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Hello everyone,

First a bit of background- I've had Riloue since he was around 5 months old, he is not almost 12 months old, he is a blue cattle x staffy x ridgeback (supposedly). He was the most submissive in the litter and has always behaved that way. He never touched anything in the house that wasn't his, e.g. chew a shoe, and was very submissive towards other dogs. He was always very boisterous though, he loves rough play and isn't scared of anything. He never barked/ growled. He is desexed. We do obedience and agility once a week and he is very good/ clever at both ( I obviously just have the other dogs that I train with to compare)

Around 2 months ago his behavior towards other dogs changed. He still plays the same way with same aged or older dogs- rough, rumble-tumble play. He puts himself in a playful inferior position by rollling over (that's his favorite move). He loves playing with larger dogs than him (he is around 25kg I think). He understands when older dogs confidently show him they are not interested, or just don't show any interest and he won't play with them.
With younger dogs though he starts growling (never growls during above described play) really loud and deep. He topples them over and kid of hovers over them. When he was you younger and other dogs showed dominance, once they showed him, they would leave him alone, but he stands over the younger dogs until I tell him off. He doesn't bite or anything like that but he clearly scares the younger pups. Most of them come back for more play which I find weird.

There is one instance though where he behaved very differently- we had a 12 week old Lhasa Apso puppy visit for a few weeks, and my dog layed down on the ground to play with him (to not intimidate him) and my dog accepted anything the puppy did to him.

I am not sure how to deal with his behaviour. At the moment I try to be proactive and stay away from young dogs, and if he encounters one (this is all in off leash areas) and behaves in the way described I call him and if he doesn't react, well I pull him off and we go elsewhere. If he ignores a puppy (which he previously "attacked") I give him a treat. I don't feel as if my dog realizes that what he is doing is not right. I am hoping he will grow out of it??? Any tips on what to do? Avoid off leash alltogether?
 

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For now I would avoid off leash parks and such where he gets the chance to practice this behavior. The first step to modifying a behavior is to manage the environment and prevent it from happening.

Now, I wouldn't say this has anything to do with dominance. Many people have a misunderstanding of what word means because of certain big name "trainers" who have failed to update their education with modern science. Dogs aren't status seeking individuals. His goal isn't to dominate the other dog, it's to scare the other dog off or end the interaction.

It sounds like he may have always been worried by other dogs, what you describe as "submissive" behavior when he was younger screams worried dog to me. This is the age where you would begin to see him taking a "stance" (in his eyes protecting himself) against the other dogs that he finds to be too much for him. If there are dogs that he knows well, gets along with well, then I would limit dog to dog interactions only to those dogs, and keep others at a distance. Teaching a solid "leave it" or other positive interrupter will be a great tool for you both when he begins staring/growling at a dog he finds threatening.

I would get an assessment by a trainer who specializes in behavior modification, staying away from people who would use aversives. When dealing with any fear based behaviors aversives or corrections often make the behavior worse, because the dog associated the correction with his trigger. When it does work, it only suppresses the behavior but doesn't address the underlying emotion.
 
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Riloue sounds IDENTICAL to a dog Levi went through a couple of obedience classes with. He and Levi were fast friends, but when we met at the dog park, Levi was the obnoxious puppy jumping up on everyone, and Axel was instantly flopping over to show his stomach.
As they grew up together, Axel started flipping puppies over, standing on them, and biting/roughing them up quite a bit. Then it progressed to any dog who he thought was giving him the "stink eye". Flash forward: she has him on an E-collar now, and he's super reactive to all dogs. Last time we were home, they couldn't play together because he was way too reactive.

I don't have anything else to add to @Gilliandi 's advice, it's spot on.
 
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don't take it too serious.
around 8 months to a year dogs come into puberty. dogs and humans can pretty weird balls of hormones while in the pocess of growing up. ;)

many adolescent dogs will feel the need to present themself as very dominant, because they want to be taken seriously as a communication partner by other dogs.
they'll try to test boundaries or "forget" rules or commands because everything is just too exciting around them.
they may also overdo it a little with puppies, because they get more knowledgeable and conscious when it comes to social rules and feel they need to make sure the puppies respect them.
It's an insecure phase of life young dogs, so give your dog a lot of gentle but consequent guidance and be patient. :)

It'll get better, when they start to settle into their adult personality, if you stay easy predictable, force-free and reward good behaviour.
don'T worry too much. :)
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all the replies.
I am definitely 100% for positive training, so i don't yell at him or similar when he does "wrong" (unlike some other people I see around me) and trying to figure out a way of dealing with it.
Thanks Gillandi for your response. I don't think however that his behaviour when he was young was worrysome. With most dogs he played fine (but rough) but with some dominant dogs he rolled over and then continued on doing what he is doing. I would have left if he was seriously scared/uncomfortable. (I may have not described it well before- I should take a video!)
Shandula- that sounds worrying... I hope Mathilda is right... haha. I am very worried though that it might turn out like Shandula is predicting.
I will try to stay clear and advise my partner to do so as well (that's always the hardest part- ARRRGHHHH) if there are puppies in the park. I'll definitely work on a better "leave it" command. So far I have called him back to me as that works better than "leave it"
Mathilda- would you have more detailled ides of how gentle but consequent guidance should look like?

thanks for all responses, I'll take a video of his 'normal' play.

On a positive note- he has mastered 6 poles of weaving for the first time today, Yay for Riloue :)
 

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i don't know...i think i never really changed my training during their puberty, it was a bit slower perhaps because needed more repetition and it was more difficult to get him to focus.
Basically I just tried to stay consistent and patient (which was a bit of a challenge because sanchoowas nightmare in adolescence and we only had him for a very short time) and throw a big party with rewards and praises when he did something right.
i also kept him close to me, mainly did leash training and only allowed contact to adult well-socialised, "bomb-proof" dogs that I knew well until I was sure he would get into trouble with acting like nutcase.
we did easy/necessary obedience stuff. sometimes we had to go through the same stuff for days and he always seemed to forget the concept, but after around 1 1/2 to 2 years he was basically through it and we could start really working again. :)
 
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@Sonkos - I don't think that is what will happen to Riloue, I think the e-collar/pinning seriously amplified his aggression for other dogs.

Also - I wouldn't go too crazy on the weaving - he's still very young!
 

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@Sonkos - I don't think that is what will happen to Riloue, I think the e-collar/pinning seriously amplified his aggression for other dogs.

Also - I wouldn't go too crazy on the weaving - he's still very young!
Ah rihto i get that now, with the ecollar.
Bit off topic now, I have been doing 5 minutes once or twice a day for the last three weeks, so hopefully thats okay. I figured short session should okay.
 

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Pax wen through the same thing. From about 12-18 months he would "hunt" and alpha roll the puppies down at the beach. Worked with him on training when he would do it but ended up being just a phase for him...now just over 24 months old he could care less about younger dogs.
 

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I only just now read the post aboit pax. Very comforting. So for the last few weeks we have been avoiding the dog park. Its been really hadr and i struggled to find ways to tire riloue out in another way. I befriended the owner of his best wrestlig mate on facebook and luckily he is a shift worker so now we meet up during the day (3 rimes a week or so) when there are no other dogs at the dog park.
Now they got a new dog, a almost 12 months old jackrussle/pug and riloue met the little gilr today and he was great. He growled a little and would have continued if i didnt interfere, but i called him back and after wrestling with his big friend for a while he went to say hello nicer. He even laid down to play with the little dog. He mainly just sniffed and pawed a little (the little girl loves wrestling usually). A few times Riloues big friend joined in and then the play got too exciting maybe? And riloue tried his growling/ intimiating thing, but luckily I managed to call him ever time, give him a short time to calm and Riloue then mainly paid attention to his big friend.

I am very happy, at least rilou tried to say hello nicely, even if the involvement of the third got the better of him.
Of course he got lots of positive words from me throughout the meetig ☺
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Riloue had a nother play date with the one year ole mentioned above and it went reat. Not once did he try to dohis big growling show, instead he initiated play like wih other dogs, then laid down to plY with her (the other dog is quite tiny). Thats just what he did when he got to play with a baby pup of just 3 months once. When he had enough he just waled away, very pleased.

Still reluctant to try wih other puppies. Its always good when you know the other owner and they know what issue youre working on....
 
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