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  #31  
Old May 18th, 2011, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by TeriM View Post
Definately makes sense. When we had Lucy she could be a bit of an instigator and Riley always felt the need to defend her bad choices. When we have my mom's dog Sam (littermate to Riley) I am always way more careful about other dog interactions. It's to bad you don't live closer because Chase would really benefit with a group walk that a dog class I attend does monthly. All dogs are on leash and walking forward in a brisk positive motion. It is amazing to see the confidence this gives to fearful dogs and also to dog agressive dogs .

Oh something like that would be SO good for him!

I Agree. I know that you would never do that anyway Chaser . It is important to prevent things like dog agression wherever possible because each time it happens it reinforces the behaviour. Studies have shown that brains create pathways each time a behavior is successful and then the behavior becomes automatic as the dog just reacts and doesn't think.
Yeah, that suggestion got a giant NO from me. I'll keep my other thoughts on it to myself.

Interesting about the neural pathways....I really haven't thought about the physiology behind the behaviour before. I think I can definately find opportunities for him to build confidence and have positive interactions. It will just mean splitting him up from his sister more often. Though to be honest, I've wondered for a while now if they've become too intertwined....perhaps they would benefit from more independent activites to break up their pack mentality a bit and re-train Chase's responses.
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  #32  
Old May 19th, 2011, 12:00 AM
SamIam SamIam is offline
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Chaser, two dogs together will be more confident than each one separately. So either of your dogs may not have the confidence to start a fight or even counter surf without the other one there. It is the same as with teenagers, when they cause trouble it's most often with a friend or in a gang - split them up and they don't separately add up to the trouble the group of them are. Unfortunately, bad behaviour seems to have a stronger influence, so if one dog is misbehaving and the other is not, you will more likely end up with the naughty one influencing the good one, rather than vice versa. You don't have to separate the two permanently, but in each situation where your dogs act badly together, work with them each separately until you get good, solid acceptable behaviours. Once they are back together, you may also need a little more reinforcing due to adding the complication of a buddy.
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  #33  
Old May 19th, 2011, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Chaser View Post
Okay, so Chase is the bigger problem here, but Kailey certainly plays a role. They're both going on four years. We've been in our current house for one year with no major changes...but the behaviours have been especially bad in the past six months.

1) Counter Surfing - This has been an ongoing battle with Kailey (with the whole history of homelessness and emaciation), but a new behaviour for Chase over the past six months. We have always avoided the obvious "don't leave food on the counter". But Chase - I swear out of nowhere - started stealing off the counter and coffee table recently. A muffin, bowls of fruit salad....they will both pick dirty dishes out of the sink if they don't make it into the dishwasher. But Chase is even ballsier than his sis and he will steal as soon as you turn your back.....she at least waits until we leave the house. Bear in mind she was homeless for a while, so the battle is a little more understandable with her - though still not okay. But Chase? We used to be able to leave him in a room with a plate of food for 20 minutes and he wouldn't dream of touching it. Two months ago they plucked a dozen thawing pork chops out of the sink and went and ate them in our bed!!!! Chase was also making a habit of sneaking to the basement and eating the cat's food (dish kept up on top of a workbench). We had to put up a baby gate to keep him out of that room.
Counter surfing is a pretty simple problem to fix, Yes management is number one, you need to NEVER leave anything up on the counter that the dog can get, this involves clearing the counter everytime you're not home (and the sink) if the dog surfs and there is nothing there...it's not rewarding, you can use negative reinforcement through sound (line the edge of the counter with two pop cans filled with coins attach them together with a string (booby trap) if Chase puts his paws on the string the cans will fall making a loud noise.
It's easier to manage when you're home as you can show him the appropriate behaviour, everytime he's in the kitchen and his four paws are on the ground, CLICK and reward, if you see him walking in the kitchen click and reward, you have to show him that there are rewards when he's not jumping up and when he jumps up he gets nothing. Consistency is key here.

2) Aggression - This is ALL Chase. He was well-socialized as a pup and actually was more comfortable with males dogs than other females. When we adopted Kailey he could get a bit snippy with intact males - seemed protective of his new sis. It's only gotten worse We had a friend's GSD for a day in January and Chase tackled him! Pinned him against the shed, snarling and snapping. Then they got in a fight over a stick (DH had to step in). I had to tie Chase to me the rest of the day. And poor Kailey was so upset! She liked Dexter, but when the boys fought she laid down in a corner of the yard with her paw covering her eyes. Seriously. Now SHE, the former rescue who was terrified of everything and always lashed out, can go to a dog park yet there is no way on earth Chase can now (not that I really like dog parks....but you know what I mean). He will tolerate two males that we are neighbours with...but there is a chain link fence in between. But then there are two intact bassetts that just moved in behind us and he despises them....charges the fence whenever he see them. BTW, Chase was neutered at 6 mos and Kailey was spayed as soon as we rescued her at around age one. Dexter, the GSD, is about one y.o., neutered, a tad dominant but generally well-tempered. Chase will submit to Kailey in a second, no question - he always has. But any other dog....he's become a dominant little jerk. Last time we went to a dog park (like two years ago) an intact male Setter kept bugging Kailey and Chase tore out a hunk of his fur! We though intact males were the only problem....but then he went after Dexter. Who is over twice the size of Chase by the way...
Now you have to take a step back and think....when did the behaviour START, what did you see first? Border Collie's tend to be possessive about objects and people, its' in their blood to control (thats how they move sheep and they've been bred to do for YEARS), alot of it's MINE! Much like fast movement, they feel that need to control it like they control the herd.

I need to know what type of training you have used on both dogs, domination/alpha? Ignoring behaviours? Sounds a bit like Chase is dealing with alot of stress, you need to:
#1 - STOP taking them to dog parks to let Chase fail. Everytime Chase is involved with a dog in a negative aspect, you're TEACHING him that. He doesn't learn anything good from it, it's the exact opposite, whatever his fear is he's confirming it by fighting.
#2 - you need to have more positive interactions in order to change Chases thought process

I would for the next while, have the girl close to you, since she tends to be linked with the fighting other dogs. Have Chase close, get a whistle (police whistle on the lowest setting) look for those tell tale "calm before the storm" body signs (stiff legs, ears up, tail with a slow wag, hackles sometimes up) You need to watch him like a hawk, as soon as you see these you need to divert him by blowing the whistle and redirecting him. The whistle will stop every dog and give you those few extra seconds to let his brain think.


We're having a couple other issues, but these are the main two. I'll leave it here for now. PLEASE, any advice would be so appreciated. I always felt capable and in control of my dogs....but this has just become terrible. I do think exercise is part of it and I admit their walks have been lacking between winter and me battling tendonitis in my hips and a pretty nasty dout of depression. But still.....both these issues came on pretty surprisingly for Chase and I just don't know what happened to my sweet, obedient boy!

Please just ask if you need any info or clarification.....I need to figure out where I'm going wrong here. I want to foster again but there's no way I can if I can't even control my own dogs! And no way on earth I could have a male in the house, that's for sure.
Shoot me a pm if you would like help with other behaviours, but definitely need to know what type of training you have used.
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  #34  
Old May 19th, 2011, 11:20 AM
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millitntanimist millitntanimist is offline
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I think seeing a qualified veterinary behaviorist or positive trainer who specializes in aggression is always your best bet.

but for what it's worth . . .

Block off the fences, all of them:
I think blocking the bassetts is good but I would also block the two males next door and/or visible access to the street and here's why: even if he is not reacting to them directly now, both could be creating barrier frustration which may be making him more reactive or increase his reactivity in future. It will help if you are out with him to re-direct any reaction and reward his non-reactive behavior, but the best situation for you to start working with him on his reactivity will be one where you can control all the variables. It doesn't have to be ugly. When we moved and we wanted to cover one of our fences (to prevent any barrier frustration before it even started) we picked up some willow fence from our local garden center and just laid it over the chain.
Many neutered male dogs develop inter-male aggression to entire dogs, it's really common. Other than desensitization there is not much you are going to be able to do to.

Shaping the absence (for this you will need an under control dog that Chase will react to):

What you are going to be working with here is your dog's flight distance. All animals have a radius of reactivity to a stimulus (with wild animals this radius is much larger). You need to find the edge of your dog's flight distance, this is where looking at body language will be helpful to you. Chaser will probably start signaling long before he is about to become reactive. The sweet spot will be where he can acknowledge the other dog he dislikes but still be responsive to you. Build up his non-reactive response slowly from this point by shaping the absence of the behavior you don't want: his reactivity. Every positive response (looking at you, looking at the other dog with no reaction, looking away or offering another calming signal) gets a reward (something reeeeeally yummy). Any negative reaction means you try to re-direct with a “watch me” until he stops reacting or move him back until he can focus on you again. Over a period of sessions you will try to decrease this distance until he can greet the other dog politely – obviously you should never move him directly toward the trigger, come in sideways, circling. If he wants to interact let him, but always try to end things on a positive note. Safe greeting and avoidance should be your expectation here, not sociability.
Here is a video of this procedure by Dr. Sophia Yin. Please note, as she says in her narration, she is using -R in the first demonstration because Podee is over-threshold. This is exactly what you don't want, dogs who are this aroused are incapable of learning. My personal preference is to achieve your focus without using a head halter - it disrupts a dog's body language and you really want your dog to be able to offer you their full attention without coercion - but it may be necessary if you are worried about your dog biting in excitement.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUCl6ndLN7Q
Chaser has hit adulthood, he may have decided that he does not want to interact with other male dogs, and that's ok. He needs to learn to exist with them when necessary, and to avoid when he would otherwise become reactive. Anything else is a bonus.

Depending on his drives, one strategy you could also try would be to work with him playing a focused game like fetch or doing obedience work he enjoys around his triggers (obviously not in a situation where the game could be interrupted, like the middle of the dog park). This will help him learn a positive avoidance of the things he doesn't like, teach him to focus on you, and build a better association with those triggers because they are the predictors of good things.
Playing fetch (a game she will perform any of her behaviors to initiate) around her triggers drastically improved our shiba-malinois' reactivity. However, this will not work for every dog! It has the potential to make them more reactive if they get over-aroused by the game. It just boils down to what will work best for Chaser.

A word on NILIF

NILIF is a great tool, but it I think where you can run into problems is if you start utilizing it in the abstract. Your dog will never understand that they are allowed on the couch (for example) one day and not the next. They will, however, understand that there is an expectation of them if you start asking for a good behavior (like sit) before you invite them on the couch – or, if they are on the couch already, it could be asking for an “off” whose compliance is then rewarded with couch access. The point is not to earn privileges (privilege is a human construction, your dog does not understand “ I have been good all week so I am allowed on the couch now”) or remove access to resources until they “learn their place” but to have your dog offer good behavior for the things they want of their own accord. NILIF practiced this way will instil a level of self control in the dog and associate you with all of the resources they want.

Exercise (this one's more for LP, but they would work for for you too

One thing you could try with the bike would be to find yourself a springer (http://www.springeramerica.com/). They were originally designed as shock absorbers for police officers in the UK to prevent their dogs from pulling their bikes off balance while on patrol. Also, if your dogs are pullers, you could consider investing in a few X-backs and a kicksled for next winter . Seriously, its a lot of fun and a great workout for everybody (Moro is only about 35 pounds and she can pull me and the sled with no problem, but sometimes you have to run :P)

Two books I think might really help

http://www.amazon.com/Click-Calm-Hea...5806333&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.com/Fight-Practica...5806641&sr=1-1

Good luck
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  #35  
Old May 19th, 2011, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by SamIam View Post
For management, if you know a dog who can win against Chase but fights using skill and not injury, it would help him to lose a fight.
I am going to try to respond to this statement as well as I can without getting my butt banned and/or having this edited. I have already pm'd my concerns to Marko about this but ...........

So, let me just say this particular statement is wrong in so many ways IMO. How many dogs do you know who "fight with skill"? Me personally, I know none. And I know a ton of dogs!

Dog fighting is banned/outlawed for a reason. Remember Vicks? It is abhorrent. It is dangerous. It is/can be deadly for the combatants involved. It can turn a previously happy dog around other dogs into a dog who is snappy, snarls, and goes for the throat. Even without provocation. It is plainly and simply wrong. I won't/don't feel I should have to provide proof of what I say as to most it is just common sense.

Now I'd like to share a story with you. This story is about a dog who would never consider harming another animal (besides field mice). Other dogs were welcome around her. She even put up with cats. She loved everyone and their dogs. Everyone and their dogs loved her.
One day about 10 years ago she was on the porch of her own home. Her own home folks. She left the comfort of her porch for some reason. Maybe to pee? I suppose the shepherd that was watching her from a distance felt she was fair game. Maybe he felt she was going up to his "home". I don't know. I'll never know what set him off. Anyway, he attacked this beautiful dog. This gentle dog. During the attack his partner (female) joined in. The gentle dog's owner was trying to get to her while screaming for the GD's owner to come get his dogs. By the time this attack ended this girl was left with so many injuries it took a long time for her to heal. There were around 270 stitches to various bites, tears, etc. on her body. Her chest was bruised from stem to stern. She was left a terrified, fearful dog.
Since that time this dog will not let another dog, besides ones that live with her, near her. She snarls. She snaps. She goes for the throat if not pulled back.
Why do I know this story so well? This dog is mine. I inherited her when I moved in with her owner. This incident happened just before I came to her home for the first time. I got to see first hand the damage a dog fight can do to a dog. I get to live with those results every day.
Many members and past members of Pets have met my dog. They will tell you Sammy is the most gentle, loving dog they have met. They love her. So do I. They have not seen her around another dog. I have.
Please, I beg you, before making a statement such as the one that was made - think about the possible outcome. I live with it daily. Thank you for letting me state my piece.
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  #36  
Old May 19th, 2011, 11:26 AM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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I guess good thing for the editing as I just walked into this. I am not going to provide any training techniques, tips nor suggestions. There are so many to sift through, and some suggestions are just way off.

Regardless, I will say that dogs do not always sort things out in a controlled manner. With my experiences, I can assure you that there could possibly and more than likely be one loser. That loser would be the handler as the vet bills will climb and also, the handler will have alot more problems in handling other behaviours which would manifest from dogs 'sorting things out'. To be honest, they do not sort things out the way we 'believe' they do.

That is just my - 1 cent.
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  #37  
Old May 19th, 2011, 12:55 PM
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I'm not convinced we need to focus on the 1 unpopular opinion that has already been rejected by the op. It need not become the focus of this thread imo. ...unless members choose to make it the focus... and if you do please be nice to one another.
Personally I'd rather have the thread move forward.
Thx - Marko admin
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  #38  
Old May 19th, 2011, 12:57 PM
SamIam SamIam is offline
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I could tell Chaser open-concept houses are a terrible idea. You need to put up some walls and close all the doors so you can put in the cat flap and physically block the dogs from the cat food. But you know what? I made a suggestion, Chaser said no, that one doesn't work for me. I respect that. No means no.

This thread was started so that Chaser could get some situations on how to deal with some problems that have come up with her dogs. Let's focus on what she does want to try, shall we?
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  #39  
Old May 19th, 2011, 01:15 PM
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I'm not convinced we need to focus on the 1 unpopular opinion that has already been rejected by the op. It need not become the focus of this thread imo. ...unless members choose to make it the focus... and if you do please be nice to one another.
Personally I'd rather have the thread move forward.
Thx - Marko admin
I disagree on the premise that that one unpopular suggestion, could be read and applied by a novice dog handler. I also disagree on the premise that putting two dogs at risk of injury in a situation that could easily become something it wasn't intended to be needs to be disputed. Dog fighting for ANY reason should not be condoned.
I hope I was able to articulate myself in a manner which is more acceptable this time.
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Old May 19th, 2011, 01:20 PM
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I think you articulated your point in a perfectly acceptable way.
Thx - Marko
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  #41  
Old May 19th, 2011, 02:53 PM
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Militnamist & stinkycat - thank you VERY much for taking the time to reply!

I'm doubtful I will have a chance to answer the extra questions you've given to me until tomorrow....but just a couple quick points:

- we haven't taken Chase to a dog park since he took a chunk out of that dog over a year ago....we weren't about to take risks with his or anyone else's well-being, and I do believe that dog parks can be very bad places where you can't control the environment. So no worries, we haven't been doing that! But we HAVE been isolating him, and I don't know if that's much better.

- my yard is BIG.....and to block all dogs I'd have to cover two whole sides of it. If we owned our home we wouldn't have chain link fence in the first place....but it is what it is. Weird thing is he will outright play with the Aussie directly behind us (a younger neutered male). He's not so good with the husky/lab on the one side though (neutered but a few years older and about 20 lbs. bigger).

Sorry if this seems jumbled....but I guess in addition to assistance i'm looking for the WHY in all this. Why is he fine with a few male dogs? Why can he be calm and friendly on leash surrounded by hundreds of dogs at a fundraising walk? But then try to beat up on a dog over twice his size? Or turn into a snarling beast when a male tries to hump Kailey? (who takes care of herself just fine I might add)

But anyway, I will come back as soon as I can with a little more info. This thread is giving me a lot to chew on to say the least. Thank you for all the support!!!!
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  #42  
Old May 19th, 2011, 04:01 PM
SamIam SamIam is offline
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Sorry if this seems jumbled....but I guess in addition to assistance i'm looking for the WHY in all this. Why is he fine with a few male dogs? Why can he be calm and friendly on leash surrounded by hundreds of dogs at a fundraising walk? But then try to beat up on a dog over twice his size? Or turn into a snarling beast when a male tries to hump Kailey? (who takes care of herself just fine I might add)
Kailey is "his" girl. Even neutered males will form a pair-like bond with a female they live with. Every cell in Chase's body is a male dog cell, neutering reduces the amount of testosterone he has, but does not eliminate it. It is not every dog that will be quite so protective over his girl, but yours is certainly not the only one.

Some of his behaviour is related to his need for excitement. Working border collies work hard and they are intense. In fact, many farm-working bcs are kenneled at all times when not working stock, rather than any effort being put into breeding into them the ability to just relax. Even though Chase is a mix, he has some and possibly all of that intensity and need for excitement and energy release. Offering him more exercise or more vigorous exercise may help, but it will not eliminate his desires completely.

Some dogs develop a dislike for certain breeds - black dogs, poodles, tiny dogs, and Chase may have certain neutral criteria - one being large size - that he associates with a dog he wants to challenge. In addition, he will watch for the other dog's behaviour. He may use body language to say "Hey, wanna fight me?" and then watch for the answer. Most dogs would fight if the other dog says yes, though some are bullies and prefer to take on a dog who won't do much to defend themselves.

In a crowd of dogs there are so many signals from so many dogs that if he gave out the dominant ready-to-fight signals, 4 dogs might accept his challenge at once and he knows better. Taking on just one, even a big one, he considers a safer bet. Maybe two at a time, but with the bassets he is also very well aware that the fence will protect him.

I hope I did not frighten you with my suggestion to put him in a situation where he will lose. I am rather surprised that no-one commenting here has met a large dog who can do the job safely, as I was quite clear you would have to be confident in the other dog's behaviour. In the end your own inhibitions are probably more on the lines of a protective mother, and that I understand completely. However, please understand that every time you step in to break up a fight, it is very likely that Chase sees this as back-up and support in helping him win, no matter what you say to him while you are doing it. In his mind, he has won every single fight. Be very vigilant to prevent these confrontations before they start, rather than depending on stepping in half-way.

You will see improvement when you have established
Come when I call you no matter what you are in the middle of
Sit is the appropriate greeting for a dog you don't like
Don't touch unless I say it's okay
Watch me rather than eying those other dogs

His challenges are new because he has reached social maturity, a natural point of development that all dogs go through. He will never be the same dog he was a year ago, but he can and will improve from what you are seeing today.
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  #43  
Old May 19th, 2011, 04:24 PM
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chaser the why is a million dollar question. i had an 70 lb airedale my sis had 2 mini schnauzers the male one was alpha, not aggressive with other dogs but if another dog tried to approach either my dog or my sisters other schnauzer he would step in the way to protect them.
milan has said to watch the body language and how the other dog is approaching if it is looking straight eye to eye that would be challenging your dog and he could be reacting to that challenge
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  #44  
Old May 19th, 2011, 09:41 PM
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millitntanimist millitntanimist is offline
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I've agreed with many of your points regarding this post but . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by SamIam View Post
He may use body language to say "Hey, wanna fight me?" and then watch for the answer. Most dogs would fight if the other dog says yes, though some are bullies and prefer to take on a dog who won't do much to defend themselves.
Animals do not do this.
Most dogs are capable of killing each other very easily (even our chihuahua/dachshund can crack cow bones with his teeth), thus, they have a whole system of body language and social cues to prevent real fights from starting. In the wild, any fight for any reason usually means the death of one of the participants - even a small cut can fester and kill. Most aggressive display is posturing to say "hey, i'm not worth getting into so back off." There is a lot of air snapping and grappling but usually very little real body contact. There are always exceptions, but almost no animal will willingly start a fight without trying to resolve the issue another way first, they will not risk being injured or killed.

It may be that the dogs Chaser is reactive to are sending body signals that indicate they will not respect his boundaries, so he pre-empts. It may be that certain dogs are harder for him to read and that makes him nervous, so he pre-empts. It may be that he is being possessive over resources. Regardless of the reason your strategy will be the same - teach him a better reaction.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SamIam View Post
In his mind, he has won every single fight.
Animals don't care about winning or being "better" than other animals, that is a human construction.
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  #45  
Old May 19th, 2011, 11:42 PM
SamIam SamIam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by millitntanimist View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamIam
In his mind, he has won every single fight.
Animals don't care about winning or being "better" than other animals, that is a human construction.
What I was getting to with that comment was that he has a history of reward. Coming out on top is rewarding; losing is punishing. Breaking up the fight will stop any possibility of injury, but IMO he will still add one more rewarding experience to his bad habit. So, important to avoid the start of the physical conflict and also the initial posturing/growling that leads up to it. Does that make more sense?
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Old May 20th, 2011, 03:55 AM
reanne reanne is offline
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I just wanted to let you know that overcoming counter surfing is possible!!! Ridgebacks are professional counter surfers, and Whistler was the best of the best when he was younger. He not only ate everything off the counter and took things out of the sink, but he also opened up cupboards, including the high ones, and stole food out of there. Now, I could leave a pile of steaks on the counter and leave him alone with them and he wouldn't touch them. However, this was a behaviour he came with, not one he developed later. I unfortunately can't really tell you why he stopped-I can't really remember what I did except that I did have a stay out of the kitchen rule for a long time.

Good luck!
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  #47  
Old May 20th, 2011, 07:25 AM
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millitntanimist millitntanimist is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Kitchener, ON
Posts: 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamIam View Post
What I was getting to with that comment was that he has a history of reward. Coming out on top is rewarding; losing is punishing. Breaking up the fight will stop any possibility of injury, but IMO he will still add one more rewarding experience to his bad habit. So, important to avoid the start of the physical conflict and also the initial posturing/growling that leads up to it. Does that make more sense?
Ah, yes it does
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