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 PLEASE HELP! - Any success in reversing resource guarding?

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brandon.elizondo
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Join date : 2013-03-26
Location : Austin

PostSubject: PLEASE HELP! - Any success in reversing resource guarding?   Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:01 am

We've had George for 3 months now and just love the little guy. His resource guarding started about 8weeks ago. He doesn't just snarl or growl, he jumps right to biting. At this point he's bitten a neighbor, my wife 2-3 times, myself once and he's lunged at us several times as well. We can't approach his food bowl during or after feeding, he protects chew toys, rawhides and anything that he picks up. It's created a very tense environment in the house. My wife is walking on egg shells around George.

We just had professional behaviorists visit with George and they seem convinced that his guarding issues is part of his DNA. They believe George is a naturally tense/anxious dog having noticed constant yawning, lip licking, stiff body, tail down, head snapping, etc.....They believe George could be dangerous to children and believe the probability of a future bite is likely.They believe we can minimize the chances of future bites by avoiding the situations that cause George to lash out. We are sad-frustrated and searching for any and all help we can find.

I was hoping that someone/somewhere can share a story of their dog shaking the guarding bug once and for all. We'd appreciate any & all advice.

Thank You

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GingerDog
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PostSubject: Re: PLEASE HELP! - Any success in reversing resource guarding?   Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:32 am

That sounds tough. I was able to stop guarding behavior (at least towards me) by hand feeding my dog (not my husky) for a while, then put the bowl in my lap and put food in the bowl a little at a time. That sounds like it could be dangerous in your case, I don't want you to get hurt.

Did the behaviorist offer anything to do to alter his behavior? I obviously have not been to your house or met George, but it sounds like he's somewhat anxious/stressed at home, what is your routine (does he get much exercise)? I usually don't like to medicate, but he may benefit from behavior modifying medications since it is becoming a dangerous situation.
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K9_Eric
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PostSubject: Re: PLEASE HELP! - Any success in reversing resource guarding?   Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:37 am

Have you ever tried trading George for something better than what he has?
Also, have you ever tried watching his signs, and tried changing your posture and approach? How old is George? Whats his home routine like? Etc..

Ive worked with 100s of dogs and have found that most the time a dog can be rehabilitated if given time and proper leadership.
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dahowlers
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PostSubject: Re: PLEASE HELP! - Any success in reversing resource guarding?   Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:48 am

As a safety precaution, I would remove toys and chews for now. Hopefully someone else can give you something more thorough.
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Super Nova
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PostSubject: Re: PLEASE HELP! - Any success in reversing resource guarding?   Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:35 am

Personally, I would get another opinion from another behaviorist. It sounds like he is trying to Alpha his food, toys, etc. I suggest start hand feeding him - Open palm when you do it.
What what you doing when he guarding? How do you stop him? He needs to know that Biting is not allowed - right now (from the information you gave) it sounds like you are letting him bite. You're not being the Alpha in the pack and letting him know its not okay.
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Tika
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PostSubject: Re: PLEASE HELP! - Any success in reversing resource guarding?   Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:15 am

Howdy and welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear you are having some of these issues.


Quote :
Have you ever tried trading George for something better than what he has?
Also, have you ever tried watching his signs, and tried changing your posture and approach? How old is George? Whats his home routine like? Etc..

Ive worked with 100s of dogs and have found that most the time a dog can be rehabilitated if given time and proper leadership.

Agreed 100%. Guarding behaviors are something a lot of us who rescue go through. Even puppies can exhibit this behavior. You are not alone. It will just take time and working at it every day and eventually it will go away.



Quote :
I was hoping that someone/somewhere can share a story of their dog shaking the guarding bug once and for all. We'd appreciate any & all advice.

It's a Husky Thing - Search Guarding.

We have had many members with this problem. The link goes to a search for "guarding" and you can read what others have done/ are doing to change this behavior in their dogs.


If it were me I would work on hand feeding, as has been suggested, and get an understanding of NILIF (Nothing in life is Free) training.

I would work on "trading" if it were my dog.

All you need for this is two treats of different value. The first treat should be interesting to your dog but not super high in value. You want the dog to be working on it and engaged in it and not ignoring it. I would use an old bone, bully stick, maybe a toy, something like that.

The second treat should be of extremely high value. It helps if it has a strong scent to it. I use cheese, peanut butter, a brand new meaty bone.

I would give the lower value treat to my dog and let him go to town on it. Once engaged with the treat or toy I would approach slowly and let the dog smell the treat in my had, but not see it. You can even throw in a DROP IT or LEAVE IT as you do this to get it trained with a command word.

Most of the time however the smell alone, if high enough value, will trigger interest from the dog. Once my dog had dropped or given up on the original treat, I would praise "GOOD GIRL", remove the original treat, and give the higher value one.

By doing this you are teaching your pup that they have no reason to guard because you can offer a higher value item. You are also working on your relationship and training at the same time. This generally translates into more trust around food or objects.


My Rescue would growl, bite, and guard high value objects from myself, my wife, my other dog, and even my cats. After we taught her she can trust us removing objects from her she no longer does. We used the above method in conjunction of desensitization with our other animals being in proximity.

She still regresses every now and again, never to the point of biting, and we simply remove the object from her when she does until she calms back down and forgets about it.

She has been with us since the end of summer and my god daughter has bounced up and down on her while she was eating a bone and she didn't make a peep.


Quote :
Personally, I would get another opinion from another behaviorist. It sounds like he is trying to Alpha his food, toys, etc. I suggest start hand feeding him - Open palm when you do it.
What what you doing when he guarding? How do you stop him? He needs to know that Biting is not allowed - right now (from the information you gave) it sounds like you are letting him bite. You're not being the Alpha in the pack and letting him know its not okay.

Using Alpha methodology with this type of guarding isn't something I would ever recommend.

Being Alpha revolves around claiming, removing, stand offs, and forcing a dog to back down physically or mentally. There doesn't have to be any physical contact, but it can be a very stressful experience mentally.

In my above example you are building something (trust, training, respect, and leadership) where as with the Alpha method you are breaking down your dog and arguably developing those same things, however you are doing it with fear at least in that situation.

With a dog already warning you when you get close, using fear or force in cases like this can very likely lead to dangerous and violent behavior for you or even the pup.

Just me here, but I would rather train trust and respect instead of fear and submission.

Best of luck to you!
~Chris~

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Is this about the cake problem? What's the matter with you mathematicians, cake is never a problem. - Professor Lazlo
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: PLEASE HELP! - Any success in reversing resource guarding?   Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:27 am

I recently started reading Culture Clash by Jean Donalson and it discusses aggression. She doesn't really tackle how to deal with resource guarding in depth, but talks about how it is a natural part of the prey drive for dogs, and how biting in the context of guarding is as well, a dog doesn't come into the world knowing that we expect it not to bite. She offers some games and exercises to help satisfy the prey drive and decrease anxiety surrounding resources. It seems to me that Chris's advice combined with some of those games to engage and satisfy the prey drive might help, right now the only part of they prey drive the dog is experiencing is guarding and biting. Some dogs seem to have a higher prey drive then others and if the food appears and there is no chase or work involved in getting it then that energy may be redirected at you and your wife.

I agree that all toys and bones should disappear until you are able to work with the issue and things settle down. Remove access to the kitchen if there are issues around people food. Take as much away from the environment as needed to set the dog up for success. If he is laying on the floor in the kitchen while you're cooking, and something falls on the floor and he goes for it and a bite or altercation results, that will step any progress back. That was a situation that was too much for the dog. Try and limit those situations.

Also genetics play a roll to some extent, but I think that to say that the dog will always have an issue no matter what is akin to saying all pit bulls bite, or all retrievers retrieve, because that's what their genetics were geared toward in selective breeding. I personally think there are very few absolutes in dogs and dog training. Genetics influence behavior, but its our job to shape those behaviors. I think the behaviorist words should translate as 'I can't fix this, so the dog must be genetically defective.'

I think approaching it as an alpha problem will make the aggression problem worse and just raise the intensity of the reactions and the bites from the dog.

Learn his early signs of the behavior, maybe an early expression change in his eyes, laying down, the way his shoulder angles, ear position, head position, even paw position. In my experience with my past dogs I could see the moment they go into a way of thinking that says, 'but i really really want it' or 'but its mine.' Mostly this involved guarding from each other, not me, but I could see the wheels turning, if you can redirect and trade in the stage the wheels are turning, you can create a new thinking process, and eventually desensitization to the triggers. Teach the 'leave it' command and the moment you see a hint of one of those signs give that command with a high value reward. Teach leave it in a way that the dog not only drops the object, but leaves the space or backs up a few steps or even combine it with going to a specific place, crate etc. Meaning 'leave it' then 'go to bed' This is not a punishment because he gets an awesome reward for doing it. If he drops it but stays in the same place, its still his because its in his space, and you might get bit if you reach for the object and he's standing over it. For mine 'leave it' was drop it and walk away and 'drop' it was spit it out.

Don't be discouraged. I think you can solve this, but its going to take a lot of patience and consistency. If you go too fast it will be a two steps back and one step forward situation. If he snags something and runs, for now, don't go after it unless its actually life threatening, but he'll live if he swallows a kleenex. Limit his environment. Take walks to burn that anxious energy and do Chris's exercises. He'll get better. Smile Good luck!
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brandon.elizondo
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Join date : 2013-03-26
Location : Austin

PostSubject: Re: PLEASE HELP! - Any success in reversing resource guarding?   Wed Mar 27, 2013 6:41 pm

Thank you every for your concern and suggestions. George is 5 months old, beautiful grey-white husky with one blue eye, one brown. Obviously my wife and I are struggling with his behavior and are willing to try anything to get George on the right path.

The exchange idea was recommended by the beh-vets, as well as removing any items or situations that increase his tension/anxiety. No chews or rawhides, his toys are put up until we give them to him. Their idea is build-up trust with the hopes of minimizing his anxiety.

We walk him 1-2 times a day, try to get him to a local dog park as often as possible for exercise and socialization. We feel like he's on a decent routine as both me and my wife have tight schedules - George eats at the same time every day, wakes up at the same time and goes to bed at the same time. We crate him over night and while we are out of the house - this has helped him become 70% potty trained (He is now signaling when he needs to go out side, but has accidents from time to time) George understand 'sit' 'down' 'up' ' come' 'outside' and we can even say 'casa-casa' and he'll go into his crate. He's taken well to walks and doesn't pull much at all- He is smart and very alert.

The guarding started with his food bowl then evolved into any item/object that he feels he owns. During feeding we can pet his back but not close to the head - he will snap. After he's finished, he hovers over the bowl. If we walk towards the bowl he stiffens and moves to block us - If you continue forward he lunges. Toys/Rawhides are the same - Once he has the item in his mouth, he feels threatened if anyone gets to close. So we're avoiding these situations now. He is fed in a separate room & when he's done one of us sneaks back to retrieve his bowl. We've stopping giving rawhides and only use chew toys that we use for tug-o-war.

Having spent 3 months with George we now know what to look for...stiff body, yawning, shake-offs, lip licking, hard stares,lack of tail wags, mouth closed - no tongue, etc...We also know that right now he's not the type of dog that will allow us or anyone to pull a toy or object from his mouth or allow us to approach an item that he views as valuable. Most of these behaviors/signs are seen indoors. When he takes car rides or is at the park, we see a glimpse of a calmer George. His mouth is open, tongue hanging out, tail wags, body is not rigid, we can pet his body, etc.....He even shared a water bowl with another dog one day.

We are hopeful and open to all suggestions.

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bcmorrow89
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Female Join date : 2012-09-03
Location : Tennessee

PostSubject: Re: PLEASE HELP! - Any success in reversing resource guarding?   Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:03 pm

I've been criticized for this before on here but we had a very similar problem with our Husky, Luna. She never got to the point that George is at because I nipped it very quickly. We tried hand feeding, then replacement, and back to hand feeding and nothing that someone would deem "civil" worked with her. I talked to the trainer for the local obedience class we were attending and discussed "alpha rolling". He said most of the time it works, but it's not very safe for the owner... biting is possible. I was willing to take the chance because we plan to have kids, we have friends who have very young kids now who visit us regularly. Keep in mind Luna has yet to bite or be aggressive to anyone, other than me and that was only when food or toys have been involved. The trainer also equated Luna to a teenager... they like to push to see what they can get away with and you have to stop it right then or it will continue to grow.

Onto what I did:

Gave her food and tried to pet her head and she growled, I immediately grabbed at the back of her neck, forced her down onto her back and held her there until she subsided and stopped fighting. I then made her lick my hand (shows submission) before I let her back up and continue to eat. Usually only took one time of grab and slam to get her attention and we wouldn't have another problem.

Fast forward a month or two... Randomly at my in-laws Luna had a rawhide. I was watching TV and adjusted my hands (I was sitting on the floor beside her), when I did this she growled and showed teeth and had never shown teeth before. I thought I better stop this because she's trying to show me that she's the boss. I pinned her the same way again and she snarled, growled, and squirmed for almost 3-4 minutes (longest "fight" I've ever had with her). I did the dog whipser jab that is supposed to simulate a nip repeatedly. She finally gave up the fight and licked my hand and she got up, but did not get her rawhide back.

Since that long fight we've only had one more "tussle" which resulted in a pin, grab of the mouth, and said "NO". She licked my hand and was allowed up without the offending toy. She now submits to me and my wife whenever we raise our voice. Since this "alpha rolling" she now listens to "Leave it" (very useful for many occasions), "Chill" (she is very mouthy and "chill" will make her stop and lick whoever she was mouthy with), and "You'd better not" can usually stop her before she gets into something. She listened to none of that when she thought she was the alpha.
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ramoscl
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PostSubject: Re: PLEASE HELP! - Any success in reversing resource guarding?   Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:13 pm

Going To add my 2 cents It seems to me that your pup thinks he owns things. You need to make it very clear that YOU own everything in the house, the toys the food the bowl absolutely everything. He only gets to use things if you let him. The reason he is fine at the dog park is because everything there belongs to the dog park so he feels no need to protect it. He knows in his doggy sense that those things aren't his.

I really think hand feeding would be instrumental in teaching him this. Can you give him treats without him taking your hand off? if so then you should be able to hand feed. Hand feeding makes it clear to the dog that the food is yours and you are being nice and sharing it with him. '

I also second the NILF training, it has worked wonders with Dakota. Basicly the dog doesn't get anything without doing something first. Sit before you can go out, sit before you get petted sit before meals sit before treats.. It doesn't take long for the dog to realize you provide everything and are within your rights to take anything back because you are in charge.

Trading also shows this. Based on what the trainer told you i don't think much of the trainer. All behaviors can be controlled with training and patience..

One thing i did with Dakota that you might not be willing to do , but it did work, was if he had somthing and growled at me or showed teeth if i got near him i took it away. I showed not fear and just mater of factly reached down and took it. I was so bold about it he didn't think to bite me. I'd hold it a little while make him sit then give it back. If he didn't growl or show teeth , I didn't take the item. The trick to this is you have to be confident and not afraid of getting bit. I knew it was a possibility Dakota would bite me but i was willing to take the risk to make my point.

If you try this you are agreeing to take the risk of your dog biting you, much as you do if you choose the alpha roll method. It's not that i recommend you do this i just want you to know of things that have worked for me and my dog. They may not necessarily work for you and your dog.
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Tika
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PostSubject: Re: PLEASE HELP! - Any success in reversing resource guarding?   Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:28 pm

This thread has been dead for more than a couple of weeks, surprised to see it bumped suddenly.


Meeting anxiety/fear with aggression is NEVER the way to fix a problem.

Quote :
Having spent 3 months with George we now know what to look for...stiff body, yawning, shake-offs, lip licking, hard stares,lack of tail wags, mouth closed - no tongue, etc...

The OP paints a picture.

All signs of a stressed, fearful, or unsure frame of mind, not aggressive. I can't understand why you would want to intensify that state of mind and cause so much more stress by trying to "Dominate" an animal. What does it accomplish when the same level or respect can be built with time and trust?

I think it is common knowledge most dogs bites are from fear to begin with... Rolling, hitting, dominating just add to fear. You escalate fear and you are asking for a dog to defend or protect itself in the only manner it can.


Quote :
Most of these behaviors/signs are seen indoors. When he takes car rides or is at the park, we see a glimpse of a calmer George. His mouth is open, tongue hanging out, tail wags, body is not rigid, we can pet his body, etc.....He even shared a water bowl with another dog one day.

It is all the more evident once the pup is outside and away from the stress and can just be itself it does not need to be dominated or rolled.


Quote :
Fast forward a month or two... Randomly at my in-laws Luna had a rawhide. I was watching TV and adjusted my hands (I was sitting on the floor beside her), when I did this she growled and showed teeth and had never shown teeth before. I thought I better stop this because she's trying to show me that she's the boss. I pinned her the same way again and she snarled, growled, and squirmed for almost 3-4 minutes (longest "fight" I've ever had with her). I did the dog whipser jab that is supposed to simulate a nip repeatedly. She finally gave up the fight and licked my hand and she got up, but did not get her rawhide back.

This is one of the most intense and sad paragraphs I have ever read.

I'm not going to sit here and say I've never lost my shit on an animal, or even a dog, but never have I "Jabbed one repeatedly while it was being Alpha Rolled". That isn't something I would ever do. Talking about kicking a dog while it's down.

I understand you feel the other methods didn't work for you, and you have results doing it this way. I just find it extremely intense and to be honest cruel.




Lastly,

It's a Husky Thing - Hand Feeding Food Aggresion and Other things.

Check the last post on that thread.

Quote :
And yeah, that Cesar Milan crap will get you no where with a fear aggressive dog. Except maybe in the hospital.

Maybe check the OPs other posts to get an idea of his stance before sharing a controversial experience like this. He says himself he isn't looking for an "Alpha" approach with that one line.



~Chris~

_________________
Is this about the cake problem? What's the matter with you mathematicians, cake is never a problem. - Professor Lazlo
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bcmorrow89
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PostSubject: Re: PLEASE HELP! - Any success in reversing resource guarding?   Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:26 pm

@Tika wrote:


This is one of the most intense and sad paragraphs I have ever read.

I'm not going to sit here and say I've never lost my shit on an animal, or even a dog, but never have I "Jabbed one repeatedly while it was being Alpha Rolled". That isn't something I would ever do. Talking about kicking a dog while it's down.

I understand you feel the other methods didn't work for you, and you have results doing it this way. I just find it extremely intense and to be honest cruel.


Like I've said, I've been criticized before and I expected it again. I use the term repeatedly loosely in that comment also (I'm the type of person who over exadurates everything). If you want a real number, we'll go with 3 times over the 3 minutes she snarled and snapped and fought. When months of "nurturing" and "positive reinforcement" show 0 signs of progress... I turned to ways that I had seen other dogs raised, previous dogs I've owned raised, and consulted a well respected trainer from the area and he agreed.

My wife and I view Luna as a child, being that we don't have any children of our own. If you think that you should ever let a child act that way... you are probably part of the problem. I know that dogs aren't human children, but you can't tell me that a dog isn't smart enough to know "Ok... that man is alpha, and the woman is as high as he is... that means I'm below them, I'd better straighten up". Everyone on here says these are pack related animals, etc... but don't act out as such towards the husky. Call it mean, call it cruel, call it whatever you want... but at the end of the day I can say that Luna listens to us without any problems now. As I said before we haven't had any type of dominance issue with her since she learned who was boss.

To go along with the Caesar comment, I never said that this should be used on every dog, every time, no matter what. I stated that I tried several things and nothing worked but this did. That dude has been bitten before, but he knew the consequences and so did I. Would I recommend that he try this with George? Probably not, it's gotten too far. Just offering up some info that I personally had work for me.

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Tika
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PostSubject: Re: PLEASE HELP! - Any success in reversing resource guarding?   Tue Apr 16, 2013 5:49 pm

Quote :
My wife and I view Luna as a child, being that we don't have any children of our own. If you think that you should ever let a child act that way... you are probably part of the problem.

Careful, You're advocating Alpha Rolling and dominating a dog because it is "claiming" something over you, and now making a correlation on how to properly raise a child.

It isn't hard for someone to take that "the wrong way" really fast, and as someone who was abused mentally and physically everyday as a child I hope that wasn't the intent.

When did anyone, including myself, say it was acceptable behavior? This whole thread is about fixing it.


Quote :
I know that dogs aren't human children, but you can't tell me that a dog isn't smart enough to know "Ok... that man is alpha, and the woman is as high as he is... that means I'm below them, I'd better straighten up".

Actually I don't think it takes much intelligence at all be afraid of someone.

I think dogs are much smarter than that actually and can understand leadership when the position is earned through respect. Positive reinforcement isn't about letting your dog get away with acting like a wild animal.... You need to be a leader regardless of what methods you employ. Positive Reinforcement is about getting that message across in the least intrusive, painful, and stressful manner possible.

My Rescue had resources guarding issues too. Never have I rolled her to correct. She understands without a shadow of a doubt who the leaders in our household are. Myself, Kelly, and the cat(s).



Quote :
Everyone on here says these are pack related animals, etc... but don't act out as such towards the husky.

The reason we don't is we are intelligent humans that can think above the level of a dog. So why would we limit ourselves and bring ourselves down to their level and lose the ability to think like a human? Because dogs understand it better???? Sorry, I get my points across just fine.

That doesn't mean we aren't leaders. It means we show or request our leadership in a different way. The goal being to build confidence and respect, not fear and respect. Any training, if done right, leads to obedience; so why use the most intense form?




Quote :
Call it mean, call it cruel, call it whatever you want... but at the end of the day I can say that Luna listens to us without any problems now. As I said before we haven't had any type of dominance issue with her since she learned who was boss.

You mean when she learned it the first time? Or when she re-learned 1 or 2 months ago?

Because I wouldn't call what you described over the raw hide as rectified if it happened only that long ago, and the outburst was that much more intense.









That is my Sibe at Christmas enjoying a pressed rawhide my father in law bought her.

My Niece then decided to approach her while she was snacking on it. Notice those shots are pretty close to back to back to back. Tika instantly drops the treat and lays down moving her head and mouth away.

Later in the night my niece crawled right up to her mouth while she was chewing on it. Tika instantly released it and my Niece picked it up as we all ran to her before she stuck it in her mouth.

I would never allow any child that close to a dog I didn't trust 100%, but the dog also knows I wouldn't let the child hurt her and she could trust me to protect her and the treat. Of course I'm right there, you can see my hands in every picture, watching body language.

This was a dog who was extremely intense about food when we first got her. She was the runt, she wouldn't chew, and always wanted it. I worked with her everyday getting her to slow down and relax around her food and ours.

To respect us if we requested to take hers away or trade her something else. To remove her mouth as soon as a hand came close no matter how high the value was.

I never laid a finger on her negatively. I never had to roll her to get this point across. I played games with her and built that trust.

Now it doesn't matter who it is. Anyone puts a hand close to her treat, or asks her to drop it and she will.... Not just the leader(s) she fears. The training was done right and build properly to begin with positively.

Why would I need to roll a dog if I could do it right and build confidence?

Quote :
To go along with the Caesar comment, I never said that this should be used on every dog, every time, no matter what. I stated that I tried several things and nothing worked but this did. That dude has been bitten before, but he knew the consequences and so did I. Would I recommend that he try this with George? Probably not, it's gotten too far. Just offering up some info that I personally had work for me.

The OP asked for help.

Recounting this "experience" for him in this thread is akin to offering advice on what worked for you. You say yourself the trainer recommended most people shouldn't do it, and in this case the OP shouldn't do it. So whats the point?

However now because it is out there is someone comes to the boards, sees or searches and finds this thread, there is a chance they go home and try and Alpha roll and Jab their dog. A chance the dog turns around a bites that person. A Chance that dog is re-homed or worse.

I just think you have a very narrow view of what the word "Leadership" means.

~Chris~

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mbarnard0429
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PostSubject: Re: PLEASE HELP! - Any success in reversing resource guarding?   Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:20 pm

Fwiw, I have a dog who doesn't have issues anymore. Because I didn't alpha roll and I didn't punish, I reverted and reinforced. I took a lot fo work but ti also didn't hinder my dog.

I'm a teacher...even with kids you don't come at them with dominance and punishments. You come at them with care, understanding and reinforcement.


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arooroomom
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PostSubject: Re: PLEASE HELP! - Any success in reversing resource guarding?   Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:18 pm

Odin was probably one of the most outwardly aggressive resource guarders i've ever seen or worked with. He has gone after people who have gotten too close to VOMIT that he was hovering around, also a napkin.

Today- I gave everyone a frozen raw beef rib outside to enjoy. That same dog let me walk around him (dealing with the others,) let the others eat and gnaw around him, and let me pick up his gnawed on nasty bloody rib without even so much as a hard stare. When I come to take something from my dogs they pick up their heads and drop whatever they have because they know i'm not coming to "steal" it- but have conditioned them to always view me approaching them as positive and non-intrusive. Slamming them to the ground and "fighting" them for an item will get you a dog that will "take it" for a while until they decide they aren't going to take it any longer. Just as what you've experienced. You haven't "cured" the dog... You've only conditioned fear into them. Eventually the desire and want for the treat will (again) overpower the fear and there will be another outburst which will probably be worse than the previous.

Using fear and force to combat fear and force is NOT going to work.

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PostSubject: Re: PLEASE HELP! - Any success in reversing resource guarding?   Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:49 pm

Thank you everyone for providing feedback and suggestions. I think this particular topic has many sides and many tactics that have worked for dogs. I would like to mention that in our case we never punished George or tried to dominate him. The only times I 'rolled' George were during play and he actually let me roll him over. It was very gentle and I never held him down. Once we started talking to professional behaviorists they recommended that I avoid the rolling because it can magnify any anxious feelings within a dog. As more people have observed him, they all seem to come away with a common theme - George is obsessive, bold, anxious-aggressive.

Not sure I mentioned this: George does not growl or snarl to warm people. He goes from what seems to be calm, to lunging/biting.

We recently took George to see his breeder so we could get her take on his behavior and she was surprised at how intense his personality turned out. Within the first 20 minutes, he lunged at me because I had accidentally stepped on a piece of cotton that he found 'valuable' Later during the visit he was sitting quietly on the lawn when I noticed some bugs crawling on his tail - I calmly removed him from the area, pointed to the grass where the bugs had been and he bit me. Made full contact with my hand. We took George into the house where he proceeded to guard the AC vent on the floor - Anyone getting near the vent was at risk of getting bit.

The breeder wanted to see how her other Huskies would react to George. She brought three of the most gentle-calm dogs I have ever met. As soon as they came into the room, George attacked. I had to hold him back with the leash while the other dogs showed signs of fear. We had noticed this same behavior when we took George to dog-parks where he would show immediate signs of aggressive behavior - Approaching other dogs head-on vs doing the sniff. (he would eventually become so worked up or make the other dog anxious that he would start fights with other dogs)

The breeder felt we should let George socialize with her dogs over the next month. She believes they have a better chance of teaching George some general manners using healthy corrections. She plans to keep George paired with the smaller females that have a lower status within the group and gradually introduce him to more dogs. She feels that if George were to interact with the larger/dominate males now that he would get hurt or killed - She can tell that George hasn't learned to back down just yet.

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