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desperately needing help - 12 month old pup

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by rmwilliams, Jul 20, 2009.


  1. rmwilliams

    rmwilliams PetForums Newbie

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    Hi all i'm new to this forum and i really need some help. I have a 12month old staff/ border collie cross who has recently started being really aggressive towards me. I have had her since she was 8 weeks old and besides some teething problems (nipping me while playing and when i put the lead on her) she's been great. for the past couple of weeks shes started being really aggressive towards me biting me when i have hold of her collar and when she's tired which im finding really upsetting. She use to be such a loving dog and i really want the old milly back. The only change I can think of recently has been that ive started taking her out with my friends dos (also a staff cross) who she plays with in quite a rough manner. She's had one season and and is due to be spayed on wednesday. Please please help i'll be so greatful for any advice.
     
  2. PoisonGirl

    PoisonGirl Banned

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    Get the vet to give her a check, there maybe some problem you can't see.

    x
     
  3. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    HI, welcome to the forum

    What do you do when she displays aggression?

    What do you mean when you say "when I have hold of her coller?"

    From the sounds of it, your dog knows about bite inhabition, therefore she is manipulating you.

    If it is because she is playing rough with a dog and then with you, she see;s you as her equal and not you as a leader.

    Work on re-establising yourself as boss/pack leader so that this behaviour stops. Stop looking at her as "Millie" and begin seeing her as a staffi x who needs to learn respect. If she begins doing this to other people, it will not be pleasant for you.

    Good luck and keep us posted x
     
  4. Myyy

    Myyy PetForums Newbie

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    Hi,

    Around one year, and after their first season, some dogs get more dominant, and starts getting less puppy like. The important thing is, as goodvic2 says, to ensure that you are the leader, and not her.

    Me to, are interested to hear what you do when she does this, and how you feel inside when this happens?

    Removing your hand is not a good idea, even if its just a reflex, and even feeling a bit scared inside is quite easy for a dog to recognize.

    Btw. Usually this "state" calms down after a while, depending of course, on how you deal with it.

    Good luck :)

    Myyy
     
  5. catellkai

    catellkai PetForums Junior

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    Has she had her first season yet? sometimes hormones especially when the dog doesnt have a clue what they are doing change the dog.Have you tried walking her again on her own?She may just need quality alone time with you.
     
  6. Colliepoodle

    Colliepoodle PetForums VIP

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    Before you start attributing anything to "dominance" I agree with the poster who suggested a vet check.

    If she's been playing rough with another dog she may well have hurt herself which may explain why she's reluctant to have her collar touched.

    If a vet check comes back all clear and she is still uncomfortable with you touching her collar then I'd be using a clicker to teach her that you approaching her collar is a good thing.
     
  7. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    Do you really think that clicker training will stop the dog behaving aggressively with the owner? I sort of see where you are coming from with regards to the coller. But if the dog is medically well, then in my opinion the dog does not trust the owner to touch it in this area. Clicker can certainly help, but an aggressive staffi x needs to know that this behaviour is not acceptable.

    Surely building up trust and getting respect for the dog comes before clicker training?
     
  8. dimkaz

    dimkaz PetForums VIP

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    hi,

    well 12 months old is a big puppy,

    there you have loads of nice suggestions,
    vet check is necessary to assess whether there is some hormonal problem, however, your dog seems to be in one of those phases (7-9 months and then again just before 2 yo) when they try to understand what's their place in pack.

    i suggest you firmly redirect the dog's frustrations in building up something constructive. i.e. when turning on you, you should be able to stand your ground without retracting your hand and as soon as the dogs calms down play some trust-building exercise. for example you can stand over the dog while feeding some titbits, or lye down together without allowing her paws to be on top of you stroking her and whisper sweet nothings, these exercise should calm her down, build (or further reinforce) her trust in you, and wean off the bad behaviour. i would give it at least a week for it to be fully effective and try these exercise in the house and in the outside world i.e. when you stop at the traffic light while on a walk, or just before getting through the gate at the park (so to avoid any confusion of the kind: "i trust you in the house, but outside i feel on my own and need to react as i see fit").

    please get in touch again if you decide to try this and share with me (and the forum) your experience.

    d
     
  9. flufffluff39

    flufffluff39 PetForums VIP

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    I rescued a shihtzu from the age of 5 that was aggressive. His old owner did it to him. He was thrown down the stairs because he wanted to be upstairs. He was strangled when he was being clipped and they wondered why he was so scared of being touched. Gizmo was the most loving shihtzu you could ever know but when he hated you he would show it by trying every which way he could to get you. I learnt to leave him when he was in a mood but if you want to really stop your dog from being like that sort him/her out now or you will have a special needs dog all your life.
     
  10. fun4fido

    fun4fido PetForums Senior

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    Hi,

    In the first instance I would recommend that you take Milly to your vet. Whenever a dog has a sudden change in behaviour this should be the first port of call.

    If the vet check is fine, then I would suggest you establish your benevolent leadership by doing the following:

    • Control the resources your dog likes, needs, wants, (food, toys, play, etc.) and teach her to work for these.
    • Use positive reinforcement, set clear boundaries, and remain consistent in your rules and expectations
    • Before giving your dog access to something she likes, needs, wants ask her to do something for you. It can be anything in her repertoire of behaviours, but "sit/wait" is a good default
    • Create a predictable environment and set consistent limits.
    • Give your dog jobs she can earn rewards for so she has a sense of control over her environment and things that happen to her.
    • Manage your dog’s environment to prevent her from practising problem behaviours.
    • Prevention through training. Train your dog daily in short play sessions. Many problems arise because a dog has not had any or enough training, and therefore doesn't understand or comply with requests
    • Have fun with your dog everday, dogs love to play, especially with you.

    As Colliepoodle has suggested, I would go buy yourself a clicker, and start using it to effectively communicate with Milly, so that she will no longer feel threatened by you approaching and taking hold of her collar.

    Steps to take:

    1.) Charge the clicker (you can read how to do this [here]
    2.) Call Milly to you, reach out for her collar (don't actually touch), and at the same time click & treat (C/T)
    Move away, call Milly to you again, reach out, at the same time C/T
    Repeat this 5 times

    3.) Call Milly over, reach out and touch her collar, but just for a second, and at the same time C/T
    Repeat this 5 times

    4.) Call Milly over, reach out and take hold of her collar for a few seconds, at the same time C/T
    Repeat 5 times

    5.) Start over at step 2, but this time you approach Milly, ask her to sit, then reach out, don't touch, and at the same time C/T Repeat 5 times

    6.) Approach Milly, ask her to sit, then reach out and touch her collar just for a few seconds, as you touch, C/T Repeat 5 times

    7.) Approach Milly, ask her to sit, reach out take hold of her collar for a few seconds, as you first hold C/T Repeat 5 times

    The goal is to build up to holding her collar for 30 secs, and have her "sit" while doing this.

    The timing of the "click" is important, so make sure for click either as you reach out, or when you first touch/hold her collar. Not as you remove your hand.

    Note: Throughout this training you don't want Milly to react by trying to bite, so pay close attention. If you think she is going to react, then lead her into a room and give her a 30 seconds time-out, then start over.

    If you feel you would be uncomfortable doing any of this, then seek the help of a positive trainer.

    Hope this helps
     
  11. Myyy

    Myyy PetForums Newbie

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    How is your Milly doing? It would be so nice to hear how you are getting on .-)
     
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