(Sigh) My older dog is resource guarding my GSD pup - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 12-09-2012, 04:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy (Sigh) My older dog is resource guarding my GSD pup

So we took our golden and our GSD pup for some off leash play with a few other dogs today(two were puppies of similar age to Ollie). It was the first time for Ollie playing with new dogs off leash, he was a little shy at first then got in the swing of things and started playing with one of the puppies.

Now our golden resource guards toys and food from other dogs but we've never had a problem with him "protecting" one of our other dogs before. Anytime another dog came near Ollie the golden would stop what he was doing and would butt in on the other dog and Ollie. He growled at one dog trying to play with Ollie and he snapped at another dog Ollie was just sniffing and hanging around, this dog was a puppy and wasn't doing anything wrong.

This all happened within the time frame of 10 minutes so we wern't just sitting back and watching it happen. I guess I am a complete idiot for not expecting my golden to react this way but he's never done this before... After he snapped at the other puppy we left right away and don't plan to ever bring him back.

I am just so depressed because we worked so hard at socializing Sam(the golden), he's been around tons of dogs, had multiple training classes and I'm just beyond frustrated with his aggression. He was a rescue probably from a backyard breeder so I guess maybe its just poor breeding and a temperament flaw?

Everyone I've tried to ask for help and advice with this either doesn't really help or says this is something that can't be helped and its all management. I do NILIF with him also but it doesn't seem to be helping any.

I'm just sad at the prospect that he'll never be able to run and be off leash around other dogs. It's very densely populated here and there's only one place we can safely take him but its two hours drive each way and gets ungodly hot in the summer so we can only go during the "colder" months.

Anyways I'm very sad and just needed to vent... There is the option of a private trainer but even with that I don't think I'll ever be able to trust him and I can't in good conscious re-home him with these issues. If I lived out in the country with land it wouldn't matter, I just don't have that luxury here.
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have three dogs in the household and when the rough housing starts to get out of hand with two of them, the third steps in to stop it. It doesn't matter which two or one it is, they all do it. I'm not sure that the golden was so much resource guarding the puppy, but maybe protecting it? I had a lab that took my golden under his wing and the golden would hide behind him when he was scared. As the golden got older the lab let him grow up. How is the golden if you bring him by himself to the dog park?
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Agree with Llombardo. We have three dogs i the house and occasionally do sit my son's pit bull puppy. When any of them start getting too rambunctious playing Benny intervenes like the "fun police" He is the leader of our dog pack and feels he needs to correct the others when they get too amped up.
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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True, I just thought that protecting and resource guarding weren't all together very different but Sam does love this pup a whole lot and at first Ollie was a little timid so maybe Sam picked up on that and went into guard mode.

The problem is he snapped at and scared the other puppy and I KNOW that he will bite that's why I got him out of there right away. He has bitten Ollie a couple times over a resource. We try and manage as best we can but we can't always predict what he will decide to guard... He snapped at my chi mix over a tiny piece of cardboard he found on the floor once. Occasionally he will guard the water dish too and I can't exactly not keep water down. So that's kind of where I'm wondering if a trainer or behaviorist could help.

He's ok at the park as long as there are no toys involved, that's one reason we rarely take him and only when it's either empty or very few dogs. The park was pretty deserted today and when he growled at the other dog we moved to the other side which was empty. But he's not going anymore, it's just too much of a risk... I guess it'll just be Ollie who gets to have fun off leash. :/
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If the lab is well trained you should be able to layer in an E collar to correct the behavior, if your opposed to that go with a muzzle, if your opposed to that too, then yea looks like he'll be missing out. =(
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm sorry to hear you're having more problems with Sam. I can understand your frustration at having to keep him out of 'fun zones'. Funny, since you were worried about protecting Ollie from him before, and now he's protecting Ollie. A personal trainer may be the way to go, but I agree that the dog park days are probably over for Sam. I don't like them and haven't ever gone to one... but I realize that a lot of people do like them and use them. I hope things improve for you!
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carriesue View Post
We try and manage as best we can but we can't always predict what he will decide to guard... He snapped at my chi mix over a tiny piece of cardboard he found on the floor once. Occasionally he will guard the water dish too and I can't exactly not keep water down. So that's kind of where I'm wondering if a trainer or behaviorist could help.

:/
My golden was used to having all the toys in the house, then along came the GSD and she now wants all the toys to be hers. I can have 50 toys out and she will want the one he has. At first he was not happy with this turn of events, but I stayed on top of it and he now lets her have the toys and goes and gets another one. He has never guarded food, water, bones, or people. Goldens are a nice size dog, at least mine is, and I feel he is(which I didn't before)a good deterrent. I think some training is needed and probably sooner then later.
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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There's a difference between resource guarding and protecting his puppy
IMO it has nothing to do with him being a backyard bred dog or having bad breeding!

Protecting a puppy is an instinctive behaviour, I used to go to a training class where they let all the dogs run around off lead - the dominant dog of the class would always "break up" dogs that were playing rough etc. Or if one of the puppies was getting "distressed " or harassed they would butt in too.
It was interesting to watch but I did not feel like my dog was safe in that environment so I stopped going.

For the moment I would not take the older dog to the off lead area when you take the pup your puppy needs to learn to cope out on his own too and not have his "big brother" as backup
Sam may be better once puppy gets a bit older (I don't know how old your pup is) but then you have to watch that the 2 of them don't "gang up" on other dogs.
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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is the Golden ok with other dogs when the pup isn't there?
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:10 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooch View Post
There's a difference between resource guarding and protecting his puppy
IMO it has nothing to do with him being a backyard bred dog or having bad breeding!

Protecting a puppy is an instinctive behaviour, I used to go to a training class where they let all the dogs run around off lead - the dominant dog of the class would always "break up" dogs that were playing rough etc. Or if one of the puppies was getting "distressed " or harassed they would butt in too.
It was interesting to watch but I did not feel like my dog was safe in that environment so I stopped going.

For the moment I would not take the older dog to the off lead area when you take the pup your puppy needs to learn to cope out on his own too and not have his "big brother" as backup
Sam may be better once puppy gets a bit older (I don't know how old your pup is) but then you have to watch that the 2 of them don't "gang up" on other dogs.
Thank you for the clarification! He just has such s long history of resource guarding that I just assumed he was amping it up another level.

He did snap at another dog(who was also a puppy) who then yelped and ran crying away and this pup was only standing near Ollie, she wasn't doing anything wrong. So that's kind of where I was going with the temperament problem... He didn't seem to be able to distinguish between a threat and a non-threat. He just wanted everybody to stay away from "his puppy" it seemed. He wasn't even interested in playing fetch his favorite game, he just stayed near Ollie the whole time.

But thank you, that does give me some hope that as my pup gets older that maybe Sam will feel less protective though because of his resource guarding issues I'm not sure I'll ever feel comfortable taking him anywhere off leash, he has gotten into two squabbles with other dogs over a ball. I'm just worried he's going to pull that with a bigger dog who will fight back and get himself or the other dog hurt.

If Sam just didn't want to share toys I'd be ok with that but the difference here and what some people don't seem to be understanding is that he will get aggressive and bite without much of a warning that I'm able to see... no snarling, growling just bam!

I will continue researching trainers/behaviorists around here and and maybe see if I can get an in home evaluation.
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