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My female dog is aggressive with submissive dogs

October 22nd, 2007, 01:21 PM
Hi, I'm new to the forum and wondered if anyone has suggestions to help with my problem. Kalua is a 3 year old Great Pyrenee/lab mix. She is a beautiful girl, looks very similar to a landseer newfie. I also have a 9 year old lab/collie cross. Bailey is alpha, but a gentler soul you could never find.

Kalua loves people, children especially. She is obedient, but has the Pyr's independent spirit. She is great with confident dogs, but running into puppies and submissive dogs can be a nightmare. She does NOT bite, just growls, but at 115 lbs, this can be very intimidating to dogs and owners. I use a halti for her and she does heel.

I have read the putbull owner's suggestions of using treats, and I will try that as she is a food dog, but I'm wondering if there is anything else I can do to help check the bully in her.


Ford Girl
October 22nd, 2007, 02:44 PM
Welcome to B.A.R.C. , Bass Ass Retriever Club...since your dog is part lab, she qualifies to join this elite group of bossy female retrievers - and one super fine male named Toby! Amber and Dazy are please to see Kalua fits the profile to a T!

My dog is a very stonge minded dominent young female who submitts when she should to those dogs that approach her with manners and authority and bosses around all other dogs with growls and snarls and and hovers and gives attitude!! It is very scarey, especially for the puppies and other owners. Mainly to puppies and any other dogs that don't approach her with manners.

However- I have learnt that it is me that triggers the behavior and my reaction to it that has increased her reaction, as she's protecting me (in her tiny little mind she feels the need to) and me getting nervous and upset while she is bahving this way only makes it worse. When she goes to day care or the over night pet resort she plays with all dogs, even puppies, no issues! EVER!

Take note of the triggers, your body language, how the other dogs approach your dog and how you react to her, and the very first signs she shows dominence. Is it the lip curl, the tail, head up or down, and snap her out of it before it escalates - if you plan on having your dog off leash and in situation where she will meet other dogs she might bully, you have to manage the situation before it gets to that point.

A few things that you should work on are...leash walking - teach her to follow you on the leash - you are the boss, she's doesn't need to be, and keep her in check when you meet and greet other dogs, and correct her behavior as required. Practice NILF, she should earn everything she has from food, to affection to walk time. Google NILF for more info on it, it sounds like a lot of work but becomes routine quick. For puppies, I stopped paying attention to them when they approach with such bouncy off the wall energy, I no longer bend down and talked baby talk to puppies, I ignore it, Dazy's ignores it (very hard for me to ignore a puppy)....for the puppies issues, I have been told that she is just telling off the puppies for being rude, and that's what adult dogs do. The "bouncing charge at you, let's play the second I meet you" greeting is rude in the dog world, some dogs tolerate it better then others.

I can tell by the look on Dazy's face if she will like it or not, before the dog is even 10 feet away from her, and I clap loud and say Dazy, let's go...and we go, remove her from the situation, by leading her out. She listens really well to me tho, that helps if you have good recall. If it gets to the hover, snarl, growl stage, I leash her, make her sit and then down, and wait, we sit for a few minutes, until she looks up at me and is paying attention to me before she gets to play again. It is important to know that not all dogs like all other dogs, and that you need to be the leader. :thumbs up

I do all of this, every time we are out and we still have issues but it's getting better and easier to manage, the best I can say it keep at it and never stop training them or calling them on their behavior!

Good luck, keep us posted and post some pics of your girl!!! :lovestruck:

October 22nd, 2007, 04:50 PM
Yup, Amber agrees with Ford Girl! Amber's protective mode can be quite scary for anyone!

I don't use treats with Amber in situations like that - what is she getting the treat for????? Much as Ford Girl does, I stop Amber's behaviour and make sure I have her attention with some commands like sit, down, wait.. What is really important too is to try to prevent the situation from happening - divert your dog's attention and make her listen to you until the other dog is gone.. This is working well with Amber..

Sure would love to see some pictures of your fur family!

Ford Girl
October 22nd, 2007, 05:00 PM
Treats eh, sorry, I missed that, I wouldn't use treats in a situation like this, how was it explaned to you? When do you treat during the behavior? I'd be afraid to encourage it? What you could do if you want to treat is call your dog away from the situation, and when she's by your side, walk fast for 5 or 10 seconds, she's away from the negative situation, and then ask her to sit - you can then treat that behavior, for coming with you and sitting...

And I try and priase verbally when she does a nice meet and greet, like...good dogs or nice a clam voice, not hyper over the top happy, but no treats involved, sometimes with food dogs act differently, it's not something I'd throw in the mix when doggie hormones are flying left and right...

Both Jan and I know it's unpredictable and a never ending battle of the wills with our girls...stick to your guns, be need to be the big chief in this situation! :thumbs up

October 22nd, 2007, 09:19 PM
thanks for the suggestions. The "treats" were for when the dog doesn't become aggressive, listens, moves away etc. Certainly not to reward bad behavious, but to reward appropriate behaviour.

For the most part she is good, usually the problem is when I let my guard down...someone stops to talk to me etc. I take total responsibility!

I did upload her picture...not sure if I did it right, if you click on my name it shows.

October 22nd, 2007, 09:41 PM
"I did upload her picture...not sure if I did it right, if you click on my name it shows"

Very pretty girl! There's a Pet Photography forum where you can post pictures too - that way, everyone gets to see her!

Ford Girl
October 23rd, 2007, 11:11 AM
Oh wow, she is big and cute!! More pics please! :thumbs up

March 20th, 2018, 10:51 PM
Re: Amber,
My dog sounds similar to yours! She is sweet as can be with people, kids..and other confidant and playful.dogs..but if there is a submissive and fearful or nervous dog, she tends to get very pushy and dominant..she will get on top of them and dominate them agressively...thank God has never bitten..but scares them!..and it looks scary..she is a Shepard Mix..I can get her to yelling and pushing her off and saying no but it happens again..she also tends to get obsessed after and try to herd and come back to that dog..luckily, she will usually listen to me if i Watch her like a hawk..she is also very independent by nature..I adopted her at the age of 1.5..she has gotten much much better with other dogs since then..I fear she wants never socialize d since she was a rescue..

March 21st, 2018, 07:52 AM
Hi, Dogs44. Welcome!

Have you looked for a behaviorist to help you out? Having that objective set of eyes evaluating your dog's behavior might give you some insight in how to control the herding. There are a lot of shady people out there posing as behaviorists, though, so you have to do some research, find one whose methods match your philosophies on dog training, and check references carefully, but a good behaviorist can be invaluable.

We have a reactive dog and found something that works to calm him down. I wonder if something similar would work for your dog in the meanwhile.

I taught our Brier a command that means sit in front of me and look at me. Once his attention is on me, he's much calmer. He used to go ballistic when a horse and buggy would go by, but I can now have him out on the sidewalk and have a buggy pass within 15 feet without him reacting. Do you think a command like that would be useful? That might help you out in a pinch--during a chance meeting while walking your dog, for instance. Herding instinct is different than straight reactivity, but getting her to focus on you would be a great start.

The other suggestion I have is to give her a job to try to channel her energy. Agility might be a good outlet--something to tire her out while exposing her to the presence of other dogs in a controlled setting.