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Baring teeth for no reason :(

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Melissa85, May 6, 2010.


  1. Melissa85

    Melissa85 PetForums Junior

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    I'm really upset! Our new rescue dog Ozzy, who we got about a week and a half ago, has been an absolute dream up until now. Very friendly towards dogs and humans, obedient, affectionate - but he has just bared his teeth at me, twice, for absolutely no reason! I am very relaxed about the dogs sleeping on my bed and I put my arm around him to pull him a bit closer to me (as he was hogging the duvet, lol) and he just growled and bared his teeth at me!

    He is very used to being pulled around when he's asleep as I always have to shift him because he's lying in the wrong position etc, so this was totally out of the blue. I was completely shocked for a few seconds and just froze, stunned at what he'd just done, then I sat up to get him off the bed, reached out to grab his collar and then he bared his teeth at me again! No growling this time, but it was a very aggressive look on his face and he stood up to do it. I stood up and shouted at him to get off the bed, which he did, then I opened the door and told him to leave the room, and his tail was between his legs and he looked very sheepish so I think he knew he'd done something wrong, but I'm shocked and so upset.

    I feel like I've gone very wrong somewhere. He will definitely NOT be sleeping on the bed anymore - should I not let him even sleep in my room? My other dog is an absolute softie, we've had him since he was a pup and he has never in his life shown even a hint of aggression towards me so I'm just totally clueless about what to do, having never been in this position. Any ideas why I suddenly got this negative reaction? I feel like such a failure right now :(
     
    #1 Melissa85, May 6, 2010
    Last edited: May 6, 2010
  2. Clare7435

    Clare7435 PetForums VIP

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    I have't a clue on what to advise to be honest....I know it's hard but try not to shout at him, you might get into a cycle of where he then see's you as a treat because yu don't know if he's been shouted at before by someone who has been mean to him...it might be that you just did something that brings back a memory of someone else maybe...touched him on a spot that made him remember....do you know much on the history of why he was in rescue? Mnd you even then it depends on who took him there and if they where telling the truth you never know......I hope you can get it orted anyway
    Good luck....you did a great thing rescuing him :thumbup:
    Clare xx
     
  3. tripod

    tripod PetForums VIP

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    This is most likely a resource guarding issue (location guarding) please get some help from a suitably qual'd trainer/behaviourist.

    Get Jean Donaldson's MINE! and work through those programs with your trainer. Run a mile if dominance etc. is mentioned - this is NOT a rank issue.

    Is your dog a Golden Retriever?

    You are right to stop allowing him on the bed for the moment unless in training situations - stop him practicing this behaviour. This issue, like all RG, is likely to escalate so get help ASAP :)

    Here is a fab article from Grisha Stewart to get you started:
    Resource Guarding | Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle | Dog and Puppy Tips from Seattle |
     
  4. dodigna

    dodigna PetForums VIP

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    You have only had this dog for over one week, you guys barely know each other and already you want to shift him around by his collar... You might think he is very used to this, when in fact he has probably just put up with you doing it and now he has had enough..
    When we got our rescue home he was provided with a bed and whenever he was there nobody was to bother him, it was his safe place to get away from us should he wish to, and he did wish to from time to time, if we did go to him because we were sure showering him with our physical contact was what he needed he would give us a worried look and we knew that was not what he wanted. Nothing wrong with letting him on your bed, but as far as he is concerned if he doesn't want to be disturbed when he is there he should have a right to. He has shown his teeth, he might have given you some even more subtle communication he was not happy with being re-arrange when he was in the middle of his sleep and you might have not picked up on it. The teeth bearing might already be an escalation of another warning and Tripod is right, should you not take he will have to up on it, maybe a quick air snap at first, then he might touch skin, etc.

    Does not make your dog aggressive in my views, but def a guarder towards his bed (you gave it to him). You need work on this, but many dogs need a little time to adjust in a new home and to new people, he sounds like a lovely dog already. Close your bedroom door if you don't want him in there for now rather then confusing him by punishing him for being on the bed when it doesn't suit you and cuddling when it suits you, to a dog what difference can it make...
     
  5. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    Hi sorry to hear u r having problems.

    I think a lot of people make the mistake of giving their new dog too much and not installing enough boundries.

    IMO u tried to move this dog from somewhere which h thought belonged to him.

    You need to re-establish your authority and remember that he is an animal. Begin by making the dog sleep in his bed on the floor. Ensure u control the affection which is given, not when he demands it.

    I have 3 rescue dogs and still 2 1/2 years later I cannot allow one of them on the bed. Not because he is aggressive towards us, but because he is naturally dominant and allowing him access to areas such as the sofa and bed, it brings it out of him.

    Good luck and if u need extra help consult a professional.
     
  6. Jenny Olley

    Jenny Olley PetForums VIP

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    agree with the others you need help, there may be lots of things that you are doing with your dog that he dislikes, you have said your other dog is a softy, so it just accepts. Now this dog has been with you a few days he is ready to make his feeling clear.
     
  7. lillylove

    lillylove PetForums Member

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    I have a close friend who has a beagle from a pup - he bared his teeth at her on her bed where she allowed him to sleep about 3 months ago. It had become his bed instead of the owners. She now will not allow him on the bed at all and he has claimed another spot as his own. If she wants to lay down with him to cuddle she will do so on the sofa - which is neutral ground and doesn't 'belong' to either of them. It makes common sense that you want to cuddle a dog, but if they feel that it belongs to them then either you need to leave them with it totally, or put in place that it belongs to you.
     
  8. hutch6

    hutch6 PetForums VIP

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    Does he do this when you touch his neck during grooming etc?

    He might have previously been jerked really hard on the leash, scuffed, claw-hand jabbed, alpha rolled or had som ebad experience involving his neck with his previous owners that you are not aware of.

    My rescue has this as the previous owners kids hung off her neck and hurt her a few times so she growled, so the previous knocked nine bells out of her. When the kids did it again, she growled again, the owner beat her again and took her to the vets to be PTS.

    She's fine now with a bit of positive reinforcement sessions of lightly touching her. Lightly touching her near her neck. Lightly touching her neck. Stroking her neck. Rubbing her neck.
     
  9. Colliepoodle

    Colliepoodle PetForums VIP

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    It isn't for no reason. There is a reason.

    He didn't like being pulled around. There's your reason. He doesn't know about hogging duvets. From his point of view, you pulled him out of a comfy position for no reason.

    Doesn't mean he likes it.

    Growling (the first indication he wasn't comfortable with what you were doing) didn't work for him, so he didn't bother this time.

    Dogs don't understand "right" and "wrong" in the sense we do. Dogs are amoral. From his point of view, you suddenly started pulling him around when he was comfy, then started shouting at him.

    Don't feel a failure! It's fixable :)

    There's no reason you can't have him on the bed or sofa if you want to - but it's got to be on YOUR terms and you need to be able to ask him up, and ask him off when you want to, and without the grappling! But TBH if you're often going to be manhandling him out of the way, perhaps it's best if you don't have him on the bed...

    If he were mine, I'd be first of all putting a light house line on him (only when you're around though) so that if I did need to move him, I could do it without grabbing his collar, which most dogs dislike unless they're taught to accept it.

    I'd get myself a bucket of treats, sit on the sofa/bed, go "Up" or whatever, and pat the sofa/bed invitingly. When he hopped up, I'd praise and treat.

    I'd then say "off" and toss a treat on the floor. He'd have to get off to get it. I'd repeat and repeat, and then wean him onto an arm movement to get him off (chances are, after enough repetitions, he'll assume that when you give an arm movement you're chucking a treat on the floor and he'll get off. You then give the treat AFTER he's got off.

    If he seems unsure, you can use the house line to GENTLY manoever him off, then treat. But hands-off training is less confrontational and you should find the house line is pretty unnecessary.

    Look at it from his POV - he's in a new home, probably with new rules. His new human, for no reason at all, keeps pushing and shoving him when he's asleep/comfy and when he says "OI, I don't like that" in the LEAST aggressive way he knows how (growling) you take no notice and start shouting at him.

    He needs TEACHING and SHOWING what you want - rather than being punished for things you DON'T want :)


    ETA - you won't have to have treats on you forever! Once you've got him hopping off obediently at the wave of an arm, for a treat WHEN HE'S OFF, you can probably swap the treat for a "Good boy!" ruffle ruffle ruffle...
     
    #9 Colliepoodle, May 6, 2010
    Last edited: May 6, 2010
    Cleo38 and ArwenLune like this.
  10. Melissa85

    Melissa85 PetForums Junior

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    He already knows on/off the bed, I made sure he knew what I meant when I said "off" before I let him sleep there! And I definitely don't manhandle him, all I was doing was trying to gently shift him, something I've done lots of times before and he has never reacted in that way. I always train the dogs using positive reinforcement, never punishing when they get it wrong etc, but I did feel like the shout of the word "out" was necessary this time. It wasn't really a punishment, the only word I shouted was "out" and then shut him outside the bedroom.

    Thank you to everyone for your suggestions, I will take them all on board - he definitely won't be sleeping on the bed for a few nights, I don't want to risk that again! And just to clarify the only time I reached for his collar was AFTER he growled/bared his teeth at me the first time, but I didn't actually even touch it as it was then that he bared his teeth the second time, so I opened the door and told him to leave the room. Also to clarify, I didn't even shift his position, I just went to put my arm around him and he didn't even let me get a grip before he growled - he was also NOT asleep, he had only just moved so he was awake at this point.

    Thanks again everyone, hopefully the next few nights will go better and if he does anything like that again I will definitely speak to a professional.
     
  11. leashedForLife

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    melissa, hun, please don;t feel a failure -
    this is just a miscommunication, not a catastrophe.

    when i read this account, it sounds as tho U are being intrusive, in ways that U think are OK -
    but theres a reason they say let sleeping dogs lie.

    how would U react if i physically moved U from one area of the bed to another, as U slept? if i were as BIG in relation to U
    as U are to the dog, would that change how U felt? intimidation, irritation, frank anger at being awakened?
    what would U do - shout at me, haul off + hit me, burst into loud obscenities?

    i never touch a dog without waking them first - just for safety; if the dog is elderly, i bump the bed, thump the floor
    gently, etc, to avoid shouting at the (possibly) deaf or hard-of-hearing dog.
    when their eyes are open + the tail wags, we are ready for whatever i want to ask of them -
    but not before, and i do no physical manipulation at all, not even touch.

    hope its just a hiccup, and he recovers his faith in U - sleeping in someones presence is an act of trust. ;)
    --- terry
     
  12. Clare7435

    Clare7435 PetForums VIP

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    Hey...here's an example for you hun...Penny's 6 months old now and I've been her only owner. My 11 yr old daughter is a swine for picking her up, lost count of the amount of times I've told her that Penny does in fact have legs and likes using them so to leave her be and stop picking her up, but my daughter is a prime example of why not to but a kid a puppy....all cute and fluffy kisses because she's a pup...anyway...back to me story....Em has took to picking her up when she's sleeping.....well Penny obvioulsy doesn't like this and last time Emily did it penny did the most agressive sounding growl and air snap I've ever heard. Obvioulsy I don't want Penny to be agressive and I don't think for one minute she will be but she's like any of us, she has a point where she's had enough.....Emily now knows this and she believe me she got no sympathy fro me......more like an I told you so...because at 11 she should know better
    If this kind of thing happened to your dog before you got him then he'll only take being moved in sleep so many times before he warns you off....you never know, his previous owners might have had a kid like my lass bugging him all the time and that's through no fault of your own so don't be too hard on yourself, you're still getting to know him anbd it'll take time before you learn his likes and dislikes.
    Good luck
    Clare xx
     
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