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Another Tucker Problem


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This one I am to blame for. Tuckers temperament has always been a concern with me. He is very nippy around most everyone we meet. He has bit one of my friends.  He doesn't seem to trust strangers and will bark aggressively when they come around the house or close to my truck. I have pretty much have gotten him under control in my truck now, but in the house thats a different story. 

When someone pulls into my yard Tucker will usually hear them before I know they are there. He will run from the front door to the back door barking his fool head off. Theres no catching him and he surely dose not listen to my commands. He totally blows me off. I had been researching on this site some type of solution to this problem and have found a couple things I wanted to try. So the mail lady come to deliver my mail and as always Tucker goes crazy! I meet him at the door and try and grab his collar to put him in the kennel for a time out. He is jumping crazily at the door trying to get at the mail lady. As soon as I reach for his collar he turns and bites me in the arm. This is the third such instance of this. He seems to be out of his mind at that point. I don't even know if he really knows what he is doing. He has done the same thing when he was in his big kennel in the yard. I tried to enter the kennel to calm him down and he bit me.

Tuckers behavior 100% of the time when there is know outside stimulus is a very caring loving dog around me. He would never think of biting me. I know he lack socialization and I am doing more and more of that now. I just don't trust him around other people. I am keeping him on a leash in the house so I might be able to stop him and get him under control to put him in his kennel to let him know this behavior is un exceptable. I have let him him run crazily from door to door far to long. Now I am trying to stop it but I am not sure I am doing it correctly. I am thinking I might need a club now.

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You may not be 100% to blame for Tucker's behavior. As you know, he came from a kennel that does not have good breeding practices. Temperament is another attribute that can suffer when using poor breeding choices. His anxiety/reactivity may be, in part, due to lack of socialization, but there is also a strong genetic component associated with temperament. You will never know how to parse out the blame. Regardless, you can only deal with the dog in front of you - not assign blame.

In addition to some of the other techniques suggested in other posts, look up Denise Fenzi's reactive dog class. She is a nationally famous, well-regarded dog trainer that offers on-line assistance. I have heard excellent reviews from people with formerly reactive dogs. You have to put in the work, and my guess is that the dog will require close watching and some retraining throughout their life.

Good Luck.

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ahhh, so that answers my question in the other post.  The vet's office may be one place that triggers his anxiety, however, it is not just a vet's office problem;  it is a temperament problem.  Totally agree with all of gcv's post....probably not all your fault, but you must deal with the whole problem at hand.  I would definitely explore the Denise Fenzi class on line.  Also prepare to get him out a lot once you have a plan to work with him on his reactivity.  While it is a lot of hard work, if successful, you will find it very rewarding as you embark on changing his behavior and helping him navigate this world successfully. Has he been to any kind of a class or trainer?  Are you able to do so?  Just remember that it will take time and don't expect a complete change quickly.  You will need to be vigilant, but I think we all need to be vigilant when owning a dog....even with a dog that displays no temperament problems.  Keep us posted and best wishes for success. 

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Thanks GVC …………Seems everything leads back to that terrible Breeder. I have certainly learned my lesson there. After this post I will be looking up Denise Fenzi’s classes. 

Beachdogz……I was going to answer your questions in the other post but thought it might be better in a new one. No it’s not just the vets office. I went to car hop style restaurant and the girls walking back and forth to the car was another place he didn’t like. I thought this may be a good training place as everyone will be safe. So I continue to go back there. Tucker is so much better there now and it seems to be working.

I did take him to obedience classes as a pup. He learned a lot. I did not have any of this type problem then. I would like to go but I am not sure they would welcome him now.

I am a snow bird. I spend 6 months here in Michigan and about that long in Arizona so an online class would be great.   

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If you're not welcome at an obedience class you've chosen the wrong people. Go for it and do it his way. You don't necessarily have to participate,  be there, stay in tune with him, do what he can, to succeed. Building,  one step at a time.

 

As to the door..go big, in a positive manner.  Can the mail lady feed him treats? Not right away, but as a goal down the road. Can you put a HVR at the door? Even if you have to smear sardines on the door ;) something that will distract him while "in" the high arousal environment and make it a positive vs a negative. Then slowly back the rewards up so a knock sends him flying to his "spot". You can't be cheap though with his rewards. Instead of grabbing for his collar, shove a lid of liverwurst in his nose..redirect to a positive behavior, rinse and repeat..

 

Nothing but good to say about the Fenzi classes!

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I have enrolled Tucker in the first class with Sharon Carrol. Working with Reactive and Hyper-aroused Dogs. This is a Fenzi class. It starts August 1. There are 2 other classes that were all booked up but hopefully before this class is over with I will be able to enroll in them also. It’s a good start. Tomorrow it’s off to the vets office. No appointment, just some training. 

Journey……I am at a loss here. I don’t know what a HVR is? I thought about putting a vacuum cleaner at the door. He don’t like it. Do you have some more reward ideas. Liverwurst. OK. I will have to find some. Don’t even know what they are or were to look. I assume the grocery store is the place to start. I believe I am starting to understand the redirect to a positive behavior now.

 

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HVR - high volume reward. 

Yes, liverwurst is a gross, imo, type of sandwich meat :huh: I think I'd rather smear sardines on a door than smell liverwurst! 

 

I've placed the toenail clippers on ac vents, to keep the dogs off them, that's my negative to that behavior,  it works. However,  you're dealing with fear. Use a positive to redirect his behavior so you can get into his head and turn the bad to good. The vacuum would only exacerbate his angst so you have to make the excitement/arousal a positive. Anything that he absolutely adores, something like filet, to make him redirect,  would be a HVR. You may have to go really big, with you out of the picture,  to begin with, then you start slowly getting in the picture,  offering it to him, once he is "thinking" instead of just reacting. Think outside the box as to what you use, dog cookies are not going to cut it! Squirt cheese, honey, steak..and don't be stingy!

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2 hours ago, Journey said:

HVR - high volume reward. 

Yes, liverwurst is a gross, imo, type of sandwich meat :huh: I think I'd rather smear sardines on a door than smell liverwurst! 

 

I've placed the toenail clippers on ac vents, to keep the dogs off them, that's my negative to that behavior,  it works. However,  you're dealing with fear. Use a positive to redirect his behavior so you can get into his head and turn the bad to good. The vacuum would only exacerbate his angst so you have to make the excitement/arousal a positive. Anything that he absolutely adores, something like filet, to make him redirect,  would be a HVR. You may have to go really big, with you out of the picture,  to begin with, then you start slowly getting in the picture,  offering it to him, once he is "thinking" instead of just reacting. Think outside the box as to what you use, dog cookies are not going to cut it! Squirt cheese, honey, steak..and don't be stingy!

 Honey? I am a bee keeper. I have lots of honey. I will have to see if it is something Tucker really likes. OK…..So the vacuum cleaner is a bad idea. Funny how these dogs associate toenail clippers with something they don’t like. Ha ha Tucker runs when I cut my nails. He does love cheese but I have never bought any squirt cheese. I will have to buy some and try it. He loves steak. I can see this is going to get expensive. I never had a problem with my other 2 BC’s. They just loved everyone! Thank You

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This just popped up on my FB page (because I follow Denise Fenzi on FB).

She is doing a webinar about 'Calming Games for High Arousal' on Thursday, July 29. Only $20.

https://www.fenzidogsportsacademy.com/self-study/webinars?fbclid=IwAR0F4hSbB8bkVCEXbzyCmnMLKlelhQ0P_2aqpysAvJpnZUqMTVc9hDotKDI

You must sign up before the webinar, but if the time doesn't work for you, I understand that you will be able to access the webinar for one month - but you won't be able to hear the live Q&A.

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1 hour ago, Journey said:

Not necessarily expensive, more like messy. You don't want to give him huge bites, enough to grab his brain though! I do a honey/yogurt popsicle for mine, they adore honey.. 

I guess it would be messy if I have to smear fish all over my door! How do you make the honey/yogurt popsicle? It sounds good enough for both of us.

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2 hours ago, NW_MONTANA_BC said:

I guess it would be messy if I have to smear fish all over my door! How do you make the honey/yogurt popsicle? It sounds good enough for both of us.

1 container of plain yogurt, 6 tablespoons of honey and I add 2 mashed up bananas, blend and pour in ice cube tray, freeze,  there ya go..I refuse to let them crunch ice so i toss them these instead.

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I am so excited for you and I applaud you for taking the initiative and doing the work!  I look forward to the updates on Tucker.  Having an owner that recognizes the problem AND then actively works at the solution is refreshing!!  :)

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Took Tucker to the vet’s office today to do some desensitizing. I took sharp cheddar cheese chunks and some cut up salami chucks for treats. We stayed in the truck for about 20 minutes watching everyone coming and going. Tucker seemed to be fine with that though seemed curious. They have a park bench beside the door so I took Tucker up to it to sit down for awhile. His intensity increased a little as he was curious of all the doggy smells. I just let him smell everything and treated him a bit. He seemed to be OK with people coming and going, though he was a little tense. He did not have a problem with the dogs leaving, though very curious, and watched them intently. Two times a dog came out and their handler walked them around to go potty and then brought them back in. For some reason Tucker did not like them going back in the building. He kind of lunged at them and barked. He was not out of his mind though. I jerked on the leash a couple of times and told him to sit and then treated him when he did so. After about a half hour we got back in the truck and went grocery shopping. I ask the people in the store for Liver worst and they said it was the same a bronsawger so I got some. Also got some yogurt and other meat products for Tuckers treats. $85.00 later we walked out of the store and went home. I got the yogurt and honey in the freezer now and some treats cut up. I also got a big chunk of liver worst ready to stick in his nose when the mail lady shows up tomorrow. I believe it was a very good day for Tucker. 

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I think he is doing better but it may take some time to get him comfortable with my process.  I am hoping the fenzi classes will give me more tools to use.

Yesterday the UPS guy came. As usual Tucker ran to the door jumped up, looking out the window, waiting for him to get out of his truck. I had him on his leash. I got the liver worst and rushed to the door before he started barking. I got control of his leash and put the liver worst in his face and walked him to him kennel treating him when he got there. He was  reluctant to do so as he was really wanting to chase that UPS guy. It certainly was much better that him tearing down my door.

Today the mail lady drives up to my mail box which is at the road, some 200 ft away. Sometimes she come to the door to drop off packages but not today. Tucker has learned  her car, so it doesn’t matter if she come to the door or comes to the mail box. He ran to the front windows and starter to bark a little. This time I grabbed his leash and took him to his kennel not saying a word to him. I shut the door so he could not see and left him in there for 5 minutes. Of course he didn’t like that and wined and woofed a little.

Both of these instances Tucker never got over the top. He does that when the people get out of their vehicles and come to the door. Progress? Maybe. There will be more training on this in the days to come.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I took Tucker to the vets again today to see if I could desensitize him somewhat for the upcoming visit next week. We parked right where all the people and dog traffic enters the building. His reactive behavior was on full display without even getting out of the truck. I worked with him, and treated him with the best treats. It took some time for him to calm down somewhat, but was never fully calm. It seemed to be more “what the heck is going on around here”. We spent about 20 minutes there with lots of treats and praise. We never even got out of the truck. I was really happy as he only made one little bark. One more trial visit there before the real thing. 

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Sorry I am late to the thread, I know you have already signed up to some Denise Frenzi classes. I follow her on Facebook and she has posted about her work with Dice her young Mali, I think you could find a lot of ideas from her journey. It’s been really interesting to follow and see her techniques in action

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21 hours ago, alligande said:

Sorry I am late to the thread, I know you have already signed up to some Denise Frenzi classes. I follow her on Facebook and she has posted about her work with Dice her young Mali, I think you could find a lot of ideas from her journey. It’s been really interesting to follow and see her techniques in action

Yes. I have been following Dice and Denice too. So interesting. And this is why I recommended the Fenzi program.

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