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Thread: top dog

  1. #1
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    Default top dog

    How to other owners manage to help an older retain her top dog statice when they introduce another dog?
    I've had to keep my son;s 4 year old collie while he finds new digs.Its been a week now and the younger one is winning the squabbles they have.Our old dog has very few teeth left and even the sticks she gets first she cant keep as the younger one snatches them out her mouth.

    Help dont want my own dogs remaining years to be miserable nor do I want to say I cant look after the younger one.

    Any advice would be appreciated.
    Never judge someone until you have walked two moons in their moccasins.

    Native American Indian saying.

  2. #2
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    If your own dog feels she is top dog then that's where your problem lies, not with the new one.
    Your own dog should be aware that you, are in fact top dog and then she wouldn't feel the need to protect her status when a new dog comes into the pack. BUT you also have to let your sons dog know from the get go that you are top dog and that evryone else falls in.
    Easier said than done you might say, but it's really not.
    If you are top dog then your own dog will see it as your responsibility to teach this new dog it's place, not hers.

    The best place to assert your hierarchy is in fact out walking with your dogs as this is when their pack instinct is at its greatest and with your sons dog being a collie I would suggest that you get it out as much as possible.
    You have to be assertive without being aggressive. Dogs do not understand our words only tone of voice, they do not sit and analyse things as we do so don't expect them to respond to what we 'think' is right.
    Is the younger dog a dog or a bitch? Is it entire?
    Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.

    http://thetenaciousgardener.blogspot.co.uk/

  3. #3
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    Porshie there both bitches and I've been looking after her off and on since she was a puppy.

    I know I'm "Top dog" ,what I should have said is that my dog is top dog to the younger dog but she is quickly losing that status.

    We dont need to put my own dog on a lead but the younger one is useless off it.So walks tend to be stop start just now as she pulls something awful.Even with a choke,if she sees something then forget it.Lastnight I tried stopping till she calmed down and then walked on.The older dog just toddled along and ignored the situation.

    Our dog has practically no teeth left,so if they physicaly fight she'll lose.

    When left outside she barks for attention.I know she's been spoiled and I have to retrain her but at 4 is it possible.
    Never judge someone until you have walked two moons in their moccasins.

    Native American Indian saying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cuddlepop View Post
    Porshie there both bitches and I've been looking after her off and on since she was a puppy.

    I know I'm "Top dog" ,what I should have said is that my dog is top dog to the younger dog but she is quickly losing that status.

    We dont need to put my own dog on a lead but the younger one is useless off it.So walks tend to be stop start just now as she pulls something awful.Even with a choke,if she sees something then forget it.Lastnight I tried stopping till she calmed down and then walked on.The older dog just toddled along and ignored the situation.

    Our dog has practically no teeth left,so if they physicaly fight she'll lose.

    When left outside she barks for attention.I know she's been spoiled and I have to retrain her but at 4 is it possible.
    Yes it is possible, I think it's a case of going back to basics.
    Remember though, there is a natural order of things in the canine world and in a pack enviroment your own bitch may be wheedled out to make way for the younger ones.

    I myself have used the method of putting a dog to the ground and holding them there until they stop fighting me - it works but you have to be 100% sure that you're strong enough to do it and not going to feel guilty and let the dog go before it's had an effect.

    When you get ready to take the dog out what happens? Does she get all excited, jump all over, end up making you more tense and annoyed?
    If you start a walk off all tense like that then you'll have an awful time of it. The dog will pick up on your tense, nervous or excited energy and react to it accordingly.
    I make no attempt to talk to my dogs when I'm getting ready to walk them (only been doing this recently and it works), I put a lead on them and don't leave the yard until they are calm and relaxed and waiting for my move. You'll probably already know what your dog looks like when it's calm and submissive - tail down etc etc.
    If my dogs even attempt to pull when they're out, I stop, and don't move forward again until they're back with me. It is my responsibility as pack leader to take the lead, not theirs. Again, I don't even speak to them.
    I learnt the hard way that talking to them is a sure fire way of setting them off as my tone of voice always got higher and higher.
    Be assertive in your walk. Head up, shoulders back and walk confidently. (I'm sure you already do all this but i'm just trying to put across what I do).

    It sounds as though your own dog is happy with the situation as it is? Maybe it's actually you who dislikes the thought of her losing her status more than the dog does?
    It's hard to stand back and look at things from a canine point of view cos these are our babies but we have to do that in order to understand where the dogs are coming from.

    What do you do when she barks outside? Do you bring her in cos you're worried what the neighbours will say?

    It really does sound to me as though the young un needs boundaries and limitations.
    There are books to read that could help but you would need to decide for yourself whether you agree with their methods.
    I personally like Jan Fennels methods and Cesar Milans methods but there are people on here who disagree with both of these. It's down to your own preference.
    All I can say is that both of these people have had a huge impact on how I treat my dogs and I have seen tremendous improvement in all areas, although we still have work to do. I have lost pets due to fights and had to rehome in the far past because I didn't understand how to interact with my dogs on a level that they would understand.
    Whilst my dogs still aren't perfect I can understand them by them body language and get across what I'm asking of them without expecting them to understand the english language.

    If you don't like the methods of either of these people though you could try a general dog psychology book, of which there are loads.
    I think one of the biggest mistakes we make as pet owners is to assume human psychology will work, it simply won't. It will just make the owner more upset and the dog more fraught.

    I really hope you maange to work this one out.
    Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.

    http://thetenaciousgardener.blogspot.co.uk/

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    Porshie,as I said she's spoilt so a big fuss is made of "walkies".
    Last night was better as i took them both out on my own and the wee one was quieter.done the stop start with the walk when she pulled but it was littered with conversation.
    Will make more use of my body language as I'm sure your right.
    Outside she gives a solitary bark that gets louder the more you ignore it.Eventually after loads of verble she's brought in.
    There is suppose to be something on the market that gives them a wee jolt that'll stop them barking.Is that right?

    I guess she just wants some place she can call a permanent home..
    She will have one if she'd behaves.
    Never judge someone until you have walked two moons in their moccasins.

    Native American Indian saying.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cuddlepop View Post
    Porshie,as I said she's spoilt so a big fuss is made of "walkies".
    Last night was better as i took them both out on my own and the wee one was quieter.done the stop start with the walk when she pulled but it was littered with conversation.
    Will make more use of my body language as I'm sure your right.
    Outside she gives a solitary bark that gets louder the more you ignore it.Eventually after loads of verble she's brought in.
    There is suppose to be something on the market that gives them a wee jolt that'll stop them barking.Is that right?

    I guess she just wants some place she can call a permanent home..
    She will have one if she'd behaves.

    Seriously get one of those books.

    Personally I don't like any of those devices. IMO they don't deal with the problem, just the symptoms.
    You need to work on why she barks to be able to stop her and the books I suggested will be able to help you work that one out.

    I once had a dog many years ago that used to bark like that too and as i didn't know what to do I resorted to a muzzle. Everytime she did it I quietly walked out to her, not saying anything, not being horrible, not being overly nice and put the muzzle on her.
    Eventually she got the idea of what would happen but I don't think I'd resort to the muzzle now. Not that I think it was bad but because it made me upset, it couldn't have been great for her and I'd be more interested now in finding out what her problem was.
    I also ended up rehoming this dog because I just couldn't calm her down near our other dogs, I was convinced she was touched in the head . She settled down brilliantly in her new home though so I guess they gave her limits and boundaries straightaway. A lesson I learnt the hard way.

    I really do hope you manage to sort this one out.
    Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.

    http://thetenaciousgardener.blogspot.co.uk/

  7. #7
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    Thank you we will try.She's got a very affecinate and I'm sure she's really a cat who pretends to be a dog.
    Never judge someone until you have walked two moons in their moccasins.

    Native American Indian saying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by porshiepoo View Post
    Yes it is possible, I think it's a case of going back to basics.
    Remember though, there is a natural order of things in the canine world and in a pack enviroment your own bitch may be wheedled out to make way for the younger ones.

    I myself have used the method of putting a dog to the ground and holding them there until they stop fighting me - it works but you have to be 100% sure that you're strong enough to do it and not going to feel guilty and let the dog go before it's had an effect.

    When you get ready to take the dog out what happens? Does she get all excited, jump all over, end up making you more tense and annoyed?
    If you start a walk off all tense like that then you'll have an awful time of it. The dog will pick up on your tense, nervous or excited energy and react to it accordingly.
    I make no attempt to talk to my dogs when I'm getting ready to walk them (only been doing this recently and it works), I put a lead on them and don't leave the yard until they are calm and relaxed and waiting for my move. You'll probably already know what your dog looks like when it's calm and submissive - tail down etc etc.
    If my dogs even attempt to pull when they're out, I stop, and don't move forward again until they're back with me. It is my responsibility as pack leader to take the lead, not theirs. Again, I don't even speak to them.
    I learnt the hard way that talking to them is a sure fire way of setting them off as my tone of voice always got higher and higher.
    Be assertive in your walk. Head up, shoulders back and walk confidently. (I'm sure you already do all this but i'm just trying to put across what I do).

    It sounds as though your own dog is happy with the situation as it is? Maybe it's actually you who dislikes the thought of her losing her status more than the dog does?
    It's hard to stand back and look at things from a canine point of view cos these are our babies but we have to do that in order to understand where the dogs are coming from.

    What do you do when she barks outside? Do you bring her in cos you're worried what the neighbours will say?

    It really does sound to me as though the young un needs boundaries and limitations.
    There are books to read that could help but you would need to decide for yourself whether you agree with their methods.
    I personally like Jan Fennels methods and Cesar Milans methods but there are people on here who disagree with both of these. It's down to your own preference.
    All I can say is that both of these people have had a huge impact on how I treat my dogs and I have seen tremendous improvement in all areas, although we still have work to do. I have lost pets due to fights and had to rehome in the far past because I didn't understand how to interact with my dogs on a level that they would understand.
    Whilst my dogs still aren't perfect I can understand them by them body language and get across what I'm asking of them without expecting them to understand the english language.

    If you don't like the methods of either of these people though you could try a general dog psychology book, of which there are loads.
    I think one of the biggest mistakes we make as pet owners is to assume human psychology will work, it simply won't. It will just make the owner more upset and the dog more fraught.

    I really hope you maange to work this one out.
    Well I was going to comment, but you covered all that I was going to say, do you watch cesar millan too? I have always used similar methods, but since seeing the show, have seen that I did not always fully behave as a leader with the dogs and also got them too excited and then had to calm them down. Yesterday, I walked out and put on the collars and leads without a word. Usually I ask them if the want to go for a walk and they turn into wiggling squiggling masses of over excited dog, that takes ages to calm back down. Needless to say we had a lovely walk and very happy dogs.
    Cuddlepop, I can understand your being upset by the power shift, but if you are top dog over them both, they wont feel the need to overpower each other so much. But still, in the natural scheme of things, the elder animals end up being usurped by the up and coming.
    She was not quite what you would call refined, she was not quite what you would call unrefined. She was the kind of person that keeps a parrot. Mark Twain

  9. #9
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    Quick update.

    Have had other dog for two weeks now and have been using all the methods adviced and there is a marked improvement in her behaviour.

    Choke chain works until we see a cat and then she's off regardless of the pain.
    Barking still a problem but I know its to alert me to strangers outside so I'm working on it.
    My own dog accepts she's still the tops over the wee one and gets out first etc.Should I allow her to finish the wee ones food if she's had eneogh or do i lift it and place it down again.wee ones a grazer when it comes to food?

    Hopefully she'll pick up the older dogs good points and if she does she'll be a smashing dog.
    Never judge someone until you have walked two moons in their moccasins.

    Native American Indian saying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cuddlepop View Post
    Quick update.

    Hopefully she'll pick up the older dogs good points and if she does she'll be a smashing dog.
    In my experience, dogs only ever seem to learn the bad habits from our not so well trained dogs. You'll have to teach it all to the new one, or else you'll have the old one doing every bad thing the younger one does.

    And I wouldn't let either dog eat the others food, but that is just a personal rule around here.
    Last edited by Lolabelle; 21-May-07 at 09:55. Reason: spelling
    She was not quite what you would call refined, she was not quite what you would call unrefined. She was the kind of person that keeps a parrot. Mark Twain

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cuddlepop View Post
    Quick update.

    Have had other dog for two weeks now and have been using all the methods adviced and there is a marked improvement in her behaviour.

    Choke chain works until we see a cat and then she's off regardless of the pain.
    Barking still a problem but I know its to alert me to strangers outside so I'm working on it.
    My own dog accepts she's still the tops over the wee one and gets out first etc.Should I allow her to finish the wee ones food if she's had eneogh or do i lift it and place it down again.wee ones a grazer when it comes to food?

    Hopefully she'll pick up the older dogs good points and if she does she'll be a smashing dog.
    Personally I wouldn't allow the dog to be a grazer. Feeding them is one of the best ways of asserting yourself as pack leader - by providing the food.
    As silly as it sounds a dog that grazes believes it is providing its own food.
    I put the food down and pick it straight up once they've finished. If they don't eat it straight away then they lose it. Don't panic it may take a few times but no dog will allow itself to starve for long, they soon learn to eat the food when you provide it.

    The only problem with the barking is if they don't stop once they've alerted you. Dogs in a pack will bark to alert the rest of the pack that a threat has appeared but they should stop once they see you take control of the situation.

    I'm pleased for you that you've managed to improve the situation already. I hope it continues to go that way for you.
    As much as we know all these things I don't think there's many of us that have perfect dogs - unfortunately.
    I know mine can be absolute nightmares sometimes mainly because 2 of them sleep outside during the summer in heated kennels and 1 has to sleep indoors, so every time they meet in the morning we have alot of argy bargy as the leaders assert their dominance again over the younger ones.
    I can't change this situation at the moment until the house is built and they're all in but it can be a nightmare.
    Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.

    http://thetenaciousgardener.blogspot.co.uk/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lolabelle View Post
    do you watch cesar millan too? I have always used similar methods, but since seeing the show, have seen that I did not always fully behave as a leader with the dogs and also got them too excited and then had to calm them down. Yesterday, I walked out and put on the collars and leads without a word. Usually I ask them if the want to go for a walk and they turn into wiggling squiggling masses of over excited dog, that takes ages to calm back down. Needless to say we had a lovely walk and very happy dogs.
    Cuddlepop, I can understand your being upset by the power shift, but if you are top dog over them both, they wont feel the need to overpower each other so much. But still, in the natural scheme of things, the elder animals end up being usurped by the up and coming.
    Yes, I think Cesar Milans methods are inspirational.
    It's hard for some people to grasp his concepts because we've always seen our pets as our children and have treated them as such - human children. It's no wonder that we have so many dangerous dogs in the world when we attempt to train them using human psychology!
    I've always used methods similar to Cesar's but not in all areas as It's been things that I've picked up on by myself, Cesar has just managed to fill in the blanks for me.
    There are quite a few who see his methods as cruel but I think these people are likely to arrive at that viewpoint by using human psychology. Dogs are just so much different to us, they don't think as we do, they don't rationalise as we do and to treat them as human is just enticing danger. IMO.

    Good to see there are others as enamoured by Cesars methods as I am.
    Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.

    http://thetenaciousgardener.blogspot.co.uk/

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