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Grandmother's dog nips at me, and my dog

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by DeJay, Apr 14, 2019.


  1. DeJay

    DeJay PetForums Newbie

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    Hi,
    I am really in need of help here. Sorry in advance for the long story.
    My grandmother moved in almost a year ago with her two dogs, we had 4 in the home already, so now that makes 6 and also a cat. We ended up moving 3 of the dogs to my mother's house and the cat as well because we didn't know how my grandmother's dogs would be with the cat and such a crowded house. We figured it was better to be safe than sorry. We did everything we could to make as little stress for the dogs durring their transition. They have a room of their own where they can get away from my dog when they need to and my dog gets confined to my room when they start to bicker. They were all getting along until about 2 months after they had been living with us. Now here is the problem, my grandmother's dogs have barely been handled both of them were originally other family members dogs when they were unceremoniously dumped at my grandmothers house because they did not want their dogs anymore. Both of them got new dogs now. The older dog is 14, he is a lover and just wants pets and love. Generally he isn't a problem at all. The younger dog however is a Dutch shepherd mix. My cousin adopted her then 4 months later dropped her at my grandmother's house because he didn't like her. This dog is now 3 years old. When I come and go from the house she barks. But a person at the door is normal for some dogs to bark at. Even after she sees it is me though she continues to bark. I can not get her to stop. She barks at me as I move through the house, my German shepherd is always at my side, he never lunges or barks at her and other than your normal dog things he is very well behaved, the Dutch shepherd mix will bite at his back legs, bite at my legs and arms when I reach down to pet my dog, and when I try to climb or descend the stairs in our house. When I scold her for it she runs to my grandmother who I can not get to understand to not praise her for these actions, now when I say scold I mean raise at her and push her away I would never hit a dog. I have tried everything I can think of, positive re enforcement doesnt work either. I have tried giving her treats when she stops barking at me and telling her she is a good girl. Her actions are especially bad when my grandmother is in the room with me, or when my dog is in the room with me. If both things happen forget it, my dog and I are the bad guys and nothing stops her. My grandmother laughs it off and praises her letting her sit on her lap and petting her while the dog continuously barks at me, needless to say she thinks her dog is the most well behaved dog and that it must be my dogs fault. I'm at my wits end any help or suggestions on how to approach and correct this behavior would be helpful. I refuse to get rid of or give up on any animal. They all have the capacity to be good, and I dont want any of them to have to move out.
     
  2. Linda Weasel

    Linda Weasel PetForums VIP

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    Does your gran take her dog for walks etc?

    I’m just wondering if you could somehow ‘take over’ this dog, as this would make it easier for you to train and control.
     
    Lurcherlad likes this.
  3. DeJay

    DeJay PetForums Newbie

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    I have tried this too, I thought if I took her out more and excersized her it would help her calm down and we could bond . we go for the walk and while we are out she is great. As soon as we come home she is a terror agin.
     
  4. Linda Weasel

    Linda Weasel PetForums VIP

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    Walking, training, playing should all help you bond with her.

    You have a difficult job here if her unwanted behaviour is being reinforced.

    There might also be an element of resource guarding when she’s indoors; there’s a sticky on here.
     
    Lurcherlad likes this.
  5. DeJay

    DeJay PetForums Newbie

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    The problem is, I do play with her. I take her out back and she plays with me and my dog. The biggest issue seems to be when my grandmother is close. She has started doing it when my father is around too and as soon as I told my dad what he was doing by letting her lay in his lap after I yelled at her was the wrong kind of reinforcement, as soon as she was being pushed away by him instead of coddled she backed off when it came to him. And my grandma is offended every time I tell her we need to be consistent. Can anyone tell me how to deal with stubborn old ladies ? Lol
     
  6. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    Your family need to understand that they are doing the dog (and the other dogs and you) no favours by not dealing with this issue.

    Apart from the fact there is probably a lot of anxiety in everyone the Shepherd sounds like it is very anxious most of the time :(

    Unless they deal with this situation properly the unwanted behaviour could escalate to a dangerous level.

    Someone (probably you) could get badly bitten or the dogs could start to fight.

    I would suggest a vet referral to a good behaviourist who uses positive, reward based methods who can assess the dog(s) and family set up.

    In the meantime, avoid shouting at the dog and pushing her off- that won’t help and could make it worse. Adopt a technique of removing yourself and your dog from the vicinity,

    Take the Shepherd for regular walks and do some training yourself to build a rapport with her.

    The following chart is useful to recognise signs of anxiety in dogs - if ignored they could lead to a bite.

    49992944-DF7F-4613-992C-ECD2A03C81B5.jpeg

    Look at positively.com and kikopup for advice/tips on Resource Guarding, etc.

    Your family need to take this seriously.
     
    Linda Weasel likes this.
  7. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    Broadly (dont give your address) what area are you in @DeJay? Someone might be able to suggest a behaviourist.
     
    Lurcherlad likes this.
  8. Linda Weasel

    Linda Weasel PetForums VIP

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    As a first step in the right direction, as @Lurcherlad says, stop yelling at her.

    If Gran sees you being like this with her dog maybe this is the reason she feels the need to ‘comfort’ her and the making light of the dog’s behaviour is her way of defusing the situation without being confrontational.

    It seems that your Dad also is demonstrating that perhaps he too thinks that the way you’re approaching this is wrong.

    I think there may be people as well as dog communication issues here and a third party, ie a qualified behaviourist, is the way to go to get you all on the same page.
     
    #8 Linda Weasel, Apr 15, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
    Lurcherlad and Burrowzig like this.
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