Growly Guardy Pi

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whiteboxerboy
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Growly Guardy Pi

Postby whiteboxerboy » Tue Nov 24, 2015 6:21 pm

i'm hoping this isn't a big huge ginormous problem. i really have no patience for icky behavior at my house, there are more than enough 'resources' of all sorts for everyone.

the other night, maybe 2 nights ago (?) in the middle of the night Gringo wanted to come up on the bed, Fannie & Pi were already up there with me. I guess Gringo woke me up to let me know he wanted up so I scooted over a little and invited him up. Gringo jumped into bed but not where i wanted him to, next thing i know i hear Pi snarling & pissed off. that sure woke me up! i shoved Pi off the bed, told him NO and walked him directly to his crate downstairs. by that time Fannie was at the top of the stairs so i put her in her crate too, just to keep everyone safe and b/c it felt more fair that both of them were put up instead of just Pi. i have to say, Gringo and I had a very nice night's sleep all the way til morning.

last night Gringo came upstairs just a little bit after i turned off the light, Fannie & Pi were already in bed with me. Gringo wanted to come up so i made SURE he had a spot where he wouldn't step on or otherwise 'invade' Pi's space. As soon as Gringo hopped onto the bed Pi gave a low growl. i gave him a loud NO THANK YOU along with a very mad face and that was the last i heard from him.

i know this is NOT good and is totally unacceptable. and i'm ashamed to say i don't think i know what the 'correct' response to a growl is. i don't think i've ever had a 'growly' dog. Brinca sure didn't bother with growls. :rolleyes: i mean i know i'm not supposed to stop a dog from growling but my automatic response is to yell NO as loud as i can, at least when i'm sound asleep anyway.

i don't know what's going on, this is new. i guess he may be jealous b/c i leave Pi and Fannie in our play yard and take Gringo to other parts of the property to see the horses and the neighbor's dogs, etc. Pi and Fannie can see us walking around from the yard so he knows what we're doing when we leave. I also just started putting Gringo and Boss Lady's dog out front together to run/play b/c she's all by herself all the time and needs a friend.

so, what am i supposed to do when he growls?

should Pi just sleep in his crate from now on? seems like that is going to make his 'jealousy' worse.

i definitely will spend more 1:1 time with Pi, I reckon that's part of his problem. ???

Thanks.

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Re: Growly Guardy Pi

Postby SherriA » Tue Nov 24, 2015 6:33 pm

There are a lot of people who are much smarter than me around here, so listen to them and take what I say with a big grain of salt.

My gut instinct says that if Pi is guarding your bed or sleeping privileges, then he loses access to that until he gets over it. He sleeps in his crate for awhile. And yep, more 1:1 Pi time would be on my list.

I have a hard time thinking that he's guardy at bed time because he's jealous of Gringo's adventures with you in the afternoon. Maybe my dogs have just not generalized that extensively, but I can't imagine any of them holding on to a grudge like that and growling hours later in a different environment because of it.
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Re: Growly Guardy Pi

Postby Calypso » Tue Nov 24, 2015 7:48 pm

I agree with Sherri that Pi probably isn't resenting your time with Gringo. And I agree that he loses bed privileges as well. When I worked in doggie daycare we had a mini doxie who would climb on my lap and snark at the other dogs. So he'd lift a lip and I'd lift him to the ground. He finally learned and would sit in my lap giving the other dogs the stink eye, but no more growling unless they got pushy, in which case I couldn't blame him.

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Re: Growly Guardy Pi

Postby whiteboxerboy » Tue Nov 24, 2015 8:34 pm

Oy, Pi's downstairs in his crate sounding very sad & crying. I'm feeling like he has no idea why he has to sleep in his crate & is not connecting it to his growling and being icky to Gringo.

I hate this.

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Re: Growly Guardy Pi

Postby JudyL » Tue Nov 24, 2015 11:17 pm

Right, at this point Pi probably doesn't know why he's not in bed with you. I don't believe they generalize over long periods of time or have feelings of jealousy carrying on from earlier in the day.

I agree with the others. Around here a growl or snark would mean loss of privileges. It only took once or twice before Benson found out that bad behavior meant not being able to sit with me and earned crate time. He likes it there, so it wasn't exactly a punishment, just not getting to have the more favored spot of my lap or next to me in the chair. Same would apply to the bed, although I never had trouble with that as the girls were very accepting of each new addition.

You could always rotate the dogs and allowing one to sleep with you each night and avoid the confrontations altogether. I'm a firm believer in that every dog should be comfortable sleeping in their crates without protesting for when need arises (ill health of either dogs or human, injury, vacations), so this is a good opportunity to get Pi used to that. He'll get over it if you don't cave in to his whining and drama.

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Re: Growly Guardy Pi

Postby connie » Wed Nov 25, 2015 7:05 am

I'll be the voice of unreason. :grin: I have boy dogs who snark at one another regularly. It's a sibling thing ...

I would not crate Pi. I would tell him to get off my bed, that his manners aren't good enough for him to be part of the bed crowd. I would put a bed on the floor right next to my bed, and tell him to go lie down there. That way he would still be with the group, not banished, but he would lose the bed privilege, which is really all I care about for the growl.

This happens with Rowley and Alex sometimes: Alex is a cuddler, and will come up on my bed and snuggle with me. Rowley then pops his head over the side of the bed from his bed next to mine, and looks outraged; he will jump up on the bed and growl at Alex and grab his muzzle in his jaw. That disrupts everything, so I say sternly 'get back in your bed!' and Rowley has to get off the bed. If he just hops up on the bed and curls up in an empty spot, he can stay, but snarking at another dog who did nothing to him is a Big No-No.

Having said that, it's really not a big deal in my group and never escalates, it's just a bunch of talky herding dogs and boys being boys. I would never put one of them out of the bedroom for it.

Different breeds, different dogs, my take on this may not apply in Boxer-Land ... :whistle:
Last edited by connie on Wed Nov 25, 2015 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Growly Guardy Pi

Postby connie » Wed Nov 25, 2015 7:09 am

I also don't agree that it would be caving in to his whining and drama. I don't look at the matter like that; Pi is not trying to manipulate you (Lynn), he is trying to tell Gringo that he doesn't care for his presence in that space. Well, maybe not, but that's not Pi's call, and my intervention would remind him of that. As my dad used to tell me and my siblings when we expressed our disagreement with his rules, 'you can hate me to pieces but hate me quietly.' I don't think Pi should be punished, I think he should be informed that his behavior needs an upgrade.

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Re: Growly Guardy Pi

Postby JudyL » Wed Nov 25, 2015 12:51 pm

To further explain, with Benson I would have preferred to simply ban him from my lap or from the chair by putting him on the floor, but it was also during his first few days living with us that included very ramped up excitement/anxiety with tagging of feet and chasing Paul, so he needed that time in his crate to de-escalate his whole being. I would have handled it differently if he was already established here.

Now back to normally scheduled programming.

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Re: Growly Guardy Pi

Postby connie » Wed Nov 25, 2015 2:35 pm

Yep. With Benson, you were making him aware of the ways of the household.

He certainly got with the program, didn't he? Hard to believe now that he was ever a pest or a punk! :wink:

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Re: Growly Guardy Pi

Postby whiteboxerboy » Wed Nov 25, 2015 4:59 pm

thanks for all of the good input you guys.

i'm still not sure exactly how i want to handle this.

*ideally* i'd just kick him off the bed & he could sleep wherever he wanted except with me. sadly, that will not work. he is not reliable to stay off the bed when he's been asked to leave. he hops right down every time but sometimes he'll just keep jumping back up. i know, i need to work on that but i am not interested on working on it in the middle of the night when i'm supposed to be sleeping.

any other time Pi is quiet in his crate, he just doesn't like being down there instead of with us at night. he settled down after a few minutes.

i have considered rotating the dogs and having only one sleep with me. i think i'd get more sleep if i did that.

i had 1:1 sessions with each dog two different times today, hopefully they're a little more tired than usual - maybe they just need more exercise and mental stimulation. that way they'll be too tired to misbehave. :lol:
i have to say, Pi is so much fun to play frisbee/fetch with. he loves to play and brings it back every. single. time. he drops it right at my feet and waits for me to throw it again. he has no interest in catching it before it hits the ground but he LOVES chasing it down!

anyway, thanks for your thoughts about this. i still haven't decided how i'm going to deal with it but at least i have some ideas.

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Re: Growly Guardy Pi

Postby connie » Wed Nov 25, 2015 5:09 pm

I sleep much better with no dogs on my bed. I have a queen-size Sleep Number bed that I love very much (that's a sign of my AGE, isn't it!?) and I certainly love my dogs very much too, but I have no qualms about telling them to 'go to bed' when I want all the space for myself. They end up on dog beds around my bed like the rings of Saturn. :lol:

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Re: Growly Guardy Pi

Postby Jen » Thu Nov 26, 2015 12:07 pm

Whenever Bella got growly guardy with Roscoe, she just lost access to whatever she was guarding. No drama, no punishment, just "that's actually mine, Missy, and you just lost your privileges" *instantly* - either R would get the whole treat or she'd be booted off the couch or she'd have to go to a different bed. I never "corrected" her with a disapproving tone or yell, just "so sad, off you go."

She learned that she had to share. Didn't mean she ever *liked* sharing , but she did it or she went off to sulk by herself of her own accord. And actually, the higher he value item, the faster she learned to share.

Also, I never banned anything permanently or even long term. The next opportunity was still a chance for her to share.

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Re: Growly Guardy Pi

Postby whiteboxerboy » Thu Nov 26, 2015 4:17 pm

Whenever Bella got growly guardy with Roscoe, she just lost access to whatever she was guarding. No drama, no punishment, just "that's actually mine, Missy, and you just lost your privileges" *instantly* - either R would get the whole treat or she'd be booted off the couch or she'd have to go to a different bed. I never "corrected" her with a disapproving tone or yell, just "so sad, off you go."

She learned that she had to share. Didn't mean she ever *liked* sharing , but she did it or she went off to sulk by herself of her own accord. And actually, the higher he value item, the faster she learned to share.

Also, I never banned anything permanently or even long term. The next opportunity was still a chance for her to share.
I'm too paranoid that Pi will escalate his behavior towards Gringo in the minutes following the initial offense. Pi went after Gringo again this morning.

Basically I'm too paranoid, I know. But that's not going to change.

This morning I micro-managed all 3 of them big time. NOBODY on the sofa with me and Pi wasn't allowed upstairs while Gringo was up there.

Sigh. I guess I've got some work to do. Why is he such a brat??

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Re: Growly Guardy Pi

Postby connie » Fri Nov 27, 2015 6:39 am

I think you make a good point, Lynn -- the comfort level of the owner is a huge factor in any training scenario. If you're uneasy, then the reasons for that are things to be considered in adopting a plan to deal with behavior you don't like!

Good luck. Multiple dog household = management all the time, sometimes intensive. I am reminded of that myself on frequent occasions. :crazy:

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Re: Growly Guardy Pi

Postby MaisyPancakes » Fri Nov 27, 2015 7:17 am

Sorry, Lynn! Did this come out of nowhere? I can see how having dealt with guarders/reactive dogs would make one extra ultra paranoid about the potential for progression/escalation! Would you have any reasons to suspect anything physical/medical that might benefit a vet check for either Pi or Gringo? I recall something about dogs getting bullied suddenly for no obvious reasons, and it turned out that there was something brewing that made them a little unwell (not necessarily anything serious!!!!) and hence a target. Just throwing it out there!

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Re: Growly Guardy Pi

Postby Moemer » Fri Nov 27, 2015 2:53 pm

I was also wondering if this is coming out of nowhere, and I'd look at what might have triggered this. Any changes recently that could be related? Health?
The trouble with this scenario is that you're asleep, so I agree with the 'find a management solution' approach. You can't very well train while you're asleep. I'd also look at a counter conditioning based approach and set up (discreet) training sessions (so they don't know it's a 'session') to CC his approach.
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Re: Growly Guardy Pi

Postby whiteboxerboy » Fri Nov 27, 2015 4:48 pm

I guess it is coming out of nowhere. Last time Pi acted like this was back in March but it was much more serious and intense last time. I can't think of anything that happened or any changes. Gringo did run around with Boss Lady's girl but that's the only new thing I can think of.

Pi seems to be over it now. maybe spending the nights in his crate along with being micro-managed 100% of the time helped him get the message.

I'll take Gringo to the vet this week for bloodwork & a once over. Hopefully that won't reveal any surprises.

I wonder if I'm over-reacting too much? Not that anyone else's opinion will change what I'm doing but sometimes I do wonder if I make too big of a deal out of things. L says I am way too neurotic. She doesn't worry about her crew when things happen that make me worry about escalating behavior. I dunno.

ETA: before all of this started the routine
at bedtime was that while I got ready for bed Pi & Fannie would go upstairs & Gringo would usually still be asleep downstairs until I wake him up to say goodnight. If he comes upstairs with me I make the other two get off the bed & Gringo jumps up and lays down. After I get settled I invite the other two up. I do this because otherwise Gringo won't always get on the bed. Gringo doesn't like to cuddle and the other two do so one or both of them are all cuddled up with me all night if I'm on the sofa. I figure he should at least get the best spot on the bed since he doesn't ever sleep on sofa/with me.

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Re: Growly Guardy Pi

Postby UpwardDog » Fri Nov 27, 2015 8:03 pm

So, Gringo's arrival to the bed/bedroom predicts the other dogs getting kicked off the bed. Lather rinse repeat and you have a dog who doesn't appreciate Gringo's arrival. Make Gringo showing up predict GOOD things for Pi.

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Re: Growly Guardy Pi

Postby whiteboxerboy » Fri Nov 27, 2015 8:33 pm

So, Gringo's arrival to the bed/bedroom predicts the other dogs getting kicked off the bed. Lather rinse repeat and you have a dog who doesn't appreciate Gringo's arrival. Make Gringo showing up predict GOOD things for Pi.
Oh. Duh. Good grief, I reckon I'm the biggest dumba** in the land. :rolleyes: :eek:

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Re: Growly Guardy Pi

Postby whiteboxerboy » Fri Nov 27, 2015 8:45 pm

PS can I have special permission to delete this whole thing due to stupidity?

I'm horrified.

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Re: Growly Guardy Pi

Postby Calypso » Sat Nov 28, 2015 6:40 am

It's not stupidity!!!!! It's hard to see the big picture when you're in the middle of it. That's what ODO is here for!

So when Gringo is ready for bed, toss a treat for Fannie and Pi to encourage them off the bed without you saying anything and see what happens over a few days or weeks.

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Re: Growly Guardy Pi

Postby JudyL » Sat Nov 28, 2015 8:41 am

^ Agree with Jill. This is a great thread and shows how easy it is to miss something when we are immersed in it. After Heather's summary and if only dogs could talk, I imagine Pi would be whining something akin to Jan Brady's "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia" when being kicked out of bed.

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Re: Growly Guardy Pi

Postby whiteboxerboy » Sat Nov 28, 2015 10:01 am

After Heather's summary and if only dogs could talk, I imagine Pi would be whining something akin to Jan Brady's "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia" when being kicked out of bed.
Ha ha, totally. Poor Pi. It's tough being the middle kid. :lol:

I really feel terrible though. Here I was blaming him and it was all my fault. Good thing he's so forgiving. And, it's taken him a really long time to reach his threshold with this. He needs MOAR treats today!!!

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Re: Growly Guardy Pi

Postby MaisyPancakes » Sat Nov 28, 2015 10:40 am

LOVE ODO!!! High five and a bad-ass crown (and a free drink ticket) for Heather!!!

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Re: Growly Guardy Pi

Postby Jen » Sat Nov 28, 2015 11:56 am

lol at Pi's "Marca, Marcia, Marcia."

Not stupid at all, just too close to the situation. Others often see more clearly what's right in front of you.

Reminds me of when I was asking about Bella refusing to go in her crate suddenly. I think I worried/wrote about it for 2-3 weeks before I caught on that The Evil Vacuum was being stored right next to her crate.

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Re: Growly Guardy Pi

Postby UpwardDog » Sun Nov 29, 2015 12:06 am

You wrote it out, I just highlighted it. :smile: Hope it helps.
I always see things better once I write it out and think in terms of antecedent->behaviour->consequence. It's easier when you are looking/training from the outside and not living it too. When it's your own dogs you just go "stop being a-holes I'm trying to sleep!"


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