Not sure what to do.


GGS430

New Member
Looking to this board for some expertise to correct a couple of things with 6 month old Mini.

We also have a 4 year old Pom in the house as well.
They get along for the most part.


1.) Not sure if this problem can be corrected, However, When we feed her, She absolutley devours her food as fast as she can. Is there a way to get her to slow down? Vet told us she is very food driven and should use that to our advantage for training purposes. Just never had a dog that ate like this.

2.) This is the one that concerns me and I need direction to correct. When she is sleeping, She likes to snuggle under the blankets like most Dach's do. However, When we wake her up (We remove the blanket from on top of her first), Especially when it is time to go to bed, If we try to move her, she begins to growl. If we try to pick her up, she starts to growl very aggressively and has even bit me a couple of times, last night she bit the fiance also. Any assistance/direction with this?

Thank you in advance for any helpfulness you can provide.
 

Nell

Member
Hi and welcome from the UK.

Please see my thread food, food & more food, I too have a six month old that LIVES for food lol. You can get bowls that slow the eating down, they have plastic ridges inside so the dog can not gulp the food.

The growling and biting is another thing. You have to be quite dominant yourself with some dogs or they will automatically take over the pack leader role themselves. As your dog is already showing dominance you need to do this really quickly to establish who is in control.

At six months your pup needs to accept everything you do and be submissive to you. Now this might sound a little cruel but if your pup was to growl at her mother she would not tolerate it and soon put her back in her place. With a young pup the mum will often grab them by the scruff of the neck and give them a shake. You need to be decisive and not hesitant or afraid.

If it were me the moment she growled at me I would grab her by the scruff of the neck give a firm shake, remove her from where she is (still by the scruff of the neck) and place her on the floor whilst using my best growling voice with a firm NO!
Firmness is not cruelty and there is no need to hurt her.

Then totally ignore her, turn your back and don't even look at her for a few minutes (puppies hate to be ignored), you can make up with her and reassure her after a few minutes when she is behaving.

Please don't hit her, this will only make the situation worse. There are many other ways you can naturally establish dominance. For e.g. the pack leader always eats first (don't give her tit bits when you are eating) and only let her on your lap when you invite her NOT when she wants to jump up.

If things don't improve pretty quickly get some professional help because the longer it goes on the harder it will be re train her.

Good luck, and remember who is boss!
 

DeafDogs

Alberta Region Moderator
I'm ggoing to really disagree with Nell here. The whole pack leader/dominance theory is a load of bunk. Dogs are not trying to take over the world and such serious corrections as scruffing can cause feat and anxiety in a dog who alrrady has anxiety enough to feel the need to protect her space. I have a dog who had serious resource guarding issues. He would attack anyone who went near his food and would bite anyone who tried to touch him if he was in someone else's lap. These behaviours were completely solved without the use of any corrections whatsoever.

I fixed his food issues by starting to feed by hand, making him do something for each piece of food then upping criteria until he could eat out of his dish with my hand in it... I wont go into it fully as thats not an issue for you yet.

His people guarding was fixed by not allowing him free access to laps, furniture or beds. He was only allowed on once he completed a task and was invited. I left a leash on him, so I could remove him from some place without grabbing him. I also had people hold him on their laps while I gave him treats without actually touching him and vice-versa. If I did have to remove him from a place he wanted to be, I would grab the leash, exert a little pressure then hold a treat and ask him to come down. Once he did, he got the treat. I can now grab him off laps and stuff without any aggression as he likes doing what I say. I changed his emotions on the subject, so he no longer needs to protect anything as he doesn't feel anxiety at being forced off something he wants.

So here's my suggestion. Have her drag a leash around the house, attached to a harness, not a collar incase it snags. Keep her food in your pocket and routinely wake her up and feed her 2 or three pieces then walk away without further disturbing her. After a few days of this, you should see her becoming happy to be woken, at this point you want to begin teaching her to relinquish the bed. Do this in the same way I outlined, pull gently on the leash then ask her to get down... you may need high value treats like hot dogs at first. When she does get off feed her several pieces, one after the other while thanking her for complying. Once she starts happily gettig off the bed, you can begin to work with her accepting you grabbing her. Gently touch her with the treat right in front of her nose, so she knows there's something in it for her. Progress tp the next step only when she's happily accepting you just touching her. Then gently scoot her over while showing her the treat then finally actually pick her up.

This sounds like a long process, but its not goig to take more than a week or two to get her perfectly comfortable with being woken and moved, and you will not be adding to her stress by correcting her.

And if she ever shows any aggression, you've moved too fast, move back to the last atep and work on it a little longer before progressing to the next step.

As for slowing down her eating, try floating the kibble with warm water or adding canned food first. You dont always need expensive bowls to slow them down. Mouse eats so fast she chokes unless its canned food or floating kibble.

Hope this helps!
 

natural curl

New Member
You got some good responses. Our Milo also growls and snaps sometimes when suddenly aroused from a deep sleep. I really haven't tried to train it out of him. We just awaken him gently with soft talk. After that he can be stroked and moved with no problem. It is only rarely that he is so unconscious that he has that instinctive hostile response on being awaken.
 

Nell

Member
I'm ggoing to really disagree with Nell here. The whole pack leader/dominance theory is a load of bunk. Dogs are not trying to take over the world and such serious corrections as scruffing can cause feat and anxiety in a dog who alrrady has anxiety enough to feel the need to protect her space. I have a dog who had serious resource guarding issues. He would attack anyone who went near his food and would bite anyone who tried to touch him if he was in someone else's lap. These behaviours were completely solved without the use of any corrections whatsoever.
No worries here I like a good debate lol!

Just for the record I don't believe dogs are trying to take over the world but I will stick by the leader / pack thing as I believe this is as nature intended and is what would happen in the wild. Its natural for a young animal to test and challenge the leader that's how it finds its pecking order.

My concern here is that this dog has bitten, that makes him potentially dangerous (even if he is a small dog). But its good to have different opinions and we can only each talk from our own experience.
 

nola

New Member
Dominance has been debunked by modern science for years.
Are Dogs Pack Animals? |
Dominance and Dog Training
Dominance in domestic dogs - useful construct or bad habit? Bradshaw, Blackwell and Casey | Blog | AVSAB
Wolf Status and Dominance in Packs -Alpha Status
Nonlinear Dogs
The Social Organizatin of the Domestic Dog

OP, for the fast eating try a slow-feed bowl or use a food toy such as a Kong Wobbler.

The growling is resource guarding. Check out Mine! A Practical Guide to Resource Guarding by Jean Donaldson.
 

Dachloves201

New Member
I definitely agree with DeafDogs here. My Doxie, Stormi has had this issue before. I attribute it more to be startled than being possessive and also that he has a sensitive area near his ribs so if he's grabbed there to be picked up during sleep he is getting a double whammy being startled and being uncomfortable so he may growl and try to get your hand off of him. The way I correct that behavior is a mix of what DeafDogs and NaturalCurl said. I rouse Stormi first by soft talk and then when he seems to come to a little give pets and then move to pick him up. It's very rare he has that snap back reaction to being awoken.

My first thought in reading this thread is that boundaries were needed here. So what will likely need to happen is that your doxie will need you to teach the appropriate behavior which will mean that you will need to only let her get on the bed under the covers or on the couch when you invite her. When you want her to get off you should give a command such as "Off" "Move it" or "Get Up" and then use the leash to guide her off the couch or bed. In time with doing this Stormi can now often be roused or made to move out of a position I don't want him in (eg: he took the pillow and it's mine lol) by telling him to Move It, no matter how deep he is into sleep.

It sounds though that maybe she is being startled awake you might want to start with Removing the covers and soft talk. I don't know if you are immediately going in and trying to pick her up or if you are slowly trying to rouse her before waking her. Either way, I think a combination of slow rousing and then introducing boundaries will help to stop that behavior.
 
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GGS430

New Member
Thank you everyone for the quick and great responses. I will definitely put this information to good use.

Thank you once again!
 
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