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Snappy Dog - RE: Bones, etc.

November 16th, 2005, 11:26 AM
Good day! Question/advice seeking for all of you out there.

My dog Micha is a year and a half now and is a rescue - she has come along way and we have her in agility, she is completely and perfectly house trainined, and she is an absolute pleasure ...

Once in a while when she gets a hold of something SHE LOVES like a roll of toilet paper, a special bone, say a piece of food on the coffee table, etc. she can get snappy when we take this away from her. I.e. High pitched barky sound, snappy/biting, agressive behaviour. It does not happen very often.

1. Is this normal?
2. Should we be worried about this once in a while behaviour?
3. What training methods may we use to reduce this?

Currently, we will remove the item, and place her in a time out (crate upstairs) for about 20 minutes - she does not use this to sleep in and does not spend time in this crate.

She is not agressive over her food bowl at all ever and you can get her in a stay with food/milk bone around her until I say 'ok'. Should we practice this with the bone, putting her in a stay ... letting her chew it for a bit ... then taking it away, etc.?

Love to hear what others think. Thanks! :grouphug:

November 16th, 2005, 01:56 PM
I have an 8 mth old pup at home, who gets objects he shouldn't have almost daily, most recently a brand new blush brush. I simply use these times to reinforce DROP IT, or GIVE. When he complies, he gets a treat. When he gets snippy about it, I take the object away, and leave. No treats. No pats. No "good boy" 's. He doesn't get rewarded at ALL when he's "Mr. Attitude".

November 16th, 2005, 05:37 PM
We aren't keen on the 'time out' solutions- dogs live in the moment and it is good to actively teach rather than to avoid teaching. Plus that you kind of ended on failure and you always want to end on success.
Use the 'drop & take it' commands. Get the bone and hold onto it while you share it with your dog - say 'take it'. Let her chew for a few seconds and then point to her nose and say 'drop it' in a short and firm tone. If she resists then gently rattle it in her mouth and make her want to give it up. Having her on the leash during the first round or two will make it easier to empower your words. Each time she is successful at releasing the bone to you then let her have it for a bit longer while you still hold the other end (all things belong to you). As she shows you that she is making good choices then release the bone to her saying 'take it' but don't really take your hand away. Say 'drop it' quickly and take the bone from her. Increase the time that you let her have the bone and gradually move your hand away at a greater and greater distance as she shows you that she is successful. Having the leash on for these longer stints will continue to give you control while you teach.
If she ever gets really nasty then be very firm with her and back her away from the bone with your leash. Give her a minute to think about what just happened and try again. Remember to end on a positive experience and always give lots of praise when she makes a good choice.

November 17th, 2005, 10:45 AM
That is exactly the kind of exercise we were looking for.

We'll give it a try ... the leash is a nice touch as it will allow us to definately have more control.

Right on. Thanks for this. :-)