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Old 11-25-2012, 03:48 PM
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Guarding is never 'treated' with aggression or confrontations. Dogs guard because they feel they are going to lose what they have, and experience has taught them it is true. Avoid confrontations of any kind, he is feeling threatened and his warnings have been repeatedly ignored - hence the tendency to bite/snap 'right' away. Dogs use 'calming signals' when they feel threatened or uncomfortable in a situation. They may - lick their lips/nose, they will avoid eye contact, turn their head, just their eyes, or their whole body away from you, they may 'freeze' in position, hover over their bowl, look at you out the side of their eyes-, ignore all that, growl, ignore the growl (punish the growl the bites 'without warning') - the dog is forced to bite. He does not WANT to bite you.

Firstly, give him his bowl and walk away. Leave him to eat in peace - he deserves that much. Do not try to take anything away from him that is not life threatening. If he has something he cannot have, try calling him off of it to another room or scattering some high value treats on the floor so that he has to move away from it - so that you can safely pick it up.

Secondly - teach him to TRADE, and teach yourself to trade with him -every time. Start with a very low value item to him, perhaps an old toy that he will take in his mouth, then offer him a high value treat ( meat, cheese, hot dog) when he drops the toy, give him the treat, AND give him the toy back. Repeat repeat repeat. Gradually work up to higher value items.

Thirdly - teach 'leave it' and 'drop it' and reward like crazy when he does.

Highly recommend the book 'Mine' by Jean Donaldson. It deals specifically with resource guarding, and has a protocol to follow using positive reinforcement.
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:52 PM
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To clarify when we are home he is never in his crate. Only when we are working.
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:40 PM
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Thank you all for your suggestions. I think we may call Ohio State. It seems extreme when first thinking about it but this issue is extreme and we really want this to work. He can be so good 90% of the time but his bad times are really bad and dangerous. And we just feel that everything that has been attempted thus far has not worked or is making it worse. We love the big guy emensely but cannot put ourselves or others at risk. We will keep you posted.
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:56 PM
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I'd definitely work with a credentialed behaviorist. One of my boys resource guards food & toys from my other pets--it's disheartening (and scary) to see the behavior in an otherwise wonderful golden but it's something I will always have to manage to keep everyone safe. Best of luck working with your boy.
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:09 PM
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Oh and the behaviorist we are working with is doing the "dog whispering" techniques. She is relating this all toward leadership and pack order type of things.
Please please please immediately STOP any and all dog whisperer techniques. They are very old school and will backfire and teach your dog he needs to defend his resources.

You are in a situation that you really must spend the time and the drive to go see a certified veterinarian behaviourist. They can run all the blood tests that others have recommended, and they should be done. They will be able to tell you how to handle your dogs problems, and probably give you a reference for a positive method trainer in your area.

Trying to find another home for your dog is only going to pass the problem to someone else. Please make the effort to consult with the certified behaviorist.
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:57 PM
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Ohio State is a great idea! Until them remember that every time your dog practices the aggressive behavior it increases the likelihood he will do it again. Remember for him the aggression is working. If you can eliminate any chance for him to practice the behavior you will be ahead of the game.
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:04 PM
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Well a quick little update. We are taking him to OSU tomorrow as they had an opening. If not we would have had to wait until late February.
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:28 PM
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I'm very glad to hear that.
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Old 11-26-2012, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
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Well a quick little update. We are taking him to OSU tomorrow as they had an opening. If not we would have had to wait until late February.
Thank you for letting us know, I was wondering how you were doing. Fingers crossed that it goes well and they give you ideas you can put to use. If you don't mind sharing what you learn, I would love to hear what they say and what you think.
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Old 11-26-2012, 03:52 PM
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All the best with that. I am sure they will be able to find out what is going on & you will all greatly benefit from your visit. Would love to hear out it all goes.
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