Post # 46
BothCoasts: We do have two HUGE crates for the beasts. I haven’t crated our femlae in a really long time. She is really very well behaved in the house when we aren’t home so she has free roam during the day while we are working. I cannot trust our boy though…he gets into things. He is the absolute sweetest pup but he is my counter surfer lol. The pug also has his own crate which is in a different room than the Dane’s crates so he does have his own space as well.
Post # 47
Clove86: A great dane on the counter, LOL. Our friends have a greyhound who also counter-surfs and it’s just surreal to come in and see a dog that size on your countertops!
Good luck–let us know what you decided to do.
Post # 48
Please for the love of God don’t pin your dog. As a positive rewards based trainer I cannot stress this enough. Old school methods like pinning and alpha rolling can be dangerous and won’t necessarily get the dog to listen or pay attention to you. It is a good way to get yourself bit! If you have issues physically controlling your dog to the point you have to physically restrain her, she needs more training.
While you decide what avenue to take you need to manage your dog and block physical access to the pug. You can use crates, ex pens, baby gates, etc. If she can’t get to the pug, there will be no issue.
Is this behavior change sudden? If so I’d recommend getting a full workup and blood panel to see if there’s a medical reason.
What else is going on or in the room when she has gone after pug? Particular toy, food, pug too close to you etc? You mentioned she got snarky with you around good so she may be developing resource guarding issues. Has she been stressed lately by sudden change in environment or experience? Diagnosing a behavior issue without seeing the dog is difficult. Where are you located? I can find a positive rewards based trainer in your area to recommend.
As for your fiance- he agreed to the dogs. He is a big boy and if he truly didn’t want them he should have spoken up. He has no reason to resent you for it.
Post # 49
spoilerssweetie: Very good post. just wanted to let you know that I also think different training methodologies have their merits. I’m primarily positive reinforcement, but there are definitely times and situations that negative reinforcement and pos/neg punishment are useful tools. I think anybody who argues otherwise is being close-minded.
That said, I think that the foundation of alpha training is off-base (this belief of having to “dominate” your dogs). I think components of Ceasar Milan’s teaching are accurate and help dogowners create solid basic dog-care (proper exercise, instill boundaries, affection = reward, etc).
Don’t mean to derail this thread — just wanted to clarify that in my previous post where I used “punishment/pack leader” doesn’t mean I actually group the two into the same category and therefore dismiss them both!
Post # 50
I agree with sparkles1986: that a medical workup is a good idea to make sure there isn’t anything going on under the surface. This is similar to how one of our dogs behaved prior to his diagnosis with Addison’s disease (or so we were told by his previous owners. He was a rescue baby). Sudden changes in personality can be indicative of hormone issues.
Post # 51
I feel for your poor pug. He relies on you to keep him safe. He is already being terrorized and is very likely to be torn to fucking pieces if you don’t do something now. I have seen that happen with someone’s dogs before and it fucking horrible and years later I can’t stop imagining the hell that poor dog went through before it died.
You need to immediately protect your pug. Separate the aggressive dog from the others, get a vet checkup, a behaviourist, and re-evaluate from there. If she can’t be trained and remains aggressive – and when you have a 150lb animal it is even MORE crucial to have them properly trained and non-aggressive – you are going to have to make some decisions because there is no way you can then keep all three pups in that case.
Your Fiance sounds incredibly resentful of how things went down, and I don’t entirely blame him. But you two need to get this shit resolved between you because this resentment is going to fester and fester…but deal with protecting your pug first. These animals now depend on you, and honestly spending money on them should take precedence over spending on the wedding.
Post # 52
madscientist: You seem to have little breed knowledge. I’m a basset freak and would never recommend one to someone who doesn’t already have extensive knowledge of what those independent fatty noisemakers entail.
Where does your breeder stand in all this? Has she given any recommendations?
Post # 53
Rappig: I contacted our breeder after the pug issue. Basically she thinks that our female is likely trying to establish order in the pack and she believes that our female is the alpha. She thinks I need to hire a trainer who can help give me some tips on how to re-establish myself as the alpha. Which is what I would like to do…its just that Fiance won’t get on board. He insists we can do it ourselves…which, considering that we don’t know the root of the problem, I don’t see as a viable option.
Post # 54
It sounds like there is some resource guarding going on. Likely that is what caused the dust-up with the pug. You need to spend the money and book the sessions with the trainer–a living being that you brought home to be a part of your family is more important than saving for a wedding. By a lot. Book the trainer now–agression is complicated and can get out of control so the more quickly you start to work on this with professional help, the better. Keep the problem Dane separated from the pug for now. It is too dangerous to risk putting them together, at least until you get input on this from the trainer.
Now, regarding this: I also feed her last and we practice submission techniques like pinning (I know this is controversial for some people…no negative comments please…keep in mind she is a 160 lb dog so I need to have control over her).
You say “no negative comments please,” but this could be part of the problem. I recommend 100 percent positive training techniques. Read Patricia McConnell’s “The Other End of the Leash.” Pinning a dog is not a good idea.
Your Fiance needs to get on board with this and man up and help out. Like I said, these are living creatures. And you two are all they have. I know it’s a lot of work (adopted a puppy last December), it is so much work that I would lose my mind if my Fiance didn’t help out with our dog. Seriously, he needs to start helping out. I get it he didn’t want them, but they are there now and they have needs they can’t meet on their own.
Only after trying the training should you consider sending the dog back to the breeder (who, I am hoping, is a reputable breeder ready to take back her dog). If it simply isn’t safe in the house for your pug, then the Dane may need to go live where she can be an only doggy.
Post # 55
TravelingBride31: I understand. 🙂
Consequence training has been as much a learning process for me as it has been for them! I come from a very urban background and this training was never something I entertained prior to these pups. Fiance on the other hand comes from a rural environment where farmers/ranchers/hunters routinely train their dogs with e-collars, etc. So, this wasn’t anything new to him. In fact, he had recommended it when we first got them but I put my foot down and said no way.
I have a great deal of difficulty inflicting pain of any kind on a living creature. I kid you not, yesterday I saw a carpenter ant half smashed into the carpet (obviously dying) and I had a moral quandary as to whether it was better to put him out of his misery or to let him live his last few moments. Needless to say, using e-collars and pinch collars during our walks with the pups made me cry the first time. But the difference I see in the pups is what allows me to continue on with the training.
We fostered the entire litter since they were 4 weeks old. They have never had a negative experience or been abused. Yet the boy routinely peed (starting from when he was about 3 or 4 months old) whenever someone new approached him. When the dog trainer came the first time and reached out to pet him, our boy expressed his anal glands! Now, after 5 weeks he greets people much less fearfully. He will walk up to the trainer and ask for a treat. He has a lot more confidence and is willing to explore things that previously terrified him.
Our little girl is the dominant one and, while she is adorable, she also thinks she rules our boy (and us!). True story, they got into a serious, super aggressive fight over poo. Yep, poo. She wanted to teach her brother a lesson over poo. Since we’ve started with this new trainer, she is much more attentive to what we say. She acknowledges that it is our house and she has the privilage of living with us but not making the rules. They haven’t had any fights since we started training which is good becase I was at my wits end after the poo situation.
I wish the all positive reinforcement was something that worked for them. All my previous dogs were very driven to make their human companions happy, so the only consequence needed was disappointment and they immediately stopped the behavior. (Except for the beagle. He loves food. That is his training tool). These pups not so much. This type of training will still not be my go to style for any dogs who come into our family in the future but it is good to know that there is a resource should we ever need it again. 🙂
Post # 56
spoilerssweetie: I hear you! As much as I would like to keep our training to specifically positive reinforcement I just don’t think it is what this dog needs. We have been down that path with her and it obviously has not worked. Although, neither has pinning really.
I’m not going to divulge into a discussion about positive reinforcement vs. consequence training. I feel like there is always this stigma surrounding training and what is right or wrong and there really is no real answer other than different techniques work for different dogs. I won’t ever use consequence based training as a first method either but if it is in the best interest for the dog’s future then I think it is necessary to explore.
Post # 57
spoilerssweetie: Positive reinforcement doesn’t mean the training is consequence free. The consequence is they don’t get the food reward, play, greet the person, sniff the Bush, etc.
Post # 58
Clove86: Just note that pinning/submission stuff is *not* consequence training. Consequence training is punishment (i.e. pos & neg punishment) and those are in the 4 quadrants of learning.
Be wary with aggression because if you address it with consequence there is the risk that you simply provoke MORE aggression (basically it becomes an arms race). I’m not saying that consequence training is always the wrong tool — I’m just saying that you need to talk to a trainer who can best advise you the route to go. But please don’t go the alpha/pack route as that really has been found not to be a viable learning approach for dogs and is a different methodology.
ETA: Even Ceasar Milan has stepped away from that methodology and has even apologized for some of the pinning/rolling/flooding tactics used in earlier seasons of his show. If you watch his newer show, he does much more +R and -P approaches.
Post # 59
TravelingBride31: Exactly why I don’t think we can handle this problem on our own as my Fiance would like to do. I’m trying to do the right thing by all my pups and hire a professional to come in and evaluate what we can do to change the behavior. I just need to get Fiance on board….
Post # 60
Clove86: I couldn’t agree more about different dogs needing different training!