Basset Hounds Forum banner
1 - 2 of 2 Posts

· Registered
119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Menna has shown she is top dog since she arrived at seven weeks old and tiny compared to our 5 year old chow Callie. Callie is very placid and accepted this no problem but this last 2 weeks Menna will snap at her for no reason Callie won't give her a warning so it's up to me to supply the punisment I've tried most things I can think of but nothing seems to put Menna off in every other way she is a pussycat and loves everyone to death. I would prefer not to seperate them they play nicely together most of the time I just hate to see Callie terrorised. The weather has been very humid here lately but they have both been allowed to come and go in the house and garden as they want anyone any idea if this could the problem Menna doesn't get grouchy with anyone else but I'm clutching at straws for a reason and solution.

· Registered
9,868 Posts
couple things to consider.

1. just because you do not notice it do not assume there is not a reason for the snaping. I had a dog that would run to the dogdoor growling and snarling when another particular dog came in. It appeared without provocation until one day the house was unusually quite. Just barely audable was a low growl from the dog entering the house.

2. Menna gives no warning - if this is truely the case it is a cause for concern because she is skipping steps in the normal threat esculation hierarchy. Often the cause of this is punishment. When you punish a dog for an agressive display you do not change the emotions that caused the behavior in the first place. the dog would still feel threatened, fearful, defensive, protective, etc. if the situation were to occur again. If the punishment is effective, the dog is less likely to use that mechanism again, leaving only one option left to the dog, esculate and start off on a higher rung of threat display heirarchy. Many a dangerous dogs have been created by punishment. They have been taught to bite first.

3. While I thing for the most part "pack hierarchy theory" is a bunch of crap those that do subscibe would not likely support your assessment.
1. the dog that is in the house i.e Pack is higher ranking than a newcomer
2. an adult is always higher ranking than an adult
3. Pack leaders (apha's) are rarely aggressive aggressiveness is asociated with lower midlevel dogs.

see Social Hierarchies and Macho Myth
It is generally assumed that high rank is correlated with aggressive behavior. In reality, a growly, macho top dog is a rare find. Top dogs rarely growl - they seldom need to! The true top dog is usually a cool customer, which is secure and confident of its privileged position and has no need to fluster and bluster to bolster up its rank. In the words of psychologist Dr. Linda Carlson, \"If you've got it, there's no need to flaunt it.\" A true top dog is more likely to share a toy, a bone, or a sleeping place, than fight over one. On the other hand, bottom-ranking dogs rarely growl either...

Without a doubt excessive growling and repeated fighting is indicative of underlying insecurity and uncertainty about social rank vis a vis other dogs. Within a social group, protracted, blustery displays of aggression are the hallmark of the middle-order of the hierarchy. Middle-ranking dogs, threaten more and fight more frequently than higher- or lower-ranking individuals.
Growing up around larger pups, adolescents and adult dogs, puppies simply can not compete on the social scene in view of their smaller size and inferior physical and psychological strength. Thus, puppies learn their station in life well before they become sufficiently large and strong to be a threat to the established order. Most adult dogs are quite lenient with young pups until they approach adolescence, whereupon adults (males especially) relentlessly pursue, stand-over and growl at the adolescents (males especially).  

...Many playful, greeting and fearful gestures are misinterpreted as being aggressive, providing the unthinking owner with a convenient excuse to abuse the dog under the guise of 'training'.  

For example, snapping, pilo-erection, growling and lip-curling are often misconstrued as signs of dominance, whereas they are, in fact, more usually signs of fear - most probably the direct product of a person pounding on the poor dog. Similarly, owners are advised that urine marking, mounting people, stealing food, jumping-up and prolonged eye contact are all signs of dominance, for which the dog should be punished. Some ill-advised, big blue meanies are confusing issues and trying to take the fun out of dog ownership

4. If Cali were "terrorised" you would be telling examples of fearful behavior. Menna behavior does not seem to bother her should it bother you?

5. Many behaviors chactererised as aggressive, are nothing more than rude and obnoxious behaviors that a dog has learned will get it attention. The way to deals with these behaviors is not by punishing them. All that happens then is you substitute one obnoxious behaviour for a new one which is often to times worse. Decided how you want the dog to behave not how you don't want to behave, Not in close proximity to Cali I want menna not to snap at her, rather she sits quitly by her side. Now you have a behavior you can reward and replace the snaping with.

6. in many multi dogs househols many owners make the mistake of rewarding bold, ubnoxious behaviors. The pet the dog that butts in while petting another. Reward the dog who greets them first. You need to reward defference, Petting the dog that is sitting quitely not the dog running into your lap. You need to reward the dogs in the presence of other dogs not just when they are alone. a whole program is outlined in Patricia Mcconnell's FEELING OUTNUMBERED? HOW TO MANAGE & ENJOY A MULTI-DOG HOUSEHOLD DVD

some other resourses and links

Which by the way in the introduction has a great

Book Review Fight! by Jean Donaldson
"Her observations about the current understanding of canine dominance hierarchies are pithy and amusing, as she highlights how little is certain, despite various assertions to the contrary. Donaldson's point is well taken that "a disciplined focus on what the dog is doing (or not doing) is usually more fruitful" than speculating on the dog's thoughts and motivations"

Book Review - Feeling Outnumbered? by Karen London & Patricia McConnell


Why Not Take Candy from a Baby (If He Lets You?)




agbeh yahoo group
Here in the Aggressive Behaviors in Dogs group, with approximately 450 experienced dog trainers from around the world, we discuss with pet dog owners how to modify the behavior of dogs which sometimes exhibit aggressive behaviors toward dogs and/or toward people. Oftentimes aggressive behaviors arise from dogs' fears or anxieties. Harsh training and physical punishments may make the problems worse. Trainers give information about using behavior modification methods as well as suggestions for safe home management and on using positive-reinforcement methods for teaching new skills. Only \"dog-friendly\" recommendations are permitted. No physical punishment-based methods are advocated here.
Dog Language

Talking Dog: Body Language Understand what dogs are "saying
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.