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  #31  
Old July 27th, 2006, 02:11 PM
Prin Prin is offline
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Some food possession issues can be normal (but still should be worked out). But things like growling when he's on the sofa and you try to get him off, or talking back when you say no are completely unacceptable.

There is also a ton of body language that goes along with all that though. Like if the tail is high or the ears are forward, it's dominance. If the ears are back, the tail is low and the head is low, it's fearful submission.

Stanley Coren's "How to Speak Dog" is a good book for that. It has drawings of the different body positions, ear positions and so on.
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  #32  
Old July 27th, 2006, 02:15 PM
carson79 carson79 is offline
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Interesting... see, these are things I wouldn't have even thought of. I'm going to learn more about that. BoxerRescueMTL gave that link (http://www.turidrugaas.com) and it gives info like that too. I haven't been in-tune with his body language for the most part. Maybe when I've been thinking he's happy, he's been upset but I haven't realized. I thought I was doing something right and maybe I wasn't in his mind.
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  #33  
Old July 27th, 2006, 02:42 PM
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pitgrrl pitgrrl is offline
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You might also want to look at "The Other End of the Leash". It's a really good book that will help you to see how your body language etc. looks to your dog.
Also, on the topic of establishing yourself as leader, I think this can be accomplished in non-confrontational ways, and would be especially important in your case. Try searching NFL or Nilif (nothing in life is free). It's basically just habits you can adopt that continuosly re-enforces you as alpha, without creating challenging and/or potentially dangerous situations.
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  #34  
Old July 27th, 2006, 02:44 PM
Prin Prin is offline
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Good idea pitgrrl. You don't want to lose your position while you're desensitizing and things.
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  #35  
Old July 27th, 2006, 02:48 PM
carson79 carson79 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pitgrrl
You might also want to look at "The Other End of the Leash". It's a really good book that will help you to see how your body language etc. looks to your dog.
Also, on the topic of establishing yourself as leader, I think this can be accomplished in non-confrontational ways, and would be especially important in your case. Try searching NFL or Nilif (nothing in life is free). It's basically just habits you can adopt that continuosly re-enforces you as alpha, without creating challenging and/or potentially dangerous situations.
Okay great... but where am I searching for this and what does that even refer to?
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  #36  
Old July 27th, 2006, 03:11 PM
Prin Prin is offline
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Just use "NILF" or "NILIF" as your search word, either here on this site or just on google.
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  #37  
Old July 27th, 2006, 03:18 PM
carson79 carson79 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prin
Just use "NILF" or "NILIF" as your search word, either here on this site or just on google.
Perfect... that's what I thought, but I figured I'd check.
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  #38  
Old July 27th, 2006, 03:27 PM
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pitgrrl pitgrrl is offline
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Sorry, I should have been more clear.
Here's a link to get you started, there are many others though.

http://www.pbrc.net/training_nfl.html
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  #39  
Old July 27th, 2006, 03:36 PM
carson79 carson79 is offline
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Wow... this is great. I must say that just posting on here and talking about this has made me feel so much better. As of this morning I was so depressed and felt completely hopeless. Now I feel like I can do this and repair my relationship with him. Thank you all for your suggestions and advice. It's greatly appreciated! (Not that I'm saying stop with the advice... anything and everything is helpful to me!)

Last edited by carson79; July 28th, 2006 at 09:33 AM.
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  #40  
Old July 27th, 2006, 04:14 PM
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mastifflover mastifflover is offline
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He is very cute and I am glad you have gotten good advice. I live near High Park but we don't go very much in the summer too hot for Bud but come fall we will be looking for you we go all the time. I hope everything turns around for both of you
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  #41  
Old July 27th, 2006, 04:29 PM
carson79 carson79 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mastifflover
He is very cute and I am glad you have gotten good advice. I live near High Park but we don't go very much in the summer too hot for Bud but come fall we will be looking for you we go all the time. I hope everything turns around for both of you
Thanks. I know it will now.
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  #42  
Old July 28th, 2006, 09:48 AM
carson79 carson79 is offline
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So last night, after I took him to the park to play for a while, I started my research. I read about dog's body language and what that means... as well as NILIF, which is really interesting.

Before I left work, I picked up some treats for him and now I'm starting training again from the beginning. Briefly last night we tried doing it, but he always assumes that when he gets a treat he's to sit down. And when I tried to get him to stand, he went back to his bed and laid down... walking away with his tail between his legs. After doing my research I've realized that it's not him being stubborn, like I may have thought in the past, it's him being confused at my instructions. So I left the training at that and I will change my method of teaching.

When he laid in bed or behind the dining room table (which I understand now is one of his safe places), I let him be. However, I did approach and in a soft voice talk to him and offer him a treat. I noticed that when I did this, he lifted his tail, rather than having it curled under his body. This morning I made him sit/stay before we left the house and when we returned, which he did quite readily.

My consistency was lacking before and now I realize that by my training him and consistently giving him rewards for good behaviour, we will start the road to recovery. Slowly I'll continue our training from the beginning and include new things as I go. By making him realize that I'm the alpha male and that nothing will happen to him any longer and he's safe, I feel like now this will be successful! Plus we'll spend more time together learning as I train him.

I think this is a good start, right?
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  #43  
Old July 28th, 2006, 10:14 AM
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mastifflover mastifflover is offline
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That is a good start and remember he did trust you and will again. You are doing great
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  #44  
Old July 28th, 2006, 11:03 AM
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LM1313 LM1313 is offline
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Good for you for realizing that you've made mistakes and being willing to change! Your dog is absolutely adorable.

Starting over from the beginning is a great idea and it sounds like learning about dog body language is really helping you.
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  #45  
Old July 28th, 2006, 12:15 PM
Prin Prin is offline
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Just remember that rewards don't always have to be cookies. They can be praise, a good belly rub, a toy, etc. You don't want to create an addict.
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