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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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Growling

My 14 week puppy growled and I think tried to snap at me when I went to take away her bully stick. She was in her crate. She has chewed on them several times before. This growling/snapping is a first. I am not completely surprised, the way she aggressively chews on them. What can I do to keep this from happening again?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 02:51 PM
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I don't have much advise - but I had to say WHAT AN ADORABLE PUPPY! Really. Hard to say no to that little face isn't it?

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 03:25 PM
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hmmmm, honestly if it were my dog, when she is done chewing on it and walks away to get a drink or something I would take it away. And that's that.
Tillie has a specific toy that she gets possesive over and I finally just made it "disappear"... I was starting to get worried that she might snap at one of the kids if they inadvertantly touched it or came near her and that is NOT good.
She doesn't do this with anything else...
ALSO, try TRADING something for the bully stick. Offer a peice of YUMMY chicken or a favorite toy in exchange for the bully stick?

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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She would have chewed indefinitely on it... I completely spaced trading the stick for something else. Duh!!! I was just so taken aback. We just had such a fun play time. Shouldn't l be able to take the item without a trade?
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 06:07 PM
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resource guarding is totally natural to dogs. Obviously some more than others might guard. And the most important thing to take from this, is that a growl is a GOOD thing. It's their warning system. I don't believe in taking anything from a dogs mouth. They should be trained to drop things on command. Only exception might be something dangerous . This is a very important topic to understand, and here is a great article on it. http://4pawsu.com/Donaldson.pdf

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 06:16 PM
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like Dave said, you MIGHT have to take something from thier mouth if they have something dangerous/unknown... but otherwise you need to work on the "drop it" command. You may even be able to do this with the bully stick. give it a try!! When she is busy chewing, get a HIGH value treat (fresh grilled chicken breast for example) wave it by her nose to get her attention, say "DROP IT" in a matter of fact tone, if she even looks up click, and give her the treat right away. AND do NOT take her bully stick away from her, let her go back to chewing!! Do this a LOT so she learns that when she obeys and drops what you ask even IF it IS highly valuable to her (like the bully stick) she will get rewarded.
We do this even now, Tillie is almost 3, but I have kids. and they drop food. a lot. peices of cookies, strawberries, grapes, etc ... about 50% of the time we are quick enough to get it before she does but sometimes she gets it first.... could be a disaster, BUT she KNOWS that if she obeys, she will get something even yummier, so we quickly give a "DROP IT" and she freezes, shows the whites of her eyes (or looks 'guilty') and reluctantly spits it out. Then RUNS to the fridge where she gets some cheese or red bell pepper or a few peices of freeze dried salmon.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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We have been working on drop it, but not with consistent success. Apparently, I need to up the ante. I have never had a problem before. The last couple of times she has had the bully, she has chewed voraciously on it. I do think she is teething. This bully twist is getting short and I worried she would chew it to an unsafe length. That is why I wanted to remove it. Lesson learned and drop it lesson to continue as advised by Dave and Tillie's Mom. Thank you.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 09:34 PM
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It is shocking the first time it happens. Here's some things I've done that have helped me:

1) take gardening shears and cut the bullystick into snack sizes.

2) practice 'trading' her one hghly preferred item for another. she has to drop the first item, before you give her the other. things other dogs really like you can try: antler, hoof, natural balance sausage, real chicken meat, cheese.

3) let her snap at you but don't stop, take the item away. don't react. it's called extinguishing the behavior, b/c it's powerless, you let it happen but it doesn't have the desired effect, therefore the pup won't do it again. or maybe will a couple of times, but then he'll get the hint.

4) not for beginners: growl and snap back, as you are the alpha.

You do need to shape your pup's behavior to the way you want it. you get to pick the method. those are just some of the things that have worked for me. again my disclaimer, I'm not a trainer, and you should do some thorough research any technique you use.

good luck and yes, your puppy is ridiculously cute.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-24-2013, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sprorchid View Post
It is shocking the first time it happens. Here's some things I've done that have helped me:

1) take gardening shears and cut the bullystick into snack sizes.

2) practice 'trading' her one hghly preferred item for another. she has to drop the first item, before you give her the other. things other dogs really like you can try: antler, hoof, natural balance sausage, real chicken meat, cheese.

3) let her snap at you but don't stop, take the item away. don't react. it's called extinguishing the behavior, b/c it's powerless, you let it happen but it doesn't have the desired effect, therefore the pup won't do it again. or maybe will a couple of times, but then he'll get the hint.

4) not for beginners: growl and snap back, as you are the alpha.

You do need to shape your pup's behavior to the way you want it. you get to pick the method. those are just some of the things that have worked for me. again my disclaimer, I'm not a trainer, and you should do some thorough research any technique you use.

good luck and yes, your puppy is ridiculously cute.
\Jacqueline , I have to disagree with no. three and four. When a dog growls or snaps at you, it's time to listen , not confront. Taking a valued resource from a dog like you suggest only gives the dog more reason to guard it in the future. Extinction works by not reinforcing something. That doesn't apply to resource gaurding. And no. four , I won't touch with a ten foot pole. Never growl at a dog. There's no such thing as alpha. Please read Jean's article that I posted.
Extinction
The weakening of behavior through non-reinforcement or “ignoring” the behavior. In extinction, nothing is added or removed from the environment. For example, a treat lies on the other side of a fence. A dog reaches his paw under, but cannot reach the treat. Because reaching for the treat doesn’t work—because it isn’t reinforced through success—the dog will eventually quit reaching for the treat

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Last edited by davetgabby; 04-24-2013 at 07:07 PM.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-24-2013, 07:53 PM
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From Live Science ..."Herron and colleagues, from the university's School of Veterinary Medicine, surveyed dog owners who made behavioral service appointments at Penn Vet.

The following techniques elicited an aggressive response from the percentage of dogs indicated:
•hit or kick dog: 43 percent,
•growl at dog: 41 percent,
•physically force the release of an item from a dog's mouth: 39 percent,
•alpha roll — physically rolling the dog onto its back and holding it: 31 percent,
•stare at or stare down: 30 percent,
•dominance down — physically forcing the dog down onto its side: 29 percent
• grab dog by jowls and shake: 26 percent

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Ian Dunbar was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award from I.P.D.T.A. Here's a picture of me accepting the award on his behalf.
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