|Barked: Mon Nov 12, '12 2:39am PST |
|I'm not inclined to agree with SSA either, even though it's a possibility. This sounds entirely like resource guarding, and nothing more. If it was SSA it would be building up to her going after the other dog in more situations than just those of high value resources.
I tried kenneling Sirius and tossing a high value reward closer and closer to her kennel while the other animals ate it. As long as she can't see me she's watching the other animals hard. Soon as it gets close enough to get a growl, I move the food back away and reward her for not reacting. is this a good idea? By doing this, you're confusing her, completely as well as likely causing her to resent the other dog further and acknowledge that the other dog is causing punishment, rather than something positive. By tossing a high value reward close to the kennel and letting the OTHER dog eat it, you're reinforcing the other dog, not Sirius - who will simply see it as a "Well, why does she get that and not me?" What you WANT to do, is kennel the other dog, and reward Sirius for being in close proximity to the other dog with treats. Tiny treats are best, and not on the floor, as the floor is likely where she guards from, yes? So instead, when she looks at the other dog, but otherwise behaves calmly, mark with a "Yes!" and reward with a high value treat. Seeing the other dog earns her a reward. Undesirable behavior would make that reward go away - so if she starts to growl, you move away with her(on leash would work best) and wait a few moments before starting all over again and building her back up to being close to the new dog again. Rewarding her for not reacting is positive reinforcement. But rewarding the non-guarding dog for being near Sirius is only confusing to Sirius as to why the other dog got the reward, likely causing some resentment because the other dog got something of high value. You absolutely positively want Sirius to regard your other dog with positive/good things happening. Your other dog comes in the room? Sirius gets a reward. The other dog comes close? Sirius is rewarded. The other dog gets a treat? Sirius is rewarded a high value treat.
Never, ever leave them unsupervised either. Eventually, however, the more you work on creating the other dog into a conditioned reinforcer(something that happens and results in the delivery of the positive reinforcer/treat or food) and the more she begins to view the other dog as the positive thing, the more you can add other stimuli to the equation to build up her Leave It when the other dog is around(it seems a leave it either comes too late when the guarding happens, or she doesn't listen to it if it does happen), such as asking her to Leave It if she focuses on food that the other dog is eating in the crate. Keep her on leash for this though, if you do this exercise - even if you've already worked through the first step, because you want absolute control. If she focuses too hard, walk in the opposite direction until you have her attention, then reward for the attention. You can also give a Leave It while moving away and reinforce moving away with the high value reward, or the same food the other dog has. You want her to learn that she has to Leave It, even if it involves the other dog having something that she does not immediately have too. And you want this to be completely reliable too. You take enough time working on this each day, and you could easily end up with good results where you can eventually feed them in the same room(supervised of course!). However, it does take time and patience.
As management while you try to work through it, however, only reward her with chews when she's in her kennel and cannot be bothered by the other dog. This will make Sirius feel more safe with her food, and protect the other dog(who I believe you said can't see very well?) from getting attacked. Never take away, but trade instead. "If you give me that chew, I'll give you a treat that tastes even better!"
Good luck and if all else fails and you're questioning your ability to work her through it, contact a behaviorist who can help you in person. You can also check out the book Mine! - A Practical Guide To Resource Guarding by Jean Donaldson.
|my posts | my page | msg me | my family's posts | gift me | become pals|| [notify]|