Guarding us from my MIL? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-26-2008, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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Guarding us from my MIL?

My MIL is spending a few days with us. Suki met her twice in early October (once at our place, once at her apartment.) She was of course very intersted in her from the moment she arrived. Some behaviour we noticed:

1) The first night she wouldn't let MIL up the stairs and kept trying to put her body in front of MIL to block her.

2) If MIL is in her bedroom, Suki will lay next to it, waiting for her to open the door.

3) When she approaches MIL, her ears go back.

Is this behaviour normal? If we tell her to leave it, she will - right now MIL is sleeping on the sofa, and Suki is in her bed between DH's and my computers.

Suki (Bella vom Wofenhaus, born May 31, 2008)
Diva (Aphrodite de Domus Didacus, born December 4, 2009)
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-26-2008, 07:50 PM
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Re: Guarding us from my MIL?

It sounds like Suki is just keeping an extra eye on the "new person" in her house. As long as you correct her when she is pushing the line, it's probably fine.

Your story reminds me of when I first met my in-laws. They had a German Shepherd. I was afraid of them at the time because I had never been around big dogs. As soon as I would walk out of the bedroom, there he was just watching me. My MIL said he wanted to make sure we weren't stealing anything. LOL.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-26-2008, 07:58 PM
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Re: Guarding us from my MIL?

Not sure but ears going back could be submissive, (I always view it as a non threatening gesture). When Rocky has done something bad he always drops his ears, drops his eyes and lays down. As soon as he hits for the floor we get the sad puppy eyes till he knows he is forgiven.

If we have company, he will also put himself between me (and or the kids) and strangers. Normally he will pick as spot to watch from and make sure he stays inbetween me and the new visitor. If it is someone who is coming to the house to fix something, he of course tries to help. Of course, he is only "watchful" for about 30 second till he realizes the new person will pet him and scratch behind his ears. LOL He did do it more when he was a puppy but would also leave it on command.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-26-2008, 08:32 PM
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Re: Guarding us from my MIL?

I know Suki... she is just a loving puppy she is only 7 months old and loves to cuddle with strangers. I have my doubts she is showing protective nature just yet, sounds more to me that she just wanted attention from your MIL (from what I know with Suki personally). When Jesse greets either me or my husband his ears go back and it is respect.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-26-2008, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Guarding us from my MIL?

I observed her a bit more tonight. Although she's nipped at MILO (Mother in Law Olive) several times (grabbing her sleeve or hand), it hasn't been hard and we get her to stop right away. Several times after getting up from a little nap she has made the rounds, so to speak, first going to MIL for a little scratch, then to DH, and then to me, after which she'd go lay down again. She does try to climb up on MILO, which she doesn't try with us too often anymore.

I guess she is just looking for attention from the new person.

(Sorry for all the "is this normal" questions, but this is a learning process for me)

Suki (Bella vom Wofenhaus, born May 31, 2008)
Diva (Aphrodite de Domus Didacus, born December 4, 2009)
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-26-2008, 09:50 PM
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Re: Guarding us from my MIL?

those signs would be a signal of trouble in my house,and that would be the polite version. I wont leave my dogs off leash at that point, as that is not submission it is a doninance stance,The inside of the house is not the way to introduce dogs,not a puppy with and adult,you must have control of both dogs and dont asume that a 7 mth is safe. At 6 mths I learned about prey drive and I ended up with a cat who was severly hurt. My dogs ears back and hair on neck up means trouble, dog submission is down ,back or belly,or hind ends showing.Face first, up and anything else is showing a forum of dominance some good so bad.Believe what you see and control it. best to all

jAGUAR VON WOLFNASE
PRINCESS DANITA PHILLIPS
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-26-2008, 11:07 PM
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Re: Guarding us from my MIL?

How does your MIL act towards Suki? Does she act scared or nervous? Does she show interest in Suki?
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-27-2008, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Guarding us from my MIL?

MIL likes her, isn't scared of her and appreciates "kisses". She is, however, quite fragile (she will be 84 in a few weeks!) and can't have Suki jump on her (which she has stopped doing).

Suki did go back upstairs this morning to lay by her bedroom door until I went downstairs (DH was already up.) She is down here with us now.

Suki (Bella vom Wofenhaus, born May 31, 2008)
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-27-2008, 11:14 AM
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Re: Guarding us from my MIL?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: Suki's MomI observed her a bit more tonight. Although she's nipped at MILO (Mother in Law Olive) several times (grabbing her sleeve or hand), it hasn't been hard and we get her to stop right away. Several times after getting up from a little nap she has made the rounds, so to speak, first going to MIL for a little scratch, then to DH, and then to me, after which she'd go lay down again. She does try to climb up on MILO, which she doesn't try with us too often anymore.

I guess she is just looking for attention from the new person.

(Sorry for all the "is this normal" questions, but this is a learning process for me)
I think this could be an attempt to show MILO that she ranks below Suki in the pack. The nipping and the climbing on is what makes me think that.

I would ask MILO to do some obedience work with Suki (and be prepared to back up any commands she gives) and also to be in charge of feeding Suki while she is there.

That should help Suki learn that MILO is above her in the rank.
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