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Old 02-10-2013, 06:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Explain this behavior?(non-GSD)

I've talked a few times on this forum about the aggression and resource guarding issues my golden has. I've worked really hard on it with NILIF, obedience classes, etc. He has gotten SO much better for the most part. I ask here because there seems to be a lot of knowledgable people on this forum regarding behavior.

There's just one thing that he's doing now that I just don't understand. He does not seem to like being sniffed by other dogs including our other dogs at home and strange dogs. We no longer allow him to interact with strange dogs anymore because he kept nipping and snapping at them for this very behavior.

He's fine with being near strange dogs, in fact he used to love it when he was a puppy but if they come up just to "sniff greet" face to face or anywhere else he will tense up, lip curl, grow and then snap/nip... Sometimes not even snarling or growling just an instant snap. He will tolerate the other dogs at home doing it but he does stiffen up, if he's laying down he will tense up and roll back a bit as they do it.

I am obviously still learning the ins and outs of dog behavior but I am just very confused by this and my husband thinks he's horribly aggressive. I've given up on him being able to interact with other dogs, just this last bit I'm not sure how to handle it.

Anyways thank you for your time if you read all the way through this.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:26 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Well obviously he doesn't like being sniffed. But I've never seen or owned a dog who was like this, is there a reason why he's getting so tense about it? Well a reason you could quess at, I know it's hard to say without knowing the dog.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Seems like he is anticipating something(negative).
Like either a correction from you or the other dog.

Or he might just have poor confidence.
Another possibility is he might be hurting ? I don't know how long this has gone on for, but if he has had.. say.. really bad arthritis or something. And then all of a sudden a strange dog shows up, he might perceive those dogs as hurting him ?

Strange he does it within your home, though. How else does he interact with the other dogs ? By your site it looks like you have 4 of them? What # was he and how old ?
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Wow that makes a lot of sense, I can't believe that didn't even occur to me. We've had so many problems with his aggression... It started out with his resource guarding, he would bite any dog that got near him if he had a toy or food and he has been corrected a lot around other dogs. My husband and I both have been really angry(never hurt him just emotionally) and very frustrated around him because he's also bitten strange dogs in public. They were never intent to harm bites, just get away from MY toy type but I was always worried it would escalate into that.

So that's when we stopped letting him be off leash with dogs, didn't allow toys in the house anymore and I started NILIF big time. It helped A LOT, he now plays tug with my GSD pup.

But yeah I could see how he would now have negative associations with dogs. Is there a way to turn that around? I don't think it's a pain issue though he has had a few ear infections... He was the third dog added to our pack and he will be two years old this year. He is better with the dogs at home now, he and the GSD are BEST buddies and now he just ignores the two small dogs.

I do have to watch him though, he has snapped and nipped everyone of our dogs so I have to always keep an eye out for his triggers like he will snap at our dogs when my husband has just gotten done harnessing him up to go somewhere. A few times Ollie has run up to him excited about leaving and Sam just snapped at him as soon as he got near. We have introduced toys back in but I don't leave them on the floor and have to be always careful with that and food. But his nipping is few and far between now.

He was a rescue and he was most likely from a puppy mill, all this resource guarding and nipping started at a VERY young age.
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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My oldest female(non GSD) is very confident and medically okay, but hates when dogs sniff her butt. They get about .02 seconds and then she sits down. If a male dog tries to mount her, she will give them a warning. Needless to say, they learn and don't try it again. Some dogs just don't like this and find it unacceptable. I don't have an issue with mine because she has never gotten in a fight over it, usually she just sits down and looks at them like now what?
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Knowing that history, I would assume he is anticipating a correction while also saying "please back off". He is holding himself back for a little while to avoid a correction, but quickly gets over threshold. He didn't associate the correction for resource guarding because at the time of him reacting-- he was reacting to the other dog. He may have been reacting because of the toy but that is long behind him.

Maybe some BAT is in order ? What he needs is a relief of whatever stimulus is stressing him out. So if he goes stiff, remove whatever is causing him to tense up. It rewards his signal of "please move away" so then he does not have to resort to a nip.
I don't know if you've seen videos of BAT, but its like.. Have your golden sitting there, then as another dog approaches, reward with the environment (the approaching dog walking away, sniffing something, looking away).

I think another important thing might be that he doesn't have to meet every dog. Just walk on by. Maybe close enough to meet but keep him focused.

I've also seen dogs that get reactive when greeting still, but if they were trotting and a dog came up and started sniffing them (both trotting at the same time) he was fine. Think of dogs sniffing eachothers butts in a circle lol.

It might be fixable, might not. He seems not the most confident of dogs but that comes with time..

Goodluck.
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
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We had another situation happen the other day... I was in the office and my husband was down the hall in our bedroom with the golden and our Chi mix. For WHATEVER reason my husband decided it was a good idea to let Sam come up on the bed(something I never allow because he gets really tense) Next thing I know I hear a very loud yelp come from the bedroom, I get up and run to the room in a panic to find out he's snapped and nipped my small dog because she was sniffing him.

I was way more upset with my husband for letting him up on the bed in the first place and then knowing Sam's issues and not paying attention. My question is what do we DO when he does this? Do we just ignore it? I try my best to avoid situations which cause him to nip in the first place but he's my husbands dog and is usually with him and my husband is not the most dog savvy person in the world. But if need be I can take over his care while we work through this.

I'll admit when he's nipped my other dogs(and caused one to go to the E-vet though that was a very minor injury) I let my emotions get the best of me and I get mad, correct him and usually put him in a time out. I can see now that was a HUGE mistake and is the cause of our current issues. I just didn't know how to deal with his resource guarding and what to do when he did snap. I brought it up to his trainer many times and they never helped or made the resource guarding seem like not a big deal.

I will look up the method you suggested, is it possible to also try to have dogs being near him a good thing? Like with our dogs at home(even if this was "fixed" I don't think I would ever trust him around strange dogs because of the toy guarding) working on bringing them closer and closer together along with praising and treating?

It's weird because when he's in the backyard playing with my GSD pup, he is SO good with him and he acts like a normal dog and he sort of shares toys and plays tug which is something that NEVER happened before we started NILIF. But in the house he's kind of a different dog.

Video of him and Ollie playing... But thank you for your advice, I love this dog but he has been the most difficult dog I've ever had and there were a few times I wasn't sure if he was a good fit for us but I do not want to give up on him especially since part of this was my fault.


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Old 02-16-2013, 05:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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A "time-out" for a dog?

Do you think that he is really thinking about his bad behavior and making plans to try his best not to do it again?

Perhaps a correction and/or a redirection or a OB command or two might work better??
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Old 02-16-2013, 05:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codmaster View Post
A "time-out" for a dog?

Do you think that he is really thinking about his bad behavior and making plans to try his best not to do it again?

Perhaps a correction and/or a redirection or a OB command or two might work better??
It wasn't for him, it was for me... I already said I handled the situation wrong so not much reason to jump on me for it now.
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Wasn't even trying to "jump on you"!

Did you read my second line yet?
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