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Recued GWP just bit my mom!

 
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Beths
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Joined: 23 Jun 2003
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Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: 07/03/03, 2:05 pm    Post subject: Recued GWP just bit my mom! Reply with quote

I am really thankful that the GWPCA is here, because I certainly seem to need you. Especially now. We are into week 2 of having our newest member join our family. We suspect that he's 3 years old and has had little socialization. He never responds to commands and believe he's had no training. Perhaps a kennel dog? (why would someone do that to this purebred animal?) We're finally getting through to him, because he's becoming housetrained and seems to 'squat' when told to sit.

Unfortunately, today wasn't very good. A piece of buttered bread fell from the table and my mother-in-law went to push the slice closer to him as he was on his leash and he grabbed on to her hand without any warning growl etc. She's now gone to the hospital for stitches as she tried to pull her hand out and has a horrible 3 inch gash right across now. ugh...

So this is new for us. Diesel, our GWP, seems to have these multiple personalities I have read about. Outdoors, he's a wild one... doesn't like to be kept on restraint always near choking himself on the leash. Indoors, he's a playful animal and a bit of a suck. Fast becoming Daddy's boy. We're trying to learn about him and adjust to him and he adjusts to us. We've purposely put our hands near his food dish before to see the reaction, which has been nothing. Actually, he's a very poor eater. Doesn't like dry dog food at all but doesn't seem to mind having us poke around while he's eating. Lately he hasn't eaten much of his kibbles.... at 3 years old, this dog only weighs 53 lbs, very ribby. We think he might just used to people food. Maybe that's why he jumped at a chance of having buttered bread.

So, any ideas of what next? What about discipline??? Do we try to break him of this? Just keep everyone from him at his eating time? Do we try to get him used to people around his dish/food? What happens if these aggressions keep popping up? He's also attacked (without warning) the family farm dog too because he was too close to his 'toy'.

Man, its a good thing we knew that this was going to be difficult. I certainly don't want to give up on this animal, and would like him to be a part of our family as well. Please post your suggestions, we can use all the help we can get. Thnx!!!!
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Keith
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PostPosted: 07/03/03, 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think only time will tell what you have. We have a cairn terrier right now in the house that we thought was mean when we picked her up. She would growl and snap. She did this for the first couple of months but has grown into a real friendly dog. I think she had been abused on the street and was just reacting out of fear. But I have also owned a dog that was raised in a kennel. He never did become completely trustworthy and I never trusted him around other people without my supervision.
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PostPosted: 07/03/03, 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You got your self some problems to work on here! Obviously biting a family member or anyone else is a major "no no"! This dog doesn’t have a clue who is in charge in your house, (its you just in case your wondering, I sometimes loose sight of that!) and where his place is in the order of things. 1st, do not feed you dog table scraps, and/or any where except his food bowl, it sounds like this dog has been previously conditioned to believe that any food within his reach is his. 2nd, put him in the same and other similar situations where you have direct control over him, allow him to see a fallen piece of food and then have some one reach for it (make sure you have control of how much lead he has so he cant actually reach the food but thinks he can) if he lunges at the food or acts aggressive, scold him severely and repeat until he doesn’t try to get the food, once he doesn’t try for the food praise him, move to another room and try it all over again. do this a couple times a day until you are sure he gets it then try it without the lead. With his history, he may not be able to learn this lesson but it is worth a shot.
Good luck.
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Anne
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PostPosted: 07/11/03, 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Food and toy aggression are not uncommon in dogs but they are big problems. 4-6 weeks old is developmentally the best time to work with the dog and prevent possession/food aggression for the rest of the dog’s life. Anytime I'm working with a breeder that is one of my first questions to them is what work they do to prevent object guarding. Obviously, Diesel didn't get this chance. It also sounds like he was not taught good bite inhibition/jaw control. This does not mean all is lost for Diesel but I would enlist the help of a qualified behavior counselor. You can find someone by going to www.apdt.com or if you tell me your location I can try to help refer you.

One thing I would recommend in the mean time is play drop to swap
When you are playing with toys with Diesel and he is carrying a toy put a piece of food by his mouth and say "Drop it" trade him the food for the object. This will teach him the "drop it" behavior. Once he understands the command start to vary the reward. Give the toy back after he drops it so he learns that if he gives something up it is not gone forever.
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kiwimac
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PostPosted: 07/15/03, 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Beths.Would this be a good case for using an e-collar/e-fence.You sound kind hearted enough,taking a rescue dog at it`s age.Prime age of it`s life.Science may help you with this task.You may feel somewhat uneasy using an E-collar.A dog should bring pleasure to our brief time we have on earth.Not grief.That`s what divorce is for.Which you may end up having,if you donot take command.Surely worth a try.Euthanising the dog would be the harder trail to walk.Hope I`ve been of some help.Cheerz.
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dualgwp
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PostPosted: 07/15/03, 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

May I suggest that Diesel is NOT a candidate for E collar training at this point.

What is sounds like is that Diesel does not understand his place in your family (including farm dog). Diesel, as the newcomer, is low man on the totem pole. Of course, the people in the household are always higher up than any of the dogs, then comes the original dog, the Diesel.

I suggest teaching Diesel that he has no place anywhere near the dining room while meals are being served. Teach him to lay on his bed, or a rug in another part of the kitchen, or in another room while meals are being eaten. Or, crate him. And, feed Diesel after you have eaten your dinner and after you have fed the "farm dog". He eats last, that's his place in the heirarchy.

People are greeted first, farm dog next, then Diesel. Make him wait for what he wants. Correct him for any pushiness, any growling, any doggie posture that shows he is trying to get his own way. He cannot "demand" to be petted, fed, played with. It has to be on your terms, when you decide.

Food and toy aggression, or protectiveness can quickly turn into a disaster (as you have found out.) and needs serious consideration and working on. Be patient, but be firm. Don't give in to those big brown eyes.....not until he has proven hiimself to be trustworthy in all situations. Then, and only then can he begin to get some priveleges enjoyed by the other dogs.

And, if he is a picky eater.... put his dinner down, give him 10 minutes to eat, and then put it away. Don't let him train you into feeding him goodies!

Good luck, stay with it.
Bernee Brawn
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Anne
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PostPosted: 07/15/03, 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree at this point in this situation an e-collar/invisable fence is not the right training aid.

If he is intact getting him neutered can help with the roaming. (Less drive to go find the ladies Very Happy ) It can also help with agression (although it is by no means the magic answer).

Jean Donaldson's book MINE! A guide to possission agression (or something close to that) will offer a lot of insight. She also wrote another outstanding book The Culture Clash. At least I've heard its outstanding I haven't read it yet.

My only thought on Bernee's comments is I disagree with punishing growling. The growl is a warning that a bite is coming. Disiplining a dog for growling can stop him from growling but that means he'll bite without warning, which is a very dangerous situation and VERY difficult to rehabilitate.

Just my two cents
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Beths
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PostPosted: 07/16/03, 9:58 am    Post subject: thnx for help, more problems Reply with quote

Thank you for all your advice everyone. We recently were able to track down Diesel's tattoo and discovered he's a pureblood VDD. After talking to the breedwarden, we have discovered that there are lines of aggression in his background and also its possible that this dog has already had 2 other owners. Who knows what his history is there. We're definetly struggling with him but really want to give him a chance.

We've been working on getting the dog familiar with me as his owner as since he spends most of his days with my husband at the farm. Early last week we were working with him to teach him a Sit to Down command and he lunged at me and bit a part of my shirt (thankfully no actual skin contract). Since then he's been edgy with me. However, last weekend he did bite me after getting a shock from the electric fence around a pasture. Since he was on the leash, he must have figured that I was the one responsible for the zap. We will not be e-training this dog after this experience. We're wondering if he had this training in the past.

Since his punishment I gave him after my bite (I forced him onto his side in submission and held him there for a minute), he is very 'fearful' of me, and avoids me alot but wonderful with my husband. After awhile he seems to relax but from the minute I get home he's on edge. He does come over once after awhile (like 3 hours) and gives my toes or hand a sniff but I am hesitant to pet him as he's still very alert around me. Tail is straight up.

Suggestions? We're looking into getting a trainer in on this with us but need someone who is experienced with aggression, and versatile dogs.
Any trainers available in Ontario Canada?
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dualgwp
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PostPosted: 07/16/03, 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beth
I am going to suggest you be very, very careful with this dog. Especially now that he has bitten you and he knows you are leary of him. Sounds like he got the idea that that is not acceptable, but now that he is leary of you..... well, I would be careful.

I also suggest that now that you know this is a DD and not a GWP you contact the VDD board and discuss this dog with them. Afterall, it's not a GWP, a different breed with a different background, and so much different than our breed.

Not that ww will not continue to try to help.... I'm sure we all will try. I also suggest you attempt to contact the VDD breeder and hope they will take responsibility for this dog , at the least help you through this problem.

Go to www.vdd.com.....
Keep the faith
Bernee
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cheerio
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PostPosted: 07/17/03, 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beth, I have been trying to find someone to help you in the Toronto area. I am waiting for a call back from a friend who, unfortunately is on holidays until the end of July.
In the mean time, you may want to phone the Dog Master of the K-9 units of the RCMP and of the City Police of Toronto. If you explain briefly the problem and tell them that you are looking for a firm trainer who is used to aggessive dogs, perhaps a follower of the Kohler method, they may be able to point you in the right direction. If this fail, you may want to contact one of the Shutzhund club, (you will find your local unit under Schutzhund club of Canada or German Shepherd Club of America on the net) and speak with the trainer. These people often deal with aggressive dogs and in any case, know who are the tough trainers in town. (I did not mean tough as hard on the dog, but as trainers used to handle tough dogs).
Let me know if you encounter any problem contacting any of these.
Good luck.
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