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Thread: Please help...we love him but don't know what to do.

  1. #1

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    Default Please help...we love him but don't know what to do.

    Edited

    Last edited by Lenny; March 17th, 2012 at 12:39 PM.

  2. #2

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    ok.. u are in abit of a pickle.

    First option - keep him - BUT he needs so majour work. As for his food and needing to have it right there right then sorta thing. Put him on a lead. Put the bowl/bone about 1-2 metres away from him. Use a chocker chain with the lead. Hold onto it and tell him to sit and stay. Give him a small treat as a reward when he does (holding ur hand out flat as its a good way to teach kids to feed dogs so they dont get there hand bitten off). You will have to be persistant and do this everytime u give him something. As for the tennis ball, i bet u got a majour fright. If he snaps at you dont smack him just yell at him in a deep loud voice and just say no. Then get that lead out again and tie him to a pole or something in the backyard. This will serve as a time out. Dont give him the ball back for a couple days. You need to be persistant with all these sorts of things and remember to reward him when he doesnt snap.

    second option - get rid of him - you have to weigh up your options here. Ask yourself these questions... Is this dog worth having if its going to bite my family? Is it easier to get rid of him now rather than we you son is older and is even more attached? Is it worth the stress and worry everytime someone wants to go out the back??
    If u do decide to get rid of him, give him to a family or friend, hopefully without kids. If u give him the the rspca while hes snapping, they will put him down anyway.

    HTH

  3. #3

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    If I was in your position I would get professional help. There are a few companies that can help ypou out with behavoural issues and will give you tools you need to work on your dog.
    If you're not experienced with dog behavioural issues going it alone could just exaserbate the problem.
    Hopefully Christy will pop into this thread and give you some pointers

  4. #4

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    You have to be the boss. He needs to know that you and your partner (and the kids) are above him in the pecking order. You can't show fear. As he is still a pup, you can change things now to make this work for you.

    Few simple things. Is he allowed on furniture? Height is one way that dominance is established. So, dogs shouldn't be at same height or higher. Give him a bed on the floor but don;t let him on couches or people beds.

    When he is fed, make him sit and wait and only get the food when you tell him he can. We have two labs and both will sit (or drop) and wait until we say "Get it". They might drool whilst they are waiting but they don't start.

    Dogs shouldn't be snapping at people. If this happens, stand tall and give a deep 'No'. (boys are better at this but you need to be able to too).

    There are few ways to go with the possessiveness over bones. You can try to challenge it, but if it is only over bones i would kinda say that is his thing, and give him his own space when he has a bone. Make sure your little one is not near him and remove the bone again later. However, if it is becoming an issue then you might want to not give him bones at all, or at least til you feel more in control.

    You say you can't continue going to obedience training, but you can still keep practisining the things that you have learnt. Teach to sit, drop, stay (for various times), teach walking on a lead. All these things will help him know what you want, so he will look to you for guidance.

  5. #5

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    I think everyone else's advise sounds wise. Just wondering if you have had him de-sexed? I've heard male dogs who aren't become more and more aggressive during their teenage years and that it only gets worse...

    Also, maybe give your vet a call, they'll probably be able to give you some good advice. They might also be able to do some blood tests to make sure it's not a medical thing. I know hypothyroidism in animals makes them aggressive..

    Goodluck!

  6. #6

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    Hi there, Hmmm. Honestly for any aggression issues you need to see a professional. Your dog is displaying a normal reaction (resource guarding - especially for a working breed) but it is an over-reaction. And you are very right to see big potential problems coming up. I actually and respectfully disagree with some of the advice given here as resource aggression won't be abated with getting the dog into trouble over it. You will have more success (and better safety) if you promote the dog to feeling that it doesn't need to defend its resources. I won't post any more advice here because you need to see someone good and in person to give you personalised advice.
    Look up the delta society for people in your area. If you can afford to go to one of the vet behaviourists then do it, If you can't then look up a delta dog trainer and call them for some advice.
    Good luck.

  7. #7

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    Is Puppy PreSchool an option? Local vets run classes and the RSPCA runs classes for ALL ages of dog. I think it would do him a world of good...a better first option than rehoming maybe.

    I also agree on the desexing. It'd take a couple of week for him to calm down but usually makes a huge difference.

  8. #8

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    Like others have mentioned the benefits of getting someone to help you guys out here is INVALUABLE. these pups of ours are family and IMO deserve the time and input needed to help get them through these stages.

    He is only 20 months and if he is anything like our retriever x is having one major adolescense! (oops spelling!). they are going through big changes and are far more determined to challenge the pack order. for us it was a really hard road up until she hit 24 months. and this was i strongly believe achieved only so early through getting professional advice.

    a dog should not snap over food or objects. they shouldnt feel the need to protect it as they are not in that role of protector, you are ITMS. some of the smallest changes can make a big difference. for us this meant, not letting our dog on the furniture (ie our bed), she also is not allowed to be in the front yard (her breeding is mixed with maremma and they guard fence lines...(we had to go to a maremma expert for that one!) and she MUST eat after us, always. in all honesty our dog felt the stress of believing she was top dog and making these changes (they were hard at first) has made a world of difference, because like you, we were at a serious cross roads of whether we could keep her or not.

    it is so worth it in the end. her and my DD have a beautiful friendship now and like you, DD loves waking up in the morning and seeing stella. hang in there! there is hope! and soon the crazy teen dog phase will pass i promise LOL!

  9. #9

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    Edited
    Last edited by Lenny; March 17th, 2012 at 12:40 PM.

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    Have you found someone to go with?

    He still gets training from me all the time (at least once, sometimes twice a day). He will sit, stay, wait, leave food, drop objects (well, only sometimes!) and come etc.
    All those things are great. I wonder if you work on the 'drop objects', it might help with his possessiveness over stuff.

    We use 'give', if we want them to drop something. This works with balls or retrieval objects you are going to throw again. Also works if they have something in their mouth you don't know what it is. If it's something they are allowed to have, they get it back. Otherwise you take it off them.

    Good way to work on 'give' is during retrieving, say give and they get a reward (food works good cos they have to give to get the food). You then throw the ball again. They learn that it's good to drop the ball cos they get reward- but also just because they give doesn't mean they have lost the item forever. They don't think 'give' is a bad word.

    He sounds like a great dog, just needs some guidance on this issue before it gets out of hand.

    I know if we get slack on exercising, or asking the dogs to sit, stay etc they start to get a bit more unruly.

  11. #11

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    Kate,
    Basically we use 'drop' for the same thing.
    We had a first birthday for my whole mother's group and the dads too on sunday and he was really really good. He was outside (of course!) but he didn't go silly really. I let him be silly once they left and we had a bit of a run around.
    We have found a couple called 'underdog' who do dog training, however we actually have my parents over for 2 weeks and we don't want them to know anything at all about our little issue, so it is on hold for now. Once they leave in 2 weeks then we are going to arrange a first consult and then we will decide what to do next.
    DH is right behind me and seems unconcerned by the cost, so that is good.

  12. #12

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    I can't hesitate to say that Krysalyss has given some excellant advice. There are a huge number of "trainers" or "behaviouralists" out there, unfortunately they don't all have the background or the study to help them. In Australia, there is only 1 form of accreditation and that is the Delta Society. So I would make sure I went through someone with that background. I have studied animal behaviour and specialised in dog behaviour, but for what you want, there is no way I'd give you advice here... I would have to come and work with you & your dog. It is something that does need work now.

  13. #13

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    Edited
    Last edited by Lenny; May 31st, 2012 at 02:45 PM.

  14. #14

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    Glad to hear you are getting some help, it can make all the difference. It's hard because he's a member of your family but he needs to learn how he fits into it. Think of him as a toddler, that worked for us years ago with our Rotti who was a real handful until he was about 5 years old. I think we were the only family who had in puppy school for over a year . Good luck.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca79 View Post
    I think we were the only family who had in puppy school for over a year . Good luck.
    Embarassingly, i took one of my labs to puppy school for 3 and a half years. Well worth it in the end. Think we were the first to be put in 'time out' too. Just way too exciting for her. I would take a ball and throw it to her for half an hour before class to wear her out, but sometimes the class was just too much. Think she has a touch of ADD.

  16. #16

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    Nah Kate, she's just a lab My labrador acts so starved for attention, when she donates blood she wags her tail she loves needles because it means someone is touching her.

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    I would get rid of the dog. Ok you love him, but I would feel awful if something happened to one of the kids because I kept it

  18. #18

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    I would get rid of the dog. Ok you love him, but I would feel awful if something happened to one of the kids because I kept it
    A pet isn't a disposable item to 'get rid of' at the first hurdle. They require love, attention and understanding and if it turns out after effort that the animal really isn't the right fit then they need to be thoughtfully rehomed. Anyone who has euthanased a dog or a cat simply because it wasn't wanted will understand my offence to what you have said.

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