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Old 05-08-2012, 12:36 PM
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Dog and my OH have fallen out..causing problems all round :(

Hi All,

Sorry about this as I’ve been asking quite a few questions regarding my 1 year old (recently adopted) Pekingese, Arnold recently. You have all been amazing! I hope that soon enough I may actually be able to contribute and offer advice to people myself!

So Arnold has been neutered (and is practically back to his old self after a couple of hairy days) - I brought his op forward, on the advice of PF members when I expressed how Arnold had been displaying some aggression towards my OH recently http://www.petforums.co.uk/dog-train...ing-worse.html

I ruled out anything medical with the vet so it’s clearly behavioural. I’m planning to see a behaviorist beginning of Sep but I wonder if there’s anything we can be doing in the meantime?

Arnold was awful after his op, growled at me constantly and quite frankly I didn’t want to touch him. I only had to look at him for him to go mad! Now the anesthetic has worn off, I would say he’s back to normal with me (I have been the main caregiver/walker/feeder) but unfortunately his aggression has intensified towards my OH. On the way home from the op, my OH was driving and Arnold went crazy halfway through the journey, low growls and snapping at my OH when he said to him “ahhh poor little boy”

I think my OH is not helping to be honest- he’s more into the whole Cesar Milan “dominance” theories while I’m more of a positive reinforcement person! Over this past couple of days I have sat on the floor and let Arnold come to me, sniff etc etc. OH has said “who’s a good boy” to Arnold from the sofa and has received a long low growl. The same thing happened this morning when Arnold was in our room…my OH got the growl again!

I now have an unhappy OH who is quite frightened over the dog after being bitten last week and now he’s receiving serious hostility it doesn’t help matters. It upsets him and he takes it so personally so he is inevitably giving off a vibe. As a result, he hasn’t walked or fed him or even touched him for a few days now which I guess is understandable. Arnold has a resource guarding issue over food and can be a little monster and while we’re dealing with that separately, my OH doesn’t want to wind him up even more over the food issue if Arnold has an issue with him, so it’s all been down to me.

It’s weird because a couple of weeks ago, I would have said my OH was Arnold’s favourite- they were having lots of rough house play and cuddles and Arnold was loving it! Would follow my OH round the house and would cry when he left. It seems to have suddenly turned! The worst kind of treatment I’ve had from Arnold has to be indifference, aside from when the neutering happened, I’ve never been on the receiving end of aggression unless it’s been over the resource guarding.

The whole thing is worrying and it’s causing a few “heated discussions” between me and my OH…

I just bought a clicker and a book on it called “click to calm”- do you think clicker training could be the way forward?

Can anyone advise on how Arnold and my OH can re-bond again?

My OH is suggesting time out when Arnold starts the growling but the problem with that, is that nothing snaps Arnold out of it when he’s on that track…distraction doesn’t work and you wouldn’t want to pick him up in that condition. My OH doesn’t make eye contact when it happens and tries to look away but it carries on. If my OH says “no Arnold” etc then the situation seems to intensify and it can lead to snapping. Arghhhh!

Would appreciate any advice…

Thank You!

Last edited by MissPeek; 05-08-2012 at 12:38 PM.. Reason: wrong link
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:25 PM
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Re: Dog and my OH have fallen out..causing problems all round :(

Is your vet male by any chance? I think they said he was unpredictable durning the procedures at times, understandable as a stressed unsure dog will become defensive at the best of times even a stable one can. Ive known rescue dogs be fine with women but if they have been manhandled and ill treated by men they can be untrusting and wary, one of mine was scared of men when I got her especially men with grey hair at first. Someone who I knew with a rescue dog became defensive and growled and lunged when her OH picked up a broom, rake or even a paper.

I think it would be worth trying with him, what you did yesterday as far as your OH goes. With dogs who are wary, uncertain or even fearful even something like eye contact can be seen as intimidating or challenging. A dog growling is usually his first form of asking for space if they are unsure, its often not dominance as a lot of people think. Ignore the growling and proceed you will often see teeth and face pulling, ignore that and you often get an airsnap, ignore that and they can then be pushed to bite. Telling dogs off for growling or punishing can also mean they dont even bother and can go straight to air snapping or biting.

I wold get your other half to totally ignore him and give him space especially as he has just had all the trauma of the last couple of days. Tell him not to even look at him, try to talk to him, stroke him nothing. If there is any treats or food that he adores then make sure your OH has some to hand. If the dog seems to be interested in him or curious but still keeping distance, tell him to slowly with gentle movements throw the treats in his direction, if he takes it, then tell him to gently and slowly throw one but a bit nearer to him, and see if the dog approaches and takes it. But still ignore him totally not even looking at him apart from that. Then let the dog sort himself out. if it works and he approaches and takes more interest then see if he will take one dropped near him on the foor. Eventually you should be able to build up to softly speaking to him, maybe taking a treat, and then a gentle pat and finally eye contact. You cant rush it he has to let the dog build up confidence and trust and want to interact in his own time.

You can do a similar thing when he is eating, by starting at a distance away, where he doesnt react and ignores you, if he growls or shows agression you are too close, throw the treats, bits of chicken cheese hotdogs sausages or anything liver based often works. Just throw slowly and gently treats to land right by his bowl. Over time you should be able to approach a little bit at a time baby steps, until you can drop food by his bowl standing there. If he growls you have gone too far and to close, so go back to the distance he was not reactive at. Do nothing apart from slowly and gently throwing the treats. As you are not making any other contact with him not even looking he shouldnt see it as threatening or anything to be wary of. He should also learn that he doesnt have to resource guard and that your OH is not threatening and only means good things, likewise with his food people approaching doesnt mean it will be taken away, in fact the opposite, it means he just gets even nicer food treats. Depending on the dog it can take days or weeks, but you must do it at his pace only.
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:40 PM
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Re: Dog and my OH have fallen out..causing problems all round :(

Just another thought looking at the title of your thread my OH and I have fallen out. That may be another factor. If there is tension, animosity, frautration or anger wariness from especially your OH, then the dog will likely be picking up on it. Makng him all the more likely to be uncertain and wary of your OH. An example is my first rescue dog a Samoyed who can be sensitive to thir owners feelings in general anyway. (Not sure about peeks, but I would hazard a guess that as companion dogs bred for centuries to be, they too could be sensitive to their owners and what they are feeling) He was a product of being rehomed due to a marriage break down, and if OH and I had an altercation anytime with raised voices and tension, he would literally take himself off in a corner and face the wall. My other rescue dog I told you about who was wary of men at first especially with grey hair she too was a product of rehoming due to a marriage break up, so depending on their previous life they can carry baggage and uncertainties for awhile.

So whilst it may be very hard being as calm and light hearted about the whole affair could make a big difference.
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Old 05-08-2012, 02:11 PM
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Re: Dog and my OH have fallen out..causing problems all round :(

Just been having a look to see if there is any decent websites on owning and living with peeks and breed traits they may have in common (you may have done aready?) Found one that seems to be quite helpful, sometimes understanding what a breed is like and what traits they may have in common can help a lot.
This one seems to cover quite a lot in the home and main menu might be worth a read and give you a better understanding.
Pekingese Dog Information
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:05 PM
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Re: Dog and my OH have fallen out..causing problems all round :(

Oh my goodness, thanks so much for taking the time again Sled dog! Brilliant.

No, my vet isn't male but I can definitely see the logic as to why this may go some of an explaination as to why Arnold is wary of men. It's weird but Arnold does freak out whenever my OH emerges with a mop (not for cleaning unfortunately, for dislodging Arnold's toys from under the sofa) so perhaps something happened to Arnold previously to have reaction to something like that when a male is involved. Arnold doesn't care when I bring out the mop! To be honest, it's quite likely that Arnold was manhandled by a male previously due to his origins at the Birds Market. It's all male run.

I've told OH to give him so space (as I have) and sure enough there's been a few sniffs of interest this evening. OH hasn't said in his big booming voice "who's a good boy???" while looking down at him from 6ft 3 high and as for the treats, OH has been dishing them out tonight (with Arnold's meds hidden inside) and we did get quite a lot of tail wagging in response. Still no touching though or cuddles. This has to be very, very slow.

Totally with you on the eating front, making us being around him a positive experience...we both need to do this. I have ordered that Jean thingy's book "Mine" online (it still has to arrive) and I believe it's the same kind of idea. This morning I didn't get any growling when I put the food down and I chucked bits of chicken into his bowl (from a distance) he seemed to be pretty comfortable with this so this may be the way forward.

Thanks for the tip on the progression of dog aggression- how a growl can lead to a bite. I need to convince my OH that we do need to ignore the growling and that it's not dominance at all...the trouble is that my OH comes from a family of 2 dogs who are now 11 and 14 and they have been disciplined with taps on the nose, occasional smack etc and now they are "great dogs" in their old age and no hassle as a result of this discipline (apparently)...think it's more to do with their age that they're calm then anything! Because of this my OH thinks that a hard approach is the best way. It does drive me mad because I have been the one trawling the net for help and advice, weighing up pros and cons of positive reinforcement vs dominance theories etc, clicker training...we obviously do have different approaches.

Trying not to have any tension in the house at the moment but it's hard. When Arnold growled at OH this morn, I could tell he was miffed for a good hour and even stopped talking to me as "it's your dog.." even I could sense the annoyance from him so goodness knows what Arnold picked up on. This evening I've tried to make things a little more lighthearted- when Arnold has been growling and disappearing off with his toys we've been joking that he's off to plot against us with his own evil lab in the bathroom! We've at least managed a couple of giggles over it.

As a breed, Pekes are super sensitive like you say, and I feel they do pick up on things. I did research the hell out of them when we were considering adopting Arnold so I knew to expect a slightly stubborn greedy dog with an above average level of food love, so much so they protect like crazy. So I think some of his issues are breed typical as well as a product of his beginnings.

Anyway, will keep persevering and trying out all advice.

Thanks again once more!
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:13 PM
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Re: Dog and my OH have fallen out..causing problems all round :(

Glad you think it might help, seems your OH ignorning him and giving treats seems to be working already as he is showing interest now and not growling at him at least not like he did. It also seemed to work yesterday didnt it with you so looks like its the way to go.

Good luck and keep us updated.
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:55 PM
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Re: Dog and my OH have fallen out..causing problems all round :(

I don't have much practical advice but I wanted to say how much I empathise with the training ethics. My husband has had dogs who have been brought up in a rough, dominant way and all I can suggest is that clicker training does work but I had to prove it did. Luckily for me Molly thinks so too.

I do think your OH is onto something with time out though. Separating from us behind a baby gate instantly stops Molly in her plans for world domination.

I hope you manage to find a solution, it's tough but it will be worth it.
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:04 PM
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Re: Dog and my OH have fallen out..causing problems all round :(

Did the vet check thyroid function and bloods?
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:34 AM
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Re: Dog and my OH have fallen out..causing problems all round :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by MollySmith View Post
I don't have much practical advice but I wanted to say how much I empathise with the training ethics. My husband has had dogs who have been brought up in a rough, dominant way and all I can suggest is that clicker training does work but I had to prove it did. Luckily for me Molly thinks so too.

I do think your OH is onto something with time out though. Separating from us behind a baby gate instantly stops Molly in her plans for world domination.

I hope you manage to find a solution, it's tough but it will be worth it.
Haha it's so difficult to persuade someone that their old fashioned tactics are in fact, ineffective! The clicker book is on its way but my OH is just as stubborn as Arnold to be honest so I'll have to hammer it home!

A baby gate is a grand idea, we have the kitchen separated from the living room with no door so perhaps if we popped a gate up in there then that would serve as a good time out..i'll look into this weekend.

Thanks!
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:40 AM
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Re: Dog and my OH have fallen out..causing problems all round :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by lemmsy View Post
Did the vet check thyroid function and bloods?
Hi,

I told the vet about the recent aggression and I agreed for a blood test to be run but that wasn't because of the aggro, it was to do with him being ok with anaesthetic and checking allergies I believe. It's a box you tick on the admission form. She did however run an xray on his back as she said back issues are common with Pekes and she wanted to make sure he wasnt in pain with that, hence the aggression. It came back clear but she did prescribe him some painkillers in case it was muscular and he had pulled something? I'm obviously no vet but I didn't think so..he's still full of beans and chasing birds running around etc..

No thyroid test conducted to my knowledge- would you recommend this for aggression?
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