A 7 month old Rottie was doing some serious resource guarding of food bowls, couches, dog toys etc. The owners, who got him at 8 weeks felt that apparently since birth this dog had been very assertive.
With no structure for the dog in the home for 7 months straight, both the dog and the family were headed down the wrong path of life with the potential for some serous harm.
What finally had them call me is that when the wife tried to remove a bone from his space, the dog bit her.
So, how did we fix it?
- Structure: We put the dog on what I call the “learn-to-earn” program. The dog was required to do the obedience commands of sit and down for everything he got i.e. food, articles of play, space and most importantly, love and affection.
- Dog behavior modification for guarding: We began a gradual desensitization of the dog to allow family members and other people to come around his food bowl, his chew bones and his space. He was rewarded for acting appropriately.
- Dog behavior modification at the front door: We taught him the obedience command “go to your place”. We then expanded this obedience command to become “go to your place” when he heard the doorbell ring. This fixed the charging of the front door.
The key to our success? The owner’s 110% commitment to working their dog on the behavior modification program and dog obedience commands. I am always so proud of my clients who recognize that only a serious commitment to working the dog behavior plan will turn their dog around – and it has!
Trust me on this. Consistency and repetition will begin to breed habit in your dog, so keeping structure in his life and your expectations of his behavior high, will be the key.
Tell me what you think!