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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 9 month old male Lab x and we have a few major issues.
He is very food aggressive,he resource guards anywhere he sleeps(like the crate,floor you name it he guards it),If i have food he will make sure no other animals come near me.I have talked to a behaviorist and she told me he is a lost cause.
A little more about our home situation i have 3 other dogs(1 is a foster with lymphoma),3 cats(1 a foster with 10 day old kittens),I currently stay at home on disability,my fiance works and his mother lives with us(she believes my training is wrong and tends to not enforce it)We are moving in a few months and she is not coming.
I am lost on what to do with him now I am scared he will seriously hurt 1 of the other dogs or cats in the house yet if i take him to the SPCA i know he will be euthanized he has never hurt a human but i am scared it will come to that 1 day.I am so upset by this situation i sat on the floor this morning crying.

Picture of him beside 1 of my fosters(who has now found a home :)
 

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I have talked to a behaviorist and she told me he is a lost cause.
Who was she certified with?

I am lost on what to do with him now I am scared he will seriously hurt 1 of the other dogs or cats in the house yet if i take him to the SPCA i know he will be euthanized he has never hurt a human but i am scared it will come to that 1 day.I am so upset by this situation i sat on the floor this morning crying.
What have you tried so far?
 

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I suggest finding another behaviorist, first of all. Resource guarding can be worked through, though it is never really "curable," can be managed throughout a dog's life. I'm surprised that the behaviorist wrote the dog off.

Is it possible to hand feed him, or will he still be aggressive? I say this because hand feeding means YOU are in control of the food, not him. If this is possible, do it.

From now on, no more free treats, toys, even back scratches. I also wouldn't allow him on the furniture. Nothing in Life is Free from here on out. http://k9deb.com/nilif.htm

Keep him separate from the other animals when you are not there to supervise. Do not tolerate him guarding you; I think that not allowing him on the furniture will help with that. If he shows aggression to the other animals while guarding you, remove yourself from him.
 

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I have a 9 month old male Lab x and....behaviorist....told me he is a lost cause.
That sounds so very wrong. I don't believe, in your situation, that it would be a bad idea to re-home the dog--as long as the next owner is fully aware of, and fully capable of dealing with his issues. It sounds like you already have too much to deal with, and everyone in the house needs to be on the same page where the dog's behavioral needs are concerned.

A 9 month old LabX is still very much a baby and needs to be somewhere where he can learn to color inside the lines.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the responses,I found her on kijiji probably not the best place but she was reasonably priced and with me not working it was the most i could afford at the time.
Myself have tried simple obedience just to establish some control he now knows the commands sit and wait.He is crated when nobody can supervise,He only gets treats once in awhile maybe 1-2x a week while learning new commands(i hate treat training).
If i do the NILIF training do i need to with the other dogs,is it easier with all of them on board?My biggest problem is my "MIL" i already know she will not follow my instructions she never has in the past and i can guarantee nothing will change.
 

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I'm shocked that a behaviorist would say that. How long did she work with the puppy to modify the behavior? Did she show you how to do object exchanges or even give you a write-up on the techniqes? This sounds very wrong.
 

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Holy Cow! First off, I would get a second opinion. It is true there are dogs that simply are NOT wired right. That said, those are far and in between. You obviously DO need help and should find a certified behaviorist. As stated above, keeping this dog separated from the rest is crucial. Especially before it escalates as it can then become more of an imprinted habit. My dog Oliver does the resource guarding thing. It is annoying but in my case, it is easily managed. I do have to keep an eye on him because he finds stupid things to guard, like a fuzz on the floor. Then if the cat or other dog goes past him, he growls and would snap if they pushed it. With people he is wonderful. With work, he rarely tries to guard anything anymore and when he does, I simply tell him leave it and he walks away. There are things you can do, and I certainly hope you won't give up without getting at least a second opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I am not ready to give up on him at all,I am willing to do everything i can for him
I do have some extra savings to put to a behaviorist,How do i go about find a reputable behaviorist that wont just take my money and give up soon?
 

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I would never have an unmanageable dog on the furniture. Keep all of the dogs off of the furniture and off of the beds. Teach the culprit "on" and "off", using treats. Just go to his favorite spot, tell him on, when he gets on, praise. Tell him off, pointing to the floor. Use a normal tone of voice. If he doesn't, and he probably won't, drop a treat from the pointing hand. Praise when he gets off to get the treat. Repeat over and over again, giving the treat after he gets off the furniture (once he gets it). Over the next couple of weeks, keep little treats on you and tell him off when he is on a piece of furniture, praise and treat, then sit in his spot. Add to that, the proper place you want him to be, praising and treating when he goes to his spot. Work him alone, then the other dogs each alone, so you can tell any of them to get off the furniture.

I also agree with hand feeding, one kibble at a time and making him go through a sit or down or high five or something for each piece. He's a big dog, so that's a long dinner session. If you feed twice a day, that's two times you can do this. Once he's getting the picture that he is being downgraded in the heirarchy, you can go to putting a handfull of kibble at a time into his dish, making him wait until you release him.

Put a six foot lead on him. Limiting his freedom this way will bring his dominance down. It also means that you are right there watching the social interaction and you can send the other dog away, or pull the big one off. If he knows down, you can put him on a down when he gets obnoxious, or call (drag) him to you.

You can do all of this and establish rank regardless of what your MIL is doing.
 

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My biggest problem is my "MIL" i already know she will not follow my instructions she never has in the past and i can guarantee nothing will change.
This is in the nature of a relationship problem, and not a dog behavior problem. Lucky for you, I'm an expert in that area as well. I've been annoying the bejeebers out of the same woman for nearly 30 years, so I am more than qualified to opine on such matters.

Your hubby-to-be needs to step up and back you in all particulars. If it's your home, he needs to read "Mom" the riot act. If it's you MIL's house, he'll need to exercise some genuine tact, but do so he must. It's not that he's got to choose between the dog and his mother, but he's got to back you in this power struggle between you and his mother. Consider this situation a crucial test. If he can't or won't pass it, then you need to keep looking.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It is our house,and he has stepped up to his mother alot...she used to breed and show basenjis so well of course she is the "pro" but i am going to print off a copy of the NILIF and give it too her and if she does not follow my rules i will ban her from being upstairs with the dogs.
 

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try putting him in the crate while you eat .... this puts you in charge!!! did you just get him or have you had him for awhile?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I do put him in the crate when we eat meals but not while i munch on chips or something.I have had him about 3 months now,and he has been like this since the day we got him.He gets Neutered next month will that help with anything?
 

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All I can say is hang in there. Chloe, the fuzzy dog in my signature, was NOT a fun dog to be around as a puppy. She was a resource guarder and not only would try to bite, but she actually attacked me twice while she was under six months old.

Not only was she possessive, but she had no tolorence, no bite inhibition, was leash reactive, and would become aggressive if I tried to groom/"manhandle" her.

I don't even know what all I did with her, but she is now two years old and has become a very good girl. She still isn't allowed bones unless she is kenneled and we still can't bug her if she is laying down trying to sleep, but those are very managable, minor problems compared to how she used to be.

I know of two things that really helped me: having the whole family on board about laying down the law and being able to read Chloe's expressions/emotions to know the best way to handle a situation.

I can honestly say, if the rest of my family hadn't come to terms with Chloe's problems and started to "help" (even my little sister was able to make a difference when she started teaching Chloe tricks) things would not be the same as they are now.
 

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First of all, your dog isn't a lost cause. Honestly, I'd go as far as to say that no 9 month old dog is a lost cause, short of dogs born with genetic aggression (which I don't think your dog has), and even that can be managed. So forget what the behaviourist said. Second of all, NILIF, NILIF, NILIF. It can help dogs who don't have behavioural problems, just in daily life, so there's no harm in implementing it with your others (cute beagle, by the way). The most important thing is that everyone be on board with this. It doesn't work if half the household implements NILIF and the other half doesn't.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Sorry for the long wait to update my computer is running on its last leg :(
But i have opted to wait to get a behaviorist and work on NILIF and basic commands to help out.He is doing awesome he has learned sit(with distractions,yay) and our version of stay is wait.He still has problems with resource guarding his sleeping areas but his food aggression has improved with me hand feeding.I am so glad i found this website thank you to everyone.

On more of a sadder note i was fostering a dog with lymphoma(palliative care) and she passed away very early Sunday March 22 at the E vets office after 4 months with me at the healthy age of 11years old.
 

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Sorry to hear about your foster. :( At least you gave her a good home at the end of her life.

As for your Labbie, keep at it. I'm glad it's working. Continue the hand feeding, especially since it seems to be working.

You also may want to try the "Trade Game" if you feel he's ready for it. Present him with something like a bowl or paper plate with a dab of peanut butter in it. Let him have at it for a few seconds. Then, say "trade!" and present him with an identical bowl with a replenished amount of peanut butter inside. At that point, trade your yummy bowl for his almost finished bowl. Of course, use your discretion; this is a game some people use, but your dog may not be ready for it yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
hmm i would like to try trade,i think i will know when he is ready,Thank you for your kind words for my foster her death has hit the whole household hard even though we knew it was going to eventually happen you still never prepare fully.
 
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