Sweet Pom starting to become protective; me worried.

Posted by emk
Aug 23, 2009
Hi Folks,

We have two Poms: Loki, 18 months old, 7 lbs, and Chepi, 15 months, 7+ lbs. Both are totally sweet and affectionate. We got Loki at 4 months and adopted Chepi 7 months later. Both dogs are intact though we plan to neuter them soon. Right from the beginning they have been absolute best buddies. They love to wrestle, chase, romp and play Keep Away with each other. There have never been toy or food or bed problems unless Chepi interferes with Fetch. They will swap food bowls several times per meal. They are generally very good with sharing a car cage.

Loki is a bit more dominant; Chepi nearly always defers to him at the food bowls and doorways. Loki is especially bonded to my wife and I. Recently, Loki has started occasionally to act protective of my wife, of me, and sometimes even of our bedroom. He's attacked Chepi a few times, noisily, and once drew blood. Now, Chepi is getting timid, doesn't know if Loki will growl or lick him.

When Loki does this I growl at him myself and we immediately remove any 'reward' such as being petted by the one of us he was guarding. When I read his stance and eyes that he's about to start I've also put him in a down-stay which defuses things for a while.

So far I can't see a pattern for when Loki will allow sharing affection and space (we're used to having a big licking and petting pile) and when he won't, which is becoming more frequent.

Advice? thx, --emk
Posted by KOPsarah
Aug 26, 2009
hi emk and thanks for your post,
I was wondering whether you use any form of alpha-dog training with your dogs?
Posted by emk
Aug 26, 2009
[QUOTE=KOPsarah;4049]hi emk and thanks for your post,
I was wondering whether you use any form of alpha-dog training with your dogs?[/QUOTE]
As I understand it, yes. That's why I growl at Loki and put him in a down-stay when he acts this way. I'm trying to assert that 'correcting' Chepi is my prerogative, not his. And, for example, if the dogs are excited when we leave the house or the back yard gate I'll make them sit-stay until I've gone through, then call them to me. Is this what you mean?

thx, --emk
Posted by KOPsarah
Sep 2, 2009
Hi again,
Yes that sort of thing is the basis of alpha dog training. You said that you are planning to get the intact dogs neutered soon, I think you should get this done as soon as you can as this should definitely reduce the tensions and will help prevent worse patterns of behavior developing between them all. It may be that the problem is totally solved once this happens. If not then we can work on changing the dynamics of your little pack then. For the next few days however I would recommend setting aside ten minutes of attention for each dog where you can pet them and play with them alone. Start with the most dominant dog, after ten minutes switch your attention to the next. If one of the other dogs try to demand your attention during a dogs time ignore it. If it continues to try put it for a time out in its crate or another room. At other times when one of the dogs tries to demand your attention also ignore it. When it has stopped trying to demand your attention go and play with it or pet it then on your terms.

I hope this helps, let me know how you get one once you've had them desexed.