much work I've actually put into it so far and I'm quite pleased with how far he's come. It seems so simple, but all the subtleties are the kickers. Knowing and being able to read your dog is huge: don't push to hard to fast, always stay under threshold.

Snoopy has what I refer to as a "daily stress threshold". Literally everything adds up in his painful existence. If he isn't fed around the same time, there is a 50/50 chance he'll lash out at one of the other animals over a stupid reason. Add Porscha being an obnoxious pup and slamming all 90 pounds of herself into him while he's not paying attention and it's almost certainly gonna be a bad day. Thankfully she is learning NOT to do that, and instead to invite him into play, but she's a slow learner. I will still separate them when he's getting annoyed with her so it doesn't get to that point.

If I give him a bath I HAVE to muzzle him for the rest of the day because he's on edge for the whole of it afterwards and I can't be home constantly to watch him and we only have one kennel and Porscha, my sister's dog, goes in it when no one is home. If weather permits, I'll tie him outside and give him some high value chews to occupy his time. He prefers being outside to sitting in the house anyways so it's a win for him.

As far as the water bowl, this is the biggest challenge right now. I try to pay attention to it and the placement of the cats because I really don't need another $700 vet bill to get somebody stitched up again. Anyways, most of the time now, Snoopy will stare at the bowl while a cat is approaching it but won't react - most of the time. I keep treats on me. I will watch him until he looks at me or give him the "watch me" command, either way, when he looks at me I mark-reward and the tension is usually defused. Sometimes I have to have him leave the room if he's too tense, sometimes we go outside and play for a little bit as his reward. He's getting better at just turning to me for guidance when he's stress in general. Instead of lashing out he will come by me or look at me, but this is not always the case.

In regards to his "logic" for guarding things, I as a human view it as stupid, but I'm sure it makes complete sense in his head. Forcing myself to think about this and reminding myself of it has really helped me cope and be able to NOT give up completely - he doesn't understand that what he is doing is not right, he's simply reacting. By the teachings of B.F. Skinner, "The rat is always right." I need to teach him a new behavior to replace the old one, ergo having that behavior become "right".

I highly recommend keeping a journal or blog to help keep track of training and rehabilitation. It really helps put into perspective the progress, leaps and bounds you've made, in the face of particularly daunting set backs. I hadn't noticed how much I had actually done and writing this out really helped me see how far we've really come and I'm overall quite pleased.

And this took a lot longer to type out than I anticipated and I haven't even gotten dressed yet and I'm gonna be late for school, aaaah!

Jen, Telmo is my sister's cat. I just realized I didn't have that in the blog post so I edited it in haha


Last edited by dahowlers on Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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moto1087
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PostSubject: Re: Progress and Anti-Progress: Snoopy's Resource Guarding.   Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:51 pm

Yea when she bit me, it was not meant for me in the least, no matter how mad i make her, she does not bite me, and i have pushed my limits pretty damn far, ( reaching straight in for a bone with meat on it still, while she was in a bad mood) she put her mouth around my hand then looked at me like "just know that i could" ...lol... when she bit me, it just happen to be perfect timing that i went to push the other dog away and she was going in for the bite. so it happened to get me. I didnt say a word, she instantly looked at me , and ran down stairs and sat in a corner. she knew exactly what she did and felt bad for it (I may be putting human emotions into a dog, but you could just see it on her.) she wouldnt look me in the eyes for the rest of that day but followed me every where and would just keep her head down.

As for food and water, Rikku is not possesive. she use to be with food, but that went away after she realized that no matter how much she ate, there was always more. We gave her 2 full dishes a day (little over kill) and sat there with her every day while she ate, she was also made to wait much like your dog. it eventually made it into her head that she didnt have to eat it all at once or guard it because she would still get more for dinner.

rikku seems very similar with the stress per day limit. some days i can do treats with other dogs, some days just her knowing the treats in the room will make her lash out. things have been getting a lot better, but with every couple steps forward she will find a way back wards. My ultimate goal is to be able to play with toys with other dogs, because she loves to play tug a war, and keep away, but can only do it with people right now. she may never be able to, it might just not be for her, but i will continue to train her to the best i can.

Lately we started putting one dog on a leash and play with a toy with the other dog. the one on the leash gets a treat everytime they stop paying attention to the other dog and starts paying attention to the human. doing that once a day has made quite the difference for us
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dahowlers
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PostSubject: Re: Progress and Anti-Progress: Snoopy's Resource Guarding.   Fri Feb 28, 2014 7:42 pm

@moto1087 wrote:
... she put her mouth around my hand then looked at me like "just know that i could"
That sounds like a warning bite, I've never had Snoopy do that to me, but he has done it to my mom. I don't particularly agree with a dog grabbing a person aggressively but it was usually warranted >.>

@moto1087 wrote:
when she bit me, it just happen to be perfect timing that i went to push the other dog away and she was going in for the bite. so it happened to get me. I didnt say a word, she instantly looked at me , and ran down stairs and sat in a corner. she knew exactly what she did and felt bad for it (I may be putting human emotions into a dog, but you could just see it on her.) she wouldnt look me in the eyes for the rest of that day but followed me every where and would just keep her head down.
That was pretty much Snoopy's reaction when he grabbed me, he mopped for the rest of the day haha

@moto1087 wrote:
rikku seems very similar with the stress per day limit. some days i can do treats with other dogs, some days just her knowing the treats in the room will make her lash out. things have been getting a lot better, but with every couple steps forward she will find a way back wards. My ultimate goal is to be able to play with toys with other dogs, because she loves to play tug a war, and keep away, but can only do it with people right now. she may never be able to, it might just not be for her, but i will continue to train her to the best i can.

Lately we started putting one dog on a leash and play with a toy with the other dog. the one on the leash gets a treat everytime they stop paying attention to the other dog and starts paying attention to the human. doing that once a day has made quite the difference for us
Snoopy has been pretty good with playing tug with Porscha but Nunya will NOT play with him. I think he has PTSD haha Porscha will let go and walk away if Snoopy switches from play to guarding, which is good. Then I'll have Snoopy drop the toy and remove it to prevent escalation.

I have noticed that he seems to get particularly on edge right before and after I get my period. I've heard this from several other people as well.  Rolling Eyes 
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dahowlers
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PostSubject: Re: Progress and Anti-Progress: Snoopy's Resource Guarding.   Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:06 pm

Had a stepping stone today c:
http://nbsnoopy.tumblr.com/post/82301157673/today-snoopy-was-able-to-clean-out-bowls-with-the
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moto1087
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PostSubject: Re: Progress and Anti-Progress: Snoopy's Resource Guarding.   Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:34 pm

Looks like the progress is coming along.

We are now able to have toys on the ground, can bring out treats when ever we want, we still are cautious, but much further last time i commented on here. She was even at a friends house with me the other day playing with their 2 dogs, and was sharing water, food, and didnt even care to notice toys, which is a huge improvement. we are going to start trying to feed our 2 dogs out of their cages today to see how that goes.
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dahowlers
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PostSubject: Re: Progress and Anti-Progress: Snoopy's Resource Guarding.   Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:42 pm

Nice! I don't know if we'll ever be to the point where I'll trust Snoopy enough to leave food out, but he's doing okay with sharing the water with the cats. Sometimes he still has his moments, but the cats have water upstairs that Snoopy can't get to just in case. Snoopy didn't even want his food today, after our run. I think he's to tired to think about eating haha
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