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  • Scared by a year old golden?

    I still can't believe it! I was totally unprepared for this behavior. He was a beautiful, big, blonde, golden boy - 1 y/o. First groom, good for the bath, the blow dry - I was kissing his head, shaking his paw. Then - I lifted his tail to trim and he swung around snapping with lips curled, teeth bared, and snarling. So, I turned on the blow dryer again to change his thinking and I restrained him (I have one of those tables with lights overhead and it enables you to use it like the GH) from the front so he couldn't swing around again. He was fine until I snagged a little dime sized knot behind his ear. Well I was so close to his head - he repeated the above behavior, but wouldn't stop! I called the owner to come in for the last minutes of the grooming, he held his face and talked to him while I finished. No big deal to the end of this story - But, I just don't think that he should exhibit that type of anger over anything, let alone a grooming. The owners said that he has NEVER done anything like that, and he has gone through obedience with an excellent trainer in my area. I thought that it was a good idea for them to contact him with this story. Any feedback!

  • #2
    My first thought is that the owner hurts hime when they brush him out and they let him get away with it, but they said he never acted like that....

    Was this his first groom? If it was, it shouldn't have been. All dogs need to be started young if they are going to be going to a groomers for the rest of their life. I hate when I get a year old that has never been groomed, and is freaky. It takes a long time to "rehabilitate" them.

    I would also be firm with the dog and make sure he knows that behavior is not allowed. I use "no" and then when they stop "good boy/girl" or "be nice". If you do get him to stop the behavior make sure he know that when he does stop he gets positive re-enforcement (sp).

    If all else fails just muzzle him when it comes down to him getting nasty.

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    • #3
      Alpha dog sounds like. Problem was as I see it, is u kissed him. That was a direct challenge to fight..Dog needs obedience! I have on German Shepherd I do. Same thing, first groom she got muzzled!! Second muzzled only during comb out. 3rd no muzzle. Train the dog yourself or don't go back it will only get worse.

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      • #4
        I agree with both above, also you dont say if he is neutered or not? If not I would highly recomend that to his owners. Sounds like he gets away with stuff like that at home.
        Tammy

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        • #5
          Its not uncommon for dogs around that age to try to test/put their foot down and see if it works. I find its usually closer to 2yr old mark then 1 but maybe he is an early bloomer

          Important thing is to just work through it drawing a balance between being a bully and backing off. I do worry a bit about the owner becoming involved. Depending on how he talked to the dog it could be seen as positive reinforcment of that behavior. I probably would have ignored the biting while doing his tail and done it gently, ending on a good note when he was behaving and put a muzzle on in a calm matter of fact manner and quickly done the ears.

          Good advice to talk to the trainer who already knows him so they can watch for signs of more serious behavior problems.

          Jade
          PS. I had the same thought about the kissing on the head. Great feeling for us, not so great a feeling for an adolescent dog feeling the need to assert himself. We are all guilty of that kind of primate behavior though Us primates love to hug and kiss. Dogs read it totally differently

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Grinch View Post
            My first thought is that the owner hurts hime when they brush him out and they let him get away with it, but they said he never acted like that....

            Was this his first groom? If it was, it shouldn't have been. All dogs need to be started young if they are going to be going to a groomers for the rest of their life. I hate when I get a year old that has never been groomed, and is freaky. It takes a long time to "rehabilitate" them.

            I would also be firm with the dog and make sure he knows that behavior is not allowed. I use "no" and then when they stop "good boy/girl" or "be nice". If you do get him to stop the behavior make sure he know that when he does stop he gets positive re-enforcement (sp).

            If all else fails just muzzle him when it comes down to him getting nasty.
            I totally agree You need to be the alpha and let him know that you are boss
            "Whoever Said That Money Can't Buy Happiness Forgot About Puppies"
            Nancy

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Jadenlea View Post

              Jade
              PS. I had the same thought about the kissing on the head. Great feeling for us, not so great a feeling for an adolescent dog feeling the need to assert himself. We are all guilty of that kind of primate behavior though Us primates love to hug and kiss. Dogs read it totally differently
              Hmmm, Maybe thats whats wrong with my hubby!! lol..

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              • #8
                I actually read the behavior in a different way.. since he first gave a problem around the tail area, I thought maybe he was having some pain issues. Did you check his anals? Also since he went "crazy" about pulling on a knot around the ear area.. it probably did hurt.. and that set him off even more.

                If he's been checked to make sure the behavior wasn't due to pain, then perhaps it was a behavioral issue.

                Hopefully his next appointment will go smoother (for you both!).

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                • #9
                  hmmmmm, odd, I do a golden whom is a complete angel for everything.........untill you DARE touch her feet. She goes wild!!!! She bit the last groomer, and thank God, the owner warned me of this, and TOLD me to muzzle her because she DID NOT want me to get bit. I muzzle her AND put the gh a bit tighter when it's foot time. With her though we figure it's a arthritic problem, so at least there's an excuse for it. The first time she did it though, it scared the daylights out of me.

                  Vicki

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                  • #10
                    Well, I have another take on the situation. This dog is smack dab in the middle of the second fear/intimidation imprinting period. And it's difficult to know when something isn't going to sit right with them while they're going through it.

                    He may have reacted to having his tail messed with because it scared him. Neutered or not, your messing with a pretty vulnerable area, and he's at the age where many dogs become less confident about things that haven't been a problem in the past. They frighten easily, and react accordingly. You can help him work through it by adopting an "Oh stop, you silly thing" attitude, and give him time to regain his emotional equalibrium. Then praise him for being such a brave dog.

                    The ear? It probably hurt. Hurt turns into fear, and he reacted. Again, you have to give him time to work through it. Stay calm. Encourage him to be calm (lick your lips. Yawn) and give him time to think about it.

                    If his behavior continues to deteriorate, they should check his thyroid levels. Hypothyroidism is so common in goldens, and it does affect temperament and can cause aggression.

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                    • #11
                      strange

                      That is odd from a Golden. I have never come across a nasty golden. Now I have come across a few labs that way. But for a 1 yr old pup. I would look for signs of abuse, injury, and if none of that is present, I would put that dog in the dom. down. I don't take that ****.
                      If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by diamienono View Post
                        That is odd from a Golden. I have never come across a nasty golden. Now I have come across a few labs that way. But for a 1 yr old pup. I would look for signs of abuse, injury, and if none of that is present, I would put that dog in the dom. down. I don't take that ****.
                        Not at this age you shouldn't. You'll just scare the **** out of him and imprint that fear. It's better to use positive reinforcement, positive correction, and a LOT of calming signals. Manhandling a dog during a fear/intimidation period just causes more problems than it fixes.

                        I don't think much of the dominant down thing anyway. Some dogs will lie (my dachshund bitch was one), and if it's not your own dog, he's probably not going to buy it that you're dominating him. He's going to have a completely different take on the whole situation.

                        I also don't buy into the the "Human as Alpha" theory. For one, the dog is in human society. I am not living in dog society. I expect my dog to adapt to human society, not the other way around. Dogs have been doing this for thousands of years anyway. They're very good at it.

                        I don't have a tail, I can't pin my ears back, I can't raise my hackles...in other words, I cannot give the signals that a dog can give. And my dog knows I'm not a dog. I am "She Who Must Be Obeyed" but I am not a dog, alpha or otherwise.

                        I think one of the reasons we're seeing so many behavioral problems these days is because people are trying to be dogs, instead of expecting dogs to adapt to living in human society. Dogs are very adaptable. If they weren't, they'd still be wolves.

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                        • #13
                          Frear or Pain Aggression maybe?

                          There are actually many different types of aggression in dogs. That sounds like he was most likely reacting with fear or pain aggression. Dogs have varying degrees of pain tolerance and there are dogs that are genetically pain sensitive in certain areas of their bodies. This can become evident during grooming. With pain aggression, the dogs aggressive behaviors are involuntary reactions to the pain the dog feels. Since his ear was one area where he reacted, I would suggest his owners have the vet check him for ear problems at his next visit. Also maybe some water got into his ear or he was not used to having cotton in his ear and that made him ear sensitive. Also if you expressed his anal glands during his grooming he may have been sensitive there as well. He also could have been exhibiting fear aggression because he was not familiar with his surroundings and did not feel totally at ease. I personally wouldn't have an owner hold a dog while I groomed it. When owners act protective of fearful, aggressive dogs, they can actually reinforce the dogs behavior.
                          Last edited by toomuchfunbnme; 01-09-07, 12:31 AM.

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                          • #14
                            I also agree that a dom. down with this pup probably would have caused more problems than it may have solved. You're a groomer, not a trainer, and attempting to "train" a dog in this situation in the few hours every couple months you might be around for grooming it isn't going to do much, overall. I also don't believe this is a "nasty" Golden. I'll bet the dog gave plenty of warning signs before the tail incident and by the ears he had enough. If you don't think there were signs, they were probably slight and you didn't notice or disregarded them... or you were moving too fast to notice.


                            I enjoyed the book "If a Dog's Prayer's Were Answered... BONES WOULD RAIN from the SKY" by Suzanne Clothier. Among other things, Suzanne talks about subtle signs dogs give BEFORE "acting out" and I found the book very helpful, overall.

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                            • #15
                              I agree with the positive reinforcement theory. I have dealt with many hard to handle dogs. One in particular is a schnauzer that has been banned from every shop in the county. He is very aggresive when the brush comes out. He also will not tolerate a muzzle. He holds on to his face with his front paws and holds his breath. Very dramatic! So I have been working with him for a few years now and we finally have an understanding. He lets me brush him and get him groomed pretty, and I allow him a nice belly rub during the entire groom after each "session" of brushing.

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