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need help, re: dogs behaviour!!!!

(18 Posts)
FairLadyRantALot Fri 19-Jun-09 19:15:11

Well....our rescue dog.... well, really still a pup at about 10-12 month, I suppose....is causing a bit of trouble....again...
basically he a great big thing (Mastiff/German Shephard X) and he now can be a bit growly/trying to nip if you try to make him go out in the garden or in his cage, if he doesn't want to do....it worries me a bit, I must say (as we got children...and he could cause quite bad damage shoudl he ever decide to bite)....he is not a generally nasty dog and it is just him trying to be boss.

When this happens, I basically "wrestle" him to the ground and make him show throaht and hold him down there, telling him NO in no uncertain terms....which is what dh said to do....but is this the right thing...and also is this behaviour an indicator for him to possibly turn nasty?

I just can't trust him all that much, I have to say....but we haven't had him all that ling, about 1 1/2 month at a guess...

so, you lovely people with doggy know how...what is your opinion on this?

MaryMotherOfGod Fri 19-Jun-09 19:20:40

that sounds like a crazy thing to do, horribly threatening to the dog - why would you do that?

have you thought of taking him to training classes so you can establish a good relationships and set the boundaries for him in a way he can actually understand?

MaryMotherOfGod Fri 19-Jun-09 19:29:05

really need more background info on this set-up, like what food is he on, how much exercise/what sort, could there by a thyroid problem? why do you have to 'make' him go out to the garden/in his crate

dogs don't brutalise one another to sort out their hierarchy by the way, 9 times out of 10 disputes are settled without any nastiness at all

FairLadyRantALot Fri 19-Jun-09 19:48:50

well...dh's reasoning behind this is, I suppose, to sort out hierarchy....

reason why sometimes he has to go in cage or out is, that he can not be left out of sight, as he will destroy/chew anything in his path....basically it's damage limitation... so, if kids eat in the lounge, he needs to go out, as he simply would nick their food...or if I go out/ upstairs (even for just 20minutes) he would chew our furniture.... hence no choice....obviously I don't really "wrestle" him down violently , wrestle is the wrong word...can't think of any better one right now....

food...he is on dry food....petsmart own brand....
exercise....massive garden for running like a loon/playing with kids-throwing/fetching games and daily walk...at least once a day, or a run with dh....

we haven't had him checked out in that way....what does thyroid problem do in dogs?

oh, he is not castrated yet, but that is on the to do list next....but want to wait to be finished with Uni, in order to give him 100% attention when he has is op, iykwim....

not sure, if I have explained it all better now...

he is a lovely, boystrous pup, and seems more loopy than nasty....btw...

oh, he can listen lovely, when he wants too....but othertimes, like when he doesn't he will be stubborn, run away or if you try to grab him by the collar snap....

hercules1 Fri 19-Jun-09 20:13:44

I would have him castrated now. Sorry but no excuse for waiting. His behaviour will become learned if it isnt already unless it's done at a young age. I am [shock[ the rescue place let ypu have it without it being done or without you getting it done straight away.

Please do not wrestle him to the ground. You need to get professional advice and steer very clear of anyone who says you should do this. The pack theory has been rubbished a long time ago. You will make it worse.

You also need to get the dog to classes and keep them up.

He needs more exercising sorry than you are giving too.

MaryMotherOfGod Fri 19-Jun-09 20:13:47

Sounds like he might need more structure and stimulation to stop him being so destructive - training classes are great and will get your relationship with him on a much happier, more even keel. They can help you correct his behaviour around food so quickly and simply, by teaching him 'leave it' and 'stay' etc. There are some really good books you can work from if classes are difficult to get to, like Gwen Bailey's Perfect Puppy or Jean Donaldson's Culture Clash.

I don't know the brand of food, whether (like bakers for example) it has a lot of additives that might be making him a bit hyper? Brands like Arden Grange, Burns, James Wellbeloved etc are among the better ones for this sort of thing.

Don't worry about post-operative care unless his testes are undescended it's really straightforward and non-invasive procedure!

hercules1 Fri 19-Jun-09 20:15:10

REad your last post. You need to get him to training classes now. A large dog behaving like this will not be seen to be loopy. DOnt force him into his cage.

MaryMotherOfGod Fri 19-Jun-09 20:17:13

Yes agree with hercules, the idea of crate training is that the cage is his sanctuary, his own sacred space - his den.

FairLadyRantALot Fri 19-Jun-09 20:29:12

can I just say, often he will go in happily...into his cage I mean...and he has toys and bones (loves bones) in their....just the odd time....

am hoping that over my long Semester Holiday I will get him more stimulated and work through his bad habits...but will deffo look at dog training classes...

On castration, the home was totally overfull, and they had a hard time to cope, I think...but their heart was in the right place, iykwim... like I said it is our next to do think...and I only got one more day at Uni left (i.e. an Exam next week)....so, yeah will make appointment next week, see when they can get him in....

as for staying away from a person giving that advice...kinda hard, seeing it is my dh grin

hercules1 Fri 19-Jun-09 20:30:54

I still say you need to get advice so you are doing it properly. Mistakes which affect his behaviour will make it so much harder to rectify. He already has baggage you dont want to add to it.

We had our dogs done at 5 months old to ensure they didnt have an opportunity to develop agressive habits.

FairLadyRantALot Fri 19-Jun-09 20:31:48

he isn't hyper, by the way...more normal kinda loopey puppy energy...hard to describe...bouncy and boystrous...which our old dog was, too...only he was much smaller, lol...only the size of a border collie...

beautifulgirls Sat 20-Jun-09 12:02:47

You need to have a chat with your vet and get referred to a veterinary behaviourist. Dog training classes may be helpful but they are not a substitute for getting proper help here. This dog sounds like he does need a firm hand but that needs to be done in the right way or it could make the problem worse. Discuss this before you make the choice to castrate him - I am all for neutering don't get me wrong, but make sure you are doing everything here, not just "bits and bobs" of trying to sort this. Good luck.

FairLadyRantALot Sun 21-Jun-09 09:05:44

beautyfulgirls...he will have to be neutered though, anyway...although, I am not the greatest believer in "it's the answer to all"...., think I mentioned that our previous dog was quite a loopey little thing, and we were told that he would considerably calm down once neutered....well...he eventually did when he was good and ready and got older (I think he was about 6 years old by the time we noticed him being calmer, lol)...so...doubtful it was down to the neutering....lol...

but will see about dog behaviourist....

thanks for the advise
Have now another question...but will post a different thread for that...

KingCanuteIAm Tue 23-Jun-09 13:53:12

Fairlady, I don't know if it is of any use now but I thought I would just let you know anyway, just incase!

GSDs are particularly vocal dogs, they tend to grumble and groan, humph and carry on to let you know how they feel about things! My GSD will moan and carry on if he is told to do something he does not feel like doing, we tell him to stop back chatting us grin. I am aware that the noises he makes could sound like he is being quite threatening to someone from the outside, it is only because I know him that I am happy that he is being a teenage boy not a threatening thug IYSWIM.

GSDs also, naturally use open mouth against you to communicate, it is the way they herd animals. THey lay their teeth on but should not close or bite.

THey are quite a specific breed and it is helpful to really know them to assess their behaviour, I assume that Masstifs have their own peculiararities to deal with too but I know nothing about the breed!

We have a local GSD centre where they run specific groups aimed at the breed, it could be worth having a scout around as somewhere like that could be really helpful.

Anyway, that essay is basically saying, there could be reasons for his behaviour that are not anything to worry about at all and it could be helpful to meet a behaviourist or breed specialist to discuss things.

The other thing, IMHO, throwing a dog (forcing them down) is dangerous, if you are lucky you will get a dog that is kind enough to put up with it but if they get fed up they can and will let you know and with a dog this size it could be very worrying! I really would chat to someone with a bit of current training about ways to tackle things!

I am now going to look for your other thread grin

FairLadyRantALot Tue 23-Jun-09 16:43:26

Thank you very much KingCanute...what you say makes a lot of sense....thinking about it and his general behaviour and than those moments...because he doesn't seem nasty at all...and I suppose, because he is bigger than our old mutt, it possibly sounds more threatening to me....

it's odd really , because he will (and did from the start) throw himself down to show his throat as soon as you fuss him...so...it throwing as such is really not what is happening, and I know "wrestling" him down made it sound like that was what happened...basically he is forced to sit down, by putting a hand on his backside and applying some pressure and the next step is that he will automatically lie down to show his throat, the only thing I than would do 9but haven't since my eyes been opened to this) was that I would put my hand onto his throat (no force as he will lie there anyway)...in a way more of a ritual than brute force...not sure if that amkes sense...

anyway though, I have much more time to spend with him currecntly and will have for a fair while, so, am hoping that he will be able to settle down properly and get more attention, because that will have been an issue...he responds really well to cuddling and fussing and already seems to be calmer than he was....

CountryGirl2007 Fri 26-Jun-09 01:11:20

You should start taking him to training classes now. Little things like stealing food, pushing in front of you going out the door, not moving from the settee if you want to sit down etc, are all subtle ways of getting a higher position in the "pack" i.e. he is trying to be dominant. This needs to be sorted out now to prevent any real aggression issues in future, especially as he is such a large dog. I'd say you're DH has been watching a bit too much Cesar Milan! Re the wresting-to-the-ground-to-show-who's-boss thing!

But definetly training classes + neutering + more exersize and everyday things like making him wait behind you when going out a door, not allowing him up on chairs, making him wait for his dinner until after you've eaten etc. all the little things to send a message back to him that his trying-to-be-the-top-dog tactics have been sussed and it's not going to happen!

FairLadyRantALot Fri 26-Jun-09 17:52:46

oh, we had a major breakthrew with him

He usually is in a cage for the night, etc....because of rippingtearing/pooing and peeing issues at first...
well, dh left him out of it the otehr night, wiht doors shut, but he slept downstairs, and the dog was perfectly behaved, including no poo or pee....we are veryyyyyyyyy pleased...and he seems to respond so much better...may long it last

GuessWhatIAmANameChanger Sun 28-Jun-09 09:53:02

That is fab FairLady smile

I think spending some extra time, classes and neutering are going to be the making of this dog. You clearly have all his best interests firmly in mind so just keep up the good work!

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