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Dog behaviour questions

Monkeygirl
March 17th, 2005, 04:23 PM
First of all, HI everybody :crazy: Nice looking board! :thumbs up

I have a 4-yo sort of a german shepard mix (50 lb dog), Steve. Two days ago we got a Shih-Tzu added to our little family, Moses (11 weeks old). Steve does not seem to mind Moses too much. He just sort of tolerates him at this point and watches him.

Today I gave them each a chew bone, and when Moses walked over to Steve, Steve growled and snapped at him. Nobody got hurt. The little guy just got really scared.

I never had two dogs. Is this something to be worried about? Steve is in general not an aggressive dog. He plays with other dogs at the park. He never bit or showed agression before. Should I just feed them in separate rooms? Give them snacks in separate rooms? Do they need a lot of time to get used to each other?

Any advice you guys can give me is well appreciated. :)

Prin
March 17th, 2005, 06:16 PM
I have two doggies and the second one was the dominant one. What you have to do is assert yourself to the snappy one, showing him that you will not tolerate any aggression for any reason (no growling, no snapping).

I taught my dogs "It's not yours" and "leave him alone" for the exact situation you were describing. One of my dogs is very possessive of bones and he steals the other's bones and if she tries to take his bone, there is major trouble. So I taught the possessive one, "It's not yours" and now he gets it (I move him away if he bugs her, I'm very forceful- he's 96lbs).

Since it is obvious between a shi-tzu and a german shepherd who will win in a fight, you have to feed the german shepherd first, give him treats first, let him out the door first, etc (NOT before YOU, just before the little one).

Over time, if you assert your dominance over these two, the lines of who is dominant and who is not should blur because you are the alpha dog and they don't have to answer to eachother, only to you.

I was also told by a really good trainer in BC that with two dogs, you have to be ready to be as forceful and as aggressive to them as they are to eachother. Many people may not agree with this approach but when you get a pack going, it can become a dangerous situations for you and your dogs and in nature, the alpha dog puts the others in place with physical force. Not hitting but grabbing the dogs and putting them where they are supposed to be. I believe that is what the neck fur and all that loose skin is for and you see when dogs play that that is one area they try to grab to dominate.

I admit I push my dogs around. I don't hit them, I don't hurt them, I just move their bodies forcefully away from eachother or wherever they are not supposed to be. My doggies are big and growing up with 2 big doggies all my life, this is what I learned works the best. You have to be a dog when dealing with dogs sometimes.

Dealing with two dogs that live together is different than dealing with dogs that see each other once every day or week and play for an hour. Living together elicits pack behavior, whatever the size of the doggies. You just have now to learn to not only be the alpha dog of one dog but the alpha dog of a pack.

Sorry for the length... :o

Safyre
March 17th, 2005, 06:16 PM
Some dogs that have not had to share thier food before, will typically get protective about it when a new dog is introduced. Even though the lil dog probly wasn't going to dteal the bone, Steve felt he had to protect his territory.
Have you ever taught Steve not to be agressive with his food? its something that you will usually teach if you have kids, or have a new baby comming home. It is where you take food away, put your hand in thier dish, pet and bug them while eating.... have you ever done that to make him immune?

I'm not really sure how to help, but, that may, if you start to teach him not to be protective to you about food, it may relay over to the new pup.
I morejust want ya to know it is pretty normal, don't be too concerned, and i know that Tons of other people will reply with help!

Lucky Rescue
March 17th, 2005, 07:46 PM
Prin I respect your opinons and experience, but we are talking about an 11 week puppy and a calm older dog here who is correcting bad behavior, not about two large adult dogs. Would you allow a 3 yr old to walk up and snatch food from your plate or grab belongings from your hand while you say nothing?;) Of course not. You would explain that is improper behavior!

Monkeygirl, You say your older dog is not aggressive and is tolerant of the puppy. That's good and you want to keep it that way!

What you are seeing is perfectly normal, and your older dog is teaching the puppy proper manners. Do not interfere as long as no one is getting hurt.

Most adult dogs will not harm a puppy, and this is how all wild canines behave when educating puppies on polite behavior.

Do NOT reprimand or punish your older dog for this, or you will make him resent the puppy as the source of his punishment, and then there could be trouble as the puppy matures.

Dogs do not understand the concept of sharing and should not be expected to share items of value like toys or bones or food. Keep the puppy away from Steve when he is eating, or put the puppy in a crate to have his own chew toys or bones.

matt
March 18th, 2005, 08:44 AM
I agree that it is the pup that needs the training. I would not correct the older dog for this behaviour.... YET. The dog is protecting his food and this is NOT for sharing. The little guy needs to learn this when he is young. I am sure that he will on his own but you need to establish the pack rules for the little guy. NO touching the other dogs food. In fact I feed my dogs separately and always have to help reinforce the RULES. If one dog is finished and comes around the other I step in and verbally correct.

Prin
March 18th, 2005, 03:18 PM
I may have miswritten- I use "It's not yours" on both doggies. If the puppy is trying to take the older one, then he is the one who has to be taught not to take the other's bone. It just happened in my case the possessive one tries to take all.

I still would not allow growling, just because you are not there all the time to monitor these doggies, and while the puppy has to be taught, it should be by you, not by the other dog. If the little one steps out of line, your older dog should not be the one disciplining.

If it was me, which it is not, obviously, I would remove the puppy if he bugs the bigger one, and tell him "Don't bug him". This way, the older one learns that he is not the one to react, that it is your job.

In this case, the puppy will not grow up to a comparable size so it is wise to eliminate all agression between the two.

Natasa
March 19th, 2005, 10:19 AM
What Lucky Rescue said.

I would say that in this case growling is most appropriate. Growling is a warning. It helps prevent problems if clear warning is given. This pup needs to learn to respect those warnings, not just from Steve, but from other dogs too. I worry more if dogs don’t give any warning.


I was also told by a really good trainer in BC that with two dogs, you have to be ready to be as forceful and as aggressive to them as they are to eachother.

Do you mind giving a name of that trainer?

Monkeygirl
March 19th, 2005, 10:50 AM
Thank you everybody for their responses. I very much appreciate it. :love:

Things have been much better. My big dog tolerates the small one. Maybe he just needed to "yell" at him. I have not been keeping them apart, but just monitoring them.

puppup11
March 19th, 2005, 02:12 PM
Agression towards you would be something to be concerned about. As long as he's ok with you taking his stuff, you are alpha, and that's good. They are going to establish a pack order, there is no such thing as equals in a dog's mind. Even if they're both below you, they have to have a rank in regards to each other too. As long as things don't get out of hand, I think this behavior is pretty normal. Unless things get serious enough for injuries, it's better to let these things go then to step in and prevent it, because if you do that they will never establish a ranking order and that could turn into contstant fighting as the pup gets older.

Lucky Rescue
March 19th, 2005, 06:21 PM
Do you mind giving a name of that trainer?

If this is the person I'm thinking of (is it a woman?) then stay FAR away and do the opposite of what she suggests.

with two dogs, you have to be ready to be as forceful and as aggressive to them as they are to eachother.

And if a really big dog decides to return the aggression? Good way to end up in the hospital.

Prin
March 19th, 2005, 07:22 PM
And if a really big dog decides to return the aggression? Good way to end up in the hospital.
If it's a big dog you have no control over, he shouldn't be living with you. You only have to be as aggressive as YOUR dogs are together. With other strange dogs, it's a different story.

Prin
March 19th, 2005, 07:28 PM
The name of the trainer is Don Sullivan. He was the host of the show "Doggin' it" on Global. He's awesome. He's rougher in his training than some people like (ie he uses chokers) but what he does works excellently. I have trained my own dogs all my life and those of others who ask me to do it and I value the advice Don gave me. Anybody who has seen the show knows what his techniques are. It plays Saturday mornings. They hired a more sugary trainer a couple of years ago. I don't agree with her style but Don is still an active trainer in BC.

This is their site:
http://www.canada.com/entertainment/tvshows/dogginit/index.html

Deborah D
March 19th, 2005, 07:31 PM
In fact I feed my dogs separately and always have to help reinforce the RULES. If one dog is finished and comes around the other I step in and verbally correct.

I'm glad I'm not the only one!

Natasa
March 19th, 2005, 09:31 PM
Unfortunately I’ve seen his shows. Don Sullivan is the trainer a person I know asked for advice on how to deal with her dog jumping up. His advice was “when he jumps up grab him by the trachea and twist, he’ll soon learn not to do it”. Rough??? I’m thinking abusive. I would stay away from anything he says too.
How is being aggressive with your dog teach him anything but not to trust you and that aggression is the way to solve things?

I have two medium / large dogs and have no problems controlling them without ever using force or aggression.

Prin
March 19th, 2005, 09:55 PM
Are you sure he said that? As far as I know he's the knee type for jumping up. That's what he used in his program... I've never seen him be abusive like you've described.

Prin
March 19th, 2005, 09:58 PM
By the way, what I have found that works for jumping up is blocking with an open hand. When the dog jumps up you catch his head half way up and stop him from going up any further. After a couple of tries, the dog will stop at the sight of your hand extended palm down over him and then after that, you won't need tha hand at all....

Natasa
March 19th, 2005, 11:08 PM
I wasn’t there, but I don’t see a reason she would lie to me. She was asking me whether or not to do it, because she wasn’t all that sure about this “method”. Scary if he really did give that advice….. I believe her.

Lucky Rescue
March 20th, 2005, 09:59 AM
His advice was “when he jumps up grab him by the trachea and twist, he’ll soon learn not to do it”. Rough??? I’m thinking abusive. I would stay away from anything he says too.

Abuse has no place in training, and this is definitely abuse, as is kneeing a dog in the chest.

We must rely on other methods to train, as trying to dominate a 150lb rottie by brute force is not going to work. What if someone twists the trachea of such a dog and he decides to protect himself (which would be perfectly understandable)?

Our dogs should learn to obey because they respect, trust and love us, not for fear of having pain inflicted on them. JMO.

Prin
March 20th, 2005, 12:39 PM
I wasn’t there, but I don’t see a reason she would lie to me. She was asking me whether or not to do it, because she wasn’t all that sure about this “method”. Scary if he really did give that advice….. I believe her.
THe thing is abusive or not I have never heard of this even being a technique.

matt
March 20th, 2005, 03:37 PM
I would not say that a knee in the chest is abusive and it scares me a bit to think that anyone feels a choker or related collar(prong) are cruel??? :confused: These are dogs after all . Take a look at how dog packs establish rank? And rules? And a knee in the chest is abusive? I actually think the gentleman on "doggin it" is gentle. The twist of trachea is over the top IF that is what was said, but with this guy I would find it very hard to fathom.

Prin
March 20th, 2005, 03:45 PM
I would not say that a knee in the chest is abusive and it scares me a bit to think that anyone feels a choker or related collar(prong) are cruel??? :confused: These are dogs after all . Take a look at how dog packs establish rank? And rules? And a knee in the chest is abusive? I actually think the gentleman on "doggin it" is gentle. The twist of trachea is over the top IF that is what was said, but with this guy I would find it very hard to fathom.
No the twisting the trachea is abusive, not the knee in the chest or chokers (at least no one has said that YET... I too really doubt he said that.

Prin
March 21st, 2005, 10:34 AM
Ok I just got off the phone with Don Sullivan and he said he has never ever taught someone to curb jumping by grabbing the dogs trachea. Like I suspected, he only uses the knee method. So however brutal the friend of a friend said he was, from his mouth he does not do that.