Growly boston terrier

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Muttsandaboston, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. Muttsandaboston

    Muttsandaboston New Member

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    Ok...My dog Maggie is a Boston terrier and has been passed from home to home her whole life. I have had her for 2 years and she is about 5 years old and she will be here for the rest of her life. A few problem with her is growling, she growls all the time, she will growl when picked up, petted too "rough" for her liking (she loooves getting petted but sometimes I guess it's not to her liking), and when moved over from a sleeping spot/standing position she will growl. She is VERY affectionate other than the growling she will give kisses and cuddle in your lap for hours. I have been bitten a few times though if I accidently pushed her too far. The first day she was here I rubbed her gently with my foot and she bit my toe the second day I made a kissy noise with my mouth and got bit in the face (thankfully she doesn't do THAT anymore). About 2 weeks ago I quickly picked her up because there was a large truck pulling in the driveway and I guess I picked her up to fast and she ended up biting me in the face. She has always been very growly.
    A few more facts:
    She is NOT food aggressive with people at all but is with other dogs.
    She is somewhat toy aggressive but she is just growly during play/tugging.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. puppydog

    puppydog Tru evil has no pantyline

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    Phew! I don't know. I have never worked with a dog that repeatidly bit its owner. I worked with one that bit his owner twice, he was PTS.
    I suggest starting her on NILIF as soon as possible.
     
  3. Muttsandaboston

    Muttsandaboston New Member

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    Thankfully she has a short muzzle so she can't do much damage.
     
  4. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    Agreed, NILIF. She has to earn everything, also some basic obedience training helps as well.
     
  5. Muttsandaboston

    Muttsandaboston New Member

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    I already do NILIF with my dogs. She is not allowed on the furniture unless invited and all she gets pretty much is dog food. She does know very basic obedience.
     
  6. dogsarebetter

    dogsarebetter EVIL SHELTIES!!!!

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    as a kid we had a rottie that growled all of the time. but he didnt do it to be mean or threatening. We would come home and he would great us at the car happy to see us, tail wagging, leaning in to us for pettings and the whole time he would growl. it was just his thing.
     
  7. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

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    My Rufus was like that ....his way of talking .
     
  8. Punkygirl0101

    Punkygirl0101 New Member

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    My friends dog Gigi (Chihuahua) mix is like that. My friend had her since she was 4 weeks old (Got from a byb in her neighborhood), and didn't raise her well cause she didn't know any better (Now she does know, and is very into dog behavior and whatnot), but Gigi still gets a little aggressive sometimes WITH her owner. She also does NILIF, but it never improved. She will growl at my friend if she picks her up and kisses her sometimes, she will growl and try and bite if her nails are trimmed, etc.
     
  9. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    Yes, but did your dogs bite you in the face after they growled? When she growls does she raise her lips at all, or show her teeth? Is her body tense or relaxed? Does she try to stand up taller or does she try to settle down into your lap/arms?

    For starters, I'd never pick her up, unless it was a dire emergency and you absolutely had to do it to save her life. Basically pretend like she's a 60 lb dog. If a 60 lb dog was about to die if you didn't move it, you could probably pick it up if you had to.... but it would be your absolute last resort. So imagine that your dog is 60 lbs and almost too heavy to pick up.

    NILIF is a good suggestion - and you do know that there is more to it than treats and furnature, right? In fact it has very little to do with what kind of treats your dog gets. Basically your dog has to work for EVERYTHING good in his life. If he wants petting, he has to do a behavior or two first; if he wants a toy, he has to do a behavior or two, and then if you want it back he has to give it back; if he's growling (a bad behavior) on the furnature (a good thing), he looses the privalage of sitting on the furnature.
     
  10. Muttsandaboston

    Muttsandaboston New Member

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    Glad i'm not alone. Maggie also growls when her nails are clipped although she will bite, snap, whine, and pee on herself when I attempt to clip them so she usually goes to the vet. I'm also thinking she was adopted too young because the man who gave her to my grandmother said that when he got her she was small enough to fit in his front shirt pocket. This sounds very teenie for a puppy that grows up to be 15 pounds.

    Thanks I do have a 70 pound dog so I will try to pretend they are the same size ;). I have to pick her up though every day. She doesn't come when called and I have to pick her up to put her in my room when it's time for bed. She might start coming if I get out a treat or something, or should I clip a lead on her? I would really prefer being able to pick her up without growling.

    She doesn't mind being held once she is picked up. She kisses me while I hold her in my arms. It's the initial raising up and even putting down that makes her growl. She will put her paws up on me to ask to come up in my lap and when I pick her up to put her up there she growls. lol I will definatly read up more on NILIF though. I took her to a trainer once and they told me to do dominance rolls which would just make her even angrier. I definatly won't go there again.
     
  11. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    Have you tried clicker training? You can clicker train her to get used to things like having her nails trimmed, being picked up etc.

    Say you want her used to "rough" petting. Get her first used to an approaching hand by moving your hand towards her side click and treat repeat. Then towards her face, click and treat, repeat (just assume after every behavior i'm going to say click and treat then repeat until she is comfortable with it). Then over her head and once she used to all that start doing it faster so no fast movements to touch her freak her out. Then touch her somewhere she likes. Slowly touch her (only for a brief moment) in every other area you can think of making sure not to do the "iffy" areas right away or all together in a row (can you say frustrating!). Always click and treat unless she acts out (although you should not be pushing her hard enough for her to act out). Slowly over days or weeks depending on her personality increase the length of time you touch her for. Then increase the pressure with which you touch her. Pick up and ear and slowly but with some pressure pet it, same with feet (but in an area you know she dislikes don't do it quite as long or as hard, make sure you can read her body language, don't push), tail and body. Remember to click and treat after every pat she allows. Basically slowly increase all this, pressure then speed or vice versa until you can quickly pet her roughly. Then increase the amount of time you can pet her roughly. Do it for 3 seconds, click and treat, then 5 sec., 10 sec., 30 sec. etc. until she remains calm for a full blown petting session of rough petting (like a child would do, remember not to hurt her, only push her around a bit).

    Nial clipping is easy to do with click training...where is that video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgEwiH8CeUE

    Hey, if you are interested in using clicker training PM me with some things you need help with and I'll see if I can put together some "how to" clicker training recipes for the behaviors. Clicker training may not be for every person but so long as your dog likes food (or any other reward) it works really well IMO.
     
  12. Muttsandaboston

    Muttsandaboston New Member

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    I have done some shaping with clicker training with Maggie. Honestly it's the only training she responds to. Thanks for the suggestions. I will try that first thing tomorrow!
     
  13. Muttsandaboston

    Muttsandaboston New Member

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    Well I got the clicker out for the first time in months and she remembered the sound. I did a "test click" when I found it in the drawer and she came running from her sleeping spot. lol I worked on her nail clipping with it and she seemed to be very comfortable near the end. I managed to clip 2 nails with no growling or biting, I quite after two though because I didn't want to push her too far. I was amazed because I have NEVER been able to clip her nails.
     
  14. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    Hey that's great!!!!! And it's good you didn't push, you have to remember to stop before she gets upset, but I bet you'll be doing them all in no time! Kepp up the practice and tell us how it goes.
     

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