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Sudden Aggression

danam314
December 14th, 2008, 10:55 AM
Hi all. I had a very embarrassing night last night, and I need some help!!! I have read some of the other aggression threads too.

I've never had a problem with Koda and aggression. Well, I mean he had some puppy issues, but nothing as an adult. He's a barker. He barks when people and cars go by the house. He barks at the water man, and strangers, but when we have new guests in our house it doesn't typically last long. The "norm" here is a handful of barks... sniff sniff... and then he's all "ok, pet me!!".
Last night the family had dinner at my Mom's house to meet my sisters new boyfriend, Thomas. Koda stayed at home which is usual. I live very close to my Mom's place and Thomas has heard lots of stories about my Koda so they decided to stop by my house on their way home so Thomas could meet Koda. We all came in the front door, and Koda saw new people so he came running. I did the "Koda Bed" command and he went to his bed. We all got in the door and he took one look at Thomas and JUMPED/LUNGED at him, barking and growling. I've never seen anything like it. Thomas backed up, I grabbed Koda as fast as I could and and did sit > down > stay. He continued to bark, and bark, and bark. He was NOT happy. Finally I got his muzzle out and put it on. We stayed in the living room for about 10 minutes and had a nice conversation (trying to show Koda we were all friends, nothing hostile). I took his muzzle off and he started barking again... over and over, and tried to push his way past me to Thomas (I didn't let him go). Thomas then said "sorry but it's time for us to go". :shrug:

I was SO embarrassed :o Yes, Koda usually does bark at new people, but he does NOT lunge or jump at them, or continue to bark and growl for 10 minutes. He still listened to his commands (leave it, sit, down & stay) but would not quit barking. I know dogs get vibes that we don't but Koda just can't do this!!

Please, I need help! I was caught so off guard, and I scrambled to take control of the situation best I could. I wasn't scared just embarrassed. That simply cannot happen again.

What do I do?

sugarcatmom
December 14th, 2008, 11:15 AM
Hmmm, how well does your sister know Thomas? Maybe Koda is on to something.....

Sorry, I don't have any advice. Sounds like you handled it well though, given the circumstances. Maybe Thomas can come over again and give Koda some treats as a peace offering?

kenmando
December 14th, 2008, 11:32 AM
Wrong or right i trust my dogs judgement of a persons character more than my own and i have always followed his lead and he has never let me down, after all, it is his house.

pitgrrl
December 14th, 2008, 11:36 AM
What does Thomas look like compared to the people Koda has spent time around? Is he bigger? Louder? Fairer? Darker? Taller? Was he wearing any bulky winter gear? A hood? big hat?

What I'm getting at is, was there anything about Thomas that may seem irrelevant to a human, but that may have been totally weird/new/frightening to Koda? Sometimes the smallest things, like a hood, a louder manner or something one is carrying, can totally freak out a dog.

otter
December 14th, 2008, 11:49 AM
Sounds like you did just the right thing in a time of panic :thumbs up

You could try having Thomas and Koda meet at a more "neutral" location, make sure Thomas has a favourite Toy of Koda's and some treats. A local park or something might be good. This might give you an idea if it is something up with Thomas or if Koda is just being Territorial (maybe he's extra protective at home cause there is something a little off about Thomas, on neutral ground he might let it go).

i'm with the rest of the posters... i'd be a bit suspicious of Thomas....:o

danam314
December 14th, 2008, 11:49 AM
Thanks guys. I do agree that dogs can sense things we cannot. I've known Thomas for about 6 months (we just went to my Mom's because SHE hadn't met him yet, everyone else had) and he really is a great guy. This coming from the little sister that doesn't like ANYONE near my sister :laughing: :D

Good point Pitgrrl. We did have our winter jackets on and may have been laughing as we came in the door - I don't recall exactly. I'm really hoping it's something of that sort because he really is a nice guy!!! And my sister is really happy!! He was a bit standoffish too because a few days prior my sisters cat bit him on the nose! My sisters cat really is just strange though, she does not allow ANYONE to touch her and freaks out at the sign of people. He thought he knew her well enough to pick her up :evil: I've known her for 4 years and I can't even pet her yet!

Anywho... I'm hoping that it was just the clothing, laughter, tones of voice or volume that set Koda off. I'm just worried he may do it again to him or someone else. I was really, really embarrassed. I'm not even sure if Thomas will come back :o

Is there anything else I could have done in that situation? Something else, something different? Anything I can work with Koda on?

I did go and get some treats for Thomas to give to Koda, but Koda was barking and acting too aggressive so I decided against it. I didn't need him taking someones hand off :eek:

Longblades
December 15th, 2008, 07:37 AM
Was he wearing any bulky winter gear? A hood? big hat? I think you are having some very cold weather right now and this was a thought of mine too. My own girl, who was very submissive and practically never barked, always barked at people wearing big hats. It took me a few years to clue in because otherwise she was a model of deportment. Big hats with those furry, hanging down attached ear muff things. She remained suspicious of the people even after they took the hat off. Can you meet Thomas in the park with him wearing only his summertime clothes? :D:D No guess not, poor Thomas might end up :sick: I think you did everything right.

Agility dogs
December 15th, 2008, 12:26 PM
My sister was away for a couple of days so I was going down to let her two dogs out for a while every day. Her Shih Tzu x Maltese knows me really well, we do Agility with him and my dog and I have know him all his life. On Wednesday I went into town and got a perm on my hair. When I arrived down at their place I let the dogs out and they went outside. When I let them back in, they both came in, then all of a sudden Mikey looked at me and started to growl. He was all tensed up and no matter how much I talked to him, he kept growling and did not want me to touch him. He has never acted aggressively like that to anybody. The next day I wore my touque and he was fine, the same happy, wagging dog he usually is. I don't know if he just did not like my hair-do or whether it was the different smell of the perm but he sure reacted to it. So, if a dog can react like that to someone he knows it just shows that something the visitor did, said or looked differently to your dog, could have set him off.

bendyfoot
December 15th, 2008, 12:40 PM
I had the same thoughts as a few PPs

Hmmm, how well does your sister know Thomas? Maybe Koda is on to something.....


Gracie is a people-magnet, she LOVES anything on two legs, like LOVES them. The 2 or 3 times she's reacted badly to a person (growling, etc.) I've darn well listened to her and hightailed it outta there.

What does Thomas look like compared to the people Koda has spent time around? Is he bigger? Louder? Fairer? Darker? Taller? Was he wearing any bulky winter gear? A hood? big hat?

What I'm getting at is, was there anything about Thomas that may seem irrelevant to a human, but that may have been totally weird/new/frightening to Koda? Sometimes the smallest things, like a hood, a louder manner or something one is carrying, can totally freak out a dog.

This was my other thought. The strangest things/changes can set off an otherwise friendly dog. Think carefully about what he might have been wearing (or smelling like, is he a big collogne use or anything?) and try to figure out what was cause of the alarm...if you can identify it, then you can work towards desensitisation.

Diamondsmum
December 15th, 2008, 02:39 PM
Here is a my weird kinda situation..might help

Duke was awesome with people When my daugher was 12 and had first "boyfriend" more like a study buddy :rolleyes:

the first time he came over Duke did same thing Growled, lunged etc etc

(we ended up crating him) the next couple of times (I think it was 2wks we met & slowly introduced him at the park or outside. He was fine. Then we reintroduced them in the house Duke on his leash. Still fine.

Id say around a Month later Kid comes into house with DD Duke is suddenly back to his weird ways lunging barking growling etc etc.

Turns out DD had (TOM) Tom of Month BOTH Times. We chalked it up to that.

I guess he was protecting his female?

Never did find out but that I dont think was a coincidenece. as every Boyfriend after & each time TOM Visited no boys allowed unless he was crated first.

I miss him:sad:

danam314
December 15th, 2008, 03:51 PM
Very interesting all. And I appreciate ALL of the responses.

I sure hope there isn't something permanent about Thomas that Koda doesn't like. He really is a great guy!

As my memory recalls Thomas was wearing a long black dressy jacket, black suit pants, black gloves and black dress shoes. Nothing BIG or distracting. He doesn't have a great deep voice, just a regular medium tone male voice, and a good volume. Not too loud. I didn't notice any cologne smell, but then again Koda has a better nose than I do :dog:

Koda LOVES my sister. He can't get enough of her. But that night he couldn't have cared less that she was there. He jumped straight at Thomas. The door wasn't even closed yet. Thomas was in the doorway. He pushed past my sister to get to Thomas. That's what struck me as odd, Thomas was barely even IN the house. Kim (my sister) and I may have been laughing - I was having trouble getting the key in the lock and my sister used her cell phone light to do it, but I'm quite sure that Thomas wasn't talking or laughing as we entered.

Next time I think I will keep Koda kenneled and let him get used to hearing Thomas's (Thomas' ? whatever) voice for a bit.

I would love to meet in a mutual spot, like a park or something, but it's -30 and I'm not going!! :laughing: :laughing:

I also have some questions about moving and how to make the transition more comfortable for Koda, but I will start a new thread for that!! :D

TeriM
December 16th, 2008, 12:22 AM
I would actually try to arrange another meet with this guy but I would place Koda in a sit (might be less stressful for him then a down) and have him leashed. I would have the boyfriend come into the room and totally ignore Koda, no eye contact. If Koda is good (or stops even just for a few seconds) then have the bf toss a super yummy treat towards Koda (still no eye contact). In theory after a bunch of thrown treats Koda will feel more comfortable and can approach when he wants. I would continue to have the bf totally ignore him until Koda has successfully checked him out.

If you have a good "watch me" command this is also a good training exercise for you. When Koda is in the sit before and during the bf visit give him the command and treat. Giving him something to do at this time might keep him more relaxed and focused.

Worth a try :shrug:.

marko
December 16th, 2008, 07:52 AM
I have a hard time buying that it is THOMAS that is the problem and that the dog is "on to something" especially given that the OP says he is a nice guy. All Thomas did was enter the house right, he did not come in wielding a gun, or in any threatening manner right? Also the OP suggests that in the dog's past ..."Well, I mean he had some puppy issues, but nothing as an adult. He's a barker. He barks when people and cars go by the house. He barks at the water man, and strangers, but when we have new guests in our house it doesn't typically last long...."

Far more likely IMO is an environmental factor as was suggested by some in this thread - big coat, hat etc. Not sure how I would remedy this, but training drills/desensitization might be useful . Sounds to me like Koda may need more socialization. just my :2cents:

Thx - Marko

aslan
December 16th, 2008, 07:55 AM
unfortunately Marko alot of people thought Ted Bundy was a really nice guy too.Usually if a very friendly dog reacts negatively to someone there is usually a really good reason.

BenMax
December 16th, 2008, 08:05 AM
I am sorry that I am not too informed (maybe due to laziness) but I have some questions for you.

How old is Koda and what breed? Where did you get Koda (it's relevant if a rescue or shelter dog due to past history). Are there any significant human males in your family living with you?

I work with rescue dogs and I have seen this frequently.

Pitgrrl makes some excellent points. Sometimes animals are 'sparked' to certain characteristics and items that someone is wearing.

marko
December 16th, 2008, 08:06 AM
I certainly am not going head to head on this issue. Yes Ted Bundy was a serial killer. How many serial killers does anyone know personally?

I've been barked at plenty of times by dogs and i know quite a bit about dog behaviour and approach every strange dog the proper way. Is there something wrong with me? or anyone else that has been barked at?

Most people in my life are nice and I suspect most people that we come into contact with and associate with are nice. Why assume the person is the problem when the DOG was aggressive. The DOG barked and lunged.

if a very friendly dog reacts negatively to someone there is usually a really good reason.

Agreed and it can be as simple as the guy was wearing a hat and the DOG is freaked out by hats. As opposed to there being a problem with the guy.....again I'm for solving this problem with socialization training.

If Thomas DOES prove to be evil, I'll eat the crow whole, but until then, as far as I am concerned, the problem lies with Koda and I will assume Thomas is a nice guy who did nothing wrong and is not evil.

BenMax
December 16th, 2008, 08:14 AM
I am sorry that I am not too informed (maybe due to laziness) but I have some questions for you.

How old is Koda and what breed? Where did you get Koda (it's relevant if a rescue or shelter dog due to past history). Are there any significant human males in your family living with you?

I work with rescue dogs and I have seen this frequently.

Pitgrrl makes some excellent points. Sometimes animals are 'sparked' to certain characteristics and items that someone is wearing.

Sorry Marko for interupting but these questions are really important in finding out more about this dog and the behaviour at hand.

Though I agree with you on the most part, I must tell you that I had a dog that was very reactive to people as well. I most always followed is nose sort of speak. Every time he met someone he would either accept or not. On one occasion I did not listen and regretted it as something horrible personally happened to me. From that point on, I listened and watched him intensily.

There can be many factors as to why this dog reacted. I personally want to pursue this to eliminate the possibilities as to why. The most important question for me is if there are any men living in that house hold and where this dog comes from.

bendyfoot
December 16th, 2008, 09:04 AM
I've been barked at plenty of times by dogs and i know quite a bit about dog behaviour and approach every strange dog the proper way. Is there something wrong with me? or anyone else that has been barked at?



FWIW, my own dog (Jaida) barks at me every time I come home, big bays and hackles up and everything :rolleyes:...for about 2 seconds. I've been barked at many times too by many dogs. But there's a difference here.

When Gracie's hackles are up, and she's doing that deep-chested "business" growl at someone, there's a problem. She's never been wrong. She has done it only to people who later turned out to be dangerous (a violent drug dealer, violently mentally unstable person, seemingly benign group of young men that turned out to be mugging people on the street). My own impression of these people was fine, no concerns, other than a tad "odd". Had I not listened to Gracie I might have been in a lot of trouble. I will always give her the benefit of the doubt.

danam314
December 16th, 2008, 10:51 AM
Morning all.


How old is Koda and what breed? 3.5 yrs old and he's a border collie/samoyed mix

Where did you get Koda (it's relevant if a rescue or shelter dog due to past history) - As much as it pains me to say this, and believe me I am EMBARRASSED to say this (I was not in the loop regarding byb or mills previously), I will admit this for the good of my own dog and getting to the root of this situation what his story was. I got him from an "oops, my dog got out and met the neighbors dog" situation. I got him from an ad on Freecycle. We got him at 9 weeks, and the conditions where we picked him up were GROSS :yuck: It was spring, so the Mom dog and puppies were all outside. They were born inside but then moved to a big childs playhouse type thing to live in outside. The Mom and pups then slept and ate in it. Koda was very hard to house train, since no one did any 'training' with him prior. He just kinda went wherever he felt like it. The rest of the pups were taken to the Edmonton SPCA since they didn't have people to take them.

Are there any significant human males in your family living with you? My husband lives with me, although he is not home as much as I am. Koda has never had barking/dominance issues with him. Koda is/has always been fine with other males, including my father, many friends husbands, my brother-in-law and father in law. He is great with the neighbor too (65 yr old man).

he had some puppy issues, but nothing as an adult. He's a barker. He barks when people and cars go by the house. He barks at the water man, and strangers, but when we have new guests in our house it doesn't typically last long.... By this I meant that when he was a puppy he would BARK and BARK and BARK. So much that neighbors from OTHER houses would complain. It took a lot of "enough" and "leave it" 's to get him to pay attention to ME and drop the barking. It was the hardest thing to train imo. When I am expecting company I like to leave the front door open, and the screen door closed. Koda gets to then see who is coming up to the house. When it is someone he knows (has met 2-3+ times) he doesn't bark. He just sits and his tail goes round and round like a helicopter propeller. If it is someone he hasn't met, he will bark and his tail wags. Just not as fast. He barks at the mailman because he doesn't know that he is here until the CLANG of the mailbox shutting. I think it catches him off guard, maybe. For info purposes, I'd like to disclose that we live on a busy corner and have a bus that stops right across the street from our house. Koda only barks when we are outside and can SEE the people.

Please, ask many questions as needed. I'm very concerned about this situation and will gladly answer them.

EDIT: I also wanted to add (in case relevant) that we have a basement suite that we have rented out for the last 3 years. 3 tenant's have had dogs (a chihuahua, a very big blood hound and a german shepard) and Koda never had any issues with them. They played perfectly together and we never had any dominance issues. A friend of our is staying downstairs until we move, and until his new house is ready to be moved into, and he is a big guy (280lbs mostly muscle, 6'3 and a DEEP voice). Koda has LOVED him since the first day he met him. He did the few barks at first, sniff sniff and then was fine.

BenMax
December 16th, 2008, 11:05 AM
Firstly you have nothing to apologize for on where you got the dog. The main fact is that he is with you and loved.

This may sound odd - but do you take your dog out for walks? IF so, when you come face to face with a male coming towards you - what is the dog's body language?

When this Thomas came into the home - what was his (Thomas's) behaviour like? Was he loud? Did he reach out to you with a hug?

bendyfoot
December 16th, 2008, 11:10 AM
Firstly you have nothing to apologize for on where you got the dog. The main fact is that he is with you and loved.

Ditto that. Jaida's my "didn't know better" byb dog, horrible conditions. Blech. Important thing is we know better now and can educate others. :grouphug:

danam314
December 16th, 2008, 11:19 AM
I do take Koda out for walks, although the longer ones are not as often as I would like. I have severe vertigo and have balance issues. Koda with his collie herding doesn't really help with that. The dizziness has not always been an issue, maybe the past year or so, so in the past year these long walks to/at the off leash parks have decreased. Daily I take him up/down the street I live on (approx 1/2 km there, and then 1/2 km back). When my husband is home we go for longer, 1-2.5 hours at various parks and in the river valley. Since I have someone to hold onto I can go for much longer. When I'm around my area we don't really run into a lot of folks. But, when we do, Koda always goes over to sniff, and then he either walks away or gets a pet. We've never had a problem with him snapping at people. However, if people come upto him swiftly and try and pet him right off the bat, he growls and by that time I am usually standing between him and them.

I came into the house WITH Thomas and my Sister. We were at my Mom's place for dinner earlier and Thomas wanted to come and see Koda. We all walked into the house together (the order was me, Kim and then Thomas last). I came in first and told Koda to go to his bed. He did. And then Kim (sister) and Thomas came in. Thomas was pulling the screen door shut when everything took place.

BenMax
December 16th, 2008, 11:26 AM
Oh boy am I ever stumped (which is rare but does happen:laughing:).

I am gathering that you are the main diciplinarian?

Many here suggest that you meet Thomas on neutral grounds. I think this is an excellent idea. Do try this and note the dog's body language and behaviour. Please let me know what happens.

danam314
December 16th, 2008, 11:30 AM
Plans to get together with Kim and Thomas are in the works. Hopefully, for this weekend. If not, it wont be until into the New Year. He is flying to Toronto on Sunday to spend the holidays with family. He doesn't get back until the 3rd. I will definitely keep you posted on what happens.

Dog, I wish that Koda spoke english! This could have all been solved :dog:

I truly appreciate all of the responses. I am going to keep a close eye on any funny things that I notice, and jot them down. We are going to be having lots of company over the holidays, and even a dinner party, so I guess we'll see...

Love4himies
December 16th, 2008, 11:30 AM
Just wondering if something upset Koda just prior to your arrival??

hazelrunpack
December 16th, 2008, 11:35 AM
Did he actually connect with Thomas? If he didn't, would he have been able to if someone hadn't gotten between--in other words, was there a period of time where he was standing Thomas off, growling and snarling, until someone intervened, or was he in full launch mode at the time and caught mid-assault?

luckypenny
December 16th, 2008, 11:41 AM
Ava, our "I love anybody who'll touch me" dog has barked aggressively at a jogging mailman (not something they see everyday). Lucky who really isn't bothered by strangers unless they're up-close-and-personal, doesn't react unless it's someone wearing long coat/dress. People with sunglasses on used to set him off as well.

I have to agree with Marko, based on my experience, everything you've said tells me that it's Koda who needs extra socialization and de-sensitization (that's not to say that you should ignore your dog if he suddenly starts to growl while you're walking him through a park late at night). TeriM's suggestions at desensitization are great imo.

If it is someone he hasn't met, he will bark and his tail wags. Just not as fast.

A low-positioned wagging tail on Lucky tells me he's fearful and may react negatively. A high positioned wagging tail on Penny will tell me she's on high alert and that she will react negatively. A wagging tail doesn't always mean a dog is "happy."

I have to add, if you're not sure how to react if this situation arises again, or if Koda insists on not backing down, please heed his warnings and remove him from the environment immediately. The last thing you'd want is someone being hurt.

danam314
December 16th, 2008, 11:52 AM
Honestly, I can't be sure if something may have upset Koda before we came in, since I was out for dinner. Possibly the cat was provoking him? I can't be sure what went on.

When I came in Koda rushed the door (pretty normal even when I'm by myself). I sent Koda to his bed. He stayed for maybe 3-4 seconds. Then he got up, pushed past Kim, took maybe 2 steps towards Thomas and then lunged and barked at him. Kim then blocked Koda and I grabbed him away and took him to the other side of the room. I would say he had a few quick seconds before going at Thomas. He didn't actually connect. Thomas had his hand out to let Koda sniff but Koda was barking so Thomas pulled his hand back. If my doorway wasn't so narrow, he would have had clear access to Thomas. But, Kim was in the "archway" if you will, and Koda pushed past her to jump at Thomas.

danam314
December 16th, 2008, 11:56 AM
I have to add, if you're not sure how to react if this situation arises again, or if Koda insists on not backing down, please heed his warnings and remove him from the environment immediately. The last thing you'd want is someone being hurt.

Thanks Lucky. I have NO problem kenneling Koda 'just in case'. He is kennel trained and it is his safe spot. He stays in his kennel when anyone like the gas meter reader is in, or other strangers that are not/will not be regular guests (repairmen, etc).

So, how do I work on the socialization and de-sensitization? Well, I know the social part, but I'm not familiar with the de-sensitization aspect.

And, yes, I am the main disciplinarian. My husband works long shifts up North (17 days out, 4 home) so I am always with Koda. When the majority of the training was going on as a puppy my husband was in the army and stationed 2 hours away, so he was only home every weekend.

danam314
December 16th, 2008, 11:59 AM
A low-positioned wagging tail on Lucky tells me he's fearful and may react negatively. A high positioned wagging tail on Penny will tell me she's on high alert and that she will react negatively. A wagging tail doesn't always mean a dog is "happy."

While at the front door, Koda only sits and wags his tail so it all looks the same to me :shrug:
I will keep an eye open and see if I can notice any differences.

EDIT: Now actually thinking about it, Koda puts his tail in a tight curl (he has the curly samoyed tail) or straight down when he is uncomfortable. When he is happy it is loose and flayling about. But I have not noticed any difference while he is sitting.

luckypenny
December 16th, 2008, 12:28 PM
I won't lie, it's a long process, especially if Koda is lunging and can only be stopped with physical restraint. We've been working on it with Penny for over two years now with the help of an excellent behaviorist/trainer. She doesn't sugar-coat anything and taught us to micromanage every situation that may set Penny off. If I had to quantify it, I'd say she's progressed about 50% but I will never say with confidence that she'll be 100% with strangers, ever. (Lucky will have fear-based aggression episodes but won't react unless he feels he's cornered. He's 99% better as long as the environment is controlled).

If you are able, the first thing I'd recommend is a behaviorist with lots of experience in reactive aggression. Please ask for and check up on references. Here's a site that may help you locate the right person to work with you. Enter your city and province for a list.

http://www.cappdt.ca/trainers.jsp

I think an experienced trainer/behaviorist would be your best bet as they are able to see Koda in action and be in a better position to teach you "hands on" what you need to do.

In addition, I'd recommend you read Brenda Aloff's AGGRESSION IN DOGS: PRACTICAL MANAGEMENT, PREVENTION & BEHAVIOUR MODIFICATION.

There is no 'quick fix' that will make Koda better by tomorrow. It's just like with any medical condition. You have to determine the cause, come up with an appropriate treatment, and follow through. You may find you have to tweak and adjust to what works best for you and Koda in your particular situation and environment. What helped me is to understand that there is a possibility that there may not be a 'cure' but there is management that keeps Penny, as well as those around us, safe.

ETA: I know that this is a hot topic still up for debate but, I have to mention, corrective training, and I will specify in our case, only served to exacerbate Penny's aggression. Just something to consider.

danam314
December 16th, 2008, 07:32 PM
Thanks luckypenny. I read about everything I could on that site without paying for a membership. I've printed out the list of trainers in my area and I am going to contact them and go from there. In the meantime, I went to Chapters this afternoon and bought some dog behavior books. I know it's not a complete solution, and may not even play into part of this puzzle, but I would like to read up on aggression and see what I can learn. I'm also googling a lot.

One thing that crossed my mind (which may or may not be relevant) is that the way our current house is set up Koda's bed and big Rubbermaid full of toys and bones are right near the front door. Maybe he was playing before we arrived and thought this stranger was too close to "his" belongings? Maybe that's silly, but it's just a thought. We are moving next week and the way the house is set up Koda's things (bed, food, kennel, toys) will not be near the front door. We do typically come in/out of the back door but my sister happened to park in the front this time. I'm just thinking of things that Koda saw as different.

I'm hoping (I have no idea if I'm even thinking correctly here, or just hopeful) but I'm hoping that when we move Koda wont be so territorial at first over this foreign space, since it's new to him too. We're going to be having lots of people coming in and out while we move (and someone dedicated just to Koda's needs).

mona_b
December 16th, 2008, 08:30 PM
I'm soooooo with Marko on this one.

Yes dogs sense things at times.BUT how many of you have been barked at by a dog? Does that mean your a bad person? I would think not...:)

I can tell you I have been barked at SO many times..Hmmmm,and as far as I know,I'm not a bad person.....:D

Maybe Koda didn't like the idea of a stranger walking in with you and your sister??????

Has Koda acted this way with any other strangers walking in the door?


See,I can walk in the door with a stranger,and Tron will not show any aggression. No barking or growling what so ever..Mind you,do something stupid and he will be right in your face....;)

danam314
January 9th, 2009, 01:06 PM
Hi all. I just wanted to post my update.

Thomas was away for Christmas so we weren't able to see how things would go a 2nd time round until this past weekend. Thomas and my sister came over for a Wii night.

Before they came over my hubby and I took Koda for a 45 min walk to get some of his energy out. And about 10 mins before they came over we put Koda in his kennel, gave him a few toys and a treat. When they came to the door there were a few barks (3 or 4) but nothing major. Just Koda's "who's there" type greeting. We ignored Koda in his kennel for the most part while we showed Thomas around our new house. Thomas told us that he definitely noticed Koda was calmer, in general.

Anyways, we ignored Koda completely until he was content in his kennel and got to hear Thomas' voice for a bit. We all started playing the Wii. About 10 minutes into the game Thomas (to my surprise) asked if we wanted to let Koda out to say Hi. I put Koda on his leash and took him into the living room. We all kept going on as normal (playing the game) and I kept Koda in a sit/stay until the game round was over. He was very, very good. I told Thomas to let us know what he's comfortable with, and when, regarding Koda. He said that he wouldn't mind if we let Koda go, since he was paying no interest to Thomas at all. So I dropped the leash, and Koda didn't move, he was quite happy just sitting there. I grabbed a few treats and gave them to Thomas. Thomas called him over, gave him one and the rest of the evening went very well, and normal! After a few sniffs to Thomas (no barks, growls or lunges) Koda retreated to his bed to chew on his bone. Thomas was very impressed with how the "normal" Koda acted. I think he was expecting a repeat of the last time. Everything went so well. I was very pleased.

Now, this didn't come without work. With Christmas and just moving we don't have the spare cash for a behaviorist right now, but it's not out of the question for down the road. My husband and I put Koda back in strict training mode. Do as we say, nothing more. He had to sit/down/stay for everything. Food, toys, treats, car rides, walks, everything. This is how we trained him as a puppy, but I have to admit as the years went by it became less of a routine. We have been working hard making sure he still knows who is alpha. He's responding wonderfully. I have also read 2 dog aggression books which have helped with my understanding of the situation.

I know it's not all solved, and it's not a complete solution, but I do think we are making great strides and progress.

luckypenny
January 9th, 2009, 11:37 PM
That is wonderful news :goodvibes:. You let Koda meet Thomas on your terms and when it was made clear to him that he had nothing to fear. Great job :thumbs up.

TeriM
January 10th, 2009, 12:19 AM
Good work Danam and yeah for Koda :thumbs up.

Tundra_Queen
January 10th, 2009, 12:59 AM
Danam, I was wondering if maybe someone was messing around the house while you were out and Koda was by himself? As in burgular? I mean it was around Christmas time and that is the time a lot of break ins happen.

He might of been hearing a noise and his house protection mode was on, then when your sister and friend came in thru the front door, he heard thomas' voice which was strange. So he thought u were in danger.


Just a thought.

I am glad he is back to his old self again.

Debbie

danam314
January 11th, 2009, 10:55 AM
Danam, I was wondering if maybe someone was messing around the house while you were out and Koda was by himself? As in burgular?

As scary as that is to think of, I can't rule it out. I wasn't there so I can't say for sure.

While talking with Thomas that night, he did admit that he also approached the 2nd meeting differently. He suggested that maybe since he was behind Kim while coming inside, Koda was so excited to see Kim (which he was) and then POOF appeared a man dressed in black behind her, and it may have set him off. We won't really know for sure but I am considering a few theories. Someone was around the house so he was in "guard" mode, possibly the cat was bullying him and he was in defense at the time, or he was just startled.

If only doggies could tell us!