I'll try this one more time. Then I won't explain it again. Layla does NOT sound like she's playing when she growls during play. *I* know she's playing, but even our older mutt will bark (although she doesn't get up) when Layla's playing this way. Grim doesn't guard food, toys, or anything else. In fact, when he eats food falls out of his mouth all over the floor and Layla runs around eating what's on the floor and he just watches her and then goes back to his bowl. Layla is NOT alpha over him. She's also still a pup. HE *is* an alpha (by birth, by temperament) which is a challenge at times to have him listen to me when what he wants is something different. However, he isn't a jerk with her. He'll roll over on his back or side while playing with her. He does at times stand over her. She rolls on her side or back sometimes... sometimes she doesn't. It's 'equal' pretty much. Do I intervene? Yes, when it doesn't seem like fair play. However, she's bowled him over many times, and it doesn't start any fights. She's like a tank, so when she runs into him she has more physical power. This has never caused a fight or an argument. They play just fine. He didn't go after her once he stopped her 'attack' on me. They played the rest of the night as usual.
I didn't "allow" anything!! This was something that there was no way to predict. By the time his intentions were clear, it was over. He didn't hold a grudge. Neither did she. Now that I DO know he'll react this way, I'll avoid the situation or correct it before it gets there. If he'd been growling on his way or even when he got there, I'd have stopped him before he made contact. I'm not trying to have dog fights. These guys are best buddies.
msvette2- you're making leaping assumptions about how I handle things. It's not possible to 'correct' something when it's a new behavior that happened quickly and before you knew it was going on. You must be a mind reader to dogs. I'm not. Of course I wouldn't allow him to 'decide' (at this age) who he needs to 'protect' me from! Do you really have THAT low of an opinion of me?? At his age, he doesn't have the experience to make those decisions. I've never seen a pup his age act the way he does sometimes. So how would I possibly know that he'd react this way?? It's unusual. (To me, anyway) How many dominant Czech pups have you had? This is my first, and I really didn't think there would be *that* much difference between him and the other pups I've had. However, he's proving me wrong at times. This is one of the reasons we're going to a trainer. One with decades of experience with Czech dogs. I have no intention of letting him 'run the house'. However, I do understand that there are things about him that are rooted in his temperament, his genetics. I know those things can't be changed, but can be managed. Do I expect him to make decisions when he's older? Definitely. Right now, his suspicion of people is very low. So anyone who comes into our house is OK with him. I've had people he doesn't know walk through the door. He's been just fine with it. Will that change? Yes, I know it will change. When? I don't know. I suppose it will be like this episode. One day he's OK with it, the next he's not. How will I know in advance? Not a clue. Since he'll start training in a week or so, I hope to have more of an idea on all this.
Shepherds are known to be the 'hall monitors'. However, it usually doesn't happen until they're older. Right now, the old lady mutt is the 'hall monitor'. Do I let her get away with it? No! She doesn't interfere, but she'll bark. I get after her for that, too. By the time I knew what Grim was up to, it was too late to correct him. He would have just been confused. No matter what adult behaviors he throws out there now and then, he's still a pup. Not that I won't draw the line, but when you don't know what to expect because he's still changing I don't know how you'd know in advance that a pup will throw out an adult behavior.
One last thing. I know we don't agree on pack ranking. You think it goes by age, and I think it goes by temperament. Grim can think he's the alpha all day long, but that doesn't change what I'll put up with and what I won't. However, expecting a natural born alpha to defer to a non-alpha just because of age is trying to change their genetic makeup. I won't waste my time or effort. I DO expect the rules to be followed, regardless of their genetics. However, you can't know they're about to break a rule in advance. As I said, he's come over before when I was playing tug with Layla and just wanted to join in. So I expected he was going to do the same as he's always done. Who would expect that reaction from a 4 month old? Now, I will expect it. To any 'stranger' Layla certainly does not sound like she's playing with that growl. I'm assuming that Grim didn't know, either. We were also playing with a small stuffie. He may not have seen the toy and thought she was biting me. I don't know. Either way, that's not a behavior I'd allow. BUT, he never did that before. I hope this is now clear. I can't break it down or explain it any more than this.
Wrath of Grim z Dragon
"Mr. Grim"- Threaten my handler. I dare you.