My Granddog is having troubles

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by CarolinaBound, Sep 14, 2004.

  1. CarolinaBound

    CarolinaBound Well-Known Member

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    My son left SC for NC because he was offered a job. He took my 6 yof granddog with him. He is living with friends who already have 4 dogs. The friend's dogs are a 6mof and a 5mom and two puppies, probably not much over 6 weeks old that they found wandering on the road.

    My granddog Gwendolyn (who gets along fine with our cats btw) gets on fine with the little puppies. However she snaps at the older dogs, and they snap at her too. They are not at all friendly with each other.

    Also Gwendolyn barks at every move the friends make. She'll accept treats from them, wagging her tail and growling at the same time. When they get off the couch to use the bathroom or get more treats, she barks like crazy at them.

    It's only been two days, but my son is really afraid that this constant barking is going to wear thin soon.

    Any ideas on what he can do to calm her down? She NEVER has growled at anyone in my house. She is truly a good dog. Stubborn, but a good dog.

    TIA!

    CarolinaBound!
     
  2. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    First, it sounds like there's too many dogs. The other dogs and your grand-dog ( :haha: ) are battling for position in the pack. Your son and you should be aware that that many dogs (5 in all, I gather?) can easily get out of control quickly. It's hard to maintain that many dogs and it's even stressful for the dogs.

    Second, not sure why he's barking and growling at the people, but doesn't sound too good. Your grand-dog ( :haha: ), however, is definitely stressing. It may calm down in time. In the meantime, the other people should exercise a little caution, and your son needs to set very clear boundaries on the doggie's behavior with humans.

    If it's possible, maybe your grand-dog could come back and stay with you til your son finds a place of his own to live --- ?
     

  3. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) This advice is from the Pet Trainers Association of America....have the other people in the house carry ablolutely fantastic treats in their pockets...all of the time they are home. Find out the Grand dogs favorite, favorite thing and everytime she barks and "alerts" at them they are to throw her treats. Every single time. They will have to do some controling of the other canines in the household(I would have crates for the puppies anyway..my dogs and every dog that visits have their own crates...or have them all on short lines.

    I have found that my newest dogs favorite stuff is spiced pork and kept frozen until needed.She is extremely(or was)hostile towards other dogs.. but is ever so much better now. However she is a fussy eater so your Grandog might do just as well with dried liver or some such.

    I think that Gwen is stressed, anxious, and unsure where the lines are. She's in a new situation and probably one where there is no clear leader in the group. And her anxieties are overpowering her. I guess it would be wasted breath on your part but some obedience exersizes or trick teaching with each dog in turn so each gets attention and treats all alone would help a lot, along with clear commands and lots of petting for each dog in turn.

    Good luck, there are some good books out there for dealing with several dogs in a household where there is conflict. Maybe a good early xmas present? LOL

    LQ
     
  4. CarolinaBound

    CarolinaBound Well-Known Member

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    The littlest pups are supposed to be finding new homes. Unfortunately that will probably be at the pound. But I agree, there are TOO many dogs in that house. Especially since they all work in a swanky restaurant and get home early in the morning (like 2) and go to work usually at about 7 for 5-6 days a week. When they are off, they're mostly comatose.

    My husband doesn't like my granddog , but even he said if it keeps going on, to bring my granddog home. Unfortunately it is about a 3.5 hour ride one way.

    Gwen is extremely stubborn and sneaky. (She loves the cat litter (Ugh!) and the garbage.) She is great on a leash with my dh and her owner. She won't listen to me at all on a leash.

    However, sometimes I just have to look at her, and she'll sit or lay down. When I'm on the puter or watching tv, she'll either lay on my feet or put her head on my arm and stare into my eyes.

    And she has never, never, never growled or snapped at a family member. My kids watch tv laying against her.

    Yeah, despite the disobedience, I love her lots!

    She is 6 and spayed. Like I said, very stubborn. But I think pretty smart too. She is an American Bulldog.

    My son used to have her hand signal trained for roll over, sit, quiet and a few others. But when he went into the army I had two babies, so although she was in the house with me etc, I didn't re-inforce the training (I was toooo tired) and now she doesn't really pay attention to any ha nd signals.

    Do you think I could get her to obey me, or not likely?
     
  5. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Things are going to escelate. If the humans in the household were very dog savvy, I think things would work out, but they are not and it's not fair to anyone. I suspect the friends are afraid of Gwen, but even if they are not, son needs to come home for a visit and bring Gwen with him.

    Yes, you will be able to get Gwen to obey you. Get the book, Don't Shoot the Dog, by Karen Pryor. Other good ones are The Culture Clash and The Other End of the Leash by Jean Donaldson. They are heavy in theory, but also very practical.

    To begin, never give Gwen a speck of food that she doesn't earn. She must sit, high five, down, or do whatever tricks she has in her repertoir (sp) for food. Use her kibble interspersed with something yummy like peanut butter bread. Feed her three times a day having her sit first, then wait while you put the dish down and wait longer (like ten seconds) before you release her. It's not hard and I think you'll find that Gwen starts paying a little more attention to you. As for pulling on lead, start over with the training, but use the methods outlined in the above books.

    I'll bet Gwen misses you.
     
  6. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) I second the dog book advice! My favorite happens to be "Mother Knows Best" by Carol Lea Benjamin. And also, get yourself and Gwen to a dog obedience class. I know, I know, you think cause she is trained you don't need to do that...wrong! Obdience classes are to teach YOU to handle the dog. And you have other people there in the same boat and it's nice to have moral support and good help and advice from a proff trainer. Why waste Gwens brains! Learn to use them instead. Amercian Bulldogs are wonderful dogs, look who starred in the remake of "The Incredible Journey"? An American Bulldog! LOL You already know she can be stubborn and independant. So? You can be too. And as you are human you are smarter and you can learn how to get her to want to listen to you,.

    It's up to you...good luck...LQ
     
  7. Shygal

    Shygal Unreality star Supporter

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    Granddog - I love it!! :)
     
  8. WolfSoul

    WolfSoul Well-Known Member

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    My son left SC for NC because he was offered a job. He took my 6 yof granddog with him. He is living with friends who already have 4 dogs. The friend's dogs are a 6mof and a 5mom and two puppies, probably not much over 6 weeks old that they found wandering on the road.

    My granddog Gwendolyn (who gets along fine with our cats btw) gets on fine with the little puppies.

    I'm a professional Service Dog Trainer and have worked with dogs for 30 years. I'd like to offer my opinion. I say opinion because one can never get into the mind of a human, much less a dog. Gwen does not need to snap at the puppies as they pose no hierarchal or survival threat to her. It's like we, as adults, do not fear little children will hurt us (normally, Haha.) Secondly. The dog was plopped into a new pack. Wolves in the wild when coming upon a new pack or a member of another pack who is alone, will attack and kill it. Your dog, no matter how many years' domestication has taken place, has the same DNA as the wolf (scientists can't tell the difference and the only diff. in the name is wolves are canis lupis, dogs are canis lupis familiaris.) Gwen knows she's in a pack and she's not a member. She's showing bravado and pretending she's not afraid they'll gang up on her and kill her. They should (but not always) work it all out between themselves. The dogs who are already in the pack see her as a potential threat and the snapping back and forth is like rival gang members yelling at each other.......sorry for the bad comparison. If the pack does not accept Gwen, you will have to remove her for her own safety.

    However she snaps at the older dogs, and they snap at her too. They are not at all friendly with each other.

    Also Gwendolyn barks at every move the friends make.

    The barking when anyone moves is both anxiety and a mild warning. She's not showing her teeth or posturing aggressively. She knows that humans are more dangerous when they're on the move and she's barking from anxiety. She wags her tail when she gets treats to show she likes the treats and growls to say "hey, I'm vulnerable here, so don't be using this food to entice me in and then clobber me." IMHO, all of her behaviors are fear based and if everyone, including the dogs, stay calm, you should see it diminish over time.

    She'll accept treats from them, wagging her tail and growling at the same time. When they get off the couch to use the bathroom or get more treats, she barks like crazy at them.

    It's only been two days, but my son is really afraid that this constant barking is going to wear thin soon.

    If I took your son to Japan and plopped him in a new family, would two days be enough for him for feel comfortable? The dog can't either. I urge patience on his part and IMHO Gwen and the other pack will adjust.

    It would have been better to introduce Gwen to the Alpha member (and there is one whether the humans know who it is) first, get the Alpha's acceptance and go from there, one dog at a time.

    Never use punishment/pain on dogs (ever, IMO) but especially when stressed. It won't teach the dog anything other than humans can't be trusted or are threats and the anxious/aggressive behavior will escalate.

    Good luck!
    Karen

    Any ideas on what he can do to calm her down? She NEVER has growled at anyone in my house. She is truly a good dog. Stubborn, but a good dog.

    TIA!

    CarolinaBound![/QUOTE]
     
  9. WolfSoul

    WolfSoul Well-Known Member

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    This advice is from the Pet Trainers Association of America....have the other people in the house carry ablolutely fantastic treats in their pockets...all of the time they are home. Find out the Grand dogs favorite, favorite thing and everytime she barks and "alerts" at them they are to throw her treats.

    I hope no one takes my comments offensively, but I disagree with this advice for several reasons. I know the intent of the Pet Trainers Assoc. is to build an association for Gwen with people and treats therefore getting Gwen to think; people, treats, people are good. This is good, BUT, the advice that they should give her treats every time she alrm barks is incorrect. If you want to extinguish a behviors you must never reinforce it. In this case, you do NOT want the barking, so you would reinforce her when she IS NOT barking. To build a positive association between the people in the house the first step is simply to build a conditioned reinforcer, in this case, the word "good." No matter what the dog is doing, as long as she's not barking, say "Gwen, good!" then toss the treat. When she whips her head around every time you call her name, you have the basis for obedience work and the groundwork for positive associative reflex arcs in Gwen's brain where the new people are involved.

    Also, when you train Gwen, it MUST be out of eye, ear and nose distance from the other animals. I've made this mistake with groups of service dogs. They do get jealous and they will carry on while the training is taking place. When you let them out of their crates, chaos tends to ensue as they investigate all the good things that happened to Gwen when they were locked in them.

    ANother thing.......I learned this the hard way, place treats around the house for people to reach rather than on your person ESPECIALLY in a multi dog house. That way two things happen, you save yourself from being attacked by the pack for the treats in your pocket and the dogs can't anticipate when you will and will not reinforce their behavior. They will think you can make food appear anywhere and it makes it easier for training. as for the treats in the pocket, I was using a bait bag for treats when an English Staffordshire Terrior AKA pit bull and two Rotts "discovered" it. It was attached to my belt loop. The pit grabbed the back and began yanking me off the chair, then the Rotts helped him, then they began to bite each other over it. I never unbuckled my belt so quickly in my life, hahaha.

    Good luck with Gwen. I hope I've been of some help. Karen
    Every single time. They will have to do some controling of the other canines in the household(I would have crates for the puppies anyway..my dogs and every dog that visits have their own crates...or have them all on short lines.

    I have found that my newest dogs favorite stuff is spiced pork and kept frozen until needed.She is extremely(or was)hostile towards other dogs.. but is ever so much better now. However she is a fussy eater so your Grandog might do just as well with dried liver or some such.

    I think that Gwen is stressed, anxious, and unsure where the lines are. She's in a new situation and probably one where there is no clear leader in the group. And her anxieties are overpowering her. I guess it would be wasted breath on your part but some obedience exersizes or trick teaching with each dog in turn so each gets attention and treats all alone would help a lot, along with clear commands and lots of petting for each dog in turn.

    Good luck, there are some good books out there for dealing with several dogs in a household where there is conflict. Maybe a good early xmas present? LOL

    LQ[/QUOTE]
     
  10. WolfSoul

    WolfSoul Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the Karen Pryor books, also all of the books listed by the APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers) for the CPDT (Certified Pet Dog Trainer) test are excellent. Just type APDT into google and you'll find it. Also, it's hard to find, but a book called "Coercion and Its Fallout" by Murray Sidman explains (with scientific, quantified data) how punishment/pain affects learning and the "fallout" on the animal's behavior. I would also recommend a book by Sheila Booth (on Amazon) called Purely Positive Training. It's easy to read and compassionate to both human and dog. Good luck and if you need any help, just ask. It sounds like you have quite a few good dog trainers here.

    Karen
     
  11. Jan Doling

    Jan Doling Well-Known Member

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    Meet your son half way for a grandog relay. Maybe you can have a meal together before bringing the baby back home with you. good luck.