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Discussion Starter #1
Sorry we haven't been here for a while!
I'm beginning to have problems with Raffles, occasional resource guarding, scared of his toys, and hiding under the table when both of these happen though he's never told off, though his reactions seem to relate to me more than hubby.
I've been doing a lot of thinking about it, and all I can put it down to is a whole series of incidents added together. The resource guarding is my fault for taking disgusting things away from him on walks without properly training a drop it or having anything super scrummy.

I have a theory that the toy problem is related to several incidents of being accidentally hit in the face with a kong wubba - quite hard, he moved as I threw it, me accidentally catching him with the flirt pole, him running into things while playing, and the finally straw seemed to be him being very lightly tapped with a rubber ring - it hardly touched him. This is over the course of several years, not all at once Coupled with the incident that first dented his confidence - a nasty shock by an electric fence that he blamed me for - really, you should have seen the look on his face, and recently he broke a claw with all that entailed. Every time he hurts himself he seems to relate it to me. He won't even play with a sock now, but hides under the table if you pick it up. I think he thinks that everything I touch is going to hurt him. I often find him staring at me too! I'm frequently yawning and looking away just in case.

He's absolutely fine out on walks and playing with Ginny (as long as toys aren't involved). Though I do remember one occasion ages ago when Ginny squealed and he went and hid under a bush.

The resource guarding I think I can manage thanks to all the information here, but how can I get the rest of his confidence back? Is there a link between the two? We both need to trust each other again. Please help, Raffles and I both need you : (
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Well I just found this thread, perhaps that'll do it! http://www.dogforum.com/dog-training-behavior/i-hit-my-puppy-now-she-241561/ though I've never hit him. But I wonder if it'll just lead to the same the next time he runs into a brick wall, stubs his toe etc. It would be nice to bring the toys back as that's a big chunk of activity missing from his life and our 'bonding' (though obviously the bonding part hasn't been working too well!).
 

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If you have any questions about rg or want more help def don't be shy! But yes, the info in the sticky thread is a really nice place to start. :)

With the toys and hiding...
I would probably start with taking the pressure completely off and not try to play with toys with him for a while. I would perhaps get a toy a couple times each day and either play with Ginny or by yourself. Let him watch and see the fun, but zero pressure to join in. Wait for him to show interest/want in playing and then stary with gentle toy play.

If you do not see improvement over a few weeks, then perhaps play around with shaping a retrieve or messing around with new types of toys or even toys that can hold food. Maybe a lotus ball or something? There's a bunch of nice options on cleanrun.
https://www.cleanrun.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=category.display&category_ID=132

To boost confidence and get him comfier with you doing stuff around the house, I would incorporate something like smart x 50 into his day.
Kathy Sdao’s SMART x 50 – Another Way to Use 1,000 Treats | Dogs and Babies

SMARTx50 type training (capturing and rewarding good behavior during the day) is great for so many reasons. I have people do this to quickly teach default house manners. BUT works wonders with shy/sensitive dogs. If you can capture moments of bravery and interaction with you (following you, curiosity in what you are doing, approaching you, etc.) you'll see big improvement without having to do as many intentional counter conditioning training sessions. Training this way also quickly increases interest in you and teaches that reinforcement can happen anytime, not just during a formal training session which ime helps tons.

For confidence in general I teach a lot through shaping and targeting. Shaping games allow people to introduce weird, novel, sometimes scary objects and make it fun for the dog to experiment and interact with the object. Also gives the dog the freedom to choose how to interact if playing 101 things style.

Using targets (platforms, paw targets, nose targets, etc.) are really helpful with all but seem to set sensitive dogs at ease.

Training with tools and objects in general just seems to give the sensitive guys something to focus on and initially helps with clarity. Really helps put them at ease and builds confidence in environments or situations they are often worried about. Helps you train hands free and without adding a lot of pressure. Plus you can train a ton of fun stuff very quickly!

Something else that helps up the fun/playfulness factor when relying of food rewards is to use a lot of tossed rewards or high rewards they need to jump to get. The fun factor helps put dogs at ease and pressure is often relieved via the tossed rewards (allows a break and also choice to return). :)

I feel like I rambled a bit! :p
Don't hesitate to ask any questions about anything I suggested if I didn't make sense!:)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, I've discovered that the biggest problem in the equation is me! What a revelation! Thank you Kmes, you helped with that, mentioning the fun and playful. I suddenly realised that I'd been too wary of him after a resource guarding snap that was totally my fault - I didn't heed the warnings on a very high value deer rib. So he's been wary of me too.

I'm sure we can make progress now I've discovered that. I have to make things fun and stress free again. I thought I'd post this in case it helps someone else.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So, not so much an update, more of a blog post!
Since I've told myself off and been more upbeat, it's made an amazing difference, though I know we're not out of the woods yet. We came back from shopping and got a lovely welcome, so I got out a frozen kong each for a treat to keep them occupied while we put the shopping away, and he went back under the table again, he came out after a few minutes and took it, wasn't bothered when I put the shopping bags away a few feet away. Then he dropped it on the floor (from the back of the couch), I picked it up to give it to him and he was back under the table again, but only for a few minutes.
I haven't really done much with him except drop treats every now and then, and occasionally target my hand which he already knew - though he's hesitant. He'll quite happily run through his repertoire of through (my legs), sit, paw, other paw, lie down, roll over, but gets a bit uncomfortable by the time he gets to roll over. Other than that we’re letting him sleep a lot, which I think is good for stress, and three walks a day including a good run and digging in between

He comes to sit by me and paws me for a chest rub, and then presents for a tummy rub, I still can't tell if this is submissive or not though I suspect it is, so I give it few tickles and then he'll sleep with his head on my foot.

It’s an odd experience for me to see a dog’s mind working like this - yeah it’s mum, yipee!, oh but I’m not sure.

I bought him a new squeaky furry duck, he hasn’t had one for a while but it was always his favourite. I haven’t shown him yet as I don’t think he’s ready, but it’s soft and he won’t get hurt. It’s also a one to one toy as if Ginny’s involved he’ll just give it up to her and she’ll rip it to shreds. I wonder if Ginny has a part to play in this as although they get on really well, she’ll push him out of the way for anything, and he’ll let her. Something else to keep an eye on in case he decides enough is enough!

Actually, she’s not that pushy - they’d have a sock in a tug game and he’d leave go, she’ll offer it back, but it’s almost as though he doesn’t know how to play tug with a dog, or doesn’t want to.

One thing this has taught me is not to take it for granted that my dogs are happy, but to be more observant of signals and on the alert for potential problems!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Another update - I came across this article, so I thought "why not?".
It's Not You It's Me: If a Dog Won't Play With You, It Could Be Your Fault - Scientific American Blog Network

Obviously it's not going to suit every dog, but I just spent 10 minutes running backwards and forwards and being generally stupid outside the back door until he came out to join me, and we had a bit of chase back and forth, then I sat on the step making silly 'whee' noises and keeping my head down, and he came up for a rough and tumble - I even tried the headbut in the side (gently!).
A major step forward - I think I've been too worried about how he'd react.

Note: Don't try this if your dog is really unpredictable or aggressive! Raffles is more just unsure and even a little depressed.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
In fact, I started off training his recall like that, and it still works up to a point :) The trouble is, I don't have the energy!
I just took Ginny and Raffles out in the paddock and they had their charge around chasing each other, but Ginny always wants to stop before he does. So today I thought I'd take Ginny's place while she was engrossed in a potential vole. I've been watching Ginny so I've seen how it works - she crouches and looks away while her eyes flick back to him, and he lies in a stalking position about 20 yards away, they can stay like that for 5 minutes, then suddenly they're off. It's not always the same one that starts it, and they both take turns in being chaser and chasee.
So I did the crouching and looked away, and he lay down stalking, and then took off sideways and he was off. Sadly I can't run right around the field like Ginny, so we end up in a sort of sidestepping dance. I need to look into this more!
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
It worked because you were acting prey-like. The prey always controls the predator and this is the key to building your dog's attraction towards you.

Dog Training: How to be calm, assertive, AND relaxed – be the moose! - Natural Dog Blog – Training and More
I wonder if your "moose" methods depend on the dog? I have two dogs, one a hunter hound, the other a terrier. I can't see this working in the same way with the terrier. They both have high prey drive but not in the same way. I can see however, the potential for harnessing the stalking liedown that Raffles has. Ginny is more of a digger, ooh look a bird. How do you harness a digging instinct? She is actually the more successful hunter, given that they are only allowed to hunt voles. They've both eaten quite a few now!
 

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I wonder if your "moose" methods depend on the dog? I have two dogs, one a hunter hound, the other a terrier. I can't see this working in the same way with the terrier. They both have high prey drive but not in the same way. I can see however, the potential for harnessing the stalking liedown that Raffles has. Ginny is more of a digger, ooh look a bird. How do you harness a digging instinct? She is actually the more successful hunter, given that they are only allowed to hunt voles. They've both eaten quite a few now!
Works with all dogs, all dogs are attracted to prey, it is a matter of degree. High prey dogs are actually somewhat easier to train with these techniques than those with a low drive and high nervous process threshold (ie Mastiff). but even so it still works.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Works with all dogs, all dogs are attracted to prey, it is a matter of degree. High prey dogs are actually somewhat easier to train with these techniques than those with a low drive and high nervous process threshold (ie Mastiff). but even so it still works.
Yes, but I don't see how it works with a high prey dog (terrier) that wouldn't look twice at a moose. They're not hunters or stalkers, they're diggers. I do think you're onto something, but you have to explain a method of how it works with all dogs, or doesn't.
 

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Yes, but I don't see how it works with a high prey dog (terrier) that wouldn't look twice at a moose. They're not hunters or stalkers, they're diggers. I do think you're onto something, but you have to explain a method of how it works with all dogs, or doesn't.
You use toys, ie a ball to replace the small prey animal. But really it doesn't matter that the dog wasn't bred to hunt large prey, the magnetic attraction to the prey is still intrinsic to the dog.

There are five excercies associated with this training method: pushing, tug/fetch aka bite and carry, the collecting exercise which stimulates an injured bird, speaking (barking) on command, and deep tissue massage of the haunches and topline.

Learn the Basics of Natural Dog Training - Natural Dog Blog – Training and More
 
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