Working Dog Forums banner

1 - 20 of 52 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,307 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On another board there is a dog GSD that is 14 months old. His bloodline has a lot of this issue. The owners can't get him to out and he grawls at them for trying to take any object that he has. What would you do to correct this problem or do you think it is a problem? Thanks and this should be a good topic.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,751 Posts
For them it is obvisiouly a problem :wink: If they were firmer in the past, a lot of the problems wouldn´t exist now I expect. Firm actions towards the dog, and no privleges anymore.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,210 Posts
Jerry Lyda said:
On another board there is a dog GSD that is 14 months old. His bloodline has a lot of this issue. The owners can't get him to out and he grawls at them for trying to take any object that he has. What would you do to correct this problem or do you think it is a problem? Thanks and this should be a good topic.
Yes, it is a problem, IMO. This URL below pretty much explains how I have managed this with someone else's dogs before.

This applies to pet dogs who do NOT exhibit other signs of aggression.

First I took the dog for a looooong walk and the dog was fed. Now the dog is not full of frustrated energy and is tired and happy. Then I practiced trading the toy for an especially wonderful treat (bacon) and praising like a nut with each trade. I did this in front of the owners so they would know what routine to continue until the possession aggression was under control.

In both cases, the problem arose with all the dogs' toys, but if I had been confronted with just one particular toy causing the problem, I would have confiscated it.

BTW, these two dogs (different households) were *not* aggressive in other ways. There would have been a lot more to this answer if they had been!

From http://www.VeterinaryPartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&C=157&A=1462&S=1
about possession (food, treat, toy) aggression:

7. Do the prevention exercises with your dog's toys, too. Have an adult ask the dog for the toy, gently take it, look at it, give the dog a treat, and then return the toy. Eventually include the children, but maintain a high level of adult supervision when you do this, and teach the kids not to take the dog's toys at other times. If a dog shows a strong tendency to guard any particular toy, that toy must be removed. Better the dog lose the enjoyment of a toy than to lose the dog's life when the dog becomes too dangerous. You may be able to allow the dog to enjoy it strictly in a private place such as the dog's crate.

8. Never chase a dog down to get something the dog has stolen. This triggers the same instincts as food guarding, and also teaches your dog to run from you. Condition your dog instead to bring things to you for great trades, plus praise and other rewards.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,210 Posts
P.S. The loooooong walk first is something I learned from Cesar Millan whenever the issue is one of aggression, dominance, etc.

The dog has both released frustrated energy and been reminded of his pack position.

I learned this a long time ago from CM, and his new book also emphathizes the importance of the walk.

P.P.S. I will be interested in what experienced handlers will have to say about possession/food aggression. I think it might play a big role in dog bites involving kids. I hope this thread grows. Good subject, Jerry, IMO!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,011 Posts
Hi Connie, isn't the long walk more about control and mental stimulation than tiring the dog out? I mean i can walk my dogs till legs fall off and they're not going to be tired, maybe thirsty but not tired. Maybe a long brisk bike ride would do it but not walking.
AL
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,210 Posts
Al Curbow said:
Hi Connie, isn't the long walk more about control and mental stimulation than tiring the dog out? I mean i can walk my dogs till legs fall off and they're not going to be tired, maybe thirsty but not tired. Maybe a long brisk bike ride would do it but not walking.
AL
Well, I admit that the dogs I help with aren't generally working dogs, and they are not all big dogs, even -- maybe 50-50 small and large. So the dog *might* be tired out from a looooong walk, but the goal (in my P.S.) is that "The dog has both released frustrated energy and been reminded of his pack position."

What I want is a dog who has not been building tension and energy all day locked indoors.

So yes, Al, you are absolutely correct.

And if you meant about tiring the dog in general, every day, I agree 100% with you that while the long walk is essential, so is whatever it takes to tire out the dog.


*99% of the time it's with pack leader issues
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
528 Posts
I agree that walking would be a good start.

A leash and a prong is even better.

This is probably not just a problem of the dog not giving up his toy but this is where the problem shows up.

The dog needs a firm but fair leader.Some dogs need a stronger leader than others.

Greg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,307 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Greg, That's what I am thinking too. The firm fair correction should have been done long ago and maybe this would not be an issue now. This dog is really bad. Worse than my first post indicated. He is now 14 months old and I think is owned by a lady who does schutzhund. Now is the time to put him on his back and make him think heaven has opened up and he's fixing to go through the pearly gates. I had said this on the other forum and some people thought that was the most poorly given advise they had heard. They were afriad it would make him worse. Well it may. If he is allowed to keep doing it then it can really get nasty. They were also afraid the owner would get hurt. Well that too may happen. Some said to take him on long walks to show him who the alfa is. How is this correcting that problem? I believe that one good hard correction beats a hundred litttle don't do that ,please. Give me a brake.
I'd really like to hear from more of you about what you would do. I think too that if this person that ownes this dog don't get it fixed they need to find him a home where he will be taught to respect his owner before he hurts some one.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,210 Posts
Jerry Lyda said:
Sorry Connie I just don't understand the long walk thing. Help me understand.
Thanks.
OK. The long walk thing is NOT directly about the possession-aggression.

Say a neighbor or someone is my dog's club asks for help with her dog who is growling when the handler tries to take something away from him, and she wants help.

She says: QUOTE: He growls at me for trying to take any object that he has. What would you do to correct this problem or do you think it is a problem? END QUOTE

This dog is basically a stranger to me.

The first thing I do is go there, meet the dog, and take the dog for a long walk. I don't mean around the block; I mean 1/2 hour or 45 minutes.

The dog has now been introduced to the fact that he won't lead me, as we left his house with me in front and as we walked with him never allowed to pull or lead me, and as he was given leash corrections if needed.

Now the dog knows that he's not allowed to lead me, and if he was filled with frustrated nervous energy, some of it has been released. He also has been with me long enough to have started a habit of obeying me.

Then I would start swapping possessions and teaching him that giving up his possession gets him good stuff in return.

As Greg said, this dog needs a firm leader, and IMO, the leadership role is reinforced over and over every day during the walk, which is what is hardwired into their brains (IMO) to do all day long, every day: follow the alpha.

HOWEVER, I also said that if the dog was aggressive in other ways, my post about it would be much longer. I didn't have info like "He's really bad." It sounds like he has other issues besides growling over a toy. (There *are* dogs who aren't dominant in any other way who have possession aggression.)

You'd probably get much more detailed (and way firmer) advice here if we had read the other thread where the dog was described.

What I said (and I mentioned this) was based on a dog whose only issue was over his toy ("things").

"Don't do that, please" is not in my dog-speak repertoire.

This: "This dog is really bad. Worse than my first post indicated. " will get you way different answers from swapping toys.

Still, though, I do start with a walk, with me holding the leash, when I'm asked to help with a dog I don't know, for the reasons above.

When you talked about correcting him on the other thread, are you saying he is showing dominance and aggression and that when you mentioned correcting him, people said no, because he'd get worse??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,307 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
OK the walk makes more sence to me( showing how's boss). Thanks

I didn't mean that you said don't do that please thing, that was someone else that mentioned that.

I believe the person that owns him isn't strong enough to handle this type dog and I have no idea who this person is. There has to be away to get this type behavior fixed quick. Maybe there isn't and maybe I'm wishing there is but this dog can and will hurt someone. If this is the only issue with this dog maybe then it could be fixed quick but I agree with Greg(I think it was Greg)there maybe more to it than that. I know I know there's a lot of if's and maybe's in what I've said but we don't really know everything that's going on here.

Thanks Connie, I really mean that
Jerry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
528 Posts
Connie Sutherland said:
Jerry Lyda said:
Sorry Connie I just don't understand the long walk thing. Help me understand.
Thanks.
OK. The long walk thing is NOT directly about the possession-aggression.

Say a neighbor or someone is my dog's club asks for help with her dog who is growling when the handler tries to take something away from him, and she wants help.

She says: QUOTE: He growls at me for trying to take any object that he has. What would you do to correct this problem or do you think it is a problem? END QUOTE

This dog is basically a stranger to me.

The first thing I do is go there, meet the dog, and take the dog for a long walk. I don't mean around the block; I mean 1/2 hour or 45 minutes.

The dog has now been introduced to the fact that he won't lead me, as we left his house with me in front and as we walked with him never allowed to pull or lead me, and as he was given leash corrections if needed.

Now the dog knows that he's not allowed to lead me, and if he was filled with frustrated nervous energy, some of it has been released. He also has been with me long enough to have started a habit of obeying me.

Then I would start swapping possessions and teaching him that giving up his possession gets him good stuff in return.

As Greg said, this dog needs a firm leader, and IMO, the leadership role is reinforced over and over every day during the walk, which is what is hardwired into their brains (IMO) to do all day long, every day: follow the alpha.

HOWEVER, I also said that if the dog was aggressive in other ways, my post about it would be much longer. I didn't have info like "He's really bad." It sounds like he has other issues besides growling over a toy. (There *are* dogs who aren't dominant in any other way who have possession aggression.)

You'd probably get much more detailed (and way firmer) advice here if we had read the other thread where the dog was described.

What I said (and I mentioned this) was based on a dog whose only issue was over his toy ("things").

"Don't do that, please" is not in my dog-speak repertoire.

This: "This dog is really bad. Worse than my first post indicated. " will get you way different answers from swapping toys.

Still, though, I do start with a walk, with me holding the leash, when I'm asked to help with a dog I don't know, for the reasons above.

When you talked about correcting him on the other thread, are you saying he is showing dominance and aggression and that when you mentioned correcting him, people said no, because he'd get worse??
I agree with all of this but to me the walk is just the very beginning of a program to fix this problem.

Also,this isnt a "take him for a few walks and then he's fine" thing.This must be an ongoing thing to really work.

The only thing different I would do is not trade anything.I would take permanent possession over the object and give-take whenever the urge strikes me.
Definitely the walking is one of the first things to do.Along with obstacle work. :wink:

Greg
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
21,869 Posts
My suggestion would be for someone else to do the initial training/corrections on this dog if she/he isn't strond enough to control it, as you mentioned. AT LEAST in the company of someone that can control the dog. A prong could possibly just fire up a tough dog. If it were me, I'd string the dog up, but that in itself depends on the character of the dog. The possessivness isn't necessarily true aggression. Just an aggressive responsive to weak owner.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,210 Posts
Greg Long said:
....... I agree with all of this but to me the walk is just the very beginning of a program to fix this problem.

Also,this isnt a "take him for a few walks and then he's fine" thing.This must be an ongoing thing to really work.

The only thing different I would do is not trade anything.I would take permanent possession over the object and give-take whenever the urge strikes me.
Definitely the walking is one of the first things to do.Along with obstacle work. :wink:

Greg
Yes, you're right about the trade. I'm afraid I had adolescent-growling-over-toy in my brain. I was wrong about that part, although it worked for me twice. It worked for me because I was dealing with generally submissive young dogs (pets) who were trying on the possession-aggression for size.

You are correct that the pack leader has to claim everything. Nothing belongs to the dog.

I'm glad you agree about the walk. It's crucial for me. OTOH, I have certainly met trainers who never heard of anything so time-wasting! :D

When I work with other people's dogs, it's not really sit-heel-down-come; it's lack of leadership in the owner.

And you're also right about the ongoing-ness of teaching the dog his position in the pack. The walk is part of the big package, in which the dog never wins, in any disagreement with the owner, over anything.

What's obstacle work? Like agility?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,210 Posts
Bob Scott said:
My suggestion would be for someone else to do the initial training/corrections on this dog if she/he isn't strond enough to control it, as you mentioned. AT LEAST in the company of someone that can control the dog. A prong could possibly just fire up a tough dog. If it were me, I'd string the dog up, but that in itself depends on the character of the dog. The possessivness isn't necessarily true aggression. Just an aggressive responsive to weak owner.
Bob,

If this was just one manifestation of a dominant dog, as opposed to just possession-aggression, I think you would be correct about choking out the dog, if necessary. And I think you have approximately 900 times as much different-dog experiences as I have.

As the thread progresses, it sounds like a dominant-aggressive dog more than just a dog who's protecting his resources and needs to quit that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,011 Posts
Something Connie said made me wonder...... can you guys hand the leash off to a stranger and walk away and your dogs will listen to that person and go on a nice walk or whatever? Is this a hijack? lol
AL
 
1 - 20 of 52 Posts
Top