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    New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

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    MissMolly

    Posts : 4
    Join date : 2009-06-20
    Age : 54
    Location : Vernon

    New to raw

    Post  MissMolly on Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:43 am

    Hi my name is Darla. I have been feeding my 2 dogs for a week now and they are loving it. Molly is a 3 year old OESD and Taz is a 6 1/2 year old cockapoo.

    My biggest issue is the problem I am having with Molly. She was aggressive on kibbles but we worked very hard on getting her over her issues, and she was doing awesome. On raw......she has been very aggressive, even more so then when she was on kibble! We are working on the raw aggesion but not seeing much improvement.

    My husband and I need help. If we can not get her under control we will have to switch back to kibble as we are afraid she will strike out at anyone walking near her or us if we have to take her food away.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated as we don't want to give up the benifits of raw but safety comes first for the family.
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    Giselle

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    Join date : 2009-05-24
    Location : Cape May County, NJ

    Darla - food guarding question

    Post  Giselle on Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:48 pm

    Reposted from - New to raw

    Post MissMolly Today at 11:43 am
    Hi my name is Darla. I have been feeding my 2 dogs for a week now and they are loving it. Molly is a 3 year old OESD and Taz is a 6 1/2 year old cockapoo.

    My biggest issue is the problem I am having with Molly. She was aggressive on kibbles but we worked very hard on getting her over her issues, and she was doing awesome. On raw......she has been very aggressive, even more so then when she was on kibble! We are working on the raw aggesion but not seeing much improvement.

    My husband and I need help. If we can not get her under control we will have to switch back to kibble as we are afraid she will strike out at anyone walking near her or us if we have to take her food away.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated as we don't want to give up the benefits of raw but safety comes first for the family.

    Hi Darla!
    Welcome to the RPF forum!
    I'm pretty new here, too, but not new to raw or to training dogs.

    1) This is not about your dog having a 'sweet' or 'good' personality, its about her being a dog, and being a wolf down deep in her instincts - hers are just closer to the surface than some other dogs.
    A survival skill is not letting food be taken away from you; that is resource guarding. If a dog or wolf didn't have that instinct, they wouldn't survive.
    Resource guarding can extend to *anything* valuable to a dog; food, chewies, toys, his sleeping areas, doorways, 'his'car, 'his' person, etc.
    It is only problematical when dogs live with people.
    We can't allow a dog to resource guard from us. when they do, training is in order and management, to keep people safe and reduce the dog's anxiety level.

    2) The best way to teach a dog not to resource guard from us, is to teach him that when we want something he has, it means he gets better things fromus! If we do this enough times, he will look at giving up food, or other valuable resources as not a scary thing, or at us as rivals for resources, but as a sign that he may get something better instead.

    3) This means NOT taking something away, then giving it back, or even approaching closer than he is comfortable with. This will only teach him that you DO want 'his' stuff, and make him anxious when people get close to
    'his' stuff. Give him his meal and move away until he is not concerned with your presence. Sit in a chair, not facing him, nor staring at him. Toss special yummy treats onto his eating spot, so that all he has to do is stop eating briefly, eat the treat, and go back to his meal. What the the treats are don't matter, as long as they are as good or better than what he is eating. Cheese, 'people food' or bits of raw meat work fine! Over the course of a week or so, sit closer to him at each meal. Anytime he stops eating, growls, 'glares', freezes or shows concern about your proximity, you're too
    close. BACK UP, and start again at the distance where you don't get any concern from him.

    4) Separately from this, its time to teach him "Trade" or "Give". Give him a chewie or toy, something he likes but isn't wild over. When he takes it, show him the handful of yummy treats you have in your hand. Tell him "Trade" in a pleasant tone of voice, and lure his head way from his chewie with the treats under his nose. AS he is eating the treats in your hand, use your other hand to pick up the chewie. Give it right back to him, and repeat,repeat, repeat. As you practice, he will start to drop or leave the chewie/toy to look happily for his treats. YaY! Gradually increase the value
    of the chewie/toy, and ALSO the treats, over a week or more, practicing a couple times a day.

    5) When he is comfortably dropping the chewie/toy on the cue "Trade", and he is comfortable with you sitting on the floor near him while he eats, and happily taking the special treats from you, then you can start asking him to
    "Trade" his meal for the treats, then giving it back to him. Make sure thetreats are extra special yummy ones!

    6) This can work for stuff he picks up that he shouldn't have, too. Once he has the "Trade" concept down pat, if he has something you don't want him to have, just say excitedly, Lets go "Trade" something yummy for that, and
    watch him fork it over for a bit of treat!

    If trading for a higher value treat isn't something he wants to do at first; make a "Hansel and Gretel" trail on the floor with small pieces of high value treats away from the toy, his leftovers, or his eating spot, to the other side of a baby gate.
    Shut it, give him another piece of treat, take up the leftover meal, put it in the fridge, and return to him with another piece of treat.
    Clean up his spot, return with another piece of treat.
    Let him go back to his eating place and offer another piece or two of treat.
    High value here means something that's more better than what he's got, in his eyes,better than his dinner!
    Pretty soon he'll be looking happily to you to see if he can trade up!

    I don't like to leave dogs to their own devices, even if I think they won't bother each other when eating.
    Guarding behavior is natural, but not appropriate in a human environment.

    Teaching other family members and visitors to leave dogs alone when they are eating, feeding the dogs at quiet times, away from the hubbub, are other measures I would recommend.

    Any dog can be taught to eat on a towel or mat, the food guarder needs to be taught to eat in a crate, in an ex-pen or behind a baby gate or in a closed room (bathtub or shower?) also, to help reduce their anxiety levels about food.

    I have lots of links for positive reinforcement training - email lists, articles, websites and behavior consultants or trainers.
    Positive reinforcement training (sometimes called clicker training, but its much more than just a clicker) is a marvelous way to train - unlike punishment based methods, it doesn't suppress the behavior, only for it to come out unexpectedly.

    I won't post them, unless the group wants them for a resource - PM or email me and I'll be glad to provide you with the links and more help.

    TC
    Giselle
    with BeaBea & Da Punk
    Raw Fed Dogs Flickr Group - vids, too!
    http://www.flickr.com/groups/rawfed/pool/
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    Heather

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    Join date : 2009-02-17
    Age : 30
    Location : O'Fallon, MO

    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  Heather on Mon Jun 29, 2009 6:17 pm

    EXCELLENT post Giselle! I have a food guarder myself, only on raw but not with kibble or canned food when he was on it. Darla, what you are seeing is a prime example of your dog not generalizing the calm, relaxed behavior she's learned from eating kibble to other sorts of foods. Raw, being the highest value food for most dogs, sometimes will create such an excitement that some guardy behavior can surface. With my dog, I did not sit near him, I approached him sideways and watched his body language to determine at what point he became uncomfortable, then took a step back and tossed a treat. After I tossed him the treat I walked completely away either into another room or the other side of the kitchen and completely ignored him and did dishes or whatever. Every 30 seconds to a minute I would approach again. When you get the "yippee! response" is when you take a step closer. The yippee response is a look of anticipation. You may get a slight tail wag but if the body is not relaxed then don't approach. Tail wags do not always mean happiness! Your dog may also look up at you eagerly. I've worked with other food guarders that I fostered and the last was a 15 week old JRT mix that was so aggressive the shelter talked of putting him down because no one could work with him. I had him nearly over his issues when he was adopted and worked him around kibble and canned food (his new owners wouldn't feed raw I knew that), generalized the behavior in all sorts of different rooms, areas of the yard, situations, etc. His guarding behavior was so bad at first that I couldn't lure sits or downs with him because he would maul my hand (literally, I have scarring to prove it!) to eat the treat. I shaped and captured all of his behavior and just dropped the treats for him. After a few weeks I was able to feed him a treat from my open hand and then worked towards some self control exercises like leave it. Don't be in a rush to "cure" your dog. It's taken 3 years with my own dog to be completely where I want him. He actually has incredible self control and will allow me to handle the situation while he sits behind me or removes himself from the situation if he is bothered. This is great considering he used to attack anyone or any animal that was within 6 feet of his food. Trust is the most important thing to build with your dog. She needs to know you are not there to take her food but that you also will not allow any other animals to bother her either. In the mean time until you have worked this to a point she is safe, management is in order. Do not feed her around other animals, kids, strangers. You want her to be comfortable with you first before adding in people she doesn't know and animals that she may feel threatened by.


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    Kelly
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    Location : London, Ontario

    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  Kelly on Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:46 pm

    A lot of dogs have issues... FatDog (rescue) used to snap if we tried to take her meat/canned food.. but in her case, it was because she was pretty sure SHE was the boss. We can now take meat form her mouth, infact just the other day we took a turkey wing bone from her. No snarl/bite/snap. I was pleased.

    I am so happy Heather and Giselle are here! What wonderful advice from two very smart ladies. Smile I have learned something today!


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    Giselle

    Posts : 50
    Join date : 2009-05-24
    Location : Cape May County, NJ

    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  Giselle on Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:19 am

    Kelly wrote:I am so happy Heather and Giselle are here! What wonderful advice from two very smart ladies. Smile I have learned something today!

    Thanks, Kelly!

    OK to post the linkys?
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    Kelly
    Admin

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    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  Kelly on Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:36 am

    Absolutely, I don't care what links you post. Very Happy Other forums, help sites, etc. All good.


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    Giselle

    Posts : 50
    Join date : 2009-05-24
    Location : Cape May County, NJ

    positive reinforcement resource linkys

    Post  Giselle on Tue Jun 30, 2009 4:53 pm

    The ‘dominance’ theory of dog training was erroneously taken from outmoded research;
    http://www.davemech.org/news.html
    http://www.wolf.org/wolves/learn/basic/resources/mech_pdfs/267alphastatus_english.pdf
    http://www.davemech.org/schenkel/index.html

    http://www.kathysdao.com/articles.html
    Kathy's husbandry articles are very important for puppy owners. I’d suggest that you print out copies of;
    "How to Get a Handle on Your Training"
    "Husbandry How-Tos"
    "Husbandry Training Classes for Dog Owners"
    I'd suggest you also print out and read; "Forget About Being Alpha in Your Pack", "Adopting a Difficult Dog" and "When Good Walruses Go Bad"

    Helpful links;
    http://www.flyingdogpress.com/sayhi.html
    http://www.canis.no/rugaas/articles.php
    http://www.smilesandwags.com/Pat%20Miller%27s%2012%20Pitfalls%20of%20Positive%20Punishment.html

    FAQS
    http://www.peaceablepaws.com/pages/faq.asp
    Any of Pat's Books are wonderful and come personally autographed, (bottom of page, right) I'd start with "The Power of Positive Dog Training";
    http://www.peaceablepaws.com/
    Pat's list is very helpful and supportive;
    http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/peaceablepaws/

    Turid Rugaas and Brenda Aloff – canine body language;
    http://www.canis.no/rugaas/articles.php
    http://brendaaloff.com/booksdvds.asp

    http://www.askdryin.com/
    http://www.nerdbook.com/sophia/welcome.html
    This is well worth having and its so much fun!
    http://www.nerdbook.com/sophia/manners_minder/index.html
    Dr Yin is also a veterinary behaviorist.

    I have used home made oven dried raw as treats in it with good success. Commercial dehydrated that can be cut into small cubes works well, too.

    It comes with a great dvd, workbook, target stick and email group;
    http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/treatntrain/

    vids;
    http://www.youtube.com/user/SuperBark1

    Karen Pryor is the ‘mother’ of positive clicker training – she also is the author of “Nursing Your Baby” http://www.amazon.com/Nursing-Your-Baby-Karen-Pryor/dp/0671745484/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1217895072&sr=1-9
    and
    “Don’t Shoot The Dog”
    http://clickertraining.com/store/?item=index

    http://www.clickertraining.com/

    and is on the board of TagTeach - http://www.tagteach.com/

    http://clickersolutions.com/articles/index.htm
    http://clickersolutions.com/blog/index.htm
    This is a high volume and very knowledgeable list;
    http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/ClickerSolutions/


    Patricia McConnell is a world renowned trainer/personality, she had a tv show, family dog training business and is a professor and author of The Other End of The Leash” among other books. She consulted with owners of aggressive dogs and does seminars around the world.
    http://www.wpr.org/PETS/articles_captimes.htm
    Her call-in radio show on Wisconsin NPR has been canceled, but the archives go back about a year. she answered many questions about cat behavior, too.
    http://www.wpr.org/pets/
    Her website, where you can get some great training booklets;
    http://www.patriciamcconnell.com/
    Her new blog;
    http://www.theotherendoftheleash.com/
    She’s planning to do podcasts about dog training and behavior.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1TQy8mCeR8&feature=channel_page


    http://www.dragonflyllama.com/%20%20MAIN/indexdog.html
    Sue is now writing a book based on the Levels she has on her website - I recommend that you print all the Levels info out, so that you don't have to buy the book, since the info now is free!
    http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/traininglevels/
    An online log - to keep track of your training progress;
    http://levels.honkersoftware.com/


    To find positive reinforcement trainers local to you that use non coercive methods and techniques;
    PP website;
    http://www.peaceablepaws.com/pages/affiliates.asp
    http://www.peaceablepaws.com/graduates/appr_grads.asp
    http://www.peaceablepaws.com/graduates/index.asp
    Most teach you to train your dog.

    or the Truly Dog Friendly directory of trainers;
    http://www.trulydogfriendly.com/blog/?page_id=4




    There is a great program by Leslie McDevitt that helps owners teach their reactive, fearful or aggressive dogs to become more calm and confident and able to 'let the world go by' without stressing about it. She has based it on the Relaxation Protocol of Dr Karen Overall, a famous veterinary behaviorist, whom she has worked closely with.

    The book (there is also a dvd set, and a workbook coming out soon);
    http://controlunleashed.net/book.html
    http://www.cleanrun.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&product_id=1748&ParentCat=215&string=leslie%20mcdevitt

    Leslie's bio
    http://controlunleashed.net/about.html
    http://controlunleashed.net/consultoptions.html

    Especially the Relaxation Protocol (dl audio files for mp3 player & work sheet print out on the email list) by Dr Overall - attached file
    http://abrionline.org/expert.php?id=21
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    Timothea

    Posts : 140
    Join date : 2009-02-21
    Location : Kitchener Ontario

    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  Timothea on Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:45 am

    Giselle wrote:3) This means NOT taking something away, then giving it back, or even approaching closer than he is comfortable with. This will only teach him that you DO want 'his' stuff, and make him anxious when people get close to 'his' stuff. Give him his meal and move away until he is not concerned with your presence. Sit in a chair, not facing him, nor staring at him. Toss special yummy treats onto his eating spot, so that all he has to do is stop eating briefly, eat the treat, and go back to his meal. What the the treats are don't matter, as long as they are as good or better than what he is eating. Cheese, 'people food' or bits of raw meat work fine! Over the course of a week or so, sit closer to him at each meal. Anytime he stops eating, growls, 'glares', freezes or shows concern about your proximity, you're too close. BACK UP, and start again at the distance where you don't get any concern from him.

    I agree that raw meat and bones are a highly valued resource, but don't feel that a dog should be allowed to just growl with it's food, while we ignore it. "IGNORE" has been quite the failed experiment in dog training in my opinion. I suggest that she DOES take away the food, and give it back, take it away and give it back ad nauseum until the dog realizes that it is NOT in competition and that his food WON'T be something he needs to guard. I feel that if she is to feed the dog with herself in very close proximity, preferably holding the food itself, or at least having her hand in it, the dog will HAVE to stop it's aggressive tactics if it wants to eat. He should only be allowed to come to the food when in a calm state, and not at all if growling.

    If, as suggested,you back up every time the dog growls, you are in fact reinforcing that by growling he gets the desired response of you backing up, if instead you take away the food, the dog learns that growling is an undesirable thing to do if he ever wants to eat again. On a similar note, I would never even put the food bowl down if my dog isn't calm and submissive, she is apt to jump all over the place for something like tripe, but she doesn't get it until calm.
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    Giselle

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    Location : Cape May County, NJ

    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  Giselle on Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:29 am

    No, No, Timothea!

    You don't move closer until after the dog shows comfort with where you are at any given point.

    Moving close enough to provoke a growl, or any concerned response, is the best way to PROVE to the dog that you ARE after his food. what you want to do, actually, is to never move close enough to provoke a response. This is counter productive to the learning precess. You only move a tiny bit closer once you see actual signs of relaxation at the distance you are working.

    Taking food away, then giving it back, is a great way to provoke an iffy dog into biting you!

    Check out the links in my post above, to learn about positive reinforcement training, counter conditioning, behavior modification and methods and techniques to avoid confrontation and punishment when training a dog.

    I would never suggest that a resource guarding dog be ignored - just that people be aware of the most modern and scientifically proven methods and techniques for working with a dog like this. And that they work cautiously enough so that they are never at risk for a bite, nor the dog for feeling he has to bite.

    Timothea, have you ever read about "The Gift of Growl"?
    http://www.peaceablepaws.com/pages/faq.asp#11
    http://fearfuldogs.wordpress.com/2009/03/13/the-gift-of-the-growl/
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    Giselle

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    Location : Cape May County, NJ

    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  Giselle on Wed Jul 01, 2009 12:05 pm

    Hm, related - also see "When Good Walruses Go Bad" by Kathy Sdao.

    You can't force wild zoo creatures to accept handling, and trying to dominate them will only get you killed or damage the creature - sedating repeatedly for regular husbandry activities can be unsafe for many creatures and problematic for handlers/vets.

    When Good Walruses Go Bad

    by Kathy Sdao, MA, CAAB
    All Rights Reserved

    ET the Walrus


    One of the most memorable questions I’ve been asked on a job interview was “So, how comfortable are you training walruses?” I was sitting in a conference room at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, Washington. I’d flown there the previous night on a red-eye from Hawaii, where I was working as a dolphin trainer for the U.S. Navy’s Department of Defense. Though I’d trained other pinniped species, such as sea lions and harbor seals, I’d never even seen a walrus “in person” until that day. And what I saw was not pretty. The zoo’s 10-year-old male walrus, named E.T., was a huge, smelly, ornery bully.

    In response to the curator’s question, though, I said, “Oh, I’d be thrilled to have the opportunity to work with such a majestic species” or some such nonsense. After all, I wasn’t a complete idiot. I wanted the job of marine mammal keeper and I knew that meant I’d have to wrangle walruses. Well, I got the job but soon began having nightmares that jolted me awake in a cold sweat: I was certain E.T. was going to kill me.

    This fear was not as far-fetched as it sounds. Statistics from the Department of Labor indicate that in a typical year, one or more elephant keepers die at the hands (or, more accurately, feet) of their charges. And E.T. was nearly as big as an elephant. He had a track record, too. In previous years, two harbor seals that shared his exhibit had been found dead of somewhat unnatural causes. E.T. also had a habit of destroying his exhibit; he cracked the gunite surface, bent window frames and beat on the large metal gate.

    To round out this charming personality profile, E.T. frequently masturbated in front of the underwater viewing window. Keep in mind that at this time he weighed well over 2000 lbs. and was approximately 10 feet long from whiskers to rear flippers. I’ll let you do the arithmetic, but suffice it to say that this was quite a shocking sight. Elementary school teachers on class field trips to the zoo avoided the walrus exhibit like the plague.

    When he first arrived at the zoo, E.T. was just a pup. A worker on an oilrig in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska had found him on the ice, orphaned and emaciated. He was flown to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium for rehabilitation, and there he thrived. His keepers regularly played and swam with him. They conducted daily hands-on training sessions. Soon, though, he grew up (and out!). Hormones surged and adolescence blossomed. E.T.’s trainers stopped entering the exhibit to work with him. His unpredictable aggression simply made it too great a risk to the keepers’ safety.

    Within months of my arrival at PDZA, two other experienced marine mammal trainers joined the staff (interesting side note: they both have been working with Keiko, the killer whale, in Iceland for the past two years). We resolved that we had to do something to improve E.T.’s life, both for his sake and for the sake of zoo’s visitors.

    Convinced that much of E.T.’s misbehavior resulted from boredom and loneliness, we decided that he needed to begin earning his food. No longer would his daily diet of over100 pounds of fish, squid and clams be given to him “for nothing.” Though none of us had ever heard this approach referred to as “Nothing in Life is Free” (NILIF), dog trainers are familiar with the term, especially as a basis for modifying problem behaviors such as aggression. If training time was limited on a particular day, E.T.’s food was stuffed into large (~3 foot long) PVC “feeder tubes.” These environmental enrichment devices served as “food puzzles” for the walruses, who would suck their fish and squid through small holes drilled into the side of the hard plastic tubes.

    We began scheduling two or three daily training sessions, each lasting anywhere from 5 – 30 minutes. In the early stages, most of this training was conducted from a distance. The trainers remained behind a barrier (e.g., fence or railing), out of harm’s way, and used a long target pole to guide E.T.’s movements. Elephant keepers in zoos across the country commonly use this technique, referred to as protected contact. Using successive approximations, we were able gradually to get closer to E.T., always alert for any warning signs of aggression.

    We limited the number of trainers authorized to work with E.T. Other marine mammals at the zoo had many trainers, some relatively inexperienced. Restricting E.T.’s trainers to three veteran keepers helped maintain consistency of behavioral criteria and fostered bonding between the walrus and his human teachers.

    Dozens of behaviors were shaped or captured, using food as the most common unconditioned reinforcement, and the spoken word “Good” as the conditioned reinforcement. The only aversives used in E.T.’s training program were negative punishments such as temporary removal of attention or food. While many of these trained behaviors were silly -- what humans would call “tricks” (e.g., waving flippers, dancing, and playing the harmonica) – others were a critical component of E.T.’s health care. These were referred to as husbandry behaviors, and were the core of our training efforts. One example was training E.T. to open his mouth on cue and to hold it open while a trainer used a dental scraper to clean plaque from his teeth. As a young walrus, E.T. had to have his tusks removed because they became badly infected. We were determined to prevent any further tooth loss, and so dental hygiene became a part of his routine.

    The most incredible example of a husbandry behavior, though, involved taking a blood sample from E.T. We thought that if only we could obtain a blood sample, we could check his health more thoroughly than ever before and also collect information about the variability of his testosterone level during different seasons. But in order to take the sample, we had to insert a huge, long needle in E.T.’s back, next to his spine. And we had to do this while E.T. was unrestrained because we had nothing strong enough to hold down this now 3400 pound walrus. We knew it was important to set challenging goals for us and for E.T., though. If we were going to take the time to attempt to modify his problem behaviors, we didn’t want to sell him short in the process.

    The shaping progression was a gradual one. Steps along the way included simply touching E.T.’s back, massaging it, poking it with the tip of a paper clip, and spraying it with rubbing alcohol. After nearly three years of desensitization and successive approximations, we held our breaths and inserted the giant needle. As the blood began to fill the tube, E.T. held still, but the trainers and other staff let out a cheer. I actually had tears in my eyes. All our work had paid off. E.T. was a totally different critter now: gentle, compliant, attentive and awesome.

    The change in E.T.’s overall behavior during those few years was nothing short of miraculous. It’s difficult to convey in words, but E.T. turned out to be one of the most extraordinary animals I’ve ever had the privilege to train. He enjoyed the “training game” so much that it was a challenge for us to devise new behaviors to teach him. He soon knew more than 50 behaviors on cue, including one that required him to position his head along the edge of his exhibit so that visiting children could touch his whiskers! He’d become the darling of the zoo, no longer X-rated.

    When I quit my job five years after that initial interview, my heart broke saying goodbye to E.T. We’d become friends and we trusted each other, quite literally, with our lives.

    © 2008 Kathy Sdao, Tacoma, Washington. All rights reserved. Last Update: 3/17/2008
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    Timothea

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    Location : Kitchener Ontario

    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  Timothea on Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:19 pm

    Sorry Giselle, two different schools of thought here giving advice. I feel that if you move away from a dog growling with food aggression, you are reinforcing the growling, as it is giving the desired effect. If you truly have a dog that is going to bite, then that dog needs more than the average pet owner can deal with, and they should be seeking help in person from a trainer, not doing it on their own.

    While still in the initial stages, you should be able to handle your dog's food without any kind of aggression from the dog at all, the first sign of aggression should be quickly corrected. Taking away the high valued item, like the food, is one such correction, another would be to do a correction at any sign of aggression, be that a verbal or a leash correction, or even pinning the dog. But certainly, taking away that food, and only returning it once the dog is calm.

    Now, if she was talking about a wild zoo creature... Good thing dogs are domestic animals.

    di

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    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  di on Wed Jul 01, 2009 8:48 pm

    Hi Miss Molly. I understand your frustration and anxiety at the situation, but before you undertake any advice, there are more questions to be answered. Depending on the behaviour, this could be a serious and potentially dangerous situation as you mentioned, and I wouldn't be taking advice from the internet, as an expert will look at the dog's behaviour in context and help with the body language.

    First and most important - do you have children, and if so, please ensure that they are not near the dog when it is being fed, even walking past the dog. The first concern is for the family's safety, as you mentioned.

    Can you describe what the "aggression" is? What is the dog doing as it is eating, and what triggers the behaviour. Is it just growling, is it snapping? Who is the "aggression" directed at - is it the family or the other dog (or both)? There should be different responses depending on who it is directed at. What worked for the kibble "aggression" and what are you doing that is not working for the raw? When you describe the "aggression" as being worse with raw, what behaviours is she exhibiting that she didn't before?

    Does the dog show aggression in any other circumstances other than just food? Does the dog have any other issues other than food related? These are usually complex issues at hand, and if there are more issues, I would strongly suggest that you seek professional help. You're absolutely right - the safety of the family is number one. If the aggression is escalating, then you could switch back to kibble until you can get help. While I feed raw to my dogs, in the short term keeping your family safe is more important.

    I agree with T - from the advice previously given, by you backing away after the dog growls, you are teaching the dog that all it takes is a growl to get his own way. However, you didn't indicate whether it was just a growl, so we shouldn't make assumptions as to which behaviour(s) the dog is exhibiting.

    If you can help with this information, we may be able to help better assess the situation. You're doing the right thing be seeking help!
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    Heather

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    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  Heather on Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:39 pm

    Timothea- you have not read Giselle's posts. You do not EVER get close enough in the initial stages to elicit growling. The only time you should hear a growl is when judging the distance at which the dog is uncomfortable and anxious. Before a growl though it's blatantly obvious by the dog's body language that you're getting too close.

    Did you read my post at all? I have rehabbed several food guarders with the very methods Giselle has suggested. I have tried the "alpha/dominance" thing and it DOESN'T WORK. I don't mean to sound like a bitch but if you want people to get bit/mauled then please suggest they alpha roll their dogs when they growl. My dog now has a pretty good bite history thanks to that. One of my fosters was made 100 times worse by punishment based training (before I got him). I believe there are dominance links in Giselle's post too. Please read them. Are you aware that whenever a wolf forcefully rolls another it is to kill it? The ritual the alpha roll developed from was when a younger wolf greets it's parent or an older sibling (as wolf packs are family units.. not a bunch of strange unfamiliar wolves so naturally the parents have the respect of their children) the older wolf puts it's mouth around the muzzle of the younger and the younger WILLINGLY rolls itself. It has absolutely nothing to do with dominance. So can you imagine the psychological damage people are doing when the forcefully put their dogs on their backs? The popular "calm submissive" mentality is not that at all. The dog is shut down and often void of most behavior for fear of being corrected. This is called learned helplessness. I don't know if you are familiar with any trainers in the field but who I am mentoring with has mentors such as Dr Susan Freidman, Jean Donaldson, Ian Dunbar, Bob Bailey (who worked with B.F. Skinner), Pat Miller and several other highly regarded, top trainers in the country. These are seriously educated people. They train what works, and what Giselle and I are suggesting to help the OP's dog is directly from those who know behavior in and out.


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    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  di on Thu Jul 02, 2009 8:10 am

    Heather - not to be disrespectful, but I don't believe you read my or Timothea's post either. We did not give the advice of an alpha role, nor would I ever give that advice. Becoming Alpha for the dog has a whole different meaning, and this type of training does work. As Timothea said, there are 2 schools of training, and I'm sure that each works for different people.

    As food aggression can be serious, I still recommend diving deeper into understanding the context before advice is given, and it may require the assistance of a trainer in person.
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    Kelly
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    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  Kelly on Thu Jul 02, 2009 8:20 am

    As with what di said, I would take all the info into consideration and then contact a local behaviourist. Someone who gives the "right" advice would have a lot more info than just "my dog does this, how do I fix it?". Very Happy


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    Giselle

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    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  Giselle on Thu Jul 02, 2009 10:45 am

    Wild animal, zoo creature or domestic dog or cat, they all deserve to be treated with respect and handled with a thorough knowledge of their basic natures. Just because dogs and cats live in our homes, doesn’t mean that we should use punishment and force to try to “make” them “behave”.

    Perhaps I didn't spell it out in my first post - but I did also provide linkys to sites where the OP can find a trainer or behavior consultant in her area,
    To find positive reinforcement trainers local to you that use non coercive methods and techniques;
    PP website;
    http://www.peaceablepaws.com/pages/affiliates.asp
    http://www.peaceablepaws.com/graduates/appr_grads.asp
    http://www.peaceablepaws.com/graduates/index.asp

    or the Truly Dog Friendly directory of trainers;
    http://www.trulydogfriendly.com/blog/?page_id=4

    Another listing;
    http://www.animalbehavior.org/ABSAppliedBehavior/caab-directory

    These are no mere dog trainers that I have provided information from and linkys to;
    World renowned animal behaviorist, beloved radio host and author
    http://www.thekathleenshow.com/?TabId=55&xmmid=388&xmid=2394&xmview=2
    Patricia McConnell, Ph.D.
    (Trisha had the show "PetLine" on tv)
    Animal attraction: When dogs and cats come into our lives and steal our hearts (and homes...and wallets)
    Anyone who has ever had a pet understands just how much love we can pour into one furry creature. A wagging tail, soft purr, or cold snoot is all it takes to open our hearts, homes and wallets to our little furry friends. Kathleen speaks with Patricia about all things feline and canine and how we can better interact with our pets to bring more joy to our lives. Patricia shares insightful views on reading your buddy's body language, handling behavior problems and the most excruciating decision of all -- how to deal with the end of a pet's life.
    If you've always wondered how your dog or cat became king of the household, you're not alone. With plenty of personal anecdotes and humor, Patricia offers great advice for every family with pets or those considering a pet in the future.

    Patricia McConnell, Ph.D. is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and author of several books including "For the Love of a Dog: Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friend". She is a radio host, sought-after speaker and the lucky guardian of two dogs, one cat and a very spoiled flock of sheep.

    http://www.kathysdao.com/kathy-bio.html
    As an associate Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB), Kathy Sdao is uniquely qualified to work with dog training and behavior problems. Unlike "dog trainer," "dog psychologist," or "behaviorist," titles that anyone can give themselves, a CAAB is a certified professional with a graduate degree in an animal behavior field.
    Behavior Consultations
    Kathy offers private behavior consultations for families seeking help with their dogs. Common concerns addressed in consultations include aggression toward family members, strangers or other dogs; separation anxiety; fears and phobias; housetraining; destruction; barking and rough play.

    http://controlunleashed.net/about.html
    About Leslie
    Leslie McDevitt, MLA, CDBC, CPDT is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers.
    Leslie's background in behavior modification and her experience working with dog sport clients led her to create her popular course for performance dogs 'with issues', Control Unleashed®®. Leslie started writing articles based on themes from the course for Clean Run Agility Magazine, then took things a step farther and wrote her award-winning, best seller, "Control Unleashed®®: Creating a Focused and Confident Dog" which was published by Clean Run Productions in 2007.

    She works with Dr Karen Overall from the University of PA, who refers clients to her for one on one coaching and training.
    http://abrionline.org/expert.php?id=21
    http://joelwalton.com/shockcollars.html
    http://www.amazon.com/Clinical-Behavioral-Medicine-Small-Animals/dp/0801668204
    Tribute to her dog Flash
    http://www.stevedalepetworld.com/print-archive/assorted-pet-picks/52-all/320-this-dog-changed-a-person-changing-the-world


    http://www.askdryin.com/sophia.php

    Dr Sophia Yin, MS, DVM

    From her blog;
    Handling Dominance Aggression in Dogs
    http://askdryin.com/blog/2009/06/09/handling-dominance-aggression-in-dogs/
    behavior consult linkys
    http://www.askdryin.com/consults.php


    http://www.canis.no/rugaas/aboutturid.php
    About Turid Rugaas
    Turid Rugaas is an internationally renowned trainer and writer who has devoted her life to dogs, their behavior and their well-being.
    The Norwegian dog trainer has worked with dogs for many years and studied the body language of dogs for more than a decade. After a project where Turid and a colleague observed dogs carefully, recording their behaviour on video and in photographs, she became well-known around the world for her work on the calming signals. And Turid Rugaas is now one of the world's leading experts on dog behavior.
    In the critically acclaimed book On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals, she shares with us her insights on the fascinating world of communication between dogs, as well as dogs and their owners.
    Turid lives and works in Norway where she owns and runs a dog training school, Hagen Hundeskole. Being a popular speaker, she is spending more time abroad than at home, speaking and presenting programs at conferences, seminars and workshops.

    http://brendaaloff.com/
    BRENDA ALOFF is a professional dog trainer specialing in problem behaviour. A large part of her practice consists of dogs who have been referred to her when traditional techniques have failed. In addition to working with owners on re-socialization fearful and aggressive dogs, Brenda also has group classes for puppy socialization, fundamental to competition obedience.


    Pat Miller, CPDT,CDBC
    http://www.dogseminarsdirectory.com/spkrF_Miller_Pat.html

    Seminar Topics and/or Area of Specialty
    Pet Dog Training/Clicker/Teaching Clicker Classes/Dog Behavior/BehaviorModification/Shelter Dog Behavior & Assessments
    Biography/CV
    Internationally acclaimed trainer/behavior consultant/writer/speaker; past president of Association of Pet Dog Trainers; Training editor for the Whole Dog Journal. Also conduct Intern Academies, Apprentice Programs on our 80-acre campus just outside Hagerstown, Maryland. Have titled dogs in Obedience and Rally; trained Agility for Fun; Tricks; Canine Freestyle; 20 years at the Marin Humane Society; Live with husband Paul (Director of Washington County Humane Society); 5 dogs, 4 horses, 2 cats.

    Sue Ailsby not only consults with dog owners about be mod training, she trains and shows her own service dogs and her own Llamas, too; http://www.clickertraining.com/node/1284
    Sue Ailsby's Tools for the Job: A Clicker and Patience
    By Aidan Bindoff on 07/01/2007
    Filed in - Trainer Interviews - Ask the Expert: Q&A
    Sue Ailsby is a well-known and highly accomplished clicker trainer who has competed successfully with her dogs in just about every possible competition venue. She now gives clicker training seminars across Canada and the US. Sue has put years of clicker training wisdom into her online Book of Training Levels and has also posted a blog of her clicker training adventure with her service dog in training, Stitch, at www.dragonflyllama.com.
    Did I forget anyone?

    Oh, only the Mother of Modern Dog Training – Karen Pryor!
    Don’t Shoot The Dog!;
    http://www.clickertraining.com/store/?item=doshdoau
    And the The Karen Pryor Dog Academy;
    http://www.karenpryoracademy.com/

    These people are all consummate professionals, with many years of experience and successes with positive reinforcement behavior modification training and teaching under their belts.
    They all work with owners and their dogs together.
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    Timothea

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    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  Timothea on Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:36 pm

    Heather, I did read your post, and Giselle's too, and nowhere did I say to do an alpha roll, that is something that I would NEVER suggest, for all the reasons that you say. I also agree with the beginning part of Giselle's suggestion, to stay around while the dog eats the food, and moving progressively closer and staying within the comfort zone is appropriate too. You are right that you will know what that is by body language. What part I disagree with is the "BACK UP" part she tells the OP to do when the dog growls, that will only teach the dog that growling elicits the response of you backing up, which I don't think IS appropriate at all.

    Giselle, I mean no disrespect to you or any animal, I'm sorry you took it that way, I just happen to follow a different training method than you do, one that works for me, and many others as well. The real trick is to have your dog see you as someone it wishes to follow, or to "be a better squirrel" as it was once put to me. That's what being a leader means, and has nothing to do with dominating your dog with alpha rolls.
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    Heather

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    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  Heather on Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:32 pm

    Timothea wrote:Taking away the high valued item, like the food, is one such correction, another would be to do a correction at any sign of aggression, be that a verbal or a leash correction, or even pinning the dog.

    "or even pinning the dog."

    To me this sounds like forcing the dog to the ground. If not, then please explain. I believe I read each post very carefully.


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    Giselle

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    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  Giselle on Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:02 am

    Advocating that a pet dog owner take food (or anything) away from a resource guarder or to pin a dog - is a great way to get them bitten, and the dog killed.

    There are more effective, non confrontational and gentle ways to respect dogs and teach them how to live companionably and comfortably with humans.

    Leash corrections or 'popping' are euphemistic terms for punishment.

    Believe me, I know exactly where you're coming from, Timothea - I used to be there myself.

    Its hard to admit that you were wrong, and vow to do better - I have many regrets - I have taught many classes with the old, hurtful ways and with my own dogs, too.
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    Kelly
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    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  Kelly on Sat Jul 04, 2009 8:27 am

    Alright folks.. I think it's time to remeber we are here to HELP the OP, not trample on each others views.

    IMO, -both- forms of training work and are wonderful. The OP needs to figure out which way she'd like to go, and find a trainer in her area to help. If all else fails, going back to kibble may be the best solution for that family.

    Neither way of training is wrong, or harmful. Unless you are taking a stick and beating your dog, I don't see popping a collar as "cruel".. and positive reinforcment is a WONDERFUL way to train your dog to behave as well.


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    Timothea

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    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  Timothea on Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:58 am

    Heather, there's a world of difference between a pin and an alpha roll, I would never do an alpha roll, but have found pinning to be a quick and effective way to calm my dog. I will step on her leash and pull it up until she is laying down, yes, "forcing her to a down" but it's hardly cruel. If she's not wearing her leash, I will hold her collar and pull down and keep her laying down, until she calms herself. Another thing I find useful is to make an "O" shape with my fingers, and put the ring around her nose and hold until she sighs, that calms her quickly as well.

    Darla is from a dog training board I'm on, I think you've missed the advice she was given there, I only posted here what I did because it contradicted the advice she was given there. Di's a trainer that I know, and I figured it was better explained by her than me, but the advice that Darla has been given is this:

    If Molly's being aggressive with the food, it's because she sees it as a high value item. I would keep letting her have that bone, but hang on to the end of it while she's chewing it, and tell her "DROP IT" and take it from her, and then give it back. (unless she's growling, she should NOT be rewarded with a bone for growling, that will only reinforce the undesirable behaviour.) Another good way to stop that is to (ew gross) hold the food while she eats it, and keep taking it away and giving it back. If she growls when you go near her food, remove it. Make a practice of just taking her bowl from her often, and giving it back, throw a yummy treat in it so she starts to look forward to you doing this. She will learn that aggression only removes the food, and that if the food is taken away from her (her biggest fear with such high valued items) that it WILL be given back with even better stuff in it, but only if she doesn't growl.

    It may take a while, but it will work. Also, you could try giving smaller pieces, and throwing them in her bowl one at a time, gets her used to you being around her food, it defeats the purpose of feeding big pieces to clean her teeth, but right now you need to work on that aggression. If it's not food that you can break into pieces, either hold one end of it (like if it's a bone) or just keep your hand in the bowl, or on the floor right beside what she's chewing on. She will HAVE to be careful of your hand, if she wants to eat, and if she growls, you make her "DROP IT" and take it away. You can try again in half an hour.

    If there's a food like liver, raw or dehydrated, or some really yummy thing that your dog goes nuts for, practice trading the food in your dog's mouth for the even higher valued food. While your dog is eating peacefully, come over and drop some of the yummy liver (or whatever your dog loves) into the bowl (or on the floor, lol) beside her while she eats. She'll learn faster this way that people near her food is good, except if she growls, so she'd better not growl.

    On another board I recently joined in on a conversation about whether people handle their dog's food while they eat, and whether they sit and take it away, or if they just let the dog eat in peace. I feel that children should always be taught to stay away from a dog that is eating, but what about the child that doesn't? If you DON'T teach the dog to be comfortable with people handling it's food, you could be setting up for danger in future. I made sure to play with Charlotte's food right from puppyhood, taking it out of her mouth and giving it back. I also had my son be the food giver for a while. (mind you, she was on a homemade mix of ground and cottage cheese for the first month or so, so he wasn't as grossed out by that as he is by giving a liver, I still have to do that) Even a kibble fed dog learns by having someone really small throw kibble into his bowl while he's eating that people near his food is a GOOD thing.
    The best part about training Charlotte to let me do this is that once, while she was choking on a calf's foot, I was able to take it out of her mouth where it was stuck in the back of her throat, without getting bit, or causing her to freak out, because she was used to me having my hands near her food, and in her mouth.

    Well, you know that your dog places a high value on that bone, so it's the perfect thing to teach him so he doesn't develop food aggression with raw too, as it's also bound to be a high value item. I would keep letting him have that bone, but hang on to the end of it while he's chewing it, and tell him "DROP IT" and take it from him, and then give it back. (unless he's growling, he should NOT be rewarded with a bone for growling, that will only reinforce the undesirable behaviour.)

    Another thing to try is to keep her on collar and leash when you feed her, and give a correction when she is growling over food or anything else. Ignoring the behaviour will only reinforce it, as she growls to keep you away, and you stay away while she's growling.

    Just some context as to what the OTHER school of training is telling her, and why I felt it necessary to disagree with ONE point of training advice given here. She's also been told to get a trainer if the dog is really showing agression and she can't control it on her own.
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    Giselle

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    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  Giselle on Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:52 pm

    Taking food, or anything away from a resource guarder, (or hanging onto it) before the dog is comfortable with giving it up and eagerly looking forward to getting something in return, is still asking for trouble.

    A dog may learn to 'accept' food being taken from him this way, but the anxiety and defensiveness that suppressing this behavior produces can explode in other, more unpredictable ways in the future.

    Anxiety, fear, anger, all produce adrenalin and elevated cortisol levels. Repeated provoking of emotions that produce those responses in a dog, then expecting them to suppress them, is like building a time bomb with an unpredictable clock. Constant high levels of adrenaline and cortisol in a dog's blood stream with no physical activity outlet to work them off can be detrimental to their health, as it is in humans.

    Just because a dog learns to suppress its behavior, doesn't change the emotion behind it. Just makes the expression of it more unpredictable.

    Growling, lunging, hackling, whale eye, freezing, are all warning signs that should not be suppressed - the dog should be worked with to feel happy in the knowledge that, if his owner is reaching for his food, asking him to give it up, putting their hand in his bowl, that there is something yummier he will get instead.

    Once this habit of "Trading Up" is established, something yummier needn't be offered each time, (sub a 'good dog!' or scritch on the neck) but the dog should get the practice regularly, anyway - with toys, household items, etc. to maintain the behavior.

    Many dogs - not even retrievers - once they learn that they can trade for a yummy treat, will start bringing things to you, in hopes of a trade. A scratch under the chin for bringing something you didn't ask for or want him to have is perfectly acceptable, both to the dog and in a training/reinforcement context.

    Isn't that much better than taking things from a growling dog so he won't chew or swallow it, or chasing him down and cornering him to drag stuff out of his mouth that he finds lying around?

    BTW, 'pinning' or walking up the leash, is forcing and an aversive, and is punishment, no matter the term you use.

    As is muzzling the dog with your hand.

    Better to distract and redirect the dog. And teach a default 'calm yourself' cue/behavior - like sit in front and look at me or lie down and look at me.
    Leslie McDevitt's CU program is all about teaching reactive, aggressive or fearful dogs how to calm themselves and focus, whether in daily life or while training/exhibiting.
    Dr Karen Overall's "Protocol for Relaxation" is used by CU trainers and pet owners, in Leslie's CU program and at the U of PA, where Dr Overall practices - the behavioral clinic treats many dogs with problems.

    The NILF program can work hand in hand with positive reinforcement training for a well behaved, happy, calm and fun family dog.
    http://www.ddfl.org/behavior/positive-reinforce.pdf
    http://www.ddfl.org/behavior/nilif.pdf
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    Kelly
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    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  Kelly on Sat Jul 04, 2009 3:15 pm

    Alright guys, one more time, no more arguing who's right or wrong. Get back to how to help the OP or this thread will be locked and anyone else posting OFF TOPIC here will get a warning.

    Have a good day! I love you


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    Heather

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    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  Heather on Sat Jul 04, 2009 3:16 pm

    Kelly, I don't see it as a fight of who is right and wrong but rather what is suggested as being SAFE or UNsafe. However, I'm sticking with raw food discussions from now on. Good luck to the OP.


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    Kelly
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    Re: New to raw - food aggression help URGENT

    Post  Kelly on Sat Jul 04, 2009 3:26 pm

    I can just not see how this is helping the OP currently, arguing about what is right or wrong. Smile We can make another thread to debate, if you'd all like.. I have no problems with the debating, just not in this thread (as it is about how to fix a problem, and all advice can be taken). I know how heated these debates on training methods can be, and I -really appreciate- that everyone has stayed so civil, but there's no point in beating a dead horse. Wink The OP can look into both methods and use whichever she feels is right for her and her dog.


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