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Thread: My dog bit me...

  1. #21
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    Jul 2010
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    You can do puppy agility foundation classes from early on, we have them over here. Teaching hind end awareness, handling moves, recalls, running on different surfaces and planks of wood etc etc. all this can be done with out jumps or with puppy jumps. Perhaps go and watch a local agility trial and find out more from people competing. Perhaps someone on this site does agility where you live.

    Herding will also be excellent.

    Just be firm and move to deal immediately with behaviours you dont like, but have fun as well.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Brisbane, Australia
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    So I just fed Gracie
    I fed her a handful from my hand, no problem. Did it again, no problem
    Put the bowl down and sat next to her - she let me pat her back while she scoffed it all down
    Continued sitting next to her...

    She had dropped a bit of food off to the side so I went to pick it up and put it in the bowl
    She went for me again the same way she did this morning only she didn't get me

  3. #23
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    Oct 2009
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    Why are you interfering with her food and eating?
    let her eat in peace.
    The only time I interfered with food was when one of my pups was bone aggressive so we worked on that and now she isn't. The only reason to interfere with something like a bone etc is so you can get one, or something out of their mouths in a medical emergency (bone stuck in mouth) or there is something you do NOT want them to have eg a bar of chocolate though training drop it helps with most situations except a stuck bone in the mouth.

    Any posts made under the name of Di_dee1 one can be used by anyone as I do not give a rats.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Adelaide
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    Hi Rubberlegs

    Your dog is gorgeous. She looks a bit like a koolie to me and from what you tell us, probably insanely smart. Ie she will completely train you to her will if you let her. And she will find everything you do from playing with her to scolding her - encouraging and rewarding. Possibly the only things she won't find encouraging is being separated from you or ignored.

    That's how dogs train each other - play too rough - and the dog that doesn't like it will kind of freeze up and turn away and ignore all attempts to re-engage.

    I think you may have caught your dog by surprise when her head was down and she was eating and she was probably mortified to find it was you she reflex-chomped. Or maybe she was pushing her limits. I can't tell from here.

    My dog tends to use her mouth as another hand or paw. The only time I've been chomped since she was a puppy was by accident when she missed the tug. Note to self - do not tug in the dark.

    But if she does grab me when I'm not moving - I push, gently, the grabbed bit further down her throat until she tries to spit me out. I don't say anything. I wait 2 or 3 seconds after she's started trying to spit me out and then I let her spit me out. Ripping your hand away might be a reflex action - but it tends to get chomped more like a garden mulcher.

    If I get chomped (heeled/herded) while running - if I'm good - I stop as fast as I can, stand still and act boring and ignore her for a while, until she notices. And sometimes that means waiting out the barking - tho if that starts - it's best if we return to the crate for a bit. This is what happens when we run courses at agility training - especially if I get lost and don't tell her where we're going next soon enough.

    Being a fair bit cattle dog - there was a lot of attempts to nip bikes/joggers/cars on the "ankles" or the nose and one episode of swinging on a horse's tail (the horse did not seem to notice but the dog freaked out when the horse tried to say hello later). Mostly I kept her on lead until I had managed to train her that chasing things without permission was not ok. And especially not humans.

    Sometimes she forgets. If I'm concerned about the possibility of her forgetting (ie lots of running children) I put her on lead before anything can go wrong. It's important to set things up with a view to prevention.

    9 months old is doggy adolescence where what you do now will be lasting in effect. So it's really important to protect your dog from scary experiences, but also not to allow (ie prevent as much as possible) any unacceptable or aggressive behaviour.

    Since returning she's been... well... a bit of a jerk to be honest... she's barking at any and every dog at the dog park, eliminating inside, basically trying to do whatever she likes and now this...
    Lovely (eek). You need to do what you can to prevent all of this and get her doing acceptable behaviours instead.
    You need some serious NILIF (nothing in life is free) or the flip side is "All good things must come from you" (and your partner).
    No off lead time at the park until she can behave calmly around other dogs and then only with your permission.
    All greetings - to be closely supervised and only with your permission (this is called the Premack Principle)
    Hand feed all her food - use it for rewarding everything she does when you're home. This will probably be tedious but hopefully it will stop the "My food" resource bite problem.
    And back to basics with the toilet training - ie dog on lead in the house or in the crate and outside on lead until the toileting is done, use a command word. (yes crack the neighbours up "shitnapiss, shitnapiss...").

    Some crate training now would be really helpful. You might need to start with a metal mesh crate and when she's happy in that - you can graduate to a soft sided one. And next time you have to go away and leave the dog with your other half... the dog stays in the crate unless he can supervise or toilet training may well go to hell again.

    The crate should be a secure happy place for your dog where she feels safe. It's also a safe happy place where your house can feel safe too.

    Some resources
    - find an agility club near you - Kalacreek might be able to help.

    crate games dvd by Susan Garrett
    there's lots of foundation games and dvds - or any stuff about shaping and clicker training eg kikko pup on youtube
    you can google games on youtube like "its yer choice", "collar grab" etc and Susan Garrett's blog has hundreds of tricks to shape your dog to do. the more mental training your dog gets - the more tired it will be and (slightly) less demanding on you.

    Once you get the food thing under control - I feed some of my dog's food into something called a "bob a lot" and when I used bigger bits of kibble - I used to load it into a "squirrell dude" which is a bit like a big kong but has little bits that stop the kibble from all falling out. You can load a kong with kibble mixed with water or yogurt and freeze it to stop it falling out, so the dog has to work at getting the food.

    I make my dog do a bunch of fetches - she will now fetch my ugg boots without trying to kill them - before she gets to eat her dinner. Though we had a bit of a fail with a croc shoe trying to change the habitat from the kitchen where dinner is served to the back yard where crocks get shredded. Fortunately... I was able to persuade her to give the croc up undamaged.

    books - shaping success by susan garrett - lots of games for agility dogs. Also Ruff love - games and relationship building exercises for puppies and rescue dogs.
    Control Unleashed by Lesley McDevitt - with the Look at that game and a bunch of foundation exercises.

    bottom line - anything your dog does that you don't like - and it's getting worse - ask yourself - what could you be doing that the dog thinks means you want more of that behaviour? Like the scolding and attention? And a BCx is quite capable of stringing quite a few behaviours (called back chaining) to get what it wants.

    Eg if I bounce off the fence and scare the crap out of the neighbours - mum comes and gets me, takes me inside and gives me treats (oops mum).
    If I bark like a crazy thing at the lawnmower man and then pay attention to mum - she will give me chicken (double oops).
    If I play bow at other dogs at the park - mum will let me off lead so I can go sniff (what? why isn't sniffing for cooked chicken scraps ok?).

    The super smart dogs do that to you.

  5. #25

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    Many people will have different opinions on this; some will say dogs shouldn't be disturbed whilst eating and the like but I can't agree. I can accept that there are circumstances when my dog might bite a stranger. But I can not accept that he would ever, under any circumstances bite me. I agree with the suggestions to go onto a more strict NILIF program - your dog needs to know you own all the food and importantly, that using her teeth on you is not an acceptable nor effective method of communication / getting what she wants. I don't think your reaction was over the top, my dog would have lost his dinner if he'd done that to me. Hell you should see the retribution he cops for less serious breaches of the rules I set down (like peeing whilst on leash etc). But I do that so the boundaries are always very clear for him and there's no room for confusion. And no I never physically hurt him, I just make sure he knows I'm calling the shots and he knows that I will enforce what I say (ie there's consequences for being naughty).

    To be honest though, I don't really feel like I have to do much these days. He was a royal pain from about 7-9 months but I never gave in. Since about 3, I've noticed a real change. He listens less to strangers but is easier with me - it is a long time now since I can remember him disobeying a command. I feel like we have an understanding these days, I only need to use half the words I would have in the past and he knows what I mean. And he is a working breed too, very high drive.

    One of Sammy's litter mates showed pretty bad food aggression as a pup, was the most lovely dog 90% of the time but turned into a demon around food. This was before I'd done all the training with Sammy and got to work with all the amazing trainers I have now but what we did might help in your situation. My goal was to change how the pup viewed people approaching him during meal times. For some reason he was convinced we were there to steal his dinner. I read a few articles on the subject, and armed with that, we completely changed how we fed him. We started only giving him a little bit at a time, still putting it in his bowl and going through all the usual process (making him sit etc). Then, before he finished what we'd given him, we'd bring him more food. We'd bring tastier morsels too, so like a piece of chicken or something when all he had in his bowl was biscuits. We'd show it to him, make sure he knew we had it and then we'd ask him to sit again. He would, and we'd add it to the bowl, then tell him he could eat again. We did this just a few times and very quickly he started sitting and looking at people excitedly if they approached him whilst eating. He started seeing humans approaching him whilst eating as an awesome thing rather than as a threat and now, almost 4 years later, we haven't seen any further food aggression. Sammy has just never shown any aggression towards me.

    Anyway, I think key is just making sure your dog doesn't learn that biting you lets her get her way - there are ways for dogs to communicate with their owners but that is definitely not one of them.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Geelong, Vic
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    She's done Puppy Training and Puppy Training Advance - finished top of her class! haha
    We've even had the Paw Professor (a gent who has 20 years experience as a police K9 officer and trainer) visit to help us through this
    I believe one of his first comments after 15 minutes with her was "Wow... she's a tough one"
    Obedience and behavior are two very different things. THere are plenty of dogs who can perform under controlled circumstances but behaviorally are not perfectly sound in temperament.

    You've created a rod for your own back in part, you have seen what happens with permissiveness and lack of consistency. Just remember, control the resources, control the dog - otherwise it's then we resort to harsher methods when the dog goes past the point of no return and doesnt give a flip about potential rewards from you any more.

  7. #27
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    Jan 2012
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    Why are you interfering with her food and eating?
    let her eat in peace.
    patting a dog on the head is not expecting too much from a pet dog at all, even eating.

  8. #28
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    I read all this with interest . Heaps of good ideas as always that could be sifted and implemented.
    I still persist with the notion that the owner and the pup need to go off for some quiet time off home territory. A walk and a sit.

  9. #29
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    Somehow the post didnt show up this morning. You're pushing her too far, too fast. She has a problem so dont sit there and push the point all in one session. Hand feed the dog for a week and see how she settles. Then when she's learning to relax THEN you pat the head, just one quick one, then more food. It's a gradual process to desensitise the dog. The dog has an anxiety over its food, so we do it successively or as you see, you take a massive leap backwards.

    I'll give you an example, today we were working on a dog that lunges out at people with teeth bared. Doesn't bite, just lunges. So my fiance did this ...

    walk past the dog ignore it
    repeat
    repeat
    walk past ignoring but bang loudly on a plastic box
    repeat
    repeat
    walk past and say HEY! at the dog and walk off
    repeat
    walk past and HEY! bang bang bang on the box
    etc

    we did this over half an hour. If the dog didnt react, it was rewarded. If the dog did react the owner walked it 360 degrees in the spot and we took it back a step in intensity and tried again. By the end he was standing there banging and shouting, dog didnt react and was staring at it's owner NO tension on the leash. Successive approaches means the dog has time to win, to learn gradually and to retain the information. It also doesn't give the dog a chance to react too much, because reactions like this don't come from a thinking animal they are automatic and hence hard to just train by pushing them into the proverbial corner, ala some so called Cesar Milan DVD trained trainers. The point is to engage the brain to think before reacting, if the dog thinks and weighs up a situation it will not react. Eventually you find even startled they don't regress because the new awesomely rewarded good behavior overrides that bad reaction you had.

    Take it slow, there is no failure in that, before you have a massive problem or a hand full of stitches.

  10. #30
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    Dec 2009
    Location
    melbourne australia
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    Some dogs need certain styles of handling (at home).

    I personally, liked your first reaction. No bullshit, black white message. STOP NO!
    You are not in charge here, i am. GET IT
    Get with the program, or get out.

    Im seeing nothing wrong in your handling of a dog that bit you in that first reaction.
    Sure, your dog may of been distressed coz you left home for a week, well guess what, your back now. Get over it.

    Dont be feeling sorry for this dog, its pushing its limits.
    puts some gloves on, muzzle the dog, or use whatever tool you wish, and keep training some manners and leadership.

    lots of lovely comfy concrete boundaries, nice dog, gets to stay with owners, jerk gets thrown out and not fed for sure!

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