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Discussion Starter #1
:help:I’ve noticed lately within the last couple of days that Blue, my 20 wk old GSD will occasionally go over to Scooby my 3yr old Catahoula and nip/bite him. It’s completely random, and as the days go by it has started escalating to the point where when Blue gets next to Scooby, Scooby will immediately snarl and show teeth. It has ended up in about 3 dog fights, with one of the fights drawing some blood from Blue’s nose. Our next training class isn’t until Saturday. Which I plan on discussing with the instructor on ways to solve this sudden behavior. Any suggestions on why he could be doing this? Just to clarify, I keep a constant eye on the dogs, and when I’m not home both dogs are in separate crates. Both dogs get equal amount of attention, and are fed at the same time. Both dogs know I’m the alpha, although Blue is going through a very testy period right now where he is driving me crazy with testing boundaries. Just wondering if this has to do with him trying to be dominate?
 

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Young dogs do push boundaries

I would be very firm with the rules for both dogs; if a verbal correction doesn't work right away then I would escalate to a physical separation and "time out" for the aggressor. If both are being buttheads, then they both get time outs

If I hear a growl, that's my immediate cue to find out what's wrong and fix the situation before it escalates. I've found that because my dogs know I'll referee that it takes the pressure off them to respond, they don't need to escalate to another growl or snap if the other dog is bugging them

Also, the young dog has to learn that certain behaviours are not tolerated. Transgressions mean that fun stops and only continues when the rules are followed
 

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Has it just been nipping or does Blue attempt to "T the dog up?" In other words does he put his head over Scoobys shoulders and put weight on him? Does he attempt to mount scooby or attempt to play rough with him? What do you mean by him "testing boundaries?"

I'd keep the two separate whenever I wasn't around to observe their interactions together. If blue went after scooby I'd correct him for it or stop it before it happened. Scooby would get corrected for attempting to correct blue for any of his behaviors as long as I was stepping in to handle the situation. Scooby will need to learn you are the one that corrects the puppy so he doesn't need to step in.
 

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Thanks for the response, I normally try to reprimend them both. Just curious to how/ why this started. At first I thought it was just him wanting to play with the older dog, and the older dog not wanting to play back. But upon watching, it is more of a attack. Kinda like elbowing someone you dont like as you walk by them. However when the big dog growls, instead of taking the hint, Blue will snap right back.


Young dogs do push boundaries

I would be very firm with the rules for both dogs; if a verbal correction doesn't work right away then I would escalate to a physical separation and "time out" for the aggressor. If both are being buttheads, then they both get time outs

If I hear a growl, that's my immediate cue to find out what's wrong and fix the situation before it escalates. I've found that because my dogs know I'll referee that it takes the pressure off them to respond, they don't need to escalate to another growl or snap if the other dog is bugging them

Also, the young dog has to learn that certain behaviours are not tolerated. Transgressions mean that fun stops and only continues when the rules are followed
 

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Discussion Starter #5
When I'm at work, Both dogs are crated. The only time they are together is when I'm home and keeping an eye on them. Three examples of what happens is this.

1. Scooby laying down, Blue comes over and gives a loud snarl followed with a nip, Scooby will snarl and show teeth, by this time I will call one of the dogs over to me to redirect there attention. However the last couple of times it happend so fast it just turned into a fight. Blue got hurt.

2. A family member will pet Scooby on the head, Blue will come over and repeat the same process as step one.

3. I will be petting Blue and Scooby is laying somewhere in the distance, he will go over to scooby and nip him.

Its so random and started about 1 week ago. He is 20 weeks old this week, not sure if this is his testy period where he is trying to assert dominance over Scooby.

Scooby is neutered, and he is more submissve while they play together. Unless the puppy starts getting too rough. Blue will be nuetered when he is a bit older.


Has it just been nipping or does Blue attempt to "T the dog up?" In other words does he put his head over Scoobys shoulders and put weight on him? Does he attempt to mount scooby or attempt to play rough with him? What do you mean by him "testing boundaries?"

I'd keep the two separate whenever I wasn't around to observe their interactions together. If blue went after scooby I'd correct him for it or stop it before it happened. Scooby would get corrected for attempting to correct blue for any of his behaviors as long as I was stepping in to handle the situation. Scooby will need to learn you are the one that corrects the puppy so he doesn't need to step in.
 

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Some of it could be Blue testing to see where he is in the pecking order. when he does the snarl and nip does he do any kind of play bow? Is his hair standing up on the back of his neck? Its hard to know what the intention is behind it without seeing it first hand.

Do you ever walk them together?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
To be honest, I will need to observe the hair next time around. It does seem like he wants to play sometimes, and I can tell that occasionally Scooby is notin the mood for puppy antics.

We let them both out together in the backyard to run and play, outside the house they are great together. However I have not walked them together, unless my husband comes with me and has one of the dogs.

We normally walk side by side, both dogs are excellent at loose leash walking, but when they are together they just play and make it impossble to walk without having to stop constantly and untagle...lol


Some of it could be Blue testing to see where he is in the pecking order. when he does the snarl and nip does he do any kind of play bow? Is his hair standing up on the back of his neck? Its hard to know what the intention is behind it without seeing it first hand.

Do you ever walk them together?
 

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You should be able to walk the two together. They need to realize just because they are within eyeshot of each other doesn't mean they get to lock into each other for play or harassment or any other reason other than what you intend.

The reason the walk can be important is it sets up an activity where the dogs are sharing a bonding and pack building activity without physically interacting with each other. It helps puppies especially when it comes to seeing another dog in the house as something other than a play toy.

What kind of reprimands are you using?
 
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