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Space Aggression?


Guest WhiteWave
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Guest WhiteWave

OK- not really true space aggression- but I am having an issue with Joey. I believe it started from Ronon laying on top of him during a t-storm. When Joey is laying down and another dog approaches him from the front, he growls/snarls and snaps at them. Most of them just ignore him and lay down anyways and he is fine once they lay down and do not lay on him. He has no issues snuggling with them or him going and laying with the other dogs, even if he has too squeeze in between them. But the growling/snarling outburst are getting to be pretty obnoxious. If they approach from the side/back he doesn't care.

 

Ronon is phobic of t-storms, fireworks, gun shots, etc. and when he freaks, he has to have comfort and he wants to lay on top of someone. Normally Casper who has been very tolerant of the behavior over the past 5 yrs, but his health is declining and his arthritis is too bad to take 80lbs of shaking hound on top of him so Ronon tried to cuddle with Joey who is a big cry baby and freaked out when Ronon jumped on top of him.

 

I don't normally punish a dog for growling, but Joey is a major drama queen and he severely overreacts. The other dogs all know it is a bluff and they just ignore him, but I have about had a few mini heartattacks when I'm in the middle of doing something and he does his ferocious growl/bark/snap thing. He sounds like a Rottweiler fixing to kill someone.

 

Any suggestions for curbing this behavior?

 

Here he is with the other dogs, you can see is perfectly relaxed sleeping beside them, it just the initial DO NOT LAY ON ME growl that he needs to stop doing. Other dogs have received the message numerous times and none of them laying on him. I mean it was 3 months ago and instead of stopping it, he is getting worse. But he has no issues going and laying with them, using them for pillows and even laying on top of them.

 

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Lazy Dogs 3 by Dogosndobes, on Flickr

 

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Some cell phone pics:

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Sleepy Dogs by Dogosndobes, on Flickr

 

What Ronon does when he is scared:

 

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Scaredy Ronon by Dogosndobes, on Flickr

 

Joey using Ronon's butt for a pillow

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Joey on Ronon by Dogosndobes, on Flickr

 

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Joey n Ronon by Dogosndobes, on Flickr

 

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Joey and Circe by Dogosndobes, on Flickr

 

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Dog pile by Dogosndobes, on Flickr

 

Greyhounds and a Rattie by Dogosndobes, on Flickr

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Guest carriej

My Kowalla did this too. Middle of the night - if a pussycat laid one foot on his bed it was a big snarl/snap/woof/growl type noise. He also did it if Freeman came near him, however - he too would go and snuggle up with Freeman or use him like furniture but it didn't work both ways.

 

I never really had a solution; however I did not have as many pooches as you do so eventually all animals (and people) learned that Kowalla didn't like his space invaded.

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Guest WhiteWave

Joey has no issue with me. He did do the grow/bark/snap thing when my friends niece came over, but after he got used to her and she played with him and fed him, he was fine. But he had never been around kids.

 

With me, I have the opposite issue, he wants to lay so close to me, he hurts my back. I have imprints from his hair on my skin sometimes! If I go to bed and for some reason Ronon or Casper lay beside me, Joey will lay on top of both of us and wiggle until he has squeezed between us.

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Guest carriej

Kowalla didn't have any issues with people either; I guess we just followed the "let sleeping dogs lie" rule.

 

He used to love cuddling up next to me especially, but he loved my husband too - and little people. He would get his feet underneath me and then STRETCH and I would wake up think I was being stabbed. Then I would hear his tail thumping against the bed and realize all was well.. lol

 

However, he just didn't want other four legged critters in his space. He actually went as far as to bite Freeman - twice. Once requiring stitches, then the dog beds went into different areas of the house so that there was a good 30 feet between them.

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Wow, I could've written this post about Truman. He is a major drama queen about his space. He likes to cuddle with Henry and the cat sometimes, but it has to be on HIS terms. Strangely enough, he has absolutely no space issues with people. In fact, with people, it's like he has zero concept of personal space. He wants to be ON TOP of us all the time. I mainly see the snarkiness when he's found a really good spot (like our bed or the couch), and he decides that he doesn't want to share with Henry. If he sees Henry walking toward him, he'll pitch a fit. It's a big production too- growling and teeth.

 

I've tried correcting him. I've tried doing focus exercises with him. I've tried removing him from the furniture immediately afterwards. Nothing has really seemed to work. Part of me thinks this is an adolescent phase, because he's still young and testing his boundaries. I'm grateful because Henry completely ignores the growling, so I'm not worried about a fight. It's just really annoying. I'm curious to see what other people say, especially those who've dealt with puppies.

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Correcting can and often does make matters worse ("OMG, all kinds of bad things happen when another dog comes over here!").

 

Works best to reward good behavior (politely allowing another dog to approach) -- special treats that aren't used for anything else, and setting up incidents so you have more opportunity to teach than might naturally occur. You want to start training/rewarding with the other dog at a distance BEFORE a growl would occur and reward that a whole bunch; then a little closer; then a little closer; etc. If the behavior is established, can take a couple weeks but usually a few days make a big difference.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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I have two that do this and have from day one. It's been several years now. My other dogs, however, will not even attempt to lay next to the two that prefer their space so we don't have issues with that, though my two will still bark, growl if the dogs are coming to close or are attempting to lay to close (i.e. another dog bed is too close for their comfort). Once I move the bed a little farther away they are fine. Sometimes I will call their name when I hear it and I usually get a look like, okay you caught me. Mine have never escalated to anything worse than a bark/growl in all the years I've had them but that may be because the others won't even attempt to lay next to them.

Judy, mom to Darth Vader, Bandita, And Angel

Forever in our hearts, DeeYoGee, Dani, Emmy, Andy, Heart, Saint, Valentino, Arrow, Gee, Bebe, Jilly Bean, Bullitt, Pistol, Junior, Sammie, Joey, Gizmo, Do Bee

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Guest WhiteWave

Wow, I could've written this post about Truman. He is a major drama queen about his space. He likes to cuddle with Henry and the cat sometimes, but it has to be on HIS terms. Strangely enough, he has absolutely no space issues with people. In fact, with people, it's like he has zero concept of personal space. He wants to be ON TOP of us all the time. I mainly see the snarkiness when he's found a really good spot (like our bed or the couch), and he decides that he doesn't want to share with Henry. If he sees Henry walking toward him, he'll pitch a fit. It's a big production too- growling and teeth.

 

I've tried correcting him. I've tried doing focus exercises with him. I've tried removing him from the furniture immediately afterwards. Nothing has really seemed to work. Part of me thinks this is an adolescent phase, because he's still young and testing his boundaries. I'm grateful because Henry completely ignores the growling, so I'm not worried about a fight. It's just really annoying. I'm curious to see what other people say, especially those who've dealt with puppies.

That is Joey. But he so overreacts with anything that might hurt him. I bought hay to put in the yard where they destroyed the grass. Joey is helping me spread it out. Grabbing mouthfuls and shaking it everywhere. Then he saw the twine used to hold the bale together and grabbed it and wanted to play tug with it, but got his foot caught in it and started screaming bloody murder and thrashing around. I was trying to untangle him and couldn't get a grip on his collar and grabbed his scruff. OMG- you would have thought I just tried to murder him. He screamed even louder and after I got the twine off his food, he ran away from me, with this horrified look on his face. I am surprised the neighbors didn't call the cops from all the screaming he did. The other dogs were all scared too and looking at me like I just tried to kill Joey too.

 

I so hope he grows out of this!

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Guest WhiteWave

Correcting can and often does make matters worse ("OMG, all kinds of bad things happen when another dog comes over here!").

 

Works best to reward good behavior (politely allowing another dog to approach) -- special treats that aren't used for anything else, and setting up incidents so you have more opportunity to teach than might naturally occur. You want to start training/rewarding with the other dog at a distance BEFORE a growl would occur and reward that a whole bunch; then a little closer; then a little closer; etc. If the behavior is established, can take a couple weeks but usually a few days make a big difference.

Thanks. He doesn't do if I am close by. But what I just did is he was laying down and Ronon was getting ready to lay with him. Ronon approached from the side and Joey lifted his head to watch him and when he went to spin and I said his name and when he looked at me I tossed him a treat and Ronon was already down so he just went back to sleep. This might work if I can keep Rocky out of the equation. Tossing treats can be dangerous too, Rocky will plow right over the other dogs to get food.

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Guest WhiteWave

I have two that do this and have from day one. It's been several years now. My other dogs, however, will not even attempt to lay next to the two that prefer their space so we don't have issues with that, though my two will still bark, growl if the dogs are coming to close or are attempting to lay to close (i.e. another dog bed is too close for their comfort). Once I move the bed a little farther away they are fine. Sometimes I will call their name when I hear it and I usually get a look like, okay you caught me. Mine have never escalated to anything worse than a bark/growl in all the years I've had them but that may be because the others won't even attempt to lay next to them.

I doubt Joey would do anything either. He just doesn't have it in him. Now I did have one that would bite and the other dogs knew to avoid him. Linus would bite anything that got near him while sleeping, even me. I kept a broom handy and would poke him a few times to wake him up if I needed to move him or go near where he was. I learned the hard way after getting a nasty bite to the arm right after I got him. But he was a senior when I got him and he did up until he died, he got a little better, but he had his private bed and the other dogs knew to avoid it unless they wanted a chunk taken out of them.

 

They all seem to know Joey is bluffing and ignore him.

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The treats thing can work even tho he doesn't do it when you are near. They start to associate another dog approaching with treats :) . But, yeah, have to keep any rotten weaselly interlopers out of the equation.

 

Batman would do it too. I didn't use treats so much then but I would laugh at him when he did it ("you silly dog hee hee ha ha" etc.). He didn't quite know what to make of that. He did get better over the years and rarely did it the last year or two he was here. Zema mostly just ignored him -- she'd freeze for a sec when he snarked and then continue to lie down right next to him.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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My Jonah does this too but only with the other boys. He can sound incredibly ferocious. Joshy totally ignored him when he was alive and I figured they knew what was going on. Jordy took issue with it in the beginning which was concerning but now also ignores him. So I keep an eye out but don't tend to stress too much about it and tend to laugh at his "fake" viciousness.

gallery_7628_2929_17259.jpg

Susan, Jessie and Jordy NORTHERN SKY GREYHOUND ADOPTION ASSOCIATION

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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  • 2 weeks later...

Basic classical counter-conditioning. Associate the thing he doesn't like that elicits the growling - dogs approaching him on his bed - iwth something he really likes - very high value treats. So keep really good food on hand (human food really is better) and any time a dog starts to approach him, feed him. Doesn't matter if he's already started to react, although ideal if you get there before, feed. The point is to change his feelings about being approached on his bed by associating it with good things happening.

 

If you search the T&B forum (and even C&F) I posted about my success with Zuri. It is possible to change this behavior and it's really not all that hard if you're committed to doing it. Good luck. :)

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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no advice but the pictures are just adorable :)

Kim and Bruce - with Rick (Rick Roufus 6/30/16) and missing my sweet greyhound Angels Rainey (LG's Rainey 10/4/2000 - 3/8/2011), Anubis (RJ's Saint Nick 12/25/2001 - 9/12/12) and Zeke (Hey Who Whiz It 4/6/2009 - 7/20/2020) and Larry (PTL Laroach 2/24/2007 - 8/2/2020) -- and Chester (Lab) (8/31/1990 - 5/3/2005), Captain (Schipperke) (10/12/1992 - 6/13/2005) and Remy (GSP) (?/?/1998 - 1/6/2005) at the bridge
"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." -- Ernest Hemmingway

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