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Thread: Being overprotective? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
01-10-2014 03:28 PM
Castlemaid It is hard to answer such a question without knowing the dog, and seeing him when he is over threshold. All I can say for sure, is that he hasn't bitten yet. He may have a thousand such reactions and not bite once, or he may bite at the very next thing that pushes him over.

My feelings on this (and I could be wrong since I don't know your dog), is that the "not biting" is more due to him being insecure and afraid to actually engage - in a way that is good, but in another way, that means that one day he may feel so insecure that he will bite just to scare the threat away.

The appropriate restraints when a dog is acting aggressive towards a threat is more likely to come from a stable dog that has had bite-training, and has learned to channel and control his or her aggression appropriately and through training has developed very strong self-control. This is less likely to come from a dog that is reacting out of insecurity, with no previous bite training to master confidence and self-control.
01-10-2014 02:37 PM
nhstadt One more question......


Like I said, he had ample opportunity to bite if he so chose during this little outburst, but he didn't. Obviously its not something to get complacent about, but can I take solace in the fact that he didn't try to take a chunk out of my dad's leg? Mostly just making a lot of noise and posturing, in my eyes that bit of self restraint on his part is a positive. Am I right to look at it that way?
01-10-2014 02:24 PM
nhstadt Ya I try my best with the obedience, he's a big dog, so having him under control at all times is priority one, just kind of caught me off guard this morning. Low threshold does sound like a pretty good description of my dog, now that I think of some of the problems we have had in the past (if you look at my thread history I've had dog park trouble and stranger in the house trouble), I've just always been a "fix" it with training person, "management" with training is kind of a new idea for me, I've had a GSD in the past, but she was a friendly pointy eared lab type of GSD, He's the first dog I've ever owned myself with issues like this, so I like to make sure I am doing the right thing and not doing anything to encourage the behavior. thanks for you input everyone.
01-10-2014 01:58 PM
Castlemaid It sounds to me like your dog also has a low threshold - meaning it doesn't take a lot to trigger an aggressive reaction out of him. Low threshold dogs need a lot of management, and their threshold is determined by genetics - so it's not something that he will likely grow-out of, or get used to and not be so reactive. It is the way he was born, and the way his brain is wired.

Low threshold dogs need careful management, and owners need to be careful not to put them in situations that might trigger a reaction. STRONG, SOLID, Iron clad obedience and careful watch over possible unexpected triggers in his environment are your best bet.

The good news is that overall, he does seem to be under good control and you have been doing a good job with him. We all need to guard against complacency, and stay consistent - so knowing this about yourself and your dog, things can be brought under control.
01-10-2014 01:45 PM
nhstadt
Quote:
Originally Posted by Castlemaid View Post
Yes, you are doing the right thing. Also get more serious with NILIF. After you woke up and let him know that all is right, he should have stopped this behaviour. Continuing to be reactive to your Father means he is making decisions on his own that he should be deferring to you. My attitude with 'Protectiveness" around the house, is that if anything needs to be growled or barked at, that is MY job. You are welcome to back me up if I need help, but I decide what is a threat, and what is not.

How old is he? He looks like a youngster in your Avatar, but not sure if that is a current picture.

Thanks, ya That's what I was thinking. been hitting the NILIF hard this morning, I will admit my dog is one of those that needs the structure, and I do get a little lax sometimes because he is generally well behaved, that probably has something to do with it. He's had the occasional outbreak of being slightly overprotective, always been with strangers though, never someone he should be used to. He's about 3 (not sure exactly he was a rescue, that was the vet's guess though), that pic was right after I got him about 2 yrs ago.
01-10-2014 01:31 PM
Castlemaid Yes, you are doing the right thing. Also get more serious with NILIF. After you woke up and let him know that all is right, he should have stopped this behaviour. Continuing to be reactive to your Father means he is making decisions on his own that he should be deferring to you. My attitude with 'Protectiveness" around the house, is that if anything needs to be growled or barked at, that is MY job. You are welcome to back me up if I need help, but I decide what is a threat, and what is not.

How old is he? He looks like a youngster in your Avatar, but not sure if that is a current picture.
01-10-2014 11:33 AM
nhstadt
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucy Dog View Post
If he understand the no and leave it, then that's a good start. I think you need to go beyond that and redirect too. Get him completely away from the situation altogether. Don't give him the chance to stare and growl. Remove the dog completely from the room if you have to. Change what he's focusing on.

A stare and growl can turn into an attack very quickly with an unstable dog and the wrong move. Not saying your dog is completely unstable, but it's not a good sign when he's growling at family members either.

How old is he by the way? Has this ever happened before with anyone else?

And if he doesn't want to be friends with your father, that's fine. The staring and the growling is completely unacceptable though. It shouldn't be allowed. You need to keep his focus off your dad and on you.
I most definitely would not classify my dog as unstable, and while yes to me my dad is family, to my dog, my dog probably doesn't see him as part of the "pack". Like I said, its a temporary living situation, we are kind of interlopers here for a few more days, aside from this one time he's been very well behaved, par for the course for him.

the dog is 3, never happened before with someone he is familiar with, he's not a particularly barky dog, and never growls. The only time I have ever seen behavior like this was walking him at night and a neighbor standing in between some cars said hi and startled me, kind of did the same thing, but he was on leash. Like I said, I know the trigger was being me being startled, he's just being protective.

I don't think he would ever bite, like I said, he had ample opportunity before I called him off this morning, and just barked and growled, but I guess my main question is how do I make him understand who is in "permanent okay, don't worry about them" status? I'd figured having been around my family occasionally since I've owned him, and living here for the past couple of weeks, he'd get that, but apparently not.

But yes, you are correct, that behavior is not okay, and will not be tolerated. Trust me, I'm not a "mean dog" kind of guy.
01-10-2014 11:11 AM
Lucy Dog If he understand the no and leave it, then that's a good start. I think you need to go beyond that and redirect too. Get him completely away from the situation altogether. Don't give him the chance to stare and growl. Remove the dog completely from the room if you have to. Change what he's focusing on.

A stare and growl can turn into an attack very quickly with an unstable dog and the wrong move. Not saying your dog is completely unstable, but it's not a good sign when he's growling at family members either.

How old is he by the way? Has this ever happened before with anyone else?

And if he doesn't want to be friends with your father, that's fine. The staring and the growling is completely unacceptable though. It shouldn't be allowed. You need to keep his focus off your dad and on you.
01-10-2014 11:02 AM
nhstadt
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucy Dog View Post
What are you doing, if anything, to correct this behavior? Are you just letting him bark?
A firm no, leave it, followed by sit. he backed off on command and sat down, but kept growling and eyeballing him. (leave it is my command for quit what you are doing).
01-10-2014 10:53 AM
Lucy Dog What are you doing, if anything, to correct this behavior while it's happening? Are you just letting him bark?
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