Yogi needs your help. We need your help. Please look.

Training and behavior topics, guidelines, and tips for Chow Chows.

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myogibearm
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Yogi needs your help. We need your help. Please look.

Postby myogibearm » Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:14 pm

Firstly, I’m really glad I found you guys. I’ve used the search button and looked around, but as always, every situation is unique. Secondly, I apologize for the long post, but I feel that I need to be as detailed as possible so to eliminate any misunderstanding.

Background:
Name: Yogi
*Censored Word*: Male - Neutered
Age: 3 yoa

Yogi was introduced to my sister at 8 weeks of age when her friend bought the dog from a backyard breeder. From that time on, my sister has been a part of Yogi’s life. A few months later, her friend decided she couldn’t take care of the dog and my sister adopted Yogi.

I myself have a 5 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback named Roman. Roman is NOT the aggressive type and when I say he’s never bared his teeth or growled, I mean literally he’s never done that. My sister and I were completing a Masters program at the time, and we both lived together, with both dogs under one roof. They got along just fine at first. There were rules established among them where Roman would not go near Yogi’s food. Yogi made that clear from the very beginning to Roman.

It was not clear to us that he was aggressive about his food until he was a year old. Having owned an Alpha male GSD in the past, we tried many of the techniques to break a food aggressive dog, but realized simply to let him be. We would bring the food to the same place in the same room, ask him to lay down, and give him the food. There was no reason for us to take it away from him so we left it at that. We would walk by him while eating, and there was no aggression towards us. He was a year or so old at this point.



Fast forward to about a year and a half years of age. My girlfriend was over and Yogi had just had his food put down in front of him. We were all watching television, and my girlfriend got up from the couch about 15 feet away to walk to the kitchen – she approached him, but was still about 12 feet away to turn to the right away from him. He charged at her. Bit her deeply and left a decent size bite mark on her upper thigh. We immediately ran towards him to tell him to stop, at which point he did. Take notice, I mention there was NO warning sign because there was none. No growling, no baring of teeth, no ears set back, no tail between the legs. Odd, but this was still a new behavior which we attributed to food aggression.

Stimulus: Food aggression.
So, what did that lesson teach us? Avoid contact with strangers when Yogi is eating. Done.



Two weeks later, it was my girlfriend, myself, Roman and Yogi all in the same room watching television. We were on the couch – Roman was on his bed sleeping about five feet away from the couch near the fireplace, and Yogi was asleep next to the foot of the couch. My girlfriend got up to put something away, she stepped between the ottoman and the couch about a foot or so away from Yogi and he lurched up like he had just woken up from a bad dream and lunged for my girlfriends legs. He made contact, growling and left two teeth marks breaking skin at her calf in two different places. I immediately jumped up and got between them, pushing her out of the way at which point he went for my hand which was outstretched towards him. Fortunately, I was wearing a sweat shirt and he got a hold of that for a mere two seconds, before he realized the “Oh Sh*t” look and stopped. It was almost as if he didn’t realize it. From that point on, Yogi and my girlfriend were kept apart. There have been no other incidents between her and him since. Roman and Yogi both sleep in my bedroom, and if she is over, I make sure to get up and put myself between her and him just in case, but it has never arisen.

A little while later this same issue occurred, but this was between Roman and Yogi. Yogi would be sleeping and Roman might tip toe past him, and Yogi would wake up startled and fear bite.

Stimulus: Invading personal space when sleeping.

It was at this point that we sought out an animal behaviorist that our vet recommended. The vet told us to try behavior modification and see if that works. She wanted to avoid medication because she said she hasn’t seen that alleviate problems. We gave it a go. The behaviorist arrived at our house and began the initial assessment. We kept Yogi on a leash close by to us. Towards the end of the session, the behaviorist was sitting at our dining table and she moved her chair back to get up. I didn’t notice, but my sister did who was sitting across from the lady. She told me to pull the leash back, because Yogi had his ears set back and was making a move towards the behaviorist.

Stimulus: Perhaps her moving the chair, getting up in a sudden movement. Being a stranger.




Fast forward to my sister and I completing our Masters degrees. We moved back to our parents house. We were both working towards our medical degrees. Yogi and Roman stayed in my bedroom on the first floor of the house. I have a friend over who was standing in my bedroom while I had run to the kitchen. This friend had been around Yogi before and they had played when he was a puppy and the thought crossed my mind about whether I should’ve made my friend leave the room. My instincts were right. Yogi bit my friend on the hand. I don’t recall the situation then because I wasn’t there. It is a possibility that my friend didn’t heed Yogi’s warning sign (if any) and was a victim.

From that point on we were EXTREMELY careful to be mindful of Yogi and his behaviors. We introduced him to people on a leash. Just to give you a precursor, in our mind, Yogi had a wonderful upbringing. He was socialized with both animals and people from a young age. He had trips to the park, he was taken to the vet, he went for long car rides, he lived inside. He was/is a part of our family, given all the love we have for him.

Background about the family and social situation:

There are five members of my family including myself. Everything was just fine. No biting occurrences. There were little things that we tried to work on, but we simply left it to things WE were doing wrong. For example, if Yogi and Roman were in the room, and the door was open with a doggy gate in front of the door, if my mom or dad walked through the hallway, or somewhere he could see them far away he might growl. My parents would try to do things differently, making noise so as not to startle him when walking by the hallway. My dad would take him out on walks – he even took care of him for two weeks when both my sister and I were out of town. There were no issues.

Like I said, we were mindful of Yogi’s behavior. We understood that he was easily startled. At that point, my sister and I were his primary caregivers as far as walking him, and feeding him. He knew the rest of my family members and saw their faces daily. I left for medical school abroad this past year and decided it would be best if Roman stayed with my girlfriend. I didn’t want the chance of him and Yogi being left in the room alone and Yogi biting him again. It had happened enough to where I realized it was best if Yogi was the only dog in the house. Again, things were going great. Yogi had his routine, and had free reign of a portion of the house.

Fast forward to today. Yogi turned 3 yesterday. My sister and my mom went out to buy him so tasty doggy treats from a dog boutique store down the street yesterday. My mom gave him a treat yesterday in my bedroom, which is “his room” where my sister also sleeps “to keep him company at night.” No problems. Today, I was on Facetime with both of them chatting. Yogi was walking around in the hallway, in and out of the library, no problems. My mom walked out of the library to go to the kitchen on the other side of the house and came back a few minutes later with a treat in her hand to give to Yogi.

Yogi sits and takes the treat from her, walks away with his back to her. She walks away to proceed down the hallway to go back to the library where I was on Facetime with my sister. She hadn’t taken even a step, when he dropped the treat and charged at her. Biting her upper thigh. He was going for her other foot (which is in bad shape due to DVT), when my sister jumped out of the chair when she heard my mom scream. When my sister stepped into the room where this was happening Yogi backed off.

So here we sit at our current predicament. My sister leaves to join me at medical school abroad in May. Yogi was to be looked after by my parents for no longer than a year when I was coming back to the United States and I could take care of him until my sister was back. As of now, no one in our family feels confident leaving Yogi with my mom being the primary caregiver during the day since my father, a physician himself works during the days. Yogi has a comfortable, happy, care-free life at my parents home. But frankly, this most recent event has really put us in a bind.

He’s been labeled as a “fear biter.” Fine. We can live with that. A dog who has fears to certain stimuli can be fixed. We can get him used to that scary postman. Or we can get him used to strangers coming in and out of the house. We can avoid putting him in stressful situations. However, when something like the above happens when there is no stimuli that we can pin point, that is what leaves us distressed. No sign, no warning usually seen in fear biters.

If there is training – what is it? How do you desensitize a dog of the very surroundings he’s comfortable in and lives happy in, day in and day out? How do you get him used to the SAME people who he sees everyday never growling or baring his teeth.

Is there medication? How will zonking a dog out, to make him a zombie help the situation? My vet is aware of all these things and frankly even bringing him there is a nightmare, but the few and the fearless vet techs at our clinic have managed this far.

What do we do?

myogibearm
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Yogi needs your help. We need your help. Please look.

Postby myogibearm » Thu Jan 26, 2012 7:19 pm

Firstly, I’m really glad I found you guys. I’ve used the search button and looked around, but as always, every situation is unique. Secondly, I apologize for the long post, but I feel that I need to be as detailed as possible so to eliminate any misunderstanding.

Background:

Name: Yogi
*Censored Word*: Male - Neutered
Age: 3 yoa

Yogi was introduced to my sister at 8 weeks of age when her friend bought the dog from a backyard breeder. From that time on, my sister has been a part of Yogi’s life. A few months later, her friend decided she couldn’t take care of the dog and my sister adopted Yogi.

I myself have a 5 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback named Roman. Roman is NOT the aggressive type and when I say he’s never bared his teeth or growled, I mean literally he’s never done that. My sister and I were completing a Masters program at the time, and we both lived together, with both dogs under one roof. They got along just fine at first. There were rules established among them where Roman would not go near Yogi’s food. Yogi made that clear from the very beginning to Roman.

It was not clear to us that he was aggressive about his food until he was a year old. Having owned an Alpha male GSD in the past, we tried many of the techniques to break a food aggressive dog, but realized simply to let him be. We would bring the food to the same place in the same room, ask him to lay down, and give him the food. There was no reason for us to take it away from him so we left it at that. We would walk by him while eating, and there was no aggression towards us. He was a year or so old at this point.

Fast forward to about a year and a half years of age. My girlfriend was over and Yogi had just had his food put down in front of him. We were all watching television, and my girlfriend got up from the couch about 15 feet away to walk to the kitchen – she approached him, but was still about 12 feet away to turn to the right away from him. He charged at her. Bit her deeply and left a decent size bite mark on her upper thigh. We immediately ran towards him to tell him to stop, at which point he did. Take notice, I mention there was NO warning sign because there was none. No growling, no baring of teeth, no ears set back, no tail between the legs. Odd, but this was still a new behavior which we attributed to food aggression.

Stimulus: Food aggression.

So, what did that lesson teach us? Avoid contact with strangers when Yogi is eating. Done.

Two weeks later, it was my girlfriend, myself, Roman and Yogi all in the same room watching television. We were on the couch – Roman was on his bed sleeping about five feet away from the couch near the fireplace, and Yogi was asleep next to the foot of the couch. My girlfriend got up to put something away, she stepped between the ottoman and the couch about a foot or so away from Yogi and he lurched up like he had just woken up from a bad dream and lunged for my girlfriends legs. He made contact, growling and left two teeth marks breaking skin at her calf in two different places. I immediately jumped up and got between them, pushing her out of the way at which point he went for my hand which was outstretched towards him. Fortunately, I was wearing a sweat shirt and he got a hold of that for a mere two seconds, before he realized the “Oh Sh*t” look and stopped. It was almost as if he didn’t realize it. From that point on, Yogi and my girlfriend were kept apart. There have been no other incidents between her and him since. Roman and Yogi both sleep in my bedroom, and if she is over, I make sure to get up and put myself between her and him just in case, but it has never arisen.

A little while later this same issue occurred, but this was between Roman and Yogi. Yogi would be sleeping and Roman might tip toe past him, and Yogi would wake up startled and fear bite.

Stimulus: Invading personal space when sleeping.

It was at this point that we sought out an animal behaviorist that our vet recommended. The vet told us to try behavior modification and see if that works. She wanted to avoid medication because she said she hasn’t seen that alleviate problems. We gave it a go. The behaviorist arrived at our house and began the initial assessment. We kept Yogi on a leash close by to us. Towards the end of the session, the behaviorist was sitting at our dining table and she moved her chair back to get up. I didn’t notice, but my sister did who was sitting across from the lady. She told me to pull the leash back, because Yogi had his ears set back and was making a move towards the behaviorist.

Stimulus: Perhaps her moving the chair, getting up in a sudden movement.


Fast forward to my sister and I completing our Masters degrees. We moved back to our parents house. We were both working towards our medical degrees. Yogi and Roman stayed in my bedroom on the first floor of the house. I have a friend over who was standing in my bedroom while I had run to the kitchen. This friend had been around Yogi before and they had played when he was a puppy and the thought crossed my mind about whether I should’ve made my friend leave the room. My instincts were right. Yogi bit my friend on the hand. I don’t recall the situation then because I wasn’t there. It is a possibility that my friend didn’t heed Yogi’s warning sign (if any) and was a victim.

From that point on we were EXTREMELY careful to be mindful of Yogi and his behaviors. We introduced him to people on a leash. Just to give you a precursor, in our mind, Yogi had a wonderful upbringing. He was socialized with both animals and people from a young age. He had trips to the park, he was taken to the vet, he went for long car rides, he lived inside. He was/is a part of our family, given all the love we have for him.

Background about the family and social situation:

There are five members of my family including myself. Everything was just fine. No biting occurrences. There were little things that we tried to work on, but we simply left it to things WE were doing wrong. For example, if Yogi and Roman were in the room, and the door was open with a doggy gate in front of the door, if my mom or dad walked through the hallway, or somewhere he could see them far away he might growl. My parents would try to do things differently, making noise so as not to startle him when walking by the hallway. My dad would take him out on walks – he even took care of him for two weeks when both my sister and I were out of town. There were no issues.

Like I said, we were mindful of Yogi’s behavior. We understood that he was easily startled. At that point, my sister and I were his primary caregivers as far as walking him, and feeding him. He knew the rest of my family members and saw their faces daily. I left for medical school abroad this past year and decided it would be best if Roman stayed with my girlfriend. I didn’t want the chance of him and Yogi being left in the room alone and Yogi biting him again. It had happened enough to where I realized it was best if Yogi was the only dog in the house. Again, things were going great. Yogi had his routine, and had free reign of a portion of the house.

Fast forward to today. Yogi turned 3 yesterday. My sister and my mom went out to buy him so tasty doggy treats from a dog boutique store down the street yesterday. My mom gave him a treat yesterday in my bedroom, which is “his room” where my sister also sleeps “to keep him company at night.” No problems. Today, I was on Facetime with both of them chatting. Yogi was walking around in the hallway, in and out of the library, no problems. My mom walked out of the library to go to the kitchen on the other side of the house and came back a few minutes later with a treat in her hand to give to Yogi.

Yogi sits and takes the treat from her, walks away with his back to her. She walks away to proceed down the hallway to go back to the library where I was on facetime with my sister. She hadn’t taken even a step, when he dropped the treat and charged at her. Biting her upper thigh. He was going for her other foot (which is in bad shape due to DVT), when my sister jumped out of the chair when she heard my mom scream. When my sister stepped into the room where this was happening Yogi backed off.

So here we sit at our current predicament. My sister leaves to join me at medical school abroad. Yogi was to be looked after by my parents for no longer than a year when I was coming back to the United States and I could take care of him until my sister was back. As of now, no one in our family feels confident leaving Yogi with my mom being the primary caregiver during the day since my father, a physician himself works during the days. Yogi has a comfortable, happy, care-free life at my parents home. But frankly, this most recent event has really put us in a bind.

He’s been labeled as a “fear biter.” Fine. We can live with that. A dog who has fears to certain stimuli can be fixed. We can get him used to that scary postman. Or we can get him used to strangers coming in and out of the house. We can avoid putting him in stressful situations. However, when something like the above happens when there is no stimuli that we can pin point, that is what leaves us distressed. No sign, no warning usually seen in fear biters.

If there is training – what is it? How do you desensitize a dog of the very surroundings he’s comfortable in and lives happy in, day in and day out? How do you get him used to the SAME people who he sees everyday never growling or baring his teeth.

Is there medication? How will zonking a dog out, to make him a zombie help the situation? My vet is aware of all these things and frankly even bringing him there is a nightmare, but the few and the fearless vet techs at our clinic have managed this far.

What do we do?

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Victory
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Re: Yogi needs your help. We need your help. Please look.

Postby Victory » Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:17 am

Has he been examined for neurological problems? Some dogs, chows included who aren't bred well have neurological problems that cause them to over react to almost all stimuli, they often have mini psychotic breaks where they attack for almost no reason. They may suddenly not even know who a person is.

This happens with young dogs rarely but it does happen. It happens more frequently in older dogs who are becoming or are already senile, they will just forget who a person is, (even their owners) and attack them, sometimes it's because they can't see, hear or even smell correctly any more.

I would do two things, 1st a very indepth examine for any and all issues, but mostly cognitive, hearing and sight. A dog with hearing loss often can act like this, because hearing is such a strong sense for them, it and smell are actually most dog's major senses as ours are sight and hearing. 2nd--I would also try NTLF training, this will help reestablish just who is boss, do a search on it on this site and you'll learn about it. 3) if any one is playing with him in a way that allows him to mouth that person in any way, stop it. I never, ever allow my chows to mouth in play, they can touch me with their noses, but coming up and grapping even my clothes with their mouths is strictly a no no, they get instant time outs for it. I've been doing that so long now that it just doesn't occur, it is training I begin from minute one, day one. Also, there is no tug of war games with my chows, they can play those together and they do, but I do not play like that with them, nor do I allow any other human to do so.

Medications may or may not help with any of his issues. If he is highly stressed there are some natural supliments that can help with this and help him calm downn a bit. Also is he getting enough exercise? There is a false belief that all chows are couch potatioes and need only minimal exercise, this is not true, many of them need a 2-3 mile walk twice a day just to keep them from going stir crazy.

I'm sorry if my response is a bit disjonted but I see a lot of places for you to start examining his issues. A throrough physical and neurological examine, enough exercise to calm him down, and reestablishment of who is in charge are things I would try first.
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Re: Yogi needs your help. We need your help. Please look.

Postby Rory's Dad » Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:24 pm

i had a bit of trouble following the time line, but that is probably me. But from what i am reading this seems to be a bit of an owner protection/separation issue. One of the earlier issues seems to be that someone stepped between you and the dog, not an acceptable response by Yogi, but understandable. Now it sounds like you are away from him. I think you described that you were on a vid chat when the later issue occurred. I am sure that he recognized a voice or even maybe even a screen pic. I think he is experiencing some anxiety being separated from you. Chows are infamous for being so loyal. Many stories about single owners getting a family and the Chow not accepting them. This seems similar. Yogi is your dog and even extended family isnt going to do it for him. Not sure how you could solve this short of being back with him. Sounds like the episodes are related to a separation anxiety.

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Re: Yogi needs your help. We need your help. Please look.

Postby cherriemater » Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:03 pm

I will only interject my experience of being the "interloper" and I have the scars to prove it. Kimba (pictured below) was with Joe (my husband) for seven years before I came into the picture. She was HIGHLY protective of Joe, even charged and almost bit the Pastor when he came over to Joe's place. She was also the Alpha between Rocky (Long-haired dutch shepherd +2 years older than her). Kimba didn't like ANYONE coming between her and Joe. Then, Joe and I met and started dating and I started coming over to their place. Every time, and I mean every time, I got out of my truck to approach Joe's place, she charged at me. I used to put my foot out flat so that she'd run into it with her nose but that didn't stop her from putting her very sharp teeth into my leather Skechers. As Joe and I got more serious and I spent more and more time with them (Joe, Kimba, Rocky) I ALWAYS had to be on my guard. If I was on his sofa and she came "sniffing," it could lead to biting. ((I could go into many more examples, but I will keep this brief.)) So, every time, and I mean every time, I "forgot" or relaxed, Kimba was right there with a growl or a charge to remind me that JOE WAS HERS!!!! One time I simply walked into the Kitchen and she bit me on the calf and I still have the scars to prove it.

What did I do?!?! Joe started me out by walking her. He lived in front of our local Stock Car track and they loved it over there (lots of room to run). He would hand me her lead and off we would go (Rocky didn't need to be leashed because he loved everybody and anybody and had great recall). I NEVER WENT NEAR HER, though. I just "led" her and she followed. There was LOTS of this. In addition, Joe would hold Kimba and let me pet her behind the ears, on the side, etc. There was LOTS of this. Lots of supervision. Lastly, treats, treats, and more treats. Her favorite ... pizza crust (Joe ate a lot of pizza as a bachelor). First it was me tossing it to her, then getting her to come to me to take it. But WOW ... lots of patience, persistence, supervision and consistency.

Then, we got married and moved in together ... and the best part for Kimba was it was a totally NEW place for both of us. No one had a territory. Since we had done the work together (Joe and I) there were no more biting incidents execpt the one day when we were tickling each other on the sofa. Kimba got worried and gave me a warning nip. Didn't break the skin but made me remember that Kimba was experiencing a lot of new stuff and needed reassurance. I hope you can gleen a bit from what I experienced. So much, I'm sure, get's lost in translation but I can attest that we (Kimba and I) went from charging/biting to kissing in three, short (way too short) years.

Kimba may have been abused before Joe got her and then, being a bachelor and living alone, she firmly attached herself to him. It is VERY important that you introduce and supervise Yogi AT ALL TIMES. I know it's hard to believe, but YOGI CANNOT BE TRUSTED and you must take the lead in socializing, introducing and reassuring. We could never let our guard down with Kimba as she would unpredictably bite folks (the fuel oil delivery guy...which cost us $300.00 in vet/hospital costs, and a dear old friend who merely passed between Joe and I one day going to sit on the porch).

Meds will not change Yogi, IMHO, and you will always need to supervise and, possibly, leash when others are over. You are going to have to be reassuring when there are others around. Looks like Yogi accepts your sister, and that can be very helpful. I think the deal with your Mom was that she dropped the treat and walked away. Yogi stoppped associating her as the treat giver and may have been protrecting the treat.

((I want to write more but my eyes are droopy and my hubby is heading to bed ... I will append my comments in the morning.)) ((Sorry.))
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Re: Yogi needs your help. We need your help. Please look.

Postby cherriemater » Sat Jan 28, 2012 8:03 am

Okay ... much more rested now. Do I understand correctly that Yogi is with your folks and your sister is there? If so, the most important thing for your folks to remember is eye contact. Not offensive or mean but wary. This is what I did with Kimba, not to challenge her Alpha-ness but to just be aware of where she was. She had her eye on me (even if just a corner) and it was when I wasn't looking that she charged for attacked. This lessened, of couse, once we were in neutral territory. Yogi may be experiencing more difficulty because he was brought out of your home into someone else's where he has no say or neutral territory. Does he have a space that is truly his own? A place where your smell is? This might help him a bit.

With Kimba, I had to be with her with every new introduction. I would not allow anyone to pet her because she was so unpredictable (she also wasn't "my dog" or, rather, I was not her person). Joe always held her when introducing her to someone new because she wouldn't bit or nip when in his arms. But, more times rather than not, we asked the person to look but not touch. For their safety, mostly.

I am aching for you because this is a difficult road you're traveling. And, as RD said it sounds like severe separation anxiety. Another area where Chows are much like cats. THEY HATE MOVING and new things. It's very difficult for them to adjust. This may also be why he's acting out, especially when he can only HEAR your voice and not SMELL you.

I also love what Victory mentions about the exercise. Remember what I said about Kimba and me walking her? This could be very helpful if your parents could trade off doing this. I don't know what their state of health is, but (if Yogi allow them to hook up his leash) even a small walk in the backyard or around the block could go a long way in his "accepting" them. It's all about training Yogi that they are no threat ... but it will take time and consistency. With me and Kimba, it was three years but the kisses I would get from her still remain on my cheek and in my heart.

So, finally, I believe there is hope. With a committment from your sister to be your intercessor while you're away and from your parents to keep a warry eye and a happy smile for Yogi, I think it can be done.

I hope other will comment, too. There have to be other success stories out there ... especially with rescues who had to adjust.

Best of luck and please keep us informed of your progress.
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Re: Yogi needs your help. We need your help. Please look.

Postby myogibearm » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:18 pm

Victory wrote:Has he been examined for neurological problems? Some dogs, chows included who aren't bred well have neurological problems that cause them to over react to almost all stimuli, they often have mini psychotic breaks where they attack for almost no reason. They may suddenly not even know who a person is.

This happens with young dogs rarely but it does happen. It happens more frequently in older dogs who are becoming or are already senile, they will just forget who a person is, (even their owners) and attack them, sometimes it's because they can't see, hear or even smell correctly any more.

I would do two things, 1st a very indepth examine for any and all issues, but mostly cognitive, hearing and sight. A dog with hearing loss often can act like this, because hearing is such a strong sense for them, it and smell are actually most dog's major senses as ours are sight and hearing. 2nd--I would also try NTLF training, this will help reestablish just who is boss, do a search on it on this site and you'll learn about it. 3) if any one is playing with him in a way that allows him to mouth that person in any way, stop it. I never, ever allow my chows to mouth in play, they can touch me with their noses, but coming up and grapping even my clothes with their mouths is strictly a no no, they get instant time outs for it. I've been doing that so long now that it just doesn't occur, it is training I begin from minute one, day one. Also, there is no tug of war games with my chows, they can play those together and they do, but I do not play like that with them, nor do I allow any other human to do so.

Medications may or may not help with any of his issues. If he is highly stressed there are some natural supliments that can help with this and help him calm downn a bit. Also is he getting enough exercise? There is a false belief that all chows are couch potatioes and need only minimal exercise, this is not true, many of them need a 2-3 mile walk twice a day just to keep them from going stir crazy.

I'm sorry if my response is a bit disjonted but I see a lot of places for you to start examining his issues. A throrough physical and neurological examine, enough exercise to calm him down, and reestablishment of who is in charge are things I would try first.



Yogi has been seeing his vet’s since he was a puppy. The vet’s have not detected any neurological problems as far as the senses go. His hearing is extremely acute. He can hear someone at the gate at the front of my parent’s driveway from 400 feet away, while sleeping in the bedroom on the farthest side of the house. He does have an appointment scheduled with a DVM who is also licensed and board certified in Animal Behavior. Supposedly she has done some remarkable things and turned around many dogs and their families for the better so we’re going to give her a shot to see if she can turn the situation around. I am sure she will do a full neurological workup on him when she meets with us.

Yogi does not play with his mouth. This was never encouraged and does not happen with any of our dogs in our home. Tug of war is also off limits. Yogi gets a decent amount of exercise everyday. This is not an issue with him being bored or lacking stimulation.

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Re: Yogi needs your help. We need your help. Please look.

Postby myogibearm » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:22 pm

Rory's Dad wrote:i had a bit of trouble following the time line, but that is probably me. But from what i am reading this seems to be a bit of an owner protection/separation issue. One of the earlier issues seems to be that someone stepped between you and the dog, not an acceptable response by Yogi, but understandable. Now it sounds like you are away from him. I think you described that you were on a vid chat when the later issue occurred. I am sure that he recognized a voice or even maybe even a screen pic. I think he is experiencing some anxiety being separated from you. Chows are infamous for being so loyal. Many stories about single owners getting a family and the Chow not accepting them. This seems similar. Yogi is your dog and even extended family isnt going to do it for him. Not sure how you could solve this short of being back with him. Sounds like the episodes are related to a separation anxiety.



I believe you are right when you say this is possible “owner protection.” However, this is not an issue with separation anxiety because my sister (his second primary care giver) still lives at the house! This has nothing to do with me not being there. He has no reason to act the way he did with my mom two days ago while my sister was there.

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Re: Yogi needs your help. We need your help. Please look.

Postby myogibearm » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:37 pm

cherriemater wrote:I will only interject my experience of being the "interloper" and I have the scars to prove it. Kimba (pictured below) was with Joe (my husband) for seven years before I came into the picture. She was HIGHLY protective of Joe, even charged and almost bit the Pastor when he came over to Joe's place. She was also the Alpha between Rocky (Long-haired dutch shepherd +2 years older than her). Kimba didn't like ANYONE coming between her and Joe. Then, Joe and I met and started dating and I started coming over to their place. Every time, and I mean every time, I got out of my truck to approach Joe's place, she charged at me. I used to put my foot out flat so that she'd run into it with her nose but that didn't stop her from putting her very sharp teeth into my leather Skechers. As Joe and I got more serious and I spent more and more time with them (Joe, Kimba, Rocky) I ALWAYS had to be on my guard. If I was on his sofa and she came "sniffing," it could lead to biting. ((I could go into many more examples, but I will keep this brief.)) So, every time, and I mean every time, I "forgot" or relaxed, Kimba was right there with a growl or a charge to remind me that JOE WAS HERS!!!! One time I simply walked into the Kitchen and she bit me on the calf and I still have the scars to prove it.

What did I do?!?! Joe started me out by walking her. He lived in front of our local Stock Car track and they loved it over there (lots of room to run). He would hand me her lead and off we would go (Rocky didn't need to be leashed because he loved everybody and anybody and had great recall). I NEVER WENT NEAR HER, though. I just "led" her and she followed. There was LOTS of this. In addition, Joe would hold Kimba and let me pet her behind the ears, on the side, etc. There was LOTS of this. Lots of supervision. Lastly, treats, treats, and more treats. Her favorite ... pizza crust (Joe ate a lot of pizza as a bachelor). First it was me tossing it to her, then getting her to come to me to take it. But WOW ... lots of patience, persistence, supervision and consistency.

Then, we got married and moved in together ... and the best part for Kimba was it was a totally NEW place for both of us. No one had a territory. Since we had done the work together (Joe and I) there were no more biting incidents execpt the one day when we were tickling each other on the sofa. Kimba got worried and gave me a warning nip. Didn't break the skin but made me remember that Kimba was experiencing a lot of new stuff and needed reassurance. I hope you can gleen a bit from what I experienced. So much, I'm sure, get's lost in translation but I can attest that we (Kimba and I) went from charging/biting to kissing in three, short (way too short) years.

Kimba may have been abused before Joe got her and then, being a bachelor and living alone, she firmly attached herself to him. It is VERY important that you introduce and supervise Yogi AT ALL TIMES. I know it's hard to believe, but YOGI CANNOT BE TRUSTED and you must take the lead in socializing, introducing and reassuring. We could never let our guard down with Kimba as she would unpredictably bite folks (the fuel oil delivery guy...which cost us $300.00 in vet/hospital costs, and a dear old friend who merely passed between Joe and I one day going to sit on the porch).

Meds will not change Yogi, IMHO, and you will always need to supervise and, possibly, leash when others are over. You are going to have to be reassuring when there are others around. Looks like Yogi accepts your sister, and that can be very helpful. I think the deal with your Mom was that she dropped the treat and walked away. Yogi stoppped associating her as the treat giver and may have been protrecting the treat.

((I want to write more but my eyes are droopy and my hubby is heading to bed ... I will append my comments in the morning.)) ((Sorry.))


Your response has been very helpful. We do think that this might possibly have something to do with owner protection. Though a few times Yogi biting Roman – the other dog in the house is still generally unexplainable. However, it may also be relating back to owner protection and loyalty.

Yogi has seemed to create a strong bond with my sister and I. However, with me not there, I am out of the picture. This has nothing to do with him missing me because my sister is still there. Putting some of the pieces together it does seem like his reactions have been triggered from some form of boundary involving himself, my sister and I. For example, his room, is actually my bedroom on the first floor of the house. He’s not allowed upstairs in my sisters bedroom since it’s carpeted. When I’m away, my sister sleeps in my room to keep Yogi company at night. Regardless of whether I’m in my bedroom, or she is, if anyone steps in the door way (door will be wide open with a dog gate as the boundary), Yogi will erupt with growling, charging and barking. All signs of aggression. If we’re not in the bedroom, and any individual other than myself or my sister steps forward same sign – basically saying, “This is my bedroom, back off.”

If either of my parents step past the doorway, same reaction however they talk to him with calm voices, give him a treat and he stops. The bedroom is adjacent to another door that leads to the garage where my dad parks his car sometimes. In the morning when he leaves for work Yogi will bark at him, some mornings my dad will acknowledge him, other days he won’t say anything. Mind you, my dad has taken care of Yogi for a week or two when my sister went out of town and I was still in school.

I appreciate your response. As I mentioned, Yogi will be seen by the vet and if medication will be required per her recommendation after her diagnosis we will give that a shot.

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Re: Yogi needs your help. We need your help. Please look.

Postby Rory's Dad » Sun Jan 29, 2012 7:31 pm

Since i havent seen the dog and his interaction, i cant say for sure, but dont dismiss the possibility. Chows can be very singular minded, particularly when it comes to their humans. Your sister, as great as she may be, might not be a suitable replacement in Yogi's mind. They can be very owner oriented, and he may just figure that she is not you.

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Re: Yogi needs your help. We need your help. Please look.

Postby MissV » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:42 am

wowza!
gosh, im so sorry for you :( You must be seriously caught between a rock and a hard place...
I think in order to treat the problem you have to start at baby steps again. If your dog is biting out of fear, it must mean at some point, some where... something happened to cause your dog to fear "something". I seriously doubt a well kept, pampered, sheltered family dog would develop biting just "out of the blue" without it being neurological as said above.
Have you ever let your dog be looked after by someone else not in the family? You mention that you are away quite a bit. Could it be that someone else was cruel to your dog?

OK! if you cant pinpoint on that, then call a dog school in your area. Sign up for at least 6 - 8 weeks and work with your dog, around other people, and other dogs.
Make sure you warn the trainers first about the problems so that they can arrange to socialize your dog carefully into the group.

Also, there may be pack order problems. Make sure you dog understands that the family is alpha at all times. As long as you are alpha, there should be no reason to not disipline your dog (now this is the part most of the people on this site will disagree with me): my pup used to bit us a lot. Her mouthing and her biting got out of control at one point, and she was tearing into us, and our family and friends and it was just too much. The trainer at my doggie school said it was perfectly fine to give a small, sharp, smack on the nose. Now, the thing about smacking your dog, is that it needs to seem like the smack came from nowhere. Like as if God himself came out of the sky,*booped* your dog on the nose and went back to heaven. Quick! The dog cannot associate you with the discipline. If you like, its best to correct the dog with the leash. Giving it a little quick whip with the leash and then going back to whatever you were doing like nothings happened startes the dog and also teaches him that he cant get away with EVERYTHING!
I have seen the trainers at my dog school correct thier dogs many times (and only for agressive behaviour), and they are perfect, well ballanced dogs - who are dearly devoted to thier owners.

While I understand that we all have different methods of correcting our dogs, I believe this is a pretty darn good one. My pup learnt very quickly what was acceptable - and what wasnt. If you feel bad about giving your dog a small smack on the nose, carry a water bottle around and spray him in the face. AGAIN - please remember, you cannot disipline your dog if the pack order isnt clear. Your dog may get aggressive with you, and things could get worse. So please... try a good dog school first. Your trainers alwasys have invaluable advice.

p.s i love my dog, and i dont beat her up!!!!!!! (and shes one of the most advanced puppies at school, which even the trainers have told me is incredible for a chow!)
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Re: Yogi needs your help. We need your help. Please look.

Postby myogibearm » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:33 am

MissV wrote:wowza!
gosh, im so sorry for you :( You must be seriously caught between a rock and a hard place...
I think in order to treat the problem you have to start at baby steps again. If your dog is biting out of fear, it must mean at some point, some where... something happened to cause your dog to fear "something". I seriously doubt a well kept, pampered, sheltered family dog would develop biting just "out of the blue" without it being neurological as said above.
Have you ever let your dog be looked after by someone else not in the family? You mention that you are away quite a bit. Could it be that someone else was cruel to your dog?

OK! if you cant pinpoint on that, then call a dog school in your area. Sign up for at least 6 - 8 weeks and work with your dog, around other people, and other dogs.
Make sure you warn the trainers first about the problems so that they can arrange to socialize your dog carefully into the group.

Also, there may be pack order problems. Make sure you dog understands that the family is alpha at all times. As long as you are alpha, there should be no reason to not disipline your dog (now this is the part most of the people on this site will disagree with me): my pup used to bit us a lot. Her mouthing and her biting got out of control at one point, and she was tearing into us, and our family and friends and it was just too much. The trainer at my doggie school said it was perfectly fine to give a small, sharp, smack on the nose. Now, the thing about smacking your dog, is that it needs to seem like the smack came from nowhere. Like as if God himself came out of the sky,*booped* your dog on the nose and went back to heaven. Quick! The dog cannot associate you with the discipline. If you like, its best to correct the dog with the leash. Giving it a little quick whip with the leash and then going back to whatever you were doing like nothings happened startes the dog and also teaches him that he cant get away with EVERYTHING!
I have seen the trainers at my dog school correct thier dogs many times (and only for agressive behaviour), and they are perfect, well ballanced dogs - who are dearly devoted to thier owners.

While I understand that we all have different methods of correcting our dogs, I believe this is a pretty darn good one. My pup learnt very quickly what was acceptable - and what wasnt. If you feel bad about giving your dog a small smack on the nose, carry a water bottle around and spray him in the face. AGAIN - please remember, you cannot disipline your dog if the pack order isnt clear. Your dog may get aggressive with you, and things could get worse. So please... try a good dog school first. Your trainers alwasys have invaluable advice.

p.s i love my dog, and i dont beat her up!!!!!!! (and shes one of the most advanced puppies at school, which even the trainers have told me is incredible for a chow!)



Yogi has only been left alone once, for a week at our local vet. We trust them, and the lady who looked after her (Bless her soul), was actually the only one who could go near him. Due to his temperament, and fortunately for us, we have always been in a situation where someone in the family can look after him if need be.

Unfortunately, as far as reprimanding him with physical punishment. We've never done this simply because we've never had to. Not that I disagree with you-our GSD had to have minor physical correction during training, but with Yogi there is simply too much of a risk of getting bit ourselves. In the four incidents where this has occurred, there was a harsh reaction from us simply to get him to stop. How does one stay calm when your close friend or family member is being attacked by your dog. As I also mentioned, all of this happens SO INCREDIBLY fast, no warning, no signs.

We have contacted a vet/behaviorist here in Florida who has had promising results. We are hopeful that we can figure and work this out prior to my sister leaving for school. We have a solid 3 months to try and make progress.

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Re: Yogi needs your help. We need your help. Please look.

Postby Rory's Dad » Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:40 pm

MissV is absolutely correct in that others will disagree with her. I strongly disagree with physical correction with a chow. They are head shy to begin with and giving him a wack 'from god' will only encourage shyness and agressive behavior. Why else would she advocate a sneak attack on the dog. He rrectis already displaying nervous behavior and now she would suggest that you strike a dog without any indication from where it is coming...absolutely horrible and irresponsible advice...fortunately she was correct in the training sessions, Yogi needs to socialize and have positive reinforcement for good behavior. When he greets properly or does basic dog commands, he gets rewarded. When he doesnt do whats expected....NOTHING.

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Re: Yogi needs your help. We need your help. Please look.

Postby Cam Atis » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:50 pm

Hi there. Yogi is not 100% a fear biter. Circumstances you hve detailed doesnt warrant it. I also respect your knowledge and experience coz u got a GSD and u REALLY know what u are saying. You're stumped coz you know your dog thinks he is boss and you cant do anyhing about it. HOW CAN A GOOD DOG BITE SOMEONE WHO FEEDS HIM or gave her a treat? U say Days woud growl at ur dad, days he wouldn't mind. I would worry the day when he will attack fatally. Dogs are dogs. It is unfortunate that you have not nipped at the bud his show of aggression (food aggression at a younger age). you actually tolerated without much thought his food aggression just by letting things done Yogi's way. Now, there are times that if things doesnt go Yogi's way, he'll bite. Unfortunately HE CANT TALK AND CAN'T BE EXPLAINED To. I WOULD NOT dare physically correcting Yogi AT his age now if i'm in ur shoes also! But you can try if you are brave enough that Yogi will acknowledge ur being alpha...problem is IF HE IS ALPHA in his mind. Poor dog. but that is a unique and undesirable Chow temperament as indicated in chow temperament. overall, GSDs have clocked in more aggression and fatal dogbites than chows yet u have a chow which is aggressive coz he's boss. Others might disagree with most I said but what you have there is not a very stable dog and not trustworthy to be left alone with your mom and dad. I know you know you'll have to make some hard choices, i.e., If you gotta put him to sleep or just let him bite and attack if he feels like it. Goodluck.

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Re: Yogi needs your help. We need your help. Please look.

Postby Cam Atis » Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:05 pm

Or IF I WERE YOu, I'LL TAKE YOGI WITH ME wherever I'll be, I will just warn everyone about Yogi and also will put him on leash Or put him in a cage if there are friends coming over in your room. Your sister will be joining you right? You can leave trustworhty Roman back with ur parents. Yogi will be much confortable with that. And you can still give him a chance. Let hope he wont go aggressive as he ages. He's still young at 3 y/o.

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Re: Yogi needs your help. We need your help. Please look.

Postby Cam Atis » Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:22 pm

If I read right, Yogi has been well socialised in all aspects. His boundaries are given to him and respected by his family members. He was never placed in a dire situation and is well loved. He's even given enough leverage even though he bit several people including the mom and dad of his owners. Territorial aggression is the only one left in the analyses and If Yogi will be left by both owners- he'll be much more territorial and aggressive unless sedatives are given to him so he wont turn to mom and dad. We can't say for sure but I think Yogi's owners are pretty much well educated and knowlegeable as far as dog rearing and socialising is concerned. Only thing they didnt do is physical correction coz it was deemed unnecessary at that time.

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Re: Yogi needs your help. We need your help. Please look.

Postby myogibearm » Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:18 am

Cam Atis you are correct in most everything. Just for correction he has not BIT my dad as of yet. However, he has shown aggression. We are regretful that we didn't catch the signs of an aggressive dog from an early age. When he started showing signs of this, we tried correcting it and made headway occasionally. However, like most people, since that was the only sign presented and everything else about his temperament was fine at the time, we let it slide.

Also to make note, Yogi does not exhibit Alpha behavior among my sister or myself. He listens, and has never pushed his boundaries with aggression or biting towards us. The only time he's growled at us is if he had his head in his food bowl eating, and we stuck our hand out to grab the bowl.

If it were as easy as bringing Yogi with us, we would. But, we simply cant. The location where we are studying is not good for him. With his personality I can't even imagine trying to stick him in a travel crate let alone leaving him alone to be transported by people other than myself or my sister. He's comfortable and lives a fantastic life at my parents home.

We really hope that we don't have to go down the road of euthanizing him. We're hopeful that we can break him of this, however my sister and I have made the decision that if we don't see improvement or feel comfortable leaving him with my parents, as sad as it makes us, we'll have to put him down. For his safety, and others around him.

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Re: Yogi needs your help. We need your help. Please look.

Postby TyChowgirl » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:21 am

Can I try to make a suggestion out of a creative thought I had last night? The bedroom is the main room for Yogi right? First, why not get a crate, put it in that room and accustom Yogi to it so that becomes his crate in that room and not that room so that it's a safe haven for when you're away and if need be a quick time out. Secondly, why not make your bedroom the living room for a couple of weeks? I know that sounds silly, but have everyone eat in there, gather in there and hang out there at once while either caging yogi with a special treat or muzzling him to avoid bites and get him used to the fact that room is not his domain. Then you can move the crate wherever and now the crate becomes his domain, but a good one. Work on sending him there by command. All training sessions, positive reinforcement with food you provide and give the moment he performs correctly. This will help with working on food aggression with him too, because you're positively providing the food. If that means wearing heavily padded clothing and a glove to avoid bites if you're afraid, then do so I guess. Work on giving him a couple of bits at a time, but making him work for them and setting them on the floor during feed time. Also work on the wait or leave it commands with the same thing. Have him eat from your hand, tell him to be gentle. Give him a chewie or rawhide, but instead of giving it to him, stand there or sit above him and let him gnaw on it. If he gets to rough, verbally correct him and tell him to leave it. Take it away and have him sit or something, try again. What you want to do is show him that sharing his food is positive and that you will always own the food, but provide it as well.
Just some ideas I had.
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Re: Yogi needs your help. We need your help. Please look.

Postby Cocoa » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:12 am

Have you considered hiring a trainer to work with you and Yogi? I'm not talking about classes like they have at Petsmart, I mean a one on one trainer to work with both of you. It is harder to retrain an adult dog that it is to train a puppy but it is not impossible, rescues do it all the time. You want to make sure that you get a trainer who has experience with chows since a lot of normal training methods for other breeds don't work well with chows.

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Re: Yogi needs your help. We need your help. Please look.

Postby MissV » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:05 am

Rory's Dad - I appreciate your strong stance on your point of view. Being hard-headed is exactly what a chow owner should be! Lol. (cos i am too, dont worry!)
Moving on, just thought you should know, that the dog school my pup has attended since we got her (so for 5 months now) is a dog school with police dog trainers and all my knowledge comes from them. They advcate disipline when the dog gets out of hand, and I have nothing to show for all their advice, but a perfect, well balanced dog.
My dog is in the advanced class now, and shes at the top of her class (true story, not proud owner story) - what that dog can do would amaze you - her level of understanding is unsurpassed!
I dont know whether its severe inbreeding thats occured in South Africa, but chows here are NOT aggressive at all. They're aloof, but they get treated just like any other dog. No special treatment because its a chow. And to be honest, they pretty much act just like every other dog!
Once again, i just want to re-iterate, correcting my dog has not affected her in any way. She is hardly ever naughty (because we spend so much time doing fun training, walkies and grooming) so i hardly ever correct her. I think i've done it 5 times since i've had her, and all 5 were months ago (the first time i ever correct her was then she bit my foot from behind and drew blood) - she NEVER bit me again. She learnt quickly what was acceptable and what wasnt.

But then again, we will all have different opinions with regards to punishment. Some people to chose not to hit thier kids, some dont. Some have kids that walk all over them and dont do a thing, and some that have well behved kids because thier behaviour was corrected. And of course, vice versa!
I'm old school. I was raised old school... and i still believe in tough love, but I'm human, and I accept that we all chose to do things differently, and that we're in different parts of the world and things are done differently all over. I respect any avenue you chose, i would hope you respect mine and also acknowledge that my love of dogs (and the work i do for them at all the local shelters and SPCA's arounfd me) would prove that I have thier best interests at heart always. :wink:
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Re: Yogi needs your help. We need your help. Please look.

Postby Cam Atis » Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:47 am

I think I agree with MissV. We must somehow respect each other that we are from different parts of the world yet dogs are universal creatures because they dont understand human cultures. And I would say that a dog has to be disciplined verbally, and physically while young and manageable size because WE LOVE them. If they bit humans, next thing we know, they would want our dog dead. So it all boils down to teaching a dog into acceptable behaviour. It is to their disadvantage if we let them act out and bite people by misleading them thru misplaced love acts. This is precisely the predicament with Yogi, which Myyogibear has acknowledged, and they were not able to see immediately Yogi's aggressive trait - coz it is soo isolated and far in between. Instead, they gave Yogi so much love and space. My heart bleeds for that dog as if he's my own dog. But humans are above him in safety priority. I really hope somehow Myogibear will be able to turn around Yogi coz I know they love that dog so much.
In my place, dogs are dead once they bite a family member. They are seen as mad dogs. (I'm not included in that kind of mindset - however)

MYOGIBEAR, I am wondering if your dog is suffering from partial blindness? (This is my own excuse for Yogi's unacceptable biting and aggression) HAVE YOU TRIED testing YOGI's EYESIGHT? How sharp it is? But his sense of smell must compensate for if ever he hardly see things in front of him. he must be able to smell your mom or Roman before biting. His eyesight and sense of smell must be poor although he got acute hearing -it could explain when your mom and dad talking to him calms him up coz he can hear them. However, there's no such thing as doggy eye glasses if ever. :( Sorry. Goodluck with Yogi.

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Re: Yogi needs your help. We need your help. Please look.

Postby MissV » Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:17 am

Hi Cam Atis,
I think our countries are very similar. Here, if a dog bites a person, it gets put down too. I'd rather have corrected my dog when I did than ever have to face having to put her down. We dont have any children, but I've made a point of having kids touch my dog so she knows how to behave. If she were to ever lash out, that would be the end of my dog... and the end of me :(
Perhaps there is some merit in what you say about eyesight and sense of smell going. That could also be a major factor in Yogi's aggression.
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Re: Yogi needs your help. We need your help. Please look.

Postby Ursa's daddy » Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:53 pm

I think TyChowgirl has a good point about the room vs a crate, and the fact that the room is Yogi's territory, which he seems to be defending. My two are defensive of the house, and when I moved here, Ursa was especially defensive. At night, she would challenge me if I did not speak up so that she knew who was coming in. In public, my two are not as defensive, since they do not have a territory to defend. As far as disciplining actions, I have always like a nice sharp clap or the sound of a rolled up newspaper against the palm of your hand. As far as getting physical, that has always been limited to the old squirt bottle, and that is typically used on the cats. Of course, a firm "NO" has to be included with the other actions. The question of eyesight is something that should be checked. It could be an issue. I wish I had something definitive to add, but I don't. Gook luck and keep us posted.

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Re: Yogi needs your help. We need your help. Please look.

Postby Sojourner11 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:22 pm

You subject line starts with "Yogi needs your help"...when in fact Yogi needs YOUR help. He is yours and you are the Alpha male in the house. It doesn't sound like Yogi really knows that. And once they get a feel that the role is up for grabs you will have what you have right now. This isn't about love either, I'm sure you love him and he loves you but he really needs to know that what he is doing isn't going to be acceptable anymore.

While I don't really subscribe to everything he does, Cesar Milan makes a lot good points in the area of projecting your role as a leader. You have to command presence with him, its calm, assertive, and absolute leadership. If your father is a Doctor, and you're studying to be one (sounds like) then how will you be in an ER one day with someones life hanging in the balance? Think of as good practice for the future. :)

Next get him his own space away from traffic. A crate, igloo, wicker pet house from Skymall....something... where he won't be so startled by every little thing and has his own space. Put the opening where he isn't going to see everyone passing by.

And IMHO, No nose thumping or water bottles, or threats of physical abuse by you are anybody else.

Try a time out next time he acts up too, this worked wonders for me.

And I agree that the NILIF (Nothing in Life is Free) method should start right away. There are threads here and on the web on the subject.

No good luck either....MAKE IT HAPPEN!
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Cam Atis
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Re: Yogi needs your help. We need your help. Please look.

Postby Cam Atis » Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:00 am

No nose thumping or squirt bottle by anyone, Then consider Cesar Milan's techniques? Uhmm. Isn't that contradictory? Myogobear said he wouldn't go physical with Yogi coz of biting risk. Cesar Milan can try to turn around Yogi himself if he's available and if Yogi's case will guarantee media mileage for him perhaps he'd consider. but his tactics are HIS alone and shouldn't be employed by any dog owner who has dogs exhibiting aggressiveness. IF Cesar's way isn't executed with precision, the dogs) can get either traumatised and be shy or retaliate and attack the hand that feeds them. It can scar dog/owner relationship if not executed correctly and successful. I agree with Cesar's principles - actually it should be inborn with all authentic dog lovers. We can get physical with our dogs and make our own style (be it squirt bottle or a nose smack. cesar happens to be on TV but his ways are not universally recommendable to all. I admire his tenacity but also afraid for some unsuspecting dog owner who will try to imitate him.
Cesar came into my mind for Yogi but only if he himself will take the case. If not, leave his techniques alone. I for myself, wouldn't tolerate food aggression. If my pup or dog after I set her food bowl and I got this habit to fix the food or just plain stick my fingers in the bowl to mix it more where her mouth is, and if ever would growl at me, i slap her mouth with my 4 fingers by using wrist movement only, I'll "growl" back and would go as far as taking her food bowl from her food and all. Then will "bark" at her. Then set food down and repeat my sticking my fingers in her food while she eats. My dogs used to be Dals , big fellows with attitudes. Hera was like that. i saw her food aggresiveness at 8wks. Princess also exhibits growling when she misbehaves, then I'd slap her slightly , she'd growl. But I dont tolerate. I dont back off. She is a bit learned now, being (adopted)for 2 months now. She's over a yr old a golden lab mix. I just make it a point with all my dogs that I can take from them whatever it is toy or food if I feel like it and they can do nothing about it (but I usually give it back to them after I verbally "bark" reprimand - somehow I am telling them Their food is theirs but they have no right telling me to back off So that when time Comes i got to be there for them when they are wounded or sick they know I am the one incharge. I have their respect and most of all, their trust. That I am there and they relaxed knowing I am there for them.


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