Getting dominant when showing affection to other dogs in house
We have had our new rescue, Gunner, in the house for about 2 days. He is 2 yrs old.
I would say integration is going well. He responds to "Leave it" and an "Ehh Ehh Ehh" tone of voice to stop bad behaviours.
We have 5 small pugs. The pugs were brought in as puppies and raised with our last German Shepherd, who was really laid back and easy going.
The new guy, for the most part, is the same way.
Gunner, was abandoned in someone's back yard and withered away to 50 lbs (from 85 or so). So he resource guards food and water, but we really haven't seen too much negative behaviour in this sense. We can train all dogs together and give rewards treats and he doesn't mind.
He, for the most part, is ignoring the pugs. They can lay within feet of each other. He isn't challenging them or trying to dominate them. Neither are they.
The ONE issue we have yet to resolve is when we show affection to one of the pugs. For example, we'll be on the couch or sitting in a chair in the kitchen, and one of the pugs will jump on our laps for affection and some lovin'.
Gunner will come over and stick his head right in your lap and try and "stop" the affection. He wont' growl or show teeth... just gets in their face. They of course, feel threatened and sometimes growl back or get territorial.
At this point, "Leave it" or "Ehh Ehh Ehh" are ineffective. He insists on sticking his head in their face to stop the affection.
It has, a couple of times, resulted in a little tussle which we quickly break up.
Any ideas on how to correct this?
I was thinking to have him on his pinch collar and lead in the house. Have him about 5-10 feet away from my wife, and have her invite a pug up for some affection on her lap.
At the slightest sign of interest in his part, correct him with the collar and get him to focus on ME and not the pug. Reward the correct behaviour. Perhaps a training treat if he ignores and sits or platzes down.
Repeat with me and a pug and my wife on the lead. Try this for a week andsee if we can see a reduction in the negative behaviour.
Any suggestions on my thought above? Other ideas?
Dad to Zeus, Titan, Hera, Apollo, and Luna (the Pugs)
Gunner the GSD (Adopted 08/28/11)
with Euro, Olympia, and Cleo at the Rainbow Bridge