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  #31  
Old March 25th, 2011, 01:59 AM
SamIam SamIam is offline
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Originally Posted by Criosphynx View Post
What is your objection to the belly band? Very effective for markers
Nothing. May or may not have an effect on the behavior, but definitely protects the couch. *I* would scold him as well, and in addition recommend a strict leadership program.


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Do you train dogs?
Yes. Not as much as I used to.

Last edited by GateKeeper; March 25th, 2011 at 02:18 AM.
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  #32  
Old March 25th, 2011, 03:18 AM
SamIam SamIam is offline
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I just reread the thread and see your a dominance theorist.
Nope! I take a little of this, a little of that, never settle on knowing everything about anything, because there is always something new to learn tomorrow.

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If you genuinely want help with your problem dog.
My dogs are good, I'll keep you in mind but I think if something came up I would probably just post publicly, get a few opinions, and toss back and forth the what-ifs until I had a solid basis to work from.

Thanks for the offer, though!
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  #33  
Old March 25th, 2011, 06:05 AM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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Originally Posted by Criosphynx View Post
No worries. I assume your familiar with marking and rewarding behavior? Like if you want the dog to sit, you say "yes" and treat...etc etc

I must be honest with you, I do not reward the dogs unless I had the time to follow through. In my case the majority of the dogs I work with are shelter dogs and I only volunteer on Saturdays to evaluate and work with difficult dogs. Had I had the time, then maybe this would help me...unfortunately it's not the case as there are many dogs that come in that have absolutely no manners...and to start - leash manners. That is my #1 focus for dogs that require quick remedies to get them ready for adoption. There is however an employee there that works on other issues throughout the week and what you describe is exactly what she does. Though I disagree with rewarding as a sole method...I must admit that I have seen a difference in some of the dogs that she took on. So in other words I would not toss this out of my utility bag.

You make alot of sense however.

I also get called upon many times to re-evaluate shelter dogs that did not make it up for adoption. These dogs I must evaluate for 'potential'. Those dogs that do not make it are euthanized sadly. I feel a huge weight on my shoulders as to what lives...and what does not. Guilt is my middle name.

If I find that a dog has potential and I find out what motivates them, I will approach the rescues that can assist who possess the ability to train or modify behaviours. Unfortunately there are not many rescues that can take on all these dogs at the same time to prepare them for adoption. So again I go back to square one and 'yeah or nah' the dog in question.

The #1 problem with alot of the dogs I see is food aggression or resource guarding (leash issues of course but this is certainly not a huge problem for rescues). Depending on the level of aggression, I will consult with the rescues to see if they can take. Majority sadly say no.

With your theory of rewarding...how would you use this method for dogs with food aggression? I personally do take on many dogs with this type of aggression and I am curious to know how you handle it using this method.
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  #34  
Old March 25th, 2011, 08:36 AM
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millitntanimist millitntanimist is offline
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Maybe I'll give this one a go.

I would stop feeding the dog regular meals in a bowl and start hand feeding for good behaviors - the dog is only fed during training sessions (this can include walks) or when they offer you good behavior, like sitting politely for your attention. If the aggression is severe enough that you cannot have the dog eat from your hand then toss the food a little ways away from you. The dog will learn that you mean food, not the removal of it, and that it will get to eat for good behavior - here you can work up to hand feeding.

Resource guarding of food especially is a type of fear aggression - the dog is afraid that you are taking away its food so it postures and says "back off." What you need to do here is change the dog's emotional response. That's what opperant conditioning is all about

As part of your training sessions I would recommend a 'drop' command (anything that means "give me what you have in your mouth, or what is right beside you"). Work with low value objects and do the exchange system (trade object A with object B, but object B comes with food as well) - the dog will learn that when you ask for something, it does not mean they are losing it and that something even better will happen. Gradually work up to an empty bowel, then one with non-food objects in it, then one with very low value food items etc.
Get multiple people in the shelter to do this with you to proof the behavior.

The dog will be conditioned to associate good behavior and the presence of people with being fed and to accept people tampering with their food and their food-bowl.

If you were to use P+ to curb the aggression, you would run the risk of either an escalation of their aggression, or a masking of the behavior. Maybe the dog would stop being food aggressive around you, but what about when they go to their new family? Because they are still afraid of their food being removed (and were only curbing their aggression because they were afraid of your punishment) they may start that behavior all over - but escalate it from the start to try to keep them away.
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  #35  
Old March 25th, 2011, 08:55 AM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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millitntanimist. . I do exactly this when I have my own fosters with food issues. I feed by hand only. The basic command that I do instill in the dog is sit, stay and focus on me rather than an empty bowl. The dog soon learns that I am the provider and will deliver when gentle. After a period of time, I will add kibble to the bowl and will invite the dog to approach, sit and then use my hand into the bowl and will feed manually by hand. Then as time passes with this, I will put food in the bowl, invite the dog to the bowl with a very small amount of food, and also feed by hand. Days to weeks later, I will put kibble in the bowl, touch the dog during feeding, ask the dog to back up, sit and then invite him back to the bowl.
Great routine if you have the dog in your home...not so great if dogs are in the shelter.

Thanks for you input!.

Any other takers? Don't be afraid to knock holes into my method....but I must warn you...it does work.
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  #36  
Old March 25th, 2011, 09:25 AM
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millitntanimist millitntanimist is offline
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I know it's a problem of consistency (and getting other people to follow through as well) but you mentioned wanting to work on other behaviors like loose leash walking and basic obedience - this method allows you to work on multiple behaviors at once - all of them strengthening one another and encouraging the dog to offer new behaviors.
You'd be surprised by how much of a dog's daily diet you can go through (if you are rewarding heavily) in a half hour training session . . at least I was

I know you mentioned something about your method earlier (walking forward into the dog?) but I can't remember. Could you go into it in more detail, I am curious
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  #37  
Old March 25th, 2011, 10:08 AM
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Criosphynx Criosphynx is offline
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Benmax, you are in a unque situation, and so what I'd say is apropriate for you to do vs an average owners might be different. I am very pro rescue and see no issue using corrections IF is will save the dogs life. That doesn't mean I think its the best choice or more effective...but if it boils down to "trying" som'thing aversive physically, and euthanizing the dog. I'd use the physical aversive...

Same thing goes for rattlesnake avoidance training, I see no issue using an aversive, correctly, to save the dogs life.

That does not mean that I don't think it can be done with PR. It can. But the average owner can barely teach a sit, so I would not trust them with proofing around a deadly animal.

anyway...so resource guarding...millitntanimist hit up most of the points I would have made. Trading works very well. I had/have? lol a severe resource guarder, who now will bring me the item on cue for an exchange. Happily so. He started showing RG behavior at 5 weeks, which was alarming.


the point I did want to hit on, is (I forget the exact stat so forgive me) som'thing like 80% of dogs that exhibit RG in a shelter situation, that are placed anyway, NEVER show the behavior again....In other words, the stress and anxiety of the shelter is what is causing the behavior...also the stress of being placed can cause it, but its only temporary. Thats why its such a shame you can't get more support from rescues...RG is a common and normal behavior!

My Pit especially is a good example of this. She lived in the shelter a year, was very comfortable (a staff fav) had ZERO RG issues with people/dogs. I adopt her. Two days in she RG'd a kong and subsequently jumped on and attacked my blind/dumb/old pomeranian (who toddled into her space before I could stop her). My fault.

That was three years ago. She never did it again, or anything close to it. I can pour a pile of food on the floor and all the dogs can share...no issues
It was the stress of the wierd people/place/dogs that made her do it.

Quote:
I do exactly this when I have my own fosters with food issues. I feed by hand only. The basic command that I do instill in the dog is sit, stay and focus on me rather than an empty bowl. The dog soon learns that I am the provider and will deliver when gentle. After a period of time, I will add kibble to the bowl and will invite the dog to approach, sit and then use my hand into the bowl and will feed manually by hand. Then as time passes with this, I will put food in the bowl, invite the dog to the bowl with a very small amount of food, and also feed by hand. Days to weeks later, I will put kibble in the bowl, touch the dog during feeding, ask the dog to back up, sit and then invite him back to the bowl.
Great routine if you have the dog in your home...not so great if dogs are in the shelter.
I see no issues with this Granted you could add steps to that, in theory that would break it down into smaller steps, so the dog could learn faster...most RG protocols do not intro the bowl for a while, thats more towards the last step. Have you read Jean Donaldsons "mine"? Great RG book and it actually has step by step instructions for guarding. I also wrote a long article on it, but its a sticky on my other forum, and I don't think its ok to link to it here
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  #38  
Old March 25th, 2011, 10:17 AM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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Originally Posted by Criosphynx View Post



the point I did want to hit on, is (I forget the exact stat so forgive me) som'thing like 80% of dogs that exhibit RG in a shelter situation, that are placed anyway, NEVER show the behavior again....In other words, the stress and anxiety of the shelter is what is causing the behavior...also the stress of being placed can cause it, but its only temporary
Absolutely. Not only pits show badly, but rottweilers, dobermans and GSDs as well. When I evalute or re-evaluate the dogs before testing for any food aggression or resource guarding is to try and establish a 'relationship' with them outside of a shelter environment..either going for a walk first, or just removing them from areas that are high dog concentrations (again time is a factor). Once I establish a level of trust with them, only then will I attempt. Also, the dogs I see have already been evaluated. I get called in to re-evaluate to see for potential for rescue. The evaluation is not shared with me, and once my evaluation is compete, we then exchange notes or initial evaluation. I am pleasantly surprised that we normally come up with almost exact reports.
Once I network and get these dogs into rescues I will get calls saying that what we reported has not been seen since in foster homes. . Regardless, we advise all rescues on what was seen at the shelter so it gives them a heads up.
There are obvious issues however that we know will not be remedied by simply removing them from shelter to rescue homes. These are the dogs that require alittle more effort and more evaluation to determine whether a rescue can handle or not.

Yes ...quick fixes are not ideal, but necessary. When shelters or pounds have a high turn over rate, we must do whatever necessary. It could very well be frawned apon, but I will take that critism if it means saving the dogs life.
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  #39  
Old March 25th, 2011, 10:27 AM
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Criosphynx Criosphynx is offline
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Originally Posted by BenMax View Post
Absolutely. Not only pits show badly, but rottweilers, dobermans and GSDs as well. When I evalute or re-evaluate the dogs before testing for any food aggression or resource guarding is to try and establish a 'relationship' with them outside of a shelter environment..either going for a walk first, or just removing them from areas that are high dog concentrations (again time is a factor). Once I establish a level of trust with them, only then will I attempt. Also, the dogs I see have already been evaluated. I get called in to re-evaluate to see for potential for rescue. The evaluation is not shared with me, and once my evaluation is compete, we then exchange notes or initial evaluation. I am pleasantly surprised that we normally come up with almost exact reports.
Once I network and get these dogs into rescues I will get calls saying that what we reported has not been seen since in foster homes. . Regardless, we advise all rescues on what was seen at the shelter so it gives them a heads up.
There are obvious issues however that we know will not be remedied by simply removing them from shelter to rescue homes. These are the dogs that require alittle more effort and more evaluation to determine whether a rescue can handle or not.

Yes ...quick fixes are not ideal, but necessary. When shelters or pounds have a high turn over rate, we must do whatever necessary. It could very well be frawned apon, but I will take that critism if it means saving the dogs life.


I agree that your stuck between an rock and a hard place. I commend you for the job you do... I don't have the time to volunteer, and have tremendous guilt about it.

I do think that RG is one of those things that needs to be handled in a positive manner...since its anxiety based, most dogs would react poorly to a correction in reguards to it. RG is actually one of my favorite things to work with with people. Hey, you could always Ship these dogs you find to me right?
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  #40  
Old March 25th, 2011, 10:46 AM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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Hey, you could always Ship these dogs you find to me right?
Be very careful what you wish for..

Thanks for your input. Everything considered and well taken. I appreciate it.

millitntanimist..thank you as well. Excellent advice and something I can build on.
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