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Question
Posted by: heather webber | 2011/04/25

Dominance

My dog walks with other dogs and is very sociable and happy with the other dogs. However there is an occassional dominance stand off. Always my dog who is the newest to the pack is the initiator. All has now been sorted out between them except for the one tiny black dog. My female dog who is larger growls over her and the little one lies on her back in submission. They do it every time and the little black dogs owner is getting very short on patience with my dog. We immediately part them but it happens every morning. What can I do to stop this behviour? They never hurt one another and are the best of friends.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDog Behaviour Expert

Hi Heather, nice to hear from you. What i would suggest is to firstly teach your dog the Watch command. What you do is have a treat in your fingers, raise the treat over your eyes, eyebrow level, ask the dog to Watch, and as it does so, immediately treat. You have to build up the time period and then start adding in distractions. Dont just practise this in the home, do it when out for walks etc. It will take time but this gets the dog to focus on you rather than another dog. When one dog turns its head away from another it is giving and receiving a Calming Signal and this simple thing can really diffuse a situation in the dogs world.
Additionally, have a really wonderful recall. That way you can instantly call the dog back to you the moment it starts approaching the other dog. Work with the dogs food and instead of feeding out of a bowl, feed by hand, calling the dog to you every single time and then rewarding. Remember that when calling a dog, you never, under sny circumstances punish the dog as the dog will perceive the punishment to being called. Good luck, Scotty

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Our users say:
Posted by: Dog Behaviour Expert | 2011/04/26

Hi Heather, nice to hear from you. What i would suggest is to firstly teach your dog the Watch command. What you do is have a treat in your fingers, raise the treat over your eyes, eyebrow level, ask the dog to Watch, and as it does so, immediately treat. You have to build up the time period and then start adding in distractions. Dont just practise this in the home, do it when out for walks etc. It will take time but this gets the dog to focus on you rather than another dog. When one dog turns its head away from another it is giving and receiving a Calming Signal and this simple thing can really diffuse a situation in the dogs world.
Additionally, have a really wonderful recall. That way you can instantly call the dog back to you the moment it starts approaching the other dog. Work with the dogs food and instead of feeding out of a bowl, feed by hand, calling the dog to you every single time and then rewarding. Remember that when calling a dog, you never, under sny circumstances punish the dog as the dog will perceive the punishment to being called. Good luck, Scotty

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