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jemappelle

Training help, moves away/shuts down (was: Help with resource guarding please)

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I need some help with a toy Poodle I've only had since Sunday.  He is a retired stud dog and only recently desexed.  He has come from a house without cats and chickens but is fine with mine, so far.

 

The second night he was here he barked at the inside cat to get away from his crate when he was inside it and she got such a fright that she has stayed away.  Today I gave him a biscuit which he took over to a bed outside and one of the cats walked past, showed no interest in his food or even looked at him and he barked and snapped in her direction.  She scuttled away and I was so surprised I went uhuh and he jumped off the bed and ran off so I picked the biscuit up.  He hasn't shown any problems with me.

 

I've done a bit of Googling and some people say it is from insecurity and this could be the case for him.  My neighbour popped in to meet him yesterday and he was at the back door barking at her so I got her to move into an area where she couldn't be seen and when he was quiet we went outside.  He was so frightened of her, barking and running away.  We sat on the chairs in the sunroom (runs off the back door) and talked for a while.  Eventually, he came over behind my chair and pressed himself against the wall.  After a while, my neighbour won him over with some cheese and the dog sat on a chair between us and the dog would look at her for treats.  

 

The breeder I got him from didn't get him until he was 9 months old and is pretty sure he hasn't been socialised properly and I was made aware of that before I took him.  I had two visits at his house and he had a lengthy visit here before I went ahead with taking him on.  I've done quite a bit of dog rescue work so know that the honeymoon period is ending and he is showing his real self.


I should also mention that I have a 12 year old Cav and they seem to be getting on fine.  They have been playing a little and are currently asleep together on a trampoline bed in the sun room. As the Poodle is used to being outside all the time and is not properly house trained, I bring him (and the Cav) inside after feed time and the Cav goes out into her usual night time spot at bedtime while the Poodle stays in the crate for the night.

 

While I am good with separation anxiety I need help with resource guarding if I have any chance of this working.  

 

Thanks for reading this far if you are still with me!  

Edited by jemappelle

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She scuttled away and I was so surprised I went uhuh and he jumped off the bed and ran off so I picked the biscuit up.

This looks a bit like you just did to him what he did to the cat... Ie biggest meanest critter gets the biscuit.

 

I would play lots of treat games or give and geddit with toys and food games - with just you in a space with few distractions for a bit.  And then I'd see if I could get one cat to act as a distraction (chuck kitten biscuits at it?) and the play the give and geddit games with your dog. 

Work on distance to distraction... ie start off at a fair distance but where he can still pay attention to you (pay attention to how far a cat needs to be when approaching for him to give it the stiff eyed stare, and then curled lip... that's the edge of your envelope in that environment.  And then you can stretch the envelop by playing games closer or further away.


I also sometimes play games with treat rewards using chippies - if dog does something I don't like - eg grump at another dog or cat or human... I don't scold - I eat the chip, loudly and with enthusiasm.   You still need to be far enough away from the distraction your dog can still think and isn't completely over excited.  So your dog needs to think about you eating the chip instead of him.  And what does he have to do to get the chip?

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Luckily the dog didn't see me get the biscuit because he had scuttled off down the side of the house.  He is so jumpy that when I put his food bowl down he jumps backwards, edges forwards, repeat!  I move away but keep an eye out to make sure the other dog doesn't come over. 

 

I think I need to work on his self confidence but not sure how to do that.  And I think it will take some time!

 

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Oh - what a shame ...

My guess --only that -- is that he will need slow & careful re-training to this new life..he is way out of his comfort zone , and is showing it the only way he knows how :)

may I also suggest you use a silicone  bowl which will not make noise  ? 
Also feed him quite separate from teh other dog ..another room , or outside ...



Someone will no doubt give more substantial advice :)

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RuralPug   
24 minutes ago, jemappelle said:

Luckily the dog didn't see me get the biscuit because he had scuttled off down the side of the house.  He is so jumpy that when I put his food bowl down he jumps backwards, edges forwards, repeat!  I move away but keep an eye out to make sure the other dog doesn't come over. 

 

I think I need to work on his self confidence but not sure how to do that.  And I think it will take some time!

 

All of this will take trust on his part. To get his trust faster, spend more intensive one-on-one time with him. That will entail separate walks and separate training sessions which your other dog can't see so doesn't become a distraction. Plus try to regularly schedule activities which involve both dogs interacting with you. All part of adding an adult pet to your family. :)

The resource guarding wouldn't worry me as the cats are new to him and he is warning them to stay away from what is his. As soon as he realises that they aren't interested in his biscuit, this will stop. It will also stop once he begins to trust you fully i.e. he won't need to guard food that you have given him, because he will trust you not to let any other pet take it away. There is no harm in you letting him know that barking loudly is over the top, a glare from him to cat should suffice.

I know it is early days, but I wouldn't actually let him drive you away from his food bowl before he gets to eat. Put it down, then call him over. Stand over the bowl quietly - if he won't approach within say, three minutes, pick up the bowl and put it on the bench or somewhere out of his reach and then walk away. Try again in a half hour. Rinse and repeat, As soon as he does come to the bowl and begins eating, praise him verbally and move away to let him eat in peace.

Some of this may be learned behaviour from his previous home, you need to establish from the beginning what the required behaviour is in this home

 

 

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I'm on the K9 Pro page now, doing some reading.  

 

I was using a PP40 (airline type crate) as that was what the breeder has used for him on the occasions he has been crated.  But I couldn't see him in it so I got a wire crate which was delivered yesterday.  I can now see that he is very relaxed in it and he can see out more, of course.  He runs inside (when instructed) and I say 'bed' and he is straight in.  

 

He's not even sure what praise is, poor fellow, he looks at me confused.  So today I will work on trying to get him to sit and learn what praise is.

 

He got out the other day, when I was putting the bin out.  He ran off down the road, pooped on someone's lawn and then came running back to me, when called, so he has bonded to me!  I never thought he would be game enough to run out - lesson learned by me!  lol   And I got to meet two more neighbours who came out when they heard the crazy lady, in her daggy old clothes, calling out.  lol

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Thanks Rural Pug, yes some of it is behaviour from his old home.   The poor cats are very wary and are tip toeing around (well not the old girl, she is boss and knows it) but he isn't seeking them out to harass them or anything.  

 

And I have started off as I mean to go on but am finding him quite a bit different than what I expected.  He learnt straight away that jumping up on me and mouthing my legs received no attention but sitting quietly next to me earned lots.

 

Sorry for all my rambling but it is helping me to sort out what I need to do.  I have just realised how rusty I am,  having had the same two dogs for many years.

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Kajtek   
20 hours ago, jemappelle said:

...but he isn't seeking them out to harass them or anything.  

No he is not. He is making sure that he has access to all the goodies you offer.

Think of it his way..."I like new digs. I like food. I like new human. Gotta sort out the competition so I can stay here forever"

I think the trick is to convince him that he can have a good life WITH the competition.

 

I adopted Mr Pipin ~2 years ago. He is an old ex breeding bully (my avatar). After a few days here he attacked my other bully HonBun when she was next to the fridge (ie food source).  This was not a gentle "I am the boss" situation. Fortunately HonBun is smart and calm and no blood was drawn. This happened 3 times. Each time Pipin and I had "words" about his behaviour. He was told he was a very bad dog, shown total disapproval/ignored and put in a room to calm down.  

It took time and vigilance but two months after the last incident Pipin and HonBun became BFF :-) 

 

IMHO, maybe you need to let him know that it's not ok to lash out at cats when he has a treat. If he obliges, there are more wonderful treats rewarding his good behaviour. In my experience, consistent message and time is all it takes to have a nice, calm household.

 

 

 

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Roova   

I second the YouTube links Mrs RB posted, they cover behaviours which help make a lovely pet to live with.  Here's some articles for you too.

 

Resource guarding.  Lots of hints and tips to avoid it escalating.

https://issuu.com/petprofessionalguild/docs/bftg_september_2015_online_version/24

 

Fearful dogs. This has information on learning how to counter condition and de-sensitise to help with different degrees of fear or anxiety.  If he hasn't had much exposure to the outside world some tips here might come in handy.

http://fearfuldogs.com/

 

Resource guarding. Dog to dog (just in case you see any of that).

http://www.patriciamcconnell.com/theotherendoftheleash/resource-guarding-dog-to-dog-repost 

 

Its definitely not your dog being naughty or bad, that infers he knows the difference between right and wrong which isn't so.  They simply do what works for them.

I'm not sure I would be inclined to stand at your dogs bowl until he comes to eat though.  It may be quite intimidating while he's still so new to you and his environment?  Maybe simply pop him in his crate so he feels safe and can eat in peace then let him out and remove the bowl (not the other way around).   In time once he knows his food won't be messed with you can approach while he's eating, add high value food to his bowl and walk away.  That will start to build a more positive association with being approached while eating.  

 

Good luck, hopefully you both bring each other lots of happiness :)

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Thanks everyone for the links.  I have some reading to do today! :)

 

Yesterday I tried to teach him to sit but I realised quickly that it wasn't going to work so I switched to 'look' (look at me).  He picked it up very quickly but when he'd had enough he turned away from me (seemed to shut down, maybe it was too long for him or he'd had enough treats).  Now he comes up to me and looks at me all the time, which is great.  We also went for a 20 minute walk and he was very good for a dog that isn't lead trained.  He trotted along beside me with his tail up most of the time.  He got a fright when a car went past but I kept going so he pulled back into line and got praise for that.

 

Last night when I fed him I stood near the bowl and he came straight over and ate it all.  The cats are much more relaxed too.  Yesterday one was asleep on the trampoline bed with the Cav so he went over and had a look and then moved on to another bed.  The day before that the cats spent much of the day perched up on high objects!

 

He is so much calmer than when he first arrived.  I can go in and out of the house with no crying, jumping up on me or mouthing my legs.  

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Yesterday we spent a bit of time playing with a stuffed toy.  He finally got into it, with a bit of help from the Cav, and it was lovely to see him running around and obviously happy.  

 

 

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I'm having trouble engaging/motivating Ash.  Today I thought I would try the clicker training 'touch' in the video posted by MrsRB.  The first 3 times it was ok (he's hesitant and very dainty taking the treat), then he moved away and I couldn't entice him back.  So I got the Cav out and she already knows the trick so was straight on to it, full of Cav enthusiasm.  lol  However, she isn't used to the clicker but wasn't bothered by it all.  We kept this up for about 15 click/treats.  Still couldn't get Ash to come over.

 

Even with his favourite toy today he only ran after it twice (before the touch training).  

 

All tips appreciated!  HALP!

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Maybe try using the word "yes" instead of the clicker and better treats - have five attempts at whatever you are trying to train and then have a play with him for at least a minute - and then maybe try again or just wait a few hours.   Trick training is hard on a dog's brain, it tires them out and frustrates them - and you build up persistance in training - gradually - don't try to get him there all at once.  If it's not fun for him - try something else.

It is good to swap dogs too - a lot of dogs learn by seeing another dog do what you want them to do.  My dog has taught a few to use the dog door and also that water is ok...at the beach.

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Hi jem - Pavlov is always on your shoulder! So if Pavlov looms large on one shoulder (fear) then Skinner will shrink on the other (learning). So don't worry about training a behaviour. Just sit on the ground and feed treats continuously. And I mean continuously. They can be tiny. They can be part of his dinner. They can be healthy eg cooked steamed chicken. Just treat after treat with no pressure. Can I suggest you video and then you can track progress. There is no time line by the way. Let us know how you get on. 

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Hi jem - Pavlov is always on your shoulder! So if Pavlov looms large on one shoulder (fear) then Skinner will shrink on the other (learning). So don't worry about training a behaviour. Just sit on the ground and feed treats continuously. And I mean continuously. They can be tiny. They can be part of his dinner. They can be healthy eg cooked steamed chicken. Just treat after treat with no pressure. Can I suggest you video and then you can track progress. There is no time line by the way. Let us know how you get on. 

Agree - he just needs to build different relationships/unlearn old habits/ways of reacting ... teeny baby steps :) 

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So if Pavlov looms large on one shoulder (fear) then Skinner will shrink on the other (learning). So don't worry about training a behaviour. Just sit on the ground and feed treats continuously.

 

I can hear Bob Bailey echos TSD  :) great post .  I'd mix in saying "yes" and the dog's name with the treats too.

Just watched one of my favourite dog training coaches playing a game with her poodle - she was having trouble with touching him and then catching him... so the game was scatter treats (yummy ones) and then tell him to get the treats and then pat him as he's eating... both dog and coach enjoyed playing that game.   And it was a really short game like about 10 scattered bits of something that looked like cheese - for as long as it took for the dog to eat them all (less than 10 seconds).

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Thanks everyone.  I'm just not sure what to make of this dog!  I've had a lot of rescues over the years and have never had anything like this and I am starting to think I'm not up to the challenge.

 

When I walk out the door, he is jumping all over my legs and so excited to see me, so I keep walking to a chair and sit down.  Then I can't get him to come anywhere near me - he just lays down a few feet away and looks calm!  He may come over for a little bit of cheese a couple of times and that's it.

 

He sleeps inside in a crate, goes in without any problems, quiet all night, goes out in the mornings without any problems.  Today I couldn't even get him to play but yesterday he played a lot and was doing zoomies several times.  No zoomies today though.

 

Hopefully a bit more time will help.

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