The bullying is getting old

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I love sitting- in laps
Barked: Sun Feb 10, '13 8:41am PST 
This puppy bullying Moose does is getting on my every last nerve. Ugh.
And now that everyone is bringing their puppy they got for Christmas to the beach, it's just a big pain in my butt.

Luckily the owners of the puppies have, for the most part, been super understanding of what Moose is doing and are really cool.
Those who are experiencing Moose's bullying for the first time are quick to thank me for being on top of it.

But, it's stressing me out. His bullying is hit and miss and it used to be he'd mostly do it to male puppies. Intact male puppies got the worst of it. But now he's doing it to female pups too.

Yesterday at the beach we had to leave twice because of it.

When he bullies, it sounds as if he's going to rip their throats out, but what his big move is, is to sit on them. And if they squirm to get out from under him, he makes his horrible growling sound and will then fully lay down on top of them. That is if I can't grab him in time.
It's kind of comical watching this huge dog do a perfect "sit" right on top of the pup.

I don't want to stop taking him to the beach. He loves it sooooo much and it's one of the ways I can really get him exercised and worn out.
I could put him on a long lead while we're there, but I've seen other people do that to their dogs half the size of Moose and it's a tangled mess with 10 dogs running in and out of the water.

Is there anything I can do to slow this bullying down? Is neutering now the way to make the bullying go away?

What's interesting is, a two seperate times to two different intact male Boxers (both approx. 11 months old), he would start his bullying and the Boxers each snapped at him. Moose would back off, try again and again the Boxers would lunge and snap.
After a few minutes, Moose gave up on the bullying and became their chase buddy.

Well, we're off to the beach now. Wish us luck.

Woo-woo- whineybutt
Barked: Sun Feb 10, '13 8:49am PST 
I suggest getting him around some older dogs that will correct him-- lets face it. You aren't fast enough to correct it and by the time you get to him he has already been reinforced.

Doggy Daycare 2 times a week helped Nare with his roughness. The daycare knew his situation and specifically put him with larger older dogs that didn't like playing much, so he learned boundaries and that everyone didnt want to play with him lol.

Barked: Sun Feb 10, '13 9:03am PST 
Is Moose going up to puppies and doing this or are puppies coming up to Moose and then this stuff starts?

Kato will do this to pups that come near him. It seems to me like he's trying to get them to chill out. Although, all the pups he did it too were ones that were very bouncy and spazzy, like here. Any pups that weren't bouncy, he never bothered.

Does Moose do the same? Or is it just seemingly random?


Code name:- Farmcollie
Barked: Sun Feb 10, '13 9:13am PST 
I think you need to go back to some basics in training.

You say you can't get to him in time to stop him. To me, that says you are not YET able to control your dog from a distance. What you NEED is some sort of way to communicate "Don't you even DARE think of doing that!" or some other interrupter when he is THINKING of targeting a puppy, not when he's already squashed it. There are probably several ways to work on distance and distractions, but that is where I think you need to put your efforts. In the meantime, don't go to the beach where you can't prevent him getting his jollies from scaring other dogs.

As to neutering...it might work, and it might not. That's the way it is with neutering, from what I hear.

To be brutally honest, when Chan was a pup there was a Visla that targeted young pups at our dog park. It was the PITS! Chan was terrified once before I caught on to it and stayed away from him. I know of one female Aussie pup that immediately flipped over and whimpered when she saw the Visla coming. You need to get this under control.

Unfortunately, I have to disagree with Nare. Moose is smart enough to see what he can get away with. All the dogs that won't put up with being flattened and growled at are probably already telling Moose just where he can go. From what you say he's targeting the ones that won't tell him off. Unless there is a "playground police" dog on the beach that will tell Moose off whenever he looks sideways at a pup, the "other dog" idea won't work.

Code name:- Farmcollie
Barked: Sun Feb 10, '13 9:40am PST 

What I am saying, Moose's owner, is that you need to be the one to catch it when Moose is *thinking* about targeting a pup. Whether you do this with more long line training or some other method is up to you. In the meantime, I would not allow him to be around puppies on the beach so he can practice this behavior and get reinforced by success. I don't know how the dog beach is; can you go at quieter times or move to a different section if a puppy shows up? If you can't figure out a plan on your own, reliability with distance and distractions is a good issue to talk about with a private trainer.

The Monster
Barked: Sun Feb 10, '13 9:44am PST 
Chan makes good points. I would say that you need to work on his off leash control in general and his recall specifically. If you can't call him away from other dogs while playing, well, you probably shouldn't be letting him off leash. He may always be a bully (Cohen certainly is!) but you need to be able to control and curb those impulses and be proactive about them or you need to take a break until you have better foundation training.

Miss- Pig!
Barked: Sun Feb 10, '13 9:58am PST 
Hmm, i posted a thread a couple of weeks back about how Missy was overly corrected to the point of being bullied IMO by a Lab bitch. This is what i believe led her to have a negative view on other dogs. I can understand it from both sides of the fence though because Missy was also ( and still can be ) a bully herself. But like others have said it's about being able to control that behaviour before it's being practiced. So with that said i wouldn't be letting Moose get away with the bullying at all, especially because of his size. Not only that but it only takes one dog who takes offense to his behaviour and possibly end up really retaliating at Moose and even leading to a fight. All situations i'd rather avoid.

I agree with what Chandler has said, that you really need to work on distance control. If that means skipping the beach at peak times or altogether for the moment than so be it.
Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
Barked: Sun Feb 10, '13 10:11am PST 
This is typical teenage dog behavior and my advice is to keep him exposed but to have more control. I would put a longline on him to drag and when you see a probable candidate for his bullying, just pick it up and have him sit politely. I know that takes some of the joy away, but better than the two extremes, either constantly intercepting or not going at all.

Basically, at this age they can get really into strength testing, and what that often amounts to is bullying when they think they can get away with it. With Giants, they are drawn to fearful seeming dogs, which of course is an utter recipe for disaster, as those are the most likely to pop off, and then you end up in a dog fight. Funny that same dogs as adults are extremely patient and understanding to fearful dogs, not really responding to their threatening overtures, basically because they know now as they knew then....the dogs are not a threat.

It's where he is emotionally. He can't really help himself....he's big, but he's still a baby and is still feeling out his world. He'll get over it. The main points are to maintain his social exposure while not letting him get to practice the bullying.

They grow out of it wink

Mine are long lined and when I see where they are going the wrong direction are reined in and told to sit. Eventually, they respond to the cue, associating it as they do with a stop to the fun. And eventually it wears off. You are probably developing a good gut towards who he will bully and who he will not. It's not impossible to manage.

Common mistakes are to either allow it until a fight ensues and then you have a far bigger problem, or avoiding the stimulus, socially narrowing the dog, and then when reintroduced he is socially backwards, less secure and copes less well emotionally. You need the continued exposure but with more restrictions at this stage.

Edited by author Sun Feb 10, '13 10:14am PST


I love sitting- in laps
Barked: Sun Feb 10, '13 1:12pm PST 
I should have explained how it all plays out, but I didn't want to get too long winded.
Moose zeroes in on the puppies. A few puppies, that I haven't seen in a few weeks, adore Moose and Moose is good with them, but all other pups Moose sees, he immediately goes into bully mode.
I watch him like a hawk when I see anything that looks younger than a year old. Once I see Moose even glance in the pups direction, I put myself between Moose and the pup and interrupt Moose's action as best as I can.

As time has gone on, Moose isn't listening to me as well when I tell him to "leave it" when it comes to going over to puppies. He used to listen to that command gorgeously, but not so much lately.

Here's what happened this morning-- It was Ridgeback meet up day at the beach. One of Moose's best buddies is a 18 month old RR. He idolizes this particular Ridgeback, so as the RR's showed up, it looked like it was going to be fun for Moose.
Within 5 minutes of us being there, a 7 month old RR shows up. I see Moose zero in on him (I think he was intact) and before I can take a step, Moose starts his bullying. But, this guy wasn't going to have any of it. He got a bit snarky with Moose and Moose immediately backs off, tries again and the Ridgeback just won't have it. So, as much as Moose wants to be a tough guy to this young RR, it just isn't going to happen, so Moose ends up just playing chase with him.

Then a 5 month old RR showed up and I instantly saw Moose zero in on him. I quickly leashed Moose and waited to see if he would not focus on the little guy so much. When Moose's attention went elsewhere, I unleashed him. Once I saw Moose seeking out the pup again, I'd chase Moose down, leash him and wait.
When I'd unleash him, he'd play chase with the 7 month old and his best RR buddy. If his attention then went to the 5 month old, a few times I told him to "leave it" and he did. He was doing pretty good. But then, a few more RR pups showed up and I knew there was no way I could stay there. And when he was leashed, it was torturous for him to watch everyone running around, so we went to the other part of the beach.
(Before we left though, a regular at the beach showed up. She's a 10 month old Berner who doesn't even trigger Moose's bullying. She's not passive or quiet. She's all puppy, but Moose doesn't feel the need to bully her. Yesterday the two of them played the whole time we walked the long part of the beach).

We did bump into some other puppies while Moose was leashed and he didn't try to bully when one came up to sniff. Moose postured a little bit, but he didn't have any follow through. Maybe being leashed takes his confidence away.

I have no problem leashing Moose as needed. And if we have to leave because of it, so be it. I'll carry his long line with me next time and if he needs to be on it, I'll give it a try. And I'll start working again on "leave it" and other listening skills.

Moose's bullying is only with dogs younger than him. Any dog his age or older, Moose is quite polite to. He, for the most part, leaves elderly dogs alone and idolizes dogs between the ages of 2-4.
If any dog corrects Moose, even some puppies, Moose takes it. Moose understands. He's never snarked back at a correction.

Edited by author Sun Feb 10, '13 1:18pm PST