Re: Aggression--how to head it off
We have the same kind of thing going on at our house. You have gotten some great advise, and like they say it will take time and patience. I have one more bit about splitting a fight up. When it is just me at home I use a squirt gun or spray bottle to break up a fight. Just spray at the aggressor's face, plan water. At the same time as saying loudly "NO!" or "SSHHT", personaly I say " cool it" . Then we do what Cesar recommended on a bully episode, you put both of them in a down with them facing each other, as to make them submit to each other. We have to do this with our hand on their necks at first and say stay, then we remove the hand but make them stay until you say "OK" to release them. You will want to do this part with the help of some one else at first probably in case they want to start fitting again but this never happened to us. It really helps reinforce who is boss. YOU! Now that I use the spray bottle, Uni, our mean *****, knows not to start anything when I say "cool it".
In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semi human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog.
I'm very happy to report that I see signs that we are actually getting somewhere. I took the advice I received here, along with the advice of our trainer, and got to work. I am using lots of blocking, and not just with treats, but also when letting them outside, etc. I've been having Clara work for affection, treats, and everyday needs. Zelda is doing a LOT of avoiding, so that has helped minimize things while I work with Clara. Zelda will abandon an item if she sees Clara coming toward it and sometimes leaves the room when Clara enters it. They do have some times when they do play a bit, but I would say that there is still some tension.
We free feed all three of our dogs from the same bowl, and there has never been any food aggression from any of them. If there was, we would feed them all separately. All of our incidents have involved human attention, often involving giving treats in a group. We aren't giving any treats right now to anyone if either of the others are nearby.
I had explained to the trainer that I couldn't really tell who was alpha between my two girls as Zelda tends to mother Clara by guarding (blocking) if she'd thinks she is in danger and places her paws on Clara's shoulders when they're playing, but Clara postures directly over the top of Zelda's head when Zelda is lying down enjoying the toy she has earned by wrestling it away from Clara. The trainer said she didn't think it mattered anyhow and that Clara needs to know that it is not her place to correct bad behavior. We do use a training collar, but I have never used it to try to break up a fight for fear it would intensify the problem. She told us to use the collar with basic commands to have Clara give some space too the other dogs when we're in a group setting, to have them further apart physically, before any anxiety begins. I'm not comfortable doing the group thing just yet, not until we've had no fights for a good long while. They are, however, all free too roam under the same roof and are managing.
Clara is going Wednesday of next week to get spayed, so hopefully her hormones will be more even keel in the coming months.
Sent via Tapatalk on my S3
"Slug Assassin" and PBS Gardening Dweeb