jemappelle

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

32 posts in this topic

Sounds like he's conflicted - kinda enjoying himself one minute and then WHAM here comes a history of reinforcement. Sometimes it can be a lot to overcome. Best thing to focus on is to train the dog in front of you. Scared? Feed. Relax. Playful? Play. Frantic? Calm. 

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Sounds like my Pipin at first. He would do the right things but then 'shut down'. He frequently just went to bed to be alone - a coping mechanism I suppose.

 

Give him time. You are doing the right things.

Judging by my experience there is a wonderful, loving companion at the end of this journey. 

 

RuralPug and jemappelle like this

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(we still haven' seen this boy ;) )

Just let him acclimatise ...get to know each other by doing your own thing as far as necessary - move in your own behavioural circles , and eventually they will intersect ;)

relax , enjoy him as he is ... when he's ready , you'll know, I'm sure . 
play hard to get!! ...

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Sometimes dogs can use frantic "greetings" as a mad appeasement attempt. Or they can get so stimulated by a human actually being close to them that it's actually not very pleasant after all. A good, quick test you can do is ask for a sit when he's been trying to jump on you, but then take a step or two away, crouch, and invite him over. Do it several times and try with different distances. If he's not readily coming to you when invited, there's a good chance the jumping at you is actually an attempt to buy space. It's counter-intuitive, but learning theory proves the point.

Kajtek likes this

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Sometimes dogs can use frantic "greetings" as a mad appeasement attempt. Or they can get so stimulated by a human actually being close to them that it's actually not very pleasant after all. A good, quick test you can do is ask for a sit when he's been trying to jump on you, but then take a step or two away, crouch, and invite him over. Do it several times and try with different distances. If he's not readily coming to you when invited, there's a good chance the jumping at you is actually an attempt to buy space. It's counter-intuitive, but learning theory proves the point.

That's interesting.  And unfortunately, I can't get him to sit and have been unable to teach it to him.  And he won't come over when I invite him but he has started to slowly come to me for a treat, if the Cav takes one first, so that's a good sign.

 

However, this morning when I sat down outside (he peed on the grass, yayyy!!) he put his paws on my leg (and made eye contact with a smiley face) which I would normally ignore but I thought I would try a different tactic.  I put on my high pitched excited voice and lightly roughed him up and he loved it.  He started zooming around and coming back for more.

 

Yesterday I had him sit on my lap and was rubbing his chest, when I took my hand away he would seek it out and nudge it, so I would then continue.  But when I tried it again later in the day he just sat there, looking away.  

 

A very interesting dog, this one!  Once I 'get' him I think we will be able to move forward more quickly.

Tassie and persephone like this

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Thanks, MrsRB, that article is interesting and I did have a couple of pound dogs that shut down a little, but after a few days they would start to show their true selves.  I've had Asha nearly 2 weeks now - the Sunday before last - time flies! :)   

Mrs Rusty Bucket likes this

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The life of a "retired stud dog" might be similar to a pound dog - depending on whether he was an inside house hold pet or outside in kennels with lots of other dogs.

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The life of a "retired stud dog" might be similar to a pound dog - depending on whether he was an inside house hold pet or outside in kennels with lots of other dogs.

Personally I would think it would rarely apply.

Pounds and shelters are often really scary places to pets because the fear and confusion felt by many inmates can be heard and smelt by all the others - that plus the rapid turnover of inmates is very unsettling and stressful. A retired stud dog, even if spending most of his life in outdoor kennels has usually not had that kind of stress - mostly he will have been handled by the same person or people,  had a reasonably reliable routine and his neighbour kennel mates are usually fairly long term ones (except of course for the delicious ladies that come to be mated LOL). So I personally don't think that you need to give the same kind of support that you would use for a shut down stressed straight from the pound foster.

@jemappelle The thing is that you know right from the get-go that this guy is a forever guy and, it may be subconscious, but you will probably be somewhat more anxious than with a foster because even though we love our fosters we are preparing them to be happy with another family forever and so they don't need to fit neatly into every single quirk of our household. This is doubly so when a new forever pet has issues that we have been made aware before accepting them, so we are anxious that we do everything "right" so the transition to our home is made as least stressful as it can possibly be.

It is really easy for me to say this LOL I've been there more than once and the best thing that happened was when I was told "Just relax. You have rehabbed dogs much worse than this, you've got this girl!"  
It's harder to actually do it - relax about the whole thing, and just deal with each issue. The magic thing is, once you do manage to beat your own subconscious into submission and just accept that you ARE doing right by your new family member, they tend to relax as well and suddenly fit right in.

Apologies if you have better control over your subconscious than I -,as most of this this will be meaningless and please ignore it except for the bit that says "You've got this, girl!" :thumbsup:

Mrs Rusty Bucket likes this

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I think you have hit the nail on the head RuralPug.  Because I want him to stay, I feel I need to make sure he fits in, is happy and doesn't have undesirable habits from the start.  I had a rescue Poodle x that I adopted that I really should have rehomed.  She spent the first two years challenging my cattle dog, luckily he was a very tolerant dog and pretty much ignored her.  When I look back I realise I should have found her a home that was a better fit than mine as she would have been much happier.

 

And I've realised I need to use his crate more as, obviously, he feels safe in there.  He was much more relaxed with yesterday's visitors when he was in there and even sniffed a few fingers. :)

 

 

Tassie, RuralPug and persephone like this

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Sometimes, what we think we're saying - with voice and body language - is not what the dog "hears". Is it possible that your poodle is reading subtle, unintentional cues from simple things you do? Videoing your successful and unsuccessful interactions may help you to identify things you do that make him switch off. No matter how experienced we are, it's difficult to spot our own mis-steps, so reviewing the videos with a dog-savvy friend might also be useful.

 

I wonder if your poodle interpreted your lack of response to his greetings as a correction; I'm sure my border collie would.

 

I think of dog training as a conversation, and experiment with posture/position, eye-contact and touch to see what makes each dog respond happily. Getting as close as possible to the dog's eye-level helps; sitting on the floor or ground is usually less intimidating than standing or sitting on a chair (although I have seen a dog spooked by this). Eye contact can be threatening, but denying eye contact can be seen as a rebuke. Context is important,too: my German Shepherd enjoys gentle stroking from stop to ears - but didn't when I was teaching her to retrieve. To train a happy retrieve, I had to reward her with a scratch on the chest.

Edited by DogsAndTheMob
jemappelle likes this

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