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Request For Behavior Problems!

Guest Giselle

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Guest Giselle

Hello all!


Nice to see you again =) I've been away for a loooong time. I think it's been almost a year? It's been a very exciting and busy year prepping myself for vet med/school, so I haven't had much time for GT. Aside from endless hours of volunteering, studying, working, etc., I've decided to facilitate a course at my university about the one topic that really keeps me going. What else can it be? "Applied animal behavior"!


I haven't written up the full syllabus yet, but I don't want this to be a bunch of boring, senseless reading for my students. In my opinion, you cannot fully internalize animal behavior until you've seen it in action and you've "messed around" with it, too. That's why I need lots of video clips or anecdotes of some common behavior problems. At a minimum, I'd like to have a basic idea of:

- the age, breed, gender of the dog

- the age at which the dog was acquired and from where

- the owner's living situation (family? single? townhouse? big yard?)

- the first known incidence of the behavior problem

- what is the behavior problem? Why is it problematic? (i.e. what may be a problem to you may not be problematic to another person)

- what situations tend to trigger this problem?

You can discuss your method of correcting the issue, if you'd like, but remember that this class is focused very heavily on the scientific and academic rigor of behavioral modification methods so I'll probably just ask the students what their proposed solutions would be for these situations. If you'd like feedback from the students about this, I'd be more than happy to keep in touch with you, too =) Videos/pictures are greatly appreciated. If you don't want to post it here, feel free to message or e-mail me. Credit will be given to all who contribute. Thank you all!


And if you don't feel comfortable giving a video/picture, anecdotes are greatly appreciated as well. It's good to hear from folks who've "been there done that". Thank you so much once again! I'll be more than happy to share the end product with all those who've contributed, too. Hope to hear from some of you who I haven't head from in a while!

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Guest LindsaySF

We've missed you!! :)


I've got lots of dogs with issues here, take your pick. :lol What type of info are you looking for? I don't have any videos but I could type something up. Some issues we have here are fear aggression, sleep aggression, food aggression, thunderphobia, redirected aggression, separation anxiety, crate anxiety, etc.

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Guest Giselle

Fear aggression is always one of the most interesting ones for me =) Separation anxiety is one I don't have, nor thunderphobia. Giselle used to have SA, but it was so long ago I can't remember the details of her behaviors.


I have videos for resource guarding and I'll be using Ivy for general reactivity. Thanks! You got my thoughts rolling too =D (also- thanks! feels good to be back)

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Giselle!!! You have been missed. My leash reactive girl is gone now. I have a very very thunderphobic boy. Is that of interest?



Jack, in my heart forever March 1999-Nov 21, 2008 My Dancing Queen Jilly with me always and forever Aug 12, 2003-Oct 15, 2010

Joshy I will love you always Aug 1, 2004-Feb 22,2013 Jonah my sweetheart May 2000 - Jan 2015

" You will never need to be alone again. I promise this. As your dog, I will sing this promise to you, and whisper it to you at night, every night, with my breath." Stanley Coren

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I have a 7 1/2 month old standard poodle that's developed an obsession with barking and attacking shadows. Everything we try seems to make this worse. (Sorry, my greyhound is actually perfect so nothing to offer there. :lol )


I can give you details on this if you want. Don't know if this is interesting since there's already a lot of research on this particular behavior issue(though...like I said none of the typical suggestions for behavior modification have worked for us yet. :lol)

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Here are a couple examples:

First two greyhounds, adopted 3 months apart froma local adoption kennel, only two from thier litter, raised at the same racing kennel, one male one female.

Adopted when they were 2yo, male in July, female in September, both turned 3 in mid-september of that year, now they are 6yo.

My info is, single, living in a small condo up on the second floor, walk up.


The female, after three months started to lunge at timid dogs, usually smaller than herself. (neither grey is cat or small dog safe). The lunging became slowly more frequent and definatly aggressive instead of playfull. If she does play with other dogs she likes to pin them down or be very mouthy. Now she is aggressive to any dog on the street, especially to dogs running or coming towards her, definatly worse wiht dogs that 'look' at her. She react much worse to black labs and weimerreiners (no bad incident i am aware of with either breed). She does have 5 dog freinds that she gets along with perfectly, two that have been instroduced in the last 1.5yrs, and two that have since passed away (both smaller dogs). It is a significant problem ina city type environment where it is often difficult to get away from another dog without going into traffic. She has always been wodnerfullw ith her brother and will 'give in' to him for space/toys ect. If he is closer to a very excited or aggressive dog she will become extremely aggressive lunging toward the toher dog.


The male is a nervous nelly. He does have separation anxiety unless in his own home. You cannot leave him behind while leaving with his sister or he will scream and cry for >30min. If I leave with both, put her in the car and bring him back up, give him the treat and leave he is quiet.

HE will whine if i leave for any amount of time at a foreign place regardless of who is there or if he has been there before.

He has done this ever since i got him. He does have seizures and his anxiety worsens right before a seizure. He greets all strangers very happily and affectionatly, then will come stand by me.


Those are our two main behavior issues, hope they help your students, any advice or questions feel free to PM me.

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Guest Giselle

Thanks everyone :)


Snakes, really curious about your female! Do you mind giving me details on the first few couple of incidences and when it started to REALLY regress? About how long did that take, and what would you do when she reacted? Any videos of the behavior??


Greytlucy, I hadn't thought of attacking shadows, actually! Can you point me to some of the research that you've read on it? That's a good one!


Jackandgrey, sound phobia is one that I have not written about in the syllabus, yet. Another great one :) Can you provide some more details, too?


Thanks all!! Really appreciate it!

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Guest bigbrindlebunny

My Pete is an only dog, and my first dog.

6.5 years old, left the track when he was 4.


He's fine being by himself, has a low level of sleep space aggression which we're working through, and gets along with all types of dogs but is only really interested in their scent. He hates being closed in the crate, and came to us with broken teeth, I assume from chewing on his crate at the track. He's a serious kind of a guy with about 15 minutes of play per day. He's usually described as a gentleman by other people, he's very sedate, elevators and stairs are no problem. He's pretty vocal, and whines at us when he wants something.


I thought the behavior described below was kind of unique, and it manifested itself day 1.


When he's in the car, he whines loudly ramping quickly up to howls at stops. Stop signs, traffic lights, etc. Just stops. When we start moving again he settles back down. I can't get his attention or focus when at all while he's vocalizing. It's like he's disconnected from us, it seems more like some form of panic then excitement. He's not happy while this is going on, he's upset. At the same time he always wants to go for a ride in the car. We don't have a fenced yard so we walk him everywhere, and he's always dragging us over to the car, or trying to get us to take the car of other people. He readily gets in the car, and is happy and bouncy when he realizes that's where we're going. In fact there are times he'll refuse to go for a walk because I wouldn't follow his plan of going for a ride.


The howling is very loud, people in other cars at the stop turn and look at us, so it's not particularly pleasant be around. I live in the Washington, DC area, and we have some of the worst traffic and gridlock in the country....


First I tried not being responsive to the howls, and there was no impact. He doesn't seem to even realize I'm there while he's melting down anyway.


Then I tried giving him treats at stops, he's very food motivated, with mixed success. Sometimes he'd take the treat, and then start howling.


Telling him "No!" or making a loud noise like clapping did zip.


I'm having more success with telling him he's a good boy and speaking quietly to him at stops, before he really gets going, so now he howls maybe 60% of the time.


Any recommendations would be appreciated! Thank you for considering Pete's problem for review with your class.

Edited by bigbrindlebunny
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I sure would like to see some research on shy/fearful type dogs.

Lots of behaviorist and Tv shows like to focus on aggression but for a dog like my Buck there isn't a lot

out there.


I'll just briefly say he was 4 when i started fostering him. He was so scared he couldn't be adopted out because no one could get him out of the crate to be shown.

He'd back up and stay put. Needless to say I fail fostering and he has been with me for three years now.

He has a lot of obsessive traits.

He will only go outside...going the same way to the door every time. There is an opening between the table and the door but he must go around the table every time.

He started out taking NOTHING from my hand. No food motivation at all, now he will take meat ...only if I hold it in an open hand.. never from pinched fingers.. ( like thumb and forfinger)

will not take ANY milk bones to this day unless they are thrown on the floor in front of him. and the list could go on, but just wanted to give you a flavor

of some of the stuff he's been through.

He does live with another greyhound.. when they play together outside he is like a new boy ( right now he has some fxs) so that isn't happening, but he wont come to me outside to this day. And when we first got hiim

he wouldn't come in the house at all after going outside. We nick named him "farm boy" because it seemed obvious he had run of the farm and very little socialization after he raced.

He records are sketchy. we have him racing in two places but he was on the farm much longer than he raced it appears


He's been quite the handful. But not aggressive bone in his body, though recently he did growl at my daughters playful pitbull but he's hurt and I think just warning her away.

We've learned to accept him and love him with all his problems. I just wish there could be more I could do.


One thing that's of interest to me...we relate very well he and I. He acts like an abused dog. I am an abuse survivor myself. It feels like we connect.


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Guest Tic_Tac

My greyhound Tic Tac is 3.5 years, just got her about 7 months ago. She came from a track down in Florida.

She lives in my apartment with me.

Soon afer I got her she started having Separation Anxiety and on leash dog-to-dog aggression. She also space guards.

Separation Anxiety comes in the form of incessant barking and whining, and she has recently started destroying door frames when shut behind them alone by chewing them apart. She will also eliminate on the floor if she hasn't been outside before I leave her.

Her space guarding is just her snapping at any dog or human who gets too close while she is lying down.

Any dog who approaches on a leash is gonna get a growl and most likely a lunge. The worst experience was when we had to walk by a seeing eye dog who just wagged his tail at her. She growled and snapped. Talk about embarrassing! I think this is fear based, because she tries to avoid the dogs if she can. sometimes she will go up to them out of curiosity, but when they show interest in her, those hackles are up and she growls.


My boyfriend and I have a Pit Bull (American Staffordshire Terrier, actually) also, he's 3. He is wonderful with other dogs and people, absolutely the biggest snuggle bug, and such a ham. My boyfriend bought him from a breeder at 8 weeks old a year before he and I met.

He is a wonderful dog. However, he resource guards his food and toys from dogs. We could take a toy out of his mouth with no problem, it's just with dogs. He lives with my boyfriend with a big fenced in yard, but sleeps inside and stays inside most of the day. He lives with a Puggle named Nugget and my boyfriend's grandparents.

This issue appeared about a month ago, first with my greyhound and then with the Puggle. He doesn't bite, but lunges and growls. We have to feed him separately and keep ALL things that could be considered toys away from him when my greyhound is around. They play well together when they are in the back yard or out in public. He just likes her to know he is boss, I guess. It also first appeared one day when I was there with them alone. I think maybe because I would always come play with him when I came to visit, but now he has to share me with her too, so he keeps his toys as something she just cannot share with him. We just monitor and manage, and he have no problems. He has never injured her, just lets her know to back off. (But when a "PitBull" says back off, it often sounds a little more scary than it actually may be.)

Edited by Tic_Tac
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