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Missie
Friend in Training
Friend in Training


Joined: 30 Dec 2008
Posts: 42
Location: Somerset

PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 1:20 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Last night Rufus got hold of my daughters toy, I tried to get him to leave it and he would not, when I took the toy from his mouth he turned on me biting my wrist it was quite bad and I needed stitches. He seemed to know what he had done and stayed in his bed all night.

I am absolutely devastated I keep thinking it could have been one of my daughters. On hindsight I should not tried to take the toy. He has never shown that level of aggression before, and now I just don’t know what to do, how can I ever trust him with the children.

Re homing him would be the last resort, myself and the children have been so upset. I have not had him neutered would this help. If anyone has had a similar problem or can offer any advice, I really am desperate.

Missie
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Caroline
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Joined: 26 Jan 2006
Posts: 885
Location: Hampshire

PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 2:33 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

We have never ever played 'tug' with bo for that reason... it's so hard for the dog to know the difference between what toy is theres but that doesn't excuse his bite..

Does he have his own toys and toy box? Can you and your children practice leave and reward with him? Also, can you put your childrens toys way out of his reach for the time being?

My stepdaughters found it hilarious when Bo used to pinch their teddies but didn't like it when he wouldn't give them back so we went through this proceedure when he was young.

I'd discuss neutering with your vet - bo was at 6 for medical reasons but i can't say he's any more chilled out as he always has been....

So glad you're giving him a second chance, but it sounds to me like he's unsure of his position in your pack and needs to go to boot camp for a wee bit.

Big hugs to you and your poorly wrist! x

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Carol & Dillon
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Joined: 06 Nov 2009
Posts: 1036
Location: Sutton Coldfield

PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 2:46 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Amber was very stubborn about giving toys up and sometimes would growl, so we started to use a bottle with a few stones in it, we just shook it and told her to drop it, after a few times of doing this she got the message, in the end we only had to over to where the bottle was keeped and she would just drop the toy.
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Ruth Richardson
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Joined: 13 Jul 2005
Posts: 1061
Location: St Helens

PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 3:43 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

See your veterinary behavioural nurse and have her refer you to a veterinary behaviourist. This is very expensive (can be a few hundred pounds) but if you are insured with Petplan, they will pay it.
They will teach you the swap technique, which is too hard for me to explain here properly. It involves you practising getting your dog to hand over what they have by producing something of higher value. You hold out your hand - maybe not too close - with the item on show - and say swap. Gradually you hide the item in your clenched hand, but the dog thinks you will have something better and will still swap. It's supposed to work then even if you don't have anything to swap. The hard part is knowing how much value your dog places on things. I have practised with a hide chew and some fresh meat. You always give the hide chew back as well, because you're trying to show the dog that you don't really want it. It's you trying to get an item off him which makes him think it must be worth having! This is really best demonstrated by a behaviourist who shows you how to start by dropping things near him, while appearing disinterested in what he has got. Once he has dropped the first item and is absorbed in the swap item, you casually pick the other item up, then chuck that back at his paws as well. I wouldn't want you to get bitten by doing this incorrectly, so please see an expert if you can.
Hugo is possessive over rubbish he picks up on his walks. The swap works for me. Paul has less success with it because he scorns this approach, feeling it is bribery and that Hugo should just drop things on command. (Maybe he should, but he doesn't!) In the past I have shouted biccy! and headed for the cupboard where his treats are kept and he soon loses interest in the other things he has picked up.
The behaviourist Hugo sees says he should never have been neutered because his behavioural issues are fear-based and neutering makes this worse.
I know seeing a behaviourist is not an option for everyone due to the expense. Paul would never have agreed to it if Petplan weren't paying for it. However, if you can manage to have one session, it will be worth it.
Good luck!
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Missie
Friend in Training
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Joined: 30 Dec 2008
Posts: 42
Location: Somerset

PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 4:17 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks for all your help and advice.

I Have spoken to Debs and she has given me faith. Lots of tears today but I am sure with the right training we are going to be fine.



Missie
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saintbriard
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Joined: 17 Jul 2004
Posts: 1004
Location: Coseley nr Wolverhampton

PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 4:52 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

We really feel for you over your Dilemna it must be heartbreaking for you all.Good Luck

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Steve and Jenny Griffiths
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Sharon
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Joined: 30 Jul 2007
Posts: 514
Location: Essex

PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:53 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi Missie

Rufus obviously highly prized the toy and was resource guarding it. I have used the swap process, referred to by Ruth, with Bonbon with great success. I can happily take anything from her now.

I wish you all well and hope you make a speedy recovery.
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Linda and Jasper
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Joined: 28 Aug 2004
Posts: 1865
Location: UK birmingham

PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 4:21 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

jasper is the same bu came as a rescue i wont take anything of him. i throw a biscuet first to get him away from it. seems strange that he has started just latley. hope all gets sorted out. it is a worry as a nip can be bad on its own.

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Ivan
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Joined: 21 Jul 2004
Posts: 44
Location: Oxford

PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 9:17 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi,

Oliver did something similar when he was about a year and a bit. He had nicked a bone from the rubbish bin. We thought that he could choke on this and went after him to retrieve the bone. He then snapped and bit me. I realised that something was wrong as he has never shown any aggression before.

Following this event, when a similar situation occurred I would offer something else to swap with him. He'd quite gladly accept this.

Since we started practicing swaps Oliver's never been aggressive again.

So hopefully with a bit of practice all should be good with Rufus.

Ivan

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Last edited by Ivan on Wed Nov 25, 2009 12:47 am; edited 3 times in total
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olneym
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Joined: 23 Nov 2008
Posts: 88
Location: Westbury, Wiltshire

PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:37 am Reply with quoteBack to top

We always played tug of war with ours from as early as possible, they love it because it's a game, nothing to get obsessive over.

We've started with something very close to their hearts... FOOD

Take it away from him, if he patiently sits, then he gets it back. Then move on to chews / bones - tough one that can be. If he reacts, he doesn't get it back until he's calmed down.

If you're nervous, don't show it. You're the boss, he's the dog.

Good luck

Mark
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Missie
Friend in Training
Friend in Training


Joined: 30 Dec 2008
Posts: 42
Location: Somerset

PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:10 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I just wanted to say a huge thank you for all the help and support I have received, and not just over this issue but since I have joined the website.

It really is a fantastic site.


Missie & Rufus
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Caddywaddy
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Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Posts: 240
Location: Church Stretton

PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 3:39 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

The swap thing sounds a good idea. Distraction might work too - ie getting the lead and going to the front door...? Luckily Olive isn't very possessive. She drops anything if I tell her I want it (thankfully including a whole roast chicken from behind a bin in Berlin - these things are usually poisoned over there!). Basically she's a wimp. Tug of war games are the same. She gives a few weak, feeble pulls then gives it to me. Rubbish. Maybe if we cross Olive with your furry friend, we'd get a 'normal' dog.... !

It's the biting that's worrying you though, I'd imagine. The positive thing is that your dog seemed to know he'd done the wrong thing. How does he act with you now? Is he still a bit contrite and mopey? Does he still put up a fight when you take toys off him or does he give in quickly? If he does, perhaps he's learned the lesson. Some dogs are sensitive to changes of mood in the house (Olive is) and I'm guessing a big black cloud descended in yours when he bit you. Hoping it's behind you now. Smile



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