Thursday, January 15, 2009

Anger Management

Limo is in need for some serious anger management. She can't stand it when I pull up next to the pasture and Lester comes up. This is the same thing we have to deal with at home when Peanut or any other dog comes up to us while we sit on the couch or bed. Oh and she does it when another dog comes up to her too. She growls, licks nervously and shakes uncontrollably. Sometimes the whites of her eyes go red too.

We've tried our best to "rehabilitate" her, but she seriously goes into that "Red Zone" dog that the Dog Whisperer talks about. We found that forcing her to be submissive and holding her down till she gives up doesn't work at all. It makes it worse. Kicking her out of the room and putting her in a time out works the best.


Grey Horse Matters said...

She probably just needs some more training, I hope she comes around soon. I think you're doing a good job with patience and persistence. Good luck, she is awfully cute.

cdncowgirl said...

Sounds like someone is a bit possessive!

Anonymous said...

Denise, please remember that Cesar's methods don't work for all dogs and all situations. And, he does use different methods as well. Let me sleep on this and I'll get back to you with some things to try. (I'm a former dog trainer too).

I suspect her reaction is less aggression and more fear based.

Melanie said...

LOL!!! You just gave me a good laugh...well Limo did!!!

Poor girl! She does seem like she may be a bit fearful...

allhorsestuff said...

Holy dog growls!
Lester has no idea what is behind car door number 2!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Silly Limo. She actually started to whine when Less ambled away, as if she was sad that the game was over.

Good luck with it!


Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

You have to remember also that when taking the Cesar approach you have to be very calm. You can't do it because you are mad or frustrated and you have to have the follow through and make sure she has let it go and is calm before allow her to get up.

I really think you could change her with a rewarding default behavior as well, but you have to be consistant and really want to tackle it.


Denise- LessIsMore17 said...

It's def' fear based. That's clear from the shaking and nervous licking. You can't really tell from the video, but she is shaking uncontrolablly. The weird/ funny thing is as soon as the "situation" is gone she is back to her normal, happy, playful self like it never happened.

greytblackdog said...

one word solution. prozac. :) sometimes that's all you need. j/k

poor lim lim. what's going to happen when there's all these new dogs there for the 10 bitch weekend? Jen won't have a chance to rest :)

Anonymous said...

The licking isn't about nervousness. It's a form of communication that dogs use to calm other dogs when they are stressed. It's actually one of many "calming signals" dogs use. Turid Rugaas has a great book and video out about this called "Calming Signals: What Your Dog Tells You".

Ok, so, here's my prescription to try. :)

On leash, with plenty of high value treats handy, find a distance from Lester that doesn't bother Limo. (Does she know the "watch me" command?). Approach Lester but just to where Limo is starting to lick, yawn, look away and stress. Not where she's barking and fearful. Feed her treats. Is she comfortable? If so, close the distance some more. Feed more treats. If she's ok with that distance, close in some more and repeat. If not, back off a bit until she is more comfortable. From there, work on shortening the distance between yourselves and Lester where she can stay calm, watching you and being fed mass quantities of treats. Just feed an absolute ton! The idea is for Limo to start associating Lester with good things. This will take a lot of time and repetitions, but pretty soon Lester won't worry her any more. The idea is that she learns that Lester isn't going to eat her, he's not a big, scary dog who speaks a funny language, and he's good. Treats = good association.

Other good resources would be any book by Pat Miller, Patricia McConnell, Sophia Yin, Trish King, or Ian Dunbar. I especially recommend "For the love of a dog" by Patricia McConnell. She's an accredited animal behaviorist. There are message boards at where other dog people (and sometimes authors!) are around to give advice and support.

Good Luck!

Stephanie said...

HA! That's too funny! I mean not that you have to deal with it - but just that it's humorous to watch.

Sometimes Limo sounds like Kaiser...

IHateToast said...

i'm a baaaad woman for saying this, but for me, one who doesn't have to deal with it, that was hilarious.

i know i know. you have to fix it, and you will. it's on youtube. i can go back to that "arf arf arf neo neo neo grrr." love the neos when he growls and licks.

Denise- LessIsMore17 said...

Thanks Jen and Oregon for the tips, I will take them to heart. I just hate the treat idea because she about takes my fingers off when I give her treats- I know another need for training :-p She really only shows this side to Lester while she's in the car, or if she gets cornered or thinks she's cornered. She doesn't run up and start anything. As soon as I let her out of the car its all over and she;s happy as can be.

Any ideas without treats? Though I have started carrying little jerky treats in my pockets for their "recalls".

I'll keep you all updated on our progress, hopefully with more video:-)