Sunday, July 4, 2010

Can This Bully Be Saved?

The no controversy continues on my list, we all have strong opinions.

Residing with us is Shaker; the Golden Retriever who at less than nine months of age was savagely attacked by a Golden male that ignored his surrender signals. The dog had to be ripped off Shaker.

When all of your verbal skills, your body language fails you, you lose faith with what you think you know. The abused becomes the abuser because you learn how to make it work for you. That gives you a feeling of power, which makes you a little less scared for the moment.

The dog that experiences this learns which are the weaker dogs to be preyed upon; it’s self reinforcing. The yelling and screaming that come after are a so what.

That’s the road Shaker is on when he is not with me. Behavior management in my presence is non problematic, but that’s not good enough. He has to internalize appropriate behavior.

What kind of a behavior plan would you develop for this dog?

1 comment:

  1. My plan for most people would involve counter conditioning. The goal would be to teach the dog to think good things happen around other dogs and then teach an alternate behavior. I usually have people reward when the dog looks back at them. The goal is to give people control of their dog and teach the dog not to stress when faced with a new potentially scary dog. See dog, look at mom... earn reenforcement.

    Goals with Shaker I know are to teach him to act appropriately with other dogs on his own. Not management. I think it can be done... I don't know how to do it. Here are some thoughts: Protecting him from any other further insult is essential. Preventing him from being the bully... equally as important. I imagine his interaction needs to be supervised and problems prevented rather than corrected. He needs confidence. Correcting him for inappropriate behavior I think will further degrade his confidence. He must be stopped from acting inappropriately with redirection (not scolding) before he does the deed. Needs an experienced person at all times to manage interactions so that appropriate behavior becomes his norm. His confidence in his own language should be restored. Bad habits must be stopped.