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Calling the experts!

Heinz57
October 12th, 2005, 11:07 PM
Hi, it's been awhile...so here's where I'm at. I brought home a young student's Rottie/Mastiff on Friday. She is 14 months old, spayed, utd on shots, housebroken, but needs basic training. She's 95lbs and loving beyond words with my kids aged:11, 13, 15 an 15. The poor girl received her as a GIFT :evil: at the age of 8 months (before that she was a 'left in the backyard and look scary dog')from her bf who has since left but promised to help with the dog (that lasted 1 week). She has tried, but she works, goes to school and has roomates and just can't do it anymore.
She gets on fine with Einstein (I'll post a pic of the 2 of them in pic section) with the exception of the normal nattering here and there for the first 2 days. They both love to roughhouse and play, though he tires of it a little more quickly than she does. Hooch approached her initially in his 'normal for him' aggressive way. He's the little dachsund we took in 3 years ago, or was it 4 yrs? At anyrate, she isn't prey driven IMO, she was curious of my African Grey and barked at him, but after 5 or 6 times of "No, leave the bird" has been fine. She goes after Hooch, but not in a grabbing, biting, trying to kill him way. She gets after him, he barks like a loon back and she keeps it up too. In the front yard, the two of them on leashes are fine. They sniff each other, the odd woof, she rolls around in the leaves and that's it. They walk together around the block and barely notice each other. In the house, it seems as if she's 'guarding me' from Hooch. It appears she doesn't like it when he barks or jumps up on the couch. Is there hope for these 2? Should I give it my all to work the 2 of them through this? If I knew in 2 days, 3 days,2 weeks, 3 weeks or I guess just 'knew' that this would pass, I wouldn't hesitate for a second. We all love her, hubby adores her, all of us do. She's very people social and super friendly. I want to make our home hers too and for her to be a part of the family. She hasn't been crated, doesn't need to be as far as I know, but maybe when she chases too much, in the crate? Maybe a muzzle for when she goes off barking in excess? Any help or advise is GREATLY appreciated...we love her :love: !! Her picture is in the photo section. Thanks,
Denise

StaceyB
October 13th, 2005, 01:32 AM
It sounds as if they are all learning to adjust to the new situation. You will want to jump on top of any behaviours that are unacceptable and basic lessons would be great for them.

Heinz57
October 13th, 2005, 10:52 AM
I think there is adjusting going on too..she's very bullheaded around Hooch. Well in general too as she has really had no training for even the basics. Hooch is never going to change much more than he has, and beleive me, he was a holy terror. He was abused and a fear biter with no potty training or much work into him at all. Casey, the mastiff/rottie will never be a dog who works 'hard' for your praise I'm thinking due to her breed. Unlike our shepherd who 'worked' at doing her best to please.
I also think I made some stupid mistakes when she first came in, as I took Hooch (the older an been here longer dog) out of the situation too quickly. Beleive me I KNOW better, the older been around dog needs reassurance that he/she hasn't lost their place, as well as the new dog needs to see. I was just concerned for his safety ue to the tremendous size difference.
The barking at times may drive my neighbors crazy, they both have barks that can split your head :crazy: . Anyone think that crating her for not stopping is an okay idea? I don't want her to feel so punished by the crate, but Hooch has his crate/bed. Also muzzling her, as we can muzzle him too, then they may both see it as "Gee, when I stop the muzzle comes off"? Oh I just want this to work out, she's such a sweetie.

Prin
October 13th, 2005, 02:54 PM
Seems to me they're competing. I think you have to assert yourself as leader more.

The little things like growling when the other comes on the sofa- that's dominance. I would make the growly one go on the floor. Jemma does that to Boo sometimes, and she knows she's going to end up on the floor. I'm the alpha; I decide who I want on my couch, not Jemma.. If the growly one is the one on the floor, then it might be time to reconsider letting the little guy on the sofa- for now, just to prevent a clash of dominance, if you're not prepared for a fight. :)

The problem is, even though dashs have very strong personality, in a fight, they would get hurt very quickly. It makes it all the more important to show them there is no decision to be made between themselves, only with you.

When they're outside, it's not as bad right? It's less confined and the little guy probably considers it less his territory than the inside. In the house, the new girl is ALWAYS in his territory, always in his face. And because the new girl is also stubborn, it makes it more dangerous because she won't back down either.

The bulk of this situation certainly can be resolved pretty quickly if you stick to your guns. Tenderfoot has great techniques for becoming the leader. :)

SarahLynn123
October 13th, 2005, 06:20 PM
Not sure if this will work, but it works for us. When the dogs get barking and not listening I bust out the water bottle. They HATE being sprayed!

When we first brought Shadow home there were a couple small tuffs between the two, If I thought they were getting out of hand or not resolving quickly enough or escalating to a level I didn't like I just quickly pressed my blow horn (dont hold it just tap it once) and they always stopped immediatly. It saves me from having to yell!

They are now the best of friends.

Hope some of this helps.

Heinz57
October 13th, 2005, 08:22 PM
Spray bottle may work for the big girl, but Hooch (the doxie) will just bark at it. My friend tried to work with him for 5 days before Hooch bit her hubby and it was awful over at her house. When I visited, he barked at me like crazy while she sprayed him and he just got louder LOL! My 2 girls use a spray bottle to do their hair and he barks when they spray it on themselves (if he sees it), um he also barks at the vacuum cleaner EVERYDAY for 3 years now. I guess it's just a game to him :crazy: . We're used to it, the neighbors must always know when it's vacuum time sigh. I guess I know eventually they will be friends, or at least tolerate each other. My only concern is the size difference, he's 20lbs tops and 8 inches tall at the head and she's 95lbs for now. I've never owned a small dog before and Hooch thinks he's basically mine. I don't coddle him, I don't put up with his bad behaviour, in fact, I'm the only one he truly shows respect to at all times.
Prin, he is up on the couch and seems to do most of the barking and growling. On Tuesday I made him stay down, he was a little nicer in his approach to Casey, but she was after him when he jumped up on me or I lifted him up. When they're outside on leashes, they hardly notice each other. Perhaps we could live on the lawn for a few weeks :confused: . She's 'new' though and just settling in. We all really want to be able to keep her, she submits for the most part to Einstein aged 11 1/2 months and the 2 of them will be fine. Hooch has been here the longest, so she needs to accept that right? Einstein has grown up with this 'lil terror' and laughs off his growling and snapping with playfulness. I don't want to take him to his bed so much for fear she'll see this a some sort of victory. Whew, that was long, but she's a real sweetie and has stolen our hearts. At the same time, we can't have Hooch hurt.

Prin
October 13th, 2005, 10:32 PM
Separate the big dog away from the little guy. Don't lift the little one up. This is confusing for both of them because the big one obviously is trying and succeeding in dominating the little one, but then you step in and move the little guy into a dominant position.

So if the big guy is bugging the little guy, move her to a mat somewhere and make her lie down and stay. Don't let the little guy bug her when she's on her mat. Don't let him near her at all when she's on the mat. She has to learn that if she comes in a room and causes trouble, you won't give her attention.

She also has to figure out the order in the home, and you're messing with it by lifting the little one up. It's a mixed message. You can't give the little guy any validation that he is the alpha, because that could endager his safety if he is challenged. If he hops up on you, put him down and remove the other dog.

StaceyB
October 13th, 2005, 10:48 PM
Hierarchy between dogs is not determined by who is older, larger, or was there first. It is quite possible that the new dog will take this position. If you interfere with this it may make it worse as either will not know where they stand.
Any time the dogs are behaving , correct/separate and time out for a short period of time. Their crate is not the best place to use for this as it is supposed to be their safe place. It should not be used for punishment.

Heinz57
October 14th, 2005, 10:43 AM
Wow, and thanks so much for even more to chew on. I understand dogs make their own ranking in the pack, but I AM ALPHA. Hooch has been above Einstein, so I ASSumed he'd be above the new girl..now I ask myself why I ASSumed this at all..perhaps a braincell popped :o I know big vs small has nothing to do with it seeing as Hooch dominates Einstein to a point. I guess I flubbed thinking the 'older dog' would automatically dominate.You're so right about lifing him into the dominent position which is why I put him down off the couch. He had a false sense of dominance up on the couch and was snapping at her and provoking her, using me as protection and backup.
I didn't want to resort to crating her Stacey, as I don't want her to think it's a bad place as well she's never been in one. It's become a laundry station/coffee table in the familyroom since Einstein hasn't used it in months :p Another big sigh...I told you I made some stupid mistakes the first 2 days. I really should know better, I don't know all, BUT I did know better. If only he was the big dog he thinks he is, this would have been easier. I should point out that now Einstein protects Hooch and jumps in the middle, my Lord does it get loud! Does anyone see what pecking order they may end up in???

_gemini_
October 21st, 2005, 09:43 PM
I'd just like to ad a little to this. As Stacey said, dogs will determine amongst themselves who's Top Dog. The most important thing is for both of them to know that YOU are ALPHA....period. Don't treat either one of them differently, unless you have intentions of trying to interfere and have preference of who you want to be alpha between the two - although I'd suggest against this as it could cause more conflict.

What I'd suggest for now is to give your new girl some time to settle in - both in her surroundings and her new position in her doggy status. Give equal attention to both. Try very hard to not give one something and then not the other - be it treats, attention, praise, etc. Take turns in position - ie, feed the one first one night, and then the other one first the next night - by this I mean placing the bowls down, or however you feed. Let one out the door first this time, and then the other the next. With any luck they'll get down to business quickly and establish who out of the two will be alpha.

Hope this helps.