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 Rosie has started to be aggressive

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rich g
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PostSubject: Rosie has started to be aggressive    Tue 02 Feb 2016, 3:10 pm

As stated above now at the age of 7yrs she is showing aggression towards my wife, if she is doing something that Rosie is not happy with,i.e. drying her feet.She is ok with me and I'm not sure what to do about it, and my wife has started to feel uncomfortable around the dog.
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Staffylover
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PostSubject: Re: Rosie has started to be aggressive    Wed 03 Feb 2016, 10:24 pm

Has anything changed at home! I assume other than this Rosie is her usual self and in good health?

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suziet
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PostSubject: Re: Rosie has started to be aggressive    Thu 04 Feb 2016, 8:02 am

Hi, how are you identifing aggressive?

Does Rosie grumble

Or do you mean aggression in snarling and showing teeth?
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rich g
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PostSubject: Re: Rosie has started to be aggressive    Thu 04 Feb 2016, 11:27 am

suziet wrote:
Hi, how are you identifing aggressive?

Does Rosie grumble

Or do you mean aggression in snarling and showing teeth?

hi, yes Rosie is snarling and showing teeth with my wife,sometimes with me she will grumble.
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suziet
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PostSubject: Re: Rosie has started to be aggressive    Thu 04 Feb 2016, 8:29 pm

Is your wife at her level when this happens, ie, kneeling down to clean her paws or does she stand over her?
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rich g
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PostSubject: Re: Rosie has started to be aggressive    Fri 05 Feb 2016, 7:58 pm

She is kneeling down to clean her paws
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Staffylover
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PostSubject: Re: Rosie has started to be aggressive    Fri 05 Feb 2016, 10:28 pm

I've put a post up in the K999 section in the hope Adam will see this and can offer some advice

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suziet
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PostSubject: Re: Rosie has started to be aggressive    Sat 06 Feb 2016, 9:08 am

I am sure Adam can help on this one x
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rich g
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PostSubject: Re: Rosie has started to be aggressive    Sat 06 Feb 2016, 11:44 am

Thank you both for your help
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suziet
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PostSubject: Re: Rosie has started to be aggressive    Sun 07 Feb 2016, 1:48 pm

I'm afraid I wasn't much help, it's a tricky one to assist with without actually being a behaviourist.

My only suggestion would be to supervise your wife whilst she clean her paws, and reaffirm that you don't agree with her behaviour.

I hope you get it sorted x
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PostSubject: Re: Rosie has started to be aggressive    Sun 14 Feb 2016, 5:05 am

Hi Rich,
it sounds like Rosie doesn't 100% trust your Wife.
There are a few areas on a dogs body they are quite protective over; their belly, their back end and their paws. These are the areas which are most vulnerable in a fight. An attack to the soft belly can cause an awful lot of damage quite quickly. If a dog is attacked and their back end grabbed they can't easily reach round and defend themselves, most dogs can't reach where their tail meets their back without some serious contortionist skills! If the paws and damaged in a fight then the dog is probably rendered lame.

So if a client tells me their dog is defensive over being touched in areas such as this then is shows me the dog doesn't fully trust them. As you mentioned Rosie has no concerns with you messing with her paws which shows there is good trust between the two of you.

The aggression you are seeing is simply Rosie communicating that she is uncomfortable and would like your Wife to stop what she is doing and perhaps give her some space. I like it when dog's make it very clear when they are uncomfortable or concerned, it makes working with the issue much easier. When dog's don't use the full range of communication and simply go straight in for the bite is when things gets a little harder to work on. By the way, there will be other more subtle signs Rosie is uncomfortable which will come before the snarling or grumbling. Watch for Rosie closing her mouth, flicking her tongue, maybe yawning, widening her eyes, becoming 'stiffer', very still or freezing, forcing her ears back or pricking them up, breath being held etc. Rosie will only snarl or growl if she feels you haven't paid attention to the more subtle gestures, so she make more obvious gestures to get her point across.

We need to suss out why Rosie is confident around you but less so around your Wife? Does your Wife walk Rosie, if so does Rosie pull on lead for her?
Does Rosie follow your Wife around the house much?

In the meantime there is plenty we can do to build up Rosie's confidence and lessen her concern. The easiest way is to use treats to distract Rosie from her concerns and at the same time build up a positive association with your Wife;,
I'd start by called Rosie over and getting her to sit, then produce a chewy treat (I used jerky type meat, something which can't be chomped down in seconds) and hold most of it in your fist allowing Rosie access to one end, as she is trying to chew the treat slowly stroke her front leg, slowly work your stroking down towards her paw until you want to be stroking her whole leg including her paw.
What you are looking for is any of those signs of tension mentioned above. If she does show any of them continues what you are doing but back your stroking up away from her paw and maybe focus on stroking her shoulder until she relaxes and turns her attention back to the treat, then go back to stroking towards the paw again. The progression is to keep this up until you can pick up her paw without her showing any signs of concern. Now you can start introducing a small flannel/t-towel and re-do the whole process until you are holding/wiping her paws.

If Rosie already knows the 'give paw' command then this is a great short cut for this exercise, simply ask for 'paw' then offer the treat whilst you rub the given paw.

There are 2 important factors here, 1) You must begin to recognise when Rosie goes from calm and relaxed to starting to signs of tension (as above), the tension is a communication from Rosie saying she is unsure and feels she might have to get defensive, so you ease back a bit to reassure her you understand but don't stop completely to communicate that things are still fine.
2) you have to remain calm and relaxed yourself (staying silent helps a lot here!), if you are unsure and tentative then Rosie will simply become unsure and tentative herself! If you stay calm and relaxed this is much more likely to inspire confidence in Rosie.

let me know what you think.
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rich g
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PostSubject: Re: Rosie has started to be aggressive    Mon 15 Feb 2016, 3:01 pm

Hi Adam,Thank you for the reply,Rosie gets on very well with my wife they walk well together and Rosie responds well to my wife .
When i wipe Rosies paws i do them one at a time where as my wife just pushes her down on the mat and when Rosie growls my wife tells her off.I will ask my wife to dry Rosies paws as i do,and also take on board the points you have said .
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