Alrighty, then. Miss Myah has finally displayed a bit of teenage brat behavior. She is bullying...the bulldog.
Background: had her since 8 weeks; super calm temperament, aims to please nearly 24/7, doing very well in her training (sit, down, up, wait, stop). Whatever I ask her to do, she does.
I brought her home at 8 weeks to a 1 yr old neutered male English Bulldog. For the last year, they have been best buddies. They kiss, roll around in slow-motion, soft wrestling, eat out of the same bowl, share toys, play rough (nicely), play soft. Everything was fine. Here's a pic of them doing their slow-mo play, where Myah will play the submissive role with him (at a given point in time of HER choosing, of course).
Until now (the last month or so, this has built up, I think). Myah was displaying what I thought was herding instinct for the last 3-4 months. She would herd the bulldog around (and he would go, happily). But now the bulldog has had enough of the herding and reacts (growl, bark, mouthy), which then makes Myah do the same. This started with her first heat cycle, but everybody now seems to say that the old aggression vs. spay/neuter is a myth (I survived the onslaught of tomatoes thrown at me for that one, lol!).
Now, Myah is resource guarding (my bedroom and office) and won't let him up the stairs. If I have her in training mode (food, praise, ball), she couldn't care less where he is. But if I'm not on it, she'll hackle up and make it clear with growls and barks that the bulldog better not come upstairs. I can call her off that and put her through a training regimen, then a down stay, but not long after I divert my attention, she's back to her old tactics. Of course, we are working on THAT one!
For example, if I'm working on a project, Myah keeps the bulldog away. As I was taking down the xmas tree, Myah made sure the bulldog didn't trespass until I was done. (I will interrupt and direct them both into a training exercise, but when that's done, she goes back to her "on guard" duty).
I was in the bathroom with the door open today (lol, nobody home!). The bulldog wanders in, and Myah didn't care until I protested. Once she heard me protest, she came in to promptly and fiercely to usher the bulldog OUT.
She is super sweet to everyone she meets. All visitors are welcome and her new best friends. She loves everyone in the home. She is calm and eager to please. People comment on what a superb GSD she is. But this behavior is toward the bulldog whether I'm around or not. So, it's not me. It's her. And I think it is a teenage stage. Yes?
Besides NILIF and all the usual stuff we are doing (time outs, supervised play, training exercises), my question is this: I think she is normally maturing to feeling her alpha bitch oats, so how long will this last?
It's just a phase, right?
I'd love to hear other stories of similar situations, how long they lasted and what worked well; what didn't.