Other dog aggressiveness-please help
Needing some guidance on what is the 1st approach I should take to stop the aggressiveness of one dog to the other. One is a 2 yr old Maltese which has big dog syndrome, and the other a 9 mo old Beagle that has started to nip back when the Maltese is being aggressive. I really want these 2 to be able to get along and there are times when it seems as though they are, then all of a sudden, the Maltese reverts back to being aggressive.
HI there and thanks for your question.
Firstly are they each neutered? If not i think this would be a great time to do this as it has a big part to play in interdog aggression as well as some other issues.
OKay from the sounds of it you are on the right track so i will try and help give you some more guidance.
The first advice i would give you is to ensure you and your family members have read and understand the techniques in the bonus book "Secrets to becoming the Alpha Dog". These are great techniques for maintaining or establishing your position at the head of the household. No matter what the problem is all dogs need to know where the stand in the house for both yours and their peace and comfort.
Here are some ways to reinforce your position-
1) If you come across your dogs while they are sleeping or lying on the floor then you can reinforce your position as alpha dog by making him move so that you can pass by.
2) Make sure that you always go through doorways first. A good method to reinforce your position as alpha dog is to walk your dog around the house on the leash, making your dog wait while you walk through doorways first.
3) At mealtimes make sure that your dogs eat after all of the humans have.
4) Do not feed your dogs tidbits or let it pester you at the table. Save the morsels and tidbits for training sessions instead.
5) Do not greet your dogs straightaway when you arrive home. Make it wait until you are ready and then call it to you.
6) Whenever your dogs want attention or anything wait till they are sitting and being well behaved.
7) When you give a command make sure that you are in a position to enforce the action that you require from your dog, especially in the initial stages of Alpha Dog training. Also, use the Alarm-No-Command technique as described in the Alpha Dog bonus book to reprimand your dog if it does not obey your command.
The next big thing is exercise. A tired dog will be far less likely to be aggressive. Take each dog for a 20-30 minute brisk walk each day to help tire them out. Start by taking them separately until some of the other issues have resolved
Obedience is another of the main non-specific issues that can be a bog help. Try and give each dog 10 minutes a day in a quiet area, separately and work on the basic commands of sit, stay and come. Having an obedient dog will help in most circumstances.
You should reprimand your dog for unacceptable behavior, no matter what that behavior is. If you do not reprimand your dogs poor behavior then it will feel that it has the right to behave that way and it will take much longer to correct the behavior.
What I recommend you do, is the next time your dog acts poorly and exhibits dominant tendencies (growling), saturate your dog with the garden hose or a bucket of water, or if it is inside, throw a heavy blanket over your dog and be sure to reprimand it. DO NOT yell, as this has no effect on the dominant dog. Growl instead, use a guttural growl like " AAHHH!" instead of "No!", as this makes a sharper sound then "No" (If done correctly it may hurt your throat a little).
Now i think the beagle will end up being the alpha of the two so now is the perfect time to reinforce his position.
1) The beagle always gets attention first while the maltese waits. If the maltese gets aggressive reprimand him and go back to giving the beagle attention.
2) Beagle is always fed first while the maltese waits
3) Never tell the beagle off in front of the maltese.
4) The maltese always gets walked second.
If at any stage the maltese shows aggression then tell him off as above. He should then be taken away from the room and left there for 10 minutes. He needs to learn he is not the boss.
You will need to be patient and consistent with the dogs other wise they will end up getting confused.
I also think D.A.P may be helpful. This is a natural spray that calms dogs in these situations and is a great help
Good luck and please let me know how things go.
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