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Date Posted: 00:39:59 08/19/04 Thu
Author Host/IP: 22.214.171.124
Subject: Re: Different Calming Signals for Deaf Dogs??
In reply to:
's message, "Re: Different Calming Signals for Deaf Dogs??" on 08:04:54 08/18/04 Wed
Well, hello to Greece from the US. Are you going to any of the Olympic Games? I've been watching them since they started. I'm a big Olympics fan.
Aggression is a tricky issue, and I do wish you had a trainer to help you. Someone with experience in reading "doggie language" can tell you if the aggression is fear based or pure aggression. The way you tackle the problem depends on this assessment.
You're feeling it's a fear based aggression. Actually, this is a good thing. Fear based aggression, in my own opinion, is easier to correct, if you're willing to work on it. You said as a small puppy, he was well socialized. Did that socilization continue? Dogs should be continually socialized all of their lives, but especially up until age two.
Also, your boy is one, and he's going through adolescence. Yes, dogs have an adolescence. During this time, they push the limits to see what they can get away with, just like human teenagers. All of my dogs at around the age of 14 - 16 months have shown mild aggressions. I keep on top of these by being very firm when they occur. It depends on the dog's personality and on the reason for the aggression, but my firmness may just be a very, very firm voice to a mild physical correction like grabbing the collar and looking into the dogs eyes as I scold him verbally. Harsher corrections may need to be used, based on the dog.
However, if the aggression is fear based, this techique will make the matter worse. For true fear based aggressions, you will need to go to Amazon.com and order the book, "Help for Your Shy Dog" by Deborah Wood (I think that's her name). This book has an excellent chapter about how to deal with fear based aggressions. Follow it. You will see success. Her book will be more detailed on how to deal with fear based aggressions than my post would be here, so do get the book.
Until the book arrives, make sure you don't coddle the dog when it acts fearful. Don't comfort it. Our first instinct is to pet the dog and comfort it. But, what the dog understands when this happens is that you are reassuring the dog that it's OK to be afraid. You're telling it by comforting it, "It's OK to be afraid of this thing." It actually makes the fear worse! What you'll need to do when your dog acts scared is to act "jolly" about the event. If my dogs get scared over, say, a flag waving in the wind, I go over the the flag, laughing, waving my hands in the "good dog" sign and play with the flag. I sign all the good signs I've taught "good dog," "clap" (which means good) "thumbs up" (another good sign)- whatever. This tells my dog, "This is nothing to be afraid of. This doesn't scare me...why should it scare you?"
You may need to get a crate until the aggression issues are under control. It's more important that visitors to your home are safe than that the dog is allowed freedom during peoples' visit.
Also, I'm not a big one on pinning down dog's personalities based on breeds. However, my understanding is that Dogo Argentinos can be aggressive. I may be wrong on this, and you have surely studied your breed. I bring it up to make sure you know if the aggression is fear based or pure aggression. I have personally never worked with a Dogo Argentino, as they are rare in this area.
Calming signals are non-verbal signals your dog gives to supposedly "calm" you down as lead dog. I personally think they are actually signals your dog gives when it is stressed, and have nothing to do with calming down the lead dog. The signals are aimless sniffing, avoidance of you or the behavior you are trying to get the dog to do, zooming can be one, yawning, panting - just to name a few. You have to get to know your dog to know which "calming" signals it produces. My deaf boy sniffs and avoids.
When a dog is showing calming signals, a sign he is stressed, I usually try to pump things up and make the situation happy again. Play, good signals, etc. help do this. If your dog stresses too much during training - that is, shows calming signals too often - it can eventually just shut down to training and quit working totally. A good trainer will recognize the signals and won't let this happen.
Also, go on-line and Google "dog aggression" and "dogo argentino aggression." There are some great websites out there to help you with aggression issues. You have to dig around to find them, but look for ones that use more positive methods of training verses harsher methods.
Good luck. If you have anyother questions, I'll try to help.
Also, go to the DDEAF.com website. They have great info for you.
>I have just found this site and need some help too! I
>have a stone deaf Dogo Argentino, rescued as a 3 month
>old. He is now 12 months and 100lbs! At home with us
>he is calm, loving obedient. He understands about 5
>hand signals and facial expressions. We are teaching
>ourselves to train him!We have no problem with him
>within the family and at home!
>The problem is that as a small puppy he was well
>socialised with other dogs (we have a 4 year old
>mongrel who is Top Dog at home! ) and people.However
>in the last few weeks there have been several
>incidents where he has growled or snapped at people or
>dogs, so much so that I despair of ever having
>visitors again!! I want to stamp this out now,before
>it gets worse but cant get a trainer as I live in the
>countryside in Greece..there won't be a specialist
>nearby, thats for sure!
>Any ideas? I think its his deafness thats causing the
>problem and he is now scared in strange situations. I
>am thinking of getting a crate to keep him safe and
>away from visitors, but am sad to do this as he is the
>most affectionate dog we have ever had, despite his
>size and fearsome appearance.Is this a solution
>Have you had a similar problem? I'm not sure what you
>meant by "calming signals". Is there an answer to this?
>Thank you for your help..anyone!!
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