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Occasional Aggression Towards Dogs Receiving Affection

Discussions relating to Personal Injury Law

Occasional Aggression Towards Dogs Receiving Affection

Postby Eli » Fri Nov 25, 2016 11:34 pm

Conah is approximately 11 months old.  A friend found him in the middle of the road when he was but 10-12 weeks old and the owner didn’t want him back.  He’s a mutt – best guesses are Red Heeler mixed with Catahoula Hound.  He weighs about 60 pounds – and has filling out to do still.

Conah has a great disposition.  He is smart, affectionate, athletic, and downright adorable.  He loves adults, children and dogs(hasn't yet met a cat).

Though I live alone(I’m a 47-year old female), he gets lots of socialization at our local dog park.  On average, we go first thing in the morning 6 out of 7 days, and he runs and plays for a solid hour.  

We are currently participating in an advanced puppy training class one night a week and Conah is getting gold stars weekly.

I have a home office - so Conah is seldom alone for extended periods of time.

Our problem – occasional aggression(snarling/bearing teeth/high-pitched whine/posture) when another dog(s) is getting attention.  (Note: This happens in confined home settings – both in my home and my friend, Dana’s, home - not out in the dog park.)  You’ll notice, no pronoun.  That’s because this happens when I am attending to Dana’s dogs(Daisy & Petey) … and, it also happens when Dana is attending to Daisy & Petey.  Conah, invariably, “edges” Daisy and/or Petey out – insisting on being closest to whomever is doling out attention.  Daisy and Petey defer completely.  But, I am not(nor is Dana) comfortable with this dominant behavior.  

What do I need to do to correct this behavior?

ANSWER: It appears that Conah is "splitting"...getting between the human and other dog(s), and that can be a display of dominance or a fear reaction.  Since you are with Conah in an advanced class, I suggest you share this information with the trainer(providing the trainer is using NO COERCION in training.)  IF YOU ARE USING COERCION IN TRAINING, THIS IS THE PROBLEM.  Reconsider how you are "instructing" Conah in formal training sessions surrounded by other dogs!  He is learning this behavior and doesn't seem to be demonstrating it outdoors(in dog park), so this is a strong clue that confinement(indoor experience) is a real contributory factory.  If your training class uses ANYTHING but POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT, get the dog OUT of there ASAP.  You will have to rehabilitate his performance.  Examine his training regimen and please repost with your results.  If he has obtained a fear response in confinement with other dogs, I will teach you how to rehabilitate it. If this is NOT a contributory factory, we will have to introduce a strong, trained behavior(away from other dogs) that Conah can offer for reward/praise consistently in order to correct this behavior.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------conah and daisy spooni  

"Splitting" is right on.  I have looked at Conah's training regimen ... and it is based on positive reinforcement.  I can completely rule out a fear reaction.  Dominance sounds right.  He exhibits this behavior with Daisy and Petey, exclusively.  They are best friends - going between our homes often - as well as hiking and camping with us.  It is occasional, when either of gives attention(petting, snuggling) to one of the other dogs, that Conah wants to be "top dog" and "splits" - either by physically putting himself between the other dog and us - or by eye contact with the other dog.  We do not want to foster this behavior - but, don't know how to handle it appropriately.  Thanks for your help.  (Attached is an image showing Conah and Daisy spooning to demonstrate their mutual affection.)
Eli
 
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Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:54 pm

Occasional Aggression Towards Dogs Receiving Affection

Postby Lysander » Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:58 am

Conah requires some restructuring; he apparently thinks(and IS) in charge.  It's delicate because the other two dogs are involved and clearly deferring to him(this is NOT a problem.)  You need to provide him with clear signals(when he is alone with you) that YOU are in charge.  First, use a trained behavior(continue rewarding it) when interacting with Conah no matter how or when: ask him for it(the "sit" is most commonly used) before feeding him(and use a "wait" signal and a "take it" here, also), before letting him in/out, before petting him, before playing with him, etc., for about two weeks. Keep it light and playful and rewarding, but put it firmly in place.  Then keep Conah out of your bedroom, TOTALLY.  (introduce each step a day or so after the preceding step, don't hit him with all of them at once.)  Observe Conah's power positions and remove him from them(with a "move" command), such as tops of stairs, lying in your way(apparently casually) when you are seated, lying in doorways, charging up and down stairs in front of you, going through doorways in front of you, lying near external doorways.  If the dog appears to be in your way, this is NOT an accident; don't tolerate it.  Meanwhile, when you are with Dana and her dogs(or she with you), put a lightweight indoor leash on Conah.  If you observe him making eye contact with the other dogs in an attempt to control the situation, or attempting to split, pick the leash up, give a gutteral "Nah!" and move across the room with him.  Do not make eye contact, do not use his name or in any way address him, simply move him.  Then go back to the original position and observe closely.  At the end of two to three weeks, you can begin to go backward in your behavior modification regimen as described above.  If, at any time when you go backward, you observe Conah beginning to lapse back into his benign dominance, keep the entire regimen in place for another two weeks.

This should do it.  However, after you have seen a total lapse in this problem behavior, talk to the trainer in your class.  Set Conah up for you to interact with several of the dogs one at a time, petting them, showing them affection and attention(for short interval).  Observe Conah carefully.  If he reacts negatively, STOP and repeat when he is further along in his behavior modification.  If he does NOT react negatively, offer him a special food treat immediately prior to your interaction with the other dog(s).  Remember, you have to know what the DOG IS LEARNING so close observation is mandatory.
Lysander
 
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Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:10 am

Occasional Aggression Towards Dogs Receiving Affection

Postby Alfrid » Mon Dec 12, 2016 1:43 am

Conah is approximately 11 months old.  A friend found him in the middle of the road when he was but 10-12 weeks old and the owner didn’t want him back.  He’s a mutt – best guesses are Red Heeler mixed with Catahoula Hound.  He weighs about 60 pounds – and has filling out to do still.

Conah has a great disposition.  He is smart, affectionate, athletic, and downright adorable.  He loves adults, children and dogs(hasn't yet met a cat).

Though I live alone(I’m a 47-year old female), he gets lots of socialization at our local dog park.  On average, we go first thing in the morning 6 out of 7 days, and he runs and plays for a solid hour.  

We are currently participating in an advanced puppy training class one night a week and Conah is getting gold stars weekly.

I have a home office - so Conah is seldom alone for extended periods of time.

Our problem – occasional aggression(snarling/bearing teeth/high-pitched whine/posture) when another dog(s) is getting attention.  (Note: This happens in confined home settings – both in my home and my friend, Dana’s, home - not out in the dog park.)  You’ll notice, no pronoun.  That’s because this happens when I am attending to Dana’s dogs(Daisy & Petey) … and, it also happens when Dana is attending to Daisy & Petey.  Conah, invariably, “edges” Daisy and/or Petey out – insisting on being closest to whomever is doling out attention.  Daisy and Petey defer completely.  But, I am not(nor is Dana) comfortable with this dominant behavior.  

What do I need to do to correct this behavior?

ANSWER: It appears that Conah is "splitting"...getting between the human and other dog(s), and that can be a display of dominance or a fear reaction.  Since you are with Conah in an advanced class, I suggest you share this information with the trainer(providing the trainer is using NO COERCION in training.)  IF YOU ARE USING COERCION IN TRAINING, THIS IS THE PROBLEM.  Reconsider how you are "instructing" Conah in formal training sessions surrounded by other dogs!  He is learning this behavior and doesn't seem to be demonstrating it outdoors(in dog park), so this is a strong clue that confinement(indoor experience) is a real contributory factory.  If your training class uses ANYTHING but POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT, get the dog OUT of there ASAP.  You will have to rehabilitate his performance.  Examine his training regimen and please repost with your results.  If he has obtained a fear response in confinement with other dogs, I will teach you how to rehabilitate it. If this is NOT a contributory factory, we will have to introduce a strong, trained behavior(away from other dogs) that Conah can offer for reward/praise consistently in order to correct this behavior.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------conah and daisy spooni  

"Splitting" is right on.  I have looked at Conah's training regimen ... and it is based on positive reinforcement.  I can completely rule out a fear reaction.  Dominance sounds right.  He exhibits this behavior with Daisy and Petey, exclusively.  They are best friends - going between our homes often - as well as hiking and camping with us.  It is occasional, when either of gives attention(petting, snuggling) to one of the other dogs, that Conah wants to be "top dog" and "splits" - either by physically putting himself between the other dog and us - or by eye contact with the other dog.  We do not want to foster this behavior - but, don't know how to handle it appropriately.  Thanks for your help.  (Attached is an image showing Conah and Daisy spooning to demonstrate their mutual affection.)
Alfrid
 
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:37 am


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