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Follow Up To Maintenance Man Nip/bite


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So THANKFULLY nothing ever came from our sweet grey nipping the maintenance man (some context he came in our home unannounced looking for another gentleman who was working on our furnace).

 

BUT we did notice Paisley now has some aggression/fear/anxiety towards new men she is meeting. For instance, a little uneasy around my dad but settles down after about 15 min but does not care for my sisters new boyfriend. Although, I think my sisters new BF is more scared of her than she is of him. Very timid, nice guy. Not a large man at all.

 

When these guys enter the house, I make sure to answer the door (no doorbell or knocking), greet them warmly, and my husband has Paisley to make sure she doesnt lunge. Paisley initially will bark and sometimes her hackles come up. My husband will firmly pull her back to show thats not OK with these guys. After Paisley settles we then have my dad or sisters BF give her treats to show they are friendly.

 

Whenever the BF enters or exits the room or even goes to bathroom and comes back, she growls and barks.

We then crated her and she did fine and slept.

 

Uhhhh help! We dont want her to feel this uneasy when we have visitors over. Especially those who are welcome visitors!

 

Any tips??

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Can you shut her in another room while the visitors come in and then let her out to meet them once they have sat down?

Grace (Ardera Coleen) b. 18 June 2014 - Gotcha Day 10 June 2018 - Going grey gracefully
Guinness (Antigua Rum) b. 3 September 2017 - Gotcha Day 18 March 2022 - A gentleman most of the time

 

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She needs not to be shut out and hear noises that might increase her anxiety. Safely crated in the main room where all the action is so she can see what is going on. Also, in a while you can try using a muzzle and keeping her on lead. Lots of small rewards during the visits(in both crate or on lead). Let her learn to focus on reviving rewards. Locked in a room she can not be rewarded, softly spoken to or praised. Always reward her as soon as she goes in her crate as well. Make her crate a comfy den.

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My husband will firmly pull her back to show thats not OK with these guys.

 

I would not do this. The law of opposition is true in dogs... you know "every action has an equal and opposite reaction". Pulling back on a dog often has the tendency to increase desire to move forward. This is why pulling or yanking on the leash/collar does not help to correct leash pulling on walks and often makes it worse, why we use restrained recalls in recall training, and why we will often use a bit of light backwards pressure in agility or flyball to increase forward drive. It will also tend to intensify aggressive responses. Dogs that are leash reactive to other dogs often do better if pressure is kept off the leash, tightening the leash and essentially having the dog pull against the collar often escalates reactivity. And same in this situation. Pulling the dog back when she is on the offensive is not likely to decrease her uncertainty and could increase the reaction.

 

Visitors she is uncertain of should ignore her. Don't look at her, don't speak to her. I would use a crate or ex-pen in a safe corner of the room (one that is not too close to where the visitor will be sitting/spending time) but where you can sit near her. Then feed her especially delectable treats all through the time that the visitor is there. The visitor never acknowledges her in any way for the first few visits, until she seems completely comfortable while in her crate with the visitor in the house. Ideally over the course of a couple visits the person will sit slightly closer to her crate until they can sit right next to it without her being upset. At this point the visitor can now take over the treat giving. It is important that they are still ignoring her... they should just be dropping special treats into the crate every few minutes while you all continue to chat and interact with each other.

 

That's a starting point, but I'd also recommend consulting either a veterinary behaviourist or if that's not available near you, at least a good positive reinforcement trainer with some behaviour certifications. A professional really needs to see these behaviours to get the nuances in order to proceed with training that will keep everyone safe.

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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thank you Krissy, that's what i was saying.

 

annie used to hide, go into a closet when our SIL visited, a tall spaniard with a heavy accent. it was difficult he had to ignore her. it took 2 years and then suddenly she went up to him for left overs at the end of a meal. fortunately she was not at all agressive or defensive about her space.

 

ignoring is difficult but it works- and high quality treats- saved especially for crate time when visitors come will work. keep some sharp cheddar or diced hot dogs(they can be frozen and just pulled out when needed) around around as a special treat. your dog will start to associate the container they are kept in while crated and focus on that. remember it took 2 years for annie to come around.

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