Butt sniffer/Bully or playing?

Posted by Ycats
Oct 17, 2008
I have an 9 month old Golden Retriever (male) who has a bad habit. He is CONSTANTLY ramming his nose in my butt. He not only does this to me but he also does it to our 14 year old Siberian Huskey/Lab mix (female) however; he does not do this to my husband. Why is he doing this and what can I do to break him of it. He also has a habit of what I call bullying the old lady (14 year old) but I think he may think he is trying to play. Either way, she want's no part of it and he ends up basically pushing her around, biting at her legs, neck and pouncing at her. I feel as though I am constantly trying to distract his attention from her which is difficult to do. Any suggestions?
Posted by KOPsRobyn
Dec 29, 2009
Hi there

It may be a good idea to make sure that your dog is clear on your alpha dog status, as he is going through the adolescence stage at the moment and may be trying to challenge for a higher position in the pack. It is very important that you are are firm with him and make it clear that you are the leader of the pack.

There are several things that you could try to reinforce to him that his place in the hierarchy is below yours. Some of these include insisting that you walk ahead of him through doorways and when walking on the leash, feeding him after you have finished your own meal, not paying attention to him when he asks for it but only when you want to. Make sure you feed the older dog first and greet her first when you come home. Don't let him pushing in on you if you are spending time with your other dog or other members of the household. If you are playing a game with him, make sure it is you that chooses the toy and when you decide that you have had enough, take the toy away with you so that he realizes that it is you that controls playtime. He will struggle initially as he sees herself as higher than you in the pack, therefore being in the submissive position to you, who he sees as a subordinate, is distressing. Once he accepts that you are the alpha dog, he will respect you for this and start treating you accordingly.

I hope this helps and all the best for the training!

One other thing that may help would be to get him neutered if he isn't already, as high levels of testosterone may be contributing to his dominating behavior.
Posted by kjd
Dec 29, 2009

I'd like to reinforce Robyn's suggestion to get your dog neutered. He may just have discovered that you are female too, so he is checking you out just as he is the husky/lab. If she is like most female dogs, when she gets tired of his actions, she will let him know it. I've had my females bothered by unneutered males and they always end up swirling around with a growl of "That's enough, buster!" The male then backs off until the next time. Somehow, I cannot see you doing the spin-and-growl. The time-out is your best method of showing him his interest is not appreciated.

Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Dec 29, 2009
Hi Ycats,

I don't think your 9 mos old GR is showing dominance but he is just curious and wants to play. He is a teenager boy and is not getting enough dog plays with your old dog.

You can stop him sniffing your butt by turning around and telling him "Leave it!" in a firm voice. Then, walk away. It is better to break this habit soon since he would do the same to other women and it will be embarrassing.

As for your 14 yrs old female dog, I don't think you would need to worry about as long as he is not hurting her. She would have told him to stay away if it really bothers her. However, if your GR ever tries to hump her you should stop him immediately since your female dog is very old for the size of the dog and she probably has weaken hind legs or hip problem.

It is always a good idea to establish a good trusty relationship with your dogs so I would recommand daily obedience trainings and games as well as physical excercise to keep your teenager busy and well challenged.

Good luck