Large puppy Big Attitude

Posted by msconstruct
Jun 27, 2010
I have a 4 1/2 month old Male German Shepard and he insists on being the dominant one. I followed the steps to make him submit to me, I thought it was successful but as soon as a situation comes up he challenges me. I have a 2 year old spade female and I followed the directions as far as letting them figure out who is dominant, and she won. However when the dogs are brought in the house he totally dominates her. He won't stop biting and harassing her he won't let her eat and takes everything away from her and what's weird is SHE lets him. Can anyone explain to me what I am doing wrong.
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Aug 1, 2010
Hi msconstruct,

How is your puppy doing since then? I hope your 2 yr old female dog (you didn't mention what breed she was) has been teaching the puppy about the boundaries.

I don't think your puppy is dominating her. He just doesn't know how to behave with and around adult dogs. Some adult dogs are good at putting a younger dog in its place by just growling and seizing it by the neck without actually biting. Daisy, one of my dogs, is this type.

Some other dogs don't even want to deal with puppies. They try to stay away, or just let them do what they want until it is getting too much. When it gets too much to torelate, they really get annoyed and either get away or bark to scare them away. Holly is this type.

Noah, my other dog, can not take puppies at all. He would snap right away.

When I read your post I thought about Holly. She is very mature and confident dog so she lets Daisy in and out the door first. She lets Daisy bossing around her but she has her own place in the pack. I hate say she is dominant among the three because they always playing different roles when they are playing but they totally respect each other's possesions. However, Holly is quite dominant when she had to deal with outsiders. She would step out and protect when her younger brother (Noah) or younger sister (Daisy) is being attacked by another dog.

I think your puppy is just figuring out how far he can go with his big sister, who would put him in his place when the time comes.

In the mean time, make sure you will treat your older dog as the #1 dog. Give her the first priority and reprimand the younger one when he tries not to follow your pecking order. Good luck
Posted by KOPCaroline
Aug 3, 2010
Hey msconstruct,

I think MaxHollyNoah gives sound advice. I hate to rush and call it dominance aggression when most puppies do exhibit this kind of behavior in their learning stages.

If you've trained your pup to know the pecking order and it seems to have caught on in every other situation than at home, its most likely him being playfully annoying and testing his limits. As already said, your older dog will eventually put him in his place if he oversteps some boundary she's got for him

I realize its hard to watch one dog seemingly be bullied by another, so try to correct the behaviour you don't like with "no" commands and then tell the pup to come to you. Distraction is amazing for puppies learning what not to do.

If he does ever challenge you, immediately correct him. If he tries to go through doors before you, for example, pin him against the wall with your leg, or block him somehow before he gets through the door, and physically set him back behind you, giving a "no" command. This worked wonders on my own dog who used to rush doorways

Puppies are all about patience and repetition. I'm sure yours will catch on and calm down soon. Let us know how he goes!