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My recently adopted dog, which there was no information

My recently adopted dog...

My recently adopted dog, which there was no information about where she came from or anything is about 5-7 years old she is a schnoodle. She exhibits aggressive behavior toward me, my spouse and the other dogs when she is given a toy or big treat(large bone) even if you just walk past her she will growl and try to bite you. What should I do.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?

No not specifically bur she has been groomed and that was not mentionsed. She has been doing this since we got her.

Veterinarian's Assistant: What is the dog's name?

Oreo

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Dog Trainer should be aware of about Oreo?

We have consulted with a behaviorist about her and she has gotten better. But she still has this possession aggression and sometime handling aggression (does not want to be move)

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Answered in 11 minutes by:
10/17/2017
Scott Perry
Scott Perry, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 2,051
Experience: DVM
Verified

Hello. My name is***** and I am a veterinarian that can answer your question. I understand Oreo is displaying aggression with toys/food and sometimes when being moved. You mentioned you saw a behaviorist about this issue. Was this a veterinarian or more of an animal trainer that you saw?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
animal trainer.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I really don't want to spend any more money besides the $50.00. No monthly or weekly charges. just this one time opion on what we can do, please.

No problem. There are no extra fees needed. Any phone call offer is automatically offered from the website, but I can answer your question with text chat only. I am typing my response now. Please bear with me a few more minutes.

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Based on the history you provided, this certainly sounds like it is a possessive or possibly a territorial aggression. This is a fairly common situation in some dogs, especially those that are adopted without a known history of the previous owners or living situation. The first thing to do is avoid triggering her anxiety and reactivity response. At this point, we want to avoid going near her if she is with a toy or treat, and also avoid handling her as much as possible. We do that to not make her feeling of aggression associated with anxiety worse, while at the same time you will be working on training her away from these behaviors. You just want to avoid the triggers as much as possible. It is good to tell people not to touch her or go near her during toy/treat activity for the time being.

The best way to go about training her is a combination of dissociation and counter-conditioning. What that means is you are going to work on dissociating her being touched with anxiety and train her to be more accepting through treats and rewards. The best way to go about this is to begin training her to obey sit and stay commands. If she already knows how to do this reliably well then add in "lay down" or "shake" commands. The purpose of this is to give you the tools needed to make her more accepting to approaching her during toy/treat time and to eventually touch her and take away the toy without her reacting out of anxiety aggression. This process works by rewarding her with a treat and/or positive praise every time she performs a desired task (i.e. sit/stay). She will begin to connect the fact that something good happens when she obeys. Remember, that you are also avoiding triggering her anxiety so no longer is she making the connection of something bad is happening when someone comes near her when she has a toy or treat. This by itself changes the association (i.e. dissociation) and will work to decrease anxiety.

You will also add on to this by adding other commands such as "lay down" or "shake." You will want to do this multiple times a day (i.e. 3-5) for at least 5-10 minutes. It is important to be very repetitive and consistent with these tasks. Make sure not to reward something where she is not obeying. This is called "counter-conditioning." As she gets better at obeying these commands then you can eventually start to come closer to her while she is performing the desired task of sitting or laying down. It is important to learn to identify the subtle features of anxiety such as panting, lip licking, dilated pupils, or the ears going down as opposed to being high and alert. Once the anxiety signs are observed then that is the maximum that you can push her comfort level. If she shows anxiety then do not go further. If she is comfortable with you approaching without a toy or treat, then start by having her perform a desired task (i.e. sit/stay) and then give a treat. Keep her in a sit/stay command during this time. She will eventually feel more comfortable with people being around when treats are given, especially because you will be using treats to train her and she will eventually change the entire association with treats. She only gets rewarded for doing the command. This process can take up to 3-6 months, so be patient with the practice. Toys work the same way. She starts in a command that she gets rewarded for doing correctly and then a toy is introduced at a distance. The toy is then gradually moved closer while she maintains the task of sitting/staying. Over the course of a few weeks the toy can be given to her while she is in a learned task. If done correctly, her reactivity should be much lower by this point and you will likely be able to take the toy away while she gets rewarded for the learned task. As long as you don't rush the process and stay away from triggering her anxiety, you should have good success.

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Please let me know if you have any other questions. I am here to help. If you have no other questions, I would appreciate a positive review. You may leave up to 5 stars when ready. Your review helps connect Experts with other customers, so your input is highly appreciated.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank you.

You are most welcome.

Scott Perry
Scott Perry, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 2,051
Experience: DVM
Verified
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Scott Perry
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Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 2,051
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