Viewing post #188263 by katie59
|There is a saying that a dog who knows his order in the pack is just as happy as if he is the pack leader. Being leader is a stressful position. A smart/experienced leader won't spend time trying to prove a point to a dog who isn't challenging him/her. There are things to be decided and coordinated and he has to have the energy for that. Some dogs can't really relax into their role, however.
It's not so bad not to be top dog in pack anyway. Everybody eventually gets food and sex. They just have to wait their turn . . .
A few years ago I had an issue with my younger dog (she was coming into maturity and was still intact. My other older female wasn't intact) trying to assert herself -- and really hyperfocusing on asserting herself -- being aggressive to the other female when she was stressed or excited. Something similar to what you describe.
I couldn't have that in my household, so I imposed a sort of boot camp with lots of commands 24/7. If she would look at the other dog, she's get a 'leave it' and a reward (it was a positive thing). If she decided to go into the other room, I'd have her come, sit, stay, and then release her with a reward. I'd periodically have her do some tricks for me. Just really kept her busy and made sure that she "checked in" with me before she had any independent thought. It didn't take very long (a few months) before she had trained herself to check in with me before doing anything. She's much more happy and relaxed now and I only have to reinforce that a little. It just turns out that I wasn't providing leadership for her and that was really stressing her out.
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