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Ok, this is a horrible video, but is the only one i could find :(..
Willows stance is exactly like the GSD
i will just say the people in this video are *****

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5Yz9n5cHNU
Hey, I watched the video and my gut feeling is that the GSD is insecure, more insecure than the Rottweiler. If the Rottie had been as insecure as the GSD, I think it could have been much worse, but the Rottie kept trying to de-escalate. Anyway, that's my interpretation for what its worth.

And yes, the owners are asses for not separating the dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Hey, I watched the video and my gut feeling is that the GSD is insecure, more insecure than the Rottweiler. If the Rottie had been as insecure as the GSD, I think it could have been much worse, but the Rottie kept trying to de-escalate. Anyway, that's my interpretation for what its worth.

And yes, the owners are asses for not separating the dogs.

@Dia, thats the way Willow behaves, and thats exactly what the behaviourist said, its lack of confidence/fear making her act the way she is..im just glad ive found someone who can help us help her..
 

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Not sure if it's too late or not but what works for us is body blocking. Nala can be a little much for some dogs and when I body block her she backs off pretty easily. There's no yelling, I don't look directly at her and I fold my arms across my chest. Just a simple shuffling of feet around the other dog to keep her away works wonders. Eventually she gives up and if she comes back and is playing appropriately I give tons of "good girl" and "yay Nala!" but if she tries to be too pushy I just get up again and do some more body blocking. Usually after the second time, just me getting off the couch/bench/whatever lets he know she's being too much. The funny thing about it is that ever since I started doing this, she's been a lot more bonded to me. I actually read this in the book "How to be the pack leader and have your dog love you for it" by Patricia McConnell and I really believe it's working because like I said, every since I've been giving her boundaries by body blocking when she gets out of hand, she's been snuggling me like no other during nap times. She usually snuggles by my feet and often gets off in the middle of the night to sleep on whatever else is comfy to her but the last two nights she's been snuggling closer to my chest and has been resting her head on my arms/shoulders/chest and even buries her head in my body. I actually went to sleep on the floor yesterday and she jumped down from the bed and snuggled up to me.
 

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She's decided that you are alpha dog and she wants to be second in command. I don't know whether people still do this. I was told that you old dog must do everything first. Be fed first, let out first be petted first etc. The idea being you are showing the young dog her place. The problem is your old dog may seem vunerable and the youngster is trying to move up the order. Be careful she doesn't decide she wants to be alpha and start trying to boss you or other members of your family around. If she manages that you will have great difficulty regaining your position.
 

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She's decided that you are alpha dog and she wants to be second in command. I don't know whether people still do this. I was told that you old dog must do everything first. Be fed first, let out first be petted first etc. The idea being you are showing the young dog her place. The problem is your old dog may seem vunerable and the youngster is trying to move up the order. Be careful she doesn't decide she wants to be alpha and start trying to boss you or other members of your family around. If she manages that you will have great difficulty regaining your position.
Hi Penny Ann,
That information is pretty old, actually. Here's a stickie with updated info: http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/dominance-dogs-4076/

Briefly, dogs are far less concerned with alpha/status/dominance/etc than many people think they are. While there may be moments of interaction in which a dog will 'dominate' another, most dogs are more interested in getting along than getting ahead or on top. Dogs could care less who goes first, last or inbetween. Certainly they need boundaries and leadership, but dogs don't misbehave because they're trying to be dominant, but because they haven't been told how they should behave. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #26
@mjan1121 thats exactly what the behaviourist said to do today :), so tonight we will try..thanks for that :) @Penny Ann, grommy is fed first etc etc, but if dogs sort it out among themselfs so it makes no difference what i do, if they decide the pecking order ..well its decided i suppose. to be honest we expected Willow to be higher because she is female, younger , fitter and stronger..i honestly dont believe she is trying to be Alpha..im not sure i believe in the whole 'alpha ' theory..thankfully ive found a fab behviour specialist that is going to help us :)
 

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Nala can be a little much for some dogs and when I body block her she backs off pretty easily.
Herding/blocking a dog with the use of the body, in my opinion is kind of dog language and I'm all about that. I've sometimes wondered when I do as you described if a herding dog even picks up on the physical gesture maybe quicker. It does send a message to a dog as you obviously know.
 

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Briefly, dogs are far less concerned with alpha/status/dominance/etc than many people think they are. While there may be moments of interaction in which a dog will 'dominate' another, most dogs are more interested in getting along than getting ahead or on top. Dogs could care less who goes first, last or inbetween. Certainly they need boundaries and leadership, but dogs don't misbehave because they're trying to be dominant, but because they haven't been told how they should behave. :)

Your last words " because they haven't been told how they should behave. " are spot on. I have really discovered through my latest greatest dog that doing exactly as you said has such benefits. Regardless of why infighting and other displays of poor conduct amongst dogs occur, one thing is for certain, whoever teaches them how they should behave, most always takes a position which dogs crave. The leadership you mentioned takes a ton of pressure off a dog which is in between where it is going to end up. They do best when you have earned their respect and they trust you as their capable leader.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
We used body blocking and CC last night, it worked to a point..we kept Willow on a lead, which got both dogs excited because they thought they were going walkies..so we put Grommy in another room. After their walk we tried again..it was easier because rather than put Willow on her lead we just left the lead on...this was better. We rewarded Willow and grommy each time they looked at each other. They both slept in the same room but at opposite ends of the room and we made sure they were not left alone. Its easier now we know its fear/confidence based because we have a bit of an idea how to deal with scared dogs..the stupid thing is if she came to us as a rescue at this age we would have picked up on her fear straight away..but because she has been with us since young, and she has always been this way we totally missed it. We have let her down and i feel like the worst dog owner in the history of man, but i will make it up to her and we will do all we can to help her.We have had tons of experience with older dogs and never had a pup, we knew she was showing fear sometimes but we honestly thought it was because she was a pup..and things need to be learnt as she experienced the world around her..i totally cocked up.
We took her to puppy class, we took her to puppy parties, she is walked with a dog walker twice a week..we hoped that as we were working with people who were experienced with puppies (because we are not) someone would have spoken to us if they spotted a problem...i just feel like we have wasted so much time and money, but now im confident in the trainer we have ...and she breeds and trains GSD's in a gentle way..no punishment..which is exactly what we are looking for. Even though Willow is displaying some unwanted behaviour , wih us and other people (including strangers) she is the gentlest sweetest dog ever, and we are starting to get glimpses of the dog i know she can be...so onwards and upwards now..we are going to be owners she is proud to love ..i promised her that and i always keep my promises. thanks for all your help guys..you are all 'stars' , Beth xx
 

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We have let her down and i feel like the worst dog owner in the history of man, but i will make it up to her and we will do all we can to help her....so onwards and upwards now..we are going to be owners she is proud to love ..i promised her that and i always keep my promises.
I'm guessing you're not even close to being the worst dog owner in the history of man, wait, I'm not even guessing, I'm positive. Your dog is lucky to have such a caring, concerned and take responsibility type of human by her side.

You know, the hardship you place on yourself reminds me of an adage I heard somewhere, can't quite remember where but maybe you might know. It goes something like this, " when you think things are falling apart, stand back and wait..they may actually be falling into place.. " ;)
 
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