How to stop bullying behavior towards our other dogs
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Thread: How to stop bullying behavior towards our other dogs

  1. #1
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    How to stop bullying behavior towards our other dogs

    Sasha (4mnths old and 40lbs)has done great with her training so far but we are having problems with her bullying.
    I realize it could be play but its not nice play(possibly herding behavior).
    First she has put a ton of scabs, long ones all over our boston terrier and has hurt his eye as well with her rough play.She bites him and barks at him constantly.I dont like it, Sasha hurts Appa (the BT)almost every day, luckily he is tough and puts up with some of it but he must have a dozen long scabs on his back.He will get mad at her but she just backs off for a second and starts in on him again..Sasha also will sit and bark and bark at the other dogs not letting them move, if they do she chases them(These are small dogs under 15lbs).
    Here is an example.Ive used bubbles as a way to give them exercise and play for years, everyone goes after their own bubbles and plays nicely together..NOT Sasha, she has to attack and bite and bark at them so its not fun, she will play with the bubbles a bit but is mostly interested in harrassing the other dogs...I dont mind tug of war, Appa seems to enjoy this too.
    Is there a way to modify the play so everyone has fun and I dont have to use two separate play times??
    I generally end up resorting to yelling at her to stop(not that it does alot of good)

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  3. #2
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    Re: How to stop bullying behavior towards our other dogs

    An easy way to check if the behavior is playful or dominant, is Sasha giving the standard "play-with-me" bow? Jumping around, excited behivior with the bow is normal. However if it is more along the lines of "controlling" the other pups, it may be a more severe problem. One solution for either is more exercize. Depending on the energy level, she should be getting about a 30-45 min walk 2 times a day. Also, if you want the dogs to continue playing together, constant supervision IS going to be required, because everytime an action you (the pack leader) does not want to happen, you need to correct. A good meathod for correction is cupping the hand into a claw like shape and tapping (NOT HITTING!) behind the ear or underneath the chin. This simulates a dominant dog saying "this behavior is not acceptable." It will take consistancy and hard work, but your dogs will thank you for it!

    Hope I helped!

    EDIT: I just caught the bit about tug-of-war. In my opinion this is a very bad game to play with a dog..It creates obsessive behavior that may also be contributing to your dogs issues. In tug-of-war it's a battle, one that the dog ALWAYS WINS. it may break grip, but you'll throw the toy back in the mouth and tug again and let go, then the dog trots off with his/her prize. This gives the dog the impression of the toy being his (or bubbles, or everything!), and can create obsessive, possessive behaviors. After a bit more reading and thinking, it's my opinion that Sashas obsessive behaviors are getting reinforced. Yelling after the fact does nothing, because the dog has no idea why it's being yelled at. The corrections need to be DURING-THE-FACT, not after
    Last edited by RyanK44; 08-15-2009 at 09:47 PM.

  4. #3
    Senior Member GatsbysMom's Avatar
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    Re: How to stop bullying behavior towards our other dogs

    A dozen long scabs on his back?! Separate those two immediately. The fact that your puppy is drawing BLOOD on another dog is unacceptable.

    It sounds like she needs more socialization. Do you take her to a dog park? I really do believe dogs learn proper behaviors from watching other dogs. Another dog WILL correct her when her behavior is unacceptable.

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    Re: How to stop bullying behavior towards our other dogs

    Let me clear a few things up first .Im not the one playing tug of war, its between the dogs, Sasha and Appa.Should I make them stop???? What kind of play between them is acceptable?? Should roughhousing be a complete no-no? Ive seen Sasha grab Appa's skin with her teeth and pull to make him play too..
    My other dogs play rough(Italian greyhounds get really rough with each other) it makes Sasha crazy too, of course she always ruins the game and the igs run for the back room..
    I havent seen blood but he is leaving those scrapes, I wouldnt call them like real bites.

    She is socialized to the best of my ability.She was with her siblings till 3mnths, I take her out every day but we dont always see people or other dogs because we live in a very small town.No dogs parks anywere.I was taking her to a friends with a small Border collie mix but Sasha would get too rough and my friend decided it wasnt working out.She gets around the neighbors little shihtzu mix and rat terrier mix and seems okay with them but the contact is minimal.
    Her shackles go up when she sees an unknown dog.She loves people though.
    I will say Sasha is the most stubborn dog ive ever had to work with.

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    Re: How to stop bullying behavior towards our other dogs

    Quote Originally Posted by GatsbysMom View Post
    A dozen long scabs on his back?! Separate those two immediately. The fact that your puppy is drawing BLOOD on another dog is unacceptable.

    It sounds like she needs more socialization. Do you take her to a dog park? I really do believe dogs learn proper behaviors from watching other dogs. Another dog WILL correct her when her behavior is unacceptable.
    I'll have to disagree with that one. For an unsocial dog, a dog park can be a very bad, very intimidating place. There are many different dogs running around, all with different energy levels. Dogs feed off of eachother, and although introducing Sasha to a well-balanced stable pack of dogs would ultimately be the best, doing this at a dog park, I would STRONGLY recommend against. Especially if your dog is showing aggressive-dominant behaviors with members of his own pack. At a dog park, you don't know what dogs or doggy parents you might be getting into it with, and if you're not with a professional who can notice the signs of when a certain dog needs to be removed from an encounter, this can be a recipe for disaster (and lawsuits).

    As for the tug-of-war, like stated before: it's a cute game, but I feel it has a very dominant undertone (this toy is mine and I'll pull and pull until you give me whats mine) Roughhousing can be aloud, because there is such a thing as playful roughhousing, it's when it escalates to another dog attempting to mount (sexual or non-sexual) his/her playmate, when teeth start baring and the body language changes is when correction or sometimes removal needs to be made. I would strongly suggest trying to contact a local professional to see how best deal with Sasha; she seems like a very loving dog, that just needs some rules set

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    Re: How to stop bullying behavior towards our other dogs

    Finding a local professional would be the vets and she already admitted her dog training/behavior experience was minimal.There is one trainer here and he trains racing greyhounds and bird dogs and honestly I dont care for the man.We live in the country, our whole county has less then 3000 people.Im pretty much going to have to learn off the internet and hope someone will take pity on me.

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    Re: How to stop bullying behavior towards our other dogs

    Haha..well, I certainly feel for you, most of my knowledge (if we'll call it that) was done by self-research, so I admire you for that. What it will take to help you get the behavior you are looking for is consistancy of rules, boundries and limitations. If shes not allowed to nip at other dogs bubbles, she's NEVER allowed to nip at other dogs bubbles. Dogs work on whats calling intermitent reenforcement. Ex: Your dog is at the dinner table with you begging and begging for scraps; time and time again, you say "no, go lay down" Maybe you say this 100 times, and then 1 time, every once in a while, you cave and throw a scrap their way; it happens! looking at you with those big "starving-i-havent-eaten-eyes". But thats already said in the dogs mind, you can get away with this. The dog will keep pushing the limits because 1 time out of 200 or 300 she'll get something.

    Keep this example in mind when training! It really helped me not to cave to that puppy-face. Just make sure you are fair in your corrections, making one dog stable and happy often starts with changing the energy of the rest of his pack.

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    Re: How to stop bullying behavior towards our other dogs

    Well Sasha certainly is stubborn enough to wait that 300 times till I give in too.
    Ive watched every Cesar milan and every Victoria whatshername(the british chick) and even Good Dog U ( another training show)..Putting that stuff into practice is the kicker.

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    Senior Member Pepper's Avatar
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    Re: How to stop bullying behavior towards our other dogs

    Every time the play gets rough, separate or call the dogs to you and make them do a bunch of commands for a while until they calm down and learn not to rough house to rough.

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    Re: How to stop bullying behavior towards our other dogs

    This is typical behavior from a 4-mo. old puppy, who should not be allowed to harrass your BT. It's your job to supervise, and it would be wise to limit the puppy's access to the BT, by using baby gates to contain in another room, or, to use a leash and tether her to you, or a table leg or the like.

    When I brought my Standard Poodle puppy home to two adult SPoodles (7 & 8yrs. old), and a 4 yr. old Shih Tzu, she would race and jump at/on them, nip and zip away, all in play, which the other dogs took in stride, but I kept a close eye on her, and restricted her access to the others, because it wasn't fair to them to have an active puppy in their face all the time.

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    Re: How to stop bullying behavior towards our other dogs

    We have been trying to think of a way to separate her out once in awhile.She already figured out how to open the screen door we have that separates the livingroom out(yes we have a screen door inside the house I have birds that I let out daily).
    She actually jumps up on it and pulls the wood piece with her paws, then opens it with her nose the rest the way....I guess its time to get a hook latch on it.

    Both ideas are great.I will start calling them and having them do some tricks or whatever when they get too rough.I didnt think about doing that.

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