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Power struggle has started

July 14th, 2005, 08:53 AM
Lucy is now 17 / 18 mos old (we got her around 9ish mos) and has been really starting to get in Monty's (~6 - 8 yrs, depending on who we ask) face a lot more. He will be standing in the hall, she will come up to him and try to get her nose right up to his, without turning his body, he will look away, often turning his head 180 degrees. She will then move to get in front of his face, he will turn away, and on and on.

In the past two days, Lucy has seemed to get quite annoyed at him doing this and has started to pick a fight with him. This morning, she tried the same thing, he went to another room, and would not come when we called. When he finally started to come, he would not come into the room that she was in (nor would he look at her).

I realize that Lucy is getting to an age where she will begin to 'make a move' on the top dog but do want to ensure that things do not get out of hand. Anyone have any experience with this and can provide some info on how long of a process this hierarchy coup may take before things settle back to normal? Which the exception of stepping in to break up the big fights, should we let them sort it out on their own or should we stop before it starts?

In a year +/- from now I suspect that we will have the same thing from Jack (~7mos). Note: all are S/N.

doggy lover
July 14th, 2005, 09:06 AM
I've never had two dogs to have this problem, but I know that both dogs should see you as leader, if they do their should not be a problem. I read a couple of books by Jan Fennell she deals with these problems in her books. She has quite a few dogs and had to deal with it herself in one of her books I believe it was called The Practical Dog Listener (I got it on, but even he book the Dog Listener, which I know you can get here has info about this type of problems.Good Luck

July 14th, 2005, 12:37 PM
Miss Lucy is trying to dominate and is disappointed that Monty is not willing to take her on. She is rather eager to prove herself and wants an opponent. Mr. Monty has the wisdom and good graces to get her point and walk away. He is willing to step aside and let her reign - unfortunately it is affecting his comfort level at home. He doesn't even want to be in the same room as his annoying little sister.
So this is where you step in and correct her bad manners. If you see her pushing her point too intently then you back her right up with some energy and attitude. When she walks up to him again then you tell her to 'leave it'. She needs to get the point that any aggression won't do and Monty needs to feel your support.
Understand that you are not interrupting their hierarchy - it looks like Lucy is top dog now. But you absolutely have the right to insist on harmony in your home and with your pack.

July 14th, 2005, 01:06 PM
TF, thanks for the reply (pls ignore my PM, if you haven't already seen it, asking if you could take a peek at this post :) ). We are generally quick to put a stop to most "outbursts" if we can catch them before they finish but were unsure if this was the best approach.

again, thanks (as always for the insight you provide here).


July 14th, 2005, 01:30 PM
If she ever does not back off no matter what you try, even though I know people here don't like to be too physical, personally, I like the neck fur for that. Not hard, just basically to pull her away. They do it to each other-- when one dog is bothering another a third, who believes s/he is alpha of the area, will come and remove the one who is trying to dominate. But use it as a last resort. You have to establish your leadership in this doggy pack in so many ways so that they never doubt it.