Lap-possessive new dog.

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Lap-possessive new dog.

This is a discussion on Lap-possessive new dog. within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Greetings. My best friend, Candace, and I have recently adopted a two year old dachshund mix. He gets along well with our other dog and ...

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Old 01-28-2019, 02:24 PM
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Lap-possessive new dog.

Greetings.

My best friend, Candace, and I have recently adopted a two year old dachshund mix. He gets along well with our other dog and two cats. We were informed that he was slightly food and toy possessive, and we were prepared to work on that. However, Ryker is also extremely lap possessive with Candace. When I am home with him he is playful and friendly with me, and will nap in my lap with no problems. However, when Candace is home and he is in her lap, he will growl and even snap at me when I come anywhere near her. I grew up on a farm and worked in a rescue shelter for three years. Candace is a dog groomer with 20 years of experience, and we are both life-long dog owners. However, this is not a behavioral trait that either one of us has encountered before, and we're at a loss as to how to begin correcting it. Any advice would be deeply appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 01-28-2019, 04:43 PM
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I have done some dogsitting the past few months and a few of the dogs, both large and small, would insist on jumping up on my bed with my dog and try to growl and even snap and bark and chase my dog or cats or even me off my bed. Not happening. They were told to get off the bed. If necessary they were lured off the bed with a meal, treat or gently pushed off firmly with a broom.
They lost all bed privileges until their resource guarding and possessiveness was under control and basic manners and listening was their main way of interacting.
That means they listened to me and were polite in everything. They didn't drag me down the stairs to go on walks, they didn't shove me around, they sat and waited to get out of the car and didn't blast out, they walked politely on the leash.
Usually by the second day they improve and each day after they get better and better.
They just don't get anywhere being rude.
She sees your friend's lap as her favorite resource to guard, same as good or a bone.
I only let them go on the bed or lap or whatever if I invite them and they have to readily jump off when I say to.
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Old 01-29-2019, 06:07 PM
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I have a RG-(resource guarder) at home. I constantly am teaching her (conditioning her brain) that me coming near her valued resource (toy, bone, whatever) brings her even BETTER things.

Resource guarding dogs are genuinely worried about losing their valuable resource whether it is food, toys, bones, human's lap, or anything else. If you end up yelling at them for growling at you, or trying to punish them for this behavior, it will generally make the whole situation worse. It sounds like kinda weird logic, but that is generally true.

To explain the theory, I like to think about it like this. Pup steals your sock. You see it and get mad at pup and yell "Heeyyy, give that back to me, you BAD dog!!" So--- now your dog is worried about losing his treasured possession AND worried about getting you ultra mad. Jut intensifies the stress and situation for the dog. Basically teaches the dog that she/he was right to be concerned over losing his treasure!

Same for human laps. Say the dog, is in the cherished lap of beloved person. Another person (or dog) comes near and the dog on lap freaks out and starts growling and barking or snarling etc. RG ing the lap. By yelling at the dog or telling it to stop in harsh way, we are doing the same as above. Making the dog more worried about losing the valuable lap.

I find it is best to re-wire the dog's brain and make the dog think hmmm, someone is coming closer to my treasure, gooood things will happen. So now no need to worry and resource guard anymore. No threat perceived= no RG behavior.

Patricia Mcconnell has great info online for free about RG and how to treat it!

Excerpt from
Resource Guarding: Treatment and Prevention

TREATMENT FOR INTERSPECIFIC GUARDING: I’m going to talk here about resource guarding between dogs and people. Treating it between two dogs uses the same basic principles, but requires enough alterations in technique to deserve its own article.

That said, the most effective technique for stopping a dog from guarding resources from human intervention is to change your dog’s internal response to anothers attempt to possess their “treasure.”

That is why you are best off using Desensitizing and Classical Conditioning to teach your dog to love it when you approach and reach toward an object.

In other words, in this case you are not training your dog to respond to a cue, but conditioning an internal response to someone approaching something that they cherish.

https://www.patriciamcconnell.com/th...and-prevention

Last edited by AthenaLove; 01-29-2019 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 02-08-2019, 03:49 AM
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Reward him with the treat for his obedience, and remove the item as quickly as possible. “Give” is another useful command for combatting possessiveness in your dog. You can teach your dog to give when he has a toy in his mouth. Gently take the toy in your hand without trying to pull it away.
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Old 02-08-2019, 04:17 PM
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Two options 1 is as soon as the growling for lap posession starts, put him on the floor- say nothing. Some dogs figure out I growl I lose the lap & stop. However- some dogs do not react that way & become more clingy & posessive in which case both reasurring him - its ok its ok, talking & smiling when it occurs, (helps calm)big squeezy cuddles, or distraction owh lets play ball now! or you offering treats whilst on her knee- positive association of you being near may work. Training is also a practical solution I agree, you would give an instruction & reward that. Telling the dog off will give you the worst results.
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:39 PM
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Telling the dog off has worked well with every dog I've had with resource guarding issues. As in "off" to get off the bed or drop of they're guarding a toy or object.
They get praise when they do. Maybe it's just the whole approach to handling and training. I use classical conditioning principles but that can include negative reinforcement of an unwanted behavior or even punishment in terms of an undesired consequence such as losing an object it's guarding.
Not punishment in abuse or yelling or hitting or aversive devices. But the term from a behavioral perspective.
I had a resource guarder for almost twelve years. He never was possessive with me once. And after threatening a cat once over a dropped piece of steak, he learned to sit still next to four or five of my begging cats every night at dinner and only eat whatever I gave him when I said to. He'd sit or lie calmly while the cats are their pieces of meat right in front of him that I could toss at them. Never moved, growled or touched any of them. Wouldn't eat a meal or treat until I said ok.
Many of the dogs I've watched have tried to be pushy and jump on the bed and not jump down or steal my dog's food or guard toys or their own good and be possessive. Maybe I'm using NILIF principles but they're usually pretty well behaved and respectful in a few days.
And I will say Off or leave it or drop it as much as I need to. They never get worse and owners never complain later. I actually usually get repeat requests to watch them again.

So maybe different things work for different dogs and people. Maybe I've been lucky for decades lol.

Last edited by Shadowmom; 02-08-2019 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:01 PM
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I wasnt refering to off as an instruction like down, I meant a 'telling off' that makes the dog more fearful & if its a fear based r.g- that will only make it worse. Sorry for the confusion, I should have clarified it better. My dog did things more when I gave her a 'telling off' as a pup. like oppositional defience disorder' O.D.D that is why I read 12 books & screeds of study on positive dog training when I got her. I have been studying for 4 yrs now.I like my methods becos I also dont have to turn into someone I dont like to have a well behaved dog- which is important to me. I dont want to have to shout or be horrible to my dog ever becos of who that turns me into. I'm not telling other peeps they have to or not have to do things my way- just trying to share my experience,my personal opinions & offer advice. Peeps can take it or leave it- if it works for you thats your business. I find humans frustrating- not animals, some peeps find animals frustrating not humans. We are all different. I think overall everyone on here has the same good goal & that is to help people with their pets. I think its great so many people a pitching in with ideas. 😊

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Old 02-08-2019, 06:19 PM
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My dog got more clingy & obsessive when I put her off my lap becos then she was more fearful of loosing my lap whilst on it. She also likes to challenge me. Really- I dont worry about it, cos she's not hurting anyone (doesnt do it to humans she likes) & I dont want to deny her fully of her guarding instincts- they can be useful & like I said its in her 'fact file for survival- 'overall a good thing to have, it could keep her alive if she got lost or something like that. Its also her showing her love for me when she guards me or my food, her motive- its 1 of the kindest things a dog can do- making sure I dont starve to death or get attacked. In the wild if a wolf protected another wolf in their pack & their food its considered loyal & brave- its humans that put their own spin on it & thinking its bad becos its not domestic behaviour that is complicating things for the dog. If she was biting- that would be an issue I would take seriously & I know that they have to learn some level if domestication to live with humans.
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:53 PM
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No worries, it's easy to misunderstood on the internet. I misunderstood you too apparently. Yes I just meant telling "off" like the command, not telling off like lecturing or yelling. I'm sure I've done that in my life but it's not my intention or first choice, more a reaction if I'm overwhelmed, tired and need sleep. Then of course I feel bad so try not to do that

Some dogs need more firm limits than others. Consistency is good in all training. I had to be very firm with my last dog because he was an Akita pitbull and would quickly take over and be very hard to handle and could be dangerous very quickly. In his first year his resource guarding had him bite my roommate when she walked by and pushed him away from his food bowl while he was eating a bone and then within a week or two he went for the cat. He didn't hurt either of them but the cat was just walking by to get to her own food bowl when he was going for the piece of steak and he misunderstood and had her whole head in his mouth.
And if people fed him meat or treats he'd quickly get too excited and practically eat their hands. I had to remind him gentle or not let anyone hand feed him. With other dogs he would pin them and hold them down, by the throat. He never hurt or left a mark but scared the heck out of many. Even with his dog buddies there couldn't be any toys, treats, food or even water bowls.
So I had to be very firm and consistent with him. He had to be completely under control and I had to be under all control of any food, toys, treats, and water at all times. Even a warning snap with no injury could get a call to animal control and pitbulls are always considered dangerous. With him it wasn't cute to be protective of food or treats.

He could protect me and family in emergencies and that was it. And he had to listen to me or the consequences were too scary for him if he did hurt someone, which he never did thankfully.
I make him sound very violent and he had the potential in the wrong hands. But he was a loving, fun, happy awesome dog who actually loved people and besides the one incident over the food, never had any problems with my cats..
Current dog has no possessiveness issues at all luckily. It's a nice switch. But can be defiant and test limits and act like he doesn't hear me at times.
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:15 PM
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yeah that sounds pretty alarming!- I would def freak out if my dog did that. I think I'm the only 1 so far that thinks its cute- she can flick from a mogwai to a gremlin in a 2nd & when she's snarling & growling looks very scary to others. I think coz I know overeacting got me nowhere, I've become pretty chill about her. I trust her 100% with me - she licks my eyes! its the weirdest feeling.
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