Dog to Dog Corrections

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

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I\\\'ll do- anything for a- treat!
Barked: Wed Jan 16, '13 3:29pm PST 
Tiller, I really like the statement you made about a growl being part of a "conversation". I think that's where being familiar with one's own dog and trying to understand their communication methods is so important.

A growl from Lupi (towards another dog) is truly harmless. She's never gotten involved in any scraps; avoids conflict whenever possible, actually. But she's a talker. Most of her growling is during play. It simply means she's having fun and feels comfortable to let loose. She will growl if a dog gets too close to her bone, but it's nothing more than a request for space. A friend of mine has a dog who barely ever growls, but when she does, it must be taken seriously. And other dogs know it.

There's a difference between letting our dogs have a conversation, and allowing bullying to take place. I
think everyone here agrees with that; where we may all differ is the point at which communication turns to downright fear or anger-the point to step in. And I do believe that's where it's vital to know your own dog.

Let's play tug!!
Barked: Wed Jan 16, '13 3:47pm PST 
Earlier on, I replied that I would let a growl or two happen without intervening in the interest of educating the puppy. This is not about micromanaging or stopping dogs from communicating, but about respecting a dog who speaks up about his discomfort. Even if your dog has no bite history, imo ignoring multiple growls and a snap is way too far. To my knowledge, Smokey has never bitten a dog, but all dogs have a point where they would, and it's best not to find it.

we will dance in- the ring without- words
Barked: Wed Jan 16, '13 4:07pm PST 
I agree with that, Lupi, it is important to know your dog.

My puggy can be a bit of a bully. And how the other dog reacts to her determines how things play out.

When Tango was here, he would jump on puggy to play. She would stiffen up, he would back off and play bow and pounce again, then back off and play bow and then they would be playing.

When Cameron, an equally playful foster, was here, he would pounce on Puggy. She would stiffen, he would stiffen. At that point I would step in because I KNOW where it would have gone had I not done so. Puggy can be a hard head.

And in D'ar's situation, if the puppy backed off or the harasment stopped after the "correction" and D'ar found that reinforcing (something we can not know at the time) he will be more likely to repeat the behavior in the future.

As to Tonka, she wrote "I think Ally (sp?) Brown said it best that "Working with reactive dogs is a sometimes painfully slow process"". No where did I see her claim Ali as her mentor. And yes, while Ali would indeed say that working with a reactive dog can be a slow process, she would not advocate someone giving up on a dog that quickly. Nor does she live close to Tonka or know who she is.

Cain, didn't you have a similar experience with your own dogs? If I remember correctly, you had a similar problem with your own dogs. You allowed them to "discipline" each other:

When Sambuca gets on Luba's nerves, Luba disciplines. Same with Chloe.

http://www.dogster.com/forums/Behavior_and_Training/th read/624722/10

However, I do see the discipline provided by an older dog to a younger or more bratty dog - as in my previous example with Luba & Sambuca. Sambuca will start "stuff" with Luba - growling, and so on, & finally Luba gets tired of it - she wades into Sambuca teeth flashing, snarling - on top of Sambuca, who is by that time yelping, on her back, tail tucked. Luba is on top of her crushing her to the ground. When Sambuca caves in enough, Luba lets her up. Then it starts over in about oh, and hour or so.

http://www.dogster.com/forums/Behavior_and_Training/threa d/624722/11

And then eventually Sambuca became quite aggressive with Chloe?

With my dogs it's always a management issue; Sambuca hates Chloe, so they are never allowed to be together. Cain thinks BonTemps is an annoying little gnat that needs to be squashed, so they are not allowed to associate.

http://www.dogster.com/forums/Behavior_and_Trainin g/thread/633538


Be Scaredy of- Me, Dawg!
Barked: Wed Jan 16, '13 4:18pm PST 
"Cain, didn't you have a similar experience with your own dogs? If I remember correctly, you had a similar problem with your own dogs. You allowed them to "discipline" each other:"

Actually, it wasn't even remotely similar, but thank you for bringing up these situations - once I get home, I'll be able to clarify for you what the differences were. Pretty basic stuff actually, but this is really a good demonstration of how someone not directly involved's memory can distort over time......
~Emma~ RL1

Mixed breed,- Pure heart
Barked: Wed Jan 16, '13 4:46pm PST 
"This is not about micromanaging or stopping dogs from communicating, but about respecting a dog who speaks up about his discomfort. Even if your dog has no bite history, imo ignoring multiple growls and a snap is way too far."

To add to that--- We hear quite a bit about how every dog is different. I would say that one growl one day could be all you get and the next it could be half a dozen growls and yet another day it would be three. I have no problem erring on the side of caution and directing interactions. way to go Dogs will be dogs, and should have all kinds of joys that go along with that but with my terriers, I always say- safety first.

Member Since
Barked: Wed Jan 16, '13 4:50pm PST 
I don't see how Luba (a markedly older female) disciplining Sambuca (puppy), has got anything to do with Sambuca later on disliking Chloe (unrelated, new sub-adult female of similar age).

Again.. not causation.

There are MANY dogs which have SSA at maturity - it doesn't mean they should avoid adults correcting them when they are puppies, nor does it mean doing so 'makes' or causes them SSA in the future, either. I don't know if that's the case here with the Catahoulas Chloe and Sambucca, but I don't see how those remixed snippets has got anything to do with anything.
Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
Barked: Wed Jan 16, '13 5:46pm PST 
And again, that's female on female aggression. Anyone who mentors with breeders, which apparently isn't a perquisite for puppy class givers nowadays shrug, knows that when a young female starts to get in under an established female's skin, troubling is brewing. One of the many reasons I don't do females. You could separate those two all you want. When they get back together, it's a bet as to who draws first blood. Sambuca is the sort of dogs breeders will often try to rehome, because she just a problem....wants to war for top female position. She's either spiking the established females or bullying younger ones she perceives as a potential threat to her ascendency.

As I have noted many times, the Boxer rescue I worked for got to the point where they instituted a hard cold policy....NO Boxer female will be adopted into a home with an existing female dog. Period.

If I had a female, which will happen when pigs fly, and took in a foster she seemed extra tough with, I would find another home for that foster but FAST before all hell broke loose. Just as all growls aren't the same, all "corrections" aren't the same, either. Some are suppression towards a challenger.

In my experience, females will "to the death it" far more than males, and it has nothing to do with thresholds or bad experiences, everything to do with socio sexual politic.

Edited by author Wed Jan 16, '13 5:57pm PST

Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
Barked: Wed Jan 16, '13 6:01pm PST 
On the other topic, you have to ask...is that fight/flight, is it flipping out, or is it a contained expression? Bites, too, have very different levels. It's not way too far unless it IS way too far, which is when the dog gets in that self protective mode. No one wants to see that....not me, not anyone. But there is plenty of bite in between that is not that. It's a communication, rather than a pleading or demand.

Breeds have very differing levels of bite discretion. GSDs take a LOT to give an actual bite. They are masters of the "cheap shot," which is a quick close-release. That's one reason why Dodman objects to them being so high up on the bite list, because so many of these incidences are a dog who is not a threat. Who had a chance to deliver something serious, but that isn't what he wants to do....he is just saying, "yo, I have teeth." That's one thing I love about them. They don't REALLY want to bite, but if they have to...ok then, watch out! They have huge jaw pressure and can break your arm if they want to. When Tiller corrects a puppy with his mouth, he doesn't close it. When Tiller gets in with a bossy scuffle with a dog, he doesn't close his mouth either. Or pounces my cat....they have a twisted relationship laugh out loud Those are technically bites, I suppose, but not really. A Giant defending himself is a grizzly bear....never seen anything as powerful when it comes to defensive drive. Blinding aggression. He isn't showing that, though. Not even a fraction. He is showing extreme control, does not want to harm, does not feel threat. It's a mouthy breed, and he's "talking."

As Lupi said, it's about knowing your dog. Reading him, and also the other dog I'd say as they have influence. But if everyone is contained, there's no reason to stop a completely functional interchange. Dogs have a right to speak. We have an obligation to protect them. Somewhere between those two is a balance. Go too far one way and your dog will have a bad incident you should have prevented. Go to far the other, and you are blocking a dog from being a dog and proning him to being maladaptive. One is careless and one is oppressive.

One incident shouldn't ruin a properly socialized dog. Tiller got attacked by a Chow as a teen....a very dishonest dog with a delusional owner - no warning, no nothing, just BAM and then on top of him - and was none the worse for wear. Affected him not an iota. Because he knows how the world works, how dogs work, and one dog wasn't going to upend a more worldly knowledge. I want dogs to teach my dog so that he knows how to be one and knows how to brush off one who is acting like a yo-yo.

As I said before, try your BEST to protect your dog. A Kerry Blue, just an example but a very appropriate one in this setting, is infamous for his fast temper and can...have seen it many times....go from happy to "you must die now" outrage in three seconds or less. The best protection you will EVER have is a dog who can put things in context, which is something the world of dogs can teach him. We cannot teach him that. We can imply a world that doesn't exist and either manage or hope that fantasy. Or trust a little, not be scared of experience and let him grow. This with all the normal warnings....functional dog, tame situation, good body language reads. For IF one day a dysfunctional dog pops on him, he will have that history of good reads and be far less vulnerable to a problematic outcome.

Growling is *normal* and *functional* Air snapping is, too. Controlled bites are, too. Committed, defensive bites are something gone out of control. There is a huge difference in those sequences. Knowing our dogs, being able to read situations, is critical to having the most well adjusted and truly confident pet we can have. Confidence is self agency, not knowing you have a protector. Unlike trust, important as well, which is believing in your guardian as just that. Dogs need both.

Edited by author Wed Jan 16, '13 6:24pm PST


Be Scaredy of- Me, Dawg!
Barked: Wed Jan 16, '13 7:12pm PST 
Sambuca came from a long line of dog aggressive dogs - on BOTH sides, so the deck was loaded against that poor girl from the get go. Add to that - Catahoulas are NOTORIOUS for same sex aggression. Sambuca was sent to another Catahoula owner on A TEMPORARY BASIS - she was going to work hogs out at his place & be bred by one of his males. When I learned of some of his practices, and told him it was time to send her back, he refused to return her. Suffice it to say, she was stolen, albeit he didn't sneak her out of my back yard - refusing to return = stealing. I filed a complaint with the National Association of Louisiana Catahoulas, and from my understanding his certified breeder status was revoked. Oh - and the ongoing victim, Chloe? Fine as frog's hair with other dogs once introduced. Probably an indicator of good genetics. wink

Cain - like many adult males - is not fond of puppies in his face - therefore, I do not allow puppies in his face. G2, on the other hand, is a puppy trainer almost in league with Luba, who has been absolutely stellar in dealing with puppies of both sexes. She's moderate, realistic, gentle, and has never hurt one (and there have been MANY, both Catahoulas and rescues coming through), regardless of the display she might have put on with Sambuca, who clearly had Catahoula SSA issues - a GENETIC issue. Bones (Bon Temps) - good with puppies. Cruiser? Good with puppies. Luna? Good with...etc, etc....laugh out loud And the puppies they've trained? Absolutely rock solid stable down to the last one.

Edited by moderator Tue Jan 29, '13 1:39pm PST

Edited by forums moderator

When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Wed Jan 16, '13 8:54pm PST 
Tiller you said 'I want dogs to teach my dog so that he knows how to be one and knows how to brush off one who is acting like a yo-yo.'
I sooooo agree. Sabi does not like other dogs(not DA just not a social butterfly) but every pup she has taught-except Shadow- is friendly, outgoing and polite with other dogs. I do all our reunions in off leash parks.
I still believe that no human will ever speak dog as well as, well, a dog.
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