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  #11  
Old 08-30-2006, 06:46 PM
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Thanks! Body blocking him is a good idea, I will try that next time he gets too pushy.

I understand about not letting them fight it out. With Border Collies, they usually reprimand one another and "teach" each other to respect the boss. They never get too out-of-control with their corrections, and if Ripley was the size of a BC I wouldn't be as cautious... Gah, little dogs are so complicated. I wish these two could TRY to get along. I have wondered if neutering Dakota would help, but he isn't the instigator of the squabbles.
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  #12  
Old 08-31-2006, 01:03 AM
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Originally Posted by silverpawz View Post
Snarking like a quick grumble to let the other dog know to back off is fine. I don't stop a dog from communicating. However I don't feel that allowing them to 'work it out' by fighting is ever a good idea.

I prefer to have a 'no fighting allowed' rule and so far it's worked well for me. Never set off any sparks.

I don't have to worry about that with my current dogs, but I did have a BC a few years ago that was a big bitch for lack of a better word. She would have aggressed toward the other dogs all the time trying to assert herself in the pecking order if I let her. But I made it very clear that no fights were allowed. EVER. and that made it much easeir for her to be part of the pack.
It never made it 'worse', only made it easier to manage her.

I tell my clients to do the same thing.
If you say no fighting, there better be no fighting. I don't think an owner should give a hoot about what order the dogs are in amongst themselves, what matters is how they view YOU, the owner.

Allowing them to work it out themselves is only telling them that fighting is allowed so have at it. It's up to us an owners to take control of the situation. Plus, I don't like risking any injuries that can so easily be prevented.
Ahhhh I see. Yes, I do agree with most of what you say. When our two are about to have a rumble if I'm there I head it off with distraction and so forth. I just wanted to know what you meant a bit more specifically. If they were having a real fight that could result in harm then I would stop it, you bet (in fact, I wouldn't let it come to that in the first place) however I do believe that tussles are just tussles and important for a dog's social structure.

And in saying that, I really do have to disagree with what you say about owners not giving a hoot about where dogs are in relation to each other's pecking order. I think that is vitally important in maintaining function in your family `pack' so to speak. I think that the whole dominance/pack debate can get taken too far, however at the end of the day I do still believe in it as a behaviour theory and certainly in terms of how the dogs interrelate. Knowing which of your dogs is higher up the chain of command is very important in knowing how to head off arguments and treat them accordingly. After all, despite being domesticated, dogs do still have natural behaviour instincts and I think the one of family or pack is very real to them.
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  #13  
Old 08-31-2006, 01:35 AM
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Knowing which of your dogs is higher up the chain of command is very important in knowing how to head off arguments and treat them accordingly.
Pack order can be a fluid thing. It's determined by so many small gestures that we as humans may not even recognize. Who an owner thinks is the alpha may not be. Who they think is last on the totum pole may not be either. Attempting to mess with that pack structure by treating certain dogs differently is not something I advocate. I prefer to treat my dogs equally and I suggest the same thing to my clients.

That's what I ment by 'not giving a hoot'. I may know who's who in my pack but I don't attempt to rienforce that or change it. Instead I focus on making sure they know who's the Alpha Bitch. Once that is clear, it's been my experience that it often makes no difference what position the rest of the pack members are in.

Just my opinion. So far it's working for me.
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  #14  
Old 08-31-2006, 04:43 AM
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Originally Posted by silverpawz View Post
Pack order can be a fluid thing. It's determined by so many small gestures that we as humans may not even recognize. Who an owner thinks is the alpha may not be. Who they think is last on the totum pole may not be either. Attempting to mess with that pack structure by treating certain dogs differently is not something I advocate. I prefer to treat my dogs equally and I suggest the same thing to my clients.

That's what I ment by 'not giving a hoot'. I may know who's who in my pack but I don't attempt to rienforce that or change it. Instead I focus on making sure they know who's the Alpha Bitch. Once that is clear, it's been my experience that it often makes no difference what position the rest of the pack members are in.

Just my opinion. So far it's working for me.
Well when you put it that way, I am in total agreement. I meant that we should just try to be aware but not treat our animals differently because I couldn't agree more that there are so many factors at play that we as relatively undeveloped (in a dog's world) humans just don't see and couldn't understand.

Mine get treated equally - in that I come first in everything (and hubby of course) and they come next!! Like you say, as long as they know where YOU stand, the rest should fall into place without too much incidence.
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Old 08-31-2006, 05:35 AM
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Personally I don't allow bickering between my two. Aeron has such lovely manners she just allows Lilly to do whatever she wants. I on the other hand very quickly step in and correct Lilly for stealing food, beds and generally be a little sh*t!

Aeron is the dominant one because when she has enough she will paw Lilly to the ground and walk away. Aeron is just scared of getting in trouble with me if she is nasty to Lills, so she tends to be careful of her reactions. She is learning that I do not tolerate Lilly getting above her station.
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  #16  
Old 08-31-2006, 08:57 PM
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I have wondered if neutering Dakota would help, but he isn't the instigator of the squabbles.
Goodness I missed this before! YES it would help! He is perhaps not the instigator but don't forget dogs work much more predominantly on smell and other cues than vision. The elevated testosterone in Dakota's system may not make HIM more aggressive, but your other dog sure can smell it and it would be riling him up for sure.

I'm convinced that neutering is your first step towards a happier couple!
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Old 08-31-2006, 10:25 PM
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I agree with Silverpaws totally. This way of thinking has always worked for me too and I've had multiple dogs a lot of the time.
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  #18  
Old 09-01-2006, 03:04 AM
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I was really hoping to show Dakota, but if it'll absolutley cut down on the tension I am totally willing to neuter him. I'll talk to his breeder about it.

So far there have been no more issues, I've been body blocking Rip when he gets into Dakota's space. This month (we get to stay in Idaho longer! YAY!) I'll be taking both of them to a class and working on their cooperation with one another. My trainer is really helpful and suggested that I bring the boys in together so she could see what could be causing some of their problems. She's much more observant of the subtle behaviors that set dogs off than I am. I'm hoping that they can be okay with each other soon, the tension is really frustrating to me. I will never have 2 "dominant" males at the same time again.
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Old 09-01-2006, 04:17 AM
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I was really hoping to show Dakota, but if it'll absolutley cut down on the tension I am totally willing to neuter him. I'll talk to his breeder about it.

So far there have been no more issues, I've been body blocking Rip when he gets into Dakota's space. This month (we get to stay in Idaho longer! YAY!) I'll be taking both of them to a class and working on their cooperation with one another. My trainer is really helpful and suggested that I bring the boys in together so she could see what could be causing some of their problems. She's much more observant of the subtle behaviors that set dogs off than I am. I'm hoping that they can be okay with each other soon, the tension is really frustrating to me. I will never have 2 "dominant" males at the same time again.
Ohh ok I didn't realise you wanted to show him. Discuss it with your vet. I am sure they would have some excellent advice for you.
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  #20  
Old 09-01-2006, 05:12 AM
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How about looking into chemical castration? I don't know much about it but you should chat to your vet.
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