My puppy is jealous of other dogs ... what do I do???
Hi! This is my first post in this forum but I've been finding great tips here throughout the weeks.
I have a 14 week old GSD/Border collie mix. Looks like a shepherd, but has a little border collie devil living inside of her, she's funny/super active/wise/adorable.
When I first got her (at 8 weeks), she was quite scared of other dogs as she got attacked by her father a few times, apparently. There's a park around the corner of my house where people walk their dogs a lot so I spent a lot of time there. The first few days she'd bark when she saw another dog in the distance, and hide between my legs when I'd meet the other dog/their owner. After about a week she was still shy but would sometimes try to play with a dog that had been around for long enough. She had absolutely no issue with me interacting with other dogs.
She gradually became into it more and more and around 11 weeks she would full on play with other dogs and get excited whenever we'd see one on the street.
Two weeks ago she got her shots and we started going to a lake in my neighbourhood that has a huge off leash dog area. It's not too crowded during the week, and she LOVES it. She's really good off leash, plays with dogs all sizes and loves all of them, runs around, goes in the water a little, and listens to me a lot, has amazing recall, knows all the basic commands + drop it/leave it, all of it is GREAT;
Except one thing.
She is jealous of other dogs interacting with me.
It started about a week ago and I'm not sure what to do. If a dog comes too close to me and she sees it, she'll quickly place her body between me and that dog. If I pet the dog, she frantically growls/barks/tries to bite (looks like she's telling the other dog "get lost she's MINE") . I've been saying "NO" ..?
I've also asked someone to hold her while I was petting her dog. I thought it might be a good idea to show her that I can have a good moment with another dog, without her losing me as her human. She cried like she was getting tortured and tried to escape her collar. I let the other dog run off before I asked the woman to release mine, so no fights would happen. She was completely fine with that dog when he came back a few minutes later. As long as I don't interact with them, she's great.
Also today, she growled with teeth out and lunged at a lab/shepherd because that dog's owner gave them both a treat.
I've gotten her used since day 1 to not be possessive of toys, bones, food, anything. A human can take her bowl away and pretend to eat it, and she'll sit and wait with her tail wagging. I've been making a big deal when people come over, hugging/touching friends a lot and she usually wants to participate (like she'll be all excited like "me too! me too!") but never has she shown any sign of jealousy towards another human that is close to me.
So now whenever a dog comes close to me, I don't know what to do. My big fear is that she lunges at an older dog that just wanted a pet or treat from me, and that the other dog gets mad at her and attacks her back. A friend suggested that it might be what she needs to learn that she can't act like that but I'm sure there's other ways. Is she jealous? Is she scared I'll like another dog better and she will lose me? Is she protecting me from a potential threat (since she got attacked by her father at such a young age)? For a 14 week old puppy, she's already looking pretty fierce when she tries to scare a dog away ... I can't imagine how it would be in a few months if I let it fly.
How do I fix this?
It's *resource guarding*and it isn't unusual.Don't give her the opportunity to do it.You've seen for yourself how it begins to escalate and becomes habitual.I would put her in a sit/stay behind me when another dog approaches and she rushes over.I would not interact with the other dogs and not allow the opportunity to become possessive over treats and toys.This may be a problem unless the other folks will get on board with you.You say you only go to the beach when it's not crowded?Ideally play dates with known dogs and owners are best.
My hubby's dog is a terrible resource guarder:)We did not let her practice the behavior and always have her wait her turn when treats are dispensed.Always!!You can see it in her eyes that she feels as "queen of the land" her desires should come first:)But it's just not worth the effort anymore and she is habituated to standing down and always acknowledged with a "Good Girl!" at the very least.Compliance has become rewarding.
Dogma has it right, this sounds like resource guarding to me too. You're the resource. Dogs that are not at all possessive of stuff in general can still resource guard their humans. Keefer does it at mealtimes, he's barked to warn off the other dog ever since we got him. He's 13-1/2, nearly blind, and almost completely deaf, but darned if he still tries, lol. It's never been a huge issue so I've never worried about it, and at his advance age, he can do whatever he wants. Dena ignored him, Halo was the queen of the house and she practically rolled her eyes at him. If she were human she would be saying "yeah, yeah, you're the boss, dude, whatever you say" in her most sarcastic tone. And then she'd go right back to owning him once they were done eating. :rofl: When he barks at Cava to warn her to stay back while I'm putting their meals together she just barks back. It's incredibly annoying to have both of them barking at each other, but it's a few minutes twice a day so I can live with it. THANKS, Keef! The good thing is that none of his three sisters were the slightest bit intimidated by him and it was clearly never going to escalate into something that needed to be addressed. It also only happened at home, at mealtimes with our own dogs, never at the park with other dogs around.
At 14 weeks it's not too early to look for a beginning obedience class. Do you have any good facilities near you?
Thanks both of you!
Good to know; I was told to do that by the breeder of my first puppy (Bernese Mountain dog, 20 years ago) and have been doing it with all my (3) pups. Never had an issue with possessive behaviours.
We are in puppy class - it was today, and actually we are skipping the last 3 classes and getting moved to intermediate dog training because she's too awesome. (#proudmom)
The trainer held her leash and distracted her while I was petting, playing, and giving treats to another puppy. Zola (my dog) was getting whiny and irritated, but then would quickly draw her attention back to the trainer as she was showing her toys and calling her name out. She ended up being pretty ok with it. When I got back to her she greeted me like she hadn't seen me in hours though. I just calmly took the leash back and told her she was a good girl, pet her once, and sat down at our spot. Zola lied next to me and waited for the next command. Other than that (when she has her human with her) she's awesome.
She suggested I go to the park with a friend and do the same thing a few times a week, so she gets used to me interacting with other dogs and realizes she can still have fun if that's happening, and see that I return intact every time, so there's no need to worry or fight off anyone. She also tested me with humans (hugged me and asked me to go hug a girl in our class) and Zola didn't even flinch. She'S like "oh yeah you do this all the time, all good".
Also my best friend is most likely getting a puppy in the next month so that might help ...
A class or even a competition event is a controlled environment.You and your dog practice and perform the same things many times so your dog knows exactly what to expect and what to do.In a different environment you have to start from scratch again.Show her what you expect and practice in places you plan on frequenting with her.If she doesn't know what to do she'll feel free to decide for herself which may or may not be in hers and your best interest:)
If your friend has a similar attitude towards helping both pups learning good manners it would be nice to have someone to hang out and train with.
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