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Aggressive puppy help!

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  • #41
    what, exactly, does scruffing look like then? The scruffing I've seen people do, is to gather up the skin on the back of their neck in a fist, lift the dog off the ground and shake it or force it into a down or on it's side.

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    • #42
      if you really understood what dogs are saying, then you would know that growling means "don't come closer" and adults respect that. If a dog owns something, and another dog approaches, the approaching dog either curves around and goes by or it turns and leaves.

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      • #43
        duplicate post

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        • #44
          Even the Monks Of New Skete have backed away from the methods outlined in their earlier books, such as alpha rolls and scruffing as a way to show dominance to your puppy/dog.

          Here is a good article on the whole "dominance theory" issue:
          http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/iss...s_20416-1.html
          Sheilah

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          • Original Poster

            #45
            Originally posted by threedogpack View Post
            what, exactly, does scruffing look like then? The scruffing I've seen people do, is to gather up the skin on the back of their neck in a fist, lift the dog off the ground and shake it or force it into a down or on it's side.
            Um, WTF? I've never done any such thing. What I was referring to (which may or may not be what anyone else is referring to) was just picking the pup up (gently) by the scruff of his neck, moreso as a method of quiet restraint than anything else - it happens to be the safest place to grab when the little terror is trying to eat me or one of the other animals.

            No shaking, beating, forcing or other violence/acts of dominance as was apparently assumed.

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            • #46
              Originally posted by threedogpack View Post
              actually I've never had a mama dog scruff a puppy..
              You've never seen a mama dog discipline a puppy by putting her mouth on the back of its neck? Never?

              I assure you I've seen every mama dog with a litter I've ever raised use this method. Every one. It means Stop that. It doesn't hurt the puppy, they're not bitten, they understand they've been rebuked, they don't suffer forevermore. It simply means "don't do that," possibly because they DO pick them up by the neck when they move them and therefore when touched like that puppies "stop." So it makes perfect sense. When mamas move puppies the puppies pretty much just hang there, right? They "stop." Which is why it works if mama uses it in another situation. Which is also why it often works when puppy snarls at human because human dared to touch it's food dish.

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              • #47
                It seemed that from some of the responses people think the mama-dog-type-hand-on-back-of-neck is harsh, when it's not. You don't do it harshly. It's dog language to a young puppy. If someone is angrily shaking a puppy around, of course that's wrong and of course no one should ever do it, ever.

                The guttural "uh-uh" which little puppies catch on to immediately before they learn what the sound "no" means, you might say is negative as opposed to neutral, and maybe I can't explain it in writing, but it is *emotionally* neutral.
                no, it's not that it's harsh, it's that's it's entirely the WRONG thing to do- if it worked, I'd be the first to recommend it. But it doesn't. "Correcting" puppies/dogs for "resource guarding" has been shown by many people to not work. In fact, it's been repeatedly demonstrated that if you use any kind of physically forceful "correction" on a dog who is resource guarding you run the risk of making the problem worse, much worse. People report that the more they punish their resource guarder, the worse the guarding gets, the more aggressive the dog will become about guarding.
                It has nothing to do with it being "harsh" or "emotionally neutral", it's just the WRONG tactic from a dog's point of view.
                From a dog's point of view, "resource guarding" is NORMAL behavior. Possession trumps all in the dog world. You're never going to see a "mamma dog" correct a puppy for resource guarding; and in fact, if you watch dogs, you'll see that most dogs respond to a dog's statement of "it's mine!" by respecting this statement and walking away. Only the rudest of the rude dogs would not back away from a dog saying "this is mine and you can't have it."

                So you, the clueless human, hear your puppy saying "This is mine!" and instead of saying, "yeah, I hear you, it's yours" instead you go attack the puppy and take away his stuff. It's bewildering to many pups that you would respond that way. Some pups might respond to your attacking them and stealing stuff by being so cowed they don't do anything, but most don't. Most respond by becoming ever-more aggressive in their guarding, because they learned you can't be trusted, you will indeed steal the pup's stuff.

                If you use the proper protocol- The tried-and-true method of teaching the puppy to trust you instead, and to eagerly give up stuff to you- to cure resource guarding then you've got it made. It works on all dogs, is very safe, and can and will cure resource guarding. In fact, even if your puppy doesn't seem to exhibit food-guarding, it's a good idea to rapidly run through the anti-resource-guarding protocols as a preemptive strike, just because so many people get bitten over resource guarding. Fix the problem before it starts, so to speak. All puppies should be trained to drop objects on command, and to let you near their food bowl.

                Actually, the whole idea that "momma dogs" correct their puppies by scruffing them has been resoundingly debunked. Momma dogs simply don't do that. You can watch endless numbers of litters and you won't see a normal bitch scruff her puppies. Ever. Most puppies have "puppy license" until they grow up and adult dogs will tolerate the most apppalling behaviors without making a peep and certainly without trying to physically "correct" them. Babies don't respond to punishment, and dogs know it. You wouldn't slap an infant for being bad; so why would you "scruff" a baby dog?

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                • #48
                  Originally posted by IdahoRider View Post
                  But we aren't dogs and even puppies know it. We don't look like dogs. We don't smell like dogs. We don't act like dogs.

                  Do we sniff a dog's butt when introduced? Do we lick their urine to check health or reproductive status? Hell no! So why do we so often hear crap about "treat them like another dog" for stuff like resource guarding? We are not dogs! No matter smart we are, we can't fake being dogs.
                  Sheilah
                  Oh, please. We use dog behavior all the time. How often have you been told, "Don't stare straight at a strange dog which might be aggressive" as looking straight at them can be perceived as a challenge. Or "Don't grab them, let them come to you and sniff you first." We just make it a hand rather than a crotch. Or seen people hunker down to call a dog because the dog is more likely to come because that's non-threatening dog language. Or to run away to get a recalcitrant dog to follow you? Why? Because if you're chasing them they'll run away; if you run away they usually then run towards you, right?

                  Watch people entice a dog to play. They often bend forward. That's a play bow.

                  All these are using dog language that the dog understands. We do it all the time.

                  Comment


                  • #49
                    Originally posted by Anne FS View Post
                    You've never seen a mama dog discipline a puppy by putting her mouth on the back of its neck? Never?

                    I assure you I've seen every mama dog with a litter I've ever raised use this method. Every one. It means Stop that. It doesn't hurt the puppy, they're not bitten, they understand they've been rebuked, they don't suffer forevermore. It simply means "don't do that," possibly because they DO pick them up by the neck when they move them and therefore when touched like that puppies "stop." So it makes perfect sense. When mamas move puppies the puppies pretty much just hang there, right? They "stop." Which is why it works if mama uses it in another situation. Which is also why it often works when puppy snarls at human because human dared to touch it's food dish.
                    nope, never.

                    I've seen mama dogs discipline puppies, and I've watched other pack members do the same, but never by scruffing. I've also never seen a mama dog discipline a puppy who was worried. I've watched a mama reassure a puppy by touching it gently by touching it, but not by scruffng it.

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                    • #50
                      Originally posted by Heinz 57 View Post
                      Um, WTF? I've never done any such thing. What I was referring to (which may or may not be what anyone else is referring to) was just picking the pup up (gently) by the scruff of his neck, moreso as a method of quiet restraint than anything else - it happens to be the safest place to grab when the little terror is trying to eat me or one of the other animals.

                      No shaking, beating, forcing or other violence/acts of dominance as was apparently assumed.
                      Exactly.

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        So basically, I just got told that I don't know how to train a resource guarder the "right way", so I have to take too much time to do it "some other way"? Interesting. Actually, I'll tell you that it took me about three training sessions of about five minutes over three days to be able to pick the food bowl up with the dog being happy as heck that I was picking it up. It took me three weeks to gradually raise my criteria until I was able to take away a raw marrow bone from a known biting resourse guarder. In those same three weeks, he was also taught to walk on a leash with no pulling at all (and no leash jerks, pinch collars, etc), sit (with 10 seconds of duration), down (with 10 seconds of duration), hand touch, zen (leave a treat in my hand, on the floor, and on a table when I requested him too), a paw touch, touch an object, bark, no bark, in (get in a room I'm pointing too), bedroom (go in the bedroom), crate, and go to a mat.

                        Currently we are working on increasing duration of all his behaviors, socializing, continueing work with food bowl and zen, and adding a default "go to mat" when someone is at the door.

                        I kind of thought he was doing pretty good for only three weeks of training, but since I obviously don't know how to properly train a dog, I guess I'm wrong.

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          I also think there's semantic confusion here with the word "scruff." For instance when a vet tech has to scruff a cat so the doctor can examine it...well, I've seen some pretty good scruffs, which I totally get because otherwise tech is going to be a mass of scratches. That self-preserving death grip is not what I'm talking about. Heinz57 has it right.

                          However, what I see here is posters bound & determined to misunderstand:

                          "Never" seeing a mother dog put her mouth on the back of a puppy.

                          Saying that a human teaching a puppy not to bite when the human takes away its food dish is "attacking the puppy."

                          "People are not dogs and never should act like dogs."

                          etc. etc.

                          People who cannot accept that there is more than one kind, effective way to train, that unless you're taking 3 weeks to teach a baby puppy not to snarl & snap at humans who have shown it nothing but kindness you're messing it up forever, people who don't understand dog behavior and think that people never communicate to them in their own language even w/o realizing it...well, you're never going to get anywhere with people who insist that with animals there is only one right way.

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                          • #53
                            Originally posted by Anne FS View Post
                            However, what I see here is posters bound & determined to misunderstand:

                            "Never" seeing a mother dog put her mouth on the back of a puppy.
                            my bitches never scruffed a puppy. It's not a misunderstanding, it's a simple fact.

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              Originally posted by Anne FS View Post
                              Oh, please. We use dog behavior all the time.
                              Silly me! I always assumed that dogs could tell the difference between humans doing things and other dogs doing things.

                              I have seen the light and will now scruff every dog I come across. But not to worry! I won't look them in the eyes while I am doing it!
                              Sheilah

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                Originally posted by Arrows Endure View Post
                                So basically, I just got told that I don't know how to train a resource guarder the "right way", so I have to take too much time to do it "some other way"?
                                Who said you're not doing it the right way? Not me. My whole point has been there are multiple ways to do things.

                                What I said was that if you can't do the neck thing the right way, don't do it at all, do it your way. If you choose to willfully misunderstand what I wrote, so be it. I'm the one saying there are different ways. Several people on here are the ones saying no, you must not use that method, but only the methods I've used. I merely state that animals are different and you adapt methods to THEM, not to you.

                                I also see that you've clarified that it only took 3 days and not 3 weeks. That makes more sense. And because it only took 3 days the way you trained it, then you probably would also be surprised if someone told you it took them 3 WEEKS to get the same level of accomplishment.

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  Originally posted by IdahoRider View Post
                                  Silly me! I always assumed that dogs could tell the difference between humans doing things and other dogs doing things.

                                  I have seen the light and will now scruff every dog I come across. But not to worry! I won't look them in the eyes while I am doing it!
                                  Sheilah
                                  ROTFL! Classic case of COH over-reacting and willfully misunderstanding.

                                  None of that is what I said and you know it. (LOL). Yeah, you go do that.

                                  Comment


                                  • #57
                                    Originally posted by threedogpack View Post
                                    my bitches never scruffed a puppy. It's not a misunderstanding, it's a simple fact.
                                    I'm sure it is a fact of your experience. I believe you.

                                    Just because you have never seen it doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

                                    That's classic false reasoning. Taking a small sample and extrapolating it to a universal truth: "I have never observed this in my own dogs in (how many litters? 3? 10? 50?). Therefore, no dogs anywhere ever do this."

                                    Unless you're staring at mama & puppies 24/7 you don't know if she ever did, do you? Nope.

                                    Just because I've seen it dozens of times (and I don't mean pick it up by the neck and shake it - I mean how Heinz57 described it) doesn't mean that every dog does it. It does mean that it occurs, however.

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      Actually, I don't put a time span on the time it takes me or anyone else to train a dog. Every dog is different as is every trainer. I will tell anyone that training a behavior, or training to extinguish a behavior, takes as long as it takes. It's a reflection of the dog, the trainers timing, and about fifty other factors. I would be VERY suspicious of a trainer that told me they can fix something immediatly.

                                      There is absolutly more than one way to train a dog. But I also firmly believe that you can train a dog with no force at all. I have worked with dogs for a long time, and I've seen dogs trained with force (some of my own I might add, before I learned better ways to train). They don't work with the same enthusiasm and drive that dogs that are trained using positive reinforcement do. Come to an obedience trial with me sometime and watch the classes. I can usually tell you which dogs have been trained with "traditional" methods using correction, and which ones haven't. Nine times out of ten, the correction trained dogs are more inclined to shut down if a mistake is made, lag on the heeling, wander off on the off leash healing, etc. I'm not saying positively trained dogs don't make mistakes, but the recover from them better, and are happier to be where they are.
                                      Last edited by Arrows Endure; Dec. 10, 2012, 05:36 PM. Reason: because I shouldn't think and type while trying to keep one eye on the puppy.

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                                      • #59
                                        Originally posted by Anne FS View Post

                                        However, what I see here is posters bound & determined to misunderstand:

                                        Saying that a human teaching a puppy not to bite when the human takes away its food dish is "attacking the puppy."

                                        "People are not dogs and never should act like dogs."
                                        I am not misunderstanding you. I am totally disagreeing with you. For the record: I absolutely believe that a human can teach a puppy/dog not to resource guard. And I think there are methods out there that in no way could be conceived as "attacking the puppy".

                                        Anne FS, it is your advocacy of an outdated and debunked method of "correcting" the behavior that I believe is useless. Not to mention counter productive to the task at hand. And potentially dangerous.

                                        You are a lost cause, since you seem entrenched in your belief that the method you described is a valid one. But hopefully someone else looking for information at some other point in time will notice the vast majority of responses have challenged your method, and maybe that will cause them to think twice before using a scruffing method to "correct" resource guarding.

                                        And for the record (again): I truly believe that people should act silly and goofy with their dogs and puppies. Acting like a dog, when you're a human, has a time and a place. A silly and goofy time and place. But working on a potentially very dangerous behavior is not that time and not that place. Play bow all you want. It feels great. But you aren't a dog and the dog knows it.
                                        Sheilah

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by Anne FS View Post
                                          Oh, please. We use dog behavior all the time. How often have you been told, "Don't stare straight at a strange dog which might be aggressive" as looking straight at them can be perceived as a challenge. Or "Don't grab them, let them come to you and sniff you first." We just make it a hand rather than a crotch. Or seen people hunker down to call a dog because the dog is more likely to come because that's non-threatening dog language. Or to run away to get a recalcitrant dog to follow you? Why? Because if you're chasing them they'll run away; if you run away they usually then run towards you, right?

                                          Watch people entice a dog to play. They often bend forward. That's a play bow.

                                          All these are using dog language that the dog understands. We do it all the time.
                                          Those behaviors are not because a dog sees us as a dog, but because they see us as a predator. Trying to act like a dog, doesn't work. Dogs KNOW we aren't dogs.

                                          Comment

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