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Discussion Starter #1
Some of you know Chaos's story. She came to us in February as a stray. We found her owner but she didn't want her back. So, she is a 10 yr old St. Bernard/Malamute mix.

Over the last 3 months, I've noticed a disturbing behavior. She has to have whatever Jax has. Whatever it is, a toy or a treat, she will head right for her with the intent to take it from her. Especially with treats. A couple days ago, Jax had a bully stick and Chaos charged right at her staring intensely at the bully stick. A couple weeks ago, all the dogs but Jax had finished their trachea and when Jax came into the room with what was left of hers, Chaos charged towards her to take it.

Today, Jax had a toy that belongs to my weekend foster. I was in the bedroom for just a couple seconds and I heard a loud snark. Jax comes into the bedroom without the toy and Chaos is heading the other way with it.

Here is my concern. Jax is a resource guarder so I don't any dog making it worse by trying to take everything she has. Second, we've never had an issue with one dog bullying another and taking things. And I've worked very hard on Jax with her dog reactiveness caused by a previous foster who attacked her. it worries me that this may put her back on the defensive. AND...I really do not want to have to break up a fight between two 70 lb dogs with big teeth.

Does it sound like Chaos is a bully or does it sound like she's just a brat? Is it a trait of the breeds that she is?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
nobody?
 

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You might try a St. Bernard or Husky forum. I'm sure there are some here like me that know absolutely nothing of any dog breed beside the GSD.

I had an aunt in Tennesee years (decades actually) ago that bred and showed St. Bernards. Mostly easy going slobbery dogs, but the females can be rather snippy and might even bite the wrong person.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It's really about behavior over breed so I assume people could answer that.

The boxers and Jax do not steal things from each other. Jax or Sierra will lay in wait for the other to turn their head and then take the toy but neither just rip it out of the others mouth. If their toy rolls under another dog, they wait for one of us to go get it for them. I can see big problems happening when Jax gets fed up with this behavior and it it completely new territory for me so I have no clue how to handle it.
 

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I would either start correcting Chaos or give them each the same treat.

Those are pretty much your choices.
 

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Bully. Raven does it to Kaiser. He always just lets her have what ever it is because he's good like that. I can't think of a time when she's done it to Holly but I'm sure she's done it to fosters. I always try to stop and redirect her if I can before she does it and am very careful so I don't make it worse and build frustration so I don't correct after or give things back to who she takes it from but will take it from her or remove all toys.

The other week she went to take a hoof from K and we told her no. So she went and found a ball and offered it to him in exchange for the hoof. It was so funny but the first time I've ever seen her trade, she usually just takes.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Bully. Raven does it to Kaiser. He always just lets her have what ever it is because he's good like that. I can't think of a time when she's done it to Holly but I'm sure she's done it to fosters. I always try to stop and redirect her if I can before she does it and am very careful so I don't make it worse and build frustration so I don't correct after or give things back to who she takes it from but will take it from her or remove all toys.

The other week she went to take a hoof from K and we told her no. So she went and found a ball and offered it to him in exchange for the hoof. It was so funny but the first time I've ever seen her trade, she usually just takes.
thanks Jamie. You, of all people, know how much work I've done with Jax and how hard it's been to get peace within the original three. I see a fight eventually. I watch Chaos closely after she's finished her treat because she'll go get pushy with Sierra and Jax if they aren't done with theirs. And once I've told her to leave them be, she will lay there and stare at them until they are done. It's a little unnerving.

When I hand out the treats, I alternate who gets theirs first so she learns to wait. Now, how to make her understand that just because another dog has something doesn't mean she has to have it or she can take it.
 

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I agree with bully. My poodle does this, if everyone is given a long lasting treat like a bone and they're all lying contently chewing she'll watch the others out of the corner of her eye. She won't steal while they're still eating but if they leave it for any reason she grabs it. Not to eat but to hoard, she'll have 5 bones on her bed if I'd let her. If I see her focusing too hard I verbally correct with a "Jazzy, off" and she might grumble but looks away

Sometimes if it's very high value she'll sit in front of them and stare. I don't allow this, she gets redirected back to her treat or another toy, etc. But thankfully it's rare

I would continue to redirect and not allow her to bug the other dogs. I know food is obviously very important to dogs but I don't like them obsessing over it
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Sometimes if it's very high value she'll sit in front of them and stare. I don't allow this, she gets redirected back to her treat or another toy, etc. But thankfully it's rare

I would continue to redirect and not allow her to bug the other dogs. I know food is obviously very important to dogs but I don't like them obsessing over it
It's not rare with her. It's anytime the other dogs have any food. AND us as well. I think she was allowed to beg for food from people and not sure if she lived with other dogs but she doesn't seem to have very good pack behavior in this and awareness of her body to the others. She's very pushy, with them and us, but that is getting better. I regularly back her away from me while I'm eating and have to keep an eagle eye on her when the other dogs are eating.

She will not redirect to a toy and I refuse to give her another treat just because she's finished hers and feels the need to be a pig. Maybe I'm wrong in that but I feel she needs to learn that just because she's done doesn't mean she can harrass the other dogs. I'm just not sure how to go about it.

I do not correct for guarding as I've found this makes the situation worse and I feel it could in this situation as well. She won't redirect to a toy because food is a higher value. She is not allowed to bug the other dogs.

We catch her quickly and back her off. But I'm watching more carefully with food and treats. Yesterday, with the toy, I had just walked into the bedroom when I heard the snark from her and she took the toy from Jax.

To be honest, I'll rehome her before I pick up all the toys and completely change life for Jax and Sierra. I'm not convinced we are doing the right thing by keeping her as 4 dogs is a lot of dog anyways and I'm not sure she's getting the attention she's used to. Every dog but her has a place and she just seems to be on the fringes. She's slowly finding her place and I do not think this is causing her behavior above. It's just something that is bothering me.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
If your not going to correct her than you need to separate them until all dogs are done with their treats. Or it will end up making jax regress.


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You can modify behavior without correcting a dog for an aggressive act. Correcting for an aggressive act can make it worse. I've seen this. Was I not clear that I do not allow her to bug the dogs and that I watch her closely when they have treats and stop her from advancing? Maybe I wasn't clear on this.

We catch her quickly and back her off.
 

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Bully.

Zira does this. I hate that behavior. I always try to stop it before it actually happens. She'll go to walk over and I just tell her "NO, find your own toy!". It's because of this behavior that Duke has become worse in his resource guarding, AND the reason the pup now does it! Storm picked that up from her, since as a small pup, her toys were always taken. So now, I have to correct both... and when they are together... it's nearly impossible. No one stays with one toy long. Such a pain.

Anyway, I agree with the others here.... try to stop it as much as you can. But something I've learned is... It's nearly impossible to do so every time. So I just don't feed them anything around each other. They eat in their crates, and treats are given separate unless I can actually watch all of them in the same room finish their treat completely. Or I take up all the toys if I can't be on top of them 24/7. I try not to give it any chance to happen, as I know this will one day lead to a fight... and like you, I really really don't want to have to break that up.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Bully.

Zira does this. I hate that behavior. I always try to stop it before it actually happens. She'll go to walk over and I just tell her "NO, find your own toy!". It's because of this behavior that Duke has become worse in his resource guarding, AND the reason the pup now does it! Storm picked that up from her, since as a small pup, her toys were always taken. So now, I have to correct both... and when they are together... it's nearly impossible. No one stays with one toy long. Such a pain.

Anyway, I agree with the others here.... try to stop it as much as you can. But something I've learned is... It's nearly impossible to do so every time. So I just don't feed them anything around each other. They eat in their crates, and treats are given separate unless I can actually watch all of them in the same room finish their treat completely. Or I take up all the toys if I can't be on top of them 24/7. I try not to give it any chance to happen, as I know this will one day lead to a fight... and like you, I really really don't want to have to break that up.
Well that's not what I wanted to hear! lol I'm doing exactly what you do, except the toys. Now that I think about it, she no longer does it to Sierra with toys probably because little 40# Sierra lit into her over it.

She's a very nice dog except this one fault which is the result of her previous 10 yrs of doing what she wanted.
 

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Bully. My Golden is the bully in this house.. to the extent that when they both get a chew treat she will hold off on eating hers until Knuckles is done with his. He will come to her and she'll bare teeth and start eating. We've never had blood shed, she is just a bully. Most of the time we just let them be but there are times when Saki is being too much of a bully and she is corrected. An example is when she is laying in the living room and there is a toy in the doorway, she does not have it, has not had it and is making no intentions of wanting it. In walks Knuckles and Saki will jump up and snatch the toy even if Knuckles made no move towards it. That she gets corrected for because it's just plain being mean.
She won't take anything from him though... even when he's trying to shove it into her face to play with him.

Dogs can be so hard to figure out sometimes.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
An example is when she is laying in the living room and there is a toy in the doorway, she does not have it, has not had it and is making no intentions of wanting it. In walks Knuckles and Saki will jump up and snatch the toy even if Knuckles made no move towards it. That she gets corrected for because it's just plain being mean.
She won't take anything from him though... even when he's trying to shove .
Jax used to do that. That is resource guarding. I tried "correcting" it by telling her no and putting the toy up. She escalated in aggression when I did that.

Sierra came into the room, Jax jumped off the ottoman and grabbed the toy that Sierra was walking by. I told her No and put the toy up. The next time, she growled at Sierra before racing to the toy and snatching it up. Again, I told her No and put the toy up. The third time, there was no warning. She came off the ottoman and attacked Sierra. All this over toys that Sierra was not even looking at.

By handling it the way I did, she only knew that she didn't get the toy and since she was focused on Sierra, she "blamed" her.

That is why I know longer "correct" for resource guarding. IMO, it is all about behavior modification...trading, redirection, etc.

Which...thank you for making me think of that. I guess whether Chaos originally has the treat/toy or another dog does that it can still be handled the same as I have for other resource guarding issues.
 

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Well that's not what I wanted to hear! lol I'm doing exactly what you do, except the toys. Now that I think about it, she no longer does it to Sierra with toys probably because little 40# Sierra lit into her over it.

She's a very nice dog except this one fault which is the result of her previous 10 yrs of doing what she wanted.
Lol... Sorry! Wish I had a better outcome! I'm watching this thread closely to ideas for my own pack!! Honestly, this is probably the one thing that drives me up the wall with my girls. I love them to death, but I can't stand the bullying. I also have a bunch of tattle talers. When one steals a toy, I have to be "told" about it.... they smash their face into my side, and look at the dog that stole their toy, then look back at me in the most pathetic face. Ugh... It's funny for the first few times, but my gosh does it drive me crazy now. :crazy:

...That's what made me take up all the toys... I got tired of the bad moods, the growling from Duke, the back and forth from the girls, and then the snitches coming to rat someone out to me. lol!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Jax is my only tattle tale. I think that is a GSD trait. LOL

Toys laying around don't seem to be an issue. Food, definitely. Toys in general are not. When we get home, Chaos will grab something...toy, shoe, sock, whatever is laying around, and bring it to us. It seems to be when there is a new toy or when Jax is running back and forth entertaining herself that she will go take it from her. And then she just goes and lays down with it. She doesn't even play with it, just takes it and leaves.
 

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Jax is my only tattle tale. I think that is a GSD trait. LOL

Toys laying around don't seem to be an issue. Food, definitely. Toys in general are not. When we get home, Chaos will grab something...toy, shoe, sock, whatever is laying around, and bring it to us. It seems to be when there is a new toy or when Jax is running back and forth entertaining herself that she will go take it from her. And then she just goes and lays down with it. She doesn't even play with it, just takes it and leaves.
Lol! I think it is. I don't remember any of my other dogs (different breeds) doing that! All 3 of GSDs do. :rolleyes:

For us it's food, and toys. Food causing instant problems, but the toys just build the aggravation over time. If I did nothing, it would take about 1hr for a fight to break out. Before that, to an untrained eye, you'd swear everyone was getting along wonderful.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Food is going to be our issue. This is how silly she is with food...I took a bag of dried turkey, with my weekend foster, into the bathroom. The idea was to get him to jump in and out of the tub on his own so he wouldn't fear it.

Do you have any idea how difficult it is to get a squirrely, anxiety ridden, dog's attention when another is laying outside the bathroom door barking and screaming because she knows we have food in there and she's not getting any?

Tonight as the dogs were coming in and out to potty, I gave Jax a trachea. Chaos came through, sniffed Jax in the crate and came right to me to get hers. YAY! But then Sierra came inside and when I tried to give hers to her, Chaos shoves her aside and tries to snatch it out of my hand. Tell her No! Get around her to give it to Sierra and she chases Sierra down as Sierra is heading to the crate.

Other than that, and the occasional toy, they all intermingle and get along fine. But eventually, someone is going to get twisted when something is snatched from them.
 
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