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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Bob and Sacha are just 9 months old (they are not littermates) and we've had them since 4 weeks (maternal death & really bad people)

Sacha is sometimes being grouchy with Bob- almost as if she's telling him "Hey! Cut it out!"

For example, last week on our morning walk Bob saw one of their dear doggie friends, and started to make very excited high-pitched barking noises. She turned to him and sort of snarled. He stopped right away.

Today, I came through a gate on our farm with Bob. Sacha was on the other side, and she did the same routine. Almost like she's bossing him around. (This time, over what, IDK)

My son told me sometimes Sacha puts 1 or 2 paws on top of Bob's neck while snarling- my son saw this happen when they were both starting to bark at a cat strolling along the 10 foot-high fence. They were near the area where the veranda opens to the yard, just before they started to run towards the fence.

I don't want anything to escalate, and I'm not exactly sure what is going on here or how to intervene.

Any suggestions are welcome!
 

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25 views and not one idea? I'm nervous, b/c she did it again this morning, and was much more difficult to get her to stop and keep my other dog safe.


Bob and Sacha are just 9 months old (they are not littermates) and we've had them since 4 weeks (maternal death & really bad people)

Sacha is sometimes being grouchy with Bob- almost as if she's telling him "Hey! Cut it out!"

For example, last week on our morning walk Bob saw one of their dear doggie friends, and started to make very excited high-pitched barking noises. She turned to him and sort of snarled. He stopped right away.

Today, I came through a gate on our farm with Bob. Sacha was on the other side, and she did the same routine. Almost like she's bossing him around. (This time, over what, IDK)

My son told me sometimes Sacha puts 1 or 2 paws on top of Bob's neck while snarling- my son saw this happen when they were both starting to bark at a cat strolling along the 10 foot-high fence. They were near the area where the veranda opens to the yard, just before they started to run towards the fence.

I don't want anything to escalate, and I'm not exactly sure what is going on here or how to intervene.

Any suggestions are welcome!
 

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I don't know if I can tell you anything you can't already figure out... I also don't have a ton of experience with this so take what I say with a grain of salt. This is just what I would do. In my house, Neeka is the boss and she used to boss SiSi around all the time (taking her toys, kicking her out of dog beds, etc.) but with time she's become much nicer and respects SiSi a lot more. She is still the boss, and we don't try to change that. The fact that there is a clear pecking order actually avoids conflict (it seems).

What do you do with them when you aren't around? I would not leave them around each other alone.

Some snark between two dogs is normal. Every once in a while my dogs will growl softly at each other to say "Quit it! I don't like that", which is normal. It's better that they communicate verbally (even if it's snarling) than with actions (biting).

It sounds like Sacha is reacting when Bob gets excited. As far as I see it, there are two ways to do deal with it- you could try to teach Bob to be more calm, or try to get Sacha to accept that it's okay when Bob is excited. Usually using treats and marking correct behavior works pretty well for that kind of thing. Like- reward Bob for sitting or being quiet in exciting situations, and/or reward Sacha for not snarking when Bob is excited.

For now, to manage it, I would try to learn what makes Bob excited and anticipate it so you can remove Sacha. If you have to let them outside in the backyard seperately, that might be the way to go, or always be out when they are out together. It might be a good idea to leash Sacha and let the leash drag so you can get a hold of her easily. On walks, if you see something you know Bob will get really excited about, I would hold them both close the the collar on opposite sides of you so they aren't right next to each other. It probably bothers Sacha if there's a dog freaking out right next to her. If I were her, I would tell the crazy guy next to me to calm down too!
 

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Actually, this is really, really helpful. I just had the insight that I could take some very high-value treats with me, and give them to Sacha at appropriate times on our walks.

It doesn't happen all the time, so like last night when I came through that same gate with Bob and Bob was being excited (and really not THAT excited, but I guess I have to respect Sacha's tolerance), Sacha just stayed calm as could be. And the same thing with coming back.

So, maybe I could have figured this out, but it actually never occurred to me.

About the pecking order- I guess I kept thinking I had to be the boss of everybody, and they are equal. Maybe it is not that way?




I don't know if I can tell you anything you can't already figure out... I also don't have a ton of experience with this so take what I say with a grain of salt. This is just what I would do. In my house, Neeka is the boss and she used to boss SiSi around all the time (taking her toys, kicking her out of dog beds, etc.) but with time she's become much nicer and respects SiSi a lot more. She is still the boss, and we don't try to change that. The fact that there is a clear pecking order actually avoids conflict (it seems).

What do you do with them when you aren't around? I would not leave them around each other alone.

Some snark between two dogs is normal. Every once in a while my dogs will growl softly at each other to say "Quit it! I don't like that", which is normal. It's better that they communicate verbally (even if it's snarling) than with actions (biting).

It sounds like Sacha is reacting when Bob gets excited. As far as I see it, there are two ways to do deal with it- you could try to teach Bob to be more calm, or try to get Sacha to accept that it's okay when Bob is excited. Usually using treats and marking correct behavior works pretty well for that kind of thing. Like- reward Bob for sitting or being quiet in exciting situations, and/or reward Sacha for not snarking when Bob is excited.

For now, to manage it, I would try to learn what makes Bob excited and anticipate it so you can remove Sacha. If you have to let them outside in the backyard seperately, that might be the way to go, or always be out when they are out together. It might be a good idea to leash Sacha and let the leash drag so you can get a hold of her easily. On walks, if you see something you know Bob will get really excited about, I would hold them both close the the collar on opposite sides of you so they aren't right next to each other. It probably bothers Sacha if there's a dog freaking out right next to her. If I were her, I would tell the crazy guy next to me to calm down too!
 

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Whilst the pack order amongst dogs has now been debunked I believe you do get a dominant dog and a submissive dog.
Sasha is trying to be the dominant dog and as long as Bob accepts this there will be no issues.
 

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Well, he seems to accept it. I just don't want to set-up a dynamic that I'll regret later.

Whilst the pack order amongst dogs has now been debunked I believe you do get a dominant dog and a submissive dog.
Sasha is trying to be the dominant dog and as long as Bob accepts this there will be no issues.
 

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Some dogs are equal, but at least in my house it's the natural order and there's no point in us trying to change it. Neeka is older, larger, lived here first and more assertive. Naturally she's going to be boss of timid little SiSi. I think it's like siblings in humans, the older one is going to boss the younger one around. I don't treat them any differently, they just have their pecking order worked out within themselves.

I think it's good that it's not consistent. It sounds like it might go away on it's own, maybe Sacha will get used to Bob being excited. It could just be that she was in a crabby mood those couple of times. You never know...
 

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Yeah, it is very inconsistent grouchy. I do like the way things mellow with them as they get older. And all the training helps!



Some dogs are equal, but at least in my house it's the natural order and there's no point in us trying to change it. Neeka is older, larger, lived here first and more assertive. Naturally she's going to be boss of timid little SiSi. I think it's like siblings in humans, the older one is going to boss the younger one around. I don't treat them any differently, they just have their pecking order worked out within themselves.

I think it's good that it's not consistent. It sounds like it might go away on it's own, maybe Sacha will get used to Bob being excited. It could just be that she was in a crabby mood those couple of times. You never know...
 

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great advise as usuall :)

All I can add is an example first I agree all multi house dogs are going to pick there spots ! As me and my wife have our own side of the bed, couch, table ETC. your puppies are young they will figure out there spots and who goes first. Normally we follow the order and keep the peace and when we can't we seperate them :) Me and my wife are adults and we know not to fight over our spots, your puppies will grow and learn also not to fight over spots, who goes first!

As for dog setting off other with excitement great advise. always train train train :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks a lot! This helps.

As it turns out, we found out 2 things:
1. If Sacha is hungry AND tired, she's angrier about his pushiness

2. Bob is SUPER rude when we need to do something for Sacha. We often hadn't noticed until she started lashing out, but Bob is up in Sacha's face when we're putting on collars, etc. We especially noticed this when we had these pectoral harnesses we needed to fit for walking in a parade. Bob was doing the equivalent of a human putting his face on your belly, then your neck while putting on a shirt! How annoying!.

So now we do Bob first, then hold him away so Sacha can get ready in peace.

great advise as usuall :)

All I can add is an example first I agree all multi house dogs are going to pick there spots ! As me and my wife have our own side of the bed, couch, table ETC. your puppies are young they will figure out there spots and who goes first. Normally we follow the order and keep the peace and when we can't we seperate them :) Me and my wife are adults and we know not to fight over our spots, your puppies will grow and learn also not to fight over spots, who goes first!

As for dog setting off other with excitement great advise. always train train train :)
 
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