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 still tense and frightened when eating

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cosmothunder
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Female Join date : 2014-10-10
Location : Bear Delaware

PostSubject: still tense and frightened when eating   Fri Dec 26, 2014 4:34 pm

Bandit is still afraid when eating or drinking if you touch her or get close to her. If I start with the food or water she is fine and she will eat from my hand. Should I give up on trying to approach her while eating or drinking? If I come up and grab the food bowl She accepts me taking it and waits to get It back. I've been working on the taking and giving back and she is pretty decent with that. I think she's afraid I'm gonna take her food?
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: still tense and frightened when eating   Fri Dec 26, 2014 4:51 pm

You may be trying to hard. Maybe, just chill a bit with her, stop trying to "test" her temperament. She may just need a more low-key environment...I know Ami does, not your typical in your face husky. I think it was your video, but I may be wrong...you were filming her charging around the kitchen and into adjacent room? Maybe less jzzing her up and more just calming down? I dunno, I may be off the wall (and much needing my own chillin' time Rolling Eyes )
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: still tense and frightened when eating   Fri Dec 26, 2014 5:13 pm

But you will take her food, right? You have regularly admitted to trying to bother her while she is eating and taking her food mid meal. So yes, she is afraid you will take it because you have and you will.

What exactly is your intention with this? What are you trying to accomplish or prove?
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Kuroshio
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PostSubject: Re: still tense and frightened when eating   Fri Dec 26, 2014 6:13 pm

Are you afraid she'll become a resource guarder? Doesn't sound like she is yet. I put the emphasis in for a reason. Right now, it sounds like the experience you're creating is negative: food / treat going away. And i"d say you're setting her up to fail, and fail dangerously: one day she will react aggressively to the interference.

Maybe less take and more give? For the most part I agree with the above, less interference. But with adding something so she learns to associate any time you do interrupt as a positive. Something like crushing a freeze dried liver treat and while she's eating sprinkle it over her food. Maybe practicing the Leave It command with a tasty treat. Not a full blown training session and not constantly. Just once ask her to leave it and when she backs off add something to the bowl.

I joked all the time with my ex, who loved to steal portions off my plate, "reach for my food and you'll draw back a nub". Mostly joked... Dessert was off limits. You don't want your dog doing the same. Just the ability to take something from her in an emergency and to be around during feeding.
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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: still tense and frightened when eating   Fri Dec 26, 2014 8:42 pm

Tony, I'm probably going to draw some static for this comment, but it sounds to me as if you're a control addict - almost as if you need to have absolute control over Bandit at whatever cost.

Now, I do know from your writing that it's not that bad, but that *is* how you're coming across to me. I dropped out of conversations with you when you asked me a couple of questions in PM and apparently didn't like my answers since you didn't reply to the conversation you started ...

Life is a matter of give and take, whether it's with your spouse (when you have one) or your dog or the people, animals and plants around you.

Bandit has been pretty specific that she doesn't like to be bothered when she's eating but does allow you to pick up her food when you want to - what more do you want from her? She's also told you quiet plainly that there are times she just wants to be left alone - but again, you seem to think that you can bother her whenever you want, for what ever you want. As Kuroshio said, she hasn't become a guarder yet but if you keep forcing your wishes on her without regard for her, she's eventually going to tell you, physically, that enough is enough and you're going to be wondering what happened.

You're going to find, I hope, that in the long run respecting her needs and desires are going to go a long way to having a good relationship with her. No, you don't have to kow-tow to her every desire, if you do then she's the one controlling everything but you do have to both let her know that you control food, etc while at the same time respecting that she wants to eat in peace (as a single example).
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: still tense and frightened when eating   Fri Dec 26, 2014 9:36 pm

Al, thank you for posting that. I have been meaning to post the same thing all day but I've been too busy at work.

Tony,  Bandit is afraid of you and put off by you for very specific reasons that you are directly controlling.  You have continually,  sometimes multiple time in the same day, started threads talking about how you are worried about bandit,  how you don't understand her behavior, and how you keep trying and trying to bond with her but nothing is working.  You have also not been responding to multiple posts from multiple users offering you explanations and good advice.

I get the very distinct impression that you want to be Bandit's Alpha and that you have gotten you expectations from Cesar Milan ' s television show.  I say this because you keep trying, and failing, to connect with her via methods that I know for a fact that he prescribes and as Al said, you are desperate for power over your dog.

The problem with trying to model your relationship with your dog directly after the Milan type of model is what he doesn't tell you on tv. He doesn't tell you that your margin for error with his methods is very slim and if you screw up you are going to do more harm than good. He also doesn't tell you that not everyone can be an Alpha like he can.

You constantly worry, you second guess yourself all the time, you clearly do not understand your dog's behavior, you have posted videos where you make your dog hyperactive and erratic and think it's cute, and your attempts at power lack confidence and calmness .  There's a desperation to your goals.

If you understood anything about being an Alpha in dominance based models of dog behavior you are plain going about it completely wrong.

That said, when you describe Bandit as all of these things and say that she fears you, is anxious about you, and she doesn't trust you or want to be near you, why is that?  You are her role model., that's why.

I'm not saying any of this to personally attack you or demean you. I am simply taking stock of your many posts that tell a story and addressing that story.  Many of us fear that you are creating damage with your relationship with Bandit and we want to help you and her as fellow community members.   But your continual posting with the exact same themes and your lack of response to our help prevents us from helping you and Bandit.

She , more than us, needs you to reconsider your approach and take a very different path towards connecting with her because the one you are on isn't working.

Please take our contributions seriously and make some changes. We want to be here for you but you need to be more responsive and willing to change.


Last edited by seattlesibe on Fri Dec 26, 2014 10:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: still tense and frightened when eating   Fri Dec 26, 2014 9:38 pm

P.s. I am a huge Cesar Milan fan and supporter, just so you know. If you want to talk specifics, please, ask .
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: still tense and frightened when eating   Fri Dec 26, 2014 9:54 pm

I second Al and Jeff. Please, let her be while she is eating, enjoy her for who she is. Set a safe boundary around her that allows her some space, peace to enjoy her meal.
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cosmothunder
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PostSubject: Re: still tense and frightened when eating   Fri Dec 26, 2014 10:55 pm

I thought I should work with if I take it I'll give it back or take a bone, give a treat then give it back. I guess I really am doing all this wrong and it shows with what you guys said. And honestly the only thing I follow is here, I don't watch ceaser. But oh well I guess I'll just leave her alone until she comes to me for attention from now on. Just let her be
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: still tense and frightened when eating   Fri Dec 26, 2014 10:58 pm

What makes you want to take her food? What is your goal?
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cosmothunder
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PostSubject: Re: still tense and frightened when eating   Fri Dec 26, 2014 10:59 pm

Same thing I said, I remember someone saying that to take her food and then give it back after a bit so she knows that I'll give back what I take away
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cosmothunder
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PostSubject: Re: still tense and frightened when eating   Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:11 pm

Everything I do I mean well but I guess I'm not doing well with it. Some days she is fine other she is weird. Some days all she wants to do is cuddle up or chew while laying on top of me and others she just wants to avoid me. Sometimes I can approach her while chewing and she doesn't care. Other times she tenses up. It's like she has random off days but I know it's me. I guess I'll just leave her alone for a week or so
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cosmothunder
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PostSubject: Re: still tense and frightened when eating   Sat Dec 27, 2014 12:07 am

Soooo she had been chewing her bone. On the couch then after we went outside she came back in and decided to lay right next to me chewing then I decided to pet her and she stopped, looked at me and stared for a min then went in her crate. What the crap, she came and say by me,like almost on top of me... Ugh this dog I swear....
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: still tense and frightened when eating   Sat Dec 27, 2014 12:55 am

Ok, I think I've got it now. Ami also runs hot and cold. I find it very frustrating. He allows cuddling a little bit time last thing at night, solicits a belly rub first thing in the morning but the rest of the time it's hit or miss - mostly miss:( Archer, just the opposite opposite- he actively solicits affection all the time!

I think Bandit is probably more like Ami and you are wanting a dog more like Archer.

I can empathize - it is very disappointing when your dog is stand-offish. I have learned to appreciate Ami for who he is rather than who I want him to be
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cosmothunder
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PostSubject: Re: still tense and frightened when eating   Sat Dec 27, 2014 1:04 am

Well I don't mind it, I really don't. I just keep getting the feeling I'm doing something wrong. She is who She is and I don't really want to change that. I know that would be rough on her
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: still tense and frightened when eating   Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:12 am

@cosmothunder wrote:
Same thing I said, I remember someone saying that to take her food and then give it back after a bit so she knows that I'll give back what I take away

But since there is no reason to take it in the first place , trying to teach her this isn't accomplishing anything, even if you were doing it correctly.

People who subscribe to dominance based behavior ideas have a reason for taking the food: to display dominance and make the dog surrender. But, there is so much nuance and detail involved with this that novices or beginners are sure to screw it up.

I get that you want her to trust you, but trust is established over a long time . Comfortably taking food away is a byproduct of trust, it doesn't build trust. As you are seeing, it builds anxiety and tension.

Don't worry about building trust. Worry about getting rid of her anxiety and tension. Do this by giving her space when she eats and chews. When she approaches you to lay down , don't pet her. Enjoy her proximity. Many of us have found that Huskies aren't physically affectionate dogs in the way many of us want them to be. They are an arms length away cuddlers, not touchy cuddlers.

Petting is more for us , anyway. She seems to be communicating that what is best for her is no petting right now, so maybe respond by not petting right now.

This.....is what builds trust.
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cosmothunder
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PostSubject: Re: still tense and frightened when eating   Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:18 am

I get it. She went and sat in her crate for a while then came out and is literally laying with me. Cuddled up right with me and sleeping... So o she goes from one extreme to another. I'm going to do what you said just not bother her unless she asks for the attention.
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: still tense and frightened when eating   Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:18 am

A good leader/role model/dominant/alpha knows how to adapt their own behavior to their pack followers. They aren't pushy.
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: still tense and frightened when eating   Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:22 am

Excellent! Nice work.

You're winning, right now.

Let her be comforted by you, not irritated or excited or anxious. Just be a source of relaxation and peaceful existence. I promise you she will trust you more in no time.

You want your energy to be calm and consistent, not excited and fluctuating.
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cosmothunder
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PostSubject: Re: still tense and frightened when eating   Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:25 am

So no play? She likes the whole playing thing. Running, jumping, zipping and zooming.
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: still tense and frightened when eating   Sat Dec 27, 2014 3:28 am

Another way to frame those things is excessive energy and frustration--that's how I personally see it. A content, calm, peaceful dog will not do those things in the house so long as their physical and mental stimulation is taken care.

Personally, I don't allow those things in the house, but, I never have and my dog gets miles and miles of exercise 7 days a week and tons of mental stimulation and drive work 7 days a week so he doesn't do them anyway.

But I'm not going to tell you on an online forum not to play with your dog or how to play with your dog. These are the types of things you need to figure out on your own. There's a balance for everything. You are developing your style and her style and that's a personal thing.

If you were paying me as a trainer in person, then that'd be different. But I'm not gonna provide a detailed prescription of how to be with your dog on those levels online. I'll give you food for thought though, such as how I framed her "play" in the way I see it. But otherwise, there's too much lost in translation and open for interpretation. I don't actually know you and I have no way of knowing if my style is right for you.

I play with Link at home by getting on all 4s and sparring with him, I head butt him and let him head butt me, and I allow him to mouth me anywhere on my body he wants. I do this only by my initiation and the most important thing is we have mastered "Off", which means what your teeth are touching right now stops, now. This includes my body, tug toys, trash, or bloody raw bones he is given to eat. My relationship with him is built on boundaries, limitations, and calmness. That's it.

Basically, most people think he and I are boring a lot of times, but only because we aren't hyper and excited all the time and I don't talk to him a whole lot.

I can only go by what you post on here and based on that I know for a fact that your dog is anxious and tense around you and it has a lot to do with pushing her, aggravating her, and asking for too much of her. My only goal is to help you relieve her anxiety and tension.

We can work from there down the road if you'd want.
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: still tense and frightened when eating   Sat Dec 27, 2014 4:21 am

Tony, I will add my You are trying to squish together too much too soon. Bandit is still a puppy, I imagine that if you asked us individually most of us would say the bond and trust was not there until our dogs were well over a year old. You give Bandit mixed signals at times, and she is as frustrated with you as you are with her. As others have said you may be creating a problem that doesn't exist.

Some basic things to work on when you are away from food is "drop it" and "leave it" and redirection towards you. The reason for the importance, if you were to encounter a dead bird for example and she picks it up, for obvious reasons you do not want her to. You can practice those 2 commands while playing. I've mentioned before humans as well as dogs need space, eating is one of those times, you do not want her to be in your face while you eat, don't be in hers when she eats. If she sits with you with a bone, just relax and let her eat her bone, she is showing signs of bonding and trust when you are calm, and allowing her to eat it near you. At food time, have her work for her meal, have her "sit" and tell her to "wait", when you are ready for her to eat tell her "get it", and then leave her alone to enjoy her food. When I type a "command" in that way it's what I use, use what works for you.

Like Jeff said, you do need to figure out your style and how you want to build your relationship with your dog. I too play with my girl similar to how Jeff plays with his dog, on all four's and we push each other around. Where we differ(so far from what I've read here anyways) I do talk to my girl a lot. so styles are formed on what works best for you and your dog. My girl is also quite calm indoors, on a crappy day(normally only when it's a cold heavy rain) we will play in the garage. I do this so she respects my house, if she starts acting crazy out we go, and I realize maybe she needed an extra run today. Again, I'm not telling you how you need to adjust what you do with your dog, just simple suggestions, in making a better relationship with your dog. The more stressed and anxious you are the more she is, and then you question yourself on what you are doing wrong. Being calm and relaxed, will give you a calm and relaxed dog(as long as you are providing enough physical and mental exercise).

Tony, everyone here has given you great advice. In the end you have to build your own confidence, in order to have a confident dog. I hate recommending this, and if you have already ignore this, but it may be worth it for you and Bandit to take some basic training classes, so you can both socialize with others with dogs, so you can get tips and pointers, so maybe you can boost your confidence with how you are raising your puppy. We are all happy to help you and give you advice, success doesn't happen overnight with a dog. Smile
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: still tense and frightened when eating   Sat Dec 27, 2014 4:28 am

Well said Renee, and especially these dogs......holy crap are they stubborn and finicky!
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PostSubject: Re: still tense and frightened when eating   Sat Dec 27, 2014 4:38 am

Thank you Jeff......Haha, indeed they are!! They are independent thinkers for sure, one day they want to snuggle, the next it's like "back off lady/man", lol.
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PostSubject: Re: still tense and frightened when eating   Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:33 pm

Tony, if you haven't figured it out already, there are no absolutes to this ...

When you were a little kid was there always one kid in the neighborhood who initiated some game? While you might have had an older one who started some things or one who was often the leader, I'd bet that who played what varied a lot. Sometimes some kids wanted to play "kick the can" and some wanted to play "stick ball" (showing my age, I know) and sometimes you all got together at the park and just hung out. A pack is just the same ( well, it is a pack of kids I *was* talking about ) sometimes they (she) will want to play and sometimes not; sometimes you'll feel like playing and sometimes not; building confidence and trust with each other is also learning when and how to respect each others boundaries.

My two are the best of friends, but sometimes Sasha just has had enough of Avalanche who would play 24/7 if he had a full time playmate. When she's had enough she'll let him know - a quick snap or simply going to her corner are enough to let Avalanche know she's done. Sometimes it's me who's had enough - "enough" puts them into a time out that normally last a hour or so.

A good 75% of the time that they're both inside they're lazing around, he's in his corner and she's in hers and they've learned to respect each others desire to have space. The other 25% they're playing or wrestling or seeing what they can get into. If Sasha wants attention - which has been a long time in coming - she'll come over and butt my hand or 'bump' me, then it's time for petting / grooming / belly rub / whatever ... Avalanche is more outgoing in that he'll come over and put his paws on my leg and invite me to play so it's hit and kick and paw and bite until one of us has had enough. Learning when and how to give attention and play and when to say no is part of setting boundaries and earning trust.

BUT I've had Avalanche for 4 years and Sasha for 3 (give or take a few months) and we've all learned over time the signals for what each of us wants or doesn't want. That level of trust and confidence isn't something that's just magically going to happen overnight - it's something you have to learn and adjust to.

When she invites you to play (normally some for of doggy bow) you decide whether you want to play or not - maybe you're working on something and now isn't the time. Sometimes you'll invite her to play and she'll be ready - - - then again maybe not; you have to learn her signals (which are probably different from the signals my dogs give me and each other) and respect them, just as she has to learn yours.

I'll end this book with one other note: I've got a real laid back (calm) personality, so do my dogs. We can get excited if there's a coyote or a donkey in the back 40 but most of the time it's just laid back. Even when they're excited over some outside event, it's easy enough (because of our level of trust) to bring things under control. Excitement means several different things, play time or something unusual are the norm - and in time she'll look to you to see how to react. But if you're sending different signals (confusion and frustration are the ones I see in your posts most) she isn't going to know how to react.

Your time and patience and willingness to recognize her as a mini-person (like a child) with her own wants and desires are going to work better - in the long run - than all the "I want this response now!". Oh, of course there are times when we do need immediate response but that isn't going to come until she's truly comfortable that you're going to be consistent in what you show her you want.
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