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Old December 9th, 2008, 12:03 PM
curleetop curleetop is offline
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Resource Guarding - Humans

Here is the situation.
My partner and I took in an Australian Shepherd named Levy two weeks ago. She’s just turning one and she came from a young man who I’m fairly sure spent the last year ignoring Levy for the most part. When he wanted her to get out of the way he would boot her with his foot (that seems the extent of the attention he gave her)
All in all she’s an excellent dog. She learns quickly and super friendly and seems happy with us. She’s picked up “sit” and “lay down” with verbal and hand signals and she’s now getting “head down” as well. I’m starting her on clicker training too, as she’s both affection and food motivated.
She’s also been slowly introduced to our two cats (very slowly) and she’s actually doing fine with them at this point.

The issue that has come up with resource guarding but with a twist. She’s guarding anyone around her from other dogs (including the dog’s owner) If I am standing and a dog comes up to say hi to me, where ever Levy is, she’ll run over and stand in between us. If the dog goes then to her own owner for attention, Levy will sidle over and slide herself in between. She’s not unfriendly to the dogs at all outside of this situation, but at some point she snaps a warning at the other dog. We’ve been trying to pet both dogs at once or re-direct her attention but I’m not sure if we’re treating her/this situation correctly.

Any advice?
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Old December 9th, 2008, 12:16 PM
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babymomma babymomma is offline
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when she is trying to push herself in between another dog to get attention, just simply dont give her any, dont give her the attention that she is pushing for and give her loads of it when she has calmed down and ignored the other dogs. Best of luck

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Old December 9th, 2008, 12:18 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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Hi and thank you for finally giving this young soul a good loving home.

When she does this, is she on a leash? What type of collar and leash are you using? From there I may be able to assist.

Thanks.
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Old December 9th, 2008, 12:43 PM
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K9 Love K9 Love is offline
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I agree with babymomma.

When dogs do a particular behaviour you don't enjoy, ignore it and most definitely do not reinforce it. Immediately reward with praise and patting if she moves away or becomes indifferent to the other dogs presence.

To speed the process up, you can set this situation up but have her on leash, let her run around with the leash dangling, attached to a flat buckle collar to prevent injury. When the other dog nears you and she butts inbetween, take her leash, bring her over to a particular spot perhaps 10 feet away, place her in a sit stay, then head back to other dog. If she gets up, you correct as you would with any broken stay. Once you GET to the other dog, don't talk to it or touch it, immediately return to Levy, do not verbally praise, simplly hand her a treat, repeat stay, then head back to the other dog.

Repeat the above three or four times, never breaking stride, meaning, don't ever stop excercise mode. Then when you approach the dog, pat it's head once. Return to Levy treat. After a minute or two (you should be moving very fast, I would say if she only breaks the sit once or twice, you should be able to repeat the process three or four times in a two minute period). Release her from the stay, let the dogs go play, then start it all over again.

You nearing other dogs = your pleased and she gets treats.
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Old December 9th, 2008, 12:45 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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All advice is good but still the question remains if the dog is on leash when this happens and what type of leash and collar is used.
In order for anyone to trouble shoot these are important factors.
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Old December 9th, 2008, 01:28 PM
curleetop curleetop is offline
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I’m not sure how much she’s actually been socialized with other dogs. Her former owner lived in the basement suite of friends of ours and they owned an 8 month old puppy that would not leave her alone, wanting to play at all times and nipping at her etc. and this may have been her only socialization. She’s actually incredibly calm for just turning one on December 20th and will play by herself but doesn’t seem to want to engage in play with other dogs. She will approach them, or let them approach. She allows them to sniff, she sniffs in return, so she’s not what I would consider dog aggressive. She’s not pushy about it all either, she just kind of slowly slides her way in, or maneuvers herself closer.

We got her two weeks ago today. We kept pretty close to home, working on the introduction to the cats. We also worked on the basic sit/stay/come commands. Last Friday we went to an outdoor gathering at a friend’s place. There were two dogs and a puppy also there and she greeted them nicely. Our friend’s lab “P” wanted to play with her, but she wasn’t interested. She really just wanted to go around smelling things and going from person to person for some attention. She was listening ok, considering the many distractions around, and she was on leash.

Later in the evening I was sitting on a chair, and a very dog savvy friend was sitting next to me with his dog, also on a leash. Levy was sitting between my friend and I and the other dog was just moving around her owner on the opposite side of my friend. Levy was getting attention from my friend and I, who was also giving me some tips on training. I’m not sure where my friend’s dog was exactly, but Levy snapped at her. Definitely not a bite, more like the warning snap in the air. I made her lay down on the other side of my seat and ignored her for the next 15 minutes.
Something similar happened a bit later on with the lab “P”…

On Sunday we were at the home of “P”, for many hours (working on installing a floor) and she seemed to be ok. She was off leash in their house and was quite good for most of the day, but at some point after many hours of being fine she snapped again. I was working on “sharing attention” but I’m now guessing that I need to try the ignoring method.

We’re visiting friends with the lab tonight so I’ll have to try this out K-9 Love. I just want to make what I’m doing is not going to make it worse.
Thanks for the advice!
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Old December 9th, 2008, 01:37 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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Well there is two types of training methods. One that K9 Love teaches and the other which does not pussy foot around.

Go with the advice that is given and let us know what the results are.
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Old December 9th, 2008, 02:57 PM
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Sounds to me like this dog never learned how to play with other dogs, in addition to being starved for attention from humans. She may have been taken from her litter mates too soon and then never socialized with other dogs, or given much attention. So instead of seeing dogs as potential playmates, she views them as competition for the human attention that she craves.

My rescue dog, Malone, exhibits pretty much this same behavior. He does not like any other dog getting attention from people, period. The only difference I see is that he won't snap at the other dog, he just gets more insistent about pushing the other dog away or getting in between the dog and the person.

You may find that as your dog becomes more confident that she is loved, this behavior may lessen. Malone is very possessive of me or my husband when in our house, but if we are out camping or doing some other activity, he isn't nearly as bad. He's learned that pushing his way to the front of the line (when I have my sons dogs, there are 4 doggies wanting luvs and kisses) doesn't get him anywhere so he just sits and waits for his turn most of the time. He's still definitely a velcro dog but he's getting better.

The only thing I would caution is to not punish your dog for being possessive. I know that others here disagree, but a lot of information that I have read on training talks about how dogs learn by association. If your dog gets punished every time another dog is around, she may come to view other dogs as a danger to her (other dogs = bad things happen, or other dogs = my humans get mad so I better keep other dogs away). I know that some people prefer negative reinforcement training but IMO that doesn't make a dog want to do something because you want it to, that makes a dog do something so that an undesirable thing is avoided.

Good Luck!
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Old December 9th, 2008, 03:01 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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No trainer believes in negative reinforcement - actually there is no such thing as this.

Go for the PR method. It may take a little longer to get the results but since the dog is now in a forever home and there is plenty of 'time' to train then go for it. It certainly could do no harm.
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Old December 9th, 2008, 03:28 PM
kandy kandy is offline
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Negative reinforcement is simply punishing your dog for an unwanted behavior, whether the punishment is verbal or physical. The school of thought is that dog will learn that the behavior results in punishment and will work to avoid that punishment. Shock collars, prong collars, pinch collars and training tools of that sort are all negative reinforcement tools IMO. There is no doubt that negative reinforcement training methods are effective at curbing unwanted behavior - my aversion to them is simply that I want my dogs to be eager to do whatever I want them to, not do something out of fear that they'll be punished if they don't.
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Old December 9th, 2008, 03:42 PM
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luckypenny luckypenny is offline
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When I cuddled with one of my dogs, Lucky, on the couch, and he happened to snap at another, I'd go "hey!" and he was pushed off so quickly he didn't know what happened. My lesson to him, keep up with that behavior and you get no attention. Now if he allowed another dog to approach, I'd praise him profusely and treat him occasionally. What did he learn? To associate a dog approaching with continued attention and bonuses. A lesson so well learned that he now allows his sisters to climb over him to get some attention too .

It only took one incident for him to "get it."
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Old December 9th, 2008, 03:51 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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There are many schools of thought on training methods. I have yet have anyone that is a big advocate of PR training actually show me how to 'positively' stop a dog from the seconds of attack on another. When I see it I'll believe it...yet everyone avoids answering this.

Also the belief about the prong collar (though I do not use them due to the stigma) are not harsh if USED PROPERLY. Same goes for chockers etc.

I am not even going to bother on helping this person as to a quick method as there are far too many judgements here. I believe in correcting and NOT always dotting over the dog. Rewarding is ok for some training but not all period.
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Old December 9th, 2008, 03:59 PM
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I like to let my guys know immediately when I'm displeased but I think it's equally important to let them know when they've done something right.

I don't think the op started this thread to debate positive/negative reinforcement. Just looking for ideas if she's doing things right with her dog .

Btw, thanks curleetop, for taking her away from an unloving home into one as conscientious as yours . We'd love to see pics of Levy .
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Old December 9th, 2008, 04:03 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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True enough however I asked a specific question without response. Though I would have loved to help I feel it no longer necessary. But thanks for pointing it out LP. Now I will stay out.
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Old December 9th, 2008, 04:11 PM
curleetop curleetop is offline
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I think your jumping to conclusions on whether I would listen to your advice or not. Frankly, I may listen, I may not. If I ask for advice it’s likely I will look at each option and choose what seems to have the most chance of working. And if something I try doesn’t work, likely I’ll try the other options next.

I’d be interesting in hearing your methods, would you consider sending your method to me privately? I’d like to know all the options.

As I said previously, she was on a leash outside the first time, and off leash inside the second time.
She’s also on a chain collar, which she had when we got her. I know some people have opinions on them, but I don’t think one way or the other on them. She’s not a puller so it’s never become an issue either way.

And here she is after playing in the snow
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Old December 9th, 2008, 04:15 PM
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And here she is after playing in the snow
OMD!!! She's absolutely precious! I love her partially pink nostrils .
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Old December 9th, 2008, 04:18 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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I am leaving now for home however I will absolutely tell you how I would handle. I mostly work with aggressive dogs so this one is very easy and fast to correct. I will get back to you tomorrow.

Thanks.
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Old December 9th, 2008, 04:23 PM
curleetop curleetop is offline
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The kid who bought her loved her in his way but he was extremely young and had no idea what he was doing. I think she was smarter then he was!
I expect that after a year with him it’s not surprising that she’s got some issues. It’s only been two weeks and most people that knew her from before don’t believe it’s the same dog. She’s calmer, doesn’t jump up on people anymore and is all around a happier dog and I’m sure we’ll figure this out. I don’t even blame her for acting this way.

I definitely want to “nip it in the butt” and I don’t want to make a mistake that causes her to become scare or aggressive around other dogs, so a great big open mind here!

And yes, she’s absolutely adorable!
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Old December 9th, 2008, 04:25 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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I don't have internet at home so I cannot help you at this moment. I am certain that LP can vouche for me. Hang tight - it's easy to fix without being 'mean'.
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Old December 9th, 2008, 04:31 PM
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It’s only been two weeks and most people that knew her from before don’t believe it’s the same dog. She’s calmer, doesn’t jump up on people anymore and is all around a happier dog and I’m sure we’ll figure this out.
Most often, consistency and rules makes a dog happier and more willing/eager to learn. You're definitely on the right track.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 12:40 AM
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Well there is two types of training methods. One that K9 Love teaches and the other which does not pussy foot around.

Go with the advice that is given and let us know what the results are.
What exactly are you trying to say Ben Max? In my opinion, you ARE pussy footing around with your words

There are particular ways that I handle issues that I will never post on a board like this, perhaps in discussion but NEVER to advise someone else to do with their dog. We give advice here, NONE of us have met the dog personally, seen it interact with dogs, know it's history, do not personally know the owners, their lifestyle, if there are children present and the extent of their experience with dogs.

I hardly consider what I posted to be pussy footing. It's merely an EXCERCISE that influences a dog's perception in this particular situation, about other dogs.

I never claimed that it was the end all of the behaviour. I just have reluctant feelings to advise someone that I don't know, with a dog that I don't know, to go around checking their dog with a prong collar whenever a strange dog comes near.

I don't believe, although I'll go back and re-read the OP, that this dog has ever attacked another dog. If he has, and somehow I missed that important fact, I would not advise to have this dog loose around other dogs period until the behaviours been worked on, tested, tried and true, and I assure you it would take more then a few checks with a prong IMO.

I don't fully buy into negative associations when it comes to harsh corrections for reactive/aggressive behaviours, but I most definitely believe that if done improperly, it will cause a heck of a lot more damage, then not doing the positive excercise I posted.

I could write a page and a half about what I, personally would do with a dog like this, but I seriously doubt anyone would want to read it! ROFL So I try to keep it short, simple, to the point and with as little risk as possible to the dog, owner and anyone else that might come into contact with the dog. Just my outlook on it of course.

ETA - I can't give you an answer as to how PR trainers stop a dog from attacking, you know why? Because I'm not a "purely positive" trainer! lol. I can tell you what I would do, but I have a feeling those PR people wouldn't like it much! ROFL! This is a completely different situation to me though. This dog is not attacking, it's warning which means there's still time to positively change this dog's perception. I agree that with some cases you have to give tough love to get REAL, reliable results rather then constantly nagging and pleading, but I just don't see this as a case that requires that type of mentality.

Last edited by K9 Love; December 10th, 2008 at 12:44 AM.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 04:37 AM
aslan aslan is offline
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K9 love if you would like to have a personal conversation with benmax that is what the pm system is for not the op's thread. I don't believe any one mentioned negative reinforcement.
Curleetop what i'm reading doesn't sound like a HUGE issue yet, but i did say yet. If it's possible and you can afford it I would highly recommend taking your beautiful dog to an obedience course. As an ex-groomer i like benmax have had to deal with extremely aggressive dogs and there is no 2 second quick fix to any behavior. A good trainer can help you out with her little issue and will actually help with your bonding process.

Until then if you approach another dog make sure yours is on the leash, dog does behavior, tell her/him no and use your leg to to gently( so i don't get bashed) push the dog aside and command to sit. Don't make a big deal about it. both an over abundance of positive or negative reinforcement can escalate the issue. There are some excellent dog people here, read what they say, take what you need and throw the rest away.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 06:36 AM
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Blackdog22 Blackdog22 is offline
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I think many owners and hobby trainers are very naive when it comes to compulsion and dog training. I see alot of people throwing words and phrases around but I doubt if most know the proper function and meaning of those words.

Has nobody here heard of the NILF method? OP, I am suggesting that you research this method. Im not sure if we are allowed to post training links on this site, if we are then I will post a link to a very informative site that will help you understand what you are dealing with and how to combat it. If Im not allowed to post it feel free to PM me. You must teach this resource gaurder that it has NO resource's to gaurd because it is but a low ranking pack member with no right to gaurd and nothing to own. You need to step up and prove to this dog that you are a fair and level headed leader whom can handler his own. Because this is a new dog, you have to expect it to feel out its spot in the pack. He doesnt know your an adept leader, and he certainly isnt going to assume that (thats the great thing about dogs, they dont assume silly things). It is 100% normal for a dog to assume he is a higher rank then he is, especially a new dog with a new owner. This is but a minor dominance problem.
A good way to enforce leadership is to practice OB, in a fun motivational way.

Now back to compulsion.
Whether some would not like to admit it, some dogs NEED corrections. Some dogs are extremely hard and in some situations these dogs will ONLY respect corrections. For instance, if your dog attacks someone going "oh no poopsiekins please dont maul my friend thats very naughty and you wont get this tasty treat" is not likely to get a dogs attention when the defense drive is stimulated. In a situation like this I think few would argue that compulsion is nessecary.

Compulsion is not limited to situations with aggression.
Many dogs are just hard and need a clear black and white perspective on things. Light compulsion can be a great tool for the advanced OB competitor, to tighten up the routine. For dominant dogs, I think it's nessecary to match there dominance with a sutable correction. Correction do not always have to be physical, infact the rule of thumb is to only correct to the severity of the problem. For a slight dominance tuft, I would likely just do some OB.

tbs, most folk's do not know how to correct a dog. They watch "Ceaser Millan" and figure correcting a dog consists of pointing a finger and going "shhhhhh". Worse then that are the folks who take advice from strangers and proceed to wreath on the choke chain of the dog. Or the folks who go out and buy a prong, only to leave it on there dog as a permanent fixture.

Dog training is not easy. A regim must be made custom for your dog, as methods will only work if it fits the drives of your dog.
Only you know your dog and what will work for her. Do lots of reading before following any advice or you may end up digging yourself a training hole.

Its early and I apologize for the grammer. I have been up since 3.
I will likely be regretting this post, so do expect me back to clear some things up as Im sure my post is not very clear.

Have a great day everyone and I hope you and your pups are enjoying the snow as much as I am.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 08:21 AM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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Blackdog22 obviously has insight and some very informative points and probably (from what I read) has had exposure to certain behaviours and a clear understanding on correction for some dogs.

Firstly it is important to understand that this dog is now 'settling'. Dogs that come from abusive or neglected homes are usually on their best behaviour for the first 2 weeks and then little unwanted behaviours appear little by little. It is very important that they are corrected immediately and that this correction is consistant.

I must say that in order to trouble shoot this particular problem it is important to know what type of collar this dog has and if the dog was on a leash when greeting humans and their dogs. Since I am not clear on this I will answer regardless however it remains an important piece of information.

Firstly the leash should not be an extended lead. If you have a regular collar on the dog then ensure that it is positioned high situated just below the ears. The leash should be held loosely however held closer to the dog. When you and the dog greets someone ensure that the dog is in a sit position. Do not let him/her get infront of you. Position your body so that if the dog tries to greet or step in front of you, you can use your leg to push him/her aside back into the original position. As soon as you feel the dog move to greet use the word 'back' and at the same time push the dog back and then tell the dog to sit. I do not feel that praising the dog is necessary at all since it does not merit a treat.

If you require using the leash and collar to assist you in getting the dog 'back' also try to use your body as well.

I do not believe in praising with a good girl/boy nor a treat in this instance. If infact dogs associate negative with an encounter then they can certainly associate positive with a negative encounter and then know that they get a 'treat'.

I hope that this is helpful. If this sounds confusing pass the following to your friend that is also a trainer and they will be able to sift through and get what I am trying to say.

I wish you the best of luck and please keep us updated.

Best to you and thank you for rescueing (because you absolutely did) this worthy young soul.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 08:41 AM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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Thanks for someone PMing me about what type of collar. The chocker is effective if used correctly. Please ask your friend to show you how to use it if you require so.

While in the home, with the presence of other people or dogs I would definately tether the dog to me and continue the reinforcement of not approaching anyone for attention until you give them the ok to do so. Also if she snaps again, you can correct her immediately. Again I would not give any treats. I would correct and ignore.

Ignoring is fine for some issues however not for one where there is snapping. This behaviour can escalate if not checked immediately and consistantly.

Last edited by BenMax; December 10th, 2008 at 08:49 AM.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 09:44 AM
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Blackdog22 Blackdog22 is offline
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I agree with your method BenMax, what your suggesting is something of a simple pyschological correction utilizing clear body language and pack structure that the dog will understand only using a correction when one is needed (is this an accurate summary of what you are suggesting? ). Your also 100% right about the dog being on her "p's and q's" so to speak, it is highly important to lay down a firm foundation in structure, especially if the dog is showing dominance. When most people bring home a new pet they dote on it and often let them get away with things that they later would correct for, then 3 weeks later when the animal is defiant and displaying undesriable behaviours they are shocked!
I still think the OP should be using the NILF method .......Be firm now, be happy later. Is it okay to post links? I think the OP would really benefit from some of the articles I have found.....

I would like to let everyone know, as I am new here and may come across too strong for some.....I am by no means suggesting that you be hard on your dog. Being a good leader means being fair. Though I correct my dogs when they are out of line, they are still my babies and are treated as such.
As far as my experience with dogs? It is limited as I am still very young and pre-occupied with other things in my life (Im 19 'nuff said), but someday I hope to be a well respected dog trainer. That being said, Im sorry if I "jump" into topics like this....I am still learning and deal with similar dominance issue's myself sometimes, so I like to hear others perspective on such things.
I own 2 working line GSD. They have taught me so much about dog training and pack dynamics. My boy is 1 year old and quite the firecracker', I have high hopes for him as he is my first competition dog.

Knowing my experience, I hope people reading this take what I say as purely novice ramble and more of a question then any sort of advice.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 09:46 AM
aslan aslan is offline
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blackdog, yes you can post a link aslong as it isn't promoting a business or selling something. Educational is totally acceptable.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 09:54 AM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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Originally Posted by Blackdog22 View Post
I agree with your method BenMax, what your suggesting is something of a simple pyschological correction utilizing clear body language and pack structure that the dog will understand only using a correction when one is needed (is this an accurate summary of what you are suggesting? ). Your also 100% right about the dog being on her "p's and q's" so to speak, it is highly important to lay down a firm foundation in structure, especially if the dog is showing dominance. When most people bring home a new pet they dote on it and often let them get away with things that they later would correct for, then 3 weeks later when the animal is defiant and displaying undesriable behaviours they are shocked!
I still think the OP should be using the NILF method .......Be firm now, be happy later. Is it okay to post links? I think the OP would really benefit from some of the articles I have found.....

I would like to let everyone know, as I am new here and may come across too strong for some.....I am by no means suggesting that you be hard on your dog. Being a good leader means being fair. Though I correct my dogs when they are out of line, they are still my babies and are treated as such.
As far as my experience with dogs? It is limited as I am still very young and pre-occupied with other things in my life (Im 19 'nuff said), but someday I hope to be a well respected dog trainer. That being said, Im sorry if I "jump" into topics like this....I am still learning and deal with similar dominance issue's myself sometimes, so I like to hear others perspective on such things.
I own 2 working line GSD. They have taught me so much about dog training and pack dynamics. My boy is 1 year old and quite the firecracker', I have high hopes for him as he is my first competition dog.

Knowing my experience, I hope people reading this take what I say as purely novice ramble and more of a question then any sort of advice.
Quite frankly you are very well versed regardless of age. Some people just have that certain something with dogs (and cats) very early in life.

You can jump in anytime and share whatever you have. As Aslan clearly pointed out - take what you need and throw away the rest. I have always used this philosophy when learning different training methods and ideologies.

You have always been polite and to the point - for me that says alot for who you are and you are already well received.
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  #29  
Old December 10th, 2008, 10:10 AM
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bendyfoot bendyfoot is offline
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Originally Posted by Blackdog22 View Post

Now back to compulsion.
Whether some would not like to admit it, some dogs NEED corrections. Some dogs are extremely hard and in some situations these dogs will ONLY respect corrections. For instance, if your dog attacks someone going "oh no poopsiekins please dont maul my friend thats very naughty and you wont get this tasty treat" is not likely to get a dogs attention when the defense drive is stimulated. In a situation like this I think few would argue that compulsion is nessecary.

Compulsion is not limited to situations with aggression.
Many dogs are just hard and need a clear black and white perspective on things. Light compulsion can be a great tool for the advanced OB competitor, to tighten up the routine. For dominant dogs, I think it's nessecary to match there dominance with a sutable correction. Correction do not always have to be physical, infact the rule of thumb is to only correct to the severity of the problem. For a slight dominance tuft, I would likely just do some OB.

tbs, most folk's do not know how to correct a dog. They watch "Ceaser Millan" and figure correcting a dog consists of pointing a finger and going "shhhhhh". Worse then that are the folks who take advice from strangers and proceed to wreath on the choke chain of the dog. Or the folks who go out and buy a prong, only to leave it on there dog as a permanent fixture.
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  #30  
Old December 10th, 2008, 10:11 AM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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Originally Posted by bendyfoot View Post
I so agree with you bendyfoot - this gal is good.
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