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Old 08-11-2008, 08:39 PM
ahkelteke ahkelteke is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2008
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Default Housemate's Dog Aggressive Towards My Pup

My housemate has a 7-month-old Jack Russel female and I have a 3-month-old Lab female. The two are fantastic friends, almost attached at the hip. Both do well on walks and when greeting other dogs on walks. Occassionaly, however, the Jack Russel just snaps. While playing and sometimes when relaxing, the JR will start snarling and acting more than playful. She gets so boisterous and threatening that I have started to pull the two dogs apart apart. The JR while on the couch with a bone will dive at the Lab who is sometimes more than five feet away minding her own business. Today, the JR lost it and attacked the Lab when I sat down on the couch with a salad. It made me angry that the JR seemed to be imposing her dominance over me and my food.

What should I do? How do I handle this situation? Should I seperate them? Should I dicipline either in some way? I usually just seperate the two, but I am not sure if that is the correct approach.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 08-11-2008, 10:31 PM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Central Texas
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It sounds like the JR is doing some resource guarding - the resource could be a bone, the couch, you and your salad, or all of the above. If the JR is on the couch and starts guarding (as soon as you hear her growl, or see her start to tense up and stare at the other dog), I'd start by just getting her off the couch as soon as it starts. When she figures out that guarding gets her thrown off the couch, hopefully she'll stop a lot of that guarding. At the same time, you should definately reward her when she does NOT guard - she's sitting on the couch and the other dog comes up, praise the JR a LOT, give her a bit of your salad, whatever, so that she learns that staying calm is the right thing to do.

When they're playing, it's a good idea to work on a lot of recalls - call one (or both) of the dogs to you in the middle of their play session, and then give them some kind of big reward when they quit playing and come to you - a good treat, a walk outside, whatever. Then do recalls periodically as they're playing, and do recalls when you see them begin to tense up just before they start playing too rough or fighting. That way hopefully you'll be able to stop them before they start fighting.
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