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 Frustration?

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TaffyStaffy
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PostSubject: Frustration?   Fri 20 Mar 2009, 9:05 pm

Hiya, we have a new problem coming to light. Vegas has reached that just past 6 months age of being a pain. When we try to get him to do something he doesn't want to (go in his pen for example) he gets growly and bites and I assume this is out of frustration. Also if he can't get to other dogs because we're holding him back He has started biting again which is something we thought had finally stopped. if we tell him 'NO' he will sometimes just snap at us. My Parents have decided that this is a sign of future aggression for sure so I am just seeing if anyone else has a similar experience or if anyone agrees we have an issue starting? We're booked in for more obedience classes but they don't start for a month yet. Any advice appreciated... thanks. :?:
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Mattie
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PostSubject: Re: Frustration?   Tue 14 Apr 2009, 9:24 pm

You now have a teenage hooligan and like all teenage hooligans he is testing how secure his boundaries are.

How do you get him to go into his pen?

How are you holding him back from the other dogs?

How did you teach him what "No" means?

What sort of training are you doing?

How much exercise is he getting?

What are you feeding him?

Do you exercise him mentally as well as physically?

The more information you can give the better.
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TaffyStaffy
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PostSubject: Re: Frustration?   Tue 14 Apr 2009, 9:58 pm

Hi there. We got the trainer to come to the house last week so we have started on our new routine of being pack leaders before the classes start! We 'asked' him to go into his pen rather than tell him. when he went in he got a kong treat as he only ever went in there when we were going out. he has two walks a day, about 20-30mins before work and then playtime in the garden at lunchtime then about 40mins after work, which will involve some free running if we can. about 3 times a week we either go to the park or the beach after work and that could be about an hour then. We have a treat pyramid for him and we hide treats in his bed or in plastic bottles to try to keep him mentally stimulated. We also try to teach new tricks one at a time, at the moment we're on roll over. Sometimes he understands NO and other times he tries it anyway. Drop it works but NO sometimes inflames the situation. The trainer has said we weren't being strong enough and have to tell him the way things are to be rather than ask him. (I was being a softie) With your 6 dogs I bet you have a lot more experience of Staffs - apparently (LOl) they can be quite stubborn?? :lol: We are feeding him Arden grange but that's a new thing as he had giardia at 5 months and his appetite has been all over the place until we finally got onto this dried food, we had tried a lot and we're only a week into the new food so he's still settling into it. Would be pleased to hear any advice, many thanks.
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TaffyStaffy
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PostSubject: Re: Frustration?   Tue 14 Apr 2009, 10:00 pm

oops, didn't say we were holding him from other dogs by making him sit and getting a treat for sitting. However he has lately decided it's more fun to try to get to them and we had a harness on so he nearly took us off our feet! The trainer suggested a half check collar so that we can correct him rather than let him get to the end of the lead and still pull?
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Mattie
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PostSubject: Re: Frustration?   Wed 15 Apr 2009, 1:31 pm

Thanks TaffyStaffy. I don't believe in the pack theory, we are not dogs and dogs know this, they don't recognise us as part of their pack. Having 6 dogs I love to watch them interact with each other and this started me off on my present thinking, yes I did used to believe in the pack theory.

Have you tried clicker training? You don't need a clicker for this, you can use a pen that clicks, the top of a baby food jar or a word, anything can be used, the click is a marker telling the dog that he has done what you wanted him to. It is amazing to see a dog develop once they realise what the click means but unfortunately like everything else with dogs, it is not used properly or abused. How often do we see people clicking away while the dog completely ignores them. :lol:

Often "No" does inflame things because of our body language and the way we say it. The problem with the word "No" is dogs don't speak English and it is very difficult to teach a dog what it means, I haven't managed to do it yet but if I say "No", it is my body language and tone of voice that they respond to. Instead of saying "No", ask them to do something like "Sit"
you are then being positive, "No" is being negative.

Does he pick up and refuse to give things up that he isn't supposed to have? It is just I have this impression from what you have written. Resource guarding, which this is, is very easy to solve, Merlin my Greyhound threatened to take my face of quite a few times resource guarding. If he is resource guarding I can explain how I solved this and unintentionally worked on his recall, he has an incredible recall now to the words "Look what I have got" oops

The right food is often the key to a dog's behaviour, it can make your dog easy to handle or very hard. Many go by the protein levels but there is more to dog food than protien. Many dogs are alergic to cereals which is difficult to pick up on so never give a dog food that cereal is very high on the ingredients.

A harness is much better than a half check collar, far too many Staffies have problems because of collars but it has to be the right harness. I find the trail/treking harness very good it also discourages a dog from pulling and if you raise you hand slightly, you put the dog off balance so they can't pull because the strap round the body is set further back than most harnesses and lifts the chest/tummy.

Is your dog dog aggressive or just over enthusiastic? Dog aggression is easy to solve but does take time and patience especially if there are idiots with dogs living near you who think it is funny to see your dog react, they only do it once with me. bounce

Sorry about more questions but the more information there is the better help can be given.
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TaffyStaffy
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PostSubject: Re: Frustration?   Wed 15 Apr 2009, 7:28 pm

Hiya, I was just about to start clicker training and then he kicked off into adolesence and I was a bit unsure about whether to go ahead or leave it for a while! he will drop anything he has if you can substitue it for something else. we can even do this from a distance now aswell! It's sort of as if I used treats as the clicker, if you know what i mean? With the food I will keep an eye on it, it's actually great to see him enjoying something so we are hoping he will settle down into it. As I say we were trying loads of things so we'll give him a while on it and see how we go. he is totally over friendly with other dogs and not at all aggressive, even when he got planted on the floor by a Rottie! LOL. he just wants to play with them. Tonight on the walk he was great and I kept a big distance between him and another dog and he lunged once, got told off and then just kept walking, this is an improvement! I would love to hear what you did with the greyhound's recall! We have no issues unless there is another dog around and then he is far more interested in that than us! Thanks.
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Mattie
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PostSubject: Re: Frustration?   Thu 16 Apr 2009, 2:47 pm

From my experience there is never a bad time to start clicker training so get clicking. :lol:

Merlin is 28ins high and weighs 32/33 kilos, if I took him on when he issued a challenge I would loose so I have to thing outside the box and find something else that would work. He had never lived in a house before or with people so all this was new to him.

Everything Merlin got his teeth onto was his, it didn't matter what it was he would issue a challenge if you went near him. This was very clear, come close to try to take if off me and I will have you. As I can be very pig headed and stubborn he wasn't going to get away with this and taking into account a dog's brain, once his focus was off the item onto something else I was no longer in danger, I would turn and run out of the room saying in a very high excited voice "Look what I have got". Merlin would drop what he had and race after me to be rewarded with a high reward treat.

It didn't take long for Merlin to start giving up what he got when asked because I never accepted the challenge, dogs will only use what works, if issuing a challege doesn't work the dog will stop doing it. What did work was when he did as I asked he was rewarded, I can now take anything off him without any problems.

The recall, all I have to say is "Look what I have got", and Merlin can't get to me fast enough, being a Greyhound that is fast. :affraid:
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TaffyStaffy
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PostSubject: Re: Frustration?   Sun 19 Apr 2009, 5:59 pm

Hee hee, at least you can out run a Staff!!!!
Thanks for that, we have been working really hard with him this weekend and have gone to places with lots of kids/bikes/etc.... It's been hard and yesterday we had to give up trying to get him to heel as it just wasn't happening and we were all getting angry! I will get the clicker out then and start trying that. I hope adolesence doesn't last too long - argh!!!!!!! Thank you.
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