how to train an anxious and obsessive dog?
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Thread: how to train an anxious and obsessive dog?

  1. #1
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    how to train an anxious and obsessive dog?

    My fiance's dog (silky terrier) is very possessive and has a lot of anxiety. He got hit by a car about 2 years ago and it has gotten a lot worse ever since then. The biggest issue with him is when he has a treat or human food in his mouth (whenever he grabs something off of a table). If you touch him or even go near him he will begin to growl and show his teeth. He can do the drop it and take it with his toys but with treats he is a completely different dog. I just recently got him a chew bone too keep him busy when we are both out of the apartment. He doesn't chew on it when I give it to him but he will just keep it near him. If i make any noise or even get up to do soemthing else, he will dart torwards the bone and protect it by growling. What are some good ways to get him to stop this behavior?

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  3. #2
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    Re: how to train an anxious and obsessive dog?

    Trade him for much better stuff.

    For example: Give him a low-quality dog buscuit. Then go and hand him chunks of cheese. If he has a regular bone, give him a meaty one. Only give him something that is of less value than something else that you have. When he has something really good, leave him alone. Hand feed him his meals so he knows you aren't trying to steal from him.

    If it's really bad, you will just give him stuff without taking his stuff away at all and just get him cool with you approaching. This is a manageable problem, but the process is bigger than an answer on a forum.

    Jean Donaldson wrote a great book called "Mine." Better yet, have a good trainer show you how to work with this. Your dog is afraid that you're going to take his stuff. It's your job to show him that you will never do this unless you are going to give him something even better. Remember, the motive is usually fear, not evilness.

  4. #3
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    Re: how to train an anxious and obsessive dog?

    This is known as resource guarding. I know if you google it you will find a LOT of advice.

    Consistency in key to overcoming this, along with most things.

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  6. #4
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    Re: how to train an anxious and obsessive dog?

    DJ..I don't know if googling would be the best bet here..you and I both know the prevelance of BAD advice out there regarding "possessiveness" so it's really important that good links be mentioned.

    Resource guarding in dog is normal, but extreme resource guarding towards humans is usually based in fear or anxiety.
    The book recommended, "MINE" is awesome, but can be a tough read so be prepared. You can order it from Dogwise or straight off Jean Donaldson's site.

    You may also want to check out www.fearfuldogs.com for tips on dealing with fear and anxiety and talk to your veterinarian about thyroid testing and anti anxiety medications if necessary. Thyroid problems often exacerbate anxiety issues.
    Maggi and Cracker, Dog about Rosedale


  7. #5
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    Re: how to train an anxious and obsessive dog?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cracker View Post
    DJ..I don't know if googling would be the best bet here..you and I both know the prevelance of BAD advice out there regarding "possessiveness" so it's really important that good links be mentioned.

    Resource guarding in dog is normal, but extreme resource guarding towards humans is usually based in fear or anxiety.
    The book recommended, "MINE" is awesome, but can be a tough read so be prepared. You can order it from Dogwise or straight off Jean Donaldson's site.

    You may also want to check out www.fearfuldogs.com for tips on dealing with fear and anxiety and talk to your veterinarian about thyroid testing and anti anxiety medications if necessary. Thyroid problems often exacerbate anxiety issues.
    I didn't think of that. "/ I was in a hurry and was hoping that there was a resource guarding sticky, but I don't think there is and can't check because of my slow internet.

    I do however agree with what TrainingJunkie said. I've never worked with a dog with such issues, but have read of those methods and they'd be the first I'd try. I do the feeding meals out of my hands from time to time just to make sure that no behavior arises.

    ETA; someone should definitely make a resource guarding sticky if there isn't one already. I'm sure it would come in handy.
    Last edited by DJEtzel; 03-14-2010 at 08:34 PM.

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