a lil snarl action

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Postby hoagiesmomma » August 8th, 2006, 12:06 pm

I was hoping for some advice on this one:

Nandie (our rescue mutt) has gotten a little snarky a couple of times now when refusing to get out from under the bed.

He growled and lunged at my husband once or twice...and growled at me today when I gave his toosh a push.

He is generally a little fearful (he was obviously abused)...but typically handles it without resorting to a growl warning. For instance...he's taken to ignoring the "come" command and instead laying flat in the mulch to avoid coming back in the house. If I approach him without anger and give him a little motivation (typically a gentle push in the butt or a little "lift")...he gives me the "ok, mom" look and gets his butt back in the house.

I use NILIF on both dogs all the time...and in general we don't have any issues...they aren't the best behaved animals on earth (much like my children)...but to the average dog owner - they usually come off as pretty well behaved and obediant mutts.

this fearful growl reaction concerns me, though. In general if he's in his safe place we really don't disturb him...but today his safe place was under my daughter's bed (a huge no no)...and he really HAD to get out.

anybody have experience with something similar?

any suggestions?
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Postby SisMorphine » August 8th, 2006, 12:21 pm

Wally has gotten snarky with me in the past, but his growling wasn't fearful so I'm sure his corrections wouldn't work with Nandie.

With stuff like growling/snarling/lunging/etc I defer to the hands of an experienced trainer because the only way to know how to fix it is through hands on stuff.
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Postby mnp13 » August 8th, 2006, 12:24 pm

I'd start with not letting him get under the beds, though that may seem obvious. Keep the bedroom doors shut. If you can't do that (or can't get your kids to do that) maybe leave a leash on him so you can pull him out.

I would also never approach a dog in anger, you are teaching the dog to fear you more. If the dog won't come when he's called, stop calling him, calmly walk up to him, grab his collar and bring him inside.

both of those suggestions are "stop gap" measures, you need to speak to a qualified trainer on how to fix the problems.
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Postby a-bull » August 8th, 2006, 1:00 pm

Did the rescue you got him from think he had been abused? I remember when you were trying him out, debating whether or not to keep him, you thought his temperment was phenomenal.
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Postby msvette2u » August 8th, 2006, 1:06 pm

I think behavior people think is "abuse" is actually just lack of proper socialization. Fearful animals aren't necessarily victims of prior abuse.
It sounds like this dog is merely settling in and becoming "himself", that is, the honeymoon is over.
eta: keep a leash, either a 4ft. one or a cut one that is there for corrections, I'd not be shoving on his butt, I'd grab the leash to drag him out from under the bed or wherever else he is holed up and doesn't want to come out.
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Postby a-bull » August 8th, 2006, 1:17 pm

That's why I asked if the rescue mentioned any former abuse.

Most people assume abuse when a dog is fearful. Fear can stem from lack of socialization, breeding, temperment, pack order, etc.

If memory serves, this dog was said to have a wonderful, laid-back temperment.

Handler error can also be a reason for "fear" or "snarky" behavior.
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Postby hoagiesmomma » August 9th, 2006, 12:20 am

I say that Nandie was abused b/c of a combination of alot of his reactions. If I put my hands on my hips in an assertive posture with one of the children he runs for a corner quivering. he also reacts with TONS of fear to clicking noises. anything else...he barely recognizes...but clicking practically makes him piss himself every time.

I like the idea of just avoiding this issue entirely by keeping him out from under the beds...hahahahah when he did this before we simply stacked up all the laundry baskets and kept him outta there. this is going to be the first order of business again tomorrow.

I also kept a leash on him all day today, as well. HE didn't seem to mind but four people tripped at least six times...hahahaha once we realized this wasn't going to work we gave him some crate time today when he might have normally wanted to hide under the beds.

as for his temperament...I STILL think this dog is phenomenal. he may be one of the most tolerant animals I've ever had. I know his little quirks (ie. the clicking and hiding) and try mostly just to reduce that sort of stress for him.

with some work...I still see therapy dog in his future...

you can roll a wheel chair over this guy's tail, pull his ears and drop a bedpan on his head.

you just can't get him out from under the bed.

hahahahahah

thanks for all the advice!
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Postby hoagiesmomma » August 9th, 2006, 12:21 am

a-bull wrote:That's why I asked if the rescue mentioned any former abuse.

Most people assume abuse when a dog is fearful. Fear can stem from lack of socialization, breeding, temperment, pack order, etc.

If memory serves, this dog was said to have a wonderful, laid-back temperment.

Handler error can also be a reason for "fear" or "snarky" behavior.


you're just always trying to stir something up, aren't ya?

I'll kindly take the advice...

and leave your little quips for someone else to deal with.

ps. have a great day.
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Postby mnp13 » August 9th, 2006, 10:59 am

hoagiesmomma wrote:
a-bull wrote:That's why I asked if the rescue mentioned any former abuse.

Most people assume abuse when a dog is fearful. Fear can stem from lack of socialization, breeding, temperment, pack order, etc.

If memory serves, this dog was said to have a wonderful, laid-back temperment.

Handler error can also be a reason for "fear" or "snarky" behavior.


you're just always trying to stir something up, aren't ya?

I'll kindly take the advice...

and leave your little quips for someone else to deal with.

ps. have a great day.


I didn't read that as an attack, but I don't know the "history" between both of you.

I will agree with a-bull though, many times people (and rescues and shelters) read shyness, temperament problems and lack of proper training as "previous abuse". Reactions from the current owner to small behavorial glitches magnify the behaviors until the dog is exhibiting behaviors that we identify with dogs that have been abused. The source of the behaviors doesn't really matter all that much, but many painfully shy dogs start biting because they are so afraid of contact and interaction. That doesn't make them abuse cases.

I am not saying this is what is going on with your dog though.

I would suggest you try the methods of getting over vaccuum cleaner fear with his fear of clicks. When clicking equals food he will (hopefully) look forward to it.
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Postby a-bull » August 9th, 2006, 11:30 am

No history on my part. I posted various reasons for fear-based behaviors, all of which are true, and my recollection of her assessment of the dog upon adoption.

When I hear of new, unusual behaviors in an adult dog, handler error (or I should also mention illness), comes to mind more than the other reasons.

If I were having a problem like that with my dog, I would want to hear the good, the bad and the ugly in an attempt to resolve the problem~but as you know, some people react negatively to any suggestion that they may be doing something wrong.
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Postby a-bull » August 9th, 2006, 11:39 am

Reactions from the current owner to small behavorial glitches magnify the behaviors until the dog is exhibiting behaviors that we identify with dogs that have been abused.


Really well put, Michelle.
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Postby rockermom » August 9th, 2006, 6:25 pm

Yes I have had similar issue with Rocky under the bed only not growling but sort of opening his mouth not biting though. But it was enough for me not to want to grab his collar and pull him out. He seemed fearful of getting his collar grabbed. So I would touch his collar and give treat when not under the bed. I would also lure him out from under the bed with a treat rather than reaching under. I kept bedroom doors closed but if he got past me he would run like crazy and get under bed. I went to home depot and bought some (samples) of the cheapest laminate wood flooring I could find and placed it along the bottom of the bed. That was the end of going under the bed.
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Postby a-bull » August 9th, 2006, 7:08 pm

rockermom wrote:Yes I have had similar issue with Rocky under the bed only not growling but sort of opening his mouth not biting though. But it was enough for me not to want to grab his collar and pull him out. He seemed fearful of getting his collar grabbed. So I would touch his collar and give treat when not under the bed. I would also lure him out from under the bed with a treat rather than reaching under. I kept bedroom doors closed but if he got past me he would run like crazy and get under bed. I went to home depot and bought some (samples) of the cheapest laminate wood flooring I could find and placed it along the bottom of the bed. That was the end of going under the bed.


All great info./advice.

I like your approach using an enticement to get him out from under the bed rather than confronting him---great idea. Sometimes you just need to break the bad cycle and then go from there.

Good post. :)
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Postby Malli » August 9th, 2006, 7:19 pm

I just had a thought, those with more experience may correct me.

If the behavior is not fearful but dominant and you use a treat lure, would that not be reinforcing the dominance?

I know my parents dog has fear based issues but has ALSO shown dominance related growls over her bed, and the couch twice.

All my parents have had to do is make sure to follow through with what they ask of her (wich, in particular, my mom wasn't doing-go figure, she was the one who experienced the aggression) and the behavior has stopped.

I just thought I'd mention this. I think a trainer may be in order to determine the motivation behind the behavior??

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Postby a-bull » August 9th, 2006, 7:31 pm

That's a good question/thought.

Hasn't been my experience that it will reinforce the behavior, however, timing is everything. Having said that, bad timing can even reinforce naughty behavior in a non-dominant dog.

I think I would just tell the dog to "come" with the treat in plain view, then once they come out, I'd go for a sit and then a treat---just to avoid any accidental reinforcement of the wrong behavior or to avoid creating some fun new game, lol.

I'm also a big fan of "distractions" or sort of a "change of scenery" rather than confronting dominant dogs or dogs that are acting dominant---again, to break the bad cycle, before attempting to correct the behavior.
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Postby Purple » August 9th, 2006, 7:37 pm

Distractions work with my EBT. He has a whole set of different problems, like OCD, to start, and learning that a well timed distraction would avert the behavior was definately an aha moment with us.
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Postby a-bull » August 9th, 2006, 7:47 pm

Purple wrote:Distractions work with my EBT. He has a whole set of different problems, like OCD, to start, and learning that a well timed distraction would avert the behavior was definately an aha moment with us.


How do you think I came up with that one, lol.
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Postby lipshipsattitude » August 9th, 2006, 7:50 pm

Cant you just lure him out with a treat and reward him only if he comes out peacefully?
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Postby a-bull » August 9th, 2006, 7:58 pm

lol . . . "only if he comes out peacefully"---sounds like you're sending in the SWAT team for him. :D

I think I'd give him a command, too . . . "come" along with the enticement. Some dogs might be fine without a command, but I know my female would think it was some big new party game and she'd dive under the bed all day to get a "lure." Infact, she does dive under my son's bed often, but I ignore her. Best to "pick your issues" with some dogs. I don't care if she's under the bed, and I'm certainly not going to confront her to get her out, nor can I be bothered training her to come out because it doesn't bother me if she goes under.
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Postby Marinepits » August 9th, 2006, 8:04 pm

a-bull wrote:lol . . . "only if he comes out peacefully"---sounds like you're sending in the SWAT team for him. :D


Two words: tear gas! Betcha he comes out then. :wink:
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