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Was this a bad day or the start of something worse?
  • TLovelaceTLovelace
    Posts: 11
    Izzie will be 1 in a few weeks. We got her at 12 weeks of age. We did puppy socialization classes and obedience training and we frequent local dog parks. She is a well socialized dog. We have a 5 year old collie, and this Easter, we got another collie pup, a six month old deaf girl. Everyone is altered. Izzie and Paisley, the puppy, now 8 months old, have become fast friends. It was what we were hoping for and why we got a 3rd dog. Our 5 year old doesn't like to play and she needed a play mate. So, that's the background.

    Initially there were a couple of instances of food aggression, but it settled out. We feed Izzie in her crate, which is in our living room. We feed the other 2 in the back hallway about 6 feet apart, and about 10 feet from the living room. All has been well. For the last couple of days I've noticed Izzie showing interest in Paisley's bowl when she's been eating. Izzie also has an enlarging circle of "MINE" around her crate when she has food in it. She generally doesn't eat all her food at once.

    This morning, I gave them each a homemade dog treat. The other 2 dogs ate theirs, but Izzie put hers on the rug in the living room and then proceeded to mutter under her breath whenever anyone came into view. Because Paisley is deaf, she was unaware of Izzie's warnings. I didn't realize how upset Izzie was until she jumped Paisley. She chased her down the hall biting her around the shoulders and yipping at her. I separated them, got Izzie into her crate, and comforted Paisley, who somehow wasn't bleeding. I took the treat away. I reintroduced them in the yard later on, and they were fine. But, inside, Izzie is now being territorial about the whole living room - food or no- chasing Paisley (and our cats) away if they come near. Paisley is confused and frightened.

    I've been reading tonight that Shibas can get more aggressive as they mature. I'm also reading that perhaps feeding Izzie in the busiest room of the house is probably not the best idea. I'm looking for advice. I can't have her attacking the deaf dog, it comes without warning as far as she is concerned. This is a pretty significant behavior change with in the past few days and today was just over the top.

    I'm looking for advice from seasoned Shiba owners. Sorry this is so long.
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1102
    This is resource guarding, and unfortunately it is fairly common with Shibas. The main thing you have to focus on is setting up all the dogs for success (if food is already an issue, treats are food too), and avoid situations that can escalate to a confrontation. The root of resource guarding is a fear or anxiety that a valuable thing will be taken away, so you have to replace that fear with positive experiences.

    In general, your job is to create situations in which the RG’g dog learns that the appearance or approach of the other dog always leads to something wonderful for him. Rather than “Oh no! I might lose my bone, go away!”, you want a dog who is thinking “Yo! Come a little closer, would you? I just love it when you do because then I get CHICKEN!!!” - See more at: http://www.patriciamcconnell.com/theotherendoftheleash/resource-guarding-dog-to-dog

    It can help to seek the assistance of a professional behaviorist.

    Also check out these threads -
    http://www.shibainuforum.org/forum/discussion/8770/resource-guarding-in-a-multiple-dog-household/p1
    http://www.shibainuforum.org/forum/discussion/7273/food-guarding/p1
  • TLovelaceTLovelace
    Posts: 11
    Thank you for your input. We are going to work on the "better reward" system, this is something our trainer had brought up during class.

    This morning, I noticed that Izzie was keeping Paisley out of the living room, where her crate is. I moved the crate into a quieter area of the house. I brought Paisley into the living room and all 3 dogs are sleeping on the floor. They had a play session and all was well.

    I wonder if moving Izzie's crate to give her a more private spot is just reinforcing that she can be territorial of it. In other words, is the short term solution just propagating the problem.

    I think Izzie has some jealousy of the attention Paisley gets. I can recall a few times when she did not participate in something she likes because Paisley was participating. Frozen yoghurt at the yoghurt store. More recently, she's been refusing to sit/lie down for her treat in the morning. (All 3 get two treats when they come in from outside) They have to sit for one and lie down for the 2nd. I am not the most patient person in the world and after a few minutes of waiting for Izzie to sit, I've turned away from her and given the treat to Paisley, who was sitting, or just put it away. In other words, I may have set the situation up. It didn't occur to me at the time that I was doing that. Now that I'm analyzing what has led up to this, I think I will reconsider how that is handled. Maybe I am giving her too much credit to blame Paisley for her not getting the treat, rather than realize it is due to her non compliance. I dont' know....
  • StaticNfuzzStaticNfuzz
    Posts: 1814
    Not uncommon and not uncommon for dogs to establish a "mine" perimeter around an area if not managed. I would consult a behaviorist (non dominance based) to help work out the particular situation specific to your home. Now that it is a pattern it most likely will require a one on one person to see your set up and dogs directly for best results. For whatever reason your Shiba needs to feel more secure that she will get her share. It's a step by step process establishing fairness in the dogs mind.

    I would not feed or give bones openly and freely in all areas of the house nor spread the crates out in different zones to feed in unless your deaf dog decides not to eat while in the same room as the shiba.

    Usually separation of feeding into home zones just sets up boundary spacing issues that some dogs feel need protecting. Also be sure to clean up the areas of home of food odors and crumbs etc. (wipe up with cleaning fluids to hide residual odors)

    When we treat with bones or valuable goodies/chews it's in separate crates, BUT I do keep all feeding crates in the same room which is away from living spaces. There is a barrier between the crates so dogs can not look at each other when feeding or resting.

    If necessary, don't give high value item(s) to dogs (bones, chews, what have you). If that means no bones so be it. It's just isn't worth the problem of a riot.

    You need to keep your deaf dog safe which may mean rotating certain dogs behind baby gates within certain areas and times when you can not monitor. Never leave the resource guarder alone with the vulnerable dogs or young children for that matter.

    Area resource guarding etc. is something you will have to manage carefully in order to prevent other dogs from acting out eventually in sparing, or degrading emotionally if the picked on dogs is being repeatedly targeted.

    Get one on one help from a behaviorist, or your dog trainer coming for a visit. Having a deaf dog along with a Shiba adds particular challenges and needs that have to be considered in the modification plan. Deaf dogs have specific needs even in training so there may be things that are setting your shiba off and your deaf dog has no idea.

    Snf
    Post edited by StaticNfuzz at 2015-06-04 12:26:03
  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    This book is a great resource - there is a Kindle version as well so you don't have to wait for the book in the mail: MINE! A Practical Guide to Resource Guarding in Dogs

    http://www.amazon.com/Mine-Practical-Guide-Resource-Guarding/dp/0970562942
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    “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
  • NikkitineNikkitine
    Posts: 776
    My 7.5m/o, Tali, has also already been exhibiting signs of resource guarding with mainly treats she's never had. Since she gets a bully stick everyday, she doesn't value those very much and just leaves them lying around the house for me to pick up. If I give her something new however, she'll get anxious when one of my other dogs walks by so I need to give it to her inside her pen/crate. She's already attacked one once so we cannot take anymore chances. She hasn't started guarding territory yet but I suspect that will probably rear its ugly head as she matures more.

    What can be a little concerning is that she doesn't give very much for warning before she attacks. Doesn't growl, snarl, or raises a lip. The only warning signals she does give are whale eyes and a stiff posture. Her patience is extremely thin and it doesn't take much before she attempts to take a bite out of another dog. I've since stopped taking her to dog parks as well after she got possessive over a communal ball and attacked a dog running too close to her. It really is too risky and unfair for the other owners/dogs =/

    We most likely will not be able to 100% condition her out of resource guarding but the daily proximity training has been helping a lot, at least with our household dogs.
    image
  • AntoinetteAntoinette
    Posts: 885
    After his neuter Quake started to exhibit some resource guarding of the area in my bedroom where I give him treats. The resource guarding is directed at me since there are no other dogs in the house. I have tried giving him treats in the kitchen and he takes the treat and goes to the bedroom, whines, tries to hide the treat and then finally eats it. If I happen to walk into the bedroom right after and go past the area where his treat has been he'll try to nip at the tops of my feet. He now knows that is a HUGE NO-NO!!! So he redirects all by himself and grabs a toy to put in his mouth instead of going for my feet. I verbally praise him for this. I have had to give him a time out when he forgets and goes for my feet. Lately what works is for me to give him the treat in the bedroom and then sit down close by and watch him eat the treat and praise him while he is eating the treat. Then if I stand up to walk toward the area where he had laid the treat I tell him "be nice to Mum" and "what a good boy" when I see him grab a toy instead of going for my feet.

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