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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
I have a 5 month F1b cockerpoo named buddy! He is so clever and has been an absolute treat to train and live with baring one big issue RG.
He came to live with myself and my daughter at 8 weeks of age and I noticed then he would growl when I went near his food! I've had larger bread dogs such as Rottweiler and akitas and never had this issue as I always follow the guidelines recommend by pretty much all. But this little guy is something else! he just gets worse and worse and now he guards everything from food to rubbish.little back story, I spent and still spend countless hours from the day I got him to now training him to be a good boy and he is really impressive so it's not as if I have allowed any negative behaviour! but the one important thing is safety and that's my worry! He has now bit me and also lunged for my daughter I still won't give up and I'm losing sleep over it all and spending my whole night looking for the answers all over the Internet and dog behaviourst pages etc. Now I'm so concerned for my daughter as she is now scared of him and I'm starting to feel a bit unsure as his aggression is getting to new levels where he will enter the room and try size me up and growl! People laugh saying he's just a little poodle but I say it's not funny when it's your child's safety and if this was a bigger dog everyone would scream get it put down, which is not an option for me i couldn't live with myself. Am I being selfish keeping him around? I've spent now 107 days going through the repetitive steps to get no change and tried so many different techniques! I'm at the end of my tether. I've obsessed over my little boy and if I had to rehome I would also do the same in finding him the perfect home, which would be a child free home and also likely pet free as he would probably fight over food although I haven't trailed that thought. Can I please have some advice from other dog lovers rather then the usually get him gone folk!
I would just like to add I can't afford a specialist as I'm a single full time dad who's business has just went under due to everything happening and I'm trying to keep it all together. Or even if their is anyone who would consider rehoming my boy who loves dogs like I do and has the patience i jave and no children would be a must as I couldn't bare a child being hurt!
Thankyou
regards Matt
 

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" as I always follow the guidelines recommend by pretty much all "

"I've spent now 107 days going through the repetitive steps to get no change and tried so many different techniques! "

Can I ask what you have actually been doing as you describe here?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
yes of course, Thankyou for responding to my post.
firstly I started with the "aproach and drop technique" where I approach and drop food near or in the bowl like meat of other desirable treats then calling him to me with again said treats! I've used the raise bowl and leash technique so he can't guard over the food and if he showed guarding I then moved him away and used affection to distract from the current mind state then awarded with a bit of his food then I bring him back to his dish only ever moving a little bit away to start as to not make him think I was stealing his food. when I first started I would when he got aggressive I would lift his bowl up until he was calm then give it back as was told by a few sources on the internet but then also read that it's confirming his suspicions that he was right to guard! then making him come away from his bowl to a nicer treat worked at first but then he started charging then stopping before he got to me and growling then running back!.ive also tried hand feeding for a while then slowly moving onto putting a little in his bowl then let him finish then add some more then eventually add whilst he was eating but it has only lead to more growling and heightened aggression which has now progressed to being possessive of all things and also just approaching me with his tail horizontal and growling. my vet today advised me to put him down so I rang another behavioutsit who wants me to try 3 months and when I asked what technique he said,after I've had my consultation he would give me techniques which wàs disappointing because I told him what I've done and his response was hmmm strange behaviour I would have to watch him. I would like to add I've had 3 different vets because I refuse to think euthanasia is a next call rather then last option she also told me I'm being irresponsible being a parent and that rehoming is also an irresponsible move! Why does everyone conflict with the next person. Can you tell me what I'm missing because his training is brilliant in the sense he has perfect recall he doesn't chase bikes dogs or people and walks off the lead perfect he is perfectly house trained and for extra bonding I've taught him a nation of tricks as he loves to work. He's never had physical reinforcing and others have told me I'm too soft but he use to do what I say when I say but now he also takes atleast 3 times to follow simple commands.
Here's the huge issue now as a parent I have a responsibility to put my daughter first and I am being hugely criticised as people can't understand that it's hard to just give up on your dog especially when we have/had an amazing bond. He also shows no affection at all now he has no desire to be stroked or cuddled and unless I have food he doesn't give 2 hoots about me or anyone at that matter. He gets his hackles up at the post man as well but which dog doesn't see the post man as their mortal enemy?
Any tried positive advise would be so gratefully appreciated.
regards matt
 

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OK - the taking things and lifting the bowl and all such similar things have led to him really not trusting you and the less he trusts the more likely to guard he is.

Approaching and dropping high value food can be a good approach but you really need to be reading his body language well and only going as close as he is happy with, which right now is probably not very close at all. The escalation of guarding other things in inevitable. He feels insecure and the more things happen and he gets into growls incidents the more this reinforces he is right and he can not trust you.

My girl came to me at 17 months as she guarded and her first family were scared of her. She has never bitten me and is generally no trouble at all these days but if stressed by something she will steal and guard things. More from my other dog than me these days and it is rarely anything more than a token grumble.

At five months your pup can be turned round but depends on the age of your daughter and if you can keep her safe. Rehoming is also entirely possible and not irresponsible - if you are in the UK I would suggest speaking to the Doodle Trust about rehoming if you decide to go down that way.

For now you need to back right off and try to prevent as much guarding as you can - food needs to be put down and the pup left alone to eat in peace. You can start again with the food dropping but it is vital that you listen to the pup and do not cause more stress while doing that or you will go backwards rather than forwards. Anything pup has which you need to get back you need to do everything you can to avoid confronting him - he does not want to bite an6 more than you don’t want to be bitten but he gets more and more stressed by each encounter.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thankyou so much for your advice it is so reassuring. I will back off and allow him to become comfortable again and take everything you said on board. I honestly can't see myself rehoming him and especially not euthanasia.
It makes so much more sense and is a breath of fresh air hearing useful information rather then drastic. I will give him his space and will report back to you with progress. fingers crossed for a happy pup and family.
regards Matt
 

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How are things going - are they a bit calmer now? It is still well worth getting someone local to take a look at him and make sure you are on the right track once things start to calm down a little.
 
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