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Old January 28th, 2010, 02:12 PM
cricketsmom cricketsmom is offline
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dog growls and snaps when someone sits down next to her

Our humane society dog has some issues, but the worst is her growling and snapping when someone joins the couch when she's on it. We usually just make her get off immediately. But, that doesn't seem to be helping. Any suggestions?
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Old January 28th, 2010, 02:20 PM
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Melinda Melinda is offline
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don't allow her on the couch at all, sitting on it is a privledge and she has to earn it. Keep her down from it at all times.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 02:23 PM
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Dog Dancer Dog Dancer is offline
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Welcome to the Board Cricketsmom, and thank you for adopting your pup. You haven't give much info on your dog, and it would be good to know what breed (s) she is and her age. It sounds to me like you need to establish the dominance roles in your house with her, and this may take some time. Firstly though I would not allow her on the furniture AT ALL. Give her a bed next to the couch and that is her spot. She should not be allowed up on furniture unless she is invited to come up and she shouldn't be invited up until she learns her place in the pack. Some solid obedience classes with her would help you immensely, but make sure you only go to a class that uses positive reinforcement for training. There is a good technique you could use with your dog called NILF (Nothing in Life is Free). She must sit or shake a paw, or lay down, for everything. Want to go outside, sit first, then go outside. Want a cookie, sit first, then get a cookie. There are many people here who will be able to give you better advice than I can, but your girl needs to learn she's a dog and the couch is yours first, hers last. She'll get there, have patience!
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Old January 28th, 2010, 02:33 PM
cricketsmom cricketsmom is offline
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Thanks for your welcome. My dog is a 1 yr old Jack Russell Terrier mix. We have had her since Aug.2009. She has come a long way with a lot of behavior issues, but this one is a toughy. Thanks for the advice. I'll try it, but she really, really wants to be on the couch.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 02:47 PM
Chris21711 Chris21711 is offline
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Originally Posted by cricketsmom View Post
Thanks for your welcome. My dog is a 1 yr old Jack Russell Terrier mix. We have had her since Aug.2009. She has come a long way with a lot of behavior issues, but this one is a toughy. Thanks for the advice. I'll try it, but she really, really wants to be on the couch.
We have a JRT that is a new member of the family, tenacious little guys that they are . Ours sits with me on the sofa at night and will sometimes growl at one of the other guys if they are near, I make him get down and WILL NOT allow him back up regardless of what he wants.

If it were me, I wouldn't let your girl up at all until she lightens up.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 03:05 PM
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Ditto to the advice above

It is absolutely awesome that you adopted your dog One thing that is very important to remember though is that rescued dogs are typically coming from a life of instability and having to look out for themselves. Therefore, in your home they will be trying to figure out where they fit in. If you don't make it clear, then they will assume that the role of top dog (as they are used to being) is the best choice.

The fact of the matter is that a dog that is in this position is not going to be as happy as one that has been shown what it's place is. The position of alpha requires effort to maintain, whereas a dog that knows it is part of the pack and someone else is in charge of all the decisions can be happy just simply being a dog.

I would definately restrict your girl's freedoms and implement NILF techniques. I know that our rescue girl was a MUCH happier dog after about three months with us, once she understood her position. She became eager to please and was clearly thrilled everytime she knew she did! Much better than the nervous thing she was at first, who was always fighting to take control.

Good luck - it will get better!

(Oh, and this doesn't mean she will never be able to cuddle with you on your couch - she just needs time to learn that she only gets to do it on YOUR terms!)
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Old February 3rd, 2010, 07:58 AM
cricketsmom cricketsmom is offline
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Ok, I bought her a dog bed to put next to the couch. That is going pretty well, except for her sneaking on the couch when I'm not looking. I make her get off immediately. She acts really guilty, and slinks around after that. I've also caught her chewing a few holes in the new bed. (She likes to chew up a lot of things, especially kleenex. She has a lot of toys but prefers to chew other things.)

I will look into dog obedience classes next. But, I am really disallusioned with this dog. My husband has about had it with her growling and snapping about things.She tends to be moody. Some days go really well and she's happy,others she's grumpy.

Part of the problem is, we are starting over with this dog after losing our very excellent 10 yr old lab/boxer mx to insulinoma last spring. We raised her from a pup and had no behavioral issues other than chewing. I probably should have stayed with a bigger breed dog. But thought a smaller/older dog would be easier to manage. Ha
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Old February 3rd, 2010, 11:29 AM
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Try not to compare her to your other dog - you'll just drive yourself crazy. Remember that there's no way of knowing what her experiences were before you got her and that she is a totally different dog.

I also think it's important to not think of small dogs as small dogs. They're just dogs, and all the same rules apply.

I think OB classes will really help deal with her issues as well as help you become more bonded with her.
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Old February 7th, 2010, 07:48 AM
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R. Bear R. Bear is offline
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Obedience classes are a great idea, and you should also have a strict exercise regimin for this very active breed. And as everyone else has recommended, no furniture for her! Everything this dog wants must be earned, including going through a doorway, getting food, and even getting affection. Have her sit often especially on walks. You have to show this little one she is not Alpha!!
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Old February 7th, 2010, 07:55 AM
Beauceron Beauceron is offline
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Originally Posted by cricketsmom View Post
Our humane society dog has some issues, but the worst is her growling and snapping when someone joins the couch when she's on it. We usually just make her get off immediately. But, that doesn't seem to be helping. Any suggestions?
By making the dog leave you are only reinforcing it's perception that it's a resource that needs to be guarded. It may also feel threatened. I'd wager that you would get the same reaction on the floor, if you made the dog move when you sat beside it. Either way, I would suggest that when you go to sit beside the dog, you carry hot dogs and feed it. Leave, and do it again 10X per session. It will soon learn that people sitting beside bring good things.
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Old February 7th, 2010, 07:37 PM
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I'd wager that you would get the same reaction on the floor, if you made the dog move when you sat beside it.
I'm willing to bet the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beauceron View Post
Either way, I would suggest that when you go to sit beside the dog, you carry hot dogs and feed it. Leave, and do it again 10X per session. It will soon learn that people sitting beside bring good things.
Excellent advice!

Cricketsmom, are you only asking your dog off the couch because of the growling? Or do you not want her there at all?

If you can do the exercises Beauceron suggests, and once she's no longer growling, you can always teach her the "up" and "off" cues for the times you need her to get off the couch (when you have visitors, while vacuuming, etc). In the same manner, you'd use yummy treats to teach her this so she sees it as fun rather than feeling threatened.
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 02:57 AM
sbtb_eman sbtb_eman is offline
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I would agree with Luckypenny IF the couch was the only issue. Cricket mentioned also the kleenex issue and chewing other things.

What Dog Dancer said at the beginning I think applies more to this dog, she needs to know her level in the pack. I'm a big guy and I was also frustrated with our dog until I learned about dominating and HOW to dominate. (Bark Busters)

If you are leaning towards teaching the dog not to go on the couch and she sneaks when you are not looking, you need to train her by pretending not to look and when she just goes in front of the couch BEFORE she jumps up, come out from behind the wall and say NO or whatever your "no" command is. Try to stage it as much as possible and she should learn.
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