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Battle for Alfa- Bitch Position

 
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Cindy Morton
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Joined: 10 Feb 2003
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Location: Louisville Ky.

PostPosted: 11/29/03, 4:48 am    Post subject: Battle for Alfa- Bitch Position Reply with quote

Okay, Here's the Scenario,

This 18 month old GWP bitch (spayed)has suddenly begun to attack the
7 year old spayed buddy that practically raised her.
She is a loving, obedient, ball of energy that submits at other dog's boldness. She loves kids, other dogs, agility, hunting, obedience training, etc,etc.

This is clearly her attempt to become the Alfa-Bitch.
But, she is trying to kill the older dog ( who has been sewn up twice in one week)
This behavior is sparked by the owners mere presence into the area.
(not over attention of any kind.)

At this moment this bitch has been removed from her home.
This is in attempt to..
(1) Break the intensity & the attack pattern.
(2) Displace her for awhile & change some rules & tighten the reins upon her return.
(3) Give the older dog some time to recover from her weaken state.

I'm Looking for input and feedback from anyone that has dealt with this behavior in GWPs.

What did you tried to Change this behavior?
What seemed to work?
What didn't work or made things worse?

I'm looking for your positve and negitive results
or what ever you have thought of in hindsight.

Thank you for what ever light you can shed on this dilemma.

Cindy
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cheerio
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Joined: 11 Mar 2003
Posts: 285
Location: Canada

PostPosted: 11/29/03, 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a known behavioral problem which arises in dogs typically between 18 and 24 months of age. The dog first appears very nice, outgoing and sociable, and suddenly, begins to show aggressive symptoms trowards other dogs or/and people. It is often related to a form of "displaced protection" towards another dog or a particular person, such as the owner, or a child of the family. As the condition continues, the dog begins to display symptoms of anxiety as well.
Should this female be suffering of this condition, she has to be stopped immediately, as it usually gets worse with time. The treatment involves strict obedience, meaning that the dog must be under command as much as possible. Where she would have naturally rested, she should now be told to go "down", so that it becomes a command and make sure that she stays down, for example. I would also systematicly brake any signs of agression through command. Should she not respond, the E collar is then one of the best tool to be used. It also has been found that consoling the aggressed dog after the attack also tend to make the matter worse.
Finally, because it is a form of anxiety, you may want to use a few drops of Rescue Remedy.

This of course is the worse case senario. It is not unusual for a dominant dog to start taking control at the time they reach adolescence, which is exactly where your girl is. However, they do not usually attack dogs seriously to the point of needing stitches. But I suppose it could happen.
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dualgwp
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PostPosted: 12/08/03, 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This happened to some folks I know who had 3 mixed breed females. The middle bitch one day decided she was going to take over position from the oldest girl and some serious fighting started.

On my advice they contacted a local obedience trainer who had a lot of Schutzhund experience with Dobies and Rotties... she understood aggressive tendencies and how to deal with them.

they began serious obedience work with this middle bitch and also started to have her wear a muzzle anytime the dogs were together, especially outdoor since this was where the problems seemed to take place.

It's now about 6 months later, and things seem to be improving. The middle bitch has pretty much taken over the alpha position, but has done so with no blood shed. The older girl seemingly has accepted the takeover and they are beginning to let them out without the muzzle being used.

Sometimes we need to allow them to settle things for themselves, but the muzzle took the vet bills out of the picture.

Don't know if this will help or not, but it's food for thought.
Bernee Brawn
Justa GWP's
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Jon P
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Joined: 30 Nov 2002
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PostPosted: 12/08/03, 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheerio,

I may have misunderstood your intentions, but I would NOT use an e-collar to regulate any dog interaction. Individual training away from other kennel mates, is OK. I don't think that it would be adviseable to use an e-collar in any situation where the offending dog might believe the discomfort is coming from the dog that it is trying to dominate.

I assume you did not mean this and that you are talking about control training away from any conflict. Like you, I'm a great believer in the down command (we use "Drop!!") as a mild negative and a sort of "time out" or knock it off to certain behaviors. I am writing this just so that others on the list will not misunderstand.
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cheerio
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Joined: 11 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: 12/08/03, 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jon P is absolutely right. I just re-read my post and it can lead to confusion. I appologize and thank you Jon P for bringing that fact to the attention of the members.
What was meant is that should the dog not respond to commands acquired through obedience training, at the time she is about to fight, then, the dog needs stronger methods of training to remind her that obedience is listening to her owner no matter when and no matter what. This is achieve by training the dog with an e-collar. She will then know to listen to the down command where she is about to fight and will be ask to drop.
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