growling at me! Help! - German Shepherd Dog Forums

Increase font size: 0, 10, 25, 50%

GermanShepherds.com is the premier German Shepherd Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 05-05-2010, 05:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
Knighted Member
 
jakeandrenee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Huntsville Alabama
Posts: 3,103
Default growling at me! Help!

So, Jake is 11 weeks old....last week I gave him a beef marrow bone to chew on....asked him to sit and wait before I gave it to him. A few minutes later I went near him while he was working on it and WHOA....he started to growl and protect his bone. Unsure what to do I reached in talking calmly and removed the bone from his GRIP. He growled and then whined when I took it away. I then made him sit again and returned it to him...so that was that, right? NO! Today I take him out to a friends place that has a large grassy shady field and play with him...HE LOVES STICKS! He doesn't know how to fetch at all so I toss it, he runs to it....walks around a bit and then I get it to toss it again,,,well today when I went to get the stick and say LEAVE IT he growled at me! I am not sure if this is an early sign of aggression or what...the last few days to get him to walk forward on the leash and not eat my legs he has been carrying a big stick, proudly I might add. What do I do? How do I stop this?? I am concerned!

He has never growled over his food or me being near it, I do hand feed a little from time to time. I have had him two weeks today....
jakeandrenee is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 05-05-2010, 06:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
The Agility Rocks! Moderator
 
MaggieRoseLee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Bushkill, PA (The Poconos!)
Posts: 26,351
Default

Think he's just a baby testing the waters and you did just fine. Calmly took the bone away, and then calmly take it back. Do NOT let him see that the growling makes you pull back or that he 'wins'.

What you may want to do to prevent the growling entirely, is have treats in your hand when he's holding something. So you show the treat, give it to him while taking away what he had...... then give him the stick/bone/toy back. More of a 'you don't have to worry, it's no big deal if I take something...' than a 'I AM THE BOSS I WILL DESTROY YOU' type of thing that is sometimes recommended.

He's just a wee baby and may get into a bad habit that just started from him learning about his puppy growl. If you can stop the growling from ever starting, that's WAY better than figuring out how to deal with a growling dog
__________________
*****
MACH3 Bretta Lee Wildhaus MXG MJG MXF MFB TQX HIT CGC TC
Glory B Wildhaus AX, AXJ, XF
plus Miss Osin Blue Wildhaus

"How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?." ANONYMOUS
MaggieRoseLee is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-05-2010, 07:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
Knighted Member
 
jakeandrenee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Huntsville Alabama
Posts: 3,103
Default

That's what I think too! Thank you for the advice, I don't want him to get used to growling to get his way....I know he is a baby but sometimes it's hard to fathom because I weighed him today, he is 30 pounds!!! He is going to be a very big boy....I will try treats in my hand....
Do I continue to take things away and "test" him at this point??? I feel I should be able to take a bone or stick at anytime from him.....
jakeandrenee is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-05-2010, 08:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
No Stinkin' Leashes Moderator
 
Cassidy's Mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 29,108
Default

Rather than continually take things away to "test" him, why don't you play trading games with him? I do a lot of that with a puppy, starting with lower value items. I trade one thing for something else, I trade what they've got for a treat and then I give back what they had (bonus!), I make it a fun game so they trust me and don't get nervous with me around because they know I'm not going to snatch away some prized whatever.

I agree that I should be able to take anything away from them, but I build that behavior, I don't just jump right in and try to take away a bully stick, or in your case a marrow bone. I also don't need that capability "just because", I want it so that I can get something potentially harmful away from them if I need to. I really have no need to take away a nice bone after I've given it to them, so why mess around with it?

I also encourage them to bring me things, which I trade for a treat. It's much better than having to chase them down while they play keep away. Halo started bringing us her bone to hold for her while she chews it, and I made a game out of it:


As you can see, she readily lets go when I ask for it. I don't force her and I don't make a big deal about it.
Cassidy's Mom is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-05-2010, 08:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
Knighted Member
 
jakeandrenee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Huntsville Alabama
Posts: 3,103
Default

thank you....I will try the trading out system....I was in such shock that he behaved this way, he's a baby. The video was a great help...
jakeandrenee is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-05-2010, 10:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
No Stinkin' Leashes Moderator
 
Cassidy's Mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 29,108
Default

Cool! Keep in mind that Halo is almost a year and a half old and that video is from just a few months ago, so we already have quite a history of training - we got her at 10 weeks old and I've been training her ever since. And that is not a high value fresh marrow bone, it's just a plain sterilized bone from the pet store that they have access to all the time - there are a couple of them in the toy box that they can help themselves to any time they want. AND, she brought me the bone to hold for her, I didn't just walk up and try to take it away from her.

Actually, starting with a lower value bone (like a Nylabone?) that you can offer him and hold while he chews is a great way to start. Have a really good treat handy, and use whatever command you want for him to give something up (give? drop it? out?) and then stick the treat right up to his nose. When he lets go of the bone to take the treat, mark it ("yes!"), tell him how wonderful he is, and then offer him the bone again. You can do the same thing with a tug toy.

I do have a more formal "you must give me that right now" command, but in addition to that I like to play the "can I have that?" game from time to time as well, just to reinforce that there's no reason to resource guard anything from me.
Cassidy's Mom is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-11-2010, 10:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
Master Member
 
TxRider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 657
Default

Good exercise holding onto the bone and doing give and take Debbie. One of the ones I use.

I also use social pressure exercises and train a drop command and practice it on high value chew treats.

Paid off twice just yesterday with my two rescues. First when Hope snatched up a hunk of dead squirrel off the road yesterday morning on a walk, and again last night when they chomped a little possum out in the back yard. 2nd little possum they have chomped in the last two weeks.

To me a puppy who growls is the best time to teach them the rules and set them up with the right behavior for life. But it's never too late really.

It is just normal behavior for any dog to try.

Biggest thing to avoid is the dog being self reinforced or rewarded by "winning", having the guarding be successful in it's own mind. That leads to repetition and escalation to real aggression. There are many methods to avoid that.

Simple learning theory, behavior that is rewarded increases, behavior that is not rewarded decreases. It's the dogs decision what it find rewarding, but successfully guarding food is a hugely self rewarding thing for most dogs.

Following learning theory the most straight forward ways to reduce a behavior is to have it supply no reward, or add an aversive, or both.

Last edited by TxRider; 05-11-2010 at 10:16 AM.
TxRider is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-11-2010, 11:03 AM   #8 (permalink)
Knighted Member
 
Jason L's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 3,006
Default

With puppies the best thing to do is to tell him to "knock it off" in a very flat, unemotional way. Don't make it big deal of it. If your reaction is big, the puppy will start to think his growl has some power on you. But if he growls and you just look at him and shrug, then the pup will start to lose some confidence in his ability to "bully" you.

It's like if you run up to someone and punch the person as hard as you possibly can and he just turns and smiles and shrugs it off. What would you think? I know what I would think: "Hmmm ... this might not be a person I want to mess with".
Jason L is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-11-2010, 11:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
Master Member
 
TxRider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 657
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason L View Post
With puppies the best thing to do is to tell him to "knock it off" in a very flat, unemotional way. Don't make it big deal of it. If your reaction is big, the puppy will start to think his growl has some power on you. But if he growls and you just look at him and shrug, then the pup will start to lose some confidence in his ability to "bully" you.

It's like if you run up to someone and punch the person as hard as you possibly can and he just turns and smiles and shrugs it off. What would you think? I know what I would think: "Hmmm ... this might not be a person I want to mess with".
Exactly. Guarding is done for a purpose, it has a desired effect, that effect is very rewarding to the dog if the behavior achieves the desired effect.

If it achieves no effect whatsoever, the guy turning and smiling and showing no effect, then there is no reward, and the behavior will not continue or escalate.
TxRider is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-11-2010, 11:40 AM   #10 (permalink)
Knighted Member
 
jakeandrenee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Huntsville Alabama
Posts: 3,103
Default

I just took him outside and we played with his mini flirtpole until was tired, brought him in a gave him a marrow bone in his crate, went to pet him and no growling, took the bone from him, praised him gave it back...no growl....seems when he is throughly tired he isn't has likely to guard it...coincidence or does that make sense....?
jakeandrenee is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the German Shepherd Dog Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:51 AM.



Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO 3.3.2
PetGuide.com
Basset.net DobermanTalk.com GoldenRetrieverForum.com OurBeagleWorld.com
BoxerForums.com DogForums.com GoPitbull.com PoodleForum.com
BulldogBreeds.com FishForums.com HavaneseForum.com SpoiledMaltese.com
CatForum.com GermanShepherds.com Labradoodle-dogs.net YorkieForum.com
Chihuahua-People.com RetrieverBreeds.com