Rescue dog guarding

Share your favorite training tips, ideas and methods with other Positively members!

Moderators: emmabeth, BoardHost

Post Reply
Mary edith
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:17 am

Rescue dog guarding

Post by Mary edith » Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:54 am

Hi everyone,
I am new here, I have justed adopted a rescue Yorkie. He is 6 and neutered, we don't know his history but the rescue centre did say he can be snappy. I think he does it out of fear especially around new people. My husband works from home so he spends most of the daytime with him. He likes to sit on my knee at night but last night he snapped at my husband when he tried to stroke him.

Is he guarding me, and how can I make sure we all get along together ?

Edited to stroke!
Last edited by Mary edith on Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Shalista
Posts: 1363
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:04 pm

Re: Rescue dog guarding

Post by Shalista » Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:16 pm

last night he snapped at my husband when he tried to strike him.
am i misreading this? your husband tried to hit your dog and the dog snapped at him? :shock:
Baxter (AKA Bax, Chuckles, Chuckster) Rat Terrier, born 01/16/13

JudyN
Posts: 7017
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:20 pm
Location: Dorset, UK
Contact:

Re: Rescue dog guarding

Post by JudyN » Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:24 pm

Mary edith wrote:
Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:54 am
he snapped at my husband when he tried to strike him.
Do you mean stroke him?
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

Mary edith
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:17 am

Re: Rescue dog guarding

Post by Mary edith » Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:39 pm

Sorry yes stroke, autocorrect strikes again !

JudyN
Posts: 7017
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:20 pm
Location: Dorset, UK
Contact:

Re: Rescue dog guarding

Post by JudyN » Thu Jun 29, 2017 2:11 pm

Haha, I thought so!

I'm not an expert, but...

It's very early days, and it will take some time for your dog to settle in. Being approached while he's on your lap could make him feel quite vulnerable so he's not necessarily guarding you, he could just be anxious. He might even be nervous about being stroked altogether. You can find a number of videos and other information about ensuring that a dog is 'consenting' to petting which could be helpful - there's an example here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTSCvLcq1nA

If he seems comfortable while on your lap when your husband is there but not approaching him, that's fine. Watch for signs of tension when your husband is around, and make sure the dog has plenty of 'good' interactions with him, e.g. feeding, games, petting that your dog initiates. Learn what he likes, what he's comfortable with, and what he's nervous of.

You can then try, for instance, your husband going up to him when he's on your lap, giving him a treat, and moving away, till he sees him approaching as a good thing. It might also be worth treating your dog whenever you and your husband get close, as some dogs do try to keep one owner all to themselves and object if the owners have a cuddle. He might never be comfortable with being stroked by one of you when he's on the other person's lap, but that's OK - it's not something you need to do.
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

Mary edith
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:17 am

Re: Rescue dog guarding

Post by Mary edith » Thu Jun 29, 2017 2:43 pm

Thanks Judy,

We have been very careful to share the attention he gets. My husband works from home so he spends more time with him alone. They are getting along well, we walk him together and he sleeps with us. He would sit with me in the evenings but I don't always let him sit on my knee.

He is still very nervous with new people and snaps if frightened so maybe my husband just took him by surprise. We are trying to show him equal affection so he doesn't favour one or the other.

User avatar
Nettle
Posts: 10753
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:40 pm

Re: Rescue dog guarding

Post by Nettle » Fri Jun 30, 2017 2:39 am

How we pet a dog can make huge differences in the dog's acceptance.

Don't reach over his head - pet from the side
Don't pat - stroke
Heads are very personal - just as you wouldn't like a stranger to kiss you on the mouth (well...maybe.. :lol: depends on the stranger) so dogs only like very trusted people to touch their heads. That probably isn't either of you yet.
Remember there is a vast difference between giving affection and taking it. Don't touch him if he doesn't come to you and ask for it, and always stop before he has had enough. Don't let others help themselves to him either. They do it for their pleasure not his.

Never pick a dog up. Most of them are scared by it.
Never hug a dog. Ditto. (some dogs do get to like being hugged and picked up eventually, but for many it is very frightening.)
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS

Mary edith
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:17 am

Re: Rescue dog guarding

Post by Mary edith » Fri Jun 30, 2017 3:02 am

Thanks Nettle,

We have decided no touching from new people until he is more comfortable with us. He is still very nervous even with people walking past the house, so I want to reassure him no one is a threat.

He was picked up a lot in the shelter, they carried him about so he isn't too nervous if we need to pick him up. I always let him see me and don't surprise him, and say 'up' so he knows he is getting lifted. I don't do it often just if we need to take him upstairs or sometimes if he is walking he gets scared and wants lifted.
But he jumps up on my husbands knee or mine if he wants attention

Mary edith
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:17 am

Re: Rescue dog guarding

Post by Mary edith » Sat Jul 01, 2017 2:53 am

Does anyone have any advice for socialising a dog who barks and snaps at some people and other dogs. Don't want to stress him but don't want to avoid the issue. Is it best to try letting him see people and dogs from a safe distance ?

JudyN
Posts: 7017
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:20 pm
Location: Dorset, UK
Contact:

Re: Rescue dog guarding

Post by JudyN » Sat Jul 01, 2017 1:19 pm

Mary edith wrote:
Sat Jul 01, 2017 2:53 am
Is it best to try letting him see people and dogs from a safe distance ?
Yes, this is the way to go. Keep him in his comfort zone, give him treats when there are people & dogs around, and ask people not to approach and to keep their dogs at a distance. The following threads might help:

Jacksdad and Jack (Scared of dogs)
First Successes Mar '10 - viewtopic.php?f=21&t=5910
Progressing Apr '10 - viewtopic.php?f=4&t=6227
More Progress Apr '10 - viewtopic.php?f=21&t=6240

Ladybug1802 and Dylan (Scared of people)
Opening Post - viewtopic.php?f=4&t=7928&p=54964
Half a Year Later - viewtopic.php?f=21&t=10884
August 2011 - viewtopic.php?f=21&t=12621
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

Mary edith
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:17 am

Re: Rescue dog guarding

Post by Mary edith » Sun Jul 02, 2017 1:24 am

Thanks Judy,

He really is cross around other dogs, I live in town and it impossible to avoid seeing other dogs on our walks even at 7am. Sometimes we are taken unawares and it's hard to distract him, but I will keep trying !

User avatar
Nettle
Posts: 10753
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:40 pm

Re: Rescue dog guarding

Post by Nettle » Sun Jul 02, 2017 2:22 am

Remember that "socialising" isn't about creating a party-lover. It's about accustoming your dog to life in a way that isn't threatening to him. What you might see as non-threatening could seem terrifying to him. So - you are not trying to create a dog that adores other dogs and people. You are helping your dog to feel safe, and if that means keeping other dogs and people at a distance, then that is what you do. :)
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS

Mary edith
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:17 am

Re: Rescue dog guarding

Post by Mary edith » Sun Jul 02, 2017 3:18 am

Thanks Nettle,

What you do think about crate training ?

I didn't consider it because I thought it would remind him of the shelter. But last night he was terrified of the noises outside. We live on a busy street and Saturday always has people shouting and car doors slamming.

This morning I borrowed my mum's dog crate and he jumped in straight away. I put his bend and towel in and when he gets stressed I put some treats in and he climbs in and sits there.

Do you think he sees it as a safe space? I would happily use it if I thought it made him feel more secure.

Erica
Posts: 2697
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:35 pm
Location: North Carolina

Re: Rescue dog guarding

Post by Erica » Sun Jul 02, 2017 12:12 pm

It sounds like he does feel safer in the crate. Some dogs don't like crates, but if he goes in easily then it's definitely an option! If you aren't having problems with housetraining or dangerous behavior while you're gone (chewing wires, playing with shards of glass, etc), you probably don't need to close him in, but it is a good idea for him to have a comfortable safe place to go. Both of our dogs were crate trained as puppies, and we haven't closed the crate doors in years (I don't think Opal's even has a door at this point), but they both still choose to nap in them daily.
Delta, standard poodle, born 6/30/14

JudyN
Posts: 7017
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:20 pm
Location: Dorset, UK
Contact:

Re: Rescue dog guarding

Post by JudyN » Sun Jul 02, 2017 12:33 pm

I did a home check recently for a family who had an understairs cupboard their dog went in during fireworks, children's parties, and so on (she was closed in but there was a washing machine in there which had an open bit next to it so people could look in and she could see people walking past). It made all the difference for what would otherwise be really stressful events for her. So yes, I'd definitely keep the crate as her special, secure place even if you never need to close the door.

It can also be useful if he should ever injure himself and need 'crate rest', or if you want to stay with him in a hotel or any other house you might not want to let him roam free in.
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

Post Reply