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Joey growled at son

Joey.E.CockersMommy
July 29th, 2005, 10:22 PM
WE had a little incident with our Joey. Already, yes I know but I would like to put a stop or at least know how to deal with, so I am here asking for advice.
The first incident my younger son wanted Joey to play with him, Joey insisted on being with me and did not want to go to my son, my son tried to pick him to move him closer and Joey yelped and let out a little growl. I figured Joey was maybe sensitive there and told my son its not a good idea to try and pick Joey up.

The second incident the boys were playing fetch with Joey. Joey wont drop the ball but was letting me take it from his mouth and give it to the boys for them to throw. My youngest son tried do to the same thing. Joey had the ball between his paws when my son went to take it he growled at my son. My first reaction was to tell Joey that was bad, I didn't yell but used a firm tone, and brought him to the corner of the room for a time out. Then I brought him back over to my son to apologise and give him a kiss.

I am not sure if this would be part of the problem, but earlier today I spent some time trying to remove a burr from Joeys ear and brushed him as well. At one point he just walked off, so I let him be. So perhaps he had already had enough prodding for one day.

Joey does have his own toys including his ball, was I wrong to punish him for growling at my son, should I just tell my kids that joeys toys are off limits. IF he growls over this ball (which is the one he brought with him) will he growl over other ones as well.

The former owner said that Joey loves kids and she has four of her own from ages 6 - 14. Joey is in a completely different enviornment than he was. Before he was one of eight dogs and four kids. Now its just him, us and two kids. I am wondering if Joey is just adjusting to the changes.

He is getting lots of attention, walks about 3 times a day, and is constantly with me and the kids, or my husband and the kids. WE will be signing him up for obedience training soon so that should help with any issues he may have such has this one.

Any advice would be most helpful. :)

StaceyB
July 29th, 2005, 11:28 PM
The yelp most likely indicated pain of some sort. It could have been a poke, pulled hair, all by accident or there is a body part that was touched that hurts.
Quite often in a household with kids and dogs, the dog either views themselves as equals or higher up in the pack than the kids. I would set the family up into training classes with the dog, especially the kids. If the dog learns that he has to listen to them it will help. The kids should also control the resources of interest to the dog. Food, play, toys, etc.
You usually don't see the true personality of a dog until the third week you have them. Then it seems that all of a sudden you start to see undesirable behaviours. It is good that you have noticed them right way and are willing to put a stop to them. Your dog is figuring out where he belongs in regards to pack status, hierarchy of the home. They want to be on top unless someone states otherwise.
Growling is unacceptable though for the time when your son tried to move him and you got the yelp first, I think he was accidently hurt. If he had just growled it would have been a different story. For the growling with the ball, sounds like resource guarding. You need to be there for now to correct, I don't think your son would be capable of doing it correctly. To work with eliminating this behaviour I would suggest practicing give with him as often as possible. Start with objects that he will give up easily and then as you have success use more difficult items until he will give up everything to you. Have some very small treats on hand, get dog to hold item w/o you/son letting go(whoever is doing it), have your son place the treat at his nose and tell him once to give/ drop. As he releases the item you give the treat. There is really no reason to have a power struggle especially between dog and child. As he gets better at it don't place the treat at nose but give it to him when he releases the item. Once you are able to do this you can begin to fade out the treat.
With the grooming, next time place him on his leash so that he can't walk away, you need to decide when he is done. If you notice that he wants it to be done wait until there is a moment when he is behaving and then release him.
He needs to know that the human members of the family make the decisions. Be firm but kind.

LL1
July 30th, 2005, 09:54 AM
How old are your children?How long have you had Joey,3 days or so?He travelled from Alaska where he was a stud dog to BC to your family and is a cocker,is this all correct?

tenderfoot
July 30th, 2005, 10:18 AM
Cockers can have some nasty attitudes sometimes and when they learn it works it just reinforces it. Joey has learned it works with your family.
How old is your son? Children don't usually get a stronger ego force until they are about 9 yrs. Until then you need to intervene more and help your son establish his leadership role. You as the parent have every right tell your kids how to behave to gether and the puppy is part of that picture.
Try not to over empathize with the pup. He is having attitude and you need to stop it. Practice the "give" or "drop it" and the "take it" as Stacey said - using a stiff object like a bone is easier than a soft toy or ball - that way if he doesn't give it up easily you can rattle it in his mouth so he will want to let go. You don't even have to wait for him to spit it out - just take it out. Its a matter of him releasing things to you without arguing and then things will get easier. But practice it throughout the day, and not until he does it well with an adult do you want to then start practicing with the kids. I am not a keen on the bribery aspect of training - I want him to respect my word and behave because I said so not because I have a cookie. Some dogs even learn that misbehaving will get them a cookie because mom will surely bring out the cookies to get me to give up the leather shoe.
Make sure you can put your hand in his food bowl without him having a fit. When you can do it well then have the kids take feeding over and doing the same. You always need to be there to ensure good manners from Joey and having him on the leash in the beginning is good to help ensure things go well and that you can give an instant correction if you have to. If he shows any snarley attitude at all then correct him and simply take the food away. ie kids who spit at the dinner table don't get dinner that night - we'll try again later and see if your attitude has softened.

tenderfoot
July 30th, 2005, 10:24 AM
okay, just read the LL1 post and that gives us lots more info.
This requires even more protective behavior towards your children. The whole Joey picture just got a bit more intense. You should start obedience training ASAP and he should be well monitored and have a nicely structured life until you see a softening in his temperament. This would all apply anyway but it just makes his potential for snotty attitude higher on the richter scale.
By the way, 'time out' isn't always so effective for dogs. They are very much in the moment - sitting and thinking about what they did wrong is not really realistic. Correct the bad choices instantly and then give them another chance to make a better choice. Keep that up until you see them make the better choice several times in a row. Now you know real learning has occured.

Lucky Rescue
July 30th, 2005, 10:26 AM
This is a mature male dog (is he neutered?) that came sight unseen from a long distance away, and from someone you don't know. This person said the dog was good with kids, but it's impossible to know if that is true or a complete fabrication.

I hope it works out!

LL1
July 30th, 2005, 10:34 AM
Have you talked to the breeder you bought Joey from?Or the rescue that hooked you up with this breeder?Did the rescue meet the dog before they sent you to the breeder?

StaceyB
July 30th, 2005, 01:32 PM
People will say anything to get a dog or any other animal out of their care, whether it is true or not. Also, what happens in their household is different than what happens in yours. In your home the kids want to play with the dog. In the former home they may not have, the dog may never have had to give things up to the kids.

shannon1233A
July 30th, 2005, 02:18 PM
I'm by no means an expert like others here. But enough experience with dogs has taught me that your dog has to learn he's bottom on the totem pole. I'd like to ask Tenderfoot if he thinks this would help if I may? I was taught esp. if food possessive, and toy possessive, as this dog seems to be developing, that the dog doesn't get it unless it's from me or the children. Would it help if the dog was hand fed by the mother, until he behaves appropriately, then the children. We OWN everything, including the food, and are willing to share these things with doggy, when we see fit, and that's when doggy acts appropriately. Same with the toys. First he gets his ball only from mom, she gives and takes when SHE wants, not when Joey wants it. Then graduate to the children give and take away?

Also to add, when mom gives the food, doggy must sit. Kibble is fed by piece by hand, when all is well it goes into the bowl, and again sit before getting the bowl. Only then, when the dog behaves appropriately, do we allow the children to have sole ownership to be passed down to the doggy?

Joey.E.CockersMommy
July 30th, 2005, 07:39 PM
Thanks for all the advice yes Joey is neutured it was the head of the ecs rescue that contacted the owner and reccomennded that she place Joey with us Joey. They knew we wanted a dog that was good with kids so after being on the waiting list since April he was highly reccommended.

I don't know if in his old home he had to give up objects or simply had his things and no-one bothered him. I know he does have his own toys that he came with. I will contact the owner again and ask her.

Other then that one episode he really is a sweet dog and is well worth correcting the problem. I gave him the time out as I needed to do something quick in that situation and wasn't sure what the right approach was.

All of us just took turns giving him treats, I made him sit first then gave it to him, then my youngest son then my older son. He seemed to focused on me but I was able to make Joey focus on my sons and they did make him sit. I am trying to make it so he listens to all of us not just me and my husband.
He is also made to sit before he is given his breakfast or dinner.

I have to run now but I will be back to elaborate further. We haven't signed him up for obedience yet but we will be doing that ASAP.

Cheers Joey and Mom.

LL1
July 30th, 2005, 08:12 PM
Did the head of ECS rescue meet Joey and assess him?And did they do a home visit with you and discuss your experience with dogs?

StaceyB
July 30th, 2005, 08:29 PM
Sounds like you are on the right track, good luck. A training class will be good, make sure the kids are involved.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
July 30th, 2005, 11:41 PM
NO there was not a home visit. Although we did agree to one, it is probably difficult for them to do as we live in the Okanagan and the ecs is mostly based in the states. We have agreed to let them to a home visit at anytime. They know everything about our history with dogs as the adoption form is quite involved more so than buying a puppy from a breeder.
I really don't know if the head of ecs rescue did met Joey before as she is some where in the eastern us and Joey is from Alaska it is possible that she has not met Joey.
I adore the little guy and so does everyone else in the family. I am confident that we can get past this possesive behavior he has exhibited. With most dogs there will always be some issues.
As soon as I have a day off I am going to enroll him in some sort of obedience class and get the whole family involved.
Will keep everyone posted. :pawprint:

tenderfoot
July 31st, 2005, 09:33 AM
Shannon1233 - These are all on track. In every dog's world things belong to the human and we share with the dog when they have good manners. With some dogs it's more vital to live by these rules more strictly - while others don't need you to be so structured because they naturally have better manners and can be allowed more freedoms.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
July 31st, 2005, 08:43 PM
I did mention this problem to Joeys former owner, she just inquired as to how he is doing. Perhaps she will provide me some insight into this. I also just called an obedience school, there is only about 4 in this town. The former one I used, is pretty strict and does a lot of yelling if the dog disobeys. I don't think I want to use this approach with Joey.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
August 1st, 2005, 11:14 PM
Joeys owner contacted me about Joey growling and agreed we should put a stop to it. It hasn't happened since that one incident, but I am keeping a close eye on him and the kids for the time being. It seems that Joey is most attached to me, he follows me from room to room. He doesnt like going in the backyard with out me and will wait at the top of the stairs until I go out with him. He also sits on me where ever I am in the house. He is fine with my husband and kids when I go to work but as soon as I come home hes right there beside me again. In fact I am beginning to think he thinks that he owns me. We are all working on doing basic obedience right now, he is pretty good at the sit, stay and the kids are involved too. I would like to get him into obedience training soon, he does seem pretty smart and I think he would do well at it.
Should I be letting Joey sit on my. I don't mind it at all but is he being a bit possessive. He sits on me then he puts his paws around my neck and nuzzles his head into my neck.
I am also thinking that maybe there is some sort of link between this attachment to me, and the growling.

Pomermaniac
August 2nd, 2005, 01:38 AM
There's been some excellent advice posted here I must say.
I just wanted to throw in my two cents as I just "fixed" a boston that had the same problem. It only took 4 days to see dramatic improvement, although the first night that the owner brought him here they saw him become a different dog.
Anyways, take away the toys. And I mean all of the toys. Now make sure that you show your boys how to work with him, or else whatever you do and where ever you take him will be a waste because the problem is with them and you, not just you yourself.
Find a correction that he recognizes as a correction. Time outs aren't appropriate right now. It might be just a stern growly "hey", it might be a tug on a prong collar if he doesn't yet no what hey or any correction is. (Let me know though if this is the case, because a prong collar in inexperienced hands can be harmful for a dog...just like any other training tool :)
Have your boys run their hands through his food. When its feeding time, have them call him and have him come to them for the food. Don't let them take away the food or anything yet.
When its play time, let the boys take a rope toy (or something that they can get without having to get too close to his mouth) and play tug of war or fetch. Make sure the boys always win the tug of war game right now...later on its not so important.
If at anytime when you are with the dog and he shows aggression towards the kids, make sure they know to keep eye contact with the dog at all times while you scold it. Don't let it bark or growl or even give them a "dirty look"...you are the boss here and he is the lowest in the rank. After you can consistently correct him, show the kids how to do it and let them start doing it themselves if they are old enough to.
VERY IMPORTANT: OBEDIENCE TRAINING.
TEACH THE DOG TO HEEL BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE. Just trust me on this one. I work with aggressive dogs all of the time and this is the first thing I do when they are ready for obedience training.
When the dog pulls or does anything but heel, give a correction (as above) and stop. Make him sit there for a minute (if he doesn't know how to sit just push his butt down...you can teach him to sit later.)
Then give the heel command again. As soon as he does anything but heel stop again. For turns/corners, lean down and kind of guide him with your hand in front of his face the first couple times so he understands what is expected of him.
Then *very important* teach your kids to "heel him" the same way.


I do not believe in force or pain training. I do however believe in corrections and praise. Dogs naturally want to please you, and crave your attention. By giving him both negative and positive attention you are teaching him to listen for your voice and commands...the leader of the pack gives direction and security to the other dogs. He needs to know what not to do as much as he does what is expected of him.

Pomermaniac
August 2nd, 2005, 01:42 AM
By the way, if you are watching the kids or your husband work with the dog and he runs to you while they are trying to get him to do something, "growl" at him and send him away.
Its fine for him to sit with you. But teach him DOWN. and I mean down no matter who is around.
Is he crate trained? If he is, where is his crate (what room)?

Prin
August 2nd, 2005, 01:53 AM
For the time being, I wouldn't let this bugger climb on you, jump on you or get possessive of you in any way. When you tell him to lie down, does he do it quickly or does he hesitate? I'm just wondering if he feels dominant on you at all and feels like he has to protect his "pack" (you) from your kids.

Pomermaniac
August 2nd, 2005, 02:15 AM
Thats exactly whats going on here...
She's just fortunate enough that the dog is not insecure enough to become very very aggressive.
Yet.

StaceyB
August 2nd, 2005, 03:23 AM
a tug on a prong collar

Have your boys run their hands through his food.

and play tug of war or fetch.

If at anytime when you are with the dog and he shows aggression towards the kids, make sure they know to keep eye contact with the dog at all times while you scold it.

VERY IMPORTANT: OBEDIENCE TRAINING.

TEACH THE DOG TO HEEL BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE. When the dog pulls or does anything but heel, give a correction (as above) and stop. Make him sit there for a minute (if he doesn't know how to sit just push his butt down...you can teach him to sit later.)

Then *very important* teach your kids to "heel him" the same way.

I do not believe in force or pain training.


There is really no reason why a prong needs to be used. It is linked to aggression. It is pain training.

There is no reason to put the kids in a position where they can get bit. There are other things the kids can do to, but running their hand through the food of a dog that has been showing aggression with regards to his food is not very smart. Remember they are kids with little arms, so if the hands are in the dish, their face is also very close. An adult should be doing the work with the food until there is trust. The kids can stand by and watch but they shouldn't be the ones doing it at this time.

Tug of war is not a good choice for children to play with a dog who has already shown signs of aggression. Fetch on the other hand would be great.

Having the kids stare into his eyes is not something I would suggest the kids do. It is quite possible that the dog will not take this the way you are intending.

Agree, training is very important for all of the family.

There are many other manners, cues the dog needs to learn before he needs to know how to heel seeing that heel should only be used for very short periods of time and only when you need him to be by your side, crossing street, walking through crowd etc. He must learn to walk nicely on leash before he needs to learn heel. Jerking is not necessary to teach heel nor is it necessary to push the dog down to get him to sit. By doing so you may harm, hips, spine, legs. If you are doing the work it takes them much longer to learn. Use their own problem solving abilities to your advantage.

Everyone in the household needs to do the same with everything that is being taught for greatest success.

A positive approach has been proven to be much more successful than aversive.

Pomermaniac
August 2nd, 2005, 04:27 AM
Prong Collars aren't pain training. Prong Collars are tools. All Collars are tools. Pain training is a training system. You can use any tool you like be in a padded flat collar or a collar made of barbed wire for pain training.

Prong Collars when used properly are very very gentle as a matter of fact. Any flat collar or slip collar (aka "choke chain") can break the small bones in the trachea if the dog pulls against it, even if the collar fits properly. A fitted prong collar accomodates these bones. There have been plenty of studies and research article that explain exactly why and how this works this way, but I'm not getting into it right now.

Prongs are not linked to aggression. People are linked to aggression!!!

Perhaps I must be a little more clear...

Your children should run their hands through the food when the dog isn't there or is unable to get to the food (in his crate, outside, etc). The point of this isn't to make the dog allow the childrens hands in his dish. That comes MUCH later. The point to doing this is to scent the food. Pack leaders hunt and bring the food back to the den. The food smells like the leader. If the food smells like the kids, the dog will begin to recognize their smell and associate it with a more dominant position in the pack...

Now does the dog recognize you as its leader? If you are positive about this, then tug of war is perfect. Again, this is of course as long as your children are old enough to understand what exactly they are doing.
Supervise the tug of war games. At the first sign of aggression, step in and stop the dog by sending it away. Your children should be doing the same correction as you are, at the exact same time. This way the dog begins to realize that the kids are of a higher "rank" than him.

Ditto for staring him in the eyes.

Seriously now...if the dog is this aggressive your kids shouldn't be left with him until he isn't challenging them, no matter what methods you choose to use.

Heeling is the most important because the dog learns to watch the handler and listen for commands. As soon as he knows how to heel, then he should learn to free walk. This only makes sense to me--I mean, when heeling the dog is closer to you thus it is easier to get his attention and give praise quickly. By teaching the free walk first you must compete with distraction and you have less control over the dog because of the distance between the two. You don't need to "jerk" or hurt the dog. As I said before, some dogs just need a firm verbal reprimand. Now as far as pullers are concerned, do yourself a favor and find a trainer that knows how to use and fit a prong collar. They alow for a lot more sensitivity for the dog so that there is no pull or jerk involved...a gentle squeeze of the lead is more than enough. Prong collars do not interfere with the dogs breathing or hurt the dog. Try one on your arm or leg. The prongs are blunt and are fitted in such a way that they do not poke into the neck. Rather, each prong is a "guide" for the dog and if you pull on the collar they all come together which disperses the pressure evenly around the neck rather than on the throat. Its important to have it fitted properly tho because if it is too loose or too tight it will pinch the dog.
Don't smash the dog down to get him to sit lol...get his attention with one hand and raise it so his head goes up. With the other gently nudge his bum down and repeat the word sit.
Everything that I just described is positive reinforcement training. Dogs condition themselves to react to commands and situations. That is how they "problem solve". They learn that if x is happening the best thing to do is y, but if they do w instead it is not pleasant. They need to know what not to do as much as they need praise for doing the right thing. I mark the "right" behavior with praise and play. I mark the bad behavior with a correction.
Corrections are not always physical...in most cases all it takes is a growly spoken reprimand.
Imagine if you were going to learn how to drive a truck. The instructor believed in praising you for what you do right, but ignoring what you do wrong and letting you "use your own problem solving skills". How long would it take you to drive the truck?

Clicker Training is a trendy system for positive training. It was developed from
and by people who were training dolphins. They seen amazing results in the animals by marking their behaviour with clicks and rewards.
This is all great for dolphins and other animals, but silly in a domestic situation...you see, a dolphin isn't going to pee on the couch or bite your ankle. What would you ever have to reprimand a dolphin for? Thats why it works for them.

Anyways, I believe that training is best proven by doing it yourself and seeing the results, not by word of mouth, hype and criticism.

StaceyB
August 2nd, 2005, 06:57 AM
If you really want to see how a pinch will feel on you, have someone else place it on your neck and then jerk it. The feeling on your arm or leg being pulled on by you is not the same. Even if someone really wanted to use a prong, you never put it on a puppy especially 12 wks.
There is never a reason to use a corrective collar on a puppy if you train them properly, a flat collar is all you need.

mona_b
August 2nd, 2005, 08:57 AM
It seems that Joey is most attached to me, he follows me from room to room. He doesnt like going in the backyard with out me and will wait at the top of the stairs until I go out with him. He also sits on me where ever I am in the house. He is fine with my husband and kids when I go to work but as soon as I come home hes right there beside me again. In fact I am beginning to think he thinks that he owns me.
Should I be letting Joey sit on my. I don't mind it at all but is he being a bit possessive. He sits on me then he puts his paws around my neck and nuzzles his head into my neck.
I am also thinking that maybe there is some sort of link between this attachment to me, and the growling.

Question,was the previous owner a female?

I know that dogs tend to be closer to one person in the family.And to be honest,it doesn't seem that he is being possessive of you.He just seems to feel safer with you for one reason or another.Remember,you don't know how Joeys life was before you got him.Did you ask the breeder if he acted this way with her kids?Maybe Joey was only around the breeders kids and not others.



My dogs have always been closer to me.Yet not one of them would ever growl at my daughter.Mind you mine have always been pups.My current GSD was with my brother for 7 years.When he came back to me,I had absalutely no problems with him.He is still mommies boy.He lays on me,gives me his doggie hugs and kisses.Follows me every where.Would I call this being possesive,not at all.

Also,does he fully know commands?Heel,sit,come,down,wait?For a show dog,I think he would know all this.Does he pull when you walk him?If not,I really see no reason for a prong at all.

Prongs are only needed for those who are heavy pullers.

Stacey,not sure if you know this,but Joey is 6 years old..... :)

tenderfoot
August 2nd, 2005, 09:06 AM
A dolphin can not just bite you it can kill you. The difference is that you can't defend yourself from a dolphin in his turf - water. So clickers and bribery keep their attention. Making training fun helps to. Clickers get their attention when you are first working with them out of the water and then create enough incentive to keep their attention in the water. Dolphins do attack their trainers on occassion and as my good friend explained it to me "it was like being thrashed by a professional". Every blow counted and left her damaged. Thank G-d he didn't intend to kill her - just impress her.
I agree that clickers aren't needed or effective in the long run for dogs who are hard wired to have a leader and need relationship. But they do have value with certain other animals.
We were being interviewed the other day about 'gimmicks' and the conclusion we came up with is if you are a good trainer you shouldn't need any of it. If all of these 'gimmicks' were working so well why are there just as many dogs being sent to shelters as ever? People need to understand that leadership is effective and lasts a lifetime. Dogs are actually really simple to understand - we people make it complicated. It is very black and white and if you make it about leadership and relationship nothing else is required.

StaceyB
August 2nd, 2005, 09:07 AM
Mona_b, The person I was replying to had posted on another thread as well suggesting they also use a prong on their 12 wk, lab. That is why I had mentioned the pup.

jessi76
August 2nd, 2005, 09:18 AM
Clicker Training is a trendy system for positive training. It was developed from and by people who were training dolphins. They seen amazing results in the animals by marking their behaviour with clicks and rewards.This is all great for dolphins and other animals, but silly in a domestic situation...you see, a dolphin isn't going to pee on the couch or bite your ankle. What would you ever have to reprimand a dolphin for? Thats why it works for them.

Anyways, I believe that training is best proven by doing it yourself and seeing the results, not by word of mouth, hype and criticism.


Clicker training is silly in a domestic situation? My pup is going through clicker training right now, and has made amazing strides. It is used to mark the correct behavior. my pup is under 5 months, and knows hand signals reliably, walks well on leash, and pays attention to me, thanks to the clicker. also, my pup learned sit without having to touch him at all. If you believe training is best proven by doing it yourself and seeing results, not by word of mouth, hype and criticism, then why did you give so many explainations of your (questionable) training methods?

Pomermaniac
August 2nd, 2005, 09:27 AM
Very well said, Tenderfoot!
I did not advocate using a prong on a puppy...*sigh* I suppose I must reiterate again so that all audiences can understand.

When it is time for the pup to begin obedience training (about 5-6 months, but nothing is written in stone of course) I reccommended a prong for a dog that is showing the aggression that was being discussed in the thread.

I HAVE NEVER, EVER ADVOCATED YANKING ON A DOGS NECK.

The point of the prong is to come away from yanking and pulling and hard corrections. You see, Stacy, with a prong all you need is a slight squeeze...its barely noticeable. I do not make them yelp or whine when I give this correction. This is why its important to find a good trainer because the owner must know exactly where to place the collar and obviously how to use it...its not a no-brainer, it must be taught by an experienced individual.

ONCE YOU KNOW HOW TO USE THE COLLAR, have it placed on your leg (or neck if you insist) and have the trainer give the correction. Then you will understand! Yes, if you haul off and yank its going to hurt. But put a flat collar on and get someone to really jerk it...that doesn't feel much better, does it?

I have no problems with anyone who disagrees with my advice and training methods. But those people who have never used my methods should not be commenting of how much they won't work.
Try them properly for yourself, and then you'll be able to know for sure how well it works to be the leader of your dog. Its so simple and takes a lot of pressure of the dog once it learns that it has a leader that will protect them and the house, feed them, etc. Its not rocket science...its just talking dog to the dogs ;)

Dogastrophe
August 2nd, 2005, 09:30 AM
My only problem with clicker training has been that the clicker was never around when I wanted it. As a result I moved from the clicker to "good" and "yes" i.e. my verbal 'clicker'. With my two older dogs, on the occassion that I have the clicker nearby, they still know that the click means good. Similiar to Jessie, I taught all mine to sit and down without ever having to touch them.

Pomermaniac
August 2nd, 2005, 09:35 AM
Every training method is questionable. Some methods are just very trendy and popular and so aren't questioned as often.

I explained the reasons behind what I do so that she can understand what the dog is thinking and start "thinking like a dog". Rather than just tell her what to do, I'd like to get her started on understanding what her dog is doing and how to build on the dog's mentality instead of tearing it down or confusing it.

I am very happy that you like clicker training. Actually, I'm very happy you like any training--too many people do not take the time to do anything with their dog.
I "mark" behaviours as well, only I mark the dogs good behaviour with praise and play. I mark the dogs bad behavior with a correction. This not only teaches it obedience but to listen for my voice and watch for my reactions as well.

If its working for you, then don't change it. But if this starts changing in time then maybe its time to consider giving the dog a chance to understand what he did wrong.

StaceyB
August 2nd, 2005, 09:48 AM
Although I don't use a clicker, I do explain how to use it in the advanced levels while teaching some fun complex tricks. The clicker is a replacement for your voice, good. All of my students start by using their voice. The clicker also helps to mark at a distance. Once the cues are reliable, the clicker is faded out and replaced with your voice. You did what you were supposed to when you added your voice back in.

Lucky Rescue
August 2nd, 2005, 10:00 AM
When its play time, let the boys take a rope toy (or something that they can get without having to get too close to his mouth) and play tug of war or fetch.

Please - no "tug" for children and dogs - especially a new, adult dog of unknown temperament who has already growled at the kids! :eek:

jessi76
August 2nd, 2005, 10:11 AM
Although I don't use a clicker, I do explain how to use it in the advanced levels while teaching some fun complex tricks. The clicker is a replacement for your voice, good. All of my students start by using their voice. The clicker also helps to mark at a distance. Once the cues are reliable, the clicker is faded out and replaced with your voice. You did what you were supposed to when you added your voice back in.

yup, this is the direction we're moving in when we get up to level 3.. we're at the tail end of level 2 now, and already phased the clicker out of reliable behaviors. currently, only a hand signal is needed now for a sit and a down, and we don't click these anymore as our pup knows them. We click to learn new behaviors, and so far, it's worked beautifully!

Pomermaniac
August 2nd, 2005, 10:13 AM
I did not mean tug of war when its just the kids and the dog alone...I wouldn't leave them unattended at all right now because of what is going on.
The dog is obviously needing leadership. Play the tug of with you and the kids present. When the dog is pulling, get it to "out" and take the toy away. If it growls or barks don't give it back and send it away with a verbal reprimand. After you do this once, have the kids join you in sending the dog away next time. And then you can try it all over again...over and over until he just "outs" and understands that toys are not his they are yours.
Then teach the kids this exercise and be RIGHT THERE when they do it. At the first growl or bark send the dog away with the kids at first. When he isn't growling or barking then the kids can do it without you sending the dog away too. But don't leave them unattended yet.
Not until the dog recognizes its place in the pack.

mona_b
August 2nd, 2005, 10:30 AM
Please - no "tug" for children and dogs - especially a new, adult dog of unknown temperament who has already growled at the kids! :eek:

You are so right LR.

My daughter always played this with the dogs.BUT,she was the one who ended the play.And not only that,they had zero aggression towards her.

This form a licenced trainer.

Benched
Some animal behaviorists theorize that tugging on a toy appeals to an animal's innate sense of hunting and fighting for survival. Therefore, it's best that dogs with aggressive or possessive tendencies not engage in tug-of-war. Also, dogs that show aggression towards humans should not be allowed to play.

StaceyB
August 2nd, 2005, 10:32 AM
All should be involved in the training of the dog, but at no time should there be more than one person giving any cue, verbal correction. Take turns yes, but a dog having to listen to more than one person at a time is too confusing and won't get you anywhere.

Pomermaniac
August 2nd, 2005, 10:43 AM
We are instilling pack order here, not teaching the dog to heel.
The dog must understand that the kids are "with" the mom, that they are above the dog and what they say is backed by the leader (mom). By both of them sending the dog away the dog learns that it must listen to the child.

Play must always be ended by the human. Teach it an out command so that it learns what to expect. To keep things fun though, when the dog outs the toy and sits quietly, toss it for him to fetch and chew on. This way he learns that its a great thing to listen to the leader--it means the leader will let him play with one of the leader's toys.

Dogs with aggressive or possessive tendencies NEED this training. (it is by no means the first step in working with a dog like this though!) They must learn that all toys and all food belongs to the leader, and the leader will provide everything that they have drives towards if the dog follows the leader's cues and commands.

StaceyB
August 2nd, 2005, 10:53 AM
Dogs with aggressive or possessive tendencies NEED this training.

Confused. Tug?

Joey.E.CockersMommy
August 2nd, 2005, 10:58 AM
Thanks for all the great training advice I am going to try and answer questions as best I can here.
By Pomerianian

Is he crate trained? If he is, where is his crate (what room)?
he will go in the crate in the car automatically, he will go in the crate when he goes to sleep, but needs a little shove to go in. He will sleep in the crate fine until morning and will stay quiet until someone comes to let him out. His crate is in the kitchen.

Pomeraninac again
The point of the prong is to come away from yanking and pulling and hard corrections. You see, Stacy, with a prong all you need is a slight squeeze...its barely noticeable. I do not make them yelp or whine when I give this correction. This is why its important to find a good trainer because the owner must know exactly where to place the collar and obviously how to use it...its not a no-brainer, it must be taught by an experienced individual.

I am actually familar with a prong collar we used it on our other dog to stop from pulling. Out of a choke chain, halti and prong collar. The prong collar worked the best.He would not pull at all with it on. I am not sure whether I will used it on Joey. I think he may be responsive enough to training to maybe be able to get by without one. He is already being responsive to the short training sessions we are doing with him with the kids. Right now we are making him sit and stay. I go first then the kids and I make sure Joey is looking right at them.

Lucky rescue=

Please - no "tug" for children and dogs - especially a new, adult dog of unknown temperament who has already growled at the kids!

I have heard that tug a war is not a good idea with dogs. So I most likely will not be encouraging this with Joey.

Mona B=Question,was the previous owner a female?

yes, there was a female owner her husband and four kids and eight dogs. I believe four of them are puppies.

I know that dogs tend to be closer to one person in the family.And to be honest,it doesn't seem that he is being possessive of you.He just seems to feel safer with you for one reason or another.Remember,you don't know how Joeys life was before you got him.Did you ask the breeder if he acted this way with her kids?Maybe Joey was only around the breeders kids and not others.

The owner said that out of all her dogs Joey was the most affectionate with the kids. He slept on thier beds every night. I did mention the growling and she said no it was not normal. She said that Joey had issues with the male dogs in the house.

=Tenderfoot

We were being interviewed the other day about 'gimmicks' and the conclusion we came up with is if you are a good trainer you shouldn't need any of it. If all of these 'gimmicks' were working so well why are there just as many dogs being sent to shelters as ever

So how can we be good trainers so Joey is well adjusted and fits into our family without any issues of aggression or possessiveness.

So the general message here that I am getting is that Joey needs to know he is bottom of the pole, he must listen to everyone in our family including the kids, he must know that his toys are ours and we give them to him on our terms.

Pomermaniac
August 2nd, 2005, 11:00 AM
yuppers. The good old game of tug of war is important for teaching an aggressive/dominant dog that you are the leader and the food and toys are yours.
But as I said before, it's definately NOT the first step!

mona_b
August 2nd, 2005, 11:04 AM
We are instilling pack order here, not teaching the dog to heel.

Exactly,so why mention the Prong.

Now my question is,is this the same Son who tried to pick him up?

If so,then maybe when this son picked him up,then tried to get the ball,maybe Joey thought he was going to hurt him again.Just a thought.

Pomermaniac
August 2nd, 2005, 11:08 AM
Exactly, Joey...
Just think "like a dog" and let your own common sense guide you...remember this isn't rehabilitating a criminal or working with a mentally ill/challenged person. Its just a dog...dogs are simple to understand and they easily understand "dog cues". Its not that he wants to be the leader--he might just be waiting for you and your kids to show him that you are going to be leader.

tenderfoot
August 2nd, 2005, 11:12 AM
Teach 'drop it' and 'take it' before you do any 'tug of war' games to ensure that you win. These are respect games.

It's just like being a good parent. There are rules to be obeyed. The kids who are more challenging require the parent to stay on them more to make sure they follow the rules. Joey needs strong, consistent parenting.

Too much recess can be a killer to a dogs manners and attitude. In recess he is in charge of his own world 24/7 and calling the shots. Time with a human who asks him to do lots of things through out the day keeps his mind busy and reminds him who is in charge. Little children usually don't have the ego force or mind set to be able to do this effectively. So the parents need to be there to ensure success.

He needs to be taught how to make good choices in his behavior and should be corrected for the bad ones. A correction can be as simple as your tone, your eyes, your body language. But you must be effective in the moment. Do enough to get the job done but not so much that you intimidate and not so little that he blows you off. Having him on the leash in the house empowers your words and ensures that everything works out in your favor.

Pomermaniac
August 2nd, 2005, 11:23 AM
THE PRONG WAS MENTIONED IN THE CONTEXT OF OBEDIENCE TRAINING. However, when the dog is able to understand the "no" or negative verbal cue and what's expected, the prong can be brought into play under certain circumstances...but this is more of a one on one thing not for a group exercise.

I don't know why you asked that question without completely reading the post. If you do not agree, thats fine.
But do not speak badly about something just because you don't believe in it.

The prong collar is an easy target for pointless criticism. I am not interested in an arguement.
Yes, many people abuse training tools. This includes e-collars, prongs, slip collars, Haltis, harnesses, and regular flat collars. Just because the prong looks harsh does not make it harsh. The person at the other end of lead is in charge of how harshly they treat the dog. The prong can not be harsh or gentle...it is a piece of metal...it just exists. Hypodermic Needles are scary and look like they hurt a lot! But used correctly they save lives and keep millions of animals and people healthy. If they are abused they can cause serious damage or death. But that doesn't mean we should get rid of needles, it means that the person using them must know what they are doing.

The human is ultimately responsible for learning how to adjust and properly use the training tools that they select for the dog.

StaceyB
August 2nd, 2005, 11:25 AM
Dogs will follow and accept being placed lower in the pack but given the chance to lead, they will take it in a second.

Pomermaniac
August 2nd, 2005, 11:25 AM
VERY WELL SAID, TENDERFOOT!!!! :thumbs up

Pomermaniac
August 2nd, 2005, 11:28 AM
There is no rule as to all dogs want this and no dogs want that.
Not all dogs want to be leader.
Each dog has had different experiences and has a different personality. All dogs are different.

Lucky Rescue
August 2nd, 2005, 12:31 PM
Tug is a fine game for an adult to play with a dog he/she knows and trusts.

I play tug with my dog. She is very submissive, and already knows the "out" command. I would have no hesitation to allow a kid to tug with her.

In Joey's case, I would not allow this game. The dog is new in the home, doesn't know the rules, may be intolerant of kids, and needs lots of training and observation before allowing the kids to tug with him, even with adult supervision. For a dog who is dominant in any way, or who sees kids as inferiors or equals, this could rapidly escalate into something ugly.

I would prefer seeing the kids practice obedience with him, and for playing, to throw a ball - not do something that will put the kids in direct competition with him.

I personally also see nothing wrong with a prong collar, humanely used by someone who understands how to use it and in conjunction with training.

I have used one on an adult foster dog who would literally pull me off my feet.

StaceyB
August 2nd, 2005, 12:57 PM
I tell my students that they can play tug with their dog as long as he/she plays by the rules. When I say give, it is immediate otherwise game over. The game should never be all tug but a little give and take added in to the mix.
If a dog has shown signs of aggression, I would not suggest this game because though it is a game it is competition for an object.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
August 2nd, 2005, 09:25 PM
I hate to say it but it just happened again. My son went to pet Joey and he growled, I gave him a firm no and he stopped right of way. Then I got my son to say no to him as sternly as he knows how. He did and was not upset this time like the first time.
It didn't appear that Joey was guarding anything until I realised he was sitting with my husbands CD case so assume he was guarding it not one of his usual toys. I am trying to get him into obedience training right of way.
I am determined to fix this problem with Joey so will be playing close attention to the advice in this thread. Hopefully soon we can find a decent trainer that can help us out. Other then this aggression over his possessions everything else is fine.

StaceyB
August 2nd, 2005, 09:34 PM
You can resolve this and all will be fine. You sound as if you are prepared to fix the problem.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
August 2nd, 2005, 10:01 PM
Yes definatley will get it worked out. Obedience training at the rec centre doesnt start until Sept 22, I am hoping to get him into something in the next two weeks the sooner the better. We are going to contact the owner of the kennel that Timber used to stay at and our vet they may know of some trainers that they can reccomend.

BoxerRescueMTL
August 2nd, 2005, 10:08 PM
I HIGHLY suggest purchasing "The Culture Clash" by Jean Donaldson. She is the founder of and instructs at The San Francisco SPCA Academy for Dog Trainers, which has gained a reputation as the Harvard for dog trainers. You can order it on Amazon.ca and it'll get to your place very fast. It's an awesome book and it'll help you understand your dog and how he "works". And it's an easy read. She's also written a great book called "MINE! A Guide to Resource Guarding in Dogs" if it turns out that this is indeed what Joey doing.
Also, you should read about Calming Signals at http://www.turidrugaas.com There, you can learn how to interpret your dog's body language to see when he is stressed. This will help you tell when Joey is about to react, before it happens. You can also learn ways to calm him using your own body language. Turid Rugaas is a world renowned canine behaviourist.

Good luck! You can work through this :)

Joey.E.CockersMommy
August 2nd, 2005, 10:58 PM
Boxer rescue I took your advice and ordered the book. I will get it in 7 - 11 days. Decided not to pay for the express shippping.

BoxerRescueMTL
August 2nd, 2005, 11:04 PM
Oh that's awesome! Let me know how it goes :) I will be following the thread.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
August 3rd, 2005, 03:39 PM
I was just reading up on NILIF nothing in life is free. I believe this was mentioned in another thread. Someone from the cocker site reccommended it to me. Her dog had similar issues as Joey and she said it worked well for her. I have actually started to incorporate it today. I started by ignoring Joey when he came and demanded my attention. It didnt take him long to walk away. I then called him back a few moments later on my terms. We also did some obedience training in the back yard. My son was able to make him sit and stay on his own (supervised of course) and he came when my son called him.
Has anyone used this method, Joey seems to be responding to it right now.

StaceyB
August 3rd, 2005, 03:48 PM
Standard positive techniques. Ignore attention getting behaviour.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
August 4th, 2005, 07:34 PM
As of today Joey has had his priveleges taken away. He is no longer allowed on the couch, but must sit on the floor to be petted and must obey the sit command first. Which he is doing without a treat he also responds very fast if I snap my fingers or clap my hands. Before he is petted he must obey the sit stay command which he is also doing without a treat. Then he gets lots of praise when he does.
I am doing this to let him know his place and to let him know that we do things on our term not his. I realise before he just would seek our attention on his own terms and we would respond because he was so cute and we couldn't resist. Which I think has let to problems. Mostly with him putting me as his owner of preference and virtually ignoring all other members of our household. For example Joey sat by the door the whole time while I went to get my haircut yesterday and wanted nothing to do with the other members of the family. Also last night I took Joey out to meet some friends and when we got home he sat outside my door while I went to sleep ignoring my husband who was still up.
Another issue we are having with Joey is he will not go outside to go to the bathroom without me he just waits at the door. The other issues he seems to be responding to but he will literally cry at the door until I go out with him. I don't know whether to let him cry (it is very hot on or deck and I do not want Joey out there for long) He goes for about 3 walks a day now plus at least one outing in the car a day. He usually goes on the walks but sometimes he needs to go when we are home and are not always able to go out with him at that moment.
Do I need to always go outside with Joey or is it acceptable for him to go on his own as well.

Lucky Rescue
August 4th, 2005, 08:02 PM
You've had this dog how long? A few days? He's not a little puppy who can adapt to all these changes, travelling, new family etc in a few hours. He's a 6 year old dog whose whole world has been turned upside down, he's lost everything and everyone he knew, and he needs time to adjust.

It could take a month or two. I would not be taking him out to visit people at the moment. He doesn't know if you're going to leave him there, which could be why he's so clingy and this uncertainty can cause anxiety.

Take him outside to go pee for now. He's still very unsure of everything,and needs a solid routine to make him understand he's part of the family now.

Eventually, certainly he can go out on his own, but for now he needs some reassurance that he's not going to be left outside in this strange place he's in. When he sees that every time he goes out, he comes back in, he should have more confidence.

After all, his first family "left" him, so he has no reason to think you won't do the same.

StaceyB
August 4th, 2005, 08:53 PM
He should really get used to things the way they will be. Even though he may be having a rough time adjusting to the new rules/ routine due to his life being turned upside it will be harder if he gets away with things now, or certain rules are set up just to be changed in a month or so. Make your rules and stick by them, he will adjust. If you choose to take him out, take advantage of it and train him to go in a particular place, clean up will be easier. It is quite possible that he grew up being walked on leash to go to the washroom. He is also bonding quickly to you, you are his security. If you choose to go out with him I would have the rest of the family do it for the next while as well as other things that are important to him to round out the bonding with other family members.

BoxerRescueMTL
August 4th, 2005, 11:06 PM
You've had this dog how long? A few days? He's not a little puppy who can adapt to all these changes, travelling, new family etc in a few hours. He's a 6 year old dog whose whole world has been turned upside down, he's lost everything and everyone he knew, and he needs time to adjust.

It could take a month or two.

Amen. I agree 100%

I would not be taking him out to visit people at the moment.

This is true, we tell our adopters not to take the dog anywhere visiting for 2 weeks. They need a calm period. Rescue dogs can be very stressed and dogs don't always react well to situations when stressed. It is best to keep things low key.