Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 25

Thread: Stopping agression

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Toowoomba, QLD
    Posts
    1,223

    Default Stopping agression

    Hi everyone,

    I'm having a bit of an issue between Molly and my partner's dad! When we first got Molly, she was terrified of everyone, it took almost 2 weeks before we could walk up to her in our backyard without her running away and she would only come up to you if she saw you patting Meika, and she's still a bit funny when she meets strange males, she will duck away when they try and pat her but she is getting better and she was all over a maintaince guy we had here last week which was great! She has never been agressive or showed any signs of agression, has just seemed scared and unsure.

    A few months ago my partner's parents came to stay, she was great with his mother but would not go near his dad, and would put her hackles up and growl at him constantly and if he moved to another room, she would follow him, keeping her distance but growling the whole time. We tried getting him to feed her but he couldn't get close enough to her because she would just back away, not taking her eyes off him, and still growling. We tried putting her in time out too but while she was in there, whenever she heard him speak, she would bark. We put it down to her still being a bit scared of males (we hadn't had her long at that stage) so we just did our best to keep her seperated from him.

    Then last night he came to stay again, this time I tried to act really calm because he's not my faviourite person ever and I thought that maybe last time she could sense that. When he got here she ran straight up to him and was all loving and wanting pats etc, then we moved inside and as soon as we got inside, the hackles went up and the growling began again but this time she was barking aswell. I put her straight back outside for timeout, and she stood at the door barking, then when my partner got home she ran through the door, straight up to his dad and started the barking/growling display again so she went back outside and continued to bark at the door all night until it was time for her to go into the garage for bed, then she barked whenever she heard him speak again.

    I was at work when he left this morning so I'm not sure how she acted then but I assume it was the same barking/growling/hackles display.

    My main problem is that they're coming to stay for a week over Christmas and there is no way that I can put up with a week of this behaviour so what can I do to stop it?

    She's such a nice, loving dog to everybody else and has never growled or barked before so what is it about this one man? As stupid as it sounds, he's a smoker and we don't hang around with any other smokers- could it be something to do with the tabacco smell that she doesn't like? Meika absolutely loves him and throws herself all over him, and he isn't nasty to them at all. He's actually quite upset that Molly doesn't like him. Maybe I've done something to make it worse and time out isn't the right thing to do but I've never had to deal with an agressive dog before, especially one who loves every person they have ever met except for this one man!

    Help!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    se qld
    Posts
    836

    Default

    If it were me, I would board her for that week as a last resort.
    I dont know how you could work though it, given that he is not there all the time.
    Not unless you knew a man who looked similar, smoked the same brand of cigarettes
    and could come regularly to de-sensitise her.
    Maybe some of the behaviourist people here can help?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Toowoomba, QLD
    Posts
    1,223

    Default

    Boarding is an option but I'd rather get her used to him as he will probably be around for the rest of her life. It's just driving me insane that she is so great with everybody else but doesn't like him for whatever reason... I wish she growled and barked at the jehovah's witnesses instead!

    He's also not the best type of person to 'train', he's one of those "I know everything, don't tell me what to do" people so it makes it hard. When I gave him food to give her, rather than offering it out of his hand, he put it in his mouth and crawled around our living room trying to feed her out of his mouth, and no matter what I said, was trying to convince me that that was the best way to do it. Even though his teeth etc were showing so it would have appeared as he was growling at her too, and I definitely wouldn't try to feed an agressive dog out of my mouth..

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    4,290

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kristy.Maree View Post
    He's also not the best type of person to 'train', he's one of those "I know everything, don't tell me what to do" people so it makes it hard. When I gave him food to give her, rather than offering it out of his hand, he put it in his mouth and crawled around our living room trying to feed her out of his mouth, and no matter what I said, was trying to convince me that that was the best way to do it. Even though his teeth etc were showing so it would have appeared as he was growling at her too, and I definitely wouldn't try to feed an agressive dog out of my mouth..
    Ah, he's "that" guy! lol

    As Molly seems fine when he is outside, I would've suggested to use that as a starting point for some sort of desensitisation. But I haven't got any further than that and it's going to be very difficult to do anything without his cooperation.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    12,581

    Default

    I don't know how you're going to do it if he won't be trained.

    I guess I'd crate train Molly now so she has a safe place to go away from him. And I would not let him interact with her at all. If he wants to - it has to be following your instructions exactly not "his way". Ie premack him - you get to do what you want if you do what I want first.

    I'd also get Control Unleashed if you don't already have it - Clean Run has free shipping on it right now.
    Clean Run: Control Unleashed®

    So you have the treats, and Molly on lead - and when Molly looks your evil dad - calmly and then looks at you - reward.

    I got this wrong with the lawn mower man - as best I could tell by the way the behaviour was increasing - even tho my dog clearly loves the lawnmower man... I was rewarding her for acting like she wanted to kill him ie pulling on the lead, lunging, barking, growling etc. Put on a real show. She does this for the door to door sales people too.

    So what I have started doing with the lawn mower man - is no treats, dog on lead and blocking her view and praising her if she stops carrying on and looks at me instead. Or looks at him without carrying on. Blocking gives me a lot more control Ie she has to get past me to get to him. And she has to act calm if she wants to say hello to him. I thnk the treats were not helping.

    However I know she's not too stressed or frightened if she will take a treat. It's a good gauge of when she's in the learning zone.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Toowoomba, QLD
    Posts
    1,223

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Beloz View Post
    Ah, he's "that" guy! lol

    As Molly seems fine when he is outside, I would've suggested to use that as a starting point for some sort of desensitisation. But I haven't got any further than that and it's going to be very difficult to do anything without his cooperation.
    Yep, "that" guy haha! I'm not so sure if it was her being fine with him outside or if it was just the initial "oh somebody is at our house and Meika is happy to see him so I should be too" and then she realised who it was once everything settled down. But I will definitely try to desensitise her outside next time


    Hya, thanks for that. I will try and have the rule "you can't do what you want until you do what I want" but it's hard because I'm just the soon-to-be daughter in law, if it was my dad I'd have no problem but with him I have to tread very carefully (not a nice guy, very abusive etc etc). It might just have to come to "my dog doesn't like you, don't come visit" haha!

    I tried the looking at me and getting a treat thing but she was just so worried she wasn't interested, she didn't even touch her dinner because she was too worried about him even though she was being fed outside and he was inside.

    Say I was to get him to do as I say and not have that "I know better" attitude, what would I do to make Molly calm down enough so that she could actually be taught to be well behaved around him?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    4,290

    Default

    I did some LAT training with Banjo and free-ranging chooks the other day. It was extremely hard to get her attention. So I praised her for the tiniest move of her head in my direction at first. If I couldn't even get that, I would turn her around and walk away from the chooks and start again at a bigger distance. If she looked at me, I'd stuff a treat in her mouth - she was too focused on the chooks to think of food. We started at about 20 meters distance and got to about 3 meters eventually. I was pretty happy with that, but obviously I'd have to do it a few times for it to have an effect. But the key really is to start below the threshold and reward tiny steps towards the right behaviour at first.

    Alternatively, have you tried completely ignoring her? It is possible that she sees being moved outside when she barks or growls as a confirmation that something is not right? Oooor, have you tried just putting her in time-out for a very short time? That's what I do when Banjo jumps on visitors and tries to eat their fingers (affectionately). I don't put her outside because she actually likes being out there and would immediately forget why she is there. I put her in the laundry instead - can't get more boring than that. But only for about 30 seconds to a minute. Then I let her come back out but if she makes any attempt to bother the guests again, she goes straight back in. These days I usually only have to do it once for her to get it.

    It's very annoying when people think they know how to treat your dog better than you do. Molly clearly see straight through him! Haha!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Toowoomba, QLD
    Posts
    1,223

    Default

    She definitely knows that going outside means that she's in trouble.. she HATES it!

    It's hard because it seems like she is just THAT terrified of him that she feels the need to be agressive, she's not doing it because she's nasty, it's because she's scared. I've never seen her like that with anybody. I can hardly walk while she's in the house with him because she hides behind/next to me while growling and I continiously trip over her.
    I will give LAT training a go too.

    My partner goes to the town where his parents live quite often for work. Maybe I could see if he could bring back a shirt or something of his dad's so Molly could get used to the smell of tobacco if that is the issue.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    745

    Default

    Does you FIL (for want of a better word) try to make friends with her? Because I'd advise he doesn't. He should ignore her completely.

    When he comes to stay next time I'd put her on a lead and meet your in-laws out the front of your property then walk in with them with meika on a lead, keep her on a lead for a while, this can give some dogs that display aggression comfort, you don't really speak to Meika either but you block her using the lead from coming near FIL.

    I would give FIL a treat bag and when she's behaving I'd have him throw a treat in her direction, for a while the other dog may get these thrown treats and that's ok after a while I'd remove the other dog to laundry or something and continue just with Meika.

    But the most important thing is he remain calm, not make eye contact and not to "try" with her.

    Make sure you are also calm in any correction of her behaviour, don't tell her off or even show you are upset, show a sort of neutral reaction to her behaviour.

    My male whippet can take a while to warm to people on property, especially tall people, therefore mostly men, however he loves kids and he loves a few of my husbands bike riding friends that are gruff sorts of blokes. I think he likes them because as far as they are concerned he's just a dog and not important to them.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    12,581

    Default

    What MAC said - even if FIL does want to make friends...

    He should move slowly, avoid direct eye contact, if he wants to do the doggy thing, look away and sniff the ground, avoid mirror sunglasses, and not approach directly, but for starters, not approach at all. Let Molly the dog decide when she's ready.

    If she can't pay attention to you because she's freaked out by him - she's too close to him. Ie the distraction level is overwhelming. That's why I think crate training for her (you don't have to shut the door), so she's got a safe place to go, is a good idea. And you can put that safe place where ever you need to. Start by feeding all her dinner in there, for going in there on command etc, when he's not there. And give her all dog goodies - cows hoof, pigs ear, bones - in the crate. Don't wait till he shows up to start crate training.

    I like the idea of getting some of his smelly clothes for her to get used to his smell at least. If you want to get her used to smokers - showing up to amateur club baseball games will find you plenty. Or even outside of certain office blocks at morning tea time - or down the road from hospitals - I don't know why so many medical staff smoke but they do. Or my neighbour's place. The sports venues - will get Molly used to lots of redneck blokes too.

    My fave FIL story was one from a member here - though I think she told it somewhere else. She and her dog hated the inlaws. So when the dog peed on the inlaw's stuff, she didn't / couldn't respond in a way that would effectively discourage the dog.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •