Who's the boss???!!!

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by AnnieOakley, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. AnnieOakley

    AnnieOakley New Member

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    My Boarder Collie / Spaniel mix (female) has been with us for 4 years. We added a miniature Schnauzer (male) last year. I believe we have a dominance issue. Oakley (Schnauzer) constantly nibbles Annie (Spaniel) and is extremely jealous of her. Not just of our petting of her or paying her attention but of anyone that comes over and pets her. I think Annie thinks she is the dominant one, but Oakley doesn't agree. She is getting more and more aggressive towards him when he is aggravating her. They DO get along some of the time. They are both allowed to sleep in our bed and have free range of furniture. Oakley is kenneled during the day while we're out, because he chews shoes. Annie is left out, because she always has been and is a very good dog. (So is Oakley - very easily treat trained) BUT Oakley has begun urinating on MY BED!!!! He usually chooses the spots that Annie frequents. (The foot of the bed and one pillow in particular) - it's definitely not a bathroom issue - he is making a statement!!!! How do I deal with this and how can I help them know which is the dominant one - it's hard for me to tell sometimes. For instance, Annie will definitely put Oakley in his place (has even made him yelp) if he gets on her nerves too much, BUT Oakley is very bossy and seems to show more dominant tendancies.
     
  2. elegy

    elegy overdogged

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    "Dominance" between two dogs is a very fluid thing in the vast majority of cases. I think you'd be better off if you stop worrying about which dog is dominant and start providing more structure for them both. If Oakley is aggravating Annie, step in and don't let him. Provide him with a different outlet for his energy. If Annie is cranky about people paying attention to the other dog, teach her to go to her crate or a mat or a spot and wait politely until it's her turn. I think if you step in and take charge and make decisions about who is doing what, things will go smoother for you.
     
  3. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    What she said. That about sums up my thoughts perfectly
     
  4. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    Completely agree with elegy, great advice there.

    I also want to add that aggression in dogs (and many other species) is very self rewarding - it is a satisfying release of adrenaline and just pent up frustration. So often, dogs who aggress are going to aggress again. Occasionally it's a good idea to let the dogs "duke it out" on their own, but in this case I think since it's been getting worse and worse, something's going to have to change.

    What I would suggest is to go back to being extremely rigid with your rules - dogs are not allowed on furnature, dogs must sit-stay while you put food bowls down, dogs must sit to go in and out of doors, both dogs must sleep in crates at night as well as during the day, dogs should never have access to each other unless they are being supervised, etc. When they are together under your supervision, you will need to spend a lot of time actively engaging them in mentally stimulating behaviors - tether one with a knuckle bone while you train another; practice a lot of recalls in the house; keep them interested in you instead of each other. Once you've gone a few weeks without the dogs aggressing toward each other, you will be able to lighten up a few rules - leave Annie out of her crate during the day (but don't give her access to Oakley's crate), give them a little more freedom to interract together while you're home supervising, etc. Allowing them to get on furnature and sleeping on your bed should be the last two privalages you give them, and only then if they've had about two months without any aggressive incidents.
     
  5. AnnieOakley

    AnnieOakley New Member

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    Thanks so much! I will try all of this!
     

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