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Kouda and resource guarding
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1095
    I know there are a few threads on resource guarding, but since the majority of advice is to seek professional help from a
    behaviorist, which we are currently doing, I thought Kouda's case could stand alone. I mainly want to get my thoughts together and document this, and I have a lot of info to dump. Actually, too much to fit in one post, so I will have to break it in half. Sorry for that in advance!

    Kouda is currently 26 weeks old. Since his neuter a few weeks ago, we've had incidents with him guarding mainly food chews (like dental chews and bully sticks). But he also has had minor incidents with guarding around other dogs.

    Kouda has two caretakers, me and S. S can work from home, so most of the incidents have occurred when she is alone with him.

    From the first day we got him, we have been proactive with hand feeding his kibble, touching him while eating, and asking him to drop chews, inspect them, and give them back. When he was small, he would often climb into our laps and want us to hold chews for him.

    When we put his harness on him to go outside, we put a bunch of little training treats on a stool (because he will not cooperate otherwise), lift his legs into the harness while he is eating them, praise and pat him on the head after securing it, and he doesn't seem to care.

    We have been wondering if the frequency of having to pry garbage like cigarette butts and gum from his mouth on walks (when he will not listen to leave-it or drop-it) has made him anxious when S reaches for him when he has a chew. We do bring treats with us on walks as incentive to listen, but there are times when what he finds is more interesting to him and we must pry them out of his mouth. He has not yet reacted aggressively to this.

    So possibly it is limited to bigger/high value treats? Things that cannot be eaten in one gulp?

    Incidents
    --------------------------------------

    1. He snapped at a 10-week old french bulldog puppy in puppy class when she approached him after he dropped a treat. We immediately focused on this and gave him treats in the proximity of the trainer's doberman and he didn't seem to have a problem with that. This incident was the night before his neuter.

    2. The first "real" instance was after a long day – we took him to a dog park in the morning, walked around an outdoor mall, and then went to a friend's house for a birthday party. At our friend's house we tied him to a post outside on the patio and went in and out separately to check on him and monitor people's interaction with him. He seemed pretty mellow and subdued, and then it got dark, the kids started playing rock band inside, and people on the patio were drinking and talking loudly. While S was with him, a lady asked if she could pet him and he started barking kind of erratically at her and he wouldn't have any of it, so she walked away. After a little bit S gave him a pumpkin teething chew ring to keep him occupied, and he didn't want it at first, but as S held it he started to lick it. S went back into the house and brought out one of our friends with her who Kouda has met before. He was happy to see her and kissed and wiggled as she pet him. He plopped down and started to lick the ring as she continued to pet him, and then he turned around and grabbed her hand, causing a scratch on her knuckle that bleed. S was shocked and went to remove the treat, but as she took it away he barked, growled, and lunged at her with his teeth. S came and informed me, and we quickly took him to the car and put him in his crate to calm down. We went home soon, after saying our goodbyes to the hosts.

    When S was out of town for 3 days immediately after incident #2, I did not experience any problems when handling his food and treats, including specifically testing with bully sticks and dental chews (but did not try a pumpkin ring).

    3. S took him to a restaurant for lunch and sat on the patio where S attached his leash to the fence right next to her chair. S gave him a different chew (dental stick) this time and he was not interested in it. The server came out to deliver the food and as he put his hand out Kouda lunged at him with mouth open. He then plopped down and started chewing on the stick. By the end of the meal he hadn't finished it, and really showed no interest in it. He was sitting about a foot away from it kind of pouty or spacing out though he was looking in the treat's direction. S got his attention, told him to "leave it", picked it up with her right hand and passed it to the left. As soon as S opened her right hand, he lunged at her open palm with his teeth. No growling or barking this time.

    We tried to duplicate a treat outside at lunch later when we were both present, and I handled the treats, but Kouda did not have a reaction.

    4. S tried to take him to the park in the car one morning, but since he hadn't eaten his food yet, S put it on the floor in the car. He crawled to the opposite side of the car and sat behind her seat on the floor. S gave him some pats at a stop light and scratched around the neck (he seemed to be enjoying it by leaning into it) but then he moved his head out of reach and clamped down on her hand, but not that hard and not that far into his mouth. S said 'ah ah' and had him do a kiss. A little while later S tried again and the same thing happened but this time it was more of his mouth on her hand. S could not see him as he was behind her both times, maybe he was sleepy, or cranky, or her hand was not in a good position like too close to his eyes or something. S couldn't see his face so she couldn't really tell.

    [mod edit: re-categorized due to addition of new category]
    Post edited by sunyata at 2013-06-06 09:53:12
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1095
    Incidents (Continued)
    --------------------------------------

    5. We were at the dog park and I was trying to give him water since he does not like to drink out of public bowls. A boxer was nearby and was interested in the water bottle and came over to investigate. I stood up, removing the bottle from drinking level. Kouda was fine initially, maybe a little confused, but the boxer was still curious and stood on its hind legs to sniff the bottle. Kouda lunged at it and started doing a high-pitched yippy-bark/whine and chased after the boxer. Telling him to leave it and saying ‘ah ah’ did not work, and I had to grab him by the harness and pull him away. Thankfully the boxer did not feel threatened, and went about its business. After a time-out, Kouda did not act up again, but we did not give him water again either.

    6. The next time at the dog park he was playing with a squeak toy that he and another young dog seemed to really like
    (but the toy did not belong to either of them). When he was in possession of it and the other dog approached, his ears went back and he growled a little, but when the other dog got to the toy first, Kouda would wait for it to become available. With most of the other toys he just drops them or doesn't really care if other dogs are near because he likes them to chase him.

    7. We haven't given him a pumpkin chew ring since incident #2, so last week S thought she would give him one to keep him occupied. S went in his pen, had him do a kiss, and put the chew down between them. S talked calmly to him and stroked him gently on the head, and he went after her hand with his teeth again. S said 'ah ah', told him to leave it, and stepped out of the pen with the treat. S got me on video chat and went back in to see if we could do better. S had him do a kiss, and held the ring for him, praising him as he chewed on it. When he broke off little pieces from the large part S was holding she would slowly retract the big piece and offer her hand for a kiss. He gave unenthusiastic kisses but S praised him and presented the ring again. S was holding onto it the entire time and talking to him the whole time. At the end we decided to see if it is the approaching hand that causes the anxiety, so while holding the ring for him in one hand, S slowly moved her other hand near his head, all while talking to him and he stopped licking the ring and started to curl up his lip closest to the approaching hand. S stopped there and put the remainder of the ring on the counter out of sight, showed him her empty hands and asked for a kiss, and then S gently pet and talked to him. He had no issues once the ring was gone.

    8. We had an incident yesterday, perhaps the most intense that we've experienced, and I was there to witness it. I gave Kouda a piece of a bully stick in his exercise-pen. He didn't want it, or didn't want to chew it while I was nearby. I held it for him, he licked at it, and glanced around. I put it down, and he kind of went for my hand - but no contact. S came over to observe, and perhaps because she was her standing over, he got more intense. He would glance at the bully stick, and then stare at us. Then he started whining and jumping, so I had to stand up. S got some high value treats to attempt to distract him, or calm him down. We asked him to sit, he did, so S threw a piece of treat on the ground. Did this a few times. He would obey, eat the treat, look back at the stick, and often whine. Then he started lunging at S (he is inside the pen while S was outside). S closed the pen door to contain him, but at this point I was blocked from exiting the pen. Once he realized he couldn't reach her, he turned back to me and jumped up at me. He seems to go for hands, so I put them behind my back and he just bumped at my legs. S opened the pen door while he was distracted and removed the bully stick. I threw some treats in the far corner and exited the pen. Then he was more upset. He stood up against the pen door and did a rapid high-pitched bark. S went and got the camera, and we tried to get this on video. Uploaded to youtube -

    In the video, S stood near the pen with treats and asked him to "watch me". Instead he stared at her feet. When S kneeled, he looked up at her so S rewarded him. But then he starts guarding the treat, snarls, lunges and barks. He eventually lays down and eats the treat. S repeated this one more time with the same reaction. So we stopped and left him alone until he slept it off.

    9. S called me tonight right before I left work, and said he did it again. He was sleeping next to her on the floor, while she sat on a floor cushion, after playing with and emptying a puzzle toy that has compartments for kibble/treats. She spoke to him, "Good Kouda," pet him, and once she reached his tail he turned and latched onto her wrist and sleeve. She said "ah ah" and he released it. Then he reached across her lap for her other hand, but it was too far, so he backed up and lunged at her face, ramming her nose and upper lip with his open mouth. S stood up and he continued to go after her hands, ankles, pants, sweatshirt. All the while she was saying "ah ah," and gave commands like sit and down, which he obeyed and then would come at her again. She went for the camera (but had to grab the battery off the charger and reassemble it), and finally recorded the end of the episode -

    Needless to say, she is now even more scared of him and was crying when I got home.

    --------------------------------------

    While these are all scary and escalate quickly, he has not yet injured us. But we don't know at what point it could come to that. Especially after today's incident where he seems calm yet is still guarding. And his list of resources to guard keeps increasing. When will he start guarding his food bowl? His toys? His bed? His hiding place under the coffee table?

    Frankly, even I am wary about being alone with him now, because I don't know what will set him off. It seems like once-established routines no longer matter.

    We've spoken with our normal trainer, and our vet about it. Our vet referred us to a veterinary behaviorist, and I left a message at their phone number and am waiting for a call back.
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4784
    I will be frank:

    Firstly, nobody here is qualified to advise on this issue (myself included) other than to seek a behaviorist as you are doing.

    My thoughts,

    I am not so worried about his reaction around food and other dogs. That's a given.

    However, he has crossed that line with attacking people imo, and now is being allowed and given opportunities to continue to inappropriately do this with people.

    Your management of him needs serious work. He needs to be crated in the car. He is definitly anxious with S and others standing there watching him with treats and food.

    He is at that age and of the type of temperament that he will push his weight around, coupled with timid owners (in his mind), that he likely views more as resource competitors than "parents". What type of corrections have you used in the past? Im not at all implying anything by this, by the way, just curious. He is very clearly uncomfortable with people in "his" space. A harsh correction could make it worse, IMO.

    I haven't ever had to deal with this with any of my dogs at this late an age, aside from a shelter reacue (border collie) My family had when I was an older child, who attacked feet of people putting her food down. I ended up wearing Wellies when I fed her and she attacked my feet,
    but she eventually came to realize it wasn't hurting me or making me go away, so she stopped. She attacked and injured several dogs over minor resources and then went on to bite a child in the face, leaving permanent scars.

    I think there is definitely hope for the situation, and dealing with it ASAP and not allowing him to continue practicing these behaviors is the first step. Do not give him the opportunity to escalate this behavior. Until you can meet with your behaviorist, I would stop with the treats, he gets fed alone and is leashed or anchored to a wall so he can't go after your feet, don't stand over him, toss treats to him from a distance that he does not show signs of anxiety at, etc. No stranger interactions or children at this point either, for safety as he is chosing to escalate his reaction to physical contact.

    Other than that, I wish you the best.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4784
    This may totally make me sound dated in terms of dog training, and please dont take this to mean I am espousing any kind of Alpha theory, but I think Shiba adolescents that do this know are showing a lack of respect of your position in the house as a parent, and that IS a normal feature of adolescence (to challenge rules).

    This is why I think there is hope for this if managed correctly. I know dogs resource guard for what may seem like a variety of reasons. Insecurity/fear is definitly the root no matter how you slice it, IMO. It can be an "over confidence on the outside but really inwardly insecure problem" that is particular to gutsy small dogs, if you know what I mean.

    At home if I had a Shiba that even thought of doing this to me, we would have a Come To Jesus meeting in short order and management would change ASAP. Honestly, this is a temperament trait I find very challenging to work with in Shibas, and it really calls for some creative solutions that won't escalate the problem.

    A lot of the time it becomes a matter of chosing your battles. If my dogs growl at each other when one finds a piece of garbage they decide is pretty amazing and shouldnt be shared, fine. They can do that, but attacking people in aggression is one thing they can't be allowed to even consider thinking about as an option.

    Ultimately, I want dogs that have a tendency to resource guard, to realize they are not cornered, they do have an "out", and they can chose to not engage and will be immediately rewarded for it. That is my completely non professional opinion, and I hope it kind of makes sense.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    Sorry if I am going to be blunt today ...

    zandrame said:

    I know there are a few threads on resource guarding, but since the majority of advice is to seek professional help from a
    behaviorist, which we are currently doing, I thought Kouda's case could stand alone.



    I think that adding yet another thread on this issue was not really necessary and it only creates more threads future members with similar issues to have to read through with no real different insights.

    I don't believe your case is any different than other threads already discussing resource guarding. The reason those threads say seek professional help is because the issue can be complex and a professional can help determine the root cause and teach you how to see the signs of your case.

    IMO no one on this forum is going to give you any new advice that hasn't been discussed in other threads. As other threads noted, there is a book out there "Mine!" (I haven't yet read it) that gives you information and insight into resource guarding. You may want to consider that book in conjunction with a professional as you develop a plan and adjust your interactions to understand your situation.

    I am glad to know you are seeking professional advice. I also believe gathering your thoughts and documenting it will help as you engage the professional. I do understand that it is a tough time for you and S as your management techniques do need to change.

    Until getting a plan in place to work with the issue my best suggestion is avoid all situations that could lead to the issue.

    For example, in my case when I introduced a 2nd dog to our household I noted my first dog displayed a tendency to escalate to what I would generalize as resource guarding around feeding time and when I wanted to give them treats together for doing behaviors together. In my case I started crating them before I even began preparing their food and for a period after they both ate for feeding time and I have for the moment stopped trying to reward them with treats for performing behaviors (ie sit, down) together when I request it. To date (over the last month) the issues at feeding time and around me + treats have not occurred anymore, because I don't put them in a position where it could. Yes, would I like to think I could feed them outside the crates and all would be good. Yes, would I like to think I could train them together some days without treat issues. Until such time that I can invest the time into really working past the issue, I have chosen not to let it be an issue through how I manage them.

    I think @lindsayt gave you advice on how to do that already:
    lindsayt said:


    I think there is definitely hope for the situation, and dealing with it ASAP and not allowing him to continue practicing these behaviors is the first step. Do not give him the opportunity to escalate this behavior. Until you can meet with your behaviorist, I would stop with the treats, he gets fed alone and is leashed or anchored to a wall so he can't go after your feet, don't stand over him, toss treats to him from a distance that he does not show signs of anxiety at, etc. No stranger interactions or children at this point either, for safety as he is chosing to escalate his reaction to physical contact.



    So good luck, just understand your case is not unusual or unique, but it will require time and a lot of management until you can truly work through the issue.
  • StaticNfuzzStaticNfuzz
    Posts: 1814
    I 100% concur with the following
    "Firstly, nobody here is qualified to advise on this issue (myself included) other than to seek a behaviorist as you are doing. I think there is definitely hope for the situation, and dealing with it ASAP and not allowing him to continue practicing these behaviors is the first step. Do not give him the opportunity to escalate this behavior. Until you can meet with your behaviorist, I would stop with the treats, he gets fed alone and is leashed or anchored to a wall so he can't go after your feet, don't stand over him, toss treats to him from a distance that he does not show signs of anxiety at, etc. No stranger interactions or children at this point either, for safety as he is chosing to escalate his reaction to physical contact."


    After viewing the videos. I truly believe that he can be helped and there is hope to resolve it. There are many factors that have blended together to make a complex sequence bringing you and your dog to this point in terms of behavior. At this juncture he appears a bit confused and frustrated and this is where a behaviorist can sort things out. In the mean time give him space and don't hover or ask for kisses when he has items he values. Back off until you meet with a professional that can give you the best steps for plan of action. Keep your pup in a safe space when you have company or feeding by using the crate and avoid having others interact with him until you get help. When you seek a behaviorist seek someone that has credentials at the end of their title such as DACVB or CAAB…. avoid fly by night wannabe trainers.


    Here is a link to the titles defined: http://www.apdt.com/join/certification/ and some clarification on selection of a professional
    http://www.dogandco.com/trainer-or-behaviorist-which-one-is-right-for-you/#


    Snf

    Post edited by StaticNfuzz at 2013-03-07 10:04:55
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6675
    lindsayt said:


    Ultimately, I want dogs that have a tendency to resource guard, to realize they are not cornered, they do have an "out", and they can chose to not engage and will be immediately rewarded for it. That is my completely non professional opinion, and I hope it kind of makes sense.


    I agree with this.

    lindsayt said:

    However, he has crossed that line with attacking people imo, and now is being allowed and given opportunities to continue to inappropriately do this with people.



    I agree with this too.

    tied him to a post outside on the patio

    Why was he tied to a post during a party?

    When I bring Saya or Bella to parties or anywhere they are with me or in their crates. even at party in my own home they are with me or in a room if I can't monitor them and no one is allowed to visit without me.

    I trust my dogs, but never know what little cousins will do and I don't want Saya or Bella to have to defend themselves if the kid decides to hurt my dog.

    I agree no more chews especially in public till you get this worked out.

    From videos I think he can be worked with.

    Why are you petting him when he is eating or chewing a chew toy? Placing hand on the dog's head will make them tense especially if the dog resource guards.

    I never pet or put my hand on my dog's when they are eating. Saya would be fine with it she doesn't resource guard she could be eating a lamb shank or lamb neck or her favorite quail and I could take it no issue or trade for it.

    Bella she resource guards and I rather work with her to manage her and teach her what I give her is her's and I don't plan to take it, but if needed she needs drop or leave it so I can check to make sure she has eaten enough or take away for next meal..

    I first started with her just giving her the food and after week I had tiny bit of liver and told her to drop it and when she did she got the liver and she got to eat whatever she was eating.

    I kept working with her and then did drop it then leave it.

    Once she left it she got bit of liver or boneless meat.

    Eventually she got good enough I could pick item up then I gave it back so she learned that what I take I give back too.

    Resource guarding to me is the dog fears their precious item will be taken away and they need protect it. It's more out of fear..

    Reason we say find a behaviorist is because it is hard to help through the forum we are not professionals and advice we give might make things worse if it's not right advice or info we got was slightly off or whatever.

    I knew of a B&T shiba at my local dog park that resource guarded water they stopped going to the park probably best thing as that dog park is worst one I know of.

    This book is good on resource guarding.
    http://www.amazon.com/Mine-Practical-Guide-Resource-Guarding/dp/0970562942/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1328913609&sr=8-3
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    Okay, sorry hadn't watched the videos because I was on my phone earlier when reading the thread and they didn't seem to load. Now that I am on a computer I did watch the videos.

    I am by far not an expert at all, but I don't see any concern over resource guarding in the videos you posted. What I see is a dog that is confused by what you want and a dog that is looking to play and in the normal Shiba way is a little bit mouthy looking for attention.

    In the first video I don't see the resource guarding at all, I see a Shiba that is wanting to play and frustrated by not understanding what you want.

    In the second video I see a dog getting rewarded for being mouthy as they try to get attention to play. If you don't want the mouthy attention getting behavior it is best to ignore the dog like it does not exist at all, which is not occurring at all in the second video.

    I know we don't see the part you think is the resource guarding issue, but this dog to me based on just the videos doesn't have severe issues and the issues I saw are due to confused signals from the humans.

    Again, I am no expert, but I didn't see anything in the two videos that indicated to me there was a dog that had a severe issue. Again, a behaviorist coming into your home will really open your eyes to how your actions are creating situations and if you do have an issue ways to help your dog work past them.

  • RikkaRikka
    Posts: 1501
    Lindsay said it best. I'm not sure what to add, personally, since I've never had to deal with resource guarding. :( The only thing I can say is I hope the best for you guys and Kouda.
    image
    Lauren, living with a 4 y/o Shiba named after a scientist. ☆
    Post edited by Rikka at 2013-03-07 12:28:29
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6675
    I agree with redcattoo the two video wasn't too bad. the second video looked like mouthy puppy play behavior maybe?

    Saya used to be really mouthy with mom when she came home from work which would leave a bruise. Once mom got better hang of ignoring her and not looking, petting or talking to her till she was calmer she eventually stopped the nipping also I had her on leash at first and let her go once she was calmer.

    Hard to tell with the video. I mean when Bella is getting bit nervous with me and her raw food she would get tense looking at me while she ate her food and would sometimes do light growl.

    Luckily she is over that now, but still needs continued work with her.

    I don't think she'll get to that lever of Saya where I can grap the pork roast, chicken quarter without having to tell her to drop it or leave it and then giving her treat. I now use fish fudge as treat less messy compared to liver. hehe

    Biting at the face isn't good though. This kiss thing is it where you kiss him or does he kiss you himself? Some dogs don't like this I know of another shiba who didn't like people kissing him on his face, but owner did it anyways and got nipped on face.

    I'd probably not do this type thing especially since he is so mouthy..

    Saya knows a kiss command it's like touch command to touch target or item. I don't do it much as she knows the command and if I do ask her to do it and she doesn't I don't push it.
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4784
    What I see in the first video is mostly not playing, IMO. Some is barrier frustration, the dog seems confused, the barking is high pitched (stressed), but I see whale eye and worry face and almost lip curling. The body posture is not inviting play IMO. I would not stick my fingers into the xpen with a dog with this body language. To me, I do see some aggressive intent when he charges the bars and goes for the toes, that tells me "hmm, this dog is really uncomfortable with this human right now, I better give him space".

    The second video, maybe some playing attempts. I know that mouthing and clothing pulling are totally normal in puppies wanting attention, and I've seen many puppies obsess about feet for a period of time because those feet are fun and kick tennis balls around and soccer balls and fun things like that, and the body posture is playful and inviting. When he jumps up, he may be inviting some play (a little inappropriately, but not abnormal in young dogs) but he is still worried, and only after he has charged the feet and tried to scare them away. My opinion, I'm not a behaviorist.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
    Post edited by lindsayt at 2013-03-07 15:00:07
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    @lindsayt, thanks for providing your view of the first video. I am only beginning to try to understand read dog body language as I go through the book For the Love of Dogs. It gave me reason to watch the video closer to determine why I felt like I did.

    I guess in the first video what I saw initially was ears forward, body relaxed and even wagging a little bit along with the tail. I didn't see a stiff body posture which would indicate fear/uncertainty and potential aggression. I also thought it seemed like the pup had an open mouth and even at one point pulled up the sides which indicates a smile. I also felt because of the relaxed body and tail wag the pups bow that put him towards the toes was also just a play sign. The only small thing I noticed was the lick of the lips during this early part before going into the play bow which I know can indicate unsurity. At this point I didn't feel the dog was having any issues other than trying to initiate a friendly greeting. I would say that if you reached into the pen at that time though the dog would react with jumps and mouthiness, but again IMO it seemed more like a desire to play restricted by the xpen situation.

    I also didn't interpret the whine/bark as aggressive. My mix puppy, even per the foster, often did/does this in an attempt for play time attention. Sometimes my older boy, Bear, has that sound too when trying to get my mixed pup, Tanjiro to play but Tanjiro is clearly indicating he isn't interested at that moment.

    I do see a slight change in body language though after a treat is thrown at the pup (almost into his face) and then the hand is put up and then it is moved to a new position. During this part I do see that his ears while barking are turn more sideways and his body seems stiffer. I don't take that as resource guarding, but I do see the pups discomfort and it could be frustration being expressed IMO, especially since the hand is in a new position indicating a different command. At this point if this was supposed to result in a similar action as the initial hand position, it means the humans were giving mixed signals to the pup. I may be wrong and maybe the person was trying to give a different command when they turned their hand more pointed down?

    I am glad you made me watch the video more and would be very interested in how a professional behaviorist would interpret the video, since I am only just trying to learn the signs and body language. I know some signs can be very slight especially to someone like me that doesn't have a experienced eye (yet). This is why I also value the instincts and insights of more experienced members watching the same video so I can fine tune my eye to what they are seeing.
  • umi-sanumi-san
    Posts: 113
    Hello!

    I'm sorry, i did not see the resource guarding problem either. But indeed his body language in both videos is not clear. He does not seem too anxious on the first video, but we cans see that he is uncomfortable. Second one, we could say he is trying to play, but I think his behavior is in reaction of S body language : screaming "ah ah" and moving back when the puppy is nipping at her.
    Post edited by umi-san at 2013-03-07 15:36:26
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1095
    Thanks for all the comments guys, I appreciate the feedback.

    I'm working from home to keep an eye on him today, so this might be kind of concise since I am working. But I am reading all of the comments!

    A couple of responses -

    We already have the Mine! book on kindle, but we are not 100% through it yet. And I did not post with the expectation that you all would be able to solve this problem for me. I just wanted to share, and further document our successes or failures. If this should be moved to the Life Story category, that is fine with me.

    The videos do not paint a realistic image of his full behavior. They only capture the tail-end of two episodes, as he calms down, and we can reach for a camera. I am not interested in instigating the full behavior just to capture it on video.

    This has only been a problem for the last few weeks, and all of the incidents are documented as fully as we can remember.

    The behavior he does show in the videos is NOT play behavior - at least not behavior that he normally shows, as that would not be acceptable. When he does get riled up and mouthy during play, and redirecting to a toy does not work, we end it and he gets a timeout. I do not know why he is focused on S's feet in the videos, he does not play like that at all. Likely he is redirecting his frustration at the closer limbs when hands are out of his reach. Hands are likely his target because they might take things away.

    In the first video, he is obviously frustrated about being confined (and his barking shows this). But that was for our safety. You can see his lip curl twice - both after S gives him a treat for successfully obeying her "watch me" command - which was an attempt to get him to focus and calm down. The open hands down are a signal we use to show him we have nothing. We use it when playing and when treats are all gone. The hand palm out is a signal to wait/stay, which of course might not be appropriate while he is sitting (S was flustered and still trying to show him she had nothing) - but it definitely doesn't mean attack!

    The "kiss" thing is a command like touch. He is a very licky and it was easy to teach as a redirection from being mouthy. We usually use "gentle" along with "kiss" when he is feisty. So S was trying to calm him down.

    We pet him while eating because we have always done it. The goal was to desensitize him to things like this. I thought that was standard procedure with getting puppies to trust you.

    We use verbal corrections when appropriate, and I am probably harsher with them. We have found that the "ah ah" sound is more effective than a yelp or a "no." We have only used positive reinforcements in our training.

    We fully intend and want to avoid all situations that could lead to an episode. But the thing is, we can't necessarily tell where the boundary between ok and not-ok situations are. Even leading up to the first episode, the b-day party, we had no idea that was going to happen. He had never before displayed ANY issues with people around chews or food. (He was at the party because he loves people. We take him to lots of new places as part of his socialization. He was tied because we didn't want him destroying the garden plants. One of us was with him at all times, or mostly all times as we walked in and out to swap.)

    Until our appointment with the behaviorist, he will have limited time outside of his pen in the house. All food items will be in the pen with the door closed. And toys will be removed. If he displays any aggression while he is out, he will immediately go back into the pen.
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6675
    Yeah rewatched the first video and I did see lip curl and him being bit tense and frustrated maybe.

    I hope things get worked out soon. When did this start where he guarded from you did you hand fed him and stuff?
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1095

    When you seek a behaviorist seek someone that has credentials at the end of their title such as DACVB or CAAB…. avoid fly by night wannabe trainers.


    The referred behaviorist is a DACVB - http://sdvetbehavior.com/contact.html
    The appointment is for Tuesday.
  • StaticNfuzzStaticNfuzz
    Posts: 1814

    That's great you are getting help soon!

    Zandreme you state:
    "The videos do not paint a realistic image of his full behavior".


    -- Yes, this is why hands on session(s) with a behaviorist will provide better assistance to get to the heart of the issue. We can only speculate which is not helpful or useful to you.

    Yeah, your pup appears stressed about movement and hands/hand gestures and is on the offensive to try and control his environment. Probably at the core it relates to some insecurity/anxiety hence the lashing out or worry on his part. The neuter may have created some stress as well, as his hormones and his physiology balance out.

    Each dog and case is individual, emotionally and neurologically, so again a behaviorist will be better able to taylor a plan to address the specifics.

    Good luck and thanks for sharing…. You are not the first. Certain puppies can be more difficult than others. Hang in there.

    Keep us posted on your progress.
    Snf

  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1095
    Saya said:

    When did this start where he guarded from you did you hand fed him and stuff?

    I might not fully understand the question, but we have hand fed him since the beginning. The incidents are in chronological order, so the first time this happened was the party.

    Thanks @StaticNfuzz, your advice is always well grounded. :)

    I've been trying to think back as to how he obtained this anxiety in the first place, prior to the first event. On top of the hormone thing, I wonder if it could be a combination of having to wear a cone after the neuter, and it being awkward for him to reach chews by himself (we held them for him); and he was still teething at the time, so it was probably a little painful to chew during this time. We would normally remove any uneaten food (including chews) at the end of the day to keep his area clean and tidy. We thought he just wasn't into the chews if he left them, but maybe he just couldn't chew.
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1587
    @zandrame....I wish I had some sort of constructive advise for you. I can only wish you the best in dealing with this...I hate seeing you going through this!! Good luck!!
    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • While I am not a behaviorist myself, I have had to deal with some resource guarding. Nothing as bad or unpredictable as yours, but I will say that some things stood out from your description of the incidents:

    Where's the incentive for him when you guys mess with his food? One thing I've noticed a distinct lack of is a reward for letting you mess with his food. I've noticed there seems to be a lot of messing with his food with no reward for letting you do it. You take his food and give it back to him, but there's no incentive for him to be okay with that. Instead, he simply has the experience of you just taking stuff from him on the walk and so he's probably wondering if you really will give it back. Trading games are what Zim's puppy class trainer (who had a master's in animal behavior) suggested for his resource guarding. She described it as a win-win. He comes to expect that he gets a treat and he gets to keep that awesome thing he's so protective of. It actually makes having a human hand near that awesome thing better than just having the thing alone.

    The other thing that stuck me was making him do tricks when he's guarding doesn't really seem like a great idea. Again, what's in it for him? It seems to me like it's just you pushing your control over an item he desperately wants control over without rewarding him for it. Like, for instance, in incident #7, what was the point of making him give kisses? He's having to offer a behavior in order to get back something that he wanted and you just took without giving him anything for it. That's not incentivizing him for giving up his stuff, it's showing him that humans will just take his stuff if he's not protecting it enough and then make him do something to get it back. He needs to view giving up his stuff as the most awesome thing ever not something that means he is now going to have to jump through hoops over. Really, what he wants here is just to have his treat to chew on whenever he wants, at his leisure. If you're going to mess with that, you have to do something to show him that's what he really wants too.
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1095
    @notoriousscrat, thanks for your points. It's given us some stuff to think about. Yes, we definitely want him to think giving up his stuff is awesome!

    I should clarify that on walks when he picks up junk, we do treat him for leave/drop-its. And when we have to pry stuff out (like gum), we give him extra treats. Is this not what you mean by trades? Can you explain your trading games a bit more? What is traded when Zim gets to keep both a treat and the thing he's guarding?

    Some of the incidents, like #2, 3, 9, were unfortunate because we didn't have anything of high value to attempt a trade with. And trading with him in this mode could be difficult, because when he is guarding, nothing is high enough value to make it a good trade for him. Even when playing with toys, he tends to fixate on one specifically, it will become "the one" which he will repeatedly seek out.

    We totally tried offering him treats like crazy in #8, but he would eat them and resume guarding.

    The tricks/commands were used for two different purposes. For #7, we were trying to go for the nothing-is-free approach and let him earn the treat. S never "gave" him the treat, it was never in his possession (when we give him something to keep we say "take," which he learned as a complement to "leave it"). She offered it to him in her hand, and kept holding it while he bit pieces off. The Mine! book describes this as an "ours" scenario, rather than a "mine" or "yours." To get another bite, a kiss seemed like an innocuous trade. The other use of tricks, like sit in #8/9, were for distraction and re-focus. Mostly so we could exit the situation.
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    Good luck with everything.

    A good behaviorist will really be your best resource on assessing what your dog is trying to tell you and how you can adjust your body language and signals to help your dog cope better in the situations you are worried about.

    Also, keep in mind between 6 months and 14 months many dogs will show a rise in their level of reactivity (second fear stage period). Many suddenly become apprehensive about new people or situations. During this period it is very critical to handle things with the utmost patience and continue very positive socialization exposure. You want to avoid any overwhelming situations. In this stage it is better to handle aggressive displays by providing space as you are his support system. He needs space and time to build confidence while feeling safe. You don't want to do any harsh corrections during this time, you want to be positive with your voice and body language in this period. You do need to be firm, but gentle with the rules. This stage can be a tough balancing act for some dogs/owners.

    Again if he is in a fear stage a good behaviorist will help you learn your dogs cues and give you techniques to help him through this stage.
    Post edited by redcattoo at 2013-03-08 09:38:33
  • My 2 cents ...

    -- You sound like you know your dog and have done the correct early training. You have hit a new 'stage' in his development that has surprised you ... welcome to an adolescent!

    -- You also sound like you are trying so hard to do the 'correct' correction to this behavior that you are doubting yourself which has set of insecure feelings and some fear from both you and S. ..... Kouda is picking up on this fear and is feeling insecure.

    I have learned with my dogs over the years, that when they do something that throws me, it is most important for me to check my emotions - because they will follow that lead.

    A Spritz mix (65 Lbs.!) that I had years ago, started to challenge everyone in the household when he was 9 months old. That is when I put him on a short leash and had him go everywhere with me (within reason). If I had to wash clothes - he was beside me. If I had to do desk work - he was beside me with a chew bone. All the while, I would just be relaxed and confident in what I was busy with. When he had to eat I would give him a handful of kibble on the floor beside me while I was doing something.

    I wanted to convey that I was in control, not upset or worried about anything, that he didn't need to be worried - he just needed to follow. That I was gong to feed him and not take his food. But mostly, that if he was going to be a 'Brat', then it just was not going to rattle me and he needed to calm down, but that I would still love him.

    He came around in about 2 months and was the best dog to everyone.

    Chewie is my first Shiba. I am finding that because of the intelligence of the breed, he has a much more heightened sense of the human emotions around him.

    Canine teens/kids never do well when they are the center of the universe :) ... make you and S the center, and Kouda will fall in line. He looks to you all to let him know what he should be feeling.

    The Behaviorist will be able to restore your confidence and give you tools for letting Kouda know that you and S. have life in control. :)
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6675
    At the party why was he tied to the post? Just curious don't they allow dogs in the house?
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3460
    @Saya, I think parties are overwheming for the Shibas. So instead of having them be in the crowd with all the noises he tied Kouda to the post, but did keep an eye on him.
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    zandrame said:


    2. The first "real" instance was after a long day – we took him to a dog park in the morning, walked around an outdoor mall, and then went to a friend's house for a birthday party. At our friend's house we tied him to a post outside on the patio and went in and out separately to check on him and monitor people's interaction with him.



    It says also this was a long day, probably a lot of over stimulation in one day for a pup that age still going through growing stages and in the window where the 2nd fear stage is not uncommon. By the end of the day he probably just wanted to rest and relax.
  • kumaDUDEkumaDUDE
    Posts: 1259
    I say Kouda was just missing his buddy, after today's play date, I'm sure hell be fine.. Jk go see a pro, better safe than sorry
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    How is Kouda doing? I am just now reading your post and hope he is doing better. I'm curious to what the behaviorist said. I feel bad for both of you and Kouda because there is clearly some frustration going on from both sides.
    Post edited by amti at 2013-03-30 04:21:01
  • InuzooInuzoo
    Posts: 215
    While I am no expert on Shiba's, just someone learning by trial and error, I am slightly confused. Though Zooey doesn't appear to guard anything I wouldn't give her a favorite treat in a public situation where people are coming up "by surprise" into her space. We work in training with stranger interactions and she's done well with sit stay while we are greeted type work. Might need to set up situations for success and train that strangers are okay. The videos are where I am confused.. What did you want pup to do? Video 1 seemed to treat for barking which escalated the barking. Not sure what the "command was" except watch me which pup was like "naw, your feet are more interesting (trying to figure out where you were going and what you were going to do)". The second video didn't appear to me to be gaurding but wanting to play. Zooey, when she was younger and sometimes even now decides my pant legs or me in general are way more exciting than the toy at hand. One time she "attacked" me in a jumping spree nipping like a wild dog. Freaked me out! With the help of the fourm, I realized what was going on, how to interact, and when to say off (which you did and Kouda seemed to do). It took Zooey quite a while to learn leave it on walks. She still picks stuff up but one leave it and it's done. The other day I was going to let her carry her prize pine cone but nope she dropped it so I figured I best not confuse her by encouraging it. I am sorry your having problems and I am sure trying to catch it on video is like setting up a situation which doesn't t have the same effect. I had many instances of thinking I had a demon on my hands but as she is rounding the corner to being 1, she's letting go of some puppy behaviors and learning the house rules a bit better. Still have to have her leash on and walking toward the crate to get her in, but she does go by herself, turn and let us unleash her. I'd keep working on safe situations and see how your pup improves. Good luck!
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6675
    Bootz said:

    @Saya, I think parties are overwheming for the Shibas. So instead of having them be in the crowd with all the noises he tied Kouda to the post, but did keep an eye on him.


    Bit late on reply sorry.

    That makes sense, but still if the pup had such a long dog maybe it would been best to take the pup home to rest and go on next party so not so tired?

    Coarse what done is done.

    I taken Saya to party no issue as little tiny pup. I brought her smaller crate and during cake and eating she got to be in there and once done she got to come back out to play with the kids. I mainly walked her around the neighborhood and she hanged with the kids.

    I'd also like to here update on how Kouda is doing.
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
    Post edited by Saya at 2013-03-30 10:48:20
  • kumaDUDEkumaDUDE
    Posts: 1259
    Umm, I would have thought we are all in agreement when we say "tired shiba is a good shiba"
    I understand its a lot of stimulation with a party going on in the background, but it was an incident, it's unexpected, there are no forewarnings of what is to come.
    I'm sure everyone has had an incident with their dogs and another dog or person. Whether the person pAnics in fear of a dog, or a dog reacts negatively around the person.
    I have also brought Kuma everywhere I went, I'm sure so did Koudas parents. I'm pretty sure everyone here has been doing that, in order to socialize them better. But again, it was an unexpected event, he isn't the type of dog to lunge at someone (I am solely basing this on my experience being around Kouda).
    One last thing, I always take Kuma to party's, when he IS tired, and that's how I prefer it, I don't like it when my shiba decides to do a shiba 500 during a party, I'd rather him be worn out, tired, and sleepy. It makes him more cooperative, so I think it's unfair to say "wait until the next party"... Yeah let's wait until next year to celebrate their bday, or yeah we will come celebrate with you after you come home from being deployed.
    I know someone will suggest why not leave him at home, but sometimes things don't pan out, like I said, things happen unexpectedly, and if you can predict everything that will happen with your shiba, then props to you!
  • StaticNfuzzStaticNfuzz
    Posts: 1814
    "it was an incident, it's unexpected, there are no forewarnings of what is to come."



    --Unfortunately this is what most people presume. However, there are quite a few factors and behaviors that generally lead up to 99% of naughty outbursts…. which certainly can be prevented with some forethought. Every owner should become aware enough of their dog to be able to guide when things are going over zone. i.e. knowing when to be proactive in regard to making a space safer or more comfortable for everyone. This is absolutely essential in avoiding repeat unwanted behaviors that seemingly begin as "coming out of no where". Petting hands, tempting food, and active spaces have to be balanced with down time away (alone) to allow for mental regrouping.

    As far "tired dogs", there is tired and over tired, in conjunction with over stimulation with mental exhaustion. It is the latter in combo that is a bad mix sending many an animal over threshold. It's isn't always obvious to the average person. Also, what one dog can tolerate will vary with the next. Never assume or force the dog to make the decision on what it can handle. Puppies in particular need plenty of breaks. Puppies and young dogs in general have no idea when they are over zone so it's best for everyone to limit events to one or two small or moderate ones in a day. All day back to back socials can be too much for quite a few.

    Knowing where the line falls for a particular animal and stepping in to remove said canine from precarious situations is part of setting the dog up for success. Never leave a puppy to fend for its self in a social situation even if it is your own home. This does require eyes in the back of one's head, good peripheral vision and some timing to structure interactions be it with humans or other dogs.

    Snf
  • kumaDUDEkumaDUDE
    Posts: 1259
    Thanks SNF, I understand what you mean
    Post edited by kumaDUDE at 2013-03-30 19:42:30
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6675
    Thanks StaticNfuzz this was what I was trying to get at. :\

    "As far "tired dogs", there is tired and over tired, in conjunction with over stimulation with mental exhaustion. It is the latter in combo that is a bad mix sending many an animal over threshold"

    I agree a tired dog is good, but if a dog is over threshold and nervous then there isn't much learning going on..

    I usually gauge how excited Saya or Bella is if they won't take a treat especially high value treat like tiny bit of string cheese they're over threshold.

    I get it things happen we are human.

    Saya had fear of young boys due to two who ran at her at the park and stomped on the ground barking at her. Moms coarse were too busy talking to each other to care.

    I yelled at the kid you better watch it or do it to wrong dog your going to get hurt and I told mom please watch your kids.

    After that Saya was afraid she'd growl at young boys not playful growl, but please back off you make me scared growl.

    At the party I just would have her follow me away till she was OK and she got treats when in presence of the boy, but far enough she felt OK.

    I later did it at park play ground sat at a distance and treated her for people watching.

    Luckily my cousin's are good kids and listen and helped me with the process.

    She is now been cured of her fear of little boys and loves getting attention from them again.

    I feel bad I didn't see the two boys coming as I could have prevented it by picking her up or putting her on my other side so I could take action with the two kids and tell them enough.

    Like I said it's in the past and already happened all the owner of Kouda can do is work with him and help him get better.

    I know it can be frustrating at times.

    Bella resource guards She is never given bully sticks when at parties as it's a risk someone might want to pet her.

    Bella isn't a lower end resource guarder she gets tense and warns she hasn't attempted to bite, but I could see her biting if she lived in a home that would go steal the toy or raw item away. or went all alpha junk on her and tried to flip her around instead of working with her.

    Just keep working with him hope the behaviorist can help you with this.
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    @SNF very well said!
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1095
    amti said:

    How is Kouda doing? I am just now reading your post and hope he is doing better. I'm curious to what the behaviorist said. I feel bad for both of you and Kouda because there is clearly some frustration going on from both sides.


    Thanks for inquring about Kouda! :)

    I don't want to go in to detail here, but we had a personal conflict with the behaviorist I mentioned earlier (actually his staff), and did not end up seeing him. So we are still working on finding the right behaviorist for all of us. In the meantime, we've received a lot of assistance from our trainers, including watching him the weekend after I posted to give us a break. We've completely adopted the nothing-is-free approach for food, play, attention, and going outside. And we've eliminated his guarded objects (no food chews outside of his crate). He hasn't had an incident with us since.

    We've learned to pay close attention to his body language, and watch for distress, so we can end whatever the situation is. Looking back at his past incidents, his first signal is freezing, and around chews we misunderstood this as lack of interest because he wouldn't touch them. Next is the stare, either at a face or following hands. We've worked out that antlers and filled bones are not high value enough to put him on edge, so he is still allowed those. When I tried offering him a dried sweet potato, he froze up then circled around me, so I had him follow me with a cheery "let's go!" and had him go into his crate where I then dropped it and walked away. I've since given him bite size pieces of the sweet potato without a problem. Ice cubes are fine, as is peanut butter and yogurt from a spoon.

    He's still sometimes possessive of toys with other dogs at the dog park. We don't bring toys, but if other people do, he will attempt to take them and initiate a keep-away chase. If other dogs get too into it and actually want to take the toy from him, he will growl, and escalate from there. But at that point we end it, by removing the toy (with a reward for him for giving it up to us) and asking the owners to put it away, or we leave.

    We had an Easter road-trip this last week, and met a few of the Bay area members! Meeting new dogs, including my parents' 70lb boxer/staffy (who, while large, was a total softie), helped quite a bit. He was somewhat possessive in the beginning while playing with @tatonka, but eventually was taking turns chasing rather than just hogging the toys.

    We know we are still only managing his problem at this point, so it's a work in progress. But that's where we are at right now.
  • RikkaRikka
    Posts: 1501
    zandrame said:


    He's still sometimes possessive of toys with other dogs at the dog park. We don't bring toys, but if other people do, he will attempt to take them and initiate a keep-away chase. If other dogs get too into it and actually want to take the toy from him, he will growl, and escalate from there.



    Sagan does this too. He realized that whenever he grabs a ball that another owner tosses for their dog to fetch, that dog is going to be up his butt the whole time when he's holding onto the ball. Sagan likes the attention, he thinks the other dog is playing with him, and that dog becomes annoyed. Queue the owner walking up to me and asking for his ball back. Nothing has ever escalated on his end, but there has been two instances where Sagan was sneakily trying to steal a ball, and the other dog freaked out and attacked him. I loathe toys at the dog park. It's always predictable.

    I'm glad you and Kouda are doing better. :)
    image
    Lauren, living with a 4 y/o Shiba named after a scientist. ☆
    Post edited by Rikka at 2013-04-03 21:36:07
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6675
    So glad he is doing well and I hope he gets better.

    Must been nice to meet a forum members in person. :)
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    So glad things are improving! It is nice you get to meet other forum members, and frankly, I'm jealous!
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 498
    Wow, I hope things have improved--yeah I just am reading this and I currently have a 6 month that is doing very similar things to what you showed in the second video. A pen is between us and him when it happens, so he jumps up and bites. Yeoouch. We haven't figured out exactly what he is guarding as it happens at odd times, usually around or after meal times. At first we thought it was the food bowl that we take away--then he did it when I stepped in to lift his house so he could check for kibbles under it. Then it happened when I was just walking by. It happened earlier to my husband, usually while he was preparing something or if he forgot. I am starting to think it has to do with his actual playpen area or something... I see some of the management techniques you used in may 2013 so I am going to see if I can use those...gotta figure out what it is he is after (as far as I know, there are no behaviorlists in Japan and there is still mostly alpha/dominant techniques ie grab his muzzle, stare him down, etc. So we are kind of fighting this battle alone. I envy you people in the states).

    I really want to know what happened and how he is now.

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