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Question
Posted by: Hestia | 2011/03/15

Ridge back

Hi. We have a female Ridge back that we have for nearly 3 years now. We got her when she was a puppy. She has a very pleasant temperament. Especially with small children. she does not mind if she lay down and the toddlers climb all over her. We also never had to do toilet training. She always went out on her own. She will sit and wait for the other dogs to finish eating before she will go to their bowls. So there is no probelms with fights with eating. Sometimes she behaves strangely though. For example if I would sit on the coach next to my father she would always come sit on the coach between us, as if she does not like to share attention. Any reason why she is doing this? How can I teach her not to do that? Also I always leave my bedroom windown open and she will climb through the window when she wants to come in, like a cat will. Can I teach her not to do that? Needless to say I had to replace the curtains a few times:-)
We also have 3 other small dogs. They do get a long very nicely although they are very old and get very grumpy. The one male dog is terrier . He will always growl. Recently it happens that the Ridgeback then get upset and want to get fisical with him. Luckily she always listen when we order her down. How can we better the situation? All 3 the female dogs are sterilised.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDog Behaviour Expert

Hi Hestia, nice to hear from you and sounds like you have done a good job to date, well done!

With regard to the pushing between you and your father, you are right, she does not want your attention shared. This is a very common thing in most dogs, especially Ridgebacks who are very much 'one people dogs'. Where dogs are concerned, there is no such thing as democracy, they need to have structure in their lives, and just as there are parents in charge of children, boss in charge of employees, so too should all the humans in the home be 'in charge' of their dogs. When a dog sees you and rest of family as higher ranking, it actually helps them to relax. One way to achieve this is that attention is only given on your terms - if the dog demands it, ignore the dog or just tell it 'off' and ensure the dog complies, or else gently take her by the collar and pop her on the floor telling her off.
With regard to the window, the easiest manner in management. Either close the window or else put up something to block it, such as the plastic wiring one can buy at the hardware, or similar, so she cant get out. She has been doing this for 3 years and it really is the easiest manner.
With your old Terrier, the easiest way to sort this out is to respect his space and age and if your girl does start to bug him, call her away and distract her with something else instead. If she will not listen and does try to get reactive with her, use the Time-out method. Simply, take her by the collar without talking or interacting with her and put her in the toilet for 30 seconds. Then let her out and take her back to the incidence that started the reaction. If she does it again, repeat. This is a form of punishment for a dog and is called negative punishment and is very effective. Do not leave her for more than 30-60 seconds so that she understands what caused the punishment in the first place, and do use a toilet, laundry instead of putting her outside.
If the rective behaviour increases, do consider getting in professtional help. Do hope this helps and let me know how it goes, thanks Scotty

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1
Our users say:
Posted by: Dog Behaviour Expert | 2011/03/25

Hi Hestia, nice to hear from you and sounds like you have done a good job to date, well done!

With regard to the pushing between you and your father, you are right, she does not want your attention shared. This is a very common thing in most dogs, especially Ridgebacks who are very much 'one people dogs'. Where dogs are concerned, there is no such thing as democracy, they need to have structure in their lives, and just as there are parents in charge of children, boss in charge of employees, so too should all the humans in the home be 'in charge' of their dogs. When a dog sees you and rest of family as higher ranking, it actually helps them to relax. One way to achieve this is that attention is only given on your terms - if the dog demands it, ignore the dog or just tell it 'off' and ensure the dog complies, or else gently take her by the collar and pop her on the floor telling her off.
With regard to the window, the easiest manner in management. Either close the window or else put up something to block it, such as the plastic wiring one can buy at the hardware, or similar, so she cant get out. She has been doing this for 3 years and it really is the easiest manner.
With your old Terrier, the easiest way to sort this out is to respect his space and age and if your girl does start to bug him, call her away and distract her with something else instead. If she will not listen and does try to get reactive with her, use the Time-out method. Simply, take her by the collar without talking or interacting with her and put her in the toilet for 30 seconds. Then let her out and take her back to the incidence that started the reaction. If she does it again, repeat. This is a form of punishment for a dog and is called negative punishment and is very effective. Do not leave her for more than 30-60 seconds so that she understands what caused the punishment in the first place, and do use a toilet, laundry instead of putting her outside.
If the rective behaviour increases, do consider getting in professtional help. Do hope this helps and let me know how it goes, thanks Scotty

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