New dog, many problems

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New dog, many problems

This is a discussion on New dog, many problems within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; First time poster, came seeking help since I have little experience. I'm probably going to be very descriptive, I want anyone answering to know the ...

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Old 12-21-2011, 12:47 AM
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New dog, many problems

First time poster, came seeking help since I have little experience. I'm probably going to be very descriptive, I want anyone answering to know the full story.

So I do not own a dog. My roommate owns a dog.

Chloe. Great Pyrenees. Female. 1 1/2 years old. "Fixed". Around 70-80 pounds if I had to give a rough guess.

From what I've been told this dog has been crate trained, not sure on the exact history, but he got her from a rescue of some sort.

We've had her about a week.

He is a police officer, he works nights. I rent a room at his place, I work often and half my time off I spend at my girlfriend's place.

I have no background raising/training/owning dogs. However my g/f's family has always owned German Shepherds. I've known her dog, Kane, also about a year and a half, since they got him. They (her parents) have a ton of experience raising dogs, have always had a shepherd. Very good dog owners. I play with Kane alot, I have a great relationship with him, he listens to me better than anyone except for my girlfriends dad. Great dog. First dog I could ever consider to be my best friend. I didn't have alot to do with his training directly but I've been around since the beginning. I love this dog. He's awesome. I know how good a dog can be with a family.

Anyway, back to Chloe. My roommate just got her, his family has had many of this breed. She is very needy, a lot of energy etc...she is still in the process of becoming acclimated to the house, understanding where to go to the bathroom, etc...

She has been kept in his room, he bought a crate recently but basically she's locked in his room while no one is home. I am very good about letting her out to pee, letting her roam while I'm around, I don't mind and feel bad about keeping her cooped up. (but understand he doesn't quite trust her in the house just yet)

My problem is, and I realize it has only been a week, I know it takes time, dogs learn, but she displayed some very problematic behavior tonight. I came home and my roommate has been sick so he's bedridden. She of course was in the room with him, and when I came in she was at the top of the stairs barking before I even opened the door, and wagging her tail very purposefully (I know not all tail wagging means happy) and snarling, baring teeth. Territorial. I get it. You don't even need to know dogs to get it.

So, I hesitate, it's late, 11+hour shift just over and I really don't feel like getting bit. I have no idea what this dog is capable of, so I wait. Roommate gets up, escorts her down and out the back into the fenced in backyard. I come in, inform him let me drop my stuff and I'll go out so she can smell me, check me, whatever they do to recognize people. I open the door, she's sniffing me and calms down. Suddenly I'm her best friend.

(side note: I had been home one night while he was working, since I was around and letting her out and correcting some things she was doing, she seems to listen to me better than the roommate. She understands "sit", and I can get her to respond to it better than he can. So she understands to some degree that I am in charge of her.)

Anyway, the rest of the night basically proceeds with him leaving his door open, her inside with him, and every time I leave my room she's doing the same behavior while on the bed with him asleep (sick). She acts as if I just entered the house again. I could be going to the bathroom, walking downstairs to get a drink, no matter what it is I pass his room or at least am visible from it to do anything outside my room, and the dog just goes territorial again.

What gives? I need help with this, I am not timid around this dog but unless someone thinks it's a good idea I'm not heading up to this dog while it's doing this. Let me know if you have any advice please. Seems like she's being overly territorial, but I don't really know what to expect as far as how long a dog of this age should take becoming acclimated to a new home.

Thanks.
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Old 12-21-2011, 01:22 AM
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I don't have any advice to offer, but just thought I'd throw the opinion it IS likely because he's sick (and incapacitated by the sounds of it) and in 'her' place where she sleeps (I'm sure someone will be around pretty soon to give a better idea)

It seems obvious that if she's fine with you alone, and fine with you around him when he's healthy, that this is the only variable. I completely understand your trepidation though.

As an idea, perhaps check out this thread https://www.dogforum.com/dog-behavior...signals-10084/ and it might give a couple non-verbal, passive cues you might be able to try to help (even from a great distance) reassure her that you AREN'T a threat to him if that's what it seems she's seeing you as in this situation. Likely won't fix the problem, but.. even if it helps a little might be worth testing out.

Best of luck, and kudos to you for being such a good roommate
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:13 AM
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Sounds like the dog is Resource Guarding. This is common.

Read the sticky.

The short answer to your problem, is simply to give the dog a treat every time you approach the room, even if she is doing this guarding. I know that sounds like rewarding the aggressive behavior, but what it does is totally change the this hard wired emotional reaction, and the behavior change you want to see will follow.
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:40 AM
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Wow thanks for the quick responses.

Well, as it's only been a week, it would not surprise me if she were to do this if he were just in bed and fully healthy. I don't have a big enough experience range to really say. But I had read some stuff online and heard of resource guarding (I think when I searched each of her behaviors together) but it surprises me she would be doing this between two humans. I had only seen examples of it when a new dog would be aggressive to an original dog under the same owner if the owner were to pet or feed or play with the original one.

I will definitely try your suggestion Tess, with the treats, and I'm checking out both of your links after I post this. I think I can understand why it's good to give her a treat even though she's RG. She'll associate the treat more with my arrival and drop the attitude when people enter, she'll realize she's being rewarded when I come around. Good stuff.

I also think I need to get my roommate to be more proactive, and get her off his bed. She isn't allowed on any other furniture, but bullies him into room on the bed.

Anyway thanks, and I'll update this if anything changes. As much as this is a pain to have to learn now for the first time, all the dog behavioral training stuff, as soon I move out I know my girlfriend already wants a German Shepherd puppy, so I might as well start now :-)
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:42 AM
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Oh and real quick, I have a strict policy of no dog in my room. Is this a bad thing, behavior/training/relationship wise? She wasn't exactly trustworthy in the house at first, and I had a very bad experience with my old roommates cat getting into my room, but I am not home all the time so I just figured the room should be off limits to her.
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Old 12-21-2011, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DogROC View Post
Oh and real quick, I have a strict policy of no dog in my room. Is this a bad thing, behavior/training/relationship wise? She wasn't exactly trustworthy in the house at first, and I had a very bad experience with my old roommates cat getting into my room, but I am not home all the time so I just figured the room should be off limits to her.
Its not a bad thing to set a space boundary like that. The bad thing might be how you enforce it.

For example, if you shout "no" to her ever time she goes to your room, she's going to get a very bad association with you. Since she already sounds a bit anxious (RG can be worse with anxiety too), you want to reduce the "negative input" to this dog.

If you don't want her in your room, I would simply keep the door closed, so you don't have to have a negative interaction with her over it all the time.
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Old 12-21-2011, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Tess View Post
Its not a bad thing to set a space boundary like that. The bad thing might be how you enforce it.

For example, if you shout "no" to her ever time she goes to your room, she's going to get a very bad association with you. Since she already sounds a bit anxious (RG can be worse with anxiety too), you want to reduce the "negative input" to this dog.

If you don't want her in your room, I would simply keep the door closed, so you don't have to have a negative interaction with her over it all the time.
I probably enforce it wrong sometimes, mostly if she gets far enough into my room. If I catch her before she enters I just calmly say no, or just say her name. That gets her attention, and she pretty much just calmly walks away. She knows. But I could probably tone it down sometimes.

Haven't been home yet to try the treat trick yet
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Old 12-21-2011, 11:31 PM
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Great Pyrenees were bred to guard livestock and kill things that come close to their livestock. I would use a lot of caution with this dog. You may not be able to stop her from guarding as it has been bred into the breed for generations.

Good luck!
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Old 12-22-2011, 01:36 PM
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Yep, pyrs, anatolians, akbash dogs, marammas etc.... They are all bred to defend livestock against something they can't defend themselves against. So ... Your sick friend is the same (instinctually speaking mind you) as a wounded goat, sheep, calf etc ...... She is defending her "flock" I'm surprised she was friendly to you at All lol.
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