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Resource Guarding(?) Outside Vs. Inside The Home


Guest greytmiles
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Guest greytmiles

Hey all.

So about a week after the Sandwich Incident, there was another food-in-the-street growling episode with Miles.

 

Roommate was out with us for the first time since the Sandwich. All was well until we went to cross the street, and Miles went for some tinfoil with food in it. (In my defense, I did have him on a very short leash, and he nearly pulled me over to get to it. I didn't see it right away b/c I was more concerned with the traffic. I don't live in a trash heap, I swear! :rolleyes: ).

So immediately Miles gets in a stance and lowers his head and starts growling... same thing all over again, except in the MIDDLE OF THE ROAD. This time I tell roommate to walk away - he does. I'm there a few feet behind Miles saying 'leave it!' and trying to pull him off the road and onto the sidewalk.

He's still growling, and now barking but I don't let him get another inch toward the food. A few more 'leave it's and a couple more pulls and he's back on the sidewalk.

He's not growling anymore, but boy am I shaking. After about a minute of silence, I chirp "Miles!"... he looks at me, I say c'mon and we get walking. He came and licked my hand as we got moving, and I'd like to think this was a 'sorry' but probably was just whatever i had for dinner. :rolleyes:

 

Right, so... is this in fact resource guarding? And if so, should i try trading up? It doesn't seem to me that he's too interested in ANYTHING else in that moment, and I'm not sure how I'd get his attention.

 

For the record he has not growled once about treats or food (or anything!) IN the house. He has to wait for his dinner, sit for treats, and if I want to take away a chew I just give him a piece of treat for it. Is the fact that we're OUTSIDE making the big difference?

 

Thanks for bearing with me (and Miles!).

Erin

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Guest Harry702

Take a minute to think of it from Mile's perspective. What worked for him last time? Growling and aggressive behavior resulted in him getting his prize. He doesn't inherently know that this is "wrong" so he does want he knows will work to get him what he wants.

 

To answer your question, in order for "leave it," or trading up to work, you need to practice when he's not so highly stimulated. Practice in a calm environment, and start with treats that are significantly lower value to Miles than the tasty morsels on the streets. This takes a ton of practice, so try not to get discouraged if and when the inevitable setbacks occur... just keep trying, and eventually, you'll be able to say "leave it," and he'll turn to you for further instructions.

 

It will help to minimize these kinds of incidents on walks, and though I know how hard that actually is to put into practice, you really have to do your best to limit the kind of arousal that he's managed to work himself into these last few times. Keep a keen eye out when you're walking and the moment you suspect something might set him off (or you see him start to get interested), turn around sharply and walk in a completely different direction. Don't hesitate or give Miles a chance to make the decision for you... just turn and walk the other way. Honestly, I find it helpful to walk with a leash that has a traffic handle very close to where it buckles to the collar. This gives you added control for just such a maneuver. I rarely feel the need to use it, but it's been so helpful in several instances, that now I don't like to walk Harry without one... just in case.

 

Good luck. I know you're working hard with Miles, and you're doing the best you can... keep it up.

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Guest lasharp1209

I don't know if I can be much help in analyzing this... but you might try walking him while holding on to the 'handle' part of the collar for a while (I don't know if there's a specific name for it... :huh). It would give you more control and some leadership over the dog, and minimize distractions, essentially preventing problems before they happen and setting the dog up for success.

 

When our foster starts getting too interested in everything and wanting to stop every minute on our walks (which I prefer not to do), I take a few minutes and walk him that way to kind of refocus him.

 

Other people can probably help with long-term training solutions, but my first thought is to immediately prevent any more of these incidents from happening in the near future.

Edited by lasharp1209
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Guest greytmiles

Take a minute to think of it from Mile's perspective. What worked for him last time? Growling and aggressive behavior resulted in him getting his prize. He doesn't inherently know that this is "wrong" so he does want he knows will work to get him what he wants.

 

Totally. When I described this to a friend, I likened him to a kid that's just using what worked the last time.

 

To answer your question, in order for "leave it," or trading up to work, you need to practice when he's not so highly stimulated. Practice in a calm environment, and start with treats that are significantly lower value to Miles than the tasty morsels on the streets. This takes a ton of practice, so try not to get discouraged if and when the inevitable setbacks occur... just keep trying, and eventually, you'll be able to say "leave it," and he'll turn to you for further instructions.

 

This makes complete sense. I will spend more time working with him on 'leave it' both in the house and outside on our lawn.

 

Good luck. I know you're working hard with Miles, and you're doing the best you can... keep it up.

 

Thanks. You've been a great help. :)

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

I would agree with the other posts. You need to have a good "leave it" established before he sees the high value treats, but of course that is nearly impossible to do when critters rip open garbage bags and leave food around. I would also suggest the times that he does react this way, before you can establish a good leave it, simply grab onto his collar by slipping your hand between the extra loop of fabric on the martingale as you would grab a piece of luggage, then simply walk away with your hound. When you grab the collar, most greyhounds will instantly change their demeanor or at the very least, your hound should stop straining against your leash. When they are at the track, when a trainer or handler grabs the collar, the greyhound learns that they are going where the human wants them regardless of what the hound wants. So when you grab the collar, they have been conditioned to follow. This works wonders with hounds that freeze while on walks, or when they get so focused on prey such as a rabbit or other small critter.

 

Chad

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Guest Swifthounds

Agreeing with the others. "Leave it" is something they have to have perfected at home or out in the yard before you can even begin to use it in more challenging situations.

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