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Aggressive Shiba?
  • fsrbikr98fsrbikr98
    Posts: 28
    Hello all, i'm having a little issue with my dog i need to ask the community about.

    The first incident i had was about one month ago. He had one of those white bones filled with peanut butter, i put it on the coffee table in the den. Well he stood up and grabbed it, and started munching on it on the floor. It was later at night and i wanted him to sleep in the crate so as i took the bone away, he growled and kind of snapped at me. He then jumped on the couch where my mom was, and curled up. I tried to coax him off the couch with treats, but he wasn't having it. So i gently started to nudge him, and again he growled and snapped at me. I left him alone for a few minutes, and he eventually went in his cage.

    Next incident, two days ago. I come home from work around 1230am, and when i get home, i always let him out. Well he absolutely refused to go out, and instead, fell over on the floor, in his usual sleeping position, and refused to move. I again tried to coax him with treats, but he wasn't going for it. Again i tried to gently nudge him to stand up, and again he growled and snapped at me.

    Today, my mother was with him, and fed him dinner. Well he must have ate something outside that didn't agree with him, and he puked. Ok no biggie, but when my mother went to clean it, he refused to move away from it, and snapped at her.

    I'm becoming a little concerned about this behavior, i do not want an aggressive dog, but i also do not want to smack him or anything like that. I've done everything with treats, no alpha rolls or anything like that.

    Can anyone give me some advice before i have a little monster on my hands?

    [mod edit: re-categorized due to addition of new category]
    Post edited by sunyata at 2013-06-06 15:28:18
  • I find it difficult to deal with dogs who are aggressive in their guarding of resources, like this (and though I totally understand, because my male Shiba has done it, there is something pretty funny about calling vomit a resource to be guarded, but that's what they think!) That said, what will not work is the alpha roll or smacking him, so good for you for knowing that.

    Lots of people will have good advice, I'm sure, because there are really knowledgeable people on this forum. What I would suggest is that you continue with your positive training, and practice exchanges....ie. he has something that isn't high value for him (something he likes and might guard, but is not as exciting, as say, a bone with peanut butter) and find something he likes even better (cheese, chicken, whateverhe really likes) and ask him to "leave it" or whatever command you choose, and give him the better treat instead. The idea is he realizes that he gets better stuff from you than whatever it is he's guarding...

    I'm getting this idea from positive trainers like Pat Miller, etc;, so these might be trainers you want to look at if you haven't already.

    Also, how old is he? Toby, my male, was a monster for a couple of years. Sometimes I could distract him with better treats, sometimes I marked his bad behavior by a "unh,unh,unh" sound that then was followed by no treat and ignoring him. A few times I realized I wasn't going to win and let it go (and I'm not saying this is a success, just saying that sometimes the battle wasn't worth it for me). But the fact is, even though I am not the best trainer at all, and didn't do everything right, right now I have a 6 year old former holy terror who is sweet, responsive, and willing to please. Some of his bad behavior I simply waited out. So though you're sure to get plenty of really good advice about training--much better than I could give--I'd like to throw in there that just because he's a pain now doesn't mean he's always going to be this way....and he may even grow out of some his bad behavior. (not to suggest you shouldn't work with him and try to train it out of him, but just a point of encouragement that made me feel better years ago when I was dealing with the adolescent hellhound I had :lol:)

    eta: Oh, I will say I wasn't that patient with him being aggressive towards me. I am against alpha rolls, etc. too, and never did that, but I did sometimes do a very stern voiced "unh, unh, unh" while leaning over him, and would then make him get off the sofa, or make him go outside, and then ignore him. I know this isn't all positive training, which I'm in favor of too, so I'd love to hear how all positive trainers handle this kind of thing. But I did want to add that this is what I did with him, and eventually, he stopped any signs of aggression toward me.
    Post edited by shibamistress at 2010-04-07 05:09:03
  • sjp051993sjp051993
    Posts: 249
    I would look into some training classes that use positive reinforcement. Getting some basic commands instilled in your dog will greatly help. You will want to address this asap as the longer this is allowed to continue, the harder it is to break the dog of these habits.
  • McYogiMcYogi
    Posts: 518
    Try practicing the things you'd like him to do (like getting off the couch, leaving things alone) when it's not important for him to actually do it. Try training in little amounts throughout the day and make it fun and exciting to go back and forth from couch to floor, or giving you things you ask for. Then, when it's actually time to go to bed or leave the dangerous item alone, he will already understand the concept and associate it with good things like treats and praise.
    image

  • Hi John,
    He's still a puppy but I wouldn't back down when he shows aggression towards you. It is good to ask Ellen about this behavior because you would want to catch it early. From the very start we would get down by mojo as he ate and put our face right in his dish. He never growled. My husband and son and daughter take his bones and treats away and he doesnt growl either. I guess he trusts that they will give it right back, which they do. Maybe some members would say this isn't a right thing to do because dogs by nature do not like anyone messing with their food or chew toys or treats BUT, we've always had dogs and my husband always put them to the test like this. Luckily MoJo passed the test, but many dogs (although not aggressive normally) would not pass the test. You aren't alone. Just don't let him think you are afraid. You are the boss. He could be testing you..they are that smart! I guess I'll see you Saturday at the training class :)
  • If the dog is corrective snapping I would not put your face anywhere near his bowl or toys because you will likely get hurt. Resource guarding stems from insecurity and fear. Since your dog is still quite young and you have not alpha rolled him or hit him (so it is likely nothing you have directly done to make him so) he may just be naturally more fearful, or could have developed these insecurities as a wee pup still at the breeders if he was from a large littler. Regardless, the issue needs to be addressed. Having him in obedience class is a good start. You may also want to start hand feeding him so he equates that you are the source of all things good, and in no way a threat. As far as the snarky behavior on the couch, if he is a guarding a person, that person should get up and walk away (giving him no reaction). May also want to start practicing (religiously)"the nothing in life is for free" philosophy. If he wants on the couch he needs to do something like a sit or a down. When it is time to eat or go out he needs to go into a sit or a down. And when you are playing with toys start practicing "drop it" and "leave it" by enticing him with an even more desirable toy.

    Shibamistress already mentioned Pat Miller, you may also want to explore Patricia McConnell, and Jean Donaldson both have written some great stuff on resource guarding. Also Victoria Stillwell has addressed resource guarding a number of times on her program "It's Me or The Dog" a perfect substitute for that other dog show that shall not be named. She is a positive reinforcement non abuse method trainer and very good at teaching people how to follow the methods. I bet if you go to the website you can find a number of episodes on the topic.
  • I actually went to Victoria Stillwell's website and bookmarked the page. Thanks Jessica for suggesting it. You can never learn enough about your shiba.
  • fsrbikr98fsrbikr98
    Posts: 28
    Thanks all for the feedback.

    Since day one I have made sure to always put my hand in his food bowl, grab his feet, tail etc. I usually remove the bowl every so often and he never does anything about it. I find it happens when he is super tired it seems to trigger it.

    Now my next problem is he is freaking punking every morning for the last 4 days.

    It never ends!
  • snowdogsnowdog
    Posts: 18
    Our Shiba did this a month ago, she was 3 months old. Most people on this board rejected the advice I was getting from our trainer, namely to stand firm, hook the fingers of each hand under her color while she faces you, and gently pull up, in essence forcing her but on the floor while firmly saying no. If the Shiba snaps or wails while doing this, we then picked her up, her face pointing away from us, and holding her in the left arm while with the right hand holding her scruff firmly and saying "enough!".

    Well let me tell you this worked. I can take anything from her, and she never growls. No hitting, not tapping the nose, and no loud yelling. But physically dominating the dog in a non violent way has worked. Flipping her on her back often, holding her firmly if she struggles, and speaking with a firm voice while rubbing the belly. Stuff like this shows the Shiba that they can not run the house and dominate you physically.

    A lot of folks rejected this approach on this board. I went not only with my trainer's advice, but after getting the criticism of this approach here, I went to my breeder, who is a champion breeder. My dog has champion lineage going far back. I trusted my breeder's advice because she knows the line intimately. I suppose if this dog is a stray, a rescue, or from a pet shop, there is more of a doubt about the dog's temperament. But I was told with no uncertain terms that this methodology has worked for my puppy and her lineage and that as long as I was consistent, firm but gentile, and then very positive on all other good behavior, that the growling and snapping would stop and it has. I should also add that I have had a few "shouting" matches with the puppy at that time too, but not really shouting. She would bark and I would look back and say "NO!", and over and over, until her barks got quieter and she backed down. That was the end of that.
  • That's fine if you trust your breeder, Snowdog. I guess you have a dog that will tolerate that. I would absolutely not recommend this kind of behavior, and neither do most serious trainers. I can tell you that if tried that with my male shiba he would have bit the hell out me. In fact, when he was very very young and I tried to roll him over so I could get a head collar on him (at the recommendation of a trainer I should have never listened to) he bit me hard, very near my eye, and drew blood, which was the point that I realized all that domination/alpha roll stuff was total bullshit and would not work with my dog. My dog has champion lines too...in fact, his dam and sire have produced quite a few dogs that made it to westminster, and his father is the top champion producing sire in the US. And none of this has anything to do with temperament anyway, and even good breeders may not be good trainers. So talking about how many champions the breeder has produced has nothing to do with how good a trainer they are.

    Why should I fight my dog for every single thing I wanted him to do? I don't want to have that kind of relationship with my dog. You say that flipping her on her back is not violent. Yes it is. It can totally ruin a soft dog, and for a hard or aggressive dog, it makes the problem worse, not better. I've seen that with my male shiba and my old (and soft) GSD. I don't even understand why anyone try a "shouting match" with their dog...that doesn't even make sense in terms of what dogs understand....yelling "no" over and over isn't going to do anything but teach a dog to ignore you.

    There are much better ways to train a dog that relying on outdated and unnecessarily aggressive training modes that require the so called alpha rolls or other aversive training methods. Anyone who wants to flip my male shiba on his back, even now, can go for it, but it is certainly not nonviolent and I guarantee he will bite someone who tries it. He will willingly roll over for me, because he trusts me, and because I never forced him to do that (except for that first couple of times when I stupidly believed someone who told me to do that. And he didn't trust me for nearly a year after that).

    You choose the kind of relationship you want with your dog. Do you want a dog to behave out of fear? Do you want the dog to continue to fight you and only obey because you physically overpower it? Or do you want your dog to do you what you want because your dog is happy to please you and understands that everything it does comes with a reward for it (whether that be food, a toy, attention,etc?) I know that in the early months Shibas can be a pain in the ass, but if you work with them consistently, and use positive training methods (which I think are the only ways you can get most Shibas to even pay attention) you'll get results. And you'll have a dog that is happy to please, and trusts you. And I do think it is worth knowing that it does get better when the little monsters start calming as they get older.

    Even if I could have forced my very dominant boy to submit with all that alpha roll bs, I would not have done it....because it would have destroyed the trust we have between us now. A confident, dominant dog doesn't need to force other dogs to do what he wants--instead, the other dogs do it because s/he is obviously a benevolent leader. It's the same with people/dog interactions. Now my pup who seemed overly aggressive is a very confident boy who knows he's something, but who also loves me, and does what I ask...because he wants to, and because he doesn't have to fight with me about who is charge...he knows it's me because I never have to engage him in struggles for power, but I control all the resources (food, attention, etc) calmly and without any aggression or dominance. I wouldn't trade our relationship for anything, and I'm so glad I finally learned about positive training.
  • There certainly are still people who will advocate antiquated force methods, despite the fact that modern science has proven time and time again that the theories that originated them (the whole "alpha/dom/sub" thing) is in fact incorrect. Interestingly I just read an article in, I think it was Psychology Today about how the scientist who coined the phrase "Alpha" regretted ever publishing that article.

    Shibamistress put it all very eloquently. But I would just like to add a few of my own thoughts; breeders and trainers are not behaviorists. And quite frankly if they are still training with physical corrections and aversive methods they are behind by about 20 years. Their are still parents that spank their children and use physical punishment on kids despite the fact that doctors have proven the long term damage that it can cause as well. Doesn't make it okay.

    I started working in shelters at the age of 16. I am 35 now. I have seen what aversive methods can do (in fact I have the scars from the stitches to prove it). I have watched those methods make good dogs fearful and insecure, aggressive dogs lunatics, and fearful dogs terrors. And I have seen positive reinforcement transform even some of the scariest dogs into calm secure happy animals. AGGRESSION IS FEAR. If you react to aggression with physical force you are reinforcing the fact that they should be afraid (any good behaviorist will tell you this). If you teach an animal that they are safe with you, that you are the source of good things, and that positive things happen when you are with them, then they learn to not only stop fearing you and their environment, but they they can TRUST you to keep them safe.

    Sounds like common sense doesn't it.

    Just because someone has been doing something for a long time doesn't mean it is right. Read the books. Read the studies. Study the science behind it. And if after all that you still want buy into it, than the choice is yours.
  • StaticNfuzzStaticNfuzz
    Posts: 1814
    fsrbikr98

    I have seen far too many dogs inappropriately handled and the resulting consequences as cast offs.
    Alpha rolling for possession issues does not solve anything. The possession and rude behavior associated with it is a bit complex and requires some alternative methods since there can be quirks in each case. Seek a certified behaviorist or someone from http://www.trulydogfriendly.com/blog/?page_id=4

    One has to remember force begets force in many. If one has to yell or have a screaming face off then the old force methodology is obviously inappropriate. Dogs can hear just fine and advocating heated altercations and power struggles in a manner described above are counter productive particularly taken as advice from a mere list as no one here has neither met nor evaluated the behaviors first hand in your dog as described in the initial post above. The first rule of training is DO NO HARM. Harm can be emotional as well as physical. You want to be safe and you want the animal be safe as well. It sounds like some better defined techniques and a little different structure could be useful to you provided though a humane way of training.

    Take all advise as you will, but I would seek counsel from a qualified individual that has years of training and fully understands the multiple philosophies intimately and the resulting consequences with use of each application, rather than jumping on a fully punitive method bandwagon in this case. Begin with a conservative approach with safety in mind for all parties.

    PS: As mentioned never put your face in and next to a dog who has possession issues in an attempt to reduce the problem, you will make matters worse. What may be best is seeking a balanced approach that gets the dog to refocus and gives you more skill set in manipulating the situation to defuse rather and escalate the situations where problems flair.

    Good Luck
    Snf
    Post edited by StaticNfuzz at 2010-04-10 14:10:22
  • McYogiMcYogi
    Posts: 518
    I'd like to just double and triple the sentiment that to get the most accurate advice, a personal consultation is probably the safest choice. No one can realistically evaluate your dog's behavior online.

    fsrbikr98, did you mean puking, like vomiting? What kind of vomit? RIght after he eats, bile, grass or sticks, bits of toys? Does he want to eat it right away?

    It's not always a huge concern if a dog throws up right after it eats, but if he's doing it every day for several days in a row I would consider calling your vet and asking them if they know what could be causing it. I've got one dog that throws up when he's too hungry or drank water too quickly, and I've got another that burps several times after each meal, and sometimes he'll throw up a mouthfull. Usually he doesn't even spit it out but just munches it back down. We barely blink an eye when they throw up in these circumstances, but we would be concerned if it was different than the normal.


    Keep us updated on pup's behavior, let us know which path you choose!
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  • snowdogsnowdog
    Posts: 18
    Wow, sure as ever people didn't seem to read what I wrote and are jumping back to their own stereotypes of aggressive and violent dog training. That's fine, but it seems like defensiveness and judgmental, exactly as I warned the original poster.

    I see a correlation between breeder skill and the results of champions. Champions have to behave in the ring, so it is correlated, although sure, it's not the only factor.

    To repeat, because people fail to read what I wrote. I am not advocating violent or antiquated training techniques. There is no hitting, not even tapping of a nose. What we're talking about here, even in the case of rolling on the back, is predictable for the dog. There are no sudden movements, it's as honest as this breed is. Holding the scruff (pointed away from the face), holding the dog on the back, engaging in one single vocal standoff. None of these are antiquated techniques, because lo and behold, they have worked for my dog. And in case anyone failed to notice, which they did, I have mixed this type of training with tons of positive training. I'd say that what I've described accounts for 5% of our training of this dog, at those times when it was most called for.

    I have a female puppy, it could be different with a mail. And it could be different with a different line of Shiba. I will tell you what we have after 1+ months of this technique is a very well behaved 4 and half month old Shiba puppy.

    So by all means feel free to advocate another technique, and even to say that the technique that I described isn't right for all lines or dogs, which I have already conceded. But I will not stand by without a retort while you paint me as some kind of antiquated dog beater. I really don't appreciate it. I will close with this observation. Many of you here go on and on about how the technique I described is inappropriate, and then in the next paragraph say that only an expert could know how to handle a given dog. So yeah, if you don't advocate taking advice from a list, then why are so many people giving advice to begin with? That's a rhetorical question.
    Post edited by snowdog at 2010-04-10 19:31:24
  • Actually Snowdog the only defensiveness seems to be coming from you. I can only speak for myself here, but I read your post twice before I replied. So please don't assume that because I don't agree with you I must not have read what you have written.

    A quality breeder is going to breed dogs with sound temperaments, so ideally they are probably not going to have much experience with aggressive dogs. Furthermore a dog that showed aggression would likely be culled from their breeding program and most certainly the breeder would not attempt to show them. So behavioral training experience and champion dogs is like comparing a box of spaghetti and an Italian restaurant.

    As far as the techniques you mention, "Holding the scruff (pointed away from the face), holding the dog on the back, engaging in one single vocal standoff."
    These are precisely what I was talking about with regard to antiquated, and aversive (if you read my post again you will not I used the word AVERSIVE not ABUSIVE very big difference). Putting a dog on his back even gently is in no way showing a dog it can trust you and therefore doesn't need to defend itself. Even trainers who use aversive methods would likely also tell you that shouting back at a dog is essentially showing a dog that loud disruptive behavior is a chosen means of communication.

    As I already mentioned the only defensiveness I am sensing is coming from you. No one on this forum has so much as implied that you are a dog beater. In fact no one in this thread has talked about you at all. We have been discussing philosophies and the science supporting different philosophies.

    Remember many of the people advocating positive reinforcement have many years in behavioral experience and research. We all have the common goal (hopefully) of wanting what is best for our canine companions. It is important to remember this isn't about us (the humans).
  • I am reading all these comments with mixed ideas. When MoJo was about 4- 5 months old he started humping ALOT. He was also very mouthy. It seemed like he was trying to establish that he was the boss. That stuff doesn't fly! I spoke to my vet, and my vet and a book I bought on Shibas recommended putting the dog on his back when he was doing something offensive and sternly saying NO!!!!!! We all took that advice and it worked with MoJo. It didn't leave him afraid or timid or aggressive or disliking us. In fact it actually worked very well with him. We only had to do it maybe 10 times over a course of a month and it seemed to teach him we were the boss. We were stern and he seemed to respect that. He soon learned WE were the boss. We don't believe in scaring a dog or bullying the poor thing with intimidation or any other form of that behavior which is abusive. I actually agree with all the positive reinforcement training we are doing now with MoJo and continue to praise and reward, but I gotta say that putting him on his back and telling him "NO" really worked back then. And, maybe people will disagree with me, but an occasional spank on the butt of a misbehaving child instead of the popular "time out" stuff always worked in raising my kids. I am not a big fan of these "new" ways of raising children. Children must have respect for their parents and so should a dog respect their owners. And that's just my humble opinion only.
  • McYogiMcYogi
    Posts: 518
    I think it's important to note that some dogs may not develop their ultimate personality until they mature well into their adulthood. One may have a 5-year old rescue that was fearful their whole life and learns to trust, or it may be a 5-year old well-behaved dog that learns to bite. It's hard to predict which actions now will affect your dog in the future.
    image

  • fsrbikr98fsrbikr98
    Posts: 28
    just an update, i spoke to the trainer today, and she recommended what someone stated above, and that as to work commands when he is awake and alert, rather then at 1am. She said that some dogs can get a little annoyed when they are quickly woken out of REM sleep, which i suspect is Kenji's case.

    As for the puke, its because my PITA loves to eat cat poop in the backyard. Monday starts my yard make over, i'm going to eliminate the source of the cat feces and reinforce an area of my yard he's about to escape through.
  • fsrbikr98fsrbikr98
    Posts: 28
    oh and she also recommended changing the times he goes out. Usually at about 830-9ish he is let out, then i let him out at 1230 when i come home. The trainer thinks that he should be let out 8 hours in between, not 3.5-4. Without the need to go to the bathroom, it makes it more difficult to get him to listen.
  • Diane, with regard to human children (the next sentence is proof I am getting old) the problem with kids today is that their parents are not parenting at all. It is actually similar to what I see with spoiled dogs,
    "now honey if you are good you will get ice cream" Then you see the kid being a nightmare. "honey keep that up no ice cream" The kid continues to be an ass. Hour later walk by the ice cream place there is a kid with his ice cream cone. He called moms bluff.

    Dog owners do the same thing. They will reward the bad behavior. Not acknowledge the good behavior. And as if the dog were not confused enough then punish the pup for things that are physiological or that happened hours ago.

    I came from a very strict house. German mom, stern conservative father. They tolerated not a second of bullshit. However they always communicated clearly what they expected of me and they followed through with threats. Never in my entire life was a hand or a voice raised to me. My parents always told me that hitting and shouting was a sign of weakness and a lack of control (kind of like animals that attack are either scared, old, or sick/injured). If my mom threatened to take us right home if we did something one more time and we did that thing, guess what happened? We went home.

    Parents now seem much more concerned with being a friend than being a parent. Which is stupid. Kids have friends. They need parents.

    Dog owners need to learn that we do not own these creatures. We are their guardians. We are here to teach them what we want them to do. We do that by rewarding them when we receive the desired behavior (keep in mind we have a language barrier especially with puppies), telling them when they are doing something we don't want with an "eht eht" and then SHOWING them what we do want. And when something is extreme, aggressive behavioral issues, we bring in someone who wants to help guide our companion and understands how important it is to continue to nurture our relationship.

    I meant to keep writing about kids and not dogs. But honestly, I don't like kids. My life is dogs, I keep coming back to dogs. :P
  • Jessica...you are one smart lady! LOL@ "I don't like kids" Trust me...if I knew then what I know now...I would have raised goldfish. Nah, kidding... I love kids and I love animals. In fact I love animals MORE THAN PEOPLE on most days. I admit, I parent like your parents did. I always meant what I said, and said what I meant. I have always been fair with my kids, but remained their parent AND friend (somehow). With dogs, we are also strict. But lovingly strict. Our animals always seem to respect us as their guardians...somewhere I guess we are OK in the doggie owner and parent department, lol.
    Oh, and by the way, everything you said above is sooo true! About the kids of today and dogs.
  • AntoinetteAntoinette
    Posts: 884
    My dog Quake has started showing resource guarding but just as to one treat-a Get Naked dental chew that he gets once a week. Other times I have given it to him while I am in the same room getting ready for work and he has come up to me after he hides the treat and growled at me even though I'm just sitting there minding my own business. I have stood up and told him "ARGH" and let him know he should not grow at Mom. This time I gave it to him on Sunday and the left the room and went into the living room. I could hear him whining which is what he does when he's trying to find a hiding place for his treat. Then he actually went into the living room and started barking and growling at me!!! I told him "ARGH" and let him know I did not like him doing that. Then I went into my office and started using the computer. He came and was sweet and I petted him. He layed by me and started to dose off for about thirty minutes. When I was finished with my computer work I walked into the living room and he barked and growled at me because I think he thought I was heading to the bedroom where he had hidden the treat. I am wondering if I should just give him the treat and then leave to go to work so he doesn't fear that the treat will be taken away from him. I have never taken a treat away from him. Or should I just not given him that dental chew at all? Otherwise he is the sweetest little boy on earth. I don't like seeing the mean resource guarding side of him!! It kind of startled me although I did stand my ground by being firm and telling him "NO" and "ARGH, ARGH"!! Any suggestions?
  • AntoinetteAntoinette
    Posts: 884
    Btw, Quake is 2-1/2 years old and was neutered two months ago.
  • Antoinette,

    I would give him MORE treats when he has the dental chew. Banjo is this way with his bully stick (he gets the bully stick when I am a. not in the mood to deal with him or b. we have company and I can't deal with him).

    I took it away but that only made him think "I may not get this again. Must defend!!!". I changed the strategy to taking it from him when he growls and putting it away. Then Reintroducing it within 2 minutes. Repeated "no-marking" the growling. Then, when he gladly gives it up, I say good boy, inspect it, and hand it back. He learned he isn't losing it every time. When I walk past and he does nothing with it, I just start petting him and handing him treats. He still "tenses up" a bit, but if he doesn't growl, I give him another treat and let him keep the bully stick. It's helped considerably.

    I don't use dental chews. If it's an "alone" toy, maybe give it to him while he is crated?

  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3460
    @BanjoTheBetaDog

    Taking the treat when he growls is not a good sign, it just reinforces what your Shiba is afraid of....His precious bullystick being taken away.

    @Antoinette

    #1 - Don't say no. The next time he feels like you're going to steal the treat, he wont growl but will just straight up bite you. Growling is a good thing, its a warning. Telling him "No!" will teach him not to growl, and just attack instead.

    #2 - Don't give him any chew treats unattended. This is just to avoid any possible choking/safety risk with your Shiba

    #3 - I don't think your concern really falls under "aggressive shibas" It is a resource guarding problem. Your particular problem has been discussed before. Please look up and read through the resource guarding threads. Or bump those threads if you have additional concerns :)
  • AntoinetteAntoinette
    Posts: 884
    @Bootz-thanks for the suggestions. I will just not give him that chew treat anymore and will rely on his chew toys which he has many and he does not guard those!!! You're right that I should not give any chew treat unattended.
  • Yes, this is resource guarding. While it is entirely possible to work with, it does help to read up on it, because there are several things going on that need to be paid attention to. The taking it away thing is a variant of teaching the dog how to make a trade, so he learns that he always gets good things from people, and how giving something up will mean even a better reward (and eventually getting the good thing back). But you have to time it carefully and read your dog well or you can make the resource guarding worse (the dog just sees you as taking away desired thing).

    Also, it is important to remember not to correct a dog for growling, because it is their way of warning, and it's better to get that warning than from them to go on to bite right away, as Bootz notes (we have a thread on thanking your dog for growling somewhere that explains this better).

    Check out the resource guarding threads for more info, and the book Mine! explains this in a great deal of detail and explains how to work with trades and other ways of handling resource guarding.
  • AntoinetteAntoinette
    Posts: 884
    Thanks to all for some really helpful suggestions. @shibamistress-thanks for the suggestion fro the book "Mine". I will check that out and thanks to you all for telling me not to correct growling!!
  • Luckily my girl that resource guarded has dropped the problem, but unfortunately the recommended training techniques made her behavior worse. Whatever treats we used to help, she started guarding those even when her rawhide wasn't around. Making trades was the worst thing we tried as it made the problem much worse. After a couple months of failing we had 3 days of yippee when we changed the training and no problems after.

    I really don't recommend this as I know my girl is an extreme!!! high prey Shiba, a bossy bitch who the breeder with 30 years Shiba experience had problems with even as a puppy beating up her dogs, and very very very determined to be lord and ruler of the entire universe and especially because the bigger your dog the more of a problem this would become. Part of the problem when they growl and show some teeth they can be scary, and the dogs know you become hesitant, so the longer you wait to fix the problem you are just reinforcing to them that it's an effective deterrent.

    Again I don't recommend! In my case I think avoidance may be the most appropriate next step.

    She growled when I tried to take the rawhide away from her (really even when i got close). So I took one for the team....I grabbed it and held onto it. She bit my hand, then grabbed the rawhide again and didn't let go. I held onto it...didn't pull it or anything, just held onto it. This went on for an hour. She finally let go and walked away. I called her back over and asked her to sit and gave it to her. I then grabbed it from her and she immediately gave it to me. Next day we did it again. She again bit me and again we had a butting of heads...but for just a few minutes. I gave it back to her, took it, back, took back, took.....for quite a while, increased the time I let her have it before I took it. The 3rd day I gave it to her, I went to take it, she held onto it for a few seconds but let me have it...we played the give and take game for a while and that was it. No problems since. I did reinforce the issue daily for a few weeks, now I do it once every time she gets ANY treat that lasts a while. Once-ish a month I will give them their dog food bowl and then stick my hand in it and take the bowl....wait a few seconds then give it back. I have kids around so even though I try to feed them separate.....I want to make sure if we drop food one day the dogs won't go after my girls hands if they try to pick it back up. I don't know if the ole' wait until they are calm before you give them their food, occasionally take their food then give it back method actually works to curb food aggression since none of the dogs I've had showed food aggression.....but until it doesn't work I'll keep doing it. However I do know sticking my hand in their bowl is effective in determining wether they will bite me for a test for my kids :-)

    Again I don't recommend this. When we tried other more positive training methods with her it made it worse, so we had to try something. I really think almost all dogs would respond to the initial techniques (including my other Shiba if needed).

    We never had any problems with either Shiba with toys, food, etc....just the 1 with rawhide. I could have just not given her rawhide but I was worried the issue may have show up in other places. To this day even though she doesn't get along with dogs, she's a jewel with kids and adults alike. It's the only "aggression" ever shown towards people. I also wonder if I would have just let it go and not give her the rawhide if it would have developed into other problems or just stopped there. Oh well, no harm no foul. :) :)
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8362
    @oneluckymug - Just no... That is perhaps the most dangerous thing I have ever heard of when it comes to resource guarding. ESPECIALLY since you have kids in the house.

    So to anyone else that comes along and reads this thread, do NOT attempt that type of "training". At all. S/he is lucky that there were only a few bites and not more damage to him/herself and/or the children in the house. There is also no telling what that type of "training " has done to the dog's mental well being. Remember, resource guarding is a fear behaviour and should be treated as such.

    Positive reinforcement works if it is done right. There are several threads about it, so I will not go into detail here.

    Also, it is good to remember that resource guarding is NOT aggression.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • RikkaRikka
    Posts: 1501
    @oneluckymug - Um... wow? I don't know whether or not I should be impressed or disappointed with that story.
    image
    Lauren, living with a 4 y/o Shiba named after a scientist. ☆
  • NASANASA
    Posts: 189
    @oneluckymug - glad you know the POSSIBLE dangers of what you did. Glad you tried other alternatives before trying something so risky. Happy it worked for you. Dog raising isn't math, it's a science.

    Now we gotta figure out how to get him acclimated to kids with high valued items. I would get a behavior specialist to help. Or just supervise your kids around the pup (hard, but should be done anyway) ... Thanks for all the warnings etc. I'm sure if someone didn't figure out that you were trying to dissuade them from trying your method, I'm pretty sure the posts below did the trick. Lol
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4784
    I have multiples of both sexes, occasionally other breeds, all ages, some temporary dogs just visiting for a few days, etc. This is what I do for resource guarding:

    -I keep my hands to myself.
    -I play trading games with the youngsters from very early on so they know that giving me things brings them better things.
    -I play a lot of recall and retrieve games.
    -If they don't want to give me something, I find something better to trade for.
    -When they do surrender an item, I thank them, inspect it, and give it back if it's safe or give a treat/play a game after I throw it away.
    -I never act like I really want what they have, unless it is poison or a deadly sharp item, so I stay casual as possible or else it becomes a game.
    -I feed puppies separately in their own xpen next to the well trained adults so they can see good manners and learn from that.
    -I need to be better about rotating where I feed them so nobody gets too possessive of "their" space.
    -High value treats can be given inside in certain pairs, but it's easier to give them inside their own crates.
    -I try to rotate crates and beds so nobody claims one as their own.
    -I leave a lot of toys out so there is always something else to go do instead of hoard one item, and the only chews that are out are hooves, antlers and sometimes cleaned out marrow bones (pretty low value).
    -If its a raw day, I do it outside in the large yard where everyone has space and only with the dogs who know the rules already (no loitering by another dog while they eat etc).
    -I pick up food bowls as soon as they are empty and usher that dog outside to cool down from eating.
    -I watch body language and call dogs away from each other if they give signals like stiff body, tense face, sudden pauses, etc, so there is no hovering.
    -I don't push dogs that are uncomfortable in group settings, so for some dogs and new dogs, I don't feed them in a group and I don't give out treats in a group when they are there as jostling can cause an argument.
    -Using these positive methods, I have retrieved or called them off of: glass mercury thermometers, pesticides, dead animals, poop, old bones, glasses, cell phones, keys, clothing, beds, coins, tables, other dogs crates, other dogs food, my food, and so on.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8362
    @lindsayt - Great plan to work on resource guarding from a very young age with multiple dogs. This is also something that can be done with adult dogs as well with a few modifications.

    Thanks for posting that!
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • NASANASA
    Posts: 189
    Agreed! Thanks for that, I'm gonna work on that as well.
  • sunyata said:

    @oneluckymug - Just no... That is perhaps the most dangerous thing I have ever heard of when it comes to resource guarding. ESPECIALLY since you have kids in the house.

    So to anyone else that comes along and reads this thread, do NOT attempt that type of "training". At all. S/he is lucky that there were only a few bites and not more damage to him/herself and/or the children in the house. There is also no telling what that type of "training " has done to the dog's mental well being. Remember, resource guarding is a fear behavior and should be treated as such.

    Positive reinforcement works if it is done right. There are several threads about it, so I will not go into detail here.

    Also, it is good to remember that resource guarding is NOT aggression.



    There is a reason I said multiple times I wouldn't recommend it. If you want to pretend like I didn't say it so you can sound proud of yourself for repeating exactly the same thing I said.....hey whatever you need to do to stick that chest out.

    This issue was also before I had kids.

    You can call "resource guarding", whatever you want. However if a dog is willing to tear into a persons flesh because of it.....it's a type of aggression. Tell the parents of the girl in Arizona who almost died when she tried to take the dogs bone last month.....it's just resource guarding.

    Pretending that every dog reacts the same to a uniform training formula is pretty ignorant. Anyone who has worked a farm knows all the experience in the world sometimes just doesn't help with that one stubborn horse that won't have any of what you are dishing out and they become dangerous. Of course then we just put the horse down. Folks with much more experience than people on this board had their problems with her and said she was beyond help. With the behavior problems we had with this girl, she would have been put down in 99% of homes.

    She is now a happy, healthy, well-behaved almost 9 year old girl because after nearly all other methods and many behavior experts either failed or escalated her issues, I was able to find something that worked. All the positive reinforcement training on earth didn't do anything. She needed even tempered (non punishment based) stubborn confrontation. She will live God willing 15-16 long health years because she has been successful in-spite of 'experts', not because of them. Not all dogs are created equal so stating the same methods will work for all dogs despite their vastly different temperaments, backgrounds, genetics, experiences, and personalities is a pretty freaking stupid statement.

    I spent more $ on behavior therapy for her than the average American makes in a year, so don't tell me I didn't do it right. We put off buying a home because of the expense. I gave the reigns to people who practice what people here preach.....and it failed her. It worked well with our male.....but it failed her. She's alive because I had the willingness, time, energy, money, and stubbornness despite her issues to work with her and work with her until we found something finally that helped.

    It seems instead of offering personal experiences with Shibas to help folks find direction, as just that....personal experiences; some folks believe that every time their fingers hit their keyboard plethoras of infallible Shiba tome's fall from the heavens and through their fingers. Problem is....that doesn't happen.
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4784
    So the ends justifies the means?
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • @oneluckymug - I'm glad that you put a disclaimer on your post. Resource guarding is a pretty complicated issue and I can't say that I've been in your shoes. Training leave it and go get it, and trades have always worked for us even with really high value items and even through minor bouts of resource guarding.

    I'm glad that you seem quite willing to go far for your dog, and I understand that you want to keep your kids safe. However, I think training a rock solid leave it command (and then once your dog has it down, incorporating the kids into a daily training reinforcement) will be better for your family in the long run. Similarly teaching your kids to recognize when your dog is giving discomfort signs (stiff posture, ears back, etc) will be a more effective way to guarantee their safety. Even if this method works for you now, dogs can deviate from their normal behavior patterns if they are ill or in pain or discomfort. Teaching your kids to recognize when to get an adult to deal with the dog because the dog is acting irregularly will be really helpful I think. Plus I find that being able to issue the command at a distance (rather than needing to immediately reach in and grab something) grants a rather invaluable flexibility to deal with situations.
  • The reason it's called resource guarding, not straight up aggression, is because it has a different basis, and a different way of training. You can be as dismissive as you like, but that is indeed what is called and there is a difference, and I'm surprised your pack of experts didn't explain that to you.

    @Oneluckymug, you know, why don't you stop with the ad hominem attacks? It's not the first time you've done this. @Sunyata was pretty clear that she was, especially, posting to note that people who might read this in the future should NOT do what you've done. Because it isn't training, and was one of the more astoundingly bad ideas I've read on this forum in the long time. It would have been irresponsible of us to just let that stand as if it were a good idea.

    And yes, positive reinforcement does work. Even with marine mammals....fancy that. So it's not "freaking stupid" to say that it does work. Because it does.

    Post edited by shibamistress at 2014-04-23 03:10:58
  • @oneluckymug - I'm glad that you put a disclaimer on your post. Resource guarding is a pretty complicated issue and I can't say that I've been in your shoes. Training leave it and go get it, and trades have always worked for us even with really high value items and even through minor bouts of resource guarding.

    I'm glad that you seem quite willing to go far for your dog, and I understand that you want to keep your kids safe. However, I think training a rock solid leave it command (and then once your dog has it down, incorporating the kids into a daily training reinforcement) will be better for your family in the long run. Similarly teaching your kids to recognize when your dog is giving discomfort signs (stiff posture, ears back, etc) will be a more effective way to guarantee their safety. Even if this method works for you now, dogs can deviate from their normal behavior patterns if they are ill or in pain or discomfort. Teaching your kids to recognize when to get an adult to deal with the dog because the dog is acting irregularly will be really helpful I think. Plus I find that being able to issue the command at a distance (rather than needing to immediately reach in and grab something) grants a rather invaluable flexibility to deal with situations.



    Just an up-front, my kids are 'trained' that they are not allowed to approach the dogs. They can only pet the dogs if the dogs approach them. This is not only true of our dogs but others as well.


    Thanks for responding in a non-judgmental manner. I want to state she was never yelled at, hit, punished, nose rubbed in anything, etc. I don't think punishment based training works well and there are much more effective methods. I had to use this same sit and wait her out approach to everything at first. If I wanted her to sit and she refused, I waited. Once she did I rewarded her with a good girl and some affection. However, she wouldn't do it for rewards up front. I once had to wait her out almost 3 hours to get her to sit before a walk. I wasn't going to force her, I wanted her to know that no matter how long she waited, I would wait longer. Again remembering that if I offered her rewards up front, they didn't work. She was only interested in winning...not rewards. It wasn't until she realized she couldn't win that rewards worked. I wasn't going to put my hand on her behind and push it down to sit, I wanted her to sit because she gave up on the confrontation.

    Everything done now with this girl is strictly positive reinforcement, because once she realized there was someone in the home more stubborn than herself, a switch went off and it was a night and day comparison. Now, if she behaves, she gets a reward. If she doesn't, she is withdrawn from the situation. Once a reasonable time has elapsed. We go again. If she has a rough couple days, I evaluate why. Did we have a lot of visitors? Is she acting ill? Have eating/pooping habits changed? Has she had enough exercise? Normally the answer is our routine has been off because of some issue, usually visitors or extended work hours. So usually a good 5 mile run and we come back and we are good.

    The problem was though once these problems were at their peak, nothing worked. The initial 1 to 2 training sessions went ok with each new trainer, but Montana would soon reject all training and become stand-offish and confrontational with the trainers and also with myself during the sessions. Once the dog and trainer got through the feeling out stage, everything went downhill. Nothing the trainers could offer her was more important than the dog winning the confrontations. She didn't care about food, or their or my affection, or her freedom to do as she wanted (withdrawn from situation) , etc. Whatever it was.......she wanted to win that moment. When you get to a point in positive reinforcement training where you have absolutely nothing to offer them that they want.....it just doesn't work. The whole thing is predicated on rewards. If there are no rewards, there is nothing else to be done.


    She now follows me everywhere, unusual for a Shiba. She has been a velcro dog since we had our breakthrough. She (mostly) listens to not only my commands but to those of my wife and 4 year old. My 2 and 4 year old have fallen on her, jumped on her when they didn't see her, etc and she does nothing. Anyone (family or not) can now take her food, treats, rawhide from her without her even batting an eye. It's been a great challenge but I wouldn't change a thing. Folks can say that this method shouldn't be used or shouldn't have worked, but it did. My willingness to adapt when other methods failed is all that saved her. I knew we wanted kids and that I wasn't going to have them until we got a handle on these issues. I also knew that when I purchased her that I was in it for life, no matter how hard. Once we found the training that worked for her, everything else fell neatly behind....including finally being able to switch over to rewards based training methods.
    Post edited by oneluckymug at 2014-04-23 12:32:31
  • The reason it's called resource guarding, not straight up aggression, is because it has a different basis, and a different way of training. You can be as dismissive as you like, but that is indeed what is called and there is a difference, and I'm surprised your pack of experts didn't explain that to you.

    @Oneluckymug, you know, why don't you stop with the ad hominem attacks? It's not the first time you've done this. @Sunyata was pretty clear that she was, especially, posting to note that people who might read this in the future should NOT do what you've done. Because it isn't training, and was one of the more astoundingly bad ideas I've read on this forum in the long time. It would have been irresponsible of us to just let that stand as if it were a good idea.

    And yes, positive reinforcement does work. Even with marine mammals....fancy that. So it's not "freaking stupid" to say that it does work. Because it does.



    I know why it's differentiated, it doesn't make the end results any less real. I don't get a pass if I hit my wife just because she took my steak. The end result is the same no matter the name you give it.

    I never stated positive reinforcement therapy doesn't work. Please show where that is my statement. I did state that stating the same method will work the same on all dogs is pretty freaking stupid.

    Interesting that you bring in marine animals, as there are orcas right now isolated from staff because they became a danger to the trainers in spite of positive reinforcement training....fancy that.

    Interesting that you also bring in logical fallacies....as you completed distorted and lied about my position and are stating that it's either strictly positive reinforcement training or nothing with my girl....so I'll see your ad-hominem and raise you a straw man and either/or.
    Post edited by oneluckymug at 2014-04-23 12:33:47
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4784
    "Interesting that you bring in marine animals, as there are orcas right now isolated from staff because they became a danger to the trainers in spite of positive reinforcement training....fancy that."

    It's illogical to draw that type of conclusion. The whales aren't being trained with positive reinforcement to not kill their trainers, they are trained to do tricks and allow handling. In this case the stress of the environment and management of the animals is clearly heavily influencing the animals behavior.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
    Post edited by lindsayt at 2014-04-23 12:54:25
  • lindsayt said:

    "Interesting that you bring in marine animals, as there are orcas right now isolated from staff because they became a danger to the trainers in spite of positive reinforcement training....fancy that."

    That's an interesting ad hoc hypothesis...



    Not sure you understand what an ad hoc hypothesis is.

    If she wants to use an example where all animals of a species will be successful under a specific training method to counter my point of "maybe the majority can be successful but there are always exceptions that need more specialized training".......she shouldn't use an example with so many obvious exceptions and such a high % of exceptions.
  • Moderator note: Ok, Oneluckymug, I'm going to say this as a mod warning now: not just as a forum member. STOP with the personal attacks. Saying that I "lied" is a personal attack, just as your post about Sunyata was also a personal attack. I also note that you are repeatedly attacking moderators (me, Sunyata, Lindsay) in this manner, and you need to stop it, now. End mod note.

    Now, as not a mod, I'm not interested in engaging you with any further argument since you can't seem to argue with people without attacking them.


    Lisa and Toby (Shiba), Oskar and Zora (American Akitas) and Leo (Kai Ken)
    From the House of the Fox Dogs blog
    Why it's Not About Dominance
    Bel's thread: the story of a puppy mill Shiba's life
    Post edited by shibamistress at 2014-04-23 21:48:16
  • Moderator note: Ok, Oneluckymug, I'm going to say this as a mod warning now: not just as a forum member. STOP with the personal attacks. Saying that I "lied" is a personal attack, just as your post about Sunyata was also a personal attack. I also note that you are repeatedly attacking moderators (me, Sunyata, Lindsay) in this manner, and you need to stop it, now. End mod note.

    Now, as not a mod, I'm not interested in engaging you with any further argument since you can't seem to argue with people without attacking them.




    I apologize if you feel attacked. However I don't appreciate being severely misquoted to put it mildly.

    What I said: "Not all dogs are created equal so stating the same methods will work for all dogs despite their vastly different temperaments, backgrounds, genetics, experiences, and personalities is a pretty freaking stupid statement."

    What was stated that I said: "positive reinforcement does work. Even with marine mammals....fancy that. So it's not "freaking stupid" to say that it does work."

    These aren't even in the same ballpark. So I felt it was an intentional misrepresentation of what I said. If it wasn't intentional and was just a mistake, then I apologize.
    Post edited by oneluckymug at 2014-04-24 09:18:57
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8362
    @oneluckymug - Misquoted or not, it is absolutely inappropriate for you to use personal attacks on any member's intelligence or abilities. If you disagree with a statement, it is fine to state that, but to use personal attacks to show your disagreement is unacceptable behaviour. You have done this multiple times and have been warned. I will follow this up with a PM.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • devonmlewisdevonmlewis
    Posts: 182
    What a spicy morning read! I will say that I am pretty sensitive, and have felt defensive on the forum, but have adjusted and am learning the forum's unique communication style. @oneluckymug looks as though he may have recently joined, and maybe isn't acclimated to "feedback".

    I will say that I wasn't overly offended by his comments; he was defending himself, and was clear with the disclaimers saying he wasn't recommending anything, just sharing his experiences, which is quite interesting considering the different types of training methods he implemented. This is what makes the forum a wealth of information-- that there are multiple experiences in what did and didn't work for their shiba.

    Everyone seems to be on the same page that histraining methods wouldn't work for most dogs/shibas to battle resource guarding/aggression. It's good to hear that your girl is 9 years old, and doing well in your home! Happy Thursday, everyone.
  • NASANASA
    Posts: 189

    What a spicy morning read! I will say that I am pretty sensitive, and have felt defensive on the forum, but have adjusted and am learning the forum's unique communication style. @oneluckymug looks as though he may have recently joined, and maybe isn't acclimated to "feedback".

    I will say that I wasn't overly offended by his comments; he was defending himself, and was clear with the disclaimers saying he wasn't recommending anything, just sharing his experiences, which is quite interesting considering the different types of training methods he implemented. This is what makes the forum a wealth of information-- that there are multiple experiences in what did and didn't work for their shiba.

    Everyone seems to be on the same page that histraining methods wouldn't work for most dogs/shibas to battle resource guarding/aggression. It's good to hear that your girl is 9 years old, and doing well in your home! Happy Thursday, everyone.




    I was gonna defend @oneluckymug but it's almost Friday and you said pretty much what I was going to, just with more tact.

    I don't get why any mod action was needed because what he did was call out specific people and defend himself - just what any forum does. I am looking at his post and he doesn't choose to fight with the mods, just so happens that the mods always comment on his posts. Coincidence... either way, Kinda funny.
  • I would say people should practice what they preach when it comes to insulting other people. What OLM said was actually much nicer than what's been said to me.


  • NASANASA
    Posts: 189
    @banjothbetadog- Omg I was just looking for your name lol.

    But glad everyone is coming to a better understanding not to branch too far off topic
    Post edited by NASA at 2014-04-24 13:01:37
  • Mod Note: the warning above is not up for discussion, so I suggest everyone get back to discussing the actual topic of the thread. If anyone feels they have been attacked in other threads, they can flag that discussion for mod consideration. We have warned other people in the past, and will continue to do so if need be. If we have not warned people in other threads, it because moderators did not feel anyone stepped over the line in that particular thread.

    Now everyone please get back on track.


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