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Concerns about 5 1/2 month old puppy..

This is a discussion on Concerns about 5 1/2 month old puppy.. within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; He went to the vet last month, and he was fine then. My guess is that recently he hasn't wanted his face touched because he's ...

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Old 09-11-2012, 04:06 PM
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He went to the vet last month, and he was fine then. My guess is that recently he hasn't wanted his face touched because he's losing tons of teeth these days and his mouth is in pain. However, once his teeth are fine, I still don't want to have to tip toe around my dog every day. I have a dog that doesn't mind for me to kiss her face, and I like that. I like a dog that I can kiss in the face. If he will never be that kind of dog that doesn't mind me getting in his face, then quite honestly, I think he would be better off in a home with someone who doesn't have any kids or loving people for that matter. I'm talking to his trainer today, as we have been attending classes for the past few weeks
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Old 09-11-2012, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Ardennais View Post
He went to the vet last month, and he was fine then. My guess is that recently he hasn't wanted his face touched because he's losing tons of teeth these days and his mouth is in pain. However, once his teeth are fine, I still don't want to have to tip toe around my dog every day. I have a dog that doesn't mind for me to kiss her face, and I like that. I like a dog that I can kiss in the face. If he will never be that kind of dog that doesn't mind me getting in his face, then quite honestly, I think he would be better off in a home with someone who doesn't have any kids or loving people for that matter. I'm talking to his trainer today, as we have been attending classes for the past few weeks
It's totally fine for you have expectations for your dog, but it's a little unfair for you to stipulate what your dog should like. Especially when it constitutes very rude things in normal dog social language.
It may indeed be better for you to rehome this dog. They are going to require a lot of serious work to be considered safe, and he is still a type of dog that will not thrive on the types of social interaction you want him to.
Be aware though, that he will be euthanized for this behavior if you take him to a shelter. If you do feel the need to rehome him, I would find a trainer who is willing to put the work into him.

I can't help but ask, why did you get a mix that's largely intense, driven breeds who don't thrive on physical contact if that's what you wanted?

I'm not sure what certifications they have, but be careful with your trainer. Taking obedience classes has very little to do with behavior modification. Do they have specialized training for reactive dogs?
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Old 09-11-2012, 05:08 PM
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What type of trainer is this? You have been attending class and he is only getting worse. Tells me it must be a negative base training method. A dog like that will only get worse with negative..he needs more positive reinforcement in his life.
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Old 09-11-2012, 05:15 PM
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It may be possible to work with your dog to the point that they will accept face to face contact, but for a skittish dog that requires you to spend a great deal of time and energy building your relationship in a positive way.
Compulsion based training is the antithisis of this. It erodes trust because it's basis is your dog learning to behave to keep you from becoming dangerous.

The dog in my avatar, Moro, had been abused and living feral when we adopted her. She hated men, was terrified of confinement, scarred other dogs, and wouldn't let either of us touch her. It was over a year before we saw her belly. Two before I would have considered her safe around strange people and other dogs. Three before she actively started to solicit affection from us.
She's still standoffish with strangers, but she's improved so much that she will now come in to family members for kisses (point of note: she will only accept my partner and I innitiating contact like that, with other people it's on her terms only). Our goal when we got her and realized how damaged she was was simply for her to be safe and able to self-regulate around family members. It's amazing that she has exceeded that, but if she hadn't it still would have been ok. You need to set realistic expectations knowing the temperament and social/genetic background of your dog.

Incidently, I am confident that if we had tried to work correctively with her she would have become a completely unmanagable fear-biter. We certainly would never have gotten to the point where she would have enjoyed any physical contact (let alone affection).
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Old 09-11-2012, 06:00 PM
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^^agree..I also took in a Shep that had been abused. Only two of us at the shelter could go in her run. So I decided to adopt her. It took a year for her to feel someone comfortable around strangers.. two years for her to be calm around men..She was not a kisser but she was a love..

Work on one thing at a time so he does not become overwhelmed. I am sure with positive reinforcement he will come around and show you love..be it with kisses ..hugs..love bites Feeding him in his kennel is a great start..Feel positive about it so he draws on your energy...feel good energy..
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Old 09-11-2012, 06:56 PM
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I saw in another thread you are thinking about getting another dog. I would not do that until this is settled out.

I would love to wrestle around with my dog like I do my kids, but I can't. I'd like to hold a conversation with him but that's not gonna happen either. That's the way humans interact but not dogs. I let him come to me and sometimes I get rewarded with him putting his head by my head on the couch and he follows me around...that is how he shows me love. If you are not ready to show love in a way he can understand vs the way you want to, then try to find him another home (because a shelter will put him down for what you are describing). Think hard about it because it could be a great lesson in compassion and showing true selfless love. Sometimes I have to do things for my husband that I don't enjoy to show him love (and get your minds outta the gutter, I'm talking about watching baseball). I do it not because I like it, but because I love him and I want him to know it.
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:30 PM
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I did not adopt him knowing what was in him. We did a dna test and it showed his colorful genetic make up. The terrier in him is Affenpinscher, Brussels Griffon and Jack Russell terrier. When we first got him as a puppy, he resembled a golden/samoyed. All of the breeds in him are breeds I'm not fond of, because they are known to be possessive, aggressive and stubborn. But I've told myself to stick it out, because he looked promising.
The class he's attending is reward and positive training based. I talked to the trainer today and he showed me a few methods for food aggression. He trains and handles shar-pei for the show ring.
He really only didn't like being kissed for the first few weeks, but we desensitized him after a few weeks. It's just been quite recently that his food aggression has escalated to random aggression.
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:45 PM
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Do not hold that DNA as a definite on his breed make up. It is not 100% yet. I also see Golden and maybe Chow..

Shar-Pei conformation or obedience ring? Big difference in the training between the two. May I ask what methods he suggested for the food aggression?

Glad to hear you are not going to give up..
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:52 PM
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Well, he looks golden, but apparently he has no retriever in him at all.

His method is to put on shoes and pants, and when he's eating, calmly walk over and try to nudge him away with your legs and place yourself between him and the food. It worked after Thatch tried to bite his foot the first time, because he just stopped and looked up at him. Oh and he trains in both conformation and obedience. He's been training dogs for 30 years, and has been working at petsmart for about 2 years.
I don't want to give up, since my family and I are attached to him, but I'll do what I have to do if it means keeping them and other people safe
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:56 PM
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You have what you have in the way of the dog's genetics and temperament.
First step is to accept that package that you cannot change.
The sooner you begin there, the better.

He's not going to be a dog who wants to be kissed in the face... at least not without months/years of conditioning a positive emotional response to this.

Get the book "Mine" and start there.
Start reading your dog's body language as to what he is telling you.
When he is growling, you have already missed a host of signals that were more subtle.

This dog offers you an opportunity to learn a LOT about dogs.

I've been through this... a dog who is different from my hopes/expectations. He has taught me so MUCH. And after a period of having to adjust my expectations, he and I are actually closer than I'd ever dreamed.

Start by observing him without bias. If he's stressed, modify what you do.

Most of all, let go of your expectations.

That's my 2 cents.
Good luck to you.
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