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Guarding

Mahealani770
March 28th, 2006, 07:08 AM
Hello all, I am having problems with my 4 year old Pom, Nicky. I've asked this question before but I need some more opinions please.
Nicky has a bed in the corner of our bedroom. He also LOVES to lay/sleep on my partner's side of the bed in between the night stand and the bed. One night I walked over to my partner's side of the bed (she was asleep) to retrieve something from the table and apparently Nicky was in the corner (the only light on was the TV so I couldn't see him) and before I even got close to the table or my partner, he growled at me. He was warning me to not even get close to her. This is the 4th time he's done this. So, since I was NOT going to reach down and pick him up from the corner, I called him out of it. He came, head down, and I ordered him into his crate which we keep in the laundry room. Since this was not the first time he has growled at me while laying in the corner by my partner, I decided that he will not be allowed back in that corner. So I have gated off that side of the bed so Nicky cannot go back to the corner and guard my partner. When I let him out of his crate he came back into the bedroom and paced back and forth in front of the gated area. It's like he didn't know what to do. I had to keep commanding him to lay down in his bed which he eventually did. Now he doesn't even try to go over to that side of the bed which is good, but this doesn't help with him guarding my partner in other areas of the house.
If my partner is sitting in a chair in the living room, Nicky will be laying underneath it and if I attempt to come near my partner, he will growl. I'm to the point where I just stay away and don't even bother walking over to my partner if Nicky is laying near her, and I can't stand it. Because I feel afraid, I feel like he has the upper hand and I don't like it. Also, if he has his chewy (bone) he will growl if I come near him and the same for my partner. I was told that maybe Nicky needs to know that I'm the Alpha female in the house so we have gone to great extent in teaching him not to go out of the door before me, he has to sit before I give him anything AND I feed him. I was told that I need to teach him the "off" or "drop it" commands for the chewy issue but I'm not sure how that works. I tried it once and I guess first I have to get him to sit and when I command him to sit sometimes he just runs away like he's afraid so I never even got to the "off" or "drop it" part. Nicky is a rescue dog and I believe he was abused in his first home so he's very unpredictable and reacts strangely to the simplest of commands, sometimes. Nicky is usually extremely submissive except when he has his chewy and when he's laying near my partner. When I approach him to let him out of his crate, he holds his head so low to the ground that he's practically crawling out of his crate. He's just like a little Jekyll and Hyde. I could use some training advice please. Thank you.
Mahealani

jessi76
March 28th, 2006, 10:05 AM
first of all, kudos to you for putting in so much effort to get past this!

if it's available in your area, it may be worthwhile to enroll Nicky in training classes, with YOU as his handler. It will teach you hands-on techniques for those basic commands (sit, down, off, leave it) and teach Nicky to respect you.

Mahealani770
March 28th, 2006, 11:48 AM
Thanks Jessi, I'm looking into it right now!

Mahealani770
March 28th, 2006, 01:11 PM
I found a 7 week training class that teaches basic obedience and things like "off" and "leave it", for $125.00 USD. Is that a good price or too much?
Thanks,
Mahealani

jessi76
March 28th, 2006, 01:21 PM
I think it's a good price, but before you commit to it, you might want to ask to observe a class. SEE if it's what you want. Not too many dogs/people in the class, make sure the trainer is indeed a good trainer w/ credentials, watch how the class runs (techniques used), talk to people in a class to get their opinion, etc...

Just to give you an idea, the classes I attend cost $130-$150, are 6 wks long, meet 1hr/week, and have no more than 6 or 7 dogs in a class. Our trainer also offers free phone advice, or one-on-one time before or after class. Clicker training is the method taught at the school I use, meaning only positive reinforcement techniques.

Lucky Rescue
March 28th, 2006, 02:28 PM
You have inadvertently reinforced your dog's "This is MINE - you keep away because I"m the boss here" attitude by backing down. If you ever watch a pack of wild dogs, you'll see that the subordinate members are disciplined for intruding on the alpha dog's space. It's easy to see that this is what's happening in your home.

For possessive, bossy and snappy little dogs, here is a link that will give you GREAT advice. You must be consistant and so must your partner, but it will work!:)

http://www.sonic.net/~cdlcruz/GPCC/library/alpha.htm