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'm not lazy,- I'm just waiting- to play..
Barked: Fri Jan 11, '13 11:26am PST 
So I got into a small argument with my sister's BF the other day about D'artagnan and his correction to their three month old puppy. Dar was over their house having an all day play date with the puppy (Atreyu). Whenever I come home Dar gets excited and grabs a bully stick to chew. So when I picked him up his time it was no different and he sat on my lap and was chewing his stick. Trey wanted to play and kept jumping on Dar's face. Dar was getting upset by this and at first started whining. Then he graduated to growling, which he did at least 5 times, and only when Trey jumped in Dar's face ( Atreyu tried to climb on Dar's back a couple times and Dar didn't care at all). And since the growling didn't work he started to snap.

...Which where the argument began. The BF said that I need to take the bone away because Dar was getting aggressive. I said that Dar was correcting Atreyu, and the BF responded by saying Atreyu was already corrected by the first growl (which obviously taught him nothing).

The BF asked the trainer he works with and she was kind of in the middle. She said a snap for a correction is okay but you should remove the problem so it doesn't escalate into a bite or fight. Of course, HE sees the problem as the bone and I see the problem as the puppy.

So I wanted to know what your opinions on correcting were? I think that Dar was being pretty patient and gentle with Atreyu and had the right to nip/bite if it came down to it. The BF seemed to think Dar had to take whatever Trey did to him because he didn't think it important enough to try and remove the pup from a growling dog. That's kind of frustrating for me, but I would also like to make sure I'm not out of line with allowing Dar to correct.

More Bored- Collies
Barked: Fri Jan 11, '13 12:00pm PST 
A couple things come to mind here.

You mention that you were not at your own home at the time.
Are there Bully Sticks freely available for him to grab at will here, or was this one provided to him upon your return?
If it was provided, then I would say that it's probably something that should have been left until you were at your home.
Also, if the pup were targeting the stick opposed to trying to interact with D'artagnan, then I would say it was the stick.

But from the sounds of things, you had a tired dog on your lap and the energizer bunny Trey still wanted to play.
D'artagnan gave several verbal warnings before raising to a physical correction.
I've witnessed Cobain respond in the same way with pups.

This is the same behaviour I would expect from really any well balanced dog. D'artagnan did not try to viciously attack or maul the pup, he was simply saying "get out of my face"
I'm willing to bet that D'artagnan also gave more warnings to the pup than he would for an adult dog exhibiting the same behaviour as Trey.

If it were not for these corrections, Trey would not be able to grow up understanding what "no" means in the dog world.

Barked: Fri Jan 11, '13 12:28pm PST 
I'm inclined to be on your side with this. It sounds like your dog's reaction was to the puppy's actions rather than guarding the bully stick. The puppy needs to learn boundries and it doesn't seem like your sister's BF is doing anything to help. It also sounds like you were aware of the situation and keeping an eye out so you could stop it from escalating any further than the snapping.

I dogsit sometimes for friends whose dog isn't particularly socialized (afraid of all dogs that aren't Indy). She LOVES Indy and refuses to let up when she's around him, it's just go-go-go. He's okay playing for a little bit but then he does get tired of it and wants a break and she doesn't let him. At first I let him tell her he was done but since she tends to ignore his corrections I've started having to intervene and enforce downtime when she's with us. I don't want it to go so far that he draws blood while trying to get her to back off.


Design jewelry,- not dogs!!!
Barked: Fri Jan 11, '13 4:10pm PST 
Interesting post. I am currently trying hard to "teach" a bottle fed, singleton 10 week old puppy how to interact with my other dogs. His mother was ill and could not raise him, so he not only didn't have a mother BUT he didn't have littermates either.
Last week I started letting him out with my other dogs. It was not going well at all because he had no idea he was supposed to back off when they growled and they were getting far to sharp with him since he wasn't their puppy.
I brought back his mother (she lives in another home) and at first it went well. She was normally correcting him, and he was getting better. He was actually learning how to play like a dog.
BUT, I had a bunch of marrow bones around the house tonight and she was way too hard on him when she had a bone. She was far more aggressive with her corrections than a "normal" mother would have been since, although she does seem to know he is her puppy, she has no experience raising puppies and he was also MORE in her face trying to get the bone because he is still learning as well. I ended up removing the bones and all is pretty much back to normal.
Therefore, my vote is the bone WAS a big factor... maybe not for Dar but for the puppy who perhaps wasn't listening and responding BECAUSE he wanted Dar's bone.

Member Since
Barked: Fri Jan 11, '13 9:41pm PST 
I agree. I think your dog's reaction was to the other dog's action and not towards the bully stick. It would be great if the dog would correct the other dog, especially as a puppy because that's how they would learn the right manners. But if the dog doesn't learn from the other dog's correction, then you probably should start intervening.

When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Fri Jan 11, '13 9:56pm PST 
Sounds to me like you are right.
Sabs has 'raised' countless pups for me and she builds great pups. I learned a long time ago that she's a dog and she speaks dog fluently, much better then I do. It's again that pesky consequences thing, we all need to learn about them. A lot of puppy parents are just over protective and my guess is the trainer was trying to side with you without alienating clients.
I anticipate further issues with this though so be prepared. My guess would be that poor Dar is in for a rough few months.

I\\\'ll do- anything for a- treat!
Barked: Fri Jan 11, '13 10:39pm PST 
I don't know; it's hard to say without being there, but it does sound like D'ar was guarding his bully stick. Not that he did anything wrong-his corrections were appropriate. Either way, he was communicating with the pup and the pup wasn't listening. Could the puppy have wanted the chew? Maybe if he'd had his own he wouldn't have been annoying D'ar as much.

I'm not lazy,- I'm just waiting- to play..
Barked: Sat Jan 12, '13 2:29pm PST 
Thanks, It nice to know I wasn't just being completely biased. I can see the bone being part of it, but I didn't feel it was 'aggression' just 'please get out of my face while I chew this'. The bully sticks(there were 3 of them) were on the floor when I came over, I think the sticks were on the floor most of the day, they were just to busy beating each other up to care about chewing them. Atreyu seemed a little interested in the chew but most of the time it was more of a dive on to Dar's face instead of focusing on the bone (He likes faces- got my sister on the lip a couple days ago).I was trying to distract him, but apparently he likes Dar better than me smile. I did take the bone away cause I didn't want to start a bigger human fight, and while Trey did go over and try to sniff it (on top of a table) he then barked and jumped on top of Dar and they wrestled some more.

Now I just need to figure out what to do next time. I'll probably ens up taking the bone away again, I'm just afraid Atreyu isn't going to learn anything...which I'm sure will cause future problems with new dogs. And I'm a little frustrated that my dog has to supposedly take the 'abuse'.

But since he is adorable, if even if he is a pain in the butt puppy...
Little Porker

we will dance in- the ring without- words
Barked: Mon Jan 14, '13 9:24am PST 
I realize that these were not both your own dogs, but I personally never allow my dogs to get to the point where they feel the need to "correct" another dog. If a correction like that were to happen, well, that is an epic fail on my part.

When I get crazy puppies in and they are harassing my dogs, I remove the puppy from the situation (most likely into a crate or baby gated in another room with a Kong or something to keep it busy). I never want my dogs thinking it is appropriate to 'correct" another dog and I never want them to feel the burden of needing to do that. it is MY job to keep things under control. I find letting dogs work it out for themselves can lead to dogs that fight.

I realized you were not in a position to remove the puppy, but had something like that happened to me, MY dog would have been removed to a safe environment and allowed to enjoy his bully stick in peace without being harassed.

The Monster
Barked: Mon Jan 14, '13 9:48am PST 
"HE sees the problem as the bone and I see the problem as the puppy.

I see the problem as the custodians of the dogs letting the situation escalate to a point where one dog felt it necessary to "correct" the other. Neither dog was in the wrong - they're dogs. Next time separate the two or manage excitement levels better.
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