Dog Training World › Forums › Aggression Problems › General Aggression Problem Discussion › 6 mo, likely terrier mix pup, resource guarding & aggression toward owner › Reply To: 6 mo, likely terrier mix pup, resource guarding & aggression toward owner
MemberJuly 9, 2023 at 11:38 am2200
Hi All. Allie, Mike, and Arthur, I thank you for your replies to this questions of a few months ago regarding the six month old small puppy who was rushing & biting his family, resource guarding, being quite the little terror. Please forgive this narrative that doesn’t read very dog-trainy but a report on what happened with puppy:
The puppy I referred to as Charlie Biter is now called Nico and he’s in a new home and thriving. I believe the main blame for his abnormal behavior was a severe lack of stimulation on top of a mildly fearful constitution and, probably, at least one instance where one of his humans scared the crap out of him. The lack of stimulation coming from:
– owners who only engaged with puppy when they were interested (ie they expected puppy to self entertain 90% of each day) – this is a guess that I’m fairly certain about now
– living in a very streamlined and boring-for-puppy home
– living with owners who responded with great drama to the puppy’s advances.
I had owners board him for a month at a friend’s at-home dog daycare (4-10 easy going dogs over 1yo) to see if dogs and friend’s dog-savvy ways could teach him how to puppy more productively. His demeanor improved more than significantly, he wasn’t guarding or threatening bites with friend and her husband, and he was physically more relaxed. Friend was very careful not to antagonize Charlie but to push in to him little by little as he progressed. She’s not a trainer, no formal exercises, but she managed a slow chipping away at his fearful and confused attitude by denying engagement in those times and reinforcing desired enjoyable puppy-human contact as it happened.
Most importantly, Charlie met a small pit bull there who I had worked with around lots of fear when she was adopted a year earlier; the pittie’s folks were smitten with him and adopted him after owners gave it one last try and he bit them first night home. They did NOTHING that I told them to do from the time they picked him up, including calling me when it happened.
Charlie moved in with pittie family and is living happily ever after – well, still a bit confused and timid but no longer fearful and biting, just tail wagging apprehension.