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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys, this is for anyone with a suggestion or MikeyT is you can advise.....Woody my 7 month old Basset and my inherited chihauhua Victor get along great 99% of the time...even food isn't an issue since I worked with Woody to wait his turn to lick Victors dish...the problem arises with me especially in bed. It is a Mexican standoff that escalates into a terrible fight with one or both dogs hurt....(Woody has had a sore on the back of his head and Victor has favored a leg or two). I can usually tell their body language when it is going to escalate into a braul...and quickly diffuse the situatuion with putting Victor under the covers (which is where he likes to sleep). I was wondering if there are any other behaviour modifications I can try on them. I assume it's a comfort battle over me. Any advise will be greatly appreciated. I am worried for the off chance that I am distracted and not able to diffuse it ahead of time (that has happened).

Thank you
Kristi (Woody's mom):cool:
 

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I assume it's a comfort battle over me.
If this is the case if you move quickly and leave the room the situation would difuse. If this works you want to keep note on the early signs and start leaving at the first sign. When the behavior that is used to remove the other dog is only succesfullcause what it does not want you moving away the behavior wil end eventually. but you also need to work are making the dog comfortable with you in the prences of others. With multiple dog we often encourage rude and obnxious behavior. Us humans have an thehos that fair means equal most animal do not share that ethos. If you pet one dog does the other always cme over butting in. This is becausethe dog learns if one dog is being petted it is likely it can get petted to. Consisitently not rewarding this rude and obnoxious behavior and rewardind deferential behavior. ie when cooking rewarding the dog that is the farthest away from the kitchen with a throwe tibit. Conciously making an effeor to reward the dog that is sitting quitely as appose to the one jumping up on you etc.

Also consider only rewarding the dog in the prescence of the other. ie no petting one dog when the other is outside etc. So good thing only come when the other dog is around. Much of this goes against humans basic instincs/tendencies so t does not come naturally or easily.

I would highly recommend FEELING OUTNUMBERED? - HOW TO MANAGE & ENJOY A MULTI-DOG HOUSEHOLD, 2ND EDITION

a a fair review
The guiding premise of the booklet is the value of teaching "polite, patient, and respectful" behaviors and making a conscious effort to reinforce these in situations where dogs might otherwise be pushy and demanding. The authors point out that, left unguided, many dogs will get pushier as they grasp for their own rewards, resulting in a mob of rude, potentially contentious dogs.

...To their credit, London & McConnell don't focus on identifying and favoring the most dominant dog, nor on allowing dogs to work out their own conflicts. Rather, they stress that, "The best way to prevent status-related aggression... is to be a calm and confident leader, projecting a sense of benevolent power."
keep in mind it is also prefectectly acceptable management to allow only one or neither dog on the bed to prevent the situation as well. Is does not address the underlieng cause but prevent the behavior from being reinforced.

is your dog a bed hog?
f there are no issues, a dog can sleep in your bed, but if your dog shows any guarding behavior or if it's causing problems with your human companions, it's time to take action.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the great advise...like I said, I can see the behaviour build just by the body language of the two...but leaving is a perfect solution.

The chihauha was not a dog I picked, his owner died and I was the only other person the dog had ever had an attachment too, hence my "inherited" dog....
 

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Keep in mind you are under no obligation to be "fair" or "equal" in treatment of the two dog wone can be in a crate dog bed on the floor etc and the other in bed or neither on the bed

The getting up and leaving also works for growlly/potenetial esculating episodes else where. ie when one dog approaches while you are petting the other etc. Keep in mind while doing so you must be carful because leaving could esculate thing if in so doing so you move one dog closer to the other, which can easily happen when trying to slip out of bed.


Another posibility if the behavior is only occuring on the bed vut not other locations is it is not about you persay. but could be a bit of displaced agression. That is if one of the dog get in a snit about being jostled when you attempt to get into bed. Instead of acting aggressively toward you it "displaces that agression onto the next nearest object which is the other dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I tend to notice the start of the aggression....(it's initially just the stare and posture) when one of them (usually the chihauha moves toward my head shoulder area...the basset Woody then bee-lines right for me to "almost block him"...the staring starts and the fight will escalate if I don't intervene (usually letting the smaller dog under the covers). I did as you stated last evening when I saw the situation start to develop and it diffused the conflict since both just got back off the bed to follow me....I will keep this up until the behaviour is changed.
 

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both just got back off the bed to follow me
Next time I would close the bedroom door when you leave denying acess to you. Only need to be a moment or two however.

Keep in mind once it is impossible to say who starts a conflict at any time one of the dog could back away and resolve the problem so picking winners and loosers makes things worse rather than better that is why leaving works . The problem with letting the CHi-CHI under the cover is that may be exactly why it is involved in the conflict in the first place. engaging in conflict get the dog what it wants it is going to continue to engage in the behavior.
Dogs like all social creature are manipulative in order to get what they want. They generally happen to be better trainers than humans because they are more consistent in rewarding see
WHY NOT TAKE CANDY FROM A BABY? (If he lets you!)
Examines manipulation as part of social life, and the dog's need for clear boundaries & leadership.

good luck seem your on the right track.
 
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