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Dog Fight

This morning was the first time that our new puppy has gotten into a fight. She is normally very submissive, but lately she has been very possessive over toys, treats, etc. Our second dog is starting to do the same thing and its getting frustrating. This morning I gave them each a toy, and five seconds later Athena, our puppy, lunges at Milo, our oldest, to steal the toy, and immediately starts a full out fight. I break them apart and Milo runs into his kennel and before I get a chance to grab her, she follows him in there and starts it again! I finally got them completely separated, and today she is in "solitary confinement", separated from the other two. I'm just very frustrated by her behavior, and immediately told her "no", took the toy and separated them, but I don't know what else I can do to correct this behavior. I can't always keep them separated and away from toys. The real problem is just her possessive behavior. Like I said, she's normally very sweet, so I don't know if this is just a puppy thing or if it's her true personality starting to come out. Please help!

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Re: Dog Fight

  • There are a lot of different opinions when it comes to puppy aggression so I'll tell you what we tell our clients that come in with a young puppy that is starting to become aggressive. If you don't take care of it now, it will become a bigger problem as the dog grows. As soon as you start to see the aggression, flip her on her back and keep her there until she gives in. I don't care if it takes 2 minutes or 10 minutes, leave her on her back until she stops struggling. Sometimes just saying no isn't enough to really force the point you are trying to make.

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  • Thank you. I did pin her down on her side to keep her calm and away from the other dog, and she calmed down. Does she need to be on her back or will that work?

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  • image spalko:

    There are a lot of different opinions when it comes to puppy aggression so I'll tell you what we tell our clients that come in with a young puppy that is starting to become aggressive. If you don't take care of it now, it will become a bigger problem as the dog grows. As soon as you start to see the aggression, flip her on her back and keep her there until she gives in. I don't care if it takes 2 minutes or 10 minutes, leave her on her back until she stops struggling. Sometimes just saying no isn't enough to really force the point you are trying to make.

    Holy sh!t, don't follow this advice! Outdated, based on badly-done studies, and just plain dangerous! 

    Find a certified behaviorist (look at the board FAQs, link in the green header box on the main board).  

  • It's the same thing that a littermate would do to show dominance amongst the group and it works, so why is it so bad? I've worked in the profession for awhile and we have clients who are trainers and behaviorists who say to do the exact same thing.
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  • image spalko:
    It's the same thing that a littermate would do to show dominance amongst the group and it works, so why is it so bad? I've worked in the profession for awhile and we have clients who are trainers and behaviorists who say to do the exact same thing.

    No, they don't. Adult wolves do it to one another when they're about to severely hurt or kill the other. One of the myths that those dominance-based theories are based on. 

  • No, they don't. Adult wolves do it to one another when they're about to severely hurt or kill the other. One of the myths that those dominance-based theories are based on. 

    I agree - Not a good idea!  Dogs know we are not dogs, this doesn't work.  I do agree that it should be addressed before it escalates, but not by doing an alpha roll.... This can actually make things worse especially if she has a more submissive personality.  Talk to a certified behaviorist - most will work with you on redirection. 

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  • OP, it sounds like you're dealing with resource guarding. There's a booklet called "Mine!" by Jean Donaldson, who is the San Francisco SPCA's director of The Academy for Dog Trainers. 

    Why can't you keep the toys away from the dogs when they're not supervised? You should be in control of all of their resources (food, toys, even affection should be given on your terms). Do you practice "Nothing in Life is Free" at home?  

  • I also agree that the dominance-based training methods are dangerous and ineffective. 

    We have a new "puppy" as well (even though he's 100 pounds at 8 months old lol) and our first dog has gotten a little nippy with toys, so we only give them toys when they're crated or otherwise separated.  They also always get food and water separately - an easy way to deal with resource guarding! 

  • Ditto on NOT rolling dog on back.  This is a good way to get bitten and set your dog up to fail.  It is proven to be inappropriate training method.  

    As others have already mentioned, work on NILIF with both dogs, separate when playing with toys and don't allow free range of toys. Look for a behaviorist.  A behavorist, not a trainer, will have a better idea on what is going on and how to manage it. 

     

  • image spalko:
    It's the same thing that a littermate would do to show dominance amongst the group and it works, so why is it so bad? I've worked in the profession for awhile and we have clients who are trainers and behaviorists who say to do the exact same thing.
  • image spalko:
    It's the same thing that a littermate would do to show dominance amongst the group and it works, so why is it so bad? I've worked in the profession for awhile and we have clients who are trainers and behaviorists who say to do the exact same thing.

     This is horrible advice. As was your previous advice to her.

    OP listen to the old timers on this board. They know what they are talking about. Any trainer or behaviorist who sugggests dominace type of training you need to run from.

     

     

  • image 2009miss:

    image spalko:
    It's the same thing that a littermate would do to show dominance amongst the group and it works, so why is it so bad? I've worked in the profession for awhile and we have clients who are trainers and behaviorists who say to do the exact same thing.

     This is horrible advice. As was your previous advice to her.

    OP listen to the old timers on this board. They know what they are talking about. Any trainer or behaviorist who sugggests dominace type of training you need to run from.

     

     

    Why is that so bad? I have always heard it was the right way to teach a dog? I did it with my now 18 month old puppy when she was 5-6 months old and thought it was ok to nip at me... it seemed to work just fine and now she never nips or bites.
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  • image eajeanthebean:
    image 2009miss:

    image spalko:
    It's the same thing that a littermate would do to show dominance amongst the group and it works, so why is it so bad? I've worked in the profession for awhile and we have clients who are trainers and behaviorists who say to do the exact same thing.

     This is horrible advice. As was your previous advice to her.

    OP listen to the old timers on this board. They know what they are talking about. Any trainer or behaviorist who sugggests dominace type of training you need to run from.

     

     

    Why is that so bad? I have always heard it was the right way to teach a dog? I did it with my now 18 month old puppy when she was 5-6 months old and thought it was ok to nip at me... it seemed to work just fine and now she never nips or bites.

    As I said in my first post, that method of dog training is based on faulty studies of wolf behavior. 

    Read for more info: Pets Board FAQs on dominance theory

  • We have 3 dogs and one of ours does the exact same thing. It scared me so badly when he did it the first time. He used to only beat up on his "brother", but when he started on my dog, that's when it really scared me. We tear them apart and throw one outside until the calm down, then just take away the toys. We don't like to leave any toy out as "free range", they only get toys when we give them to them. We are also going to eventually take them to a behaviorist, but are trying to save up the money right now. 
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