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Thread: Leader of the pack

  1. #1
    Pet Sitter YHSublime's Avatar
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    Default Leader of the pack

    So this is my most recent battle. Becoming Alpha.

    We've had Taco for almost a year now,and he has been a model citizen. He knows I'm top dog in the house, and he's been great on the leash, and even off the leash. He listens when I call him, it's been good.

    Our recent introduction, Thor, has been a bit more of a challenge. I don't know if it's because I'm dealing with x2 now, or because I'm confident that he's 1/2 Boxer.



    Thor came to us from the same rescue we got Taco, and his family surrender him because he wasn't do well with the kids. I have had Thor and Taco with kids, supervised, and they do great. But that isn't even what this is about. I live a few yards away from a dog park at the bottom of my Apartment. Taco and Thor get along great, they play all day, they even play when they are by themselves in the dog park. Thor, however, will run right for certain dogs, and attack them. It could have been the same dog he has played with yesterday for 45 minutes. I started to realize that he thinks he's the alpha in our pack. He's first out the door, first in the door, doesn't listen when I call him in the dog park, etc.

    So here's what I've done to regain control. I've started making them both work for everything. I know the drill in this regard. I praise, and I act quick when disciplining, or correcting. I've been working on making them both walk besides me, vs. the in front. Taco is excellent, Thor is good AFTER we burn energy, but I will literally be almost dragging him with the tight leash by my side to keep him from running up ahead, there will be no slack. I have tried correcting with the leash (he's on a harness) and I've tried stopping and sitting as we go, and he still will try and pull ahead. I make them sit before we go out and I open the door and make them wait, same coming back in. Granted I have only been doing this for 5 or so days, and I have noticed improvements, but I'm wondering if there is something I can do to break him faster. He listens at home, and it's very clear I'm in charge, but it's outside that get's confusing.

    I've thought about getting a choke collar, I'm not sure what the consensuses on those are here, but I imagine probably not well received? I am open to any advice, tips or tricks, I feel like I'm on the right path, but it's going to be a long time till we get it right!

    Part of me is frustrated doing this with two dogs, I was hoping Taco's good habits would get picked up, but instead Taco is learning Thors bad ones!

  2. #2
    Pet Sitter YHSublime's Avatar
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    Default Re: Leader of the pack

    I should also mention, I am making Thor walk into the dog park with me now on leash. Taco is unleashed as soon as we get in, and able to go play. I make Thor walk to the center of the dog park by my side, and then I make him sit and wait till I give him the command to go play.

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    Default Re: Leader of the pack

    My dogs all wear harness. When I take them out away from home(the two larger ones) they wear "choker" collars. They walk fine with them. If I ever need to correct,it's just a quick pull and release. They walk like ladies, as opposed to them dragging me, it I just use the harness. They still have their harness on, and I never leave the chain on,if I am through walking them. It must be put on correctly to work. When they are facing you, it looks like a P and you put it on that way. Many people do not like them, but I have trained many dogs with it, and it does well for me. I don't like the name"choker" because that is not what you use it for.
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    “It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough,all the components of my heart will be dog,and I will become as generous and loving as they are"

  5. #4
    Pet Sitter YHSublime's Avatar
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    Default Re: Leader of the pack

    Quote Originally Posted by Manydogs View Post
    My dogs all wear harness. When I take them out away from home(the two larger ones) they wear "choker" collars. They walk fine with them. If I ever need to correct,it's just a quick pull and release. They walk like ladies, as opposed to them dragging me, it I just use the harness. They still have their harness on, and I never leave the chain on,if I am through walking them. It must be put on correctly to work. When they are facing you, it looks like a P and you put it on that way. Many people do not like them, but I have trained many dogs with it, and it does well for me. I don't like the name"choker" because that is not what you use it for.
    Yeah, that's probably not a good name for it. I've used it before, and understand the proper way to use them.

    I guess I'm wondering if anybody has any advice, I don't want to turn this into a "should I use this type of collar" thread, but that is one of the questions that I asked. I made some major progress tonight with Thor, I took him out just the two of us, and made him sit for everything. The problem is, he's not sitting without me pushing his butt down. He combats every thing I ask him to do. Once I get him sitting, I've gotten him really good at staying until I give him the go ahead to start moving again, but I can never get him to sit without forcing him to do it. Again, at home, he will sit for me no problems.


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    Default Re: Leader of the pack

    You could have some special small treat with you. When you tell him to sit, hold it up close and slightly above his noseand say sit. When he sits give him the treat right away.,don't give it to him until he sits.Tell him "good boy". I guess this is all pretty basic to you.
    "
    “It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough,all the components of my heart will be dog,and I will become as generous and loving as they are"

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  8. #6
    Pet Sitter YHSublime's Avatar
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    Default Re: Leader of the pack

    Quote Originally Posted by Manydogs View Post
    You could have some special small treat with you. When you tell him to sit, hold it up close and slightly above his noseand say sit. When he sits give him the treat right away.,don't give it to him until he sits.Tell him "good boy". I guess this is all pretty basic to you.
    Thanks for the advise! None of it is basic to me, I've been fortunate enough to always adopt dogs that have been taught, and make it easy to assume the alpha role. This little dude is a very head strong pup, which I know is a trait of EBD's, but my friends tell me Boxers are even worse!

    I think treats are going to be the way to go, and I will have to work with both the dogs individually. Taco get's bored while I'm working with Thor, and usually just lays down waiting for him to get it right...




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    Dog Show Judge Become a 4 Paw Member natski282's Avatar
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    Default Re: Leader of the pack

    I have nothing but a sore arm if I use there collar and lead when were off for a walk , now maybe every dog is different as people are , But when the harness goes on it is truly like night and day , I could let go of the lead and they stay right beside Me
    The pack changes every time you get a new member I have found pecking orders change and you have to reassert your position as well

  10. #8
    Pet Sitter YHSublime's Avatar
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    Default Re: Leader of the pack

    Quote Originally Posted by natski282 View Post
    I have nothing but a sore arm if I use there collar and lead when were off for a walk , now maybe every dog is different as people are , But when the harness goes on it is truly like night and day , I could let go of the lead and they stay right beside Me
    The pack changes every time you get a new member I have found pecking orders change and you have to reassert your position as well
    I was hoping a (I guess I'll call them 'correctional' collar) might make a difference. Taco walks behind me, and is very well behaved. Thor (the new one) is good, until he realizes exactly where we are going, or get to a certain point on our walk to the dog park. I walk them to the park because it's easy for me to run them out hard in the AM and PM when I have to get to work or get home.

    I should clarify, Thor is good when we are done with our play time, and on the way home. You are right about the pecking order changing. I also thought it was me, my wife, Taco, Thor, however, I'm realizing that Thor probably thinks he's at the top, and Taco is definitly under him (Taco seems to care less about his place, as long as he gets butt scratches and fed.

    He is not good when I ask him to do things, and he does not respond on the first time, or at all. He will always sit when I stop him to put his harness on, but I can not get him to sit and wait for me to open the door out and cross the threshold to then invite him out. Taco gets this, coming and going, Thor does not. I worked with Thor for over an hour on this last night, making him sit, and attempting to open the door, and he would get up and prepare to beat me out. Maybe I am missing a step here? Every time I asked him to sit, he would not do it, and I had to either lightly press on his butt, or sometimes use my whole hand to push him into a sitting position. Once he gets there, I quickly tell him "good boy" and give him a little head scratch. The only time he will willingly sit on command is when I originally place his harness on him. Perhaps the best thing to do is practice sitting on command inside, and the stay command inside, until we can get it right. But by doing this, I'll still have to take the dogs out (I range from 4-8 times per day) and I don't want to ruin any training in that process by not encorporating it to the going outside process.




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    I'm not OCD....now who moved my bulldog? I am an EBN Reporter
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    Default Re: Leader of the pack

    Boxers are high energy and need more discipline when young (under 4). @ddnene can give some details.

    I do not like choke collars and i think the collet Lynn refers to is a martingale collar which can work for sure ... I would try that and if still issues there are other options
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  12. #10
    Pet Sitter YHSublime's Avatar
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    Default Re: Leader of the pack

    Quote Originally Posted by 2BullyMama View Post
    Boxers are high energy and need more discipline when young (under 4). @ddnene can give some details.

    I do not like choke collars and i think the collet Lynn refers to is a martingale collar which can work for sure ... I would try that and if still issues there are other options
    I'm waiting on his papers, but I'm positive he's 1/2 English 1/2 boxer.

    I will work with that collar and see. He's a little love bug at home, but has soooooo much energy and stubbornness. I'm worried I'll run out of patience and energy before he does!


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    Default Re: Leader of the pack

    Yes... Treat him like a Labador.... Run and walks.
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  14. #12
    Pet Sitter YHSublime's Avatar
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    Default Re: Leader of the pack

    Quote Originally Posted by 2BullyMama View Post
    Yes... Treat him like a Labador.... Run and walks.
    Uggggggggh, haha, that's why I started with EBD's instead of a lab

    It will be good for me. I'm not much of a runner, but it will be good to have an excuse to wear this guy out every day, maybe I'll lose some of that extra gut I've accumulated.

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