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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, so Chisum again. I swear this dog is going to be the end of me. :rolleyes:

He does this 'bullying' thing with my other dogs that is, at best, annoying and occasionally escalates into a fight (rarely, as my other dogs are very tolerant.

Basically, the other dog appears. Chisum stiffens his body and goes over to the other dog. Other dog is trying to (I think) deescalate the situation - she stands still, lowers her head, and avoids eye contact. Chisum continues to "inspect" - still stiff, sniffing the entire body all the way down to the rear. I can sometimes call him away and he's happy and the other dog moves on. Sometimes he will come to me but when the other dog moves he'll return and the charade will continue.

And, sometimes other dog decides she's tired of the game, and will snap at Chisum to get him away - which usually then escalates into a fight.

Now, most of the time the fights are between him and my Aussie mix, not so much my terrier. He does this to both dogs, but my terrier for some reason is slightly more tolerant of this behavior, and even if she does snarl/snap, he doesn't take it seriously so there's never a fight (maybe because she's smaller?)

I'm not sure if it's resource guarding behavior or if he's just insecure, or if it's a combination of both. He does it mostly when the other dogs are entering the house, and he really does it when they go upstairs or into my room, especially with my Aussie mix. In fact, he rarely will allow her access to my room at all - which is why I think it may be RG. But it isn't always easy to tell what he's "guarding" so that's why I'm thinking it may be more general. I'm so confused!

He's people-reactive and insecure/anxious about a lot of things, and I'm not sure how he would react to dogs he didn't know because we haven't gotten there yet.

So, what should I be doing in the moment to prevent/alter this behavior? Call him away from the other dog (he doesn't always respond, as he seems too focused). Is there something I can do to make him more secure around the other dogs so he doesn't feel the need to do this all the time?

He did this really badly when he was younger and it's tapered off a bit, but it's still more than I'd like to see.

I'm working on getting him to the point where I can take him on neighborhood walks and things of that nature, but I honestly don't care if he's a super-social dog. I just need him to be able to exist in proximity. But it would be nice if he could be more tolerant of select dogs he already knows, which is kind of where we're at now.

I'm planning on asking my trainer what she thinks on Saturday, but what are some suggestions from the smart people here? Anything I can work on on my own, right now?

Thanks!
 

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Is he trained to "leave it"? You could ask for that as soon as he starts.

Kabota would definitely react badly to that sort of behavior. I think it's rude more than aggressive, because Kabota will snark, but back right down when it happens. He'll call out rudeness, but he's more than willing to forgive it. He is not so quick to forgive outright aggression.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
He has a basic leave it, but I will work on making it stronger!

The issue with rudeness vs. aggression is that the issue can escalate. For example, if the my other dog tries to enter my room or if for some reason Chisum just really decides he doesn't want the other dog to move HE will escalate the situation himself by becoming aggressive.

When Chisum was younger, it was really aggressive. He'd run across the room and attack. It's like over time the body block type thing has "worked" so that's what he mainly does instead.

He's kind of socially awkward and I don't doubt he's being rude, I'm just not sure how to best let him know that his behavior is that way. I'll try the leave it though
 

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My suggestion would be stop allowing him to do the behavior. When you see him stiffen up, you ward him off, tug him away with a leash on and other such things. A lot of people say pack heirarchy isn't a thing, but there's no harm in interfering when you see things very obviously heading in the direction of things that shouldn't be happening. A stiff-legged approach to another dog is an /aggressive/ approach, don't allow it.

Treat and praise if he sees or interacts with a dog, with personal loose body language, not stiffness and hostility. Don't reward, or separate them, when you see stiffness and pushiness.
 

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I'd agree with @Redwood. Ideally, I'd put a harness and a drag line on him in the house, and every darn time he starts up with the behavior you jump up and say "Let's go!" and steer him into a different room, ideally to do something totally different.


^^^I use that sh$% on everything (dog-related)!
 

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A leave it and redirection via lead or calling away are certainly good options for interrupting him. But at the same time I don't think it will really resolve the problem completely. Don't get me wrong. It's not something I would want him to continue practicing. I would def interrupt and redirect if I saw him even think about it. Just IME teaching an incompatible behavior in conjunction with interrupting and redirecting when needed is more successful long term. :)

Does Chisum have a settle on a mat or bed?
If so, you could perhaps use that behavior to your advantage. Place a mat or bed in each room and teach him to follow you and settle. Then work on remaining settled with one (and then both) of your girls walking around. That mat (once well trained) serves as a reminder to the dog of where to be and what to do. If you haven't already read it, check out Fired Up, Frantic, and Freaked out. Lays out matwork for you and is helpful for reactivity too! Kikopup's ''default settle'' vids and ''training multiple dogs'' video would also be helpful for training the settle on mat. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the extra help!

He doesn't really have much of a settle yet. I'm such a slacker. :/ But that gives me something to work on, which is great!

We are about to start BAT with a trainer on Saturday for reactivity. I've read some up on it, but am not sure exactly what we'll be done or how we'll implement it to start, but I understand there's a "let's go" concept that some trainers use, so I'll see about working that into the training (sort of killing two birds with one stone :) ).
 
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