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Vacuums and Protecting

Mahealani770
July 5th, 2006, 02:06 PM
Ok, I have 2 questions:

1.) How do I get Nicky to not bite, bark, attack and lunge at the vacuum cleaner when it's running? My partner sprayed bitter apple on it a few times and Nicky backed off once he got a taste of it:yuck: but it's not enough to deter him from trying to kill the vacuum.:confused:

2.) My partner loves big dogs and wants to get a Bull Mastiff, in the distant future. I am scared of big dogs (and little dogs for that matter..lol) who may be agressive or become agressive. She, my partner, wants to know if it's possible to train the Bull Mastiff (or any dog) to protect us and to not let strangers get near us (which I think is ridiculous), but to not protect or guard one of us from the other? Is that clear as mud? lol Basically she wants the dog to be protective of us, but I don't want him/her to be agressive with us, especially if we're playing around or wrestling or whatever. We already have that problem with our Pom, Nicky. If he even thinks I'm going to "hurt" my partner, he'll growl at me and I don't need that from a huge dog..lol

What do you think? I personally don't want an aggressive or protective dog, PERIOD..and of course..what I say..GOES! lol But I just thought I'd ask.:angel:
Thanks!

SarahLynn123
July 5th, 2006, 02:41 PM
I cant believe how similar our Poms are! Wolf does the same thing, also to brooms.

One thing that has helped a bit is sitting around the vaccuum when its off and having some fun and treats. I will also put him in a sit-stay where he feels safe away from the vaccuum but can still see whats going on and praise the entire time while Im vaccuuming (on the top of the couch). On the worst of the days I just pick him up and vaccuum and praise when he is calm and quiet. Its probably not the best thing, but he attaks the sucker end and Im afraid he may get hurt.

As for training any dog to protect against strangers, I would be worried that his idea of a stranger is not your idea. He may view your friends or parents as strangers. What would be protection against strangers? just growling, or would he be trained to take it further? Those would be my concerns!

Many breeds are naturally protective, I dont know much about bull mastiffs but I have no doubt my german shepherd would step in to protect me if the situation arises and I have never trained her to be anything but gentle and nice.

Hope this helps some! If not at least you know your not alone!!!!

Mahealani770
July 5th, 2006, 02:48 PM
Thanks SarahLynn! I feel the same way. I think dog aggression is hard enough to control and correct without training a dog to be aggressive towards "strangers". I told my partner that I don't want an aggressive dog AT ALL! So, that's that! lol

As far as Nicky goes...I will try the treating approach. I've tried to get him to sit/stay while my partner vacuums but all that ends up happening is both of us are yelling over the vacuum "SIT! SIT! NO! NO!", Nicky is barking/attacking, and the vacuum is roaring away, so it's not a pretty sight..or sound..lol
Thanks for your comment! ;)

SarahLynn123
July 5th, 2006, 03:51 PM
As far as Nicky goes...I will try the treating approach. I've tried to get him to sit/stay while my partner vacuums but all that ends up happening is both of us are yelling over the vacuum "SIT! SIT! NO! NO!", Nicky is barking/attacking, and the vacuum is roaring away, so it's not a pretty sight..or sound..lol
Thanks for your comment! ;)

Hahaha I can just see it now! They have quite a bit of protection and bravery packed into their little 10 pound bodies!

Hope you find something that works!!!

Sarah

Mahealani770
July 6th, 2006, 07:08 AM
SarahLynn, Do you have guarding issues with your Pom? Nicky guards his rawhides and I'm having a heck of a time trying to correct this. He also guards my partner, not as bad as before, but still having some instances.
One more thing...Nicky CANNOT get the hang of "shake". I've tried to teach him daily, how to shake and I'll be darned if that little guy cannot get the hang of it. When I had my Pug, Suki, she picked it up on the second try!
I need that headbanging Icon for this thread that I saw somebody use once..lol

Scott_B
July 6th, 2006, 09:58 AM
Well my lil bullmastiff chases the vacuum. I usually put him in his crate when I do the vacuuming.

As for getting a bullmastiff, please do your homework on them. They are a large guarding dog. Never train your bullmastiff to be aggressive towards strangers. Thats asking for trouble. You have to think, what if the dog attacks a stranger who approaches you for a valid reason. Never train the dog to be aggressive or to guard you. Theyre a guarding breed and will do that naturally.

May I suggest reading

http://www.bullmastiffinfo.org/
http://www.bullmastiffinfo.org/breed.htm
http://www.bullmastiffsonline.com/index.html

Just a few helpfull links to read up on.

Mahealani770
July 6th, 2006, 10:05 AM
Thank you so much, Scott! I will pass this information on to my partner. :thumbs up

SarahLynn123
July 6th, 2006, 10:14 AM
SarahLynn, Do you have guarding issues with your Pom? Nicky guards his rawhides and I'm having a heck of a time trying to correct this. He also guards my partner, not as bad as before, but still having some instances.
One more thing...Nicky CANNOT get the hang of "shake". I've tried to teach him daily, how to shake and I'll be darned if that little guy cannot get the hang of it. When I had my Pug, Suki, she picked it up on the second try!
I need that headbanging Icon for this thread that I saw somebody use once..lol

Wolf guards so badly that If he gets something he's not suppose to have Im a little afraid to take it away sometimes (I still do, but it takes some bravery from me!). It'd so bad that he must be locked in his crate when he gets his food and any treats that takes more then a second to eat, for everyones safety. I've worked on it, but he doesn't seem to get it and he's not getting any better. Wolf also guards me, but we are working on that and Im seeing huge imporvements in that area. In the past, he has attacked the other animals when they come to close to me, but things have greatly improved when I took everyones advice. I wrote it all under the thread "going after our other pets" under the training section. (I cant seem to copy and paste threads!!!) If you want to check it out.

As for training to do tricks, Its Wolf's favorite thing to do! I have never had a problem teaching him tricks, it takes, at most, two attemps. He's like a little trick machine! So unfortunatly I have no experience with him not catching on in that area!

Mahealani770
July 6th, 2006, 12:48 PM
OMG! I can't believe how much our situations are alike. And thanks for sending me over to that other thread. I had forgotten that Tenderfoot gave you some really good advice and that I even commented on them! lol

I am just like you. When Nicky has his chewy, I'm scared to walk past him or get near him because he bit my foot and growled at me a few months ago when I got close to him. Also, when he's eating, I dont go near him, just because I don't want to see any aggression. He has never shown any over his food, but I don't give him a chance. One day, after reading the same link that Technodoll gave you about becoming Alpha, I tried to use a desensitizing technique with his food that may or may not work for your pom. I sat on the floor with him in front of me and I had his food bowl in front of me, empty. I put one piece of kibble in the bowl, didn't let go of it, and let him eat it out of my hand while my hand was still in the bowl. I did this about 3-4 more times unitl he didn't want anymore. I did this little exercise just to see how he would react and he did ok. However, I only did it that one day, it was a long time ago, and I have yet to try bending down and getting near his food while he's eating it..lol..so I don't know if any of that even worked. As far as him guarding his rawhide chewies, I tried the technique where I sat on the floor and made Nicky sit in front of me. I had his chewy in my left hand and a really yummy treat in my right hand. I would give Nicky his treat, take it out of his mouth or take it from where it was laying directly in front of him, and then immediately give him the really yummy treat with my right hand, then give him back his treat with my left. It's supposed to show him that giving up his chewy is a good thing because Mommy has something better to replace it with. Again, it's been awhile since I've done this so I don't know if I have the balls to walk up to him today and try to take his rawhide from him...lol..but if it helps you, maybe you could give it a try!

Nicky also guards my partner but is getting better at it. I have tried to keep him away from her for MONTHS, as much as possible, but I can see that he's slowly going back to shadowing her. It's to the point where I'm afraid to go near her while Nicky is laying beside her. He'll even lay underneath the chair she's sitting in. I have had to FORCE myself to walk over to my partner and get near the both of them, just so he knows who's the boss! lol..yeah right.
Something else I do is if Nicky is laying on the floor somewhere, I PURPOSELY make him move out of my way so that he knows who the boss is. This has worked every single time, except for one. I think he thought I was going to step ON him, instead of OVER him and he growled, snapped, and then moved.

But all in all that Alpha link has helped me a lot. Nicky does NOT go through a door before me. He is made to sit before he can go through the door, before he gets his food (no more free feeding), and before he is permitted to lay in the bed with us. If Nicky jumps up on the bed on his own free will, I put him down, make him sit, make him focus on my face for 10-15 seconds and then I release him to come on to the bed.

Does your pom have housetraining issues? I don't know if it's because Nicky is a rescue and he has "issues" or what. But he is approx 5 years old, we've had him for 6 mos and I'm still having problems with him peeing in his crate and on the babygate that keeps him restricted to the kitchen.

Anywho...

So, even though this thread was my cry for help, I hope I've helped you in some way..lol I don't care how little they are, they can still be scary! lol But I HATE being afraid of my own dog. Doesn't that suck? It drives me nuts and makes me angry. I would love to get another dog but I shutter to think what would happen if the new dog got near Nicky's rawhides!

Scott_B
July 6th, 2006, 01:18 PM
Wow! I must say I'm amazed that people are afraid of their dogs like this. It would be a cold day before I ever let my dog get like that. And if he did, we'd both be back in training to correct the problem.

Mahealani770
July 6th, 2006, 01:42 PM
Help us Scott!! lol I don't want to be afraid of my dog! But that growling and biting is scary stuff! It also doesn't help that I have no idea what my poor dog has been through. It's clear that he has been abused but I'm not sure how, so he is very unpredictable. We're not sure what is going to set him off or why. Nicky acts funny when even we try to hold him. He tenses up and kind of holds his head away from your face and gets a look in his eye...that right there is enough for me to envision him snapping my face off while trying to give him a kiss and so I put him down immediately. I've tried to desensitize the whole 'holding' thing by doing it often, even though he looks as if he hates it. I don't know if that's the right thing to do or not. Afterall,I don't want to make him uncomfortable if he's terrified of being held.
Anyway, we're going to take Nicky to Obedience training but first we have to continue with socializing him in doggy daycare, as he seems to not know how to act around other furkids. Wish SarahLynn and I luck!:fingerscr

Scott_B
July 6th, 2006, 01:48 PM
Well, I would suggest contacting a professional dog trainer. They'll come into your house and work with you & the dog. Socialization is a great idea, but why are you waiting before starting obedience? If you unsure of trainers in your area, I would contact your vet or local shelters. They should be able to point you in the right directions. You have to learn to get over your fear, or at least not let the dog know your scared.

SarahLynn123
July 6th, 2006, 01:58 PM
They are probably brothers!!!! I do know Wolfs past though. He was locked in a crate almost 24/7. Poor guy, he is 4 now!

I have just finished level 1 obedience school with Wolf and he listens good except for dropping good stuff. Thanks for the suggestions Mahealani, I will try the treat switch with him!

Scott, I didn't let him become like this, unfortunatly he came like this :( , but we are working on it. The only time that he makes me nervous is if he gets something he's not suppose to have, and he curls up over it in a ball and growls and snarls. Also if he gets caught in something (ie garbage we forgot to put up) he looks terrified, like we backed him in a corner, and starts to show his teeth. Once I tell him to sit though, it seems as if his confidence is back up, he sits, I release him, he goes on his merry way.

Iv'e been doing a few things to change his attitude: make him sit away from me on the floor, he can only cuddle with me if I ask him up and its only for a minute or two, then he's back on the ground. He has to wait until I let him go out the door, etc. Its improving in everywhere but the drop it.

I know exactly what your going through Mahealani, let me know if things improve and any techniques you find that work!!!!

Mahealani770
July 6th, 2006, 02:16 PM
Scott,
I'm with SarahLynn...I didn't make Nicky this way...he came this way and now it's up to me to help him become a better pet and also for me to become the best owner that I can be. Not all of us know how to make our pets respect us or how to not be afraid of them. The feeling of fear is not easy to push down or hide, although I try.

I want to socialize Nicky first in daycare before taking him to obedience training because I don't want to scare the crap out of him by throwing him in a room full of barking dogs right away AND for Nicky to attend the class, it is MANDATORY that his behavior is "assessed" and they do this by integrating him with other dogs at daycare. So I didn't have a choice. He looked terrified at daycare, so we're going to let him go a few more times and then enroll him in training. As far as a professional trainer or behaviorist..we can't afford that so we're working with what we have, such as advice from this chat forum and regular training classes.

SarahLynn - good luck girl! And I'll keep you updated on Nicky. Let me know how the treat switcheroo thing goes. Remember, that exercise is to show Wolf that he can trust you. He needs to trust that you'll give him back his chewy so that he doesn't have to guard it so fiercely. Good luck!:fingerscr

Scott_B
July 6th, 2006, 02:37 PM
I agree, getting an older dog is way different then raising a puppy.

As for throwing him in a room with barking dogs, your socializing him by taking him to class. I have my pup in puppy class. There are 8 other dogs in the class. The rules are to keep your dog out of other dogs faces during class. Then at the end we let them play and socialize for 10min.

I understand on not affording a trainer. I wont preach or anything but to me, all dog owners when they get a dog should have to complete a course. I think it would cut down on the dog bites and such by having properly trained owners. Don't know about your area, but an 8 week course was like $100. Well worth it IMO if it stops your dog from biting someone.

And if you cant afford training now, please do not get a bullmastiff. If your afraid of a pom, what ya gonna do when your 130lb bully growls at you. :o

Sorry, that was kinda preachy wasn't it lol :p

Mahealani770
July 6th, 2006, 02:53 PM
lol...believe me, I'm not the one that wants the Bullmastiff and if I can help it...we won't ever get one. That is an idea of my partner's and it will be YEARS before it ever happens, as I'm afraid of big breed dogs. She either wants a Bully or a Great Dane.

As it is, we already have our hands full with this little Napoleon. I'm the more responsible one of the pair of us. I'm the one that has to keep the "level head", especially when it comes to pets. My partner was raised in a household where "a dog is just a dog"..but since we've been together, she sees pets in a whole new light...as children..thanks to my influence:angel:

It's not that we can't afford training, we can. I wouldn't have a dog if I couldn't afford to take care of it. It's just that we can't afford day care AND a private trainer at the same time, or a private trainer period. I did a lot of research before I found this wonderful facility that has day care, grooming services, and obedience classes WITH web cams in every room. I watched Nicky during his first day in daycare, while I was at work. I wanted to go scoop him up soooo bad. He looked scared and lonely! Anyway, my point is, Nicky is getting used to other dogs and the people that work there while in daycare. I'm going to take him one more time and then we'll enroll him in training. At this facility, it costs $125 for 7 classes.
Sometimes I just need some tips on how to correct his behavior until we can get him to obedience classes.
Thanks for your advice.
~M~

Puppyluv
July 6th, 2006, 05:11 PM
This thread is reminding me why most of the small dogs out there have such poor behaviour. You guys are laughing over this, but it's really not funny. If a larger dog did any of this, would you guys be laughing? Probably not. True, you adopted older dogs, but it's now up to you to deal with the problems (don't get me wrong, I get from your posts, Mehealani that you are trying to fix these probs).
As per vacuming, I would say that if you can't desensitize, just put him in a different room. Try just keeping your vaccuum out in the middle of the room for a couple of days. Turn it on and vaccuum a tiny patch every so often, let Nicky get used to it.

Layla won't shake either. When someone tries to shake she freaks and tries to run away. She is extremely paw shy due to the abuse she suffered as a puppy, and no amount of training has solved the problem. She is better now (will let me touch them-before you couldn't get past her knees), but no where close to ready to shake. Is Nicky paw shy? or just won't shake?

OntarioGreys
July 6th, 2006, 07:52 PM
My partner loves big dogs and wants to get a Bull Mastiff, in the distant future. I am scared of big dogs (and little dogs for that matter..lol) who may be agressive or become agressive. She, my partner, wants to know if it's possible to train the Bull Mastiff (or any dog) to protect us and to not let strangers get near us (which I think is ridiculous), but to not protect or guard one of us from the other? Is that clear as mud? lol Basically she wants the dog to be protective of us, but I don't want him/her to be agressive with us, especially if we're playing around or wrestling or whatever.

One consideration must be your pom, basically with any large breed and a toy breed they can never be put out in the yard together, it is just too dangerous as the little guy could get trampled on if the big dog is running around playing, so you have to be committed to letting each dog out seperately.

The 2 of you may need to compromise, a lot of big dogs having guarding instincts and bond a little closer to one onwer than the other so your worry is valid, with regards to you and your partner getting into horseplay and the dog may get a bit aggitated and want to protect the one he is more bonded to. I have had dogs that did do this and we had to end the horseplay to settle them down

Just the fact that you own a large breed can deter people from wanting to break into your home, because they do not know what it is capable of, and they are ready to chance on getting bit, so one option is getting a breed with no guarding instinct

Now for your fears, you are not alone there are many adults and children that are terrified of large breeds. There are many that have found themselves quite comfortable with greyhounds though, and part of the reason that some have mention is the greyhound reminds them of a deer, many have the big black eyeliner eyes that is like bambi eyes. they are very calm and docile and will usually wait for people to go up to them or they will walk over to a person an simply lean on them, waiting to be petted, so even little children find them not scary. I think that possibly a greyhound can fit both your needs and could be a good compromise.

http://www.greyhoundcrossroads.com/hounds/HotSeat.jpg

Pretty much every adoption group holds meet and greets where the public can go and meet the dogs in person and the groups will test the dogs to see if they are safe to be around cat and small dogs. Just so you know some are smilers, they will look at you showing their teeth while they are wagging their tails, and wiggling their butts, it just means they are happy to see you, only a small percentage smile. I am going to suggest going to a meet and greet and meet the dogs, you can stand back and just watch how the dogs are interacting with the other people at first when you see one that makes you feel comfortable then go up at say hi to it, and as you get more comfortable go see the other, if you are lucky one there will be a chatterer, that is another unique behaviour, some will softly click their teeth together when they are contented and happy sort of like when a cat purrs.

By meeting them it will likely help with your big dog fears, greyhound are not guard dog by any means, none of the 3 I have owned would bark at another person, when somebody comes in the house, Sunny will go up to them dancing wagging his tail smiling and chattering, Maya high tails it to my bedroom and then comes out into the hallway to peek around the corner at whoever entered and Callie used to stand back about 6 feet away bouncing up and down in one spot happily. (Callie and Maya both very shy dogs) once they have said hi they all go lay down.

Greyhounds tend to be pretty relaxed inside the house and they will save their running around mostly for outside play, which tend to make them good even as apartment dogs and less likely to be a hazard to a toy breed while indoors.

The racing greyhound can be anywhere from 50 to 100lbs in size, the males are more affectionate, laidback and suckier goofballs than the females, if you went with a big black male, the colour black tends to be more intimidating to strangers because it reminds them of dobermans, and rottis so they are less likely going to approach you, which possibly would make your partner happy

Here is a list of groups in Georgia some have their meet and greets listed other you may have to contact them to see when they have one coming up

http://www.adopt-a-greyhound.org/directory/list.cfm?usState=ga

t.pettet
July 6th, 2006, 09:08 PM
Separate Nicky from the vacuum when its in use otherwise you're just feeding into his protectiveness and aggression. If you can't get over your fear of him then he'll always be the alpha and no amount of different training techniques will change his behaviour. Doggy day care is not assessing his behavioural issues (they may be adding to them) so realistically you cannot not afford a proper trainer not only for Nicky but for yourself if you want to be able to reside with this dog.

OntarioGreys
July 6th, 2006, 10:16 PM
Start doing some NILIF (Nothing in Life is Free) training with Nicky, this will help him see you as the boss over him and it will him to give you more confidence around him

http://k9deb.com/nilif.htm

Mahealani770
July 7th, 2006, 07:01 AM
Thank you so much, O.G., for the supportive comments and for suggesting a greyhound. I think it's a wonderful idea.
As far as NILIF program, I've already read that article and that's where I learned to make Nicky sit or "earn" everything he gets. I've also read the Alpha bootcamp article a few times. But, if I had to pick out one behavior that I absolutely cannot stand, it would be him guarding his rawhides and the NILIF thing doesn't work in that situation. Should I crate him when he has it and let that be the end of it? Or should I continue to try and desensitize him by taking it away from him and giving it back and so on and so on? Or is this where the "leave it" command comes in? People have tried to tell me how to teach the leave it command, but I'm not sure I understand how to do it. I need a lot of detail :confused:
I want to be able to take his rawhide from him if I choose to and right now I can't get over the fear of what he's going to do when I reach down and attempt to take it and it drives me nuts!

Puppyluv, I don't want to be afraid and I don't think any of this is funny so I'm sorry that you got that impression. I was laughing at myself because it's ridiculous to be afraid of a little pomeranian. And that's exactly why I don't want a big dog, because I'm afraid of the unpredictability in all dogs, but it would be worse if we had a big one. However, I cannot deny my partner the kind of pets that she has always wanted, as she wouldn't deny mine. But what I can do, is try to convince her with knowledge and that's why I asked the question about the bull mastiff and being protective. I come here to get help because that's what this forum is for.

O.G., thanks again for your helpful advice, I really appreciate it.

Mahealani770
July 7th, 2006, 07:20 AM
Puppyluv, I forgot to answer your question. I don't know if Nicky is paw shy, how can I tell? One thing we do notice is that he puts his right paw up all the time, for no reason. He does this most when we stop petting him. It's almost like he's saying "please continue petting me" or "please don't hurt me". He only does this with his right paw, so I decided that I was only going to teach him how to shake with his left so that I knew he was actually listening to the command and not just putting up his paw. However, I got desperate lastnight and while he had his right paw up, I gently held it, shook it softly, and said "shake". It didn't work though.

Let me start from the beginning. I put Nicky in a sit/stay and then I say "shake". He just looks around. So, I ask him to "watch me" and I gently start nudging or tapping his left front leg to try and stimulate him to lift it. He looks down at my hand as if he's trying to figure out what's going on, or searching for a treat in my hand. I then try to get him to look at me and focus on my face and I say "shake" again, nudge his little leg, he looks down at what I'm doing and nothing happens. Then he becomes submissive and lays down or rolls over. I suspect he's confused and that's why he lays down. So, we go on and I try again the next day.

I taught my pug the same way I'm trying to teach Nicky and she picked it up on the second try, so I'm not sure how else to teach him. I also spent a few hours lastnight trying to teach him how to play with a little stuffed animal and he just wasn't having it. I'm not sure that he ever knew how to play:(

Puppyluv
July 7th, 2006, 09:34 AM
Based on your description, I'm going to say that he's probably not paw shy. If he was, he wouldn't willingly let you touch his paws. Since he doesn't shy away when you touch them, you're not facing this barrier.
He may need more guidance in the training. When I taught my parent's dog to shake, I would fully pick up her paw and shake it while saying "shake". Then I would praise her (I have never used treats to train, so I didn't give one, but if you do, give him one now). Do this about 5 times, then go on with the rest of your day. Try again later that day, or tomorrow. I found that when I just nudged her paws, she thought I was trying to encourage her into a "down" by pulling her paws out in front of her.

Puppyluv
July 7th, 2006, 09:37 AM
Oh, and I meant to post this yesterday but couldn't find it. Just a warning against training your dog to be protective, that you can show your partner (I know this isn't the norm, but it's a possibility, and you even mentioned your concern over this possibility): http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=27257&highlight=poking+attack

Mahealani770
July 7th, 2006, 09:52 AM
Puppyluv,
I remember that thread and I was horrified!:eek: I will definitely show that to my partner tonight. We'll see how "cool" she thinks it is for a dog to be protective over ONE of his masters. (Insert frustrated icon here).

Oh, and I did leave out the fact that when Nicky doesn't understand what I'm doing by touching his leg to get him to lift it, I do gently take his paw and shake it softly and then pet him like crazy. He has yet to get it, so we'll just continue!:o
Do you suggest I use the paw that he already lifts, or not? I read in somebody's thread that it may be a defense mechanism so I'm not sure if I would be reinforcing his fear (not sure why he's doing it) by using it to teach "shake" with.

Thanks again,
~M~

SarahLynn123
July 7th, 2006, 11:14 AM
This thread is reminding me why most of the small dogs out there have such poor behaviour. You guys are laughing over this, but it's really not funny. If a larger dog did any of this, would you guys be laughing? Probably not. True, you adopted older dogs, but it's now up to you to deal with the problems (don't get me wrong, I get from your posts, Mehealani that you are trying to fix these probs).


I think you may have been misinterpreting our posts. I was not laughing at our misbehaing small dogs, I was laughing at imagining Mahealani attempting to give Nicky commands over the sound of the vaccuum. Iv'e been there also, and know exactly what she's going through.

I also dont get why you state "this thread is reminding me why most of the small dogs out there have such poor behaviour" What do you mean by that? Both Mahealani and I have read up on past threads and used Tenderfoots advice and the read up on NILF. We both have rescued older dogs, so changing behaviours takes time, but we are working on it. I'm sure I have let him get away with more then I should have in the past, but this is a learning experience for both of us. Ive read up on posts, been to training classes and will continue on with them, and socialize him regularily with other dogs and people. From Mahealani's posts, I get the idea she is doing much the same. I dont see how this is remining you why small dogs have poor behaviour.

Mahealani770
July 7th, 2006, 12:10 PM
Thank you SarahLynn...I thought I was alone on that for a minute there so thank you for your comments.

I have dedicated every day for the past 6 months to looking at this website, especially the "training talk" forum, so that I can better understand Nicky's behavior and learn how to train him..as I'm sure you have done with your furbabies, SarahLynn. However, sometimes I regret asking questions or commenting on anything as you can see why.. :cool:

Puppyluv
July 7th, 2006, 12:21 PM
I think you may have been misinterpreting our posts. I was not laughing at our misbehaing small dogs, I was laughing at imagining Mahealani attempting to give Nicky commands over the sound of the vaccuum. Iv'e been there also, and know exactly what she's going through.

I also dont get why you state "this thread is reminding me why most of the small dogs out there have such poor behaviour" What do you mean by that? Both Mahealani and I have read up on past threads and used Tenderfoots advice and the read up on NILF. We both have rescued older dogs, so changing behaviours takes time, but we are working on it. I'm sure I have let him get away with more then I should have in the past, but this is a learning experience for both of us. Ive read up on posts, been to training classes and will continue on with them, and socialize him regularily with other dogs and people. From Mahealani's posts, I get the idea she is doing much the same. I dont see how this is remining you why small dogs have poor behaviour.

You'e right (as was Mehealani) that I was misinterpreting your laughing. I did so, mostly because most of the small dog owners that live near me DO laugh at the fact that their dogs are misbehaved (and they aren't just slightly misbehaved, but EXTREMELY). I should have realized that such owners are not the type to be on pets.ca, but alas, I got swept up in an unfair generalization, for which I applogize.

OntarioGreys
July 7th, 2006, 12:28 PM
But, if I had to pick out one behavior that I absolutely cannot stand, it would be him guarding his rawhides and the NILIF thing doesn't work in that situation. Should I crate him when he has it and let that be the end of it? Or should I continue to try and desensitize him by taking it away from him and giving it back and so on and so on? Or is this where the "leave it" command comes in? People have tried to tell me how to teach the leave it command, but I'm not sure I understand how to do it. I need a lot of detail
I want to be able to take his rawhide from him if I choose to and right now I can't get over the fear of what he's going to do when I reach down and attempt to take it and it drives me nuts!


Hand feeding Nicky can be one way to help reduce his food possessiveness, start by feeding him the first part of his kibble meal by hand one kibble at a time, praise him when he takes the food nicely, do this daily for a while a couple of weeks at least, so he get used to you controlling the food, next move up to a slightly higher value item, like a milkbone but instead of just giving it to him, you are going to teach him to nibble it gently from your hand, and praise when he is doing good, if he gets a little grabby a firm vocal "eh-eh" and slide the cookie into your hand so he can't see it, and retry, telling him to be "easy" praise when he is doing well, once he does that well for a couple of weeks without having to be corrected, then move to the next stage, the high value treat like a raw hide, again remind him first to be "easy" and have him gnaw on it fo a little while you hold it while praising, after a bit release and let him have, it may not totally help with taking the rawhide away but will lower his possessive responses when you are near him when he is eating

A lot of dogs can be absolutely fine when just given there kibble, but get possessive of high value treats, should you ever need to take something away like a toy, treat or something they picked up in the yard, then make a swap. like a favorite cookie that can be eaten quickly but gives you enough time to make the swap.

Food possessiveness is common in dogs especially among other dogs, and the most common reason for dogs to fight in the home, as a result with 3 dogs in my house each dog has their eating areas and I do not allow any of the dogs to enter another feeding area, it is 100% supervision time, in your case with Nicky knowing he is food possessive, if you decide to get another dog you may want to have him eat in a crate, make sure all food is removed picked up before he is released from the crate, it is not only for the other dogs safety but his too, because his biting another dog can possible cause that dog to become pain aggressive and then attack him.

One addtional safety note, Because he is highly possessive, be very careful when children visit, it may be best to put him in a seperate room with a babygate in the doorway so he is not totally secluded but seperate, a child who unintentionally sits to near a favourite toy or enters a kitchen while you or your partner are preparing a meal may trigger a possessive reponse

SarahLynn123
July 7th, 2006, 01:00 PM
Sorry I dodn't chime in sooner Mahealani, Im at work sneaking some pets.ca time! Didn't intend to leave you by yourself!!!

NO worries Puppyluv, Ive seen those owners that get a kick out of their unruly small dogs also! Its pretty easy to misinterpret on forums!!!!

Well Im off for the weekend! We get a paid half day to go stampeeding!

I will check bank in monday morning!

Sarah

Mahealani770
July 7th, 2006, 02:16 PM
O.G. - Thanks. I will print out your instructions and give it a shot.

About feeding Nicky his kibble by hand..
Does it matter where I do it? Nicky is very picky about eating. He takes one piece of kibble at a time and runs somewhere to eat it..usually he won't eat unless we're there and he'll bring it into our bedroom and eat it at the foot of the bed, or he'll take it under the dining room table. So should I sit on the floor somewhere when I think that he's hungry enough to take it out of my hand? And, should I sit on the kitchen floor as close to where I have his dish as possible?

About the milkbones, rawhides..
When I give Nicky a chewy, I make him sit, he politely takes it from my hand and runs off with it. What if he won't nibble the bone/rawhide from my hand at all? Also, if I can get him to nibble on the milkbone (not so high-value item) while I'm holding it, do I eventually let him have it or do I let him nibble for a certain amount of time and then put it up? I've never given him a milkbone so I'm not sure what it's made of (crumbly or chewy). Same thing goes for the high-value item..his favorite flavored rawhide...you said I should eventually let him have it but what about the times in between this training? He works on a rawhide (in the shape of a bone) for about a week until it's gone. Is he only allowed to have a chewy when I'm holding it or is he allowed to have it between training sessions? I hope I'm clear in my questions and sorry for so many of them..I just want to make sure I do this right :o
Thanks again,
~M~

SarahLynn - Time off of work for stampeeding? What the...

PuppyLuv - It's all good;)

OntarioGreys
July 7th, 2006, 02:51 PM
Dog often tend to like to eat on carpeted area, just sit on the floor on a mat for feeding the kibble it is less threatening that way, a milkbone is a dog biscuit, so any type you use now is fine, and let him have it after a bit of nibbling , you want him to learn you are not going to steal his food, it is about teaching him trust, you are also teaching him you are the alpha and that the food is yours until you decide when he can have it and it also teaching him to be comfortable eating with you near him. The reason they growl is because they are afraid you will steal the food from them, so this training is to teach him he does not have to fear that you will do that to him, which is why you will allow him to have it after he spending a bit if time gnawing on it and getting praised for being a good boy.

You are not going to give him any rawhides until you get to that stage of the training, when you get to that stage because the rawhide last so long, pick up the rawhide only when he can't see you do it, like when he is outside, when you have done a couple weeks of rawhide training, then start swapping/trading treats like a biscuit after he has spent a half hour of so chewing when he is starting to get a bit bored with it, and the new treat will look more apppealing to him, offer the treat a foot or two away from the raw hide so it is in arm reach but not near his teeth, it is better if you can get between him and the rawhide so he does not notice you picking it up while he is focusing on the new treat. Don't try to take the rawhide away unless he is willing to trade treats. trust takes time to build it won't happen right away, but gradually he will improve and be less possessive with you.

Mahealani770
July 8th, 2006, 06:57 AM
Scott - Thanks for those links on the Bullmastiff..I made my partner sit down and read everything and when she got to the "Bullmastiffs slobber ALOT" part, she didn't want one..lol..wooo hoooo! No big dogs!:highfive:
She then moved on to wanting a Great Dane but was really concerned with all the health ailments that come with age. She didn't realize how hard it is on big dogs, especially when they get older :( .

Ontario Greys..
Thanks so much for the detailed instructions. I printed them out and promptly started training as soon as I got home from work yesterday. I filled Nicky's food bowl, held it in my lap as I was sitting on the floor, had him sit in front of me, and I began hand-feeding him one kibble at a time. He took each piece very gently and I praised him each time. He seemed a little annoyed at being petted on top of his head and I'm not sure if it was because it was dinner time and he just wanted to eat, or if it was his normal "I don't really like being touched on the top of my head" reaction. I think he doesn't like NOT being able to see where my hand is at and who knows what his previous owners did to him to make him feel like that. So, I do a little of petting under his chin but had to wait until he swallowed his food. Anyway, I did this with about 10 pieces of kibble, he eventually laid down and just enjoyed the hand-feeding session..lol..and then I let him eat the rest. However, I kept my hand in his bowl, laying on top of his food. He politely ate around my fingers..lol I know that this was not part of your instructions, but I wanted to see how he would react to my hand being plunged into his food. He didn't react poorly at all so I guess that's a good sign. Every now and then I tried petting him a bit while he was eating but he looks pretty scary as he shows his teeth when he eats, so I quickly lost the nerve after a short while and then just let him eat in peace..lol..:o
I started the same thing this morning. I got his bowl, sat down with it in my lap, hand-fed for while, pet, praised, let him eat what he wanted, and I took the bowl away when he lost interest. So, what do you think? Pretty good for the first 2 times, eh? :highfive:

The only thing is, it's breaking my heart to see him walking around searching for his chewy :( He has one kind of chewy that's white and flat..not a high-value item for him. But then he has a very high-value chewy..the flavored bone shaped rawhide. Since he's not allowed to have either right now, I'm going to go out and buy some milkbones today, unless you want me to wait on that part of the training? I just feel bad for him. He looks so bored, but he will not play.

Oh..and as far as the vacuum goes. I took it out of the closet and have had it sitting in the middle of the living room since I got home yesterday. I called him over to it, he sat in front of me, and I petted/praised him. I tapped the front of the vacuum and he sniffed it, then I praised. He didn't bark once, but I think that's because I haven't turned it on yet..lol... so we'll see how that goes when I graduate to actually running the vacuum. :fingerscr

Scott_B
July 9th, 2006, 12:01 PM
Your very welcome. The slober turns off alot of people :thumbs up