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Discussion Starter #1
Ugh, I'm not sure what to do here. We took our new little rescue pup home on Wednesday and she's been sooooo good with us, Miles, and Dylan (the cat). I seriously am amazed at how well they've been coexisting. Playing like loony toons and just generally hanging out. Tess is a snuggle bug and has become my velcro pup. Dh and I took yesterday off so that we could hang with them and get them out and about with us. As I have mentioned in previous threads, we are a very active family and like to include Miles in most things that we do. We wanted to bring Tess out to the places that we frequent to see how she'd do. She's a little shy, but seems to blossom with Miles at our home.<br><br>
So, we went to some hiking trails and did a 2-3 mile walk and then went to get breakfast at an outdoor cafe that we LOVE. We brought their breakfasts and a bone each with us. They were doing fine until a woman came over to "say hi". Neither one of them had their bone yet, nor were they eating. We were just sitting there. Miles got up to get some lovin' from this nice woman and Tess proceeded to growl and bark at her to the point that the woman was frightened of this little 17wk old puppy! After that isolated event, she seemed completely fine with other people (men and women) that came over even when she was chewing on her bone. We chalked it up to the fact that she just must have sensed something about that woman that she wasn't comfortable with.<br><br>
Anyway, after hanging out in the yard most of the day and eating dinner, we went back out to walk on a paved walking trail in another community that also has restaurants and is another favorite place of ours. When we pulled into the parking lot, Tess barked at some folks who were sitting and enjoying their meals. These people were not approaching the car, nor were they even looking at us. We were just driving by them and trying to park. We went for our walk and she growled/barked at 2 or 3 joggers. Then I sat with both of them outside of the food co-op while Dh went in to get a few things. She growled/barked at probably 40-50% of the people who came by to include an older child walking away from us.<br><br>
I just don't know what to think of all of this. I know we've only had her a couple days and maybe she's just feeling the whole thing out, I don't know. I'm disappointed though. I was afraid of the "lack of socialization" issue from the get go. I feel like at 17wks she just hasn't had the exposure that I would have hoped and I know that at this point it may be a lot more difficult to do. Obviously we're going to give it more time, but it really does concern me. She did great at doggy daycare on Wednesday afternoon and she's there again today. We'll continue to take her out and about with us and see what happens. Miles has his first agility trial on Sunday, so that will certainly be a good test of her social skills to be around that sea of people and doggies.<br><br>
What do y'all make of this??? More importantly, how do I correct/control it. I've read that you don't want to correct aggression with aggression, but I'm at a loss. She doesn't know her name and I haven't been able to distract her with anything to get her to redirect. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">:
 

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You are definitely on the right track by socializing the heck out of her. She could be going through a fear period but this still has to be corrected. I would push her into a "down" and not let her up until you give the signal. You have to do it immediately as she is growling or barking so she will know what you are talking about. No hitting or violence is necessary, just pushing her into a down position (preferrably rolling her with a firm "NO". Beyond that socialize, socialize, socialize. I know you already know that and are exposing her to everything you can. That's excellent! Keep it up! I don't think at her age it is too late to turn this around AT ALL! Good work, mama!
 

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I would also say make sure that she knows who's leader. I always like the Pat McConnel suggestion regarding feeding - they must be in a sit (once they got that under their belts then a down) and calm before you will put their food down. Have them sit and then you pick up their food and eat from it - obviously you have to plan this (!) by putting or having a cracker in your hand and making it look like you are taking their food. If there is any whining (really anything other than a sit) give them a hard stare.<br><br>
I would also carry lots of treats with you and as people approach explain that she is a new puppy and you would love for them to give a treat (the treats can be teeny tiny). Do this a lot and then her perspective will change to people = good!<br><br>
I would find your correction noise and when you are in the car when she starts barking/growling give that noise and a very hard stare. I would try to work on that hard stare and perhaps a low growl and some teeth baring (I know it sounds really weird but it works!) when you need her to change her behavior at home.
 

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Thanks ladies! I'm cool with the pack leader thing and we're working on this at home. Miles is very good, but Tess needs some work on rules and boundaries. She does know "sit" and we make her do this for anything that she wants..food, treats, petting, playtime, outside for a walk, toys, etc. If I say "ah ah" she will stop and look at me, so that's a good sign. I'm making her wait to get out of the crate, the car, and the doorways in our house. She readily goes belly up if she and Miles are getting nutty and I tell them "enough".<br><br>
So I was just really worried about the growling and how to correct it without increasing her fear or aggressive response. For some reason I had thought that if you do a leash check or an alpha roll for an aggressive act that it can either make them afraid to growl (and thereby make them likely to just bite without warning) or increase the aggressive response. I'm definitely going to work on asking people to come over to pet her and give her treats. That was something that I was thinking about this morning on my way into work. I ALWAYS have treats with me....you never know when a training opportunity may arise <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Like I said, we're definitely going to keep working on this and see how it goes. It just really concerned me last night when she had this response to nearly half of the people we encountered and most of them were walking AWAY from us! I also thought that she'd pick up on Miles' vibe and react accordingly. I thought that puppies used older dogs as a guide to bounce ideas off of....kwim?<br><br>
I also have some cute pics that I will post just as soon as I can download them <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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From what I have read socializing her and making her deal with those situations is going to help...she's just a puppy and super moldable!<br><br>
Glad to see I'm not the only one prone to long emails. I'm just always use the excuse "I'm a very fast typist <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">: ".
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>k9rider</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7968307"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">TFor some reason I had thought that if you do a leash check or an alpha roll for an aggressive act that it can either make them afraid to growl (and thereby make them likely to just bite without warning) or increase the aggressive response.</div>
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Here's an article that pretty much sums up how I feel about alpha rolls and the like:<br><br><a href="http://www.bogartsdaddy.com/Bouvier/Training/alpha-roll_no.htm" target="_blank">http://www.bogartsdaddy.com/Bouvier/...ha-roll_no.htm</a>
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>christyb</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7968349"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Here's an article that pretty much sums up how I feel about alpha rolls and the like:<br><br><a href="http://www.bogartsdaddy.com/Bouvier/Training/alpha-roll_no.htm" target="_blank">http://www.bogartsdaddy.com/Bouvier/...ha-roll_no.htm</a></div>
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VERY interesting!!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>k9rider</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7968307"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">For some reason I had thought that if you do a leash check or an alpha roll for an aggressive act that it can either make them afraid to growl (and thereby make them likely to just bite without warning) or increase the aggressive response.<br><br>
I thought that puppies used older dogs as a guide to bounce ideas off of....kwim?<br></div>
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Ah, but a leash check is most definitely not in the same category as an alpha roll. A leash check can just mean "hey, snap out of it, pay attention to me, I'm not worrying about those people so neither should you!"<br><br>
She's getting fixated on those other people and is afraid they might be a threat to her little pack. You aren't telling her not to growl in all scary situations... you are teaching her that 1) when someone higher in the pack tells her it is no big deal, she needs to trust that and 2) humans are not a threat to her. I think a leash pop and your "NO" or "ENOUGH" sound or word, followed by making her sit and try to focus on you is the way to go. If it happens when you are walking, a leash pop and continuing to walk straight on. And, in times when she is calm and receptive, asking people to slip her treats is always beneficial. I wish you were closer - I'd arrange to meet you guys and stage a "look...some strange humans are fun and carry yummy treats" intervention! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Give her time on the taking cues from Miles thing. She probably will - but she is still figuring things out. Keep up the good work! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumbsup.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbsup">
 

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Wednesday went through a phase like that. I assumed it was nervousness. She'd never been away from her litter or anywhere in public, and suddenly we expected her to sit on the porch at Starbucks while 50 different people walked by. She just didn't know what to make of all that. We got her into obedience class right away and kept taking her in public. I tried not to make a big deal out of it (a command to sit or down as a distraction often worked, though not always), and it did help if people were willing to come up to her and pet her (which was rarely <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> ). She usually only barked/growled if people were staring at her from a distance, not if people where coming towards her (the staring was usually accompanied by loud whispers like "is that one of those pit bulls?" "yeah, they're nasty! Look at that one being mean, and it's only a puppy") <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: If someone actually came up to her and greeted her, she would immediately melt into wiggle-butt-overload-mode. Obedience class helped a lot. And the people there were much less breed-biased so she got plenty of attention!! I haven't had a problem with it since. Actually, I'd say that she's the most personable of all three dogs (if that's possible...the other two are nearly willing to die for the love and affection of a stranger... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> )<br><br>
Give it a little more time. It is not too late to socialize her. I'm sure everything--being separated from her litter, a new home, new family, and suddenly being exposed to everything in the whole big, wide world--is a little overwhelming for her right now. I'd give it a little longer before I would assume that it's just her personality or that you can't change it.<br><br>
That being said, I can see where you'd be disapointed. Gosh, I remember being so upset that Wednesday had barked at someone because it is so important to me that my dogs are friendly and outgoing so that they portray their breed in a positive light. I want my dogs to educate people that bully breeds can be great dogs and that they need love, too!! But I really think you have the knowledge (and the energy/time...you seem to do a lot with your dogs) to correct this. Hang in there! You're doing all the right things. Try not to worry so much. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
ETA: Let us know how Miles' first agility trial goes!! How exciting!! I think that my Myles would love agility, I just haven't had the time to get involved in it (aside from the few little things our obedience instructor would set up for us the last few minutes of class...Myles loved the hurdles and the dog walk?? Like the doggie balance beam?? Sorry, I'm so hoplessly uneducated about agility, but it fascinates me! And it looks like a ton of fun).
 

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That article was interesting and definitely gives another take on the dominance training that is taught. Can't say I agree with all of it but there are some points that I can see. I do believe in "alphabetizing" and it has worked wonders on some behavior cases we have had. And I have never (in 81 fosters) had one that exhibited any phyche issues from being rolled. I have only had quick turnarounds in bad behavior. I guess it depends on what each individual is comfortable with and what works for them. I also do NILF (Nothing In Life is Free) which they did suggest in that article and completely agree with that form of training but I also don't think that preceding through doorways and keeping them off of the furniture if you are having a role issue are "hokey". Very interesting though.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>k9rider</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7967090"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">, Tess barked at some folks who were sitting and enjoying their meals. These people were not approaching the car, nor were they even looking at us. We were just driving by them and trying to park. We went for our walk and she growled/barked at 2 or 3 joggers. Then I sat with both of them outside of the food co-op while Dh went in to get a few things. She growled/barked at probably 40-50% of the people who came by to include an older child walking away from us.</div>
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This sounds like my Shiloh. She was VERY timid when I got her from the pound at about 3 mos old. She's 6yo now, and she gives a little bark/growl when people walk toward the car if she's in it, or even sometimes if they walk away.<br>
Hers is DEFINITELY not an alpha thing. She's never been the alpha dog, and she is well aware of that. It was a nervous thing I think (she's nervous of men, and she can't see well). Though she does have a protective streak in her- she is quite protective of ds and I.<br>
But then, Shiloh has some issues, and she's not a bright dog. I think there's something wrong with her.<br><br>
Tbh, I've never really thought too much of it, except that I don't want people to be worried about her, and it's annoying sometimes. So I tell her to stop.
 

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Well, things are not going well. She continues to bark/growl at a LARGE percentage of people/kids/babies/dogs. I think it's even made Miles think twice about some people <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> She went nuts in the car last night at a woman pushing a baby stroller by our car. It scared the woman and she said some not very nice things at us <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">:<br><br>
We had her out at our local co-op which is a HUGE hangout for all sorts of people last night thinking that it'd be a good place to help socialize her (this is where Miles got a lot of his when he was a little pup). I'm really at a loss. I feel bad because I like her, but I really just don't think I can deal with this behaviour. I feel like if we kept her, she wouldn't be allowed to come with us on our journeys because we can't trust her. There really doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to whom/what she gets growly at.....if I could pin point it to one or two definite scenarios, it'd be better....but I can't. I'm so sad.
 

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Aw, I'm so sorry. That really stinks. But if you are even slightly questioning her then don't adopt her. It definitely would not be good for you or her. It's a tough decision to make but there is one out there that is perfect for your family and lifestyle. Aren't you thankful for the "trial run"? A great example of why I think fostering-to-adopt is the way to go.<br><br>
I hate it for you that it's not working out. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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I'm so sorry. I can tell just how frustrated and sad you are. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> How long is your trial period? Have you tried taking her out and about without Miles?
 

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Aw that is sad. So the alpha roll isn't helping huh? I was hoping if you caught her at this a few times in a row and corrected her, the message would start to sink in.<br><br>
I'm sure all dogs have issues and that is a difficult age with many dogs I've known, but if she is growling and barking aggressively all the time I really understand the concern. I don't think I could handle that either <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> I've nothing to add but <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> It's a tough situation.
 

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I dont know how much of this you may already be doing:<br>
What do you do when Tess first starts to react, when yuou get that<br>
uh-oh, here it comes..." feeling?<br>
Try to redirect, with a treat if shes treat receptive. Call her name, reward when she looks at you (work on this at home too - reward when the attention is on you). Also have her sit in front of you, reward for the sit and eyes on you. then work in a quick sit-stay, moving up to longer stays, the whole time, attention on you. Release from stays should ONLY happen when the dog is looking at you, and then when you do release, make her get up and walk towards you. The sitting facing towards you is great for reactive dogs like this.<br>
How is she on the leash?<br>
How does she react without Miles around (you may have already answered htis one, sorry!)<br><br>
Im sorry youre having a hard time with your little pup! If you feel in your gut that its not a good match, trust it. But, things can sometimes turn around....<br>
Im also sorry that so many good resources here on the Pets forum are gone. But thats a whole 'nother issue!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>k9rider</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7976702"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Well, things are not going well. She continues to bark/growl at a LARGE percentage of people/kids/babies/dogs. I think it's even made Miles think twice about some people <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> She went nuts in the car last night at a woman pushing a baby stroller by our car. It scared the woman and she said some not very nice things at us <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">:<br><br>
We had her out at our local co-op which is a HUGE hangout for all sorts of people last night thinking that it'd be a good place to help socialize her (this is where Miles got a lot of his when he was a little pup). I'm really at a loss. I feel bad because I like her, but I really just don't think I can deal with this behaviour. I feel like if we kept her, she wouldn't be allowed to come with us on our journeys because we can't trust her. There really doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to whom/what she gets growly at.....if I could pin point it to one or two definite scenarios, it'd be better....but I can't. I'm so sad.</div>
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Relax with her. She will pick up that you're nervous or frustrated and that makes things worse.<br><br>
I prefer not to redirect but to confront the problem and work with it.<br><br>
Look for a trainer in your area or someone you know that might be able to help you with this. Thats your best bet. The sooner the better.
 

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rpe: Redirection can be used as a way to cope... you want the nervous/excited dog to focus on you, the calm pack leader, instead of whatever else is going on around you. Its a way to flip that switch in the dogs brain from hey-whats-that-I-dont-know-Im-gonna-bark-till-it-leaves to putting attention on you and sitting (or whatever) calmly until the release is given.<br><br>
But, yeah, seek out a good trainer in your area to work with, if youre interested in keeping this particular dog. And definatly remember rpe's advice about staying calm yourself! Its very easy to forget to do this. Act the part of the calm assertive pack leader....
 
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