wrong alpha?

Posted by margery-boylan
Nov 19, 2007
I have two re-housed female German Shepherds. Meg is desexed 3 yrs old who came at 7 months old with hangups from an unfortunate first home. Tawny is 18 months old who came at 7 months old after being tried as a show dog. They have lived together with me for one year. Both are now basically obedience trained.

Inside the house they are good friends. They happily eat, sleep and chew bones next to each other but outside is so different. When they play Meg becomes very rough and aggressive towards Tawny, who yelps. When I return from work - if Meg doesn't jump on Tawny first, Tawny runs over and submits to Meg, waiting to be roughed up. I guess this is their pecking order but it sounds very painful.

Outside the house when I direct them to do anything, Meg obeys while Tawny immediately looks at Meg as if seeking her permission. Meg seems to be her alpha and not me.
Posted by wh413nyahooca
Nov 26, 2007
So long as Meg responds favourably to your commands and Tawny follows her response, both dogs should be safe, but Tawny needs to know you are alpha. Sounds like you need some alone time with Tawny, to re-establish your alpha status.
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Nov 27, 2007
Hi there,

I still think that Meg sees you as her leader since she obeys your commands. Tawny looks at Meg as her big sister so she wants to copy what Meg does and asks Meg's confirmation/approval to do something. I think the order is now established so I don't think you need to worry, unless Meg is actually hurting Tawny when they play outside. You can tell Meg to be gentile.

My 5 year old Holly acts like Meg in the off-leash park. When Noah, 2 year old, doesn't come to me right away when called, Holly runs to him and jumps on him to get his attention. Another dog of ours called Roxy acted same way with another old dog of ours that died this June in our yard. When Max barked and didn't stop when we told him to, Roxy looked at us as if saying "He is still barking. Is it OK to leave him like that?" Smarter and more experience dogs always try to please the owner and put the other one in shape, and I think it is quite natural.

If Tawny's submissiveness accelerates, you might want to get in between the two but it doesn't sound too serious per your posting.

Good luck