Help please with my new rescue puppies! - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 05-31-2012, 10:32 AM
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I adopted two rescue dogs this year and I'm having some behavioural problems with them.

 

The male Chi/Cross (2 years old) is very aggressive with other dogs in the park and we had a new (Staffie male) dog move next door who also has issues and they throw themselves against the fence snarling. The dog next door had to be taken to the vet to have a collar fitted as he had scratched himself so badly trying to get under the fence into our garden to get to our male dog. We had to puppy-proof the fences but they still bark and act aggressively towards each other..

 

The younger pup (JR female and 6 months old) is much more calm but my male dog tries to attack her when the neighbour dog is outside in the garden at the same time. My male dog has bitten me three times now and he has drawn blood when I have tried to stop him from attacking the younger girl puppy.

 

I read that I am supposed to take the dog being attacked out of the situation first and then tackle the dog being vicious and that has worked for the past few days but is there any other advice???

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#2 Old 05-31-2012, 11:13 PM
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Bump!!!! Help please, Wolfie, anyone?.....

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#3 Old 06-01-2012, 12:50 AM
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No advice, I've never even had dogs! I know the woman from 'it's me or the dog' has some books, and her methods always seem really effective (and kind) on TV, so maybe it's worth getting something like that to read?

 

Goodluck though I hope it works out.

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#4 Old 06-01-2012, 01:05 AM
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I can't advise on changing behaviour, but Sounds like the puppy could be at serious potential risk.

I'd be very much inclined to use a muzzle on the one with behavioural problems until such time as the bahavioural problems are successfully addressed.


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#5 Old 06-01-2012, 05:10 AM
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I read that I am supposed to take the dog being attacked out of the situation first and then tackle the dog being vicious and that has worked for the past few days but is there any other advice???

I'm sorry Pixie, I don't have much advice either. I can tell you that I have been taught to not physically intervene in a dogfight and to instead use other methods to get them apart such as spraying them with a hose or dumping a bucket of water on them to startle and distract them. I've read that some people also use a very loud air horn also for the distraction.

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#6 Old 06-01-2012, 05:13 AM
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No advice, I've never even had dogs! I know the woman from 'it's me or the dog' has some books, and her methods always seem really effective (and kind) on TV, so maybe it's worth getting something like that to read?

 

Goodluck though I hope it works out.

I taped some of those shows to watch but they didn't ever cover the issues I've had with my dogs!tongue3.gif

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I can't advise on changing behaviour, but Sounds like the puppy could be at serious potential risk.

I'd be very much inclined to use a muzzle on the one with behavioural problems until such time as the bahavioural problems are successfully addressed.

Really? sad.gif

 

I'm thinking maybe I have to ask a professional behaviourist when we can afford it. I just took them outside in the garden and the dog was next door and they weren't too bad and came in when I called them, well I had food for them so that helped.grin.gif

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#7 Old 06-01-2012, 10:50 AM
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Just saw this and gotta run. I will be back later on to respond.

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#8 Old 06-01-2012, 11:09 AM
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I'm sorry Pixie, I don't have much advice either. I can tell you that I have been taught to not physically intervene in a dogfight and to instead use other methods to get them apart such as spraying them with a hose or dumping a bucket of water on them to startle and distract them. I've read that some people also use a very loud air horn also for the distraction.


Thanks. smiley.gif I know I shouldn't have intervened but it is such a natural reaction when you see puppies being attacked. There is a tiny gap in the fence that we had not fixed and I had an image of my male dog getting the tip of his nose bitten off by the neighbour dog when they were snarling and it was when I tried to pick him up that I got bitten by my dog. I think basically I keep intervening and getting bitten. I thought I had read about the water thing too and I thought about getting a spray bottle filled with water to spray at my male dog.

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#9 Old 06-01-2012, 11:47 AM
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If you can afford a behaviorist at some point in time a well qualified one is a miracle worker.

 

Okay, a bunch of questions and then I promise I'll try to be actually helpful smiley.gif

 

When did your dogs have their last check ups? Have they ever done bloodwork? A thyroid panel, in particular a full one and not just a T4? It's one of those things where you'd hate to be doing a ton of training only to realize that there's an underlying health problem that you need to resolve first before the training can really kick in.

 

How are they in terms of obedience training and/or other types of fun active play? How are you feeding? What do they have going on in terms of when and how their food is presented?

 

Do you have somewhere else that you can let him outside while you are working on the issue? I'm just concerned that continually exposing him to a stressful situation with the other dog barking aggressively will sabotage your training efforts.

 

Do you have some way to effectively separate your dogs when the little guy is starting to get worked up?

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#10 Old 06-01-2012, 10:03 PM
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If you can afford a behaviorist at some point in time a well qualified one is a miracle worker.

Okay, a bunch of questions and then I promise I'll try to be actually helpful smiley.gif

When did your dogs have their last check ups? Have they ever done bloodwork? A thyroid panel, in particular a full one and not just a T4? It's one of those things where you'd hate to be doing a ton of training only to realize that there's an underlying health problem that you need to resolve first before the training can really kick in.

How are they in terms of obedience training and/or other types of fun active play? How are you feeding? What do they have going on in terms of when and how their food is presented?

Do you have somewhere else that you can let him outside while you are working on the issue? I'm just concerned that continually exposing him to a stressful situation with the other dog barking aggressively will sabotage your training efforts.

Do you have some way to effectively separate your dogs when the little guy is starting to get worked up?

I've only had them a few months but they had been medically assessed before I got them. I am going to take the younger one to obedience training as I was just waiting until she had been spayed (which I just did) and I was going to get a behaviourist for the older male but we have had to replace the flooring etc since we got them and we haven't had the £500 spare to pay for it!

 

I take the dogs out separately or together to the park nearby but the male dog is a nightmare when we are near other dogs so I end up deliberately walking them where there are no other people or dogs.blush.giftongue3.gif

 

It has worked by taking the female dog out of the situation first as I think he was getting frustrated by not being able to get to the next door dog and then taking it out on the female dog as she was nearer. When I let her out to the garden on her own the dog next door ignores her and doesn't bark at her even when she is barking so it must be that my male dog is barking agressively at him or that they know that they are both males maybe?huh.gif

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#11 Old 06-02-2012, 11:04 AM
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I read that I am supposed to take the dog being attacked out of the situation first and then tackle the dog being vicious and that has worked for the past few days but is there any other advice???

Sounds like your male dog thinks it is pack leader Pixie.

 

Possibly the neighbours dog does also.

 

You need to get yourself some dog behavourial training and so does your neighbour by the sound of it.

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#12 Old 06-02-2012, 11:09 AM
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Sounds like your male dog thinks it is pack leader Pixie.

 

Possibly the neighbours dog does also.

 

You need to get yourself some dog behavourial training and so does your neighbour by the sound of it.

 

This what I was thinking too as he seems to dominate every situation and he gets very possessive and snarly with me and my husband when he sees the other dog or my cats come near us. I don't know much about his background apart from that he lived with his brother originally and I'm wondering if they had to be split up and rehomed as they were fighting with each other.

 

I think getting a behaviourist is the way to go really.

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#13 Old 06-02-2012, 11:22 AM
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I think getting a behaviourist is the way to go really.

 

It's either that or improve your game of Chess untill you can actualy beat him.

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#14 Old 06-02-2012, 11:30 AM
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I hear you on the sneaky walking where there are no other dogs, my Bodhi gets really anxious when he's on leash with other dogs around. It's a work in progress.

 

I'm not sure what you're background with dogs is so forgive me if I'm stating things that are totally obvious and common knowledge with you.

 

So, my basic go to for understanding dog behaviour and doing some basic obedience training is Jean Donaldson's ' [url=http://www.amazon.ca/Culture-Clash-Jean-Donaldson/dp/1888047054/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1338658200&sr=8-1] Culture Clash [/url] ' It's a fantastic intro and gives some good insight into the doggie thought process.

 

It really sounds like he and the dog next door have set up this kind of adversarial relationship where they're feeding off of each other's little doggie freak outs. They've setup their behaviour patterns with each other and are busy sticking with them. If you can keep your guy away for awhile while you work on some of his reactivity with other dogs it might help break the cycle between the two of them. That will make it easier for him to settle in the garden and just hang out without the two of them losing it on each other around the fence.

 

I swear I'm not just pushing Jean Donaldson but her book '[url=http://www.amazon.ca/Fight-Practical-Treatment-Dog-Dog-Aggression/dp/0970562969/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_b] Fight! [/url]' has been really helpful with Bodhi's reactivity around other dogs. I can't remember if that's the one that goes into the 'Look at that! Look at me!' game but I'll run through the basics. Essentially, you'll have your dog near something that gets him worked up but not so close that he's losing his mind over it. Just close enough that he looks like he's thinking about getting upset, it varies from dog to dog but for Bodhi he'd be making a bit of a whine and might start to puff up a bit. Don't push it past that point. Give him the freedom to look at the exciting/stressful thing (look at that) and then have him look at you and get a really high value treat. Over time you'll be able to sloooowly get him closer and closer to the exciting thing (other dog or whatever) but never push him over the threshold where he'll fully react. Just back off and remove him from the situation if he starts to react. It's a balancing act and it can be really difficult to get read the early warning signs at first but you'll work it out. Eventually, you'll be able to walk past, or even greet, other dogs with him occasionally looking at you for the exciting treat and beginning to associate a previously upsetting thing with fun good treats. Then you can begin to slowly phase out the treat and only provide it intermittently to reinforce the behaviour.

 

One of my major things that I like, and recommend, with dogs is setting up a program where they're busy through the day using their brains and trying out new things. So, we do NILIF (nothing in life is free) where they have to work for their food, access to places they like, etc. Basically, they have to put in some effort to do the things they like. I feed kibble so they get half of their daily allowance as we go through some basic commands or just playing catch when I throw the food up in the air. The other half comes in puzzle toys, frozen Kongs or hidden around the house as they have to search it out ). It keeps them entertained, enforces that I'm the source of yummy cool stuff, and entertains me too when I watch them. Keeping their brains busy also cuts down on boredom and related 'hey, let's cause trouble so we have something to do' dog behaviors.

 

There are some great puzzle toys out there and I'm a more than a bit jealous of some of the ones you could use since you have smaller dogs. My Bodhi (lab x) would just chew his way through them rather than work out how to get the treat. Some of my favorite are produced by [url=http://www.premier.com/View.aspx?page=dogs/products/toys/busybuddy] Busy Buddy [/url]

 

ETA: Sorry, ignore the broken links. Anyone know why I can't use basic code anymore?

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#15 Old 06-02-2012, 11:42 AM
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Sounds like your male dog thinks it is pack leader Pixie.

 

Possibly the neighbours dog does also.

 

You need to get yourself some dog behavourial training and so does your neighbour by the sound of it.

 

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This what I was thinking too as he seems to dominate every situation and he gets very possessive and snarly with me and my husband when he sees the other dog or my cats come near us. I don't know much about his background apart from that he lived with his brother originally and I'm wondering if they had to be split up and rehomed as they were fighting with each other.

 

I think getting a behaviourist is the way to go really.

 

Sorry, I'm going to give my little rant here. There's absolutely no scientific evidence to back up any of the Cesar Milan style pack leader junk style of training. At best he's basing it off of a single study done on captive wolves over twenty years ago. Even if we were to assume that dogs behave exactly like wolves then dogs showing overt signs of aggression, on a regular basis, would not be a pack leader. Leaders are generally calm and will only have an issue with the very few things that they've deemed important. Wolves low in the hierarchy tend not to fight either because they've accepted their place. It's generally the ones in the middle who are jockeying for position and generally acting like jerks. You know, the insecure and anxious ones.

 

Dogs aren't stupid. Humans in no way resemble dogs and aren't dealt with like another dog. Humans are humans are humans, dogs are dogs. Generally, from a vet med/behaviorist perspective reactive dogs are experiencing autonomic nervous system arousal. So, they're confronted with a situation that they feel compelled to act upon and will behave in four ways: fight, flight, freeze or fidget. The key to reducing bites is remembering that they can easily switch between any of these behaviours. So, it's far less likely that a dog is freaking out because he's in charge and you're insolent. It's more likely that he's feeling insecure and anxious and doing a threat display in order to get the anxiety producing thing to back away.

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#16 Old 06-02-2012, 12:33 PM
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^ I read there is some controversy with that Milan guy but I know people that swear by his methods. I have avoided reading his stuff so far.

 

It's difficult as the behaviourists I have spoken to over the phone have all said different things but all have had a really annoying know-it-all tone to their voice as if they are the only ones that are right.tongue3.gif

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So, my basic go to for understanding dog behaviour and doing some basic obedience training is Jean Donaldson's ' [url=http://www.amazon.ca/Culture-Clash-Jean-Donaldson/dp/1888047054/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1338658200&sr=8-1] Culture Clash [/url] ' It's a fantastic intro and gives some good insight into the doggie thought process.

 

I actually have that book but I haven't read it yet and I was just about to order kongs online as the JR keeps chewing stuff and I read that dogs love them.smiley.gif I'm going to read it tomorrow. Thanks for all the info!

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#17 Old 06-02-2012, 01:00 PM
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Count me among those who have seen the pack leader thing work with dogs, including dogs who want to fight. But anyway, don't want to turn this into yet another big argument about Cesar Millan, so will stop here with this post. Other than to say he's doing something right if he can take dogs from all kinds of backgrounds, all breeds, and has them getting along in groups of 20 or 30 or more. And his dogs are not afraid of him. You can see that in their body language.  I "bought into" the pack leader thing before the days of Cesar Millan when I saw it work with other authors, behaviorists, and, of course, the dogs.

 

Will give you some tips that have helped me later on when I have more time but I do agree a behaviorist who can actually see the dogs in action is the way to go.  Though it is irritating when you ask 5 different people and get 5 different answers.  I say just pick one who you feel good about and who doesn't have the "my way is the only way" attitude. :)

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#18 Old 06-02-2012, 03:01 PM
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I do agree a behaviorist who can actually see the dogs in action is the way to go.  Though it is irritating when you ask 5 different people and get 5 different answers.  I say just pick one who you feel good about and who doesn't have the "my way is the only way" attitude. :)

Yes, I think I will. There was a man behaviourist who I heard was highly praised by an animal charity but his manner on the phone instantly put my back up and another guy I spoke to said something extremely sexist to me, it was something along the lines of that I could probably handle a little Chihuahua myself but any bigger dog would need a man present to take a firm hand with the dog.laugh.gif

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