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Soleil's picture
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Joined: 2008-04-04

Help please, Soleil did something entirely unacceptable.  >:( She growled at my boyfriend.  We were all sitting on the couch watching TV.  He got up, came back went to go and pet her and she growled.  This is not a stranger to her, he has lived with me since we got her (2 years).  He helps feed her and walk her etc. I don't know what made her think this was ok.  She got a "no!" and got kicked off the couch (not literally she was told "off" and begrudging got up.)  She kept trying and whining to get back on it and I finally lost my patience and put a leash on her since she was running to the other side and would not give up.  Once I put a lead on her I put her in the down stay and this is when she finally quit testing and whining and looking nervous.  I don't think I should allow her back on it although now I think I may have a hard time breaking this habit. What should I do now? This is not the first time she has acted inappropriate towards him but this time it left no room for misinterpretation or me trying to justify her behavior.  It seemed she told him to "back off" and was claiming that space. Where did I go wrong and what can I do now to try and fix it.  Please help...  :(

AlphaAdmin's picture
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Joined: 2010-01-18

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Don't worry Soleil. This isn't a huge deal. She seems to think she's higher in the hierarchy than your boyfriend. This tells me a couple things. One, I bet he's not taking part in her training or enforcing rules. And two, he's giving her submissive signals.

Allowing her on the couch is allowing her a dominate post. The superior members of the pack get the highest best spots for resting. I think you should keep her off the sofa for now on. She will protest, but that's good. It will be an opportunity for you to stand over her, not give up, and order her into the submissive role.

Have you boyfriends start paying attention to these little things. He shouldn't walk around her, he should push her out of the way. If she's on the couch, he shouldn't ever sit on the floor. When he feeds her, he shouldn't walk away from the food as she approaches it. He should make her sit, then release her and allow her to eat without moving away - then he can move away. He should ignore her when she demand play and affection, and approach her on his own for such things.

;)

And one other thing: Don't let him be frightened of her. And if she does it again - don't hold back. Really let her have it. Stand over her and give her a lung full, chase her out of the room and ignore her for a while.

And here's another thing I like to do. When I pet our dogs I like to imitate how superior members interact with the subordinates. They often gently bit the muzzle and head. I do this with my hand. I grab their muzzle and hold it.

With dominate dogs, when we play, I like to role them on their back and hold their muzzle. If they try to get away I don't let them. It's not hard - you just don't let them role back over.

Well, that's more than one other thing.... but there you go.

Soleil's picture
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Joined: 2008-04-04

Thanks for the advice and reassurance before Horse I really needed that reminder that it was not a huge deal now my girl is back to normal.  Seems like you were right and she was testing to see how far up in the hierarchy she was.  Now that she has been reminded she is not at the top she is much happier for it and and so are we.  :D 

AlphaAdmin's picture
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It's amazing how these things that seem so little to us are such a big deal to dogs - isn't it?