|Barked: Sat Dec 8, '12 12:35pm PST |
|This is all interesting and not very normal. I wonder if you know Connor's history....if he was inside or outside most of the time?
If I were his foster, I'd be wondering if this were a social issue. Play can be used to relieve stress or to test social boundaries. It's always a guess, but that is what I am reading, particularly in that it seems to far more likely be occurring in enclosed spaces (vs the outside). That is very striking to me.
Flow with me here for a second and see what you think of this, as you are the one witnessing this and have your own interpretations, whereas I can only use your words to visualize this scene. Sometimes, dogs are feeling unsure or insecure. That insecurity may either be worried what the other dog wants to do, or, you can have dogs who would prefer to fight, but for a balanced dog fights are something you answer....meaning you don't start a fight. That's not "honest." It's why in some breed descriptions you will read "will never start a fight, but will always finish one." That's what that means. An honest dog who will not prompt a fight, but is more than willing TO fight.
At any rate, because the dog is either insecure as to what the other dog might do, or in testing social boundaries sort of would prefer to fight but all the other dog wants to do is play, they may get intentionally rough trying to spark a temper from the other dog.
That this is happening only inside, which is a more defensive area as it is enclosed, this is what I am HIGHLY reading into these scenes.
If they are really roughhousing to this extreme extent and you are being very diligent about exercise....which is VERY important....one thing you might do in addition to the gating is to tie Avalon up with Connor on a long line, just for control. Then just let him hang out, and also work him in the presence of Avalon. Lots of treats. Just sits, downs or whatever else he knows. Try to work him close to Avalon while you do this. If he starts to go after Avalon, you have the long line (you can just use his leash, also), just pick it up, lead him away and restart. To be around Avalon and not obsessing is your goal.
You also should be tying them both up, near but not so near that they can make contact. You can give each a bone or a toy. Let them spend an hour tied up, close but unable to make physical contact.
Get a family member to work with you...I hope you can do this....sit in different chairs with both dogs leashed, and give them both attention, or play with them, etc. And then, I know this boring, but have them both down quietly and settle. You can also watch tv together, both dogs down, leashed with one person holding each.
Take them on walks together with a family member. Walk closely together. Then come back in, treats at the ready, and just have one sit with each and interact with them.
What you are trying to do is acclimate Connor to being around Avalon and settling. Not feeling a need to start anything. Better his social security and ability to relax.
Finally, Connor may highly benefit from learning the "place" command. Give him a place...a doggie bed or pillow....and train him to go to it when you ask. Be sure here Avalon, who sounds like an easygoing boy, is told to keep away. This may offer him a sanctuary and option as to what to do with himself, if he has his "place" which is reaffirming and with Avalon keeping away.
All the treat work is highly beneficial in the beginning, but you want ideally is to just tie them both up, or to sit with each, and have nothing much going on other than the sensation that they are chilling and nothing is happening. You need to build this boy's social confidence, IMO.
Edited by author Sat Dec 8, '12 12:39pm PST
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