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Old 08-12-2011, 12:50 AM
 
Location: Putnam County, NY
550 posts, read 1,782,329 times
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The trainer is working on him but hasnt done food aggression in a couple of weeks: I wasn't there but apparently the first attempt didn't go well.

We all know how to use the collar, and I don't even live with him. But sometimes if he wants something bad enough he withstands the shocking! He is some dog!

The comfort level thing is impossible to fake. He's 95 pounds ( a lean 95 pounds) and VERY SCARY when he's food aggressive
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,309 posts, read 34,333,653 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wes927 View Post
The trainer is working on him but hasnt done food aggression in a couple of weeks: I wasn't there but apparently the first attempt didn't go well.

We all know how to use the collar, and I don't even live with him. But sometimes if he wants something bad enough he withstands the shocking! He is some dog!

The comfort level thing is impossible to fake. He's 95 pounds ( a lean 95 pounds) and VERY SCARY when he's food aggressive
Okay, so this is in home training? I had it in my mind that he was boarded for some reason.

About the bolded portion: the collar isn't necessarily going to work to stop a tough, determined dog from going after something he wants. The collar basically works as an extension of a leash; in other words, if the dog wants to pull he's going to pull whether he has the leash on or not, you still have to be able to stop that impulse. The collar only creates momentary discomfort so it may snap him out of an impulse if you catch him at exactly the right moment and when he's in the right frame of mind but if you lose control of the dog, fumble for the transmitter and then shock him while he's entrenched in undesirable behavior it's really a double-lose. Not only has the dog reinforced that he can do what he wants, he's reinforced that the collar isn't something to be concerned about (this is really what I mean when I say "did the trainer teach you how to use the collar").

I know that a big strong dog can be scary, but you are a human and naturally have dominion over the rest of the animal kingdom. If you have to wear welders gloves under an oven mitt to feel confident, do it. If you've ever scolded one of your kids and seen them snap into line, that's exactly the frame of mind you need to be in all of the time with your dog and you can't do that if he's effectively intimidating you.

Since you've retained the services of a trainer you need to be in sync with his program, but something simple you can work on in the yard is a proper "SIT". The first thing to remember is that you're not asking the dog to sit; it's an order. If you say "SIT" and the next thing you hear is his empty nutsakk slapping the ground that's good. If you say "SIT" and he farts around, shuffles his feet, looks away and takes his time as he's sitting down then you need to correct that; it's disrespectful. If you can get him to sit quickly and immediately with the promise of a piece of hot dog, then he knows exactly what "SIT" means and you can start creating a negative association with not doing it quickly and immediately. If you say "SIT" and Max (i) sits promptly, then you praise and reward or (ii) does not sit promptly, then you immediately give him a nick with the collar and repeat the command with a more urgent tone of voice. It should all happen in about the amount of time it takes you to read "SIT, nick, SIT" and if he hustles up and sits, that's a win and he gets a reward. If you get three wins in a row, that's a winning streak and you should quit for a couple of hours.

Also, develop a routine for when training time is over. For example, when I'm done training I produce a tennis ball, get the dog worked up about a game of fetch by acting like a fool and then throw the ball for him. I try to keep fetch with a tennis ball a pressure free activity because no matter how frustrating a training session is or how badly it's going I can always end on a fun note by producing that ball.

Last edited by jimboburnsy; 08-12-2011 at 09:36 AM..
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:13 PM
 
Location: Putnam County, NY
550 posts, read 1,782,329 times
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Max's family is following thru on the home-training and the e-collar but there are still lots of bad signs. When I fed him kibble piece by piece he still growled at me. Today, he snapped at my 9 year old niece and she was just walking by him.....

They are considering boarding him for 2 weeks for training, even though that's very expensive. They're at a loss.....
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Putnam County, NY
550 posts, read 1,782,329 times
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Finally, some good news for Max!

Since the last post things have gotten much better.

Max's parents (and myself when I visit) are feeding him all of his meals by hand, and he's only being fed AFTER everyone else eats. He seems to be getting the message. When I fed him today, he didn't growl at me at all, even when I petted him while he was eating. He seems to be getting the "message." We're still gonna feed him by hand only for at least another month, and then see if he shows any food jealousy after that (I'll keep you updated).

Also, the trainer recommended that you do not allow him to dictate any activities. We try to act like "good pack leaders" so we initiate games of play in the yard often. But, when we are done we take the ball away and put it in a "human spot." However, when HE initiates play, we ignore him. If he persists, we use the e-collar to put him in his "place" spot under the "place" command.

Max also used to growl if you touched him when he was underneath a certain desk. Now, he let's adults touch him there.

The only problem is: he's better with the kids, but he still growls at them if they touch him when he's under the desk. I saw him do this today and corrected him with the e-collar. Thankfully, the growling is not as bad at it was, but still unaccpetbale. So, I guess it would be a good idea for the kids to also feed him by hand (with adult supervision) as this sends a pack-hierarchy "message'?

Thanks so much for all your advice during this year-long saga. Any more is appreciated, but it seems like real progress for the first time. I'm so happy, cuz it seems Max finally has a chance to be a real family dog....
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Old 08-30-2011, 02:50 PM
 
1,927 posts, read 2,623,720 times
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not sure if anyone has urged you guys to
read "the gift of growling"?

if not ,let me be the one to URGE you to read it.
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Old 08-30-2011, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Cody, WY
9,557 posts, read 10,870,847 times
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Here's a link. It's a great article.

The "Gift" of Growling: Why you should never punish a dog for growling. (http://www.petgrowth.com/index.php/topic,873.0.html - broken link)
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Old 08-30-2011, 06:29 PM
 
Location: tampa bay
6,587 posts, read 6,806,873 times
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I have a wonderful yellow lab 18 months old.She has never shown aggression towards kids,cats or guinea pigs!She loves to eat but has no problem letting us touch her food or her when she is eating.I really think if she continued to growl "gift or not" she should be rehomed to a house with no children!It is not fair to the dog or children to have a dangerous situation continue to exist.
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Old 08-30-2011, 06:32 PM
 
Location: Putnam County, NY
550 posts, read 1,782,329 times
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Interesting link on the "Gift of Growling." I certainly respect the opinions there , and yours as well Happy. I do however think that "zero punishment" school of dog training is a bit too "Left" for our taste. But, I certainly do agree, for example, that hand-feeding Max helped reassure him that I wasn't gonna take away his food and calmed him down.

HOWEVER, I don't believe that humans can reassure every single emotional issue that a dog has. What if ---in regard to the growling--we can not reassure Max? Humans are still in charge, and a hostile trait must not be allowed to continue. Sometimes, I think negative reinforcement has its place. Please again understand that I respect those who disagree. It just seems to me that--were in not for the e-collar, we could not have gotten Max to the point he is now (after his family made various mistakes in the puppy stage).
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Old 08-30-2011, 06:34 PM
 
Location: Putnam County, NY
550 posts, read 1,782,329 times
Reputation: 412
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishiis49 View Post
I have a wonderful yellow lab 18 months old.She has never shown aggression towards kids,cats or guinea pigs!She loves to eat but has no problem letting us touch her food or her when she is eating.I really think if she continued to growl "gift or not" she should be rehomed to a house with no children!It is not fair to the dog or children to have a dangerous situation continue to exist.
I agree and my sis was considering humanely rehoming him until this latest progress.
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Old 08-30-2011, 06:39 PM
 
Location: tampa bay
6,587 posts, read 6,806,873 times
Reputation: 9846
I have tolerated alot of bad behavior from my dogs(yippy,needy and pee happy)but aggression in a big dog is a huge liablity!Good luck and take comfort in the fact that your family has really put in great effort that many others would not!!
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