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Major bump in the road

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!


Lets GO
Barked: Sun Jun 9, '13 4:13pm PST 
Yesterday Shadow was harassing the next door neighbor, who she is familiar with. He told her to quit, she got worse, so I intervened and went over to get her. She swung around and lunged at me, grabbing my hand hard enough to hurt. It didn't break the skin, so we are gaining on the bite inhibition, but it did leave a nice bruise. She wasn't playing and she knew I was there. She redirected onto me with intent, and just pulled her punch so to speak. I immediately grabbed her, put her in a sit, finished my conversation and then put her in her crate for a few minutes. She was fine afterwards. I ran through some exercises with her, kept it light, worked on her stand for examination stuff (ears, teeth, eyes, tail, feet and belly). All was good.
Took her out this afternoon to play Frisbee and was working on her impulse control and she grabbed at me again.
Am I moving to fast for her, is this just maturity kicking in or am I being too careful with her and causing a defiant reaction because she knows she's safe?
She could have caused damage yesterday, and didn't. That makes me happy. She has always been nippy and I have worked really hard with her on that, so we have it down to mouthing when she's nervous and an occasional nip which stops the play instantly but yesterday I was several feet from her and she turned snarled and lunged. Today was the same thing just not as bad and I saw it coming so she missed.
What next? And please don't suggest a clickerlaugh out loud

Spooky Mulder
Barked: Sun Jun 9, '13 5:49pm PST 
Some sort of extinction burst maybe?

Now that things have leveled out, could be her trying to go back to old habits to see if they work again. If it were me, I wouldn't dwell on it, keep doing what you've been doing and let her see the old stuff doesn't cut it.

Are you still keeping a harness/long line on her?

Might be a good idea to go back to that if not. If she starts escalating this, you need to be able to gain control of her quickly and move her to a safer spot. Plus it'll make things easier for you if you need to pull her out of snarking at the neighbor.

Lets GO
Barked: Sun Jun 9, '13 6:43pm PST 
I've been letting her just run loose in the yard, as we now have a huge yard. Maybe too much freedom? I will try the long line again, good suggestion Mulder thanks. I am really thankful she didn't finish that bite. I guess she's been doing so well I let my guard down and was letting stuff slide because she's back to jumping on me as well.


Lets GO
Barked: Mon Jun 10, '13 10:07am PST 
I have been asked before at what point I would be willing to give up on Shadow. My response has always been NEVER.
I don't buy the 'bad breeding' cop out. I have met dogs that just aren't wired right and she isn't one. All her life she has been off, but I have also proven beyond a doubt that she is both trainable and manageable. I get that she isn't going to be the dog I was hoping for, I understand that we will deal with health and behavioral issues for the rest of her life, and I understand that she has limited options beyond me. In a true rescue situation she would have been euthanized.
I also know that she is maturing and testing, and that some previously unseen behaviors will appear at this point. I have questioned before if perhaps I am the problem. This dog has wiggled her way into my heart and I have a really hard time distancing from her enough to see clearly, which is why I ask for help. She remains in many ways feral in nature. It is unusual for her to seek affection and she has none of a dogs innate desire to please. She is self serving and aloof. But I do see progress. Her recall is much improved, her grasp of the rules is improving and we are moving steadily forward on impulse control. I know this seems minimal for an almost 3 year old dog but for her this is huge. Her health has levelled off at poor vision and hearing, manageable allergies, a slight heart murmur and moderate lung function. She seems to have issues with learning retention and coping, which means under stress she escalates quickly and things most dogs learn in days take her months. It also means we need to work on one thing at a time, not several commands at once.
Maci & Harley & Jigar

Golden butts
Barked: Mon Jun 10, '13 11:51am PST 
Do not know with her learning issues if this would work. But when I hit a bump where a dog seems to want to test or try something different or be weird, I start being a bit more 'strict' about Nothing in life for free.

Maci loves to be a witch over the bed every 9 months or so and I just start making her do stays for everything including coming into the bedroom and we are fine after a few weeks. It is easy to do, the dog knows the stuff and should not be stressed and it does not create a stand-off.

Lets GO
Barked: Mon Jun 10, '13 12:28pm PST 
Shadow used to work for everything, I have been slacking off. It is a great method with her, I just have to respect her limitations. This is all on me, she isn't a dog you can just let go and I know that. I screwed up and I got bit for it. My only concern is that previous bites have been a fear response, a snap and run, this was deliberate and angry.

Akita Pals- Always.
Barked: Tue Jun 11, '13 5:44am PST 
I am far from an authority and only you who have had to deal with her and her disabilities for her entire life know her well enough but could she out of frustration and a bit too much freedom simply have been redirecting her frustration on you? Kai has never been the nippy type but I also have never discouraged mouthing and while he stopped short of biting or even snapping he has on occasion grumbled and given me a bark or two letting me know he didn't like my directing him away from something he was doing like chasing a bunny or getting a bit too wild with Mika.hughughug

It ain't over- till the fat- kitty sings
Barked: Tue Jun 11, '13 11:34am PST 
I've had the same problem with Callie. He too has gotten better with bite inhibition...funny you can see it in his face, the little doggie brain cells connecting...very sweet actually. But he still gets himself overwired sometimes. I've found that my attitude helps.

Of course not so with every dog certainly...But usually I'm very quiet and the dogs respond well to visual commands as a result. Lately when Callie seems to be ready to leap and nip...I get serious instantly-narrow my eyes, stare him down for a second and he sees it, you can see the difference in his posture like Whoops,don't know what I was thinkin' there...

Lets GO
Barked: Tue Jun 11, '13 11:39am PST 
The first attempt was deliberate, the second one may have been frustration. I have been working on not grabbing and holding a sit with the Frisbee for bait. She gets super amped up with toys so even the one minute we are at is hard work for her.
It was the first attempt that worried me because I was well out of range and not blocking her movement and she still turned and went for me. I am pretty sure Mulder got it right, to much freedom maybe to fast. So we go back to basics, NILIF and the long line.
Kali earned- her wings- 10/21/14

She's game for- anything that's- fun.
Barked: Tue Jun 11, '13 4:56pm PST 
Kali went through stages where she would regress/test me. It happened from 2 to 5 years old. After that she seemed to get it. It just takes time and patience, which we all know you have. So just hang in there. Koby still tests me. I just back up (in his training) to a point where I know he's comfortable and continue from there. Sometimes it feels like 2 steps forward and 1 step back. hug