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Interesting weekend

 
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axjms
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Joined: 05 Aug 2003
Posts: 17
Location: Anchorage, Alaska

PostPosted: 12/01/03, 3:31 pm    Post subject: Interesting weekend Reply with quote

Thought I would share my weekend with the group. Took the whole family (including my 7 month old GWP female, 37 lbs) to the in-laws for Thanksgiving. Other family members met us there who own a little (25 lbs, 3 yr old) australian sheperd who just might be the most poorly socialized dog I have ever seen. My pup has been playing with other dogs since birth and is very playful and respectful to other dogs. She assumes a submissive posture with older dogs, greets them, and then romps around with them happily.
Well as soon as these dogs were loose together in the front yard the sheperd attacked. My naive little pup thought this was some new form of play and enjoyed being chased around all evening. It was pretty funny to see the little sheperd growling and snarling and my pup just bouncing around with her tail wagging.
The next day during play time the light went on in my pup that the sheperd was not playing and a dominance struggle began in earnest. I was not sure how to handle this but the sheperd's owners felt like they needed their dog to be taught how to behave and I was inclined to agree with them so I let the dogs work out their own issues. By the end of the session my pup was thoroughly in control of the situation. It seemed the sheperd did not quite know how to handle being second and would panic when my pup approached her with tail held high. It was clear to me that my pup just wanted her to adopt a submissive posture and then play but the sheperd would just screech and run away without being touched. By the end of the trip the dogs could be left alone in a room together and where fine but they were certainly not friends. They just ignored each other.
I guess my question is did I handle this correctly? It seemed to resolve OK and I am happy that my pup stood up for herself but I don't want a fighting dog. She has since played with other familiar playmates with no problems. My pup is on the smallish side for a GWP yet was one of the dominant pups in her litter. She is certainly not aggressive and very sweet with the kids but she really rocked that sheperd's world. Do I have reason to be concerned when she hits adolescence in a year or so and the GWP more aggressive tendencies really come out? ( I read about that on this forum.) Any feedback you could give would be appreciated.
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cheerio
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Joined: 11 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: 12/02/03, 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Way to go Puppy GWP! And way to go Axjms!
You handled it perfectly. Interfering in the dominance game of 2 dogs usually makes the matter worse, and it is always advised to let them sort it out for themselves unless the fights really gets out of control. They had to figure out who would be boss and they have.
I would not worry about your dog turning aggressive. An aggressive dog does not stop the fight once the other dog submits or backs out. To the opposite, they take advantage of it.
Your girl did not shy away even though this was not her territory. That is good. She held her own and behave as a good alpha dog. That is also good. Your pup may be on the dominant side, but she sounds very stable to me.
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axjms
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Joined: 05 Aug 2003
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Location: Anchorage, Alaska

PostPosted: 12/05/03, 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the response Cheerio! You are a great resource to this community. I will try and keep you posted if anything similar happens in the future.
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