Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
487 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My two dogs are very possessive and I'd like to get them to share both with me and each other. One is a 2 year Cavalier mix that I've had for 6 months and the other is a 7 1/2 yr old JRT that I've had for only 9 days. Both are female. Now that I've removed all toys and bones from the floor, they're finally getting along peacefully and occasionally even playing with each other. However, when I do let them each play with a toy, I have to monitor the situation very closely. If one of them has a toy that the other one wants, a fight is inevitable. Neither one wants to give their toys to me either. They will retrieve the object to play fetch and come back to me but won't give the object up. They growl if I try to take the toy. Also, I think they have not yet sorted out which is the dominant one, although it's hard to tell. They both walk through doors simultaneously and both cover each other's pee. I'd like to get it to a point where they're happy to share with me and each other. Any advice would be great. Thank you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
540 Posts
Since you've only had the JRT for 9 days, they probably haven't quite sorted it out amongst themselves yet.

I have one dog that is very posessive over toys, and they are both posessive over me. Linkin is much more laid back than Coal though, so he tends to get "pushed around" a bit more and doesn't seem to be bothered too much by it.

I implimented NILIF before I even got Linkin, so naturally when I got him it went on to be applied to both dogs, Coal being the more dominant so he gets fed first and what not.

In my experience, I haven't seen much proof in the doorways thing, I've seen it mostly for rewards (food, toys, affection etc.). The thing I find most important when it comes to doorways is that *I* go through first. This has nothing to do with dominance, but rather because I have two large dogs and if they get into the habit of bolting through doorways someone's bound to get hurt (most likely me or another family member).

Coal and Linkin still squabble over toys every now and then, but I always watch their play. They love to play tug and this stupid "I'm guna bite your face" game (they lay on the floor and grumble and growl and chew on eachothers faces, it's quite halarious to watch). Once the noise and intensity escilades in their play, I step and tell them that's enough. Coal's the one who usually listens first and so if they both don't listen (Linkin is young and gets wound up very easily) I will catch Linkin and hold him with his front feet above the ground until he stops squirming. I tell him "settle") and put him back on the floor. If he doesn't try to run and play again I give him praise and tell him "good settle". Usually though, just me stepping in and saying "settle down" or "knock it off" then they will quit, though this is from learning what this means for the past couple of years.

Some toys I keep out of their reach unless I pull it out specifically for them to play with or as a good reward. I've found certain toys they squabble over more than others.

When it comes to trying to get affection from me, my number one rule is if *I* didn't want to pet you stop nudging and bothering me! They both must sit first before being pet. I've never had squabbles about my affection though, mostly rude nudging and butting the other one out of the way.

I'd suggest implimenting NILIF and watching the dogs to see who has the more dominant personality to determine which one should be fed first etc, but until you know for sure just make a guess at it.

Also, one on one time is very important. I even go as far as to do "special days" with my guys, where one gets to go out with me and do something (be it go to the school to play in the park, go for a long walk, go up town to run erands etc.). Usually (though not always) the next time the other dog goes with me. One on one training is very important too. I spend more time training one dog at a time than two, but I do do two of them at once as well so that they can learn to listen even if the other one is there too.

I hope this is helpful, though I have to apologize as I just woke up and have barely had one cup of coffee so I'm not quite fully awake yet!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,072 Posts
First, you need to realize that 'sharing' is a human concept. :p Dogs really don't share. :p However, you can *probably* decrease or eliminate the fighting over toys. In the mean time, though, plan to keep those toys (and especially chews) picked up for a while.

First, work on them giving the item up to you - I think there's a trade game sticky on the first time dog owner or training borad, but if not, here's a post on how to do it - http://rufflyspeaking.wordpress.com/2008/09/19/the-trade-game-for-dogs/ Work on this with each dog individually and the other dog crated elsewhere in the house.

Once your dogs will readily give up any item to you, work on 'drop it'- again, I think there's a sticky, if not, here's a link (http://www.wikihow.com/Teach-Your-Dog-to-Drop-It - found via google, may not be great, but looks okay with a quick read) Again, do this with each dog separately. It's not fair for them to have to drop or give a toy away if they're convinced the other dog is just going to dart in and steal it.

In the meantime, while you're working on the stuff above, also work on obedience- and do this with each dog individually and the two apart. I would particularly recommend teaching a good 'go to mat/place' and make a house rule that chews are ONLY given when each dog is on her mat or in her crate- if she gets up to get the other dog's chew (and I wouldn't try this with both dogs out with chews until they were VERY steady on the mat behavior and staying in place till released, even with significant distractions), pick up the offender and crate her without her treat.

I think overall you're rushing things. You've got two female dogs, nearly the same age, who are both pretty confident, pushy individuals (from what you've said.). Introducing them slowly and carefully is going to be key in them living together long-term with no conflict flaring up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
487 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the advice. I'll definitely read those sources carefully. I think you're right, Dogstar, that I was rushing things. I tend to be impatient at times. However, I'm in the education field and I have a much lighter schedule this summer. I think I'll try to make training them better one of my summer-long goals.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top