Protective behavior - New rescue dog

Go Back   Dog Forum > Keeping and Caring for Dogs > Dog Training and Behavior

Protective behavior - New rescue dog

This is a discussion on Protective behavior - New rescue dog within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Greetings! About a month ago, I adopted a young female German Shepherd Dog. She's approximately 9-11 months old, and was an owner surrender at a ...

User Tag List

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-09-2012, 11:55 AM
  #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Protective behavior - New rescue dog

Greetings!

About a month ago, I adopted a young female German Shepherd Dog. She's approximately 9-11 months old, and was an owner surrender at a local shelter by an elderly gentleman who could "no longer handle her". I have no other info on her except that the foster home she was in was going nutty trying to deal with her because of energy level and the fact that she had absolutely NO training.

She is delightfully drivey, a natural tracker and all-around friendly to dogs and humans. I have trained in obedience, shutzhund and agility but all with dogs that I raised from a puppy, and I have never had this problem.

I have no issues with her other than this -she will not let anyone touch me without inserting herself between us, even my husband. She is NOT fearful - she's quite forward and calm about it, except if my husband tries to stare her down - then she will growl and bark and threaten - he has only done that once - he DID win, and I decided I didn't want to go there again until I better understood what was going on. I can push her off and tell her no and she will back down, but it doesn't seem like she is "getting it" that I don't need her assistance and am not threatened. I feel like this may be a dominance issue, but she is very submissive with my husband at all other times, and she will obey me when I push her off.

Any thoughts?
Boudicca is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2012, 12:15 PM
  #2
Dog Forum ModeraTHOR
 
kmes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: PA
Posts: 9,043
Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Welcome to the forum and congrats on adopting your pup!

My bet is that she is Resource Guarding (you are the resource).
This thread will help you to understand what is going on and will hopefully give you some ideas about how to deal with this!
http://www.dogforum.com/dog-behavior...fication-7511/
Many of us here have resource guarders and are willing to offer our experiences and advice.

I do want to suggest that your husband not stare her down...
A hard stare is really quite threatening to dogs. Definitely not the way you want to go with this issue!
Plus this really this has nothing to do with dominance. There is actually a lot of scientific evidence that debunks Dominance and Pack theory. This thread has lots of great sources about this should you be intetrested in learning more.
http://www.dogforum.com/dog-training...nce-dogs-4076/

Last edited by kmes; 01-09-2012 at 12:21 PM.
kmes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2012, 01:22 PM
  #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Thanks for the quick response, and the welcome! I think my rescue pup is a real gem, she's a sweet girl, and I don't want to confuse things by misinterpreting the issue and making the problem worse. She is in a new environment, and a totally different situation. Other than this issue, she seems to be fitting in almost too easily to our lives, considering her reputation as a hooligan.

She only guards me. No guarding food or toys, or stolen shoes. How can I "train" her to ignore hugs and desired affection given to me by others? Can I use the food to reward her when she sits quietly and doesn't protest? Can you give me an example of what to do with this since it's me she's guarding, and not an object, and I don't want to have to give up hugs!

I am so glad to have discovered this forum!! Thanks kmes!!
Boudicca is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2012, 02:18 PM
  #4
Senior Member
 
sezeelson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: UK
Posts: 125
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Dogs who resource guard can be funny about about what they guard!! it all depends on what they hold as high value to them for example, at one point i was able to totally remove all toys and food including bones from my dog without an issue! But then he found a roll of toilet paper and he guarded it with his life! He caught me completely off guard with that one :S

Your doing the right thing in pushing her to the side when someone else is giving you attention and do not stop doing that its all about persistence and creating a boundary! For example you would not allow a dog in your face or sitting right next to whilst eating.

I myself used a trading method when my dog was guarding so i guess yes you can use treats if your dog is respecting your space when other people are around you. Just make sure she is totally calm and relaxed instead laying there alert as if she is expecting something to happen!
sezeelson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2012, 02:22 PM
  #5
Senior Member
 
sezeelson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: UK
Posts: 125
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
oh and kmes is right in that your husband should never stare her down. With a guarding problem the last thing you want to do is 'challenge' her as this will only reinforce her need and reasoning of protecting.
sezeelson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2012, 04:28 PM
  #6
Senior Member
 
OliveLove's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 409
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Boudicca, I'm curious- did you adopt your dog in Meyers, SLT? There was a beautiful German Shepherd there with a very similar story. Her name was Maisy and someone had purchased her for their elderly parents, who could not handle her high energy and kept her in the garage for the most part until they finally surrendered her to the shelter.

Best of luck with her guarding issue, it sounds like everything else is going along swimmingly. =}
OliveLove is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2012, 05:26 AM
  #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
OliveLove, no, my girl was pulled from a local shelter here in Indy. We are fortunate to have a very active breed rescue here locally.

I'm confident we'll get through the guarding issue, all else IS wonderful.
Boudicca is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2012, 11:28 AM
  #8
Dog Forum ModeraTHOR
 
kmes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: PA
Posts: 9,043
Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boudicca View Post
She only guards me. No guarding food or toys, or stolen shoes. How can I "train" her to ignore hugs and desired affection given to me by others? Can I use the food to reward her when she sits quietly and doesn't protest? Can you give me an example of what to do with this since it's me she's guarding, and not an object, and I don't want to have to give up hugs!
Personally I would do a couple of things...

First I would actively work on setting up training sessions where you will be able to reward her for appropriate behavior when your husband is near you/hugs you.
Start out by having your husband stand next to you. Nothing more. Toss VERY yummy treats (something she goes crazy for) on the floor for your pup. When she no longer has a negative response to your husband standing next to you, then he could start putting his arm around you. You would continue to reward her just as you did before. Finally hug and toss treats.
It is likely that you will need break this down into multiple sessions. Move slowly and let your dog set the pace. Training such as this (Counter Conditioning), is meant to change the emotional response of the animal (done by pairing something they don't like with something they really enjoy) so it takes time and many repititions. But they do catch on very quickly. Oh! And you will not need to have treats with you everytime you want to hug your husband in the future! I promise!

Something else that I would do is to simply walk away from her when she tries to get between you and your husband. Completely ignore her. After 20 seconds or so you can go back and try hugging again. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
This works very quickly as the last thing your dog wants if for you to leave and ignore her.

When I first brought my Dobie home, my Min Pin had issues with him approaching and trying to lay next to me on the couch, especially if she was already sitting on my lap or curled up next to me. I know she was not guarding the couch as they often curled up together there. The only time it became as issue was when I was in the picture.
It only took me getting up and walking away 3 before Penny decided to give it up. But I did a combination of both methods (feeding treats, and walking away) that I mentioned. I don't think I would have gotten the results I did had I not also worked on counter conditioining.

Last edited by kmes; 01-10-2012 at 11:36 AM.
kmes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2012, 07:01 AM
  #9
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Thank you for the suggestions. I will try working with her on this tonight and see how it goes. She's very food motivated, so yummy treats are easy.

I also am picking up the Jean Donaldson book on resource guarding at the library.
Boudicca is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2012, 10:49 AM
  #10
Dog Forum ModeraTHOR
 
kmes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: PA
Posts: 9,043
Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Fantastic!
Let us know how it goes!
kmes is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Over-Protective Dog - Suggestions please! Merkmon Dog Training and Behavior 7 09-28-2011 07:56 AM
dog very protective of other dog... HELP!!! ehh Dog Training and Behavior 2 03-13-2011 03:20 PM
Is my dog too protective. Jarek Dog Training and Behavior 36 11-02-2010 06:05 AM
Some advice on my rescue puppy's behavior mydogdozer Dog Training and Behavior 2 08-27-2010 06:55 PM


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:33 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd. Runs best on HiVelocity Hosting.