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Thread: Amstaff collar biting

  1. #1

    Default Amstaff collar biting

    Hi all,

    I have a 10 month old sterilised blue american staffy female who has the bad habit of biting other dogs collars when socialising.
    Initially when meeting another dog she will crouch submissively until the dog approaches and then she turns into a jumping crazy dog who will chase the other dog until she can get grip on the other dogs collar.
    I am working with a behaviourist but there has been no change.

    Has anyone dealt with this or have any advice?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default Amstaff collar biting HELP!

    Hi all,

    I have a 10 month old sterilised blue american staffy female who has the bad habit of biting other dogs collars when socialising.
    Initially when meeting another dog she will crouch submissively until the dog approaches and then she turns into a jumping crazy dog who will chase the other dog until she can get grip on the other dogs collar.
    I am working with a behaviourist but there has been no change.

    Has anyone dealt with this or have any advice?

    Thanks!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    12,581

    Default

    Welcome Indi86

    With any behaviour you don't want - there's a few things you can do...

    1. interrupt it ie go get your dog and put her on lead so she cannot keep doing what she's doing...

    2. prevent her from doing this. ie keep her on lead, train a few behaviours with greeting that aren't compatible with grabbing the other dog by the collar

    3. cover the other dog's collar in something taste yuck - ie take the fun out of it.

    My dog likes to grab other dog's collars when she's playing - because - other dogs keep playing when you grab their collar and not them. One of her Cavalier king Charles spaniel friends - she used as a floor mop, she'd grab him by the collar and drag him all round the polished floor boards... and if she let go, he'd come back for more. Go figure.

    I figure as long as nobody's getting hurt (apart from the collar) then I'm fine with it. But if there is excessive zoomies - there's a good chance a dog or human will get hurt, or if the collar is getting mangled - leather is such a nice chewey - then not so good either. So I'd interrupt that by grabbing my dog's collar (We've played a lot of "the collar grab game", and waiting till she paid attention to me - let her go to see what her choice was - and if she grabbed the collar again, repeat. Usually 2 times is enough for her to figure out she's not going to have any more fun with that.

    But it depends - the usual alternative to bitey collar - is bitey face... which may be less popular with dog or owner...

    What did the behaviourist say to do, and why isn't it working (what happens when you do that)?

  4. #4

    Default

    Thank you so much for the reply!

    The behaviouralist has started from
    Basics with pos reward clicker training. Sit, leave it, settle on the mat etc. she's a very aroused and reactive dog. All these things are coming together. She had me avoiding walking indi anywhere near other dogs or people for a while which I've stopped now for safety reasons now being i winter!

    Now when we see other dogs its treat treat treat keeping her attention and Hopefully letting the other dog go by withoir disruption. It's when the other dog is off lead (indi is always on a long lead) and they approach her it's generall a problem.

    I let her off for one minute this morning and being dark we didn't see the other dog approaching and indi went straight into crazy dog and grabbed hold of the collar. The problem is sometimes she misses and grabs the dogs skin around the collar which upsets other mums and dads. From what I can see it's her way of getting dogs to stay with her and play.

    We are still working with the behavuouaist and have just started introducing another dog. Last session the dogs just walked past each other hopefully next session they will be able to meet. I will try the collar grab and hold, tho I have a feeling tbat may razz her up even more

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

    Default

    Hi Indi86

    Seems like your behaviourist is on the right track.

    A couple of things I did wrong with my dog when she was being reactive and didn't really matter me why she was excited ie keen to make friends or keen to drive off the person... her behaviour was over the top and unacceptable...

    First thing - I tried the "Look at that" (aka LAT) or "behaviour adjustment training" (aka BAT) which is what you're trying to do by feeding dog lots of treats for ignoring the other dog... My mistake was - feeding the treats *after* she'd behaved badly... I'd get her attention, wait for calm and then feed treats but evil hound connected "be naughty then calm and get treats". ARGH so her behaviour actually got worse because my timing was off.

    So I do much the same thing but I don't use high value rewards - ie no roast chicken - we get ear rubs instead. Ear rubs and long strokes are fairly calming. Sometimes we have to move further away too. But I've given up trying to get her to be friends with the lawn mower man. He doesn't understand what "stand still" means.

    The thing about collar grab is you do have to pair it with treats first. Eg game is grab collar give treat (google has lots of info). Utimately you want dog to throw their neck into your hand when you reach out because they like it so much.

    But there is also this doggy thing called "The opposition reflex" a bit like when someone in a queue pushes you - and you automatically (want to) push back. So you hold dog by collar so they're pulling towards the thing they want - and they get more and more excited about it. Very tricky if you're trying to prevent a bad greeting or a fight. But there's not much choice either. So you have to use it in combination with getting the dog's focus back on you and off the whatever it is over there. And in this part - I can't use treats at all or she does that naughty-good "back chain" in her head.

    There are lots and lots of "relationship building games" for dogs and their owners on the net - the idea is the stronger your bond with your dog - the easier it is to get your dog to pay attention to you and recall back to you away from other dogs (friendly or not).

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