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Doninance questions? Is this the wrong thing to do?

1254 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  2doodsmom
I am adding to this post, thank you for the responses, I need more info. Thanks.

I have a question about the whole dominance issue. I discovered yesterday that my son, 15, has been playing (in his mind) with Toby (15 weeks) and he has been growling at him and running away. :( CJ showed me what he was doing, he was leaning over Toby and looked like he was going to straddle Toby. That is when Toby growled and got up and ran across the room.

I explained to CJ that Toby saw this as an attempt to show dominance over him. Am I correct in my assessment of this situation? I rolled Toby after CJ showed me what was happening. My fear is that Toby will get too big and think he is alpha, he struggled with me for about 30 seconds then submitted. Do we need to help CJ roll him or just leave it alone? Does my husband need to show that he is the alpha male?

I have never had 2 dogs so I am new to this whole pack thing and jockying for position. I lied, I had lots of questions! :?
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I'm not sure. One thing I did with Doc (I learned it from reading the training book by the Monks of New Skete) was sit behind him when he was sitting, with my legs straddling him, put one hand under his chin, where it meets the neck, hold it there and then stroke his chest with the other hand. They struggle to get away at first because this causes them to be submissive, but keep a hold, say no or eh-eh when they struggle and praise when they calm down and hold still. Then you can let them go when they are quiet. That really seemed to help with dominance and doesn't seem quite as extreme as rolling. I did this a few times a day for a week or two. I do it once in a while now and he doesn't struggle at all anymore.
First of all I would be very cautious with the rolling over thing. For some dogs this is extremely threatening and scary. The Monks of New Skete, who first widely advocated this practice, have completely retracted their support for it.

The growling behavior needs to be addressed. My advice would be to completely (and very calmly) end any interaction with Toby when he does this. A quick "no," or "shush," and then walk away. No eye contact. No excitement. If possible leave the area, or put Toby outside or in his crate - not as punishment but in the same way you would do if you were just crating him or putting him out for any other reason.

It would probably also be a great idea to get CJ to watch some of the Dog Whisperer episodes or to have CJ take Toby to puppy classes. I think all the hormonal stuff going on with teenage boys and male dogs can sometimes create a bit of instability and getting CJ involved in the solution will defuse it if that is going on at all. (I once had a dog who NEVER marked or urinated in the house, but when my son reached puberty the dog would occasionally pee right in the middle of my son's bed!)

At 15 weeks Toby is definitely still learning how to be in a pack, too!
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