Introducing Johnny

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by lilJohnny, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. lilJohnny New Member


    Johnny is a 6 month old maltese x poodle and he is the centre of attention whereever he goes, it's not too hard to fall in love with him because he is super friendly to all dogs and humans. he is very excitable so I like to utlize that energy into training.

    It helps that he is super smart too, he learnt how to hand shake in one minute flat! it only took him 2 treats too! since then he has learnt wave, high five, close drawer, bow, dance and more.

    We have moved from Sydney, Australia to Hong Kong recently. HK is very different but lots and lots of dog lovers and pampered pooches, I hope to find some here!

    I am constantly trying to train Johnny and make some fun activities and also have a blog about this - hopefully I can share this once I spruce it up and also make him learn many new skills and tricks.

    Also I would appreciate some help for my curiosities (i am a first time dog owner but very very dedicated to giving johnny the best life possible)

    - what should I expect from a 6 month old puppy, also what do I expect in the next few months?

    Now here's a problem I'm really concerned about ..Johnny has started to growl and show signs of aggression in these two specific instances

    1. when i try to move him when he's sleepy (I would avoid this altogether, but he falls asleep just about anywhere! and at night I have to put him in his bed, so when I pick him up he growls and gets snappy)

    2. whenever he has a high-value item (raw bone, stolen item)

    I'm worried! Any help would be very very appreciated!

    Attached Files:

    Jean Cote likes this.

  2. Jean Cote Administrator

    Hi! Glad to be the first to welcome you to the Dog Trick Academy. :)

    I can't really help you with the aggression with moving him at night, other members will most likely be of much more help. But as for the aggression with his high valued item, you can train him to be less possessive of them. Basically, if you take away something he likes, then he's going to learn to be aggressive towards you when you take it away.

    So the best way to do this is, in the beginning teach your dog that he will receive something even more valuable when you take something away. For example, if you were to give him a yummy treat just before you take the bone away, and then when he's done eating the treat you give him back the bone, then he won't feel like he lost anything. And he will get used to you taking things away. So on the times that you really need to take it away, it won't be a big deal.

    I did this with my dogs, especially when they were eating. I didn't want my dogs to be possessive of their food bowls so whenever they would eat as puppies, I would put my hand in their food bowl and drop a couple of treats that were even better than their food. So that they associate me being near their food as something positive.

    Please let us know if you have any more concerns or if this solution did not work for you.
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  3. Dogster Honored Member

    Hi and WELCOME to DTA!!!!! JOHNNY IS ADORABLE!!!!!!:love: He knows A LOT of tricks for a 6 month old puppy!!!!!!:D I LOVE the pictures too!!!!! Sorry, I can't be any help with the aggression either.
  4. lilJohnny New Member

    Hello! Thank you both for your kind welcome!

    The aggression is getting better,

    right now he can accept a distance of one foot before growling (when he has a very high valued item) so i just throw a couple of treats his way.

    when he has a medium/high value item he doesn't mind me getting closer so i also touch his face while he's eating it so he's used to having my hand near his mouth. sometimes when he has a big crunchy treat I hold on to it and he eats off my hand so i'm not taking it away from him but rather giving it to him.

    I also practice the leave it command with a low value toy/chew and then give him a favourite treat and then give the low value item back to him. Is working, slowly and steadily!

    I know I have to be very careful with a growling dog so are these methods correct? I don't want to make the problem worse but they seem to be working at the moment!

    (PS: just FYI to people with new puppies, I believe this was caused by 1) us handing him over things 'for free' so he developed a bit of possessiveness/entitlement 2) our reaction before, he used to snatch away VERY important papers and expensive things and even dangerous things (broken glass, chocolate bar etc) so we used to get into a frenzy chasing him and yanking the item out of his mouth - and I think thats the reason why he is aggressive when he wants to keep an item. I didn't know how to react when he did such things especially when he had something dangerous but I could have coaxed it out of him instead of yanking it away from him and treating him after too, so that is why I'm practicing the above exercises well now! )
    Dogster likes this.
  5. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    There is great advice above.

    One thing you might want to teach your dog, is the cue "drop it" or "thank you" or whatever you will call it, when a dog gives you an item on cue.
    another variation of this, is "trade", where you give dog an item, and he gives you the item he currently has, a trade.

    It's not too hard to teach, worth a try. It's a good cue for all dogs to know anyway.
    Dogster likes this.
  6. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    RE: the growling when you lean over him.
    My dog did this, too. He was a rescue, with a lot of issues, and i did not work on it for a long long time---------til i was SURE Buddy DID trust me.
    but at some point, when i KNEW, i knew, he would not bite me, and did otherwise trust me, i did the following.

    HUGE CAVEAT: this might not be safe for YOUR dog, and others could rightly object to what i did. I'm still not sure it WAS the right thing to do,(?) but, i did it, and it worked for my dog. This is not saying it will work for YOUR dog. All dogs are unique.
    i made this up, all by myself, i am not a pro, just a dog owner, so don't necessarily think, "well, that is what to do" cuz, i made this up myself.

    My dog also growled if i leaned over him, or snuggled him.
    One night, i decided, i wanted him to not fear my leaning over him.
    so i carefully, positioned my hand, "at the ready" to hold his snout if he should rise up to bite me, and leaned over him, in a chair,
    and kissed his head. He growled.
    I did it again.
    He growled. I just talked to him, petted him, and offered him some doggie "calming signals" like yawns.
    I just kept doing it, and talked calmly to him, and praised him when he stopped growling.

    My dog eventually decided, he could have me lean over him, and he would not die afterall.:rolleyes:

    He stopped growling.

    I advanced it, day by day, and had him on the floor, and briefly leaned over him, with my hand in good postion to prevent a bite should he decide he will snap, (he didn't, but YOURS COULD).
    and he only growled the first time for this on the floor work,
    as he'd already lost some of his objection to the whole idea, from the chair lessons.

    AGAIN--------this is a dog who knew me very very well, i'd had him an entire year, and he did otherwise trust me. THIS MIGHT BE DANGEROUS FOR ANOTHER DOG. YOU COULD GET BITTEN.
    Another person, could read this, and rightly object, "That is stressful to the dog, and not fair!!" and they could be right. I could not argue, it probably was stressful to my dog those first few times i leaned over him.

    but, it worked for *my* dog. I felt that, however clumsily, i was removing one more "scarey" thing out of his world, "being leaned over".

    I can now lean over him, actually, ANYONE can now lean over my dog now. He has decided he lives afterall, even if someone leans over him, or hugs him, etc etc.

    BUT DO CONSIDER, this might not work for any other dog than MY dog, a person could get bitten, and possibley severely bitten, when doing this, and some dogs, may be made MORE fearful by this, not LESS fearful.

    I would NOT recommend this for SHY DOGS. My dog is NOT a shy dog.
    Dogster likes this.
  7. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    and, over time, i then SLOWLY SLOWLY SLOWLY lengthened the time i leaned over him, or hugged him, slowly, adding another few seconds, then a minute, day by day.

    I had been working on this with my dog, in secret, and my family did not know.
    When i finally had my dog able to let me lean over him, hug him, whatever,
    i had my family come see it.

    When they saw me beginning to lean over the dog, they were horrified,:eek: and called out "stop, you will get bitten". but, Buddy was now used to this, and just layed there, calmly, no big deal now.

    then i had each of them do the same, Buddy did not even growl.

    now he lets anyone lean over him, or hug him.

    but Buddy is NOT a SHY dog. Buddy loves people. I would not recommend this for a SHY dog, (who generally dislikes unknown humans touching him).

    aGAIN, this could be dangerous for another dog, what worked for MY dog might be dangerous for another dog.

    and there might be safer, smarter ways to accomplish this!!!!!:ROFLMAO:
    Dogster likes this.
  8. Dogster Honored Member

    I LOVE, LOVE your post, Tigerlily!!!!! That's some GREAT advice!!!! (I don't know much about this so I won't give any advice(y) )
  9. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    well, Dogster, thank you, but it is VERY debatable to call my post great advice, as someone could end up with a dog bite to their face or neck!!!:eek: It's hard for me to explain, but, somehow, i KNEW my Buddy would not bite me.
    i knew it, despite his growls, i knew he would not bite me.
    for example, i had pulled a tick off of Buddy, which hurt a lot, and he tolerated that, with no snapping at me. I gave him baths, which he dislikes, and he never snapped at me by then.

    i DID have SOME CLUES he would not bite me by this stage of his rehab.

    that might not work for any other dog than my own dog. This would be bad bad BAD idea for a SHY dog. This could be plum dangerous or foolish for any other dog except MY dog, and ppl should know that.

    and there are probably SAFER, SMARTER ways to do that, than what i did!! I just didn't know any better at the time.
    Dogster likes this.
  10. Dogster Honored Member

    Very true, Tigerlily. I guess it really comes down to what kind of dog it is and if you feel comfortable with doing what you did. Let me tell you, getting bit in the face is NOT pleasant:confused:
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  11. lilJohnny New Member

    Johnny is definitely not a shy dog, he's extremely friendly and a people's dog. I just wanted to know did Buddy growls when you leaned over him all the time? Johnny doesn't mind it usually and will only do this when he's sleepy (that's why I have a problem moving him once he's already asleep somewhere else in the house)

    I also have a similar feeling for the method im using (didn't really read it anywhere) by holding onto his chew bone as he is chewing on it. i'm hoping it will make him less possessive of the item but there might be a possibility that he will get MORE possessive of it once its not in my hand. it does seem to be working at the moment though. I think he would see me as more of a 'giver' or good things than a 'taker' or good things :)
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  12. sara Moderator

    I adopted a dog with severe resource guarding issues... they're gone now. Here's what I did

    I fed Boo by hand, making him do something for every piece of food, for 3 weeks

    Then I put the bowl on the floor in front of me, again making him do something (sit, down, target hand, etc) and instead of giving him the food directly, I put it in his dish. I did that for approx a week

    Then I would put a few pieces at a time in his dish, working up to the whole meal. that took approx 2 weeks

    Then I would give him the whole meal, but would put really yummy treats in his dish while he was eating (hot dogs, freeze dried liver, etc)

    I started touching him right before putting in the treats

    I NEVER, EVER take anything away from him, if I have to take something, I trade him something better (like hot dogs)

    Now I can touch him, and mess around in his dish all I want and he's perfectly fine with it. He doesn't guard toys, and I dont let them have bones unless in their crates

    He does guard laps and people, so I make sure to never set him up to fail. I will not let anyone touch him while another person is holding him (he guards whomever has him) If someone is holding him, and someone else wants to meet him, he has to be put on the floor.

    For Johnny, I would make sure you wake him up with hot dogs :) Dont touch him yet, just hold piece of hot dog under his nose and ask him to wake up, immediately feed one piece then step back and call him off the couch (or whatever he's on) immediately feed treats, then and only then, touch him. Treat as you pet.

    NEVER take anything away, trade him, and NEVER set him up to fail. if you think he's going to react, back off, think about how you can change the situation to make him happy, and avoid setting up a situation. quit giving him things he reacts over, or only give them in his crate, and YOU dont go near.

    There is a book about resource guarding called "Mine!" by Jean Donaldson... it's a great resource for situations like yours.

    Johnny isn't in a bad state yet, you should be easily able to turn this around quickly :)
    Dogster likes this.
  13. lilJohnny New Member

    Thank you! these are great tips. I also purchased the Jean Donaldson book from amazon! :)
    Dogster likes this.
  14. Dogster Honored Member

    GREAT!!! Good luck!!! Wish you the best!!!!:ROFLMAO:

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