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Amanda Elsdon-Dew
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:27 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

This seems ridiculous. We have just collected Dinah from kennels where she has been for the last week while we were camping. She is of course very sweet at the moment, sniffing all her places and lying in her favourite spots, generally settling back in. We asked the kennel staff who had looked after her if she had been nice and friendly and they looked at us in total surprise, as kennel staff always do, saying 'of course,' - a bit loud and a bit pully on her lead but as friendly as can be. She is completely delightful at home too and with human visitors once she has got used to them but even my normally pretty chilled husband is now concerned as to the aggression she can show to strange people whom she hasn't accepted. Indeed we have just decided that we will have to take the Brion route (which actually cured him) of shutting her totally away when visitors come behind a fence so she can see but not actually make contact. She has, you see, progressed from barking rudely at people of whom she disapproves to very definitely harassing them, getting in very close and barking very threateningly.
Dear patient Brenda is helping us and suggests, true I am sure, that however responsive Dinah seems to be with us and obedient generally she doesn't totally accept our leadership, and will in certain circumstances - usually when our attention is distracted, hence the need to have a firm rule we have decided - take charge, and this has escalated since Brion died, to whom she used to defer.
I guess that there is no such issue in kennels and indeed she is keen to please - and be let out of prison!!!
It is lovely to see her again, whatever, and I got the most spectacular greeting.
Amanda

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maxnick
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:19 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Oh Amanda, she is giving you a bit of a testing time by the sound of it, but I am sure you will be able to sort it out with Brenda's help Smile

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Ruth Richardson
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:18 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hugo used to be over-friendly towards visitors, shut in another room while they sat down, then generally launching himself into their laps. He was such a greedy boy who would eat anything, so we started to have a treat ready when letting him in to greet people. He then wasn't bothered about welcoming them, he just wanted the food. He quickly realised that he wouldn't get the treat until he had gone and said hello. Such was his hurry to get the delicious item, he would barely give visitors a nudge with his nose or a lick of their hand before turning to get his reward. Then, by the time he had eaten it, he was calm. After the first few times, we wouldn't need the treat to hand. He would do his quick greeting then look at us to say, "OK, I've been really polite, where's my treat?" The minute we told him, "Good boy!" he charged to the kitchen to wait by the cupboard where his treats were kept!
Fin, of course, is much more reserved, so his greetings are much calmer. He does launch himself at my sister, it's true, but that's because she encourages such wild behaviour!
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Amanda Elsdon-Dew
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:46 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Dinah definitely 'gets' treats, and is ultra responsive to anything involving them. I think that the say hello followed by treat method would work well for the initial greeting but the issue with her is later on during a human visit, when Dinah will seem to be totally chilled about everything, quite possibly lying close to the visitor, more often on a favourite sofa. She may well then opt to come over to the human for a pat, perfectly calmly. However, she has such a mind of her own! She is quite happy with a brief pat but definitely doesn't like being over-patted by anyone but us (and she just adores rough and tumble with my adult sons) and will not hesitate to tell off anyone who has over-stepped the mark. The tellings off, as I know I have detailed before, used to be alarming enough but were actually just a loud woof right in their faces, and generally she would be fairly much on the back foot, you know that action, loud barking but body poised to retreat.
Brion became normally calm and friendly but he was actually the one who could lift his lip in a definitely intentional snarl if for example a workman leaned over the dog fence towards him - as happened once, and then Dinah just woofed and shot backwards.
But since Brion's death, Dinah seems to have moved onto the offensive. Eg I met a very harmless bird watching man in 'our' woods when Dinah was on the lead. As I passed the time of day with him, Dinah jumped up and seized his arm in her mouth. She did no harm but he was clearly and understandably rattled as was I because I had thought that she was well 'in control' when on her lead. Since then whenever I have spoken with any human with Dinah on the lead she has tried to jump up at them. Yet she remains friendly with human visitors to our house who are calm and just ignore her. What led to Mark saying the other day, 'This is not OK at all,' (until he saw for himself he thought - as most people do who see the normal relaxed Di - that I am exaggerating) was when a man came to look at our hairy hedges, a big hairy man himself. I had Dinah on a lead and he said that he was not remotely worried by dogs and so I let him and Mark go off up the garden to look at the hedges and then let Dinah off the lead, expecting her to ignore him, as in the old days she would have done - but this time she charged straight up the drive to our visitor, got right in close and barked very aggressively. The old Dinah would not have got so close with someone who hadn't come into her personal space or looked her in the face, which she is never keen on from strangers. I would have said that it was Brion, not her, who could be territorial.
Yet as I said she showed none of this at kennels, she does seem to be trying to take over from Brion. A young man, godson of my husband's, is coming round this afternoon to spend the afternoon, and we will then shut her behind wire fencing so that she can see him but not make contact. However, I could try out your method, Ruth, with dog loving friends who wouldn't mind coming round just to help Dinah, or my mother in law who comes round a lot, and doesn't like Dinah at all and so totally ignores her, which is actually quite helpful!!! What we can't risk is human visitors who stay for some time, potentially incurring Dinah's wrath at a later stage in the visit because we can't of course monitor her behaviour the entire time when friends are visiting. . .
Hey ho. You can see, I am sure, why it does seem to be as Brenda suggests that Dinah just doesn't think that we are fully in control of her household at all times!
Amanda
Amanda

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Ruth Richardson
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:18 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Yes, we had the arm grabbing incident with Hugo when he felt threatened by someone approaching in the street. Luckily it was a very understanding dog-lover and no harm was done. It does sound as though these issues should be relatively easy to sort - it's not as if she is trying to bite, is it? She just needs to know that her barking is not acceptable. Calmly removing them from the room is always good, as they don't want to miss out on what's happening. As for workmen in the garden etc., you will just know to be more careful for the immediate future. Losing Brion will have unsettled her. I'm sure she'll calm down. In the meantime, just follow whatever advice Brenda gave you.
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