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Author Topic: Jake Dilema- suggestions  (Read 9600 times)
bigdogs@5501
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« on: November 04, 2007, 05:54:10 PM »

Jake has become possesive aggressive when it comes to someone coming around me. We had an incident that happened about 3 weeks ago that was horrifying and could have turned out a lot worse than it did, so thankfully we survived with out any major problems.
I dont feel comfortable ever taking him out in public again. This is the dog who has been thru training and use to go with me on a regular basis to Petsmart or the park. I have no idea why he thinks that I am in danger whenever a stranger comes around.
I am trying to figure out if it is because for the last 9 months, we really have not been out and socialized or is this just Jake.
In some ways, it is a comfort. My husband is not home during the week and now I have no doubt that I am safe as long as Jake is here, especially living out in the country. But then I also worry about having someone come over now.
I am going to have a friend over on Saturday and I am thinking that Jake will have to be locked up in my bedroom for most of the day.
Has anyone else had a Dane show this type of protection? I know that he is attached to me, I cant do anything at home that he is not right beside me.
Also there was a weirdo neighbor yesterday that I had some words with, not necessarily negative, just not all positive and it took all I could to keep Jake from going at this guy. The husband even had to help. So now weirdo neighbor probably will never try to ever come over here again, again good thing, but now I am worried about how to control Jake.
To me and the family he is just an over sized love bug, but with his size and his temper he could be dangerous.

Suggestions, other than to not ever let him near strangers or weirdo neighbors? Also he is never outside unless he is supervised and he never leaves the property. So I suppose that as long as I dont have to take him any where other than the vet, life is good.( My vet and Jake have always had an understanding, he has to wear a muzzle when he visits her, he has never made an attempt to bite her, but she was bit by a large black Dane once and once was all she needed)
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bigdogs@5501
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« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2007, 06:34:12 PM »

Jake gives her the look and a low growl. So I am ok with the muzzle. Jake doesnt trust her and she doesnt trust him and after the last incident I am taking no chances ever again.
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bigdogs@5501
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« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2007, 04:52:43 AM »

I am going to look into some more training- Not sure what the next step will be though since where I live the only training within reasonable driving distance is probably not going to be able to address this situation.
My friend has known Jake since he was a baby, so I am not sure how he is going to react. We are just going to have to watch this and address it when she gets here.
Weirdo neighbor had me really irritated, so I totally undersand that vibe. Incident 3 weeks ago totally took me by surprise, but he was not at home and so maybe he was nervous or anxious.
I also think that I under estimated his size and power until recently and I now know to watch him closer when anyone comes to the gate.
Jake is the 1st Dane and he is a learning experience. I do know that he will bite with out thinking twice and that scares me. I also know that he has a tendancy to put himself between me and other people, so I am working on that as well when someone comes over.
I am sure that he thinks that he is doing the right thing. I just want to be able to work with him on when the right time for the protectiveness is necessary.
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pyr4me
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« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2007, 11:32:31 AM »

I do not have any personal experience with this issue, but wanted to share what I saw on the Animal Planet show, "It's me or the dog". The person had a GSD who was protecting/guarding his owner in ways similiar to what you're describing with Jake. The trainer talked with him about how his dog was taking guarding matters into his own paws, so to speak, because the dog wasn't feeling the whole "leader/alpha" vibe from his owner...the trainer was working with him to have the dog learn to take cues/commands from the owner about situations being ok, rather than the dog trying to make that determination himself.

He was instructed to put his dog in a sit/stay while he opened the door to visitors and the dog had to stay, if the dog got up, he closed the door, put the dog back in a sit/stay and tried again (and again) until the dog would reliably stay when people entered when the owner opened the door to them. There were lots of treats and praise involved for when the dog listened to the owner about it being ok.

I don't know if this is part of what might be going on with Jake or not, but perhaps he needs a more definitive signal from you that a person/situation is ok--and if he doesn't listen to you about that, then he is removed from the room, store, etc. until he does trust your judgment, and when he does relax, lots of positive reinforcement.
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Nicole
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« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2007, 11:45:43 AM »

I second everything Pyr4me said!

Jake clearly feels like he needs to fill a void. It will help if you do training that teaches him that there isn't a void, you've got it all under control. You've gotten good advice, I won't go on and on. I just think its exactly what Pyr4me said.
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lorim2
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« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2007, 12:59:08 PM »

Not sure if you tried it yet or not but go to dogscanlearn.c om and check out her site.  I met her for lunch about a month ago and really liked her alot.  Got a real good vibe from her.  Let me know!
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lorim2
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« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2007, 01:05:36 PM »

Her prices are super reasonable...
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« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2007, 01:10:12 PM »

Her prices are super reasonable...
I was going to post how expensive she is! $250 per
6 classes!!! Shocked
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« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2007, 03:10:20 PM »

$250.00 for 6 classes seems reasonable to me.  I have charged more than that just for an evaluation, but only if the people were jerks to their pets.

Some dogs that guard at home can be less protective away from home.  If you think that describes your dog, have the friend meet you a block away and walk with you to the house.

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« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2007, 03:32:19 PM »

$250.00 for 6 classes seems reasonable to me.  I have charged more than that just for an evaluation, but only if the people were jerks to their pets.


I don't know were do you live but if it was reasonable everywhere then people would never trained their dogs outside of the house. The average American makes $45,000 annually.
I don't think we could square away $250 for every 6 classes even if we really love our pets  Roll Eyes
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bigdogs@5501
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« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2007, 04:24:28 PM »

The incident that took place 3 weeks ago, I am not going to go into great detail, but he was in the down stay position. I have thought about what happened so many times that I am probably over whelming my self- the person came to him,was standing over him and then we think possibly stepped on his foot. I had just stepped away, but a family member had his leash. He didnt lunge, he wasnt aggressive, but he got his point across loud and clear. He immediatly responded to my command, but it was still an incident that should never have happened and had it been someone else, the consequences could have been pretty dire.
I think that when something happens it makes you more aware of the worst possibly scenario and that is a scary thought.
As far as protection at home- he has never been tested. I hope that he is never tested. But it is always something that is going to be there to worry about.
Not sure I can afford the 250.00 right before Christmas but I may talk to this person,especially since I think that she lives fairly close to me.
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kathryn
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« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2007, 06:51:51 PM »

I just got the book Click to Calm and it's supposed to be for dogs with aggression issues.  I think it's mainly directed at dog-dog aggression but really aggression is aggression no matter who it's directed at.  I haven't read it yet but it's supposed to be great help with reactive/aggressive dogs.  Kaila has done the trying to decide for herself when she can protect me and the incident where I actually had to catch her in the air from going for the a/c guy made me start trying to find ways to fix this problem.  She responds to me on pretty much everything except this one area.  I'll let you know how it goes with the stuff I learn.  I also got the book Control Unleashed which is supposed to work great for shy/reactive dogs also. 
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« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2007, 07:05:55 PM »

I'm sorry you are having to deal with these issues.  I can tell you it is very commen in great danes to be overprotective .  And b/c alot of people don't know how to control or handle it, it is one of the top reasons many of them are in rescue.

Gunther has this issue as well, but only on a minor level.  He's fine out in public on leash and fine at home (although watch out to anyone he doesn't know who enters  the house w/o knocking).  At the dog park however, he is not allowed to stand near me b/c he feels he needs to protect me from the other dogs (just big dogs).  He's not overly aggressive, but will lift lip and on rare occasion has snapped in the dogs direction although never making contact.  If this happens he is put in a time out away from the group (he hates to be separated).  And this is only with dogs he doesn't know well, once he's seen them a few times he's fine with them.

I agree to consider the training.  He is obviously trying to be the protector way too much, either by reading into nervous vibes from you, or not reading your "i'm in control" vibes.  I also agree that with 9 mo of not being out and about could have a huge impact on how he is reacting now.  I think some refresher training/socialization is in order but you will obviously need to take it slow b/c of the issues you're having with him now.

Good luck and keep us updated as to his progress.
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lorim2
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« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2007, 07:07:43 PM »

Hey Paige...if you look at the prices...you dont need the 6 lessons..what we were doing with Marley is the 25.00 per hour charge.  Starting with going to her place...Marley s problem is with other dogs, not people or guarding, so she hasnt had to come here.  She is super nice and really good and would work with you on price.  You could start out by taking Jake to her for an hour which is 25.00.  Maybe you should just call her and talk to her...I think you would get the same feel I did.  Hope this helps!  I know your really hurting from this.  They are our babies and its not fun when things arent right.
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Jeri
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« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2007, 10:13:01 AM »

So sorry you're going through this.  I know from experience.  Modoc was never protective until a Rottie attacked Nat at two years of age.  His behavior of protection became intense, which has limited his life exposure substantially.  You need to nip this in the bud ASAP.  You need to start him on NILF right away so he knows you're the alpha and he does not need to protect you.
For whatever reason he has determined he's the pack leader not you.  Dogs don't want to be the pack leaders they are happy following but right now he thinks he's in charge and that has to come to an abrupt end so he will be able to have a fun social life with you and your outings that you want to include him in.  He's still young and very trainable.  I would call a behaviorist right away so they can guide you in the direction that you need to go to re establish your dominance.  The behaviorist has helped us quite a bit with curbing Modoc's protective behavior.  He loves anyone with two legs and is not threatened for us but if it has four legs he thinks he needs to protect.  I don't think a training class will change his behavior.  He needs a psychological change in who is the boss.
Good luck,
jeri
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