Ace is 8 weeks tomorrow. Being he is so young I am unsure how best to handle this without damaging his drives. He shows a lot of dominance in his behavior. Not quite sure this belongs here considering his age.
I have been working on leadership with him from day one.
Has a tendency to get nasty if he doesn’t get what he wants. The video below is a mild compared to what I had this evening when outside and wouldn’t get up to go inside when he wanted. I was sitting in the yard and have several marks on my arm and back. With lexi she approached him. If he approaches her its okay.
What is the best way to handle without resorting to collar yanks etc, when you don’t have crate with you. Neck or ear pinching only makes it worse. This evening I finally did the same as in the video and he was fine.
90% of the time he is the sweetest pup unless he wants something badly. Eventually he will get to big for holding. Lexi used to do the same when she was younger, not as bad, and outgrew it.
Not sure it is actually aggression towards me so much as practicing his herding skills. Trying to make the stubborn “cow” move, because he kept escalating when he couldn’t get movement.
If so I don’t want to repress those drives.
2 months, 2 weeks ago Michael D’AbruzzoKeymaster
I wouldn’t worry too much about what you are seeing because it is best categorized as “play aggression”. It may look nasty, but young pups really like to “practice fight” and “practice hunt”. It looks like Lexi is happy to spar with him, and as you have witnessed with Lexi they tend to outgrow the extreme end of “play aggression” (some info in this article).
For sure I wouldn’t use any physical punishment such as skin pinching because he likely has a high fight drive and will just trigger the appropriate response for his temperament and can cause side effects of the pup expecting confrontation from you.
Does your pup have a dominant type temperament, yes, but that doesn’t mean he is dominant over you. As long as you control the resources and lead the interaction, you are on the right track. If he is playing and you feel Lexi has had enough and he isn’t respecting her signals, simply remove him from the interaction no different then any parent would remove a young sibling that was annoying an older one.
He likely has a lot of drive so I would print out a habitation chart and mark down anytime he is very “bratty” and see if we can find any trends. The next day beat him to the punch and schedule a good game of tug. He doesn’t know by default the best way to play with a human, so get a good rag or tug on a rope and play with him to wear him out and “play fight” with him by petting him and giving little slaps while is biting and otherwise keeping happy energy until he seems to be getting tired.
We can formally teach him to stop mouthing you if we feel confident that we are attending to the firecrackers need for some practice combat.We welcome these dogs as they are. With respect, compassion, and devotion We will lead…
2 months, 2 weeks ago Michael D’AbruzzoKeymaster
I think a flirt pole or big tug toy on a rope will do a lot with him to give him something to obsess about. If not our legs will look good to him.
With all behaviors we want to change. We first want to identify an appropriate and reasonable replacement behavior. Then, it isn’t so difficult to punish a behavior that is otherwise being fulfilled with something more appropriate.We welcome these dogs as they are. With respect, compassion, and devotion We will lead…
Appreciate the reply.
I had forgotten about the habitation chart. Going to start recording tomorrow. 🙂
He likes the flirt pole. Going to have to keep one with me. It works as long as there are no larger animals around for him to sit and watch.
I have started the habitation chart tried to head off an event this evening.
I had to crate him for a short time so my wife could work with lexi. He had another fit wanting to get Lexi again and nailed my hand when I tried to block him. Lexi has almost made an enemy by distracting him like she wants to play and then taking what he had and leaving. I have been focusing on redirection, when he is focused it is hard to do.
I was attempting to play tug with him successfully for half a minute but led to me being aggressively “attacked.” I was squatted down as not lean over him, he released the tug and started going after my leg and arm after just a few moments, mostly the arm and hand holding the tug. I changed the game to one of chase and seek after a short distraction, and ran to the truck to get my flirt pole. We then had a good game of chase the ‘duck,’ tug, repeat a few times before I called it off.
Since even Lexi still has a hard time not going for the hand or arm holding the tug, I am trying to understand the instinct behind it. We had to go to the flirt pole and gradually progress to holding the tug with Lexi to save our hands and wrists. Still have to watch it as there are times she forgets and goes for the arm or hand.
Most others have always gone for the moving object instead of the hand/arm.
Seems such a propensity to go for the arm holding an object would be good for protection work.
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