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Split personality

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Parker123, Jul 15, 2017.


  1. Parker123

    Parker123 PetForums Newbie

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    hey I'm just writing today to hopefully see if anyone knows what could be wrong with my dog. My dog is a staffy x mastiff and he's had a perfectly normal upbringing just been your usual dog but it got to about being a year old when he developed a really bad behaviour. Sometimes not all the times he won't let you touch his toys, sometimes he'll happily let you take them but sometimes he could rip you hand of. Most recent event was yesterday I was petting him when he had his toy and he just started growling so I thought I'd discipline him by taking it off him but then all hell breaks lose he starts snarling backing off into a corner growling like a beast. But this is what concerned me he dropped the toy and walked in front of me doing the same thing. Like this thing no longer became about the toy. I did stand my ground and he did back off and only after talking to him in a soft voice to calm him down he returned to normal. I swear he's got ADHD or something the tiniest thing can set him off.
     

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  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    You said 'I thought I'd discipline him by taking it off him'.

    This will train him to guard his possessions even more. Imagine being in your favourite restaurant, eating a lovely meal. If someone was to try and take it from you, how would that make you react?

    There is a good sticky thread here about resource guarding.
     
  3. MiffyMoo

    MiffyMoo PetForums VIP

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    I think you need to get a good behaviourist in.

    From what you say about disciplining him by taking his toy, is this the first time you have done it?

    Dog growls should never be ignored. They can't talk and say to us "I really like this toy and I don't want you to take it away" so they growl. The problem with ignoring their plea (growl) is that they will come to realise that them politely asking you not to do x is being ignored, so they will then go to the next stage, which will be biting.

    If you do want to take something from him, teach him that giving you what you want is excellent, because when he gives it to you, you give him something of even higher value back.
     
    simplysardonic, WillowT and JoanneF like this.
  4. StormyThai

    StormyThai Moderator
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    Sounds like resource guarding which can be an easy fix if done right.

    Where abouts are you? We could recommend a trainer to help you through this, a bit of 1-1 help will go a long way :)
     
  5. Parker123

    Parker123 PetForums Newbie

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    That's a fair point but honestly it's really weird though cause it's only certain times. Like one minute I can happily go near him to take the toy and play fetch and the next he's ready to rip my hand off. I just don't understand it. My thought process when taking it off him though was if he can't play nice then he won't play at all.
     
  6. Parker123

    Parker123 PetForums Newbie

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    He lives in Huddersfield but due to certain circumstances which were out of my control. He's doesn't live with me anymore. I thought about getting him neutered see if this would calm him down
     
  7. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    Like @MiffyMoo said, be very aware of his body language.
    Dogs give a series of signals that they are unhappy, but unfortunately most people don't recognise them because they can be quite subtle. To begin with there is often wide eyes, lip licking and yawning. There is also muscular tension in the body. Then the ones we sometimes do see - growl, snarl, nip then bite. If the early signals are not seen (or, in the dog's view, ignored) he won't bother with them because us stupid humans pay no attention anyway; so he may go straight to the bite.
     
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  8. Sarah1983

    Sarah1983 PetForums VIP

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    With mine it depends on HOW he's playing with it. If he's running around,rolling around etc then he's up for others joining in. If he's lay down chewing on a toy then he's not.

    Unfortunately that thought process doesn't work with dogs. With dogs possession is law, if they have it it's theirs and it is incredibly rude of you to simply reach out and take it out of their mouth. We've done a lot of work on trading with Spen (he's also a terrible thief so we've HAD to be able to take things away without being in danger of being bitten). If he's lying chewing a toy we leave him alone or if we need to take it we ask him to fetch it.

    Neutering is extremely unlikely to make any difference with regards to resource guarding.
     
  9. MiffyMoo

    MiffyMoo PetForums VIP

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    Exactly, it's all about the context and, as @JoanneF said, reading body language. Dex is the most dreadful resource guarder and I have had my fair share of very bad bites off him, back before I knew about behaviourists and body language. Unfortunately I had seen a few too many of a certain "trainer" on TV. Anyway. I now know that if he has something and won't look at me when I approach and is tensed, then I give him all the space that he needs. But if he has something and gives me cheeky face when I approach, that means that we're going to have play and zoomie time.

    Back in the old days there was never a choice, something he had would never be relinquished, even if it meant play time. So it has taken us a long time, but he now knows that his signals are being respected, so he's a lot more comfortable to trust me
     
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  10. StormyThai

    StormyThai Moderator
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    It's this thought process that likely made matters worse.
    If the dog thinks you will be taking their prized possession away for good, then why on earth would they give it up? Would you?

    As the dog doesn't live with you, does he guard from everyone or just you? Do you have any say in his training? Are the people caring for him (his owners?) working through this issue?
     
  11. Jamesgoeswalkies

    Jamesgoeswalkies PetForums VIP

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    I would also suggest that this mindset is also liable to exacerbate the situation as it suggests that this is about being the dominant one ...it isn't. It's about calm training.

    J
     
  12. Parker123

    Parker123 PetForums Newbie

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    He does it with everyone he is very well looked after and I have I do have an input in his training
     
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