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Discussion Starter #1
Duke is a 5 yr old rescue GSD who's been in our home for 8 days. We have been using a lot of treats to reward him for sitting, and laying down, and staying, etc. We've been trying to use them for "trading" to help with his resource guarding. The problem is this:

Duke is very treat motivated, and gets very excited when he knows someone has a treat in their hand. He does pretty good if he knows you have a treat and you tell him to sit. He will willingly sit to get a treat. But if you hold the treat or especially walk away (for example if you're leading him to his crate) he will sniff your hands like crazy and jump. When we lead him to his crate with a treat he will willingly get in, and usually sit, but to get him to lay down is hard! He starts mouthing your hand and pawing you like you're asking him to "shake" (leaving scratch marks on your arms). Our "trading games" don't even work anymore because he smells the treats and will NOT focus on anything other than getting the treats...sticking his nose everywhere sniffing for the treats, jumping if you're standing up. "Trading up" doesn't really work if he's not interested in the toy to begin with. He's just overall very excited about treats and acts a little spastically.

What can we do?
 

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What are you using for treats?

Using a lower value treat might help. Maybe using his kibble. Perhaps training after he eats if he's really that crazy about food.

Also you might be asking too much too fast. Take a step back. Teach him that calm actions earn him treats. Do a lot of focus work. Maybe try crate games.
 

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I am kinda confused on one part you wrote, about getting him in his crate, he will sit, but to get him to down ,,as in down in his crate???

With the crate thing, this is what I would do, YOU go to his crate, call him, if he comes, treat fast, before he reacts,,tell him to "crate" or whatever,,if he goes in fine, TREAT , again before the reaction,,I would put a few treats on the floor of his crate, close the door, walk away...I'm not sure why you want him to "sit" or "Down" in his crate but maybe I'm reading your post wrong??

Have you thought of using a 'clicker' as a marker??

I agree you might be asking him to much to fast, and it does sound like he's quite a food hog:)) (not a bad thing, this can be used to your advantage)

I also agree that when he's calm, treat, but this can be a catch 22, he's calm, you treat, he bugs you for more treats :))

Maybe only hold as many treats as your willing to give out, and try beating him to the punch, so to speak, treating BEFORE he gets outta control, when he gets out of control, put the treats away, no more treats...
 

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we did something in clicker class called "mugging"- maybe it would help?
Basically, you have a handful of treats in a fist, and let the dog sniff/gnaw at your hand (as long as its not aggressive) and as soon as they take their nose away because they aren't getting a treat, click and feed them from a different place (like treats in your pocket or something) It teaches them that they have to ignore the treats and leave them alone to get them. My girl was SO excited about treats when training, but this help so much, she leaves treats (high quality, her favorite- meatballs) alone right under her nose, on her nose, or all up her paws now haha. It might be something to try, anyway!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I am kinda confused on one part you wrote, about getting him in his crate, he will sit, but to get him to down ,,as in down in his crate???

I'm not sure why you want him to "sit" or "Down" in his crate but maybe I'm reading your post wrong??
Well, I guess to be honest, there isn't a lot of rationale behind this. My husband usually tries to get him to lay down when he takes him to the crate...I guess because it's his bed? I think also we didn't want it to seem like as soon as he walks in there we're going to shut the door. Are we making too much of this. Should we just treat for him going in and not both trying to get him to sit or lay down?

Have you thought of using a 'clicker' as a marker??
We are interested in clicker training, but don't know much at all about it. We figured we would wait until getting him in an obedience class before trying this. Is it easy to start it up on your own?

Maybe only hold as many treats as your willing to give out, and try beating him to the punch, so to speak, treating BEFORE he gets outta control
This is hard because he literally smells the treat as soon as we get it out or as soon as you get near him with it hidden in your hand. Suggestions?

when he gets out of control, put the treats away, no more treats...
I like this idea. So it's ok to get treats out and if he is too excited put them away? We have done this a couple of times but I didn't know if it would confuse him.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
we did something in clicker class called "mugging"- maybe it would help?
Basically, you have a handful of treats in a fist, and let the dog sniff/gnaw at your hand (as long as its not aggressive) and as soon as they take their nose away because they aren't getting a treat, click and feed them from a different place (like treats in your pocket or something) It teaches them that they have to ignore the treats and leave them alone to get them. My girl was SO excited about treats when training, but this help so much, she leaves treats (high quality, her favorite- meatballs) alone right under her nose, on her nose, or all up her paws now haha. It might be something to try, anyway!
That sounds like it might work. There is a video posted here somewhere called "It's Yer Choice" which demonstrates impulse control. The trainer has a handful of treats and keeps her hand closed while the dog sniffs and licks and tries to get them. When the dog backs away she opens her hand. When the dog goes for the treats she closes her hand again. She does this over and over until the dog finally realize when he goes for the treats he's not going to get them. When he finally backs away and stays, she treats him. I SORT OF tried this with Duke but only for a minute because he kind of started using his teeth to get the treats and I was afraid he might get aggressive. Maybe I should try again though? If it feels like he's going to get aggressive should I just put the treats away?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You think he was being aggressive because he was using his teeth?

Aggressive is when a dog wants to hurt you. I don't that this is the case.
No, I didn't think he was being aggressive...yet. I was just worried since he started using his teeth he might get more frustrated since I wouldn't give him the treats and it might escalate to aggression. It's highly likely I was worried over nothing. Duke is my first GSD so his size is still a little intimidating to me...particularly when he gets excited. :rolleyes:
 

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I like King&Skylars suggestion as well..

Just to answer your q to me, I basically tell my one dog to 'go crate' , he races in it, I throw him a couple treats/bone whatever, and shut the door. I don't really think making him do something IN the crate is necessary, atleast for me:)

I don't think it sounds like his mouthing is an aggressive thing, it's basically just an unmannerly or I WANT IT NOW thing..
 

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Thanks. I will try these suggestions.

I've figured out Duke calms quickly when you just stand in front of him holding the treats. He usually just sits and waits for you to give him a command so he can earn the treat. However, the overexcitement comes when you walk away from him or across the room holding a treat. He starts jumping and pawing at you, sometimes even nipping at your hand. How can I walk from the kitchen (where the treats are) over to his crate with a treat without him mauling me for it? Or is that possible this soon?
 

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How can I walk from the kitchen (where the treats are) over to his crate with a treat without him mauling me for it? Or is that possible this soon?
Not sure if this will help or not but have you considered a treat pouch? It will keep the treats out of your hand and make them a little harder to smell but you would have quick access to them.

Something like this:
that clips around your waist like a belt.

Another option is start teaching him "leave it".
 

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I wasn't aware of the treat pouches.
Really? My bad - I would have suggested one a long time ago if I had any idea! :rofl: This is my current fav: Gentle Leader Treat Pouch - Dog Supplies

The nice thing about a treat bag is you can have treats on your person at all times without carrying them around in your hand. Just slide the bag around so it's behind your back or on the opposite side of the dog so it's not right there visible.

It's actually better to NOT have treats in your hands, unless you're teaching him to ignore them, as in the "it's yer choice" game. In that case it's important that he knows you have food in your hand and he has to behave in order to "make" you give him some. (I'd keep up with that BTW, he may get frustrated at first, but once he figures it out, it's magic!) Any other time, if you're using food as a reward, it's better to get it out of your hand as quickly as possible so he doesn't focus on the food and tune you out.

I wouldn't worry too much about getting a sit or down in his crate until he's going in happily. Get that first, and then work on more advanced stuff.
 
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