When do dog to dog corrections become bullying type behaviours?

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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Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Sat Feb 2, '13 7:32pm PST 
It's sad that so many people now associate 'correction' with violence..

That said.. Charlie starts off subtly. For example: Ria keeps hounding Charlie to play, grabbing at his collar, pouncing at him and body checking him. Charlie ducks his head low, and tries to walk away, turns his head away from her, stops moving entirely, licks his lips, or looks at me. If this doesn't work and I don't step in(which I USUALLY do because he's more of a "Mom, will you tell her to stop so I don't have to deal with her anymore?" than one to take it into his own paws unless he absolutely has to), he'll growl or snap at her and then try once more to walk away. I ALWAYS step in by this point, letting this point be the latest because Ria doesn't seem to understand WHEN to back off - even when she's corrected, and I don't want it to escalate further.

In the instance of bullying, I'm sure Ria could be considered a bully if I wasn't so on top of her. With Charlie and Grizz, she rules the roost and will chew on them, grab their collars, try to pin them(never works with Charlie, but Grizz just flops over and loves to play that way).. If she keeps doing it over and over again and the other dog isn't playing back, or is looking uncomfortable in ANY way, I step in and put an end to her antics.

It truly can depend on the dog.

I allow a growl, or a snap. But I NEVER let it get further than that, and if the one dog doesn't heed the warning or correction of the other, then I remove the instigator and put them on a time out, or cut play time so it does't escalate.
Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
Barked: Sun Feb 3, '13 9:51am PST 
" It's when one of the parties doesn't listen to the other that problems occur."

Very true! Because if it is about communication, then equally it is a two way street. I think once you spend enough time with your dog....hopefully....you know them pretty well. Thereby, I think paying attention to the participating other dog, and ideally the conversation itself, is equally important.

Everything needs to be taken in context. I don't think looking for one piece of body language is a do all end all. I fostered a bluetick coonhound who came in with a tough past and a reputation for a lot of fear. She'd been chained a lot. When I let three Mastiff puppies loose with her, they themselves being rather human phobic at the time, her first response was panic. She was baying at them, backing away in a fright. But I noticed that as she bayed loudly and they trotted off from her in a startle, she would step forward, nose in the air sniffing; she was curious. So I just let it be. Kept out of their way and let them be dogs. And in twenty minutes, they were playing like nuts. In a rather spastic fashion....it was clear to me she had never played in her life and was figuring it out at the moment, but that only made it more touching. It helped all of them a ton. The scene initially was four dogs weirding each other out as all of them were pretty socially impaired, but in amidst their panic they were all very interested in each other equally. They kept trying to restart, having it fall apart, and then coming in for the reattempt.

Now during this, I sadly knew this female was puppy tolerant as she had been a mom at the shelter, where she whelped a litter of eleven, all of which were euthanized, but she was a very good mom. And puppies are puppies....they are not going to attack an adult. Between that and the curiosity, as their initial dysfunction kept restarting of their own volition....they were rather overwhelmed but at the same time pretty determined to work it out some way....I figured to just let them, and in the end they were all ridiculously adorable together.

That's just an example of not segmenting things to much....this sort of body language or that sort of extreme reaction....and thinking of the body of the interplay. And also the benefit, as these were four rather scared dogs who in the end were just itching every day to get back together. They really enjoyed their time together, got crazy rowdy but to be blasting around the house in rowdy play was very unwinding to them all and a huge part of their progress.

Edited by author Sun Feb 3, '13 9:52am PST


Member Since
Barked: Sun Feb 3, '13 2:33pm PST 
Recently, I had the same problem. I have 4 dogs, small breeds. Two dogs are younger and the age difference is 5 years. The problems that occurred were 2 older dog attack by two younger so I was very annoyed. I sought help from several experts who have only confirmed what I had anticipated, in my case it did not help much. After a few classes, I decided to separate my 2 younger from the older dogs. It was for me the only way to avoid bad behavior. That nothing has changed. The reason why I write this because I want to share my experience with you. Three weeks ago through my friend that I discovered Kody Clarke DVD Course, which has completely changed my thinking about training dogs. I decided to implement training on 2 younger dogs. After two weeks, the results are highly visible. The first part of the course only talking about mistakes that people make, and the goal of course is to just 10 minutes a day training your dog because, as mentioned in the course of the dog's attention is very short. I do not want to put the links in the post but I'm sure you can find "The 4 week dog training course" or "Kody Clarke Secrets".

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