Scared that Ruckus is becoming aggressive

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by dogsarebetter, May 29, 2008.

  1. dogsarebetter

    dogsarebetter EVIL SHELTIES!!!!

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    Ruckus has always barked and raised nine kinds of hell when ever someone walks into the house. It doesnt have to be a stranger, just if its not me or my fiance he flips out. Well.... a friend was over at the house. He completely ignores Ruckus because usually if he does Ruckus will jump on the couch with him and want some attention. Ruckus was being buddies with him, but he decided to change his mind!

    I went into the back room (its where the dogs play and rough house mostly) to get something so my friend followed me. Ruckus jump off the couch and walked up to my friend. Ruckus walked slowly right behind him and was about an inch away from his leg and he starts growling, barking, and really throwing a fit. If i didnt notice how close Ruckus was getting to his leg and interrupted him I think he would had bitten Tommy (friend)

    I am scared now. Ruckus has always been reactive but never like this! And a time before he acted like he was about to snap at my mom, but mom always try to pet him and she knows to leave him alone and let him approach her not the other way around!

    I am getting so fed up with this poor dogs issues. I wish i knew what to do. :(
    We have been through obedience school, we do agility, I have many training books, but i am still clueless what i should do! We have even been to a behaviorist once who recommend to put him on prozac (and i did)
     
  2. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    He's on "prozac" now???
     
  3. dogsarebetter

    dogsarebetter EVIL SHELTIES!!!!

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    yes, he has been for a while now.

    12 weeks i think.
     
  4. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    do you have any plan of action to get him off of the prozac, or is this supposed to be a permanent fix?
     
  5. dogsarebetter

    dogsarebetter EVIL SHELTIES!!!!

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    No, I have not been back to the behaviorist yet, because the prozac needs to "kick in"
     
  6. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    how long should that take?? Did you get a vet's opinion?
     
  7. dogsarebetter

    dogsarebetter EVIL SHELTIES!!!!

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    The vet said about 8 weeks. but i have not seen much improvement.
     
  8. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    Sounds like time for another call to the behaviorist.

    (Sorry I'm not being much help)
     
  9. elegy

    elegy overdogged

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    And what is your training plan in conjunction with the Prozac? I would be in contact with your behaviorist and let them know what is going on. I would be proactive in a big way about this one, even if it's just management for the time being, because if he bites somebody, everything changes.
     
  10. OutlineACDs

    OutlineACDs Crazy Dog!

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    I agree with elegy. You don't seem to be doing much to manage the situation. If he gets so worked up why aren't you crating him when people come over? You need to do what's best for Ruckus, and letting him get worked up over everything is not helping. You need to manage your lives to give him the least amount of stress possible.

    Prozac will not turn him into wonder dog over night. It will still take hours and hours of work from you.
     
  11. dogsarebetter

    dogsarebetter EVIL SHELTIES!!!!

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    Thank you guys. No i have not been doing much to manage his behavior. I just started feeling overwhelmed and confused so like an idiot i guess i am making it harder on Ruckus. I find myself yelling at him more, since i feel lost on what to do. I am not so happy with my behaviorist and I cannot find another in my area. I will look further into it. I dont understand how he was absolutely fine with Tommy and then all of a sudden he is not! I have heard stories about him being a complete different dog when i am not home, and then when i get home he turns into a devil dog
     
  12. dogsarebetter

    dogsarebetter EVIL SHELTIES!!!!

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    Problems With Ruckus

    1.Lunging/ barking at passing cars on walks
    2. Running to the door, barking and jumping on the glass when someone pulls up
    3. Growling and barking when visitors walk in the door
    4. Very hard to get to be quit after started barking
    5. Barks and growls for no reason
    6. Runs all through the house jumping on windows and barking when a motorcycle is outside
    7. Sometimes goes after cows while in the car, scratching at the window and barking
    8. Snaps at my other dog if he even walks in front of him(getting better)
    9. Snaps at my other dog if i am petting
    10. Continuously mounts other dogs
    11. visibly nervous around visitors in the home when he stops barking, jumping
    12. sometimes lunges/growls/jumps on the leash if he sees another person or animal
    13. If he gets too worked up over something he is barking at he will fight with my other dog
    14. Gets so freaked out that he regularly blows his anal glads when a visitor comes by.

    Ruckus has his days. Some days he is just fine, other days he will go off on anything!
    We have completed obedience lessons, we do agility, and work regularly on commands. With the advice of a behaviorist Ruckus has been placed on Prozac but with no plans of training his bad behaviors out yet.

    I have tried to tell him to sit to stop these behaviors. He will sit but still bark and when i think he is fine and tell him to get up, he starts right back! I have also been putting him in a force down. It works great on walks most of the time, but in the house with visitors it makes him more upset. I have gave him a watch me command so he will make eye contact with me instead of focusing on whatever he is barking at, and he will only glance at me and start back. However I have not worked on his command too much. I used to put a bark collar on him, so when he starts barking he will get shocked and then since he cannot bark his behavior does not escalate. Giving him a correction with a choke chain also has always made it worse. That was one if he first things i noticed.

    Btw Ruckus is now 2 years old. He is neutered. I got him when he was 4-5 months old. We missed the boat on the socialization period. His owners before me did nothing but pack him around and coddle him. Never met anyone else or left the house until i got him
     
  13. OutlineACDs

    OutlineACDs Crazy Dog!

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    Wow, poor dog. He's got some major issues (most of which I have dealt with)

    I have to go to work this morning, so I'm going to type out some stuff real quick. If it doesn't mske sense or you need a better explanation, please let me know.

    Ok, in the car, ALWAYS ALWAYS he needs to ride in a covered crate. This will help keep him from going over threshold and keep you from having a wreck. He should NOT be allowed to look out the windows in the car. It is preferable that you be able to administer treats through the crate while keeping him from being able to see out. You can start a desensitization program from there. The car is a good thing.

    When you know people are coming over, if you will not have time to work with him, he gets crated, out of the way where he can't see anyone. Give him a kong or a raw meaty bone to chew on and keep him occupied.

    Teach BOTH dogs a 'go to place' behavior. Get each of them a mat/towel/carpet square that is theirs. Teach them to go to it on command. Use this to manage the dogs when you know there will be a problem. EX: You want to pet the other dog, so you send Ruckus to his place and reward him by throwing treats while you pet the other dog.

    No more forced downs. This only makes you a bully. Try as hard as you can to NOT put him in situations that make him upset. I walk my nervous dog after 10pm to avoid loose dogs and other people. I only walk her during the day if she's the only one I'm walking and if I have my arsenal for training. :)

    If he attacks your other dog or mounts him he goes in the crate for time out. This is unacceptable behavior and he's probably doing it out of nervousness/frustration, so he was overstimulated. Do not yell, just grab his collar and silently walk him to the crate. Cover it if you have to.

    This dog is WAY WAY WAY over stimulated and doesn't have a chance to calm himself down. Good luck, and if you have any questions I will try to answer.
     
  14. OutlineACDs

    OutlineACDs Crazy Dog!

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    Sometimes, with a dog like Ruckus, the prozac will be a permanent thing. Dogs, just like people, can have chemical imbalances that cause them to never be fully normal, even with all the behavior modification you can give them. This should be a decision for the owner/vet/behaviorist to make together. I have a feeling Ruckus will always need management and a diligent owner.
     
  15. Sweet72947

    Sweet72947 Squishy face

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    I agree with everything Outline ACDs has said. Your dog needs a good desentization program to learn that these things aren't Horrible Scary Things. Please seek out a trainer that uses positive reinforcement only (negative reinforcement may work in the short term, but it does not solve the underlying problem - fear.)

    I know how hard it is to have a fear reactive dog, as Daisy has similar issues (although not as extreme as Ruckus :() if you need to vent we are here for you.
     
  16. dogsarebetter

    dogsarebetter EVIL SHELTIES!!!!

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    Thank you so much. It makes me sad to think that Ruckus will always be on medication. Sometimes he is just such a handful I am glad I have him and not someone else. I dont think most people (other than most of us dog fanatics on chaz) would put up with him.

    ACD thank you so much for taking time to help me out. My dogs know their "place" but i have never thought of using it in that situation. great idea! Usually I walk my dogs at 6:00 am because i live out in the country and if i walked them late of a night i cant see, and we have a big coyote problem.

    Ruckus surprisingly does really well at the dog park. The only problem i have there is that sometimes he mounts other dogs. But if there are lots of dogs there he doesnt mount any, he will just play with them. He has been coming up to the regular people there for some brief petting. He would never do that without his prozac, so i guess maybe it is working.

    Sweet, do you really think he is fear reactive? He seems fearful but his behavior is not consistent with what i have read. His head is held high, tail strait in the air over his back, very low and deep growling and barking. He stands up on his tip toe and jumps up and down. sometime he raises hackles.

    ACD, do you think I am also bullying him by holding him by the muzzle and making him look at me until he calms down. I feel bad when i do this, but sometimes i have to use some time of force to make him stop (if we are out walking)

    I dont know if this makes much sense, but I have heard stories about him being a different dog if i am not around. Hubby rarely has these problems with him, and when i leave him at my friends house she never has an issue with him! I have been known in the past to get him worked up. Of course i do not do that anymore, but when this first started... like an idiot i thought it was funny. and i would say things like "LOOK, COWS" or "Ruckus Door!" And I knew better all along. I feel like most of this is my fault. I ruined my dog.
     
  17. OutlineACDs

    OutlineACDs Crazy Dog!

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    Yes, he is fear reactive. He has learned that acting in an aggressive manner is the only way to get himself out of the situation. He had probably been sending you signals that you missed and got pushed over the edge and when he reacted you took him away from the scary thing. From then on, it was easier/quicker for him to react than to wait on you, because you never helped him in the past.

    I would try not holding his muzzle. If he gets in a bad situation, what I do, is either pick my dog up and walk her as far away as possible so she can calm down. I pick her up and put her in a crate, if one is accessible. If she can walk away from the scary thing, we walk away, I calm her down, and then we approach at her speed.

    Also, you say he doesn't react as much with your friend. I haven't seen the dog, so I can't say, but it is possible he goes so over threshold that he CAN"T react. A dog that has been pushed too far to react will sulk, possibly shake, and try to stay out of everyone's way. Like I said, this may not be the case, but I couldn't tell you unless I had seen the difference between Ruckus being with you and him being with your friend/husband.
     
  18. colliewog

    colliewog Collies&Terriers, Oh My!

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    Just to add to what the others have said - yes, training and desensitization is necessary, but I am curious why he is on an antidepressant like Prozac instead of an antianxiety agent like Buspar, or maybe a tricyclic antidepressant like Elavil that would have more of a calming/sedative effect. I would discuss with the vet and/or behaviorist a possible change in medications. Prozac isn't the only drug out there, and just like with people, sometimes you have to try a few to find the one that works.
     
  19. dogsarebetter

    dogsarebetter EVIL SHELTIES!!!!

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    Thanks guys! I will discuss changing medications with the vet.
    I do not think he is sulking when he doesnt react. From what i hear, he is affectionate and calm. He will lay at their feet when they sit on the couch, etc
    However I have seen him many many times sulk after he has stopped barking at visitors inside the house.

    Last night i had my sister came over, and later my mother. Both times I put Ruckus in the crate as soon as they pulled up. He only barked a little but did not get nearly worked up as used to. After he was calm i let him out of the crate. He walked up to the guests for treats and hang out in the kitchen with us. Already I can see that this would work out very well.
     

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