• Disclaimer: Hello Guest, Doberman Chat Forums presents the opinions and material on these pages as a service to its membership and to the general public but does not endorse those materials, nor does it guarantee the accuracy of any opinions or information contained therein. The opinions expressed in the materials are strictly the opinion of the writer and do not represent the opinion of, nor are they endorsed by, Doberman Chat Forums. Health and medical articles are intended as an aid to those seeking health information and are not intended to replace the informed opinion of a qualified Veterinarian.”

Second Fear phase at 18 months with resource guarding - any advice?? Please

Ivory Skye

Member
Hi Everyone
I hope you are all fit and well and your fur babies!
I need further advice. A couple of weeks ago Skye entered another fear phase and along with that she has started resource guarding something chronic, beds and toys etc guarding to the point her pupils dilate and she growls.
Today I asked her to drop her tennis ball with her "drop" command which I normally would only have to say once or twice, she ran away and cowered herself into a corner head down shoulders stiff and would not release the ball until I had some ultra high value food in my hand to trade and not before peeing herself first. She has peed herself a couple of times now in the last couple of weeks when been cornered, and this is her usually cornering herself when asked to come into another room when my in laws are dog sitting. They freaked and thought she looked like Skye has being beaten.
She has been a very challenging shy anxious sort of pup and has already been through a fear phase when she was younger with peeing (she was probably 8-9 months then). This came right with very clear boundaries being set and exercising the NILIF.
Even after the first phase "passing" to this day if she reluctantly performs a command we ask she will always anxiously check herself that she hasn't peed which she hasn't but you can see the thought is there when she checks.
So now we are two weeks into another full out fear phase with peeing and quite severe resource guarding and sometimes snapping.
Also here we are a month into spring, so I am expecting her to have her third season soon, not sure if that would have anything to do with it.
I have been told more than one fear phase can be normal for some puppies.
Any further advice and tips?
 

jazzies mum

Hot Topics Subscriber
As I recall Jazz had a couple of periods of time where she seemed overly sensitive and anxious. Not as definite as Skye though. Along with the resource guarding it very well might be tied in with her next heat hormones. No personal experience of this exact behaviour here, but if there is an instinctive gearing up to feed and protect puppies it would make sense. Maybe knowing that resource guarding is "wrong" but having that instinct is what is causing her conflict and anxiety. Thus peeing. Just guessing. I do know from a previous female dog who had 4 heat cycles before spaying that the later heats were stronger than those first puppy ones. If you just shrug and walk away from her when she guards something does she then lose interest in it and come after you or does she go all "Scrooge McDuck" and become more possessive?

Hopefully there will be others who have more knowledge than I do chime in when the other side of the world starts its's new day! :)

And good to see you back. :thumbsup2:
 

Doberman Gang

Hot Topics Subscriber
What training do you still do? Do you play tug games where you both possess the toy? Does she understand the rules of play?
Continued training while playing is very important through out the life of your dog.
Lastly, tennis balls are one of the most dangerous toys for dogs. I suggest getting balls on a rope or balls that are too big to be swallowed. I have know and heard of more dogs dying from tennis balls. They also wear down the teeth when chewed. Please find a better toy for your dog.
 

Kaiser2016

Active Member
not before peeing herself first. She has peed herself a couple of times now in the last couple of weeks when been cornered, and this is her usually cornering herself when asked to come into another room when my in laws are dog sitting. They freaked and thought she looked like Skye has being beaten
Initially I thought of submission peeing, but this behavior is usually limited to very young pups and they grow out of it. But you're saying this is new behavior? I wonder if it's medical then. Maybe she has a UTI? Getting a urine sample to the vet would be the first step to determining that. If not that, any changes in behavior usually warrant getting the thyroid checked.
she will always anxiously check herself that she hasn't peed which she hasn't but you can see the thought is there when she checks.
Since your dog is intact, it can't be spay-related incontinence, but maybe it's 'regular' incontinence? Just some ideas. Hopefully someone with more female experience will weigh in.
 

Rits

Admin
Administrative Staff
Moderator
Hot Topics Subscriber
I would put a leash on her and leave it on. This way you can safely make her move away from the things she is guarding. She used to pee at 7 months too in the corner. Did she ever stop or is this has been ongoing? I see that you guys certainly have been dealing with a lot of challenges since she came home. That's tough! I think a personal trainer or behaviorist would be a good idea. You don't want this to develop into her biting anyone. To me she sounds like she is almost there if allowed to continue without help.
 

Ivory Skye

Member
As I recall Jazz had a couple of periods of time where she seemed overly sensitive and anxious. Not as definite as Skye though. Along with the resource guarding it very well might be tied in with her next heat hormones. No personal experience of this exact behaviour here, but if there is an instinctive gearing up to feed and protect puppies it would make sense. Maybe knowing that resource guarding is "wrong" but having that instinct is what is causing her conflict and anxiety. Thus peeing. Just guessing. I do know from a previous female dog who had 4 heat cycles before spaying that the later heats were stronger than those first puppy ones. If you just shrug and walk away from her when she guards something does she then lose interest in it and come after you or does she go all "Scrooge McDuck" and become more possessive?

Hopefully there will be others who have more knowledge than I do chime in when the other side of the world starts its's new day! :)

And good to see you back. :thumbsup2:

If I leave her and walk away, she will come over and really suck up like she knows has done something wrong, but I'm trying to follow through with what I have asked her to do as such.

I kind of thought that too, her heat possibly coming on she is instinctively guarding her beds and ours. She sleeps on our bed. But because of this I am about to get her another bed for our bedroom and she can start sleeping on that and hopefully that will bring her down a peg or two I am thinking. Thank you. Great to come back to a place with so much knowledge of these special dogs.
 

Ivory Skye

Member
What training do you still do? Do you play tug games where you both possess the toy? Does she understand the rules of play?
Continued training while playing is very important through out the life of your dog.
Lastly, tennis balls are one of the most dangerous toys for dogs. I suggest getting balls on a rope or balls that are too big to be swallowed. I have know and heard of more dogs dying from tennis balls. They also wear down the teeth when chewed. Please find a better toy for your dog.
Yes we still play tug all the time and she is very good with releasing when asked etc We always make sure the game is on our terms. Ok thanks, noted about the tennis ball, is it because they can break in half? Just thinking can I get her other proper dog balls the same size, she loves playing with them.
 

Ivory Skye

Member
Initially I thought of submission peeing, but this behavior is usually limited to very young pups and they grow out of it. But you're saying this is new behavior? I wonder if it's medical then. Maybe she has a UTI? Getting a urine sample to the vet would be the first step to determining that. If not that, any changes in behavior usually warrant getting the thyroid checked.

Since your dog is intact, it can't be spay-related incontinence, but maybe it's 'regular' incontinence? Just some ideas. Hopefully someone with more female experience will weigh in.
It is not new behavior as such, we have been through this before when she was younger. She is definitely more submissive as well rolling on her back all the time. I don't think it is incontinence, she only pees when she is cornered or under pressure as such to release her toys or what have you.
As you suggest I might give the vet a call to get a check up of her thyroid, is there a specific test I should ask for or is it just a blood test? problem is she does not let strangers anywhere near her, this is also a problem we have had since she is a pup.
 

Ivory Skye

Member
On a lighter note, as some of you are aware Skye has always been shy, fearful and reactive. She has come leaps and bounds this year with her confidence.
I'd describe the symptoms to the vet and ask for a full thyroid panel because hypothyroidism can cause aggression issues.
Awesome thank you very much for the info.
 

Doberman Gang

Hot Topics Subscriber
Yes we still play tug all the time and she is very good with releasing when asked etc We always make sure the game is on our terms. Ok thanks, noted about the tennis ball, is it because they can break in half? Just thinking can I get her other proper dog balls the same size, she loves playing with them.
If they are on a rope it is better. That way you can retrieve them if swallowed. They have all different kinds soft to hard, hollow or solid. My dogs are pretty destructive so I use solid ones but many of the people that train with me have the hollow squishy ones as well.
 

Ravenbird

$ Forum Donor $
Skye has always been shy, fearful and reactive. She has come leaps and bounds this year with her confidence.
Yes, this sounds like just a continuation of her inborn personality. You've done so well bringing her around and I agree you don't want her back sliding. I don't have anything to add to the good advice above. As DG said, Tennis balls - regular size - can be accidentally swallowed. Either one with a rope on it or one size up that can't go down the throat. Especially if she gets possessive she might be inclined to get it further back in her throat. Confidence building games help mentally too, lots of nose work groups have discovered that fearful dogs benefit from the "find it" games as it builds self confidence in a positive way.
 

Ivory Skye

Member
Yes, this sounds like just a continuation of her inborn personality. You've done so well bringing her around and I agree you don't want her back sliding. I don't have anything to add to the good advice above. As DG said, Tennis balls - regular size - can be accidentally swallowed. Either one with a rope on it or one size up that can't go down the throat. Especially if she gets possessive she might be inclined to get it further back in her throat. Confidence building games help mentally too, lots of nose work groups have discovered that fearful dogs benefit from the "find it" games as it builds self confidence in a positive way.
Ok awesome thank you, no more tennis balls for sure I did not think of that especially while she is guarding. And I have taught her find it and she is really good, I will do more of that. I have gone over NILIF with the whole household again too.
She is so amazing, she picks up things crazy fast, so much faster than my other two it's crazy. She has just been so shy and under confident, such a challenge, sometimes I feel like we go five steps forward then a couple back now with fear and submission again. We will get there though, I am determined!!
 

Ivory Skye

Member
If they are on a rope it is better. That way you can retrieve them if swallowed. They have all different kinds soft to hard, hollow or solid. My dogs are pretty destructive so I use solid ones but many of the people that train with me have the hollow squishy ones as well.
ok thank you, I have given all my dogs tennis balls to play with cause it keeps them so entertained, lucky nothing has ever happened. I will get some different balls.
 

Ivory Skye

Member
She has a a prey drive like no other I have experienced also in my other two dogs. Any advice in that area would be much appreciated also. Once she locks into something that's it, it's very hard to break her away from what ever she is focused on. She crouches down and just starts crawling like in the army before she bolts and pounces it's usually playing with dogs down the beach but if there are no dogs down she does it to people which clearly is not cool I am lucky her recall is pretty good.
 

Ravenbird

$ Forum Donor $
Sounds like she wants to stalk her prey. Several Dobes on this forum do that. Since she has prey & pounce drive, try to find ways to utilize that as a reward in training. An example of how you can let Skye have a good game of chasing a toy and reward her with another "live" one thrown. Use what she loves to your advantage in training and to build her confidence in herself and you. If she is acting like she'd like to make another dog or person her prey, use a ball or toy to change her focus to you, be the maker of the game she craves so she looks more & more to you to make it happen. Hope this makes sense!
 

Two Dobes

New Member
Yes we still play tug all the time and she is very good with releasing when asked etc We always make sure the game is on our terms. Ok thanks, noted about the tennis ball, is it because they can break in half? Just thinking can I get her other proper dog balls the same size, she loves playing with them.
Chuck It makes great rubber balls they can chew, and I have not had any of mine break into them. The 'whistler' is the one I get, because it has 1/2 holes in it, so makes it easy to bite down for them. Mine used to chew rubber chuck it balls like gum ;) Just a thought....
 

Two Dobes

New Member
Chuck It makes great rubber balls they can chew, and I have not had any of mine break into them. The 'whistler' is the one I get, because it has 1/2 holes in it, so makes it easy to bite down for them. Mine used to chew rubber chuck it balls like gum ;) Just a thought....
Problem I have seen with tennis balls; they eat the fabric, then eat the rubber shell :eek: = obstruction!
 

Top