Previous Dog Syndrome

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JudyN
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Previous Dog Syndrome

Post by JudyN » Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:33 pm

I thought this was an interesting article: http://dogcommunication.co.uk/previous-dog-syndrome/

The author says that after having a resource-guarding dog, he created guarding issues in his later dogs by always feeding them separately, never feeding chews together, etc., so they didn't learn appropriate skills. And people who have previously had reactive dogs may find themselves avoiding other dogs and feeling anxious about meeting them when they have a perfectly sociable dog who would get on great with other dogs.

I've often wondered how having Jasper will affect my handling of future dogs. I once saw my friend's placid lab get a bit growly when my friends daughters tried to wrestle a sock off him and I immediately called him to me and gave him a treat in exchange for the sock. My friend wasn't best pleased as she was sure he'd now hunt down every sock he could find... :oops: I think the hardest part might be relaxing when 'next dog' is sprawled over my lap on the sofa and I want to move to allow blood flow to my legs....

You do quite often see people say 'I've had lots of dogs before but never one who did this.' It must be quite hard to move beyond your previous dogs and accept that different rules now apply.

I do rather like the last bit:
We work with many people who we helped when their former dogs had significant aggression issues around other dogs and who then get a new pup when the time comes, often years later and who return to us for puppy classes instead of reactive dog classes. These people make the most amazing dog parents as they’ve learned so much from their difficult dogs and they have such great skills. Many of them are as knowledgeable and skilled as professional dog trainers and it’s all thanks to the ‘previous dog’ who they worked so hard to help. That difficult and much loved dog lives on in the things they taught us
I'm certainly not as knowledgeable and skilled as professional trainers but if I'd had an easy dog, I might never have got past 'Feed them after you so they know you're the boss' :oops:
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

Lotsaquestions
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Re: Previous Dog Syndrome

Post by Lotsaquestions » Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:42 pm

Well having a dog aggressive double b*tch household I must admit I am waaay more wary when it comes to dog-dog interactions than most other owners. Whenever I see any tension my 'omg step in before there is bloodshed' reflex kicks in and I interrupt. But on the other hand those other dog owners speak about their dogs being involved in fights, and Merlin has never gotten to that stage because of my helicopter parenting :P

I am sure with my second dog I'll be so worried about reactivity and early resource guarding I'll create item thief #2 who mugs for treats whenever other dogs are near. :lol: However my Lurcher wanted to kill every cat in sight, and that never affected how I raised Merlin... Who also now wants to murder every cat in sight. Especially the cat that sneaks into our house to steal food!

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Shalista
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Re: Previous Dog Syndrome

Post by Shalista » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:54 pm

i def think that with my next dog im going to be taking things slower, always playing the trading game, always telling people they're a bit shy (even if i have a big goofy dumb lab). im so cautious with bax and so hyper aware of his feelings i dont know WHAT id do with a normal, secure, mature, dog.
Baxter (AKA Bax, Chuckles, Chuckster) Rat Terrier, born 01/16/13

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Nettle
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Re: Previous Dog Syndrome

Post by Nettle » Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:07 am

A thought-provoking article. I disagree about the guarding issues - I suspect the author will have to come to terms with resource-guarding being a natural behaviour in all animals, including us. "Sharing" is not a natural behaviour, and we shouldn't think animals ought to.

For the rest - I meet any number of thoroughly unpleasant dogs and dipstick owners, and I can tell at once whose dogs are trained and under control - it isn't many. Working with reactive dogs all the time makes me very aware of how to avoid conflict, and I never take the gamble. I meet very few "nice friendly" dogs and a great many that would benefit from work done to improve control.

A friend and I were discussing not long ago how we get the same results for less and less training with each generation of our own dogs. It isn't really that we do less than we used to - it's that we are more efficient. Therefore it looks easy and feels easy, because mostly we are ahead of the game, and those times we aren't, we know what to do to set things right.
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ZaraD
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Re: Previous Dog Syndrome

Post by ZaraD » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:20 am

I agree with Nettle, sharing is not a natural behaviour, I know I hate sharing especially food :lol:

Sampson is very good mad and will happily steal Lara's food or chews so I separate them because I know Lara is also not the type to just allow you to take her food, she's also very independent so is happy to eat her food and chews on her own.

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JudyN
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Re: Previous Dog Syndrome

Post by JudyN » Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:05 am

I did wonder about the guarding bit - you're certainly more likely to turn a slight tendency to guard into a major one by feeding the dogs together and 'letting them get on with it'.

Though I think there's a difference between 'sharing' and 'not stealing another dog's food'. I'd guess that it's possible that if you introduced a puppy into a household, it might try to steal the other dog's food, be gently warned that this wasn't acceptable (and a little more firmly if it persisted), and learn that possession is 10/10ths of the law. I'm not saying this is a good idea, because it could go horribly wrong (and possibly it's more likely to go wrong than it is to go well, particularly if the newbie isn't a puppy) of course.
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

jacksdad
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Re: Previous Dog Syndrome

Post by jacksdad » Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:34 pm

I completely disagree that feeding dogs separate causes resource guarding. Behavior 101...to change a behavior, you have to adjust the environment as much as is possible to prevent the unwanted behavior. with some guarding issues, that is all you need to do. other times it is just the start.

On the other hand, putting dogs in a situation where their food is under threat, that would create a guarding situation.

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