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possessive aggression/dominence

~michelle~
March 30th, 2007, 07:27 PM
so a little bit of a concern with logan, at the dog park he has become really possessive of sticks.
we dont throw them for him but if another dog as the stick he wants it. not so bad, they play tug o war logan steals the stick. the problem is once he gets the stick, he gets really aggressive with some dogs and wont let them go near him.... some dogs ok, but most not so much.

hes fine with his pack (brax and aiden, and some of the dogs he loves more lukka being one of them....)

he never shows agression towards humans which is good, but is there a way to break him of doing this to other dogs????? i dont wanna stop going to the dog park because for the most part hes great and has lots of fun and meets new 4 legged friends.
any tips would be greatly appreciated

gypsy_girl
March 30th, 2007, 07:43 PM
I went through this with my boy, and found that swapping for something yummier worked well (this is the short of it) Here is a great article, and I am sure you with find others to give advise. I would caution against simply taking it away from him, as he may start guarding with you. It's very important to may sure that when you take it away, it is not a valid threat, as you are replacing with something even better. Maybe a ball, or a favourite toy.

http://www.doglogic.com/possess.htm

Prin
March 30th, 2007, 09:32 PM
When he's all growly and stuff, can you take it away? That's what I'd do. "Oh you growled? No stick for you then." :shrug:

Frenchy
March 30th, 2007, 09:39 PM
When he's all growly and stuff, can you take it away? That's what I'd do. "Oh you growled? No stick for you then." :shrug:

I do the same with Sam, he's only this way with sticks, and only with fosters around (no problem with Bailey or when Daisy was still here) so I just take it away.

~michelle~
March 30th, 2007, 09:42 PM
yeah he'll let me take it away..... the worry is this has escalated into fights a couple of times when the dog is just as dominante over the stick... putting my hand in the middle little worrisom.
we try to not let him lay down and chew on any sticks (this is when we notice he gets more aggressive) if he lays down and chews ona stick we take it away, but its hard when other people are playing with their dogs with sticks and logan goes around going nope sorry thats mine, and thats mine and thats mine.... hes usually good with the leave it command except for toys/sticks with other dogs he doesnt know. then he needs to take it as soon as noone lese wants it or show an interest he drops it so it seems to be a dominance issue but only with other dogs, we can take away the stick actually any human can take it away.

Prin
March 30th, 2007, 10:01 PM
At my old park there were a few dogs like that, and IMO, if everybody really wants to play in harmony, they'll accept the fact that when you're there, there's no playing with sticks. :shrug: A lot of dog parks don't allow toys at all because they cause fights so often.

Kocela
March 30th, 2007, 10:19 PM
At my old park there were a few dogs like that, and IMO, if everybody really wants to play in harmony, they'll accept the fact that when you're there, there's no playing with sticks. :shrug: A lot of dog parks don't allow toys at all because they cause fights so often.

Ya toys aren't allowed at the ones here either. But it doesn't stop people from bringing them. And alot of the people who don't bring them decided to use sticks instead of toys. :shrug: would be much easier if people did not do this. :mad:

We just want to avoid logan getting into a fight. Because I really don't want to see him get hurt... or hurt someones else's dog. :sad:

Hopefully it never happens :fingerscr

Lissa
March 30th, 2007, 11:29 PM
A good recall should help you avoid the problem altogether - by calling him off/away from dogs who are playing with sticks.

When he actually gets a hold of a stick, I'd do what the others suggested and "trade" for a valuable treat (although that can cause problems at a dog park too so discretion is the key!)... I think the best thing to do is lay the foundations outside of the dog park and away from the distraction and competition of other dogs...So work on trading items (making sure you ALWAYS have the most valuable reward to trade with) and "leave it" (or any command to have your dog ignore something or a dog - I think Prin uses "let him alone" or something like that):)... I'd also work on his recall so calling him away from a dog with a stick is as bombproof as possible!

Unfortunately, guarding behaviour is quite normal in the dog world so its likely that no matter what you do, your dog will still guard around dogs. I think with training, you can definately lessen the frequency and intensity of the guarding but the only way to "prevent" it is by removing the guarded item from the situation.
I would personally work on the guarding with his stable dog friends in the hopes of resolving the guarding BUT the dog park is not the place to do that. There are too many variables out of your control at the dog park for it to be safe or successful IMO.