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Lily is about 10 months or so. She has free reign of the house and is allowed to go where ever she wants. Lately she has been grabbing random items like slippers and stockings and running and hiding under the bed. We don't really care about this but when she gets something that we think could be harmful to her we will try to get it from her from under the bed. She has started to growl at my wife and I.

Is this something I should be concerned with? She's not food protective or anything like that. Does she think of under the bed as a den? Does she feel as if she is being intruded upon? She does hang out under the bed sometimes for no reason.

Thanks
 

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She could think of it as a den and be protecting it. Do you trade with her when you take stuff from her or do you just take stuff? If you just take stuff and don't give her anything in exchange, then I would try and trade her for whatever she has. If there's something like a toy or a kind of treat that she really really goes bonkers over, try that. Good luck and I hope this helps!
 

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I know I've mentioned this to another poster, but with Molly, I try to build her trust by occasionally giving back the item I took from her (assuming it is not something that could harm her). This was suggested by the trainer at her puppy class. This way, the dog doesn't always think you are taking something valuable (to the dog) away permanently. If they think there's never a chance of getting it back, they could guard it even more.

This is the exact problem we are dealing with too. Molly is only 4 1/2 months, but her resource guarding is in full-force right now. She takes things of value under the dining room table - someplace that's easy for her to go, but not easy for me. We are working diligently to break her of this habit.

Good luck, hope the suggestions that you get here on the forum are helpful :)
 

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I do the trade sometimes. For some reason I feel like she is winning at that point and I would be rewarding her for the bad behavior of taking items and hiding.

I havent tried the giving back of the item. Thats a good idea. I'll try it.
 

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but with Molly, I try to build her trust by occasionally giving back the item I took from her (assuming it is not something that could harm her). This was suggested by the trainer at her puppy class.
teach the dog to trade is an essential part of working through resource guarding issues. However it is best to start out with trading fairly low value items for much higher one. like toys for food. The point is though not wait until she has stolen something to work on this it should be an ongoing process. maybe two to three times a day with a 5 - 10 exchanges every session the idea it to train a "give" or Out command of course the word you chose to use could be anything you like.
also keep in mind you are training a command. and not luring and bribing the dg constantaly to trade. So while at first you may have to show the dog a piece of food to intiate the exchange you want to fade that quickly so the dog will exchange on anticipating getting a treat when you don't have one that is visable.
see
for and example on how to fade a lure



Now as for giving back the item i like this idea for the following reason. It is very easy to get a dog to exchange a low valued item for a much higher one nut much more difficult to get the dog to exhange a highe value item for a lower value one but it can be done. One of the easier ways is with giving back the item. If the dog thinks when it has a high value item even if the item you usually exchange for is lower value the dog will trade if it has the reasonable expectation it can have both by trading. examble dog has chew toy. Exchanged chew toy for a piece of kibble and gets chew toy back. IT takes 100 to thousand of repetitions for mind set to occur in a dog so simply practicing only when the dog has stolen something is not enough to chnge its behavior. you need to create training sesions in which you exchange items.

The thing is however not all stealing of items hidding etc is actual resource guarding. For many dogs it is simply a fun game to engage mommy to play. For example My mothers dog is a natorious sock stealer. The thing is she happily prances around with the sock to get someones attention but growl or does whatever is necesary to get someone to try and exchange for the sock. If you ignore her she will loss interest in the sock quickly. This is one of the draw backs to the trading senario is a dog can learn that a easy way to earn an extra treat is to steal something. This does not happen all the time but it does happen.

On way to determin if the dog is playing the stealing game is not to play a long and see how the dog reacts. If the dog continues to guard and covet the stolen object after a peroid of time 10-15 minutes guarding is the issue. If not simply ignoring the behavior, especial when the stolen object will cause the dog no harm and you are relatively sure the dog is not going to be destroying a valued object as well. In the case if possible harm to the dog or property it is general better to risk being played by the dog than risk the possible outcomes if you do not intervene with a trade.

This stealing came is similar to when dog are loose outside and engage you in a game of chase by not coming when called but running away a little bit in an effort to lure you to chase them all over the neighborhood, great dog fun,
 

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The dog gives value to things? Really? High and low? I'm sorry but I have yet to understand this concept. But then maybe my dogs have never gotten away with growling at me at any age. The 4 month old would be far more easier to break of the guarding behavior than a 10 month old who has somewhere to hide with her treasure. I would block off any room that has any piece of furniture that she can get under to begin with then work on getting her to give things back. I also would not return something that I didn't want them to have in the first place. If I take a chewy at some point they will get it back,if I take a slipper that is not going to be given back. Cripes raising dogs seems just like all the crap someone came up with to raise a child with out hurting their feelings.
 

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I don't think every dog exhibits resource guarding. Molly is the first one that I have ever had the problem with. Maybe you've been lucky that way too, bubbad. However, when you encounter a dog who guards things in this way, you must learn ways to work through it, otherwise you can be in a world of trouble. Dogs most certainly place different levels of value on things. A new toy, a treat they don't normally get, or something they are not to have...these all are much more valuable than the typical milk bone treat they get every day. Therefore, they go to more trouble to prevent someone from taking it (a person, another dog).

By teaching your dog to willingly give something up when told to do so, you prevent both you and your dog from any potential harm. In the long run, say you have a child (or anyone else) who doesn't understand resource guarding and they try to take something from the dog, chances are they will get bit. It happened to a friend of mine with her sister's dog...she tried to take something harmful from the dog. My friend ended up in the hospital with an infected dog bite. So gaining trust, making trades, and teaching the dog to give things up when you tell them to is an important part of training...a very real part. Honestly, is there much difference between a puppy and a toddler? Sometimes the methods of teaching overlap.
 

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MollyFrecklesMum, I've never come across resource guarding in any of our Bassets (including all our rehomes) over many years, neither my parents' Bassets either! Neither have any of ours ever been vicious at all... in fact, completely the opposite... maybe because we're a bunch of softies and dogs become like their owners!
 

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I have had rescues with the guarding issue but never any dog I have raised my self, and I agree , it is handled differently to an extent. I still have trouble with the value thing . I've never had to trade anything for anything with my dogs. If I don't want them to have something that they have been able to get I take it from them and say"No". Consistancy and persistance has worked for me.I've always said you can live with a Basset if you are more stubborn,obstinate,or whatever word you chose, than they are.
 

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I have had rescues with the guarding issue but never any dog I have raised my self, and I agree , it is handled differently to an extent
That is the whole point. When dealing with a puppy that has much less jaw strength and also does not have a history of successfully guarding an object. If ayou can easily over power the puppy causing it to release the object, it can learn that in never can win and trying to do so futile and it never tests you again even after it is full grown. However that does not mean they will not guard the same resource from another dog or another human just never guard from you. Basically between the two different approaches is trying to create two diffent ideas in the dogs head. On the first approach is I can't win so I will not even bother trying to compete. The other approach is for the dog to willing give up the object when asked in anticipation of getting something it values equally or more so

The first tends to work well with a dog that has never guarded successfully before, not so well with a dog that has a history of winning in the past. Opon Losing a dog that has one with the behavior before is less likely to react next time by giving up, and more likely to fight even harder and more aggressively.
The teaching of a "give" command works regardless of the previous history. It is non confrontational so there is less possibility of injury occuring especial with a dog known to cause injury in the past but generally requires more time and effort to be successful.

I've never had to trade anything for anything with my dogs.
Actual it is unlikely the case. You may not have been over about it. upon taken an inopprpiate object from the dog you never once told it it was a good dog for giving it up, giving it a pat on the head? all these are trades, a qui pro quo. This is the basic contract we make with dog is obeying verbal command as well. There is general something in it for the dog whether you care to admit it or not.

I tried to make it quite clear that trading, i.e. showing the dog what you have in exchange is clearly an intermedary step that you want to fad quickly. It is part of the process of training the dog to give up what it has in it mouth willing no matter how much he values it ( wants it, desires to have it etc) on a simple voice cue. This is accomplished through training and creating the expectation that there is something in it for the dog when he gives it up. This does not mean that every time the dog willingly gives something up on command it gets a reward. It does mean however it has to happen frequently enough that the dog can resonably exepected it to happen again.


The reward need not always be food as well. For example when tugging especial with puppies I am training "give" the reward is simply the continuation of the game. You might well percieve this as being more stuborn than the basset i.e waiting the dog out. As when first trainning It goes something like this. Tug with dog. Stop tugging and hold the toy still and wait for dog to stop tugging and release the toy. Use verbal reward marker[ie yes, 'good dog"] and begin tugging game immeadiately upon release. It does not take but a few times for the dog to figure out that the way to continue the game is to release the toy not continue to tug. Once the dog does this consistently then One can start to put a verbal cue with the behavior.

If I don't want them to have something that they have been able to get I take it from them and say"No
Don't know if this is actual how you do it or not but from a training perspective to give the word "no" meaning it should be the other way round. That is telling the dog no then taking it from them.

see Aversive Control and Clicker Training

When to say "NO!" -- literally
If I had a broom, and the nasty habit of sneaking up behind you and whacking you, would you want me to say "Duck"...

Before I hit you
As I hit you
After I hit you


If you are like most people, you will intuitively get this right. Unless I say "duck", BEFORE I hit you, you cannot use the information to change your behavior i.e. get the heck out of the way of the broom. Since all creatures in the natural world must obey this rule, we shall call this the "natural" solution to the problem.

The unfortunate aspect of this tidbit of behavioral knowledge is that almost no one actually does this in real life. Dog book, after dog book, after dog book, gives this information incorrectly. Since a choke chain is the primary tool of traditional training, you will often find the phrase "jerk the chain and say NO!" Since this is the most common use of this information, we shall call this the "common sense" approach to giving a correction.

About one hundred years ago, the Russian physiologist Pavlov studied how animals learn about the environment. He suggested that if a dog had to wait for the claws of a bear to sink into his flesh before running from the danger, he could never survive. The fact is clear - the signal must come before the correction. Since this answer seems absurdly obvious, you might wonder why all those experts haven't figured it out yet. The answer is that "common sense" most often "ain't natural."
I still have trouble with the value thing
Probably because you are over thinking it. Lets state at point a.

If you offered anyone of your dog a choice between a piece of steak and a lettuce leaf what would they choose? If they consitently choose one item over the other obviously that one Item has more value to them than the other. For some dogs food is more valuable than toys, other toys more than food, and still others it depends on what the food is vs what the toy is. So the idea that some things are more valuable to a particular dog is fairly easy to understand and visualize.

Whether a particular item is vauable enough to guard is a different matter. There are a whole host of learned behaviors and instictual ones that come to play. As you rightly infer part of it is a learned behavior. I dog that has success guarding and retaining an object by growling is more likely to do so, and to do so with a different objects. Part of it is genetic in that a in the not so distance past a dog with inheirent guarding behavior is more likely to survive and pass those genes on as well. Just as some human sleep with a gun in/on the night stand risking life and limb to protect property from a burglar and other see it as a fool hardy venture more likely to end up with the person getting killed rather than protect and property especial given that no piece of property is worth ones life. Just as dogs will values different thing differently how valuable and how much risk of harm and personal injury they are willing to excert to maintain that item is highly varriab as well but regardless of owh vigoriously a dog does guard an item that behavior cam be modified. The more successful the dog has been how much risk the dog will take, and how aggressive it will be all play a large part in how successful and how much effort and time is required to modify the behavior as well.
 

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Cripes raising dogs seems just like all the crap someone came up with to raise a child with out hurting their feelings.
yep a lot of it is the same and with the same dangers however. That is there is all too common an unwaranted assumption that being positive ( uses reward instead of punishment) also means to be permisive and allow the dog/child to do what it wants which could not be further from the truth.

From the one of the best know "positive trainers" SAY YES TRAINING REMINDERS
2. POSITIVE does not equal PERMISSIVE. This is the guiding principle of Say Yes Dog Training. You must be consistent. If a behaviour is acceptable at home (example the dog choosing not to lie down when told) it is also acceptable during work. Approach training and home life with a patient disposition and a strict application of what is and isn’t acceptable. Training happens 24 hours a day 7 days a week; your dog is always learning regardless if you are actively training or not!
The best trainers of dogs regardless of training philosopy and even best parent are not ones that allow a dog or child to run wild without consequences. The difficulty most people have in being possitive when it comes to training is rewarding the behavior they want. That is to often the good behavior goes unnotices and it is not until the dog is rude and obnoxious it gets attention etc then wonder why the dog is obnoxious and rude.

I find that generally the best trainers especial when talking about dog that are well behavied in the house not necessarily the obedience ring or a particular dog sport, this just comes naturally and they really don't acutal think about it. It is just part of their nature, For other is take a lot of thinking and effort.

It is one of the reason for the popularity of NILIF program and such is to be systematic in rewarding desired behavior. That is before the dog goes out the door it must sit and wait. To get petted it must sit quitely not nudge your hand or wack you with the giant paw etc.

If you have a history of rasing well behavied kids or dogs there is no one that can say you are doing the wrong thing or that you need to change what works for you. If you are having dificulties with one or more dogs then mayby a reexamination is in order but that in itself does not mean that the result of the examination will not be continue on the same course, also
 

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My dogs have always been eaiser to train than my kids but fortunately both grow up and that usually helps,some things anyway.
 

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All I'm saying is I have been doing what I do with my puppies/dogs for the last 20 years and it has worked for whatever reason there may be.I was just about to say everyone seems to over think this stuff when you said I may be over thinking it. I'm pretty sure someone is over thinking things.
 

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Everyone raises their kids and puppies differently. But as long as both are happy and learn the manners and whatnot we want them to learn, that's all that matters right?
 

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But as long as both are happy and learn the manners and whatnot we want them to learn, that's all that matters right?
the problem is how do you define a happy dog, A dog can be "happy" but not as happy as it would be if trained differently, etc. The way you train can impact on the dog psychy and in addition how easy or hard it will be to train other behaviors. Sometimes the fastest and easiest short term method is not the best long term

Training Methods

traditional dog training methods

Why I Switched to Positive Training

How You Get Behavior Really Does Matter
TRADITIONAL DOG TRAINING METHODS
 

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I have been doing what I do with my puppies/dogs for the last 20 years and it has worked for whatever reason there may be.
I believe a lot of training disputes are more semantics than reality. That is two people with two different ideas on how dog learn and why they behave the way they do will describe the same training procedure completely differently to the point they are talking two different methods when the nuts and bolts of it are is they are doing the same thing bur describing it from their point of view and why it work based on that POV.

.I was just about to say everyone seems to over think this
When it comes to dog training I think it is much like football. When in the act and you have to think about it you are actual not going to be very good at it. However to get better you do have to think about, the various stratagies , techniques and game plan for your oponent but once that is done you need to simply react in the moment. And yes is it easy to get bog down in details in the end are pretty much meaningless

There are people that are just natural better dog trainers/handlers than others. They have a natural repore with dogs. They can do everying against the book (what ever training or all training philosopies on might subscribe) and turn out dog better than 99% of the population. An when asked to explain what they do they really can't.

The purpose of thinking and explaining why something works is not so the original practitioner can repeat it over and over again but rather to help others that are having a problem. The problem in a short forum such as this much communication is in short hand and technical jargon that one has to wonder at howm much actua;l communication is actual occur vs word whistling in one ear and out the other without any real understanding.

I also think it is important to note that the continue switch by large portions of the population to more positive reinforcement based training methods is not because the old traditional method did not work. That is far from the case the switch is multifaceted but I think can be broke down to the few following premises

1. As you put it not "hurting the dogs feelings" admittedly a lot of this has more to do with how the human part of the team feel than the canine portion. Ie it makes the human feel better using so called "more humane method"

2.It new, that means in itself for some is cache enough but it creates a learning expreince and ability to "expand ones herizons" New is often associated with improved but that does not necessarily

3. The are known consequences to using adversives in training some more potential dangerious than others, but at the very least they tend to dampen enthusiam for the one recieving the adversive for training and the one applying the adversive.

4. For more complex behavior chains the use of adversives is just not very effective. Basical there are something that become very difficult to impossible to train this way, yet are not that diffcult for a skilled trainer with an animal that has a history of learn via shaping


A a general note I never will offer advise that calls for the use of adversives not because they don't work but rather without knowing the dog, the trainer and the actual situation first hand it is imposssible to make even a reasonable guess of the dogs reation to such and adversive which could not likely but could be very harmfull to either the dog or human, In the case of positive reinforcement the consequences of poor application is more unwanted behavior, this difference is not to be taken lightly in today's ligtitious society. At the same time I do not recommend shaping behavior even though it can be a powerful tool IMHO most people asking for advice do not want to invest the time and effort to become profficient enough at it to actual use it to change a behavior. The want a much simpler and quicker fix.
 

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I agree Mikey .I cannot explain as plainly as I would like to how I deal with situations with my dogs and I know that whatever I do may not be right for someone else and in my effort to help someone have a solution to their problem I get a little incensed if it feels like I'm being attacked for the type of solution I'm saying has worked for me. I realize that since I cannot show the person how to use the disipline I'm suggesting it may be difficult for them to do it correctly and therefore they may have a different experience and not a good one. Sometimes the ADD just takes over,I will try to be more careful and considerate.
 

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LOL, Bubdad it's easy for you and me (and Mikey) to just walk up and take the object away, we're starting from scratch (puppy) and we have the attitude/confidence to do so in a matter of fact manner (neither threatening nor timidly), plus we automatically establish our leadership in a myriad of other ways. But if the person having problems could do that there wouldn't be a problem in the first place. So in their case it's probably better and safer for them to start with a method such as trading. Throwing in a little NILIF is usually a good thing as well.

I'm another one that "trains" the dogs without even thinking about it, so it's hard for me to describe what I do with them in such a manner that others (especially newbies) could follow.
 

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I know that whatever I do may not be right for someone else and in my effort to help someone have a solution to their problem
That is just the nature of advice especial when it comes to dog training. There is alway more than one basic way to do it and if you add all the slight variations it is pretty much a different way for every dog owner there is. IMHO it is on reason a variety of opinions examples etc on such topics I think is helpful. It gives those having difficulty a variety of option to choose from based on what they think will work for them and their dog.

it's hard for me to describe what I do with them in such a manner that others (especially newbies) could follow.
This is true for most training question, It is much easier to show someone takes a couple of second, then watch them and correct the performance because they still generally do not do it right. It is a couple minutes at most. Now try and write the same procedure suscinctly, takes hours and is subject to all kinds of misinterpretation.

One reason that there really is no substitute for classes and/or private instruction.

Throwing in a little NILIF is usually a good thing as well.
I personally and not a big fan of NILIF but in general for someone that is having problems with a dogs general behavior (especial impulsive behaviors which seem to be on the rise) it can be a good thing. Many NILIF advocates will tell you it work via dominance reduction, That is it teaches the dog it status in the pack is lower than a humans. works well for those that believe in pack heirarchy and other such hearasy :p

Those of us that are more behaviorist based will say it work by two ways. Reward the behavior that is desired, calm, non impulsive behavior. Sit before exiting a door, Sit before being petted etc. and also it eliminates the most rudimentary cause of most rude and obnoxious behaviors, like jumping up, the head nudge, the paw slap which is through inadvertant rewarding of such behaviors. That said the procedure and technique is exactly the same. An to most why it works is irrelevant. But for those that would like to extend the process to other areas of training why it work and how it works becomes an important practical matter. I also find it helpful if you know the theory behind a method because it becomes much easier to tweek the method for your own particular needs.
 
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