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Penny the Staffie came home on Thursday. Overall things are going along okay. There have been a few instances of growling/barking with the boys and her though. All instances either involved a rawhide or just play getting out of hand. I think she overwhelms them a bit as she has quite a lot of energy and they're just not used to this. I guess she's also trying to see just how far she can push them. What is the best way to deal with this behavior? And if things get out of hand and we need to isolate them for a while how should this be done? Instigator put in a room by themselves?
 

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Penny the Staffie came home on Thursday. Overall things are going along okay. There have been a few instances of growling/barking with the boys and her though. All instances either involved a rawhide or just play getting out of hand. I think she overwhelms them a bit as she has quite a lot of energy and they're just not used to this. I guess she's also trying to see just how far she can push them. What is the best way to deal with this behavior? And if things get out of hand and we need to isolate them for a while how should this be done? Instigator put in a room by themselves?
[/b]

It does not work to isolate the "instigator". for the following reason.
1. it take two or more to tango.
2. it is unlikely you know who the instigator is. Snaping,barking, growling are higher up the agression ladder than many other "aggressive acts" which likelyt occured earlier. It is the reaction to these threats.
3. Dogs espcially bassets are very good a being manipulative. If they learn that growling/barking gets penny "locked up" you can expect more baiting by the boys to get a reaction out of her and subsequently locked up.


The following article may be helpful HE JUST WANTS TO SAY "HI! Aggression or appropriate response to rudeness? Far too many dogs suffer because handlers & trainers don't know the difference between the two.
Basset and scent hound in general are less sensitive to "personal space" than other breeds They are generally more tollerent of rude behavior and are more rude than the average dog so it may be a source of the conflict.

I do believe you will find the Patricia Mcconnell Pamphlet FEELING OUTNUMBERED? HOW TO MANAGE & ENJOY A MULTI-DOG HOUSEHOLD and/or DVD very useful in teaching the dogs deference, how not to be rude and pushy which will end conflicts between dogs and between dogs and humans. For a fair review of the booklet click here.
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." [/b]
 

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Thanks for the info Mikey. We have not had any incidents of the barking and growling for several days now. Noonie was the main one displaying this behavior. He was just getting right in her face and I was actually worried that he might hurt her. We never did lock anyone up, but we kept a close eye on them. And when things started to turn ugly we firmly told Noonie NO and told Penny to get away from him. She listens quite well and would go sit where we directed her to. I suppose Noonie was probably hoping if he behaved badly enough we'd take her away. I think now he's resigned himself to the fact that she's here to stay, which makes life easier for all of us. :)
 
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