Ideas on how to nip this behavior in the bud? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-06-2015, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
Crowned Member
 
llombardo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Illinois
Posts: 14,027
Question Ideas on how to nip this behavior in the bud?

Apollo has decided to bark and lunge at the other dogs. Not only does he do this he actually makes contact and holds them(this was a new added step today with Brennan)He did this when he first came in(minus the hold)and I though ok he is overwhelmed.

He stopped, then it happened again a couple times and it seemed that he was resource guarding a human(my niece, son, and myself). Nothing for a few days, then Robyn accidentally got him while they were playing tug. I can swear he is holding a grudge. He goes from staring her down to going the other way.

So I took them outside together and she gave him kisses, he was ok with this. Today he has snapped at both goldens and Midnite, all three looked at him like oh right and kept moving, he did not get a reaction and he stopped. Eventually they aren't going to give him a pass. The only dog he hasn't done this to is my oldest female, she would not hesitate to correct him. Robyn wouldn't hesitate either, I grabbed him right away when he attempted that one.

My observation is that it's something about his space and possibly myself. He is my shadow, literally. He is very attached and that might be a problem, but how do I get him to be more independent? He is fine with any kind of food, bones or toys- no issues. He plays with all of them, but he is still reserved when doing so because he is not sure. My question is...what should I do when he does this? Should I ignore him? Should I correct? Should I remove him? My first reaction is to grab him to tell him no but also to make sure the other dog does not react.

This has to end before he gets older, the other dogs will not put up with it and they shouldn't have to. When they ignore him he stops fairly quickly. He actually tried to play with Midnite immediately after he stopped. It seems to happen by the couch, which he is not on, but he is usually by my feet. He starts school in about 2 weeks, his potty training is going good, he don't eat anything, he doesn't really bite and he settles nicely. He is doing really well with the cats and me and him hang out together a couple times a day with mini obedience lessons several times a day. He just gets the urge to eat the other dogs on occasion

Misty- Samoyed Mix, Tannor- Golden Retriever CGC
Robyn- GSD CGC, TC, Midnite-GSD CGC,TC, Brennan-Golden Retriever CGC, Batman-Husky/Greyhound , Apollo-GSD
llombardo is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-06-2015, 11:11 PM
Moderator
 
dogma13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: michigan
Posts: 5,476
Geez,sure sounds like resource guarding.Is there any way you could tether him a few feet away from you when you are relaxing on the couch?It might give you some insight as to if you are the resource or it is more of a personal space issue.I have a Yorkie that turns into a demon when he's on my lap,so I either set him on the floor or sort of stuff behind me,lol!Easy to do with a small guy.
If you are the thing he's guarding,perhaps you could teach the "place" command and keep him at a distance.If it's a personal space issue I have no clue
dogma13 is online now  
post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-06-2015, 11:12 PM
Crowned Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 4,142
It sounds like you're not really going to have any other choice but to correct him, but with so many dogs, I think you're going to spend every minute of your day trying to manage and isolate so many, minute little confrontations, I don't know if there is a single answer. Maybe you found the one that doesn't fit this time llombardo. Kennels and separate free times?
Steve Strom is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-07-2015, 01:37 AM Thread Starter
Crowned Member
 
llombardo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Illinois
Posts: 14,027
I think he is resource guarding me. I've never had a dog, much less a pup do this. It's not all the time, every few days at best. He never comes from another place in the house to "go after" them. It's always when he is by me and by the couch. He is only about 3 months or so. I've also never had a puppy that has had as much freedom as him at this age. He has never been in the crate at night, it's not needed or maybe it is for structural reasons? I'm also sure he is not sure how to play or take the dogs yet. When I tell him enough he goes and lays down. He does not want me upset with him(very unlike my youngest golden that still doesn't understsnd), which works in my favor for training at this point. He does not dish out more then he can take and he doesn't push it. Perfect personality other then this. I just don't want to do damage by correcting him to much or not enough, but I don't have an issue with correcting him so he understands what is allowed and not allowed.

Misty- Samoyed Mix, Tannor- Golden Retriever CGC
Robyn- GSD CGC, TC, Midnite-GSD CGC,TC, Brennan-Golden Retriever CGC, Batman-Husky/Greyhound , Apollo-GSD
llombardo is offline  
post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-07-2015, 07:09 AM
Senior Member
 
Wolfenstein's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Orland Hills, IL
Posts: 371
You're right to be worried about correcting too much. I don't know how many times I've seen dogs start to show signs of what you're talking about, but were made worse through corrections. Correcting the dog for the behavior is like putting a band aid on a deep wound. You might stop the bleeding for a bit, but then it starts to leak through. You start needing more and bigger bandages, but the bleeding never stops unless you get to underneath stitch it up. Getting to that wound is a heck of a lot easier if you stitch it up in the first place instead of having to go back to clean it up, first.

You have to go back and really evaluate why the behavior is popping up. Dogma had a really great idea of tethering the dog away from you. Changing up the situation will help you figure out what's going on. Is it you? Is it the couch? Is it just whatever space happens to be "his" at the time? You sound like you're already getting an idea of what is going on, so that's good. The more you observe the more you'll be able to figure out a plan of attack.

So, regardless of what specifically Apollo is guarding, you have to think about his mindset of the situation. Guarding comes up when there is something your dog wants, but for some reason feels like there is a threat to his keeping it. If it's a space issue, it's that he wants the area all to himself. If it's you, it's that he doesn't want to share your attention. Either way, the dogs approaching are what is causing the behavior. Something about their approach makes Apollo nervous.

The key is going to be to change his thoughts on the situation. Instead of seeing the other dogs as a threat, you want him to see their approach as a good thing. Since you said he's good about food, this is a GREAT way to work on things. Get something really, awesomely delicious and keep it on you when you're in a situation that may cause the behavior. When you know the dogs are going to start acting in a way that makes it occur, cut it off at the pass and start shoveling treats in Apollo's mouth. The idea is that you start to rewire his brain to thinking of the dogs coming around as a good thing. Ideally, instead of turning to fend them off, he starts to see their approach and look towards you for something good.

In addition to this, you want to stay really on top of the dogs' dynamics when they're around each other or playing. If you start to see situations where a problem might arise, use yourself and the dogs' obedience to defuse the situation. Something as simple as walking between the dogs or calling someone over to another area in the room can completely change the tension. It's a little like you would do with dogs and kids. If someone seems too rambunctious, or someone seems like they're getting nervous, calmly break it up. Don't forget to reward good behavior here, too! Like you were saying, having the dogs know "place" commands is really great for this. It's also a good idea to have different areas in the house gated off, if possible, so you can break up dynamics if need be. That way everyone has a chance to calm down. That's the key to everything, really, calming down the situation. By throwing in corrections, you're taking a dog that is already on edge and making that nervousness go up. They might stop the behavior, but nothing has happened to make them feel at ease in the situation. You really want to get into a place where if a dog feels uneasy, the first thing they do is look to you for guidance/help rather than feel the need to figure it out for themselves. You know that look when a dog is worried about someone or something and looks at you with eyes that are saying, "You see this? What are you going to do about this?" You want to be able to see that look and respond accordingly.

This whole plan of attack takes a lot of finesse and understanding of dog body language. You have to be observant and vigilant. If you have a hard time seeing the red flags, or if it's just too much to pay attention to at once, you might want to consider breaking up the dogs into smaller groups via baby gates, or possibly having a trainer (who isn't going to have you giving corrections) come to your home to see things first hand. Sometimes having another set of eyes really helps you notice things you're missing, and that's all it takes for you to get a handle on things.

Good luck with everything, keep us updated!
Wolfenstein is offline  
post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-07-2015, 07:58 AM Thread Starter
Crowned Member
 
llombardo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Illinois
Posts: 14,027
I do have gates up already. If Brennan starts acting like a fool he gets put away, the same with Batman(these are the youngest). I'm thinking that I need to give Apollo more crate time, maybe he has to much freedom?

Should I invite the other dogs over and pet them to show him that this is what we do?

I personally think correcting will make it worse. I definitely don't want to screw up and treat him when he is already in that zone, that would be really bad.

Misty- Samoyed Mix, Tannor- Golden Retriever CGC
Robyn- GSD CGC, TC, Midnite-GSD CGC,TC, Brennan-Golden Retriever CGC, Batman-Husky/Greyhound , Apollo-GSD
llombardo is offline  
post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-07-2015, 09:08 AM
Crowned Member
 
Jax08's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: NNE PA
Posts: 29,593
You seem to be having many issues in your pack lately. Maybe you should rehome Apollo while he's still young, to someone who can dedicate individual time to him and work on your issues with Batman.




Jax08 is offline  
post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-07-2015, 09:13 AM
Crowned Member
 
Sunflowers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 9,080
I, too, thought about rehoming.

With his personality, I wouldn't be surprised if he will start dog fights when he turns a year, and then he will be a lot harder to rehome.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Norden von Narnia (Hans) DOB 1-15-12
Sunflowers is offline  
post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-07-2015, 09:20 AM
Crowned Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 4,142
I wouldn't tether him llombardo, I think thats a sure fire way to create enough frustration that you'll end up with even more problems. I wouldn't try to focus in on any single thing like the couch or anything. I'd take a big picture approach and just concentrate on overall structure. Things like no playing at all in the house, no furniture for anyone. That kinda thing. Its just too many dogs, you're going to spend all you're time trying to put out fires and worrying about who's wagging his tail and who's glaring at who.
Steve Strom is offline  
post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-07-2015, 09:24 AM Thread Starter
Crowned Member
 
llombardo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Illinois
Posts: 14,027
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jax08 View Post
You seem to be having many issues in your pack lately. Maybe you should rehome Apollo while he's still young, to someone who can dedicate individual time to him and work on your issues with Batman.
Well I considered this, but I have not had any further issues with Batman. Once I stepped in and seen the problem, I addressed it and so far so good. He turned two today, seems to be calming down and plays very nicely with Apollo. It's not off the table, but it would be the last resort.

We have a pretty peaceful home, I don't want people to think that there are constant issues. This is by far the case. I think I'm noticing more now because of the weather. They are more cooped up and have energy to burn. The poor things can't even go out without lifting their paws because of the cold. It's the worst for Batman because he has no fur at all The poor dog doesn't even want to go outside, I have to physically put him out there. Robyn and Midnite handle it a little better and burn some energy, but I don't like them out there to long when it's 40 below.

There are zero issues in the summer. They come in and out, play in the pool, and play with the kids. They are nice and tired at the end of the day.

Misty- Samoyed Mix, Tannor- Golden Retriever CGC
Robyn- GSD CGC, TC, Midnite-GSD CGC,TC, Brennan-Golden Retriever CGC, Batman-Husky/Greyhound , Apollo-GSD
llombardo is offline  
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:
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:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



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

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome