Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Two Dogs-- A Trainier's Expert Opinion

When we brought Moses into our home, sometimes things were beautiful with Kelly and Moses. They seemed to okay together. We loved having this beautiful sweet boy. Sometimes Kelly was territorial. I guess that's to be expected. It's tough to share your new home. And Moses had been in several homes recently. He probably felt a bit insecure.

Kelly reacted to sharing her food, toys and me. Moses growled back. Again, I understand both sides.  Sometimes they avoided each other, sometimes they played. Because Moses is so big, he sometimes played a bit rough for her. But not malicious. Kelly wasn't malicious either. She gave warning tussles, but never took it too far.  I think she was just not used to sharing. Once she approached him and tentatively stuck out her little pink tongue and tried to groom him. He wanted no part of that. He was the boss!

When they were separated, they barked and whined. Did they want to be together or not? I was confused.

So the rescue group, which has been amazingly supportive, sent over their trainer. Cyd entered, prepared with a squirt bottle of water and a pocket full of tiny treats. We put the two dogs on leashes and watched them interact.

When Kelly approached Moses, Cyd talked to her in positive, upbeat tone. When Moses tried to mount Kelly, Cyd talked to him in positive upbeat tones. Cyd has a wonderful way about her. I love that she is not correcting, scolding and harsh. I can tell at once that she is in tune with the dogs. Cyd observed keenly, and came to these conclusions:
1. Moses is dominant male
2. Kelly is dominant female
3. Kelly is protective of me
4. The house is on the small side and Moses is on the huge side, so it is hard for him to get away when they squabble.
5. Moses's mounting behavior shows that he wants to be dominant over Kelly
6. Moses will not submit to Kelly-- he won't roll over for her, or allow her to groom him

Cyd helped me understand the dogs' body language. She doesn't feel that they would hurt each other intentionally. But she does feel there is the potential for someone to get hurt, mainly because of the size difference, cramped quarters, and personalities. Would you recommend  this match? we asked. "I think Kelly really needs a submissive male," she said.

She gave us some tips for working on the situation:
1. Separate them with a baby gate, so they can see and interact through the gate.
2. Take them on lots of walks together
3. Relax and talk positively.


Next time: How did it work out?

55 comments:

roxieknapp said...

HI Peggy, this is what has been going on in my house. My dashund "Rocky" is like Kelly. My Lab mix "Sampson" is like Moses. This has helped me, but Sambeing 6 mo. Old seems to love antagonise Rocky following Rocky Everywhere and Rocky hates that. Waiting to see how your story continues. Thanks Peggy.

Charming Chis said...

I'll be curious to see how this works out!! I have 5 chihuahuas and some are more dominant than others and they do butt heads sometimes too. I hope they can get it sorted and become the best of friends I know you want for them. :-)

Frankie Furter and Ernie said...

I will be very much glad to hear how this is going. You know I have my Ernie that I am training. He WANTS to be the boss butt I told him on Day ONE... I (Frankie Furter) am the Boss and THAT is that... BUTT STILL sometimes he TRIES to be the Boss of ME.

Two French Bulldogs said...

Kelly he is not going away
Lily (& Benny)

Cat Chat With Caren And Cody said...

I am praying that you keep Moses (especially with all that he has been through) and am hoping that you will come up with a solution. So far all of the suggestions that were offered to you seem quite good.
Crossing my paws that they work!

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