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Major Space Issues


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Astro has always been very specific about the space he needs. I have had him for more than 5 years now and it's getting worse. There are 5 dogs in the house, including him, and now, whenever a dog passes within 5-6 feet of him, he growls and shows teeth and sometimes, he hears a dog which is in the other room and growls!

 

He just did it and I scolded him and now, he looks miserable but I don't know if scolding him is the best way?

 

Can anyone help?

 

I searched the forum but I didn't find anything that is similar to what astro's doing.

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Geez that's a toughie. My Sobe had pretty nasty space issues, but they got better over time. Some of it was just simple acclimating to home life, some of it was working on it. He never got to the point of being 100% cool with space issues, but he was OK. (i.e. I was never comfortable letting small children run around him when he was lying down). But he got to be fine for our househould and other grey, and fosters.

 

I do have concerns about your issue - becuase it's escalating. In my LIMITED experience, space-stress tends to go down over time - not UP.

 

I'm pretty sure you'll get responses from people that can help. My only thought is that maybe the number of dogs in the house has surpassed his tolerance level. I'm not sure how many dogs you had when you adopted Astro. If you've recently added dogs - maybe it's pushed him into defensive mode?

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

I have a boy that sometimes gets a bit grumpy when he is on the couch. I do two things. The first time I hear a growl, its "uh-ah" and he will look at me and quiet down. If he does it two times within a few minutes, I will remove him from where he is growling and make him lay down somewhere else. I will not allow him where he was growling from for a day or so. I havent had to do this very often, and I foster, so I have houndies that rotate through the house. I would try this, it is non-confrontational and he should quickly learn not to growl. Also, maybe start encouraging him to sleep in a bed away from main traffic areas, that may help also.

 

Chad

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My only thought is that maybe the number of dogs in the house has surpassed his tolerance level. I'm not sure how many dogs you had when you adopted Astro. If you've recently added dogs - maybe it's pushed him into defensive mode?

 

That was my thought, too. Have you always had the same 5 dogs?

 

If a dog is defending a single piece of territory, I pretty much do as Chad does -- remove access to that territory for a bit.

 

General edginess around the other dogs could be a different matter -- a particular dog he doesn't like, too much activity around him so he feels he can't rest, not feeling well, ... could be lots of things.

 

If a dog is a little defensive of the small area where he's lying down, what I find works best is to praise for *good* behavior and to laugh at the growlies. In those cases, scolding can confirm that bad things happen when other dogs are close by, escalating the problem.

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I'm pretty sure you'll get responses from people that can help. My only thought is that maybe the number of dogs in the house has surpassed his tolerance level. I'm not sure how many dogs you had when you adopted Astro. If you've recently added dogs - maybe it's pushed him into defensive mode?

 

 

That was my thought also. I'd make sure his bed is way out of the way of traffic as much as possible. If I see one of my space aggressive hounds on a bed in the way of foot traffic I'll make that hound move to one of the beds that are in the corner of the room. Have you noticed if it's a specific hound that he growls at or is it any hound?

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My only thought is that maybe the number of dogs in the house has surpassed his tolerance level. I'm not sure how many dogs you had when you adopted Astro. If you've recently added dogs - maybe it's pushed him into defensive mode?

 

That was my thought, too. Have you always had the same 5 dogs?

 

If a dog is defending a single piece of territory, I pretty much do as Chad does -- remove access to that territory for a bit.

 

General edginess around the other dogs could be a different matter -- a particular dog he doesn't like, too much activity around him so he feels he can't rest, not feeling well, ... could be lots of things.

 

If a dog is a little defensive of the small area where he's lying down, what I find works best is to praise for *good* behavior and to laugh at the growlies. In those cases, scolding can confirm that bad things happen when other dogs are close by, escalating the problem.

What Batmom said. :nod

 

You might also consider placement of resources, particularly dog beds. If they're in high traffic areas, or in close proximity to each other, you might consider rearranging them so that he's less inclined to guard when he's on one.

 

Otherwise, I would keep treats on hand and when he doesn't growl at a dog passing by, toss a treat onto his bed (I would only do this though if you're sure the other dog won't notice and go rushing to get it from him as that could create an even bigger problems). If that's a problem, you could use a clicker - click for the non-growling, then get up an hand deliver the treat to him. PITA but hopefully you'd see some quick improvement and then you'd only need to offer the reinforcement intermittently.

 

BTW, I have the same issue with my female, she does get more grumpy when she's not feeling well. Something to consider since the behavior is escalating.

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Well, the other two dogs arrived a year ago...

 

But sometimes, he growls and there is no other dog in the room! He's just that grumpy!

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