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Shiba agressive behaviour
  • TaaarsTaaars
    Posts: 65
    Hi all, its been a while since I been in here, Noche has done very well since the FHO surgery, his pratically 100% (still favors the non opp leg when standing sometimes, but its just for a few moments). Aside from that we have discovered a very bad behaviour in Noche, he has become VERY aggresive when I give him CET chews (rawhide base chews). When he eats them he growls at us and even trys to bite, even after he finishes he protects the area he ate the chew for a while, and he even trys to bite us if we go near him. After about 30 mins or so he calms down then is back to normal. We have decided to keep chew food away from him, since this seem to be the only activating agent, he is not like this with toys, food, or even dog bisquits, only long lasting chew treats. We are hoping this will not migrate to other things, has anyone else experienced this?

    [mod edit: re-categorized due to addition of new category]
    Post edited by sunyata at 2013-06-06 15:40:19
  • This is called resource guarding. A good book on this is "Mine!" by Jean Donaldson.

    My sister's dog has exactly the same behavior. She has implemented several things to virtually eliminate this:
    - NO rawhides, greenies or anything he can;t eat quickly. duration does seem to be a problem. Her dog becomes very stressed when he has something that valuable for that long, and she says he appears relieved when she removes anything he accidentally comes in contact with that could be guarded (like an old bone or something in a yard or in the park)
    - She has desensitized him - taught him that when she comes near when he has anything, it is only to drop him a piece of cheese, nothing more. She needed to be able to take things from him, such as dead birds etc. Do this when he has anything valuable, dinner, etc. TRADE - always offer him something better, Here have this cheese, over here, I'll get that rotten bone (whatever) out of your way.
    - Chewing is a team sport. She will hold a chewy (not rawhide though) and he can chew it while she holds it. she does not relinquish the thing to him.
    - She can now give him stuffed Kongs, but she never gives him rawhides even today. She knows it causes him too much stress to even be in possession of them.
    - Cody will sometimes still guard things in a new environment, such as at my house- he has snapped at my dogs going near the big box containing his food, and he has occaisionally defended tasty spots on the floor where something spilled in the past.
    - Prevent whenever possible, and teach what you can over time. It is not the end of the world to not be able to give rawhides (you may need another tooth cleaning method though) and in fact Noche may feel relieved to not have to worry about it anymore.:)
  • Great advise Chrystal!
  • ljowen123ljowen123
    Posts: 3105
    Excellent points, Chrystal!

    Jazz had a thing about pig snouts, rawhides, elk antlers - anything that was an unusual or special treat. The only person that she'd let come near her was me. We started off with me holding the treat and letting her eat it and graduated to one of the kids holding the treat and her eating it. We no longer give rawhides, but it has more to do with how nasty they get when she is chewing and slobbering all over them and then I step on one.
    LJ - owned by Queen Jazz, a Shiba Inu, Atlanta, GA
    CSC_0144
  • TaaarsTaaars
    Posts: 65
    Thanks for the help, its just Luna and sol never been this way towards anyone, so noches behavior was surprising. We will keep long lasting chews away. And you are right, he did seem very uneasy while eating the chews, he tore them up as if someone was going to take it away, and after he was done he just guarded the area he ate at and remained "upset".(but now that you mention it, stress is probably what he was experiencing )
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4784
    I had some visiting Shibas a while back who were used to their own space, so whenever my dogs benignly came up to one of them in the crate, the visiting girl would snark, and she would definatly do this while any type of food was present. I went, "Uh oh, you lost your toy" and put it away. I then handed her pieces of the food or toy while the other dogs were standing right there. If she growled, she lost her treat. I did do some "mine" games with her, too. I gave her a toy, then would exchange it for another in it's place-so she came to see that nothing bad would happen with sharing. It seemed to work for her.

    I remember that when I first brought Ike home, he used to be SUPER tense while eating, you could see all his muscles stand out and he would stand on tip toes horking down huge bites of food while staring at my girl. I hand fed him for a while and had to be very patient and do a lot of rewards for being calm. I completely removed the food bowl from the equation and that seemed to help with him feeling so tense about it, and eventually was able to reintroduce it by dropping small amounts of food in it at a time and taking that away if he became tense. The longer he was able to be calm, the more reward he got. Hope that helps a little.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
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  • AntoinetteAntoinette
    Posts: 884
    Quake has started to resource guard since his neuter. It involves treats that he cannot eat in one bite. for about a month I had been giving him a treat that takes maybe two bites to eat every morning right before I leave for work so he associates my leaving with something positive. He does not show separation anxiety but I just wanted him to have a treat right before I walk out the door. He eats the treat and then guards the area around where he ate the treat which is in the entryway. For the first time, yesterday he barked at me and nipped at my ankles right before I walked out the door. I ignored the behavior and just told him goodbye and left. This morning I had left the bedroom door open and he took the treat in there to eat and then came back out to bark at me at the door before I left. This is really annoying. I will read the book "Mine" that was suggested to me previously. I do not want his resource guarding to escalate. I am getting to the point of just limiting his treats to ones I hand feed him and he can eat in one bite. He is very good about letting me touch him while he is eating his kibble and I hand feed him treats without a problem.
  • AntoinetteAntoinette
    Posts: 884
    I wanted to add that I now understand that the behavior Quake is showing is not aggressive behavior but is fear based. I posted on this thread because it sounded like the original poster's dog Noche was resource guarding with treats that took more than a bite to eat just as Quake is doing and he was guarding the area around where he ate the treat even after having finished eating the treat. Also, I wanted to add that there are no other pets or humans in our household. It is only Quake and me.
  • So, we are still having major food guarding problems with Romeo.

    This past weekend, my sister in law came to visit. She dropped her suitcase in the living room and for some reason, Romeo was guarding it like a crazy dog. I tried distracting him from it, doing a play session to tire him out, it didn't work. He had also been guarding the pantry where he knows his food is kept. (We have since moved it to another spot, which is getting annoying to keep moving his food.)

    I figured it was time to take him outside and away from the problem, so my sister in law could move her bag without him biting her. Well, I reached to put my cardigan on, Romeo grabbed the cardigan and pulled, then when I pulled it away, he latched onto my leg and gave me a nice bite and subsequent bruise.

    His resource guarding is so bad sometimes that we can't be around him, or take him away from the situation, or even reach for his food (in which we have been always making him do tricks before receiving) without getting bitten.

    I'm not quite sure what to do! Help!
    Owner at Foxtrot Creative Studio. Dog mom to Romeo.
  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    How old is Romeo now, and when did the behavior start?
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  • Romeo is 8 months old. This behavior started fairly early, around maybe 4 or 5 months. All of the sudden he started guarding his food bin. We moved that to the basement, now he guards the pantry. We try to lure him away with treats or toys, and while it works sometimes, he normally goes back to his aloof guarding behavior. It's almost impossible to put him in any sort of time out when he is exhibiting this behavior without getting bitten.
    Owner at Foxtrot Creative Studio. Dog mom to Romeo.
  • AntoinetteAntoinette
    Posts: 884
    @madisonmonster-Quake tried to guard his very large food bin one time and I told him "Leave it" and I walked away and did not feel him at thaat time. I waited around ten minutes and when we were in another room told him "Mom's going to feed you and told him to sit and stay when we got to the door of the kitchen and gave him a treat. I went to the food bin while telling him in a cheery and calm voice "Mom's going to feed the adorable Quakey boy". I had to do all of the above two more times and now all is fine and he doesn't guard his food bin.
  • The problem with that is....he refuses to leave the area being guarded, once he is guarded. And the only way I can get him away from the area is to offer him a treat, if I am able to get to a treat, as he mostly now guards the pantry. I always keep a cheery and calm voice, but without being able to lure him into another room, he would just sit and guard in front of the pantry door all night.

    We have an open floor plan in our fairly small house, but we were thinking of keep him cordoned off in the living room using some sort of baby gate. I don't know, however, if it would drive him completely insane though, but it doesn't seem that we have too many options left, being that almost every time he gets near the pantry, when we are not giving him our full attention, he guards it... any other suggestions?
    Owner at Foxtrot Creative Studio. Dog mom to Romeo.
  • AntoinetteAntoinette
    Posts: 884
    @madisonmonster-Quake's resource guarding has not escalated however, I do avoid giving him treats that he cannot finish off in one bite. Also, when he has tried to guard his toys because I'm walking into the room I tell him "Argh Argh" amd then I walk away and ignore him for about five minutes. I think maybe seeing a behaviorist might be the thing for you to do with Romeo.
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8362
    @madisonmonster - If you are unable to work on this behaviour without the fear of being bitten, it is time to call in a professional behaviourist, one that uses positive reinforcement techniques and understands extreme resource guarding.

    In the meantime, I would not feed him (or even get food out) without putting him in his crate first (if he is crate trained, if not you will need to use baby gates/ex-pens to keep him from getting to the area with food). Make sure you keep meal times positive and do not use force to put him in his crate/ex-pen. Reward the good behaviour and ignore/re-direct the bad behaviour.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
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    Post edited by sunyata at 2014-08-05 13:52:29
  • jennjenn
    Posts: 856
    Yeah, definitely time to call a behaviorist. Since you've already been bitten once, you definitely don't want to allow this behavior to escalate and have someone else in your home (a visitor, say) bitten in the process.

    In the meantime, like @sunyata suggested, crating during feeding times so no one gets hurt. Also, as far as regular training, working on impulse control and nothing in life is free (making him work for his rewards and privileges) may be helpful. Good luck and keep us updated!
    Jenn, Shiba Slave to Rigby / http://hellorigby.com
  • omgtainomgtain
    Posts: 68
    Have a leash on him at ALL TIMES. This way if he is guarding something potentially dangerous or something you need, you can lead him away from it without fear of being bitten.
    When leading him away, reward heavily for walking with you without resistance or complaint. For example if he was guarding something apply a little bit of pressure to the leash and if he steps in your direction reward him with chicken / cheese (be sure to toss it).
    image
  • Thanks everyone. I e-mailed a local behaviorist today, and if they don't get bak to me by tomorrow I will call.

    We tried baby gating him in the living room, to avoid guarding of the pantry. That sure didn't seem to work, because I just approached with a happy voice and he gave me a "stay away from me bark" ..so we will see what the behaviorist says.
    Owner at Foxtrot Creative Studio. Dog mom to Romeo.
  • omgtainomgtain
    Posts: 68
    Have you ever punished him? Are you misinterpreting his barks? Could you possibly get a video ?

    What area do you live (maybe someone local will know someone who might be of help
    image
  • We love in Ft. Myers Fl. Yes we tell him NO and redirect him.
  • I have a leash on him at all times.
  • Hi all, I'm not really sure where to put my issue, since it is the first that it has happened but this thread seemed to be right.

    Hiro has not shown any resource gaurding issues. He eats fine, he doesn't growl or bark if I get near. It doesn't matter if it's a small, quick to eat treat or something that takes time to work on. Today I gave him a treat and my 2 cats their treats as well. I do this often and never had any issues. One cat gets a treat up high because he really dislikes Hiro still. The other gets a treat wherever he is because he tolerates Hiro.

    I gave Hiro his treat first. Then my cat up on the counter and lastly my cat on the floor about 6 feet from Hiro. Hiro had by then finished his treat and decided that the cat on the floor's treat was his and aggressively ran toward him and started biting him and growling to get him away. It happened very fast and I tried to grab him away but my cat just ran away and Hiro vacuumed up the treats. It was a very scary moment because Hiro has never shown these behaviors before.Other than not liking strange dogs at the dog park and showing his teeth a bit, he has never aggressively bit another dog or cat. He is almost 5 months old now.

    Hiro is my first dog, and he has been wonderful and fairly easy to train and handle. This really worries me because I was planning to get another dog in a year or 2 but I want to curve this behavior now before I continue to consider another dog.
  • NikkitineNikkitine
    Posts: 776
    I'd work on treating both of your cats up on high ground from now on to avoid any other problems. Dogs are natural resource guarders and Shibas deem everything as theirs. I'd work on managing and preventing situations like this moving forward. I don't have cats so I don't know how pecking order works out, but treating Hiro first before your cats could possibly have something to do with it as well. If he's getting everything before them, then he's the boss. Give your cats their treats first up top and have Hiro patiently wait for his turn. Do this consistently so he understands that although he has to wait, he will eventually get his turn.

    As for getting another dog, focus on Hiro first and foremost before planning or looking. Personalities and traits can change drastically the first couple of years until he becomes a full adult. If Hiro is already showing signs of dog intolerance now at the dog park, that will likely get worse as time goes on. Even though he's never "bit" a dog or cat, baring teeth when he's uncomfortable is already a sign of aggression. I'd remove him from the dog park for now until he's more well socialized with strange dogs. Baring teeth now will be a snap later on, then potentially a bite. Take him to a socialization class where it's a more controlled environment and get him slowly used to meeting new dogs. It'll only take one dog at the park that doesn't know doggy boundaries for an insecure dog to snap and a fight to break out.
    image
  • @Nikkitine he's in puppy classes now and really loves it but he has shown his teeth once when a Great Dane puppy kept walking over him. I'll probably have to talk to the instructor next class.

    But I did try giving the cats their treats up high first like you said. Hiro barked at themail but it didn't sound or look aggressive like earlier today. It was more like a "Hey, those are mine!" kind of barking. I gave him his treat only after he stopped barking and sat nicely. So fingers crossed, we'll curve this behavior!
  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    I would say that you need to focus on impulse control training. Work on the leave it commands, as you can also use that same command to have him leave your cats alone. I would also work release as well, my dog is trained to not eat until I release her or eat treats dropped on the floor before I release as well.

    These two may help with building up his impulse control, "release" and "leave it" were and still are one of our most frequently used commands because I also have two cats and was concerned about resource guarding. I feed both my cats treats on the floor and Kira never has taken them.
    Cynthia, Proudly owned by Kira
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  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1241
    I wouldn't worry about showing his teeth at the Great Dane, sounds healthy to me that he doesn't want to get hurt by a big clumsy pup. I think he'll snap only if the other pup won't listen to him.
    And you can help him too and remove him from the other puppy if he is not comfortable with the situation. Just make sure you just don't grab him since he will be a bit aggravated and might turn around and snap at whatever is touching him. Call out his name or clap your hands or something instead to get his attention and then redirect.

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