Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so this is not a huuuge problem, but it is annoying. So we own a 6 month old black lab named Loki who weighs about 50lbs. He's a great dog, housebroken, clicker trained, and doesn't chew. He's incredibly smart for his age and loves people. We've been taking him to dog parks since he was 4 months old to get him well socialized. At first, like most dogs, he was very timid in the park but has since opened up and will run and play with any dog there. About a month ago my roommate was dog sitting a miniature yorkie named Gatsby who weighed all of about 2 pounds. This was the first time we noticed Loki's "little dog complex" as we like to call it. Gatsby would play with Loki and jump at him and bark and it was completely friendly, but Loki would just try to sit on Gatsby or lay on him. Since then, if he's around a small dog less than about 15 pounds, he demonstrates the same behavior. He's not at all being aggressive with the little dogs, its just like he wants to dominate them since he's still so much smaller than a lot of the other dogs at the park. Usually the small dogs will play back, but sometimes their owners aren't so keen on Loki's behavior (however the should probably resign to the small dog area). My concern is that as Loki grows, which he will, more dogs will fall into the area of "small dogs" and the behavior could worsen. Loki doesn't have a mean bone in his body and I just can't figure this one out. It's also incredibly difficult to correct, since many times he's on the other side of the park when this happens. Has anyone seen or heard of similar problems? Thanks!

Meredith and Loki
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,195 Posts
Maybe it's Loki's way of saying...you are a little bug and I don't like you jumping and barking at me. Better than trying to take their head off IMHO :eek:.

And you're right, little dogs don't belong on the big side, if there are 2 sides. The little ones are just asking for trouble.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,942 Posts
The best thing you can do is put a really reliable recall on Loki and interrupt the behavior.. calling him back to you when he exhibits it.

I do not know the why of this behavior but I can tell you I had a Setter mix (spaniel?) at one time on my farm. She had thick long hair and she was not big (40 pounds). Sometimes she would find a Raccooon in the barn and she would corner it and sit on it and bark for us to come help her. She was not big enough to dispatch it herself, but she would "hold it" by sitting and laying on it (it would bite but nothing got thru that dog's hair). In this case it was how she handled an aggressive animal to calm it (and it worked). I have NO idea if this is related AT ALL to what your dog is doing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,615 Posts
This is kind of funny (though I'm sure the little dogs and their owners do not find it so).
I agree with Elana..a good recall and a good leave it, rewarding Loki for coming to you instead of having a seat on the little dog will help to handle the issue. I would then suggest you recommend the little dog owner go to the small dog area..as it is risky for them to be there, not just because of Loki...
I would also make sure that I was watching her at all times..the other side of the park is TOO FAR for you to be able to control her behaviour unless you have her under really really good voice control..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,525 Posts
I have a dog that sits on one of my other dogs. She also humps him and stands over him. I believe they are displays of dominance. (Don't freak out, anyone. It's a "dominance display" as described by Patricia McConnell.) It's her way of playing, saying, "I'm the boss of you". And not aggressive at all.

I agree with the others. A reliable recall and a word to the small dog owners. There's a reason they separate the dog sides.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I defininitley think its a dominance thing, he sometimes just stands over them like your dog seems to do. He'll put his mouth on them but doesnt bite, which I KNOW is a dominance behavior. He's voice training pretty well so I'll correct him when I can and probably wait and see how the behavior manifests as he grows. If were lucky maybe he'll grow out of it :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,525 Posts
He might grow out of it when one of the dogs decides to put Loki in his place. And once Loki is full-size, his sitting on a 4 pound dog could be disasterous. Maybe it would be best if a bossy little dog let him know that it's NOT ok. :)
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top