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Discussion Starter #1
My 2yr old female lab/pit, Sookie, kind of controls(?) my other dog, Bogger, a male 4yr old lab. During a walk, if a cat or other desirable item is spotted, Sookie will push and shove and sometimes snap at Bogger, as if she is claiming it. I thought this was only happening on walks, but recently I noticed (but I realized that it's been going on all along) that she does it for everything. Bogger has always been a calm, mellow guy. He is pretty much a pushover and doesn't stand up for himself very often.....except, he has gotten pretty 'macho' and chases her down and body slams her when she is running for or with a tennis ball. Sookie starts sneaking around to avoid him while we're playing. This is just in the form of play, I don't see anything other than Bogger trying to tackle her in a typical dog vs dog play. I show that I'm not favoring either one, but inside I'm cheering for Bogger. ;)
But seriously, I'm really concerned about the aggression, however slight, that Sookie is showing toward Bogger. She sometimes nabs kongs, or nylabones and usually won't share (not all the time). She is fine around her food dish, but wants to be the one that grabs the treats first. I try and give Bogger the opportunity to be the alpha in many situations but Sookie is just too pushy. When I've given them each a stuffed kong, Sookie will immediately want his, too. I take it back a make a big deal about it being HIS. She will then wait til he's done to get it. I usually walk them separately now, but would like to start taking both of them again.
How can I get Sookie to 'share'?
 

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First of all, just to be clear: you don't have any one toy that you expect the dogs to share, do you? It's unreasonable to expect two dogs to share one Nylabone, and so on. You did mention that you give them one Kong each but I just wanted to be sure.

I had the same problem with my two dogs -- Spunky is a very assertive dog, and Honey, in contrast, is very soft. Spunky used to be food-aggressive -- is no longer -- and used to go over and take Honey's bones or toys. What I did was to stand in between them while they were eating or playing with their chews. When Spunky finished and headed towards Honey to take hers, I would say "hey" -- in a low, severe voice, but not loudly or sharply -- and walk into Spunky's space. You do not need to hit Sookie or scold her. You do not even need to touch her. Just step into her space and "body block" her from getting to Bogger.

You won't have to do this forever. After awhile, Sookie will get the idea and will stop trying to reach Bogger's toy. It was a very short time until all I had to do was supervise them while they ate and chewed (which I do anyway) and give the "hey" when Spunky started showing too much interest in Honey's stuff.

Having said that, a couple of months ago I made the mistake of putting their food bowls down too close together. Spunky finished hers faster and then went to stick her nose in Honey's bowl before I could stop her. Honey growled and started barking, and my dogs got as close to a fight as they've ever been in their 9 years of living together... it wasn't a serious fight, very loud and barky with no actual biting (I think they were both just trying to finish Honey's food...) After that incident, Spunky never, ever went near Honey to nab her food or toys again.
 

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Thank you soooo much for sharing your experiences.
Never, ever, ever do I strike my dogs and I do have plenty of toys to go around. (Before I clean up you have to walk with your head down so you don't trip).:eek: I have 3 dogs....the other one, a 12yr old female chow/aus shep, is pretty much the overall alpha in the house. Sookie is very respectful when she has to get a tennis ball that has rolled too close to Tera. It's funny to watch. Tera eventually turns her head and allows Sookie to get the ball. I don't think Tera has anything to do with the Sookie/Bogger relationship. Sookie and Tera will play and wrestle together but Tera holds her own while Sookie tries her best to wear her down. This is all done in a typical big dog wrestling form..... but they are evenly matched. Usually, Tera is not present for the S/B episodes. Tera stays out of it when she is and isn't present. I don't think Sookie is putting on a show for Tera. I think it's strictly an issue with Bogger.

I do the same thing as you......standing between them, blocking Sookie from whatever is Bogger's. Sometimes a simple hey (just like you're doing) seems to work for a while. When she is determined, I make a stronger statement with a little louder "leave it" and move Sookie away from Bogger. She seems to get the message at that time. Do you think it will ever be possible to trust Sookie to 'keep her hands to herself'? I've never had a dog that required supervision like this around other dogs. Is it just ingrained in her, or do you think the behavior can be reversed? Sookie is great in a pack atmosphere. A day care worker (she rarely goes, maybe if the weather's bad and she's bored) told me she got into a scuffle - he called it posturing - with another dog and Sookie ended up with a scratch over her eye. Other than that one time, I've seen and have been told of her having a great time around other dogs....more than one at a time.

Sorry, got sidetracked. Anyway, food dish issues are okay. She stays away from the other dogs dishes. I think they hashed it out among themselves. Sookie is one that eats fast, fast, fast. She eats out of a special bowl. Brakefast(?) She isn't bothered if another dog comes near her food or empty bowl. Geez, she is so confusing sometimes.

So, I guess I'll keep blocking and calmly breaking up scuffles. Maybe when she gets through these teenage years:) she'll calm a bit. Hopefully.

Thanks again for your help. It's good to know I'm at least doing the right thing. I guess I want a quicker and permanent change in her behavior. But if this is what I have to do forever, I'll do it. I might eventually contact a trainer if things are getting worse or come to blows (not me, them). I raised two great boys that turned out fine so I guess I can handle one pushy dog. :rolleyes:
 
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