zues is testing his limits....

by Charlotte
(erie,Pa)

at the park

at the park

Hello Sue,
Recently i wrote you about Zues scaring my daughters friend when she walked thru the house without the lights on at night. Well now I am having problems with him bullying her everytime she comes over to play with my daughter. He does things like back her into the corner, has unbroken stare at her when she is around. Tonight we were all out in the yard having a bonfire and this little girl who up until yesterday was sooo scared of Zues went running through the yard. Zues ran after her as he always does when kids are playing in the yard. But he nipped at her.

I don't think that he was intending to hurt her. A lot of times he will play nip at my daughter as if to say play with me. I am concerned because this is my daughter best friend and is over a lot. I do not want to have to put him outside everytime she is here. I know she is very scared of Zues and I also know he feels that.. And I know him, he is doing these things because he feels it. So my question for you is what can I do to help this situation?

Most of the time I call him to me and make him sit beside me and stay. I worked some with her and zues having her use basic obedience commands then treating him. Trying to build some sort of trust between them. I can't make her be less afraid of him, but is there anyway to help Zues to know that she is ok.

One more thing.... This little girl screams a lot when they play. I have tried to get her to stop but it's not working too well. How can I get him to be less sensitive to the screaming??? If that's even possible..


Thanks again for this wonderful site..

Charlotte







Hi Charlotte
It seems as though the relationship between these two is a bit fraught, and it's definitely something you need to deal with quickly and effectively. Rottweilers rarely get second chances and if Zues does bite her he will be in a lot of trouble - and rightly so.

It's not okay for him to chase, growl at, or intimidate anyone, adult or child, and you're most likely correct in thinking that he's well aware of how afraid of him she is and that is stoking the fire so to speak. Dogs sense fear and anxiety, and it makes them anxious in return, that causes them to play up, as you are seeing.

Rotties have a strong prey drive and anything small and fast-moving, especially if it has a high-pitched voice, is going to trigger a desire to chase. Once the prey drive kicks in it's an instinctive behavior and when instinct takes over he will likely forget his training and it's not inconceivable that he could bite her or knock her down in that state. That doesn't make him a bad or vicious dog at all, most dogs will act the same way. But a Border Collie biting your heels, or a JRT jumping and pulling at your clothes is different to a Rottie nipping and jumping!

It's vital that you make sure this little girl doesn't run or scream when she's playing at your house and Zues is around. That's going to be a big 'trigger' and she needs to respect the house rules for both of their sakes. I'd recommend continuing to try to work with her and Zues in terms of building a relationship between them as this will help given time.

You are going to need to be very firm with Zues and make him understand in no uncertain terms that he is absolutely NOT allowed to chase her, nip her, or bully her in any way. Correct him very firmly whenever you see a hint of this, and if necessary crate him or separate him from the kids at play. This is going to be a pain for all of you, but it's a much less painful scenario than having someone get hurt and all of you paying the price for it.

I'd also suggest calling around some of the local dog obedience schools in your area and seeing if you can find a qualified dog trainer who could meet Zues and help you to work with him to overcome this type of issue. Regular training and more socialization will help. It's all a matter of time and patience and continual reinforcement of good behavior and correction of the bad.

While he is learning all of this you will definitely need to be very proactive in protecting this girl though, and don't try to rush them into interacting or being 'friends' it will take time and consistency. As Zues has such a good temperament I think you will be able to get through this difficulty, but getting some 'hands on' help from a trainer is highly recommended :)

Hope this helps some. Best of luck.

PS. I love Zues' expression in this photo, he's such a handsome boy and looks like butter wouldn't melt in his mouth lol

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Apr 04, 2011
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thank you
by: Charlotte

thank you all for the suggestions.. Im sure I will be using some of them...I do not agree with the comment about prong collars. I love mine. I dont use it to correct him i use it because he pulls me on walkes. I never have to pull back on the leash he feels it and slows up on his own.
To Sue: I have been trying something someone else told me on this site. They called it the pinn mythod. I dont do it exactly like they said. But I walk up close to him giving him the vocal correction we use when he is doing something we do not like.Then I make him lay down and stay..I dont believe in being rough with him, and I know by the lovey attitude he has when i release him that he knows he did wrong. We have set rules in place to make sure that this little girl and Zues stays safe....I am ALWAYS supervising and interation between them!!
Again thank you for the suggestions and I welcome more please...

Apr 04, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
thank you
by: Charlotte

thank you all for the suggestions.. Im sure I will be using some of them...I do not agree with the comment about prong collars. I love mine. I dont use it to correct him i use it because he pulls me on walkes. I never have to pull back on the leash he feels it and slows up on his own.
To Sue: I have been trying something someone else told me on this site. They called it the pinn mythod. I dont do it exactly like they said. But I walk up close to him giving him the vocal correction we use when he is doing something we do not like.Then I make him lay down and stay..I dont believe in being rough with him, and I know by the lovey attitude he has when i release him that he knows he did wrong. We have set rules in place to make sure that this little girl and Zues stays safe....I am ALWAYS supervising and interation between them!!
Again thank you for the suggestions and I welcome more please...

Apr 04, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Try Tethering
by: Anonymous

It would also be a very good idea to tether Max to you when you daughters friend is over. You will know you have complete control with this and there will be no chance of a disater. As time goes on and training continues you should be able to let him walk around freely but should still be under constant supervision.

Apr 04, 2011
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Zues is testing his limits
by: LINA

Dominance can sometimes, but not always lead to aggression. A wise man once said, "Never start a fight you can’t win". This is especially true with your dog. A medium sized dog is physically capable of defeating the average adult, that's a fact.

Dominance can be as simple as your dog sticking his ball in your lap to growling or biting you when you try and get it off the couch, and many steps in between.

Any sign of dominance should see the owner making plans to seek professional advice.
Remember a dominant dog is in Rank drive; his life goal is to elevate his pack position.

In combating dominance issues is obedience training. Many people will tell you that "your dog needs a firm hand". If you put a leash and training collar on your dominant dog and jerk him around, there is a good chance he will kick your ass for it.

A dominant dog will attack not out of fear but for leadership and survival, the bites delivered by a dominant dog are most severe you will see from an untrained dog.

Dominant dogs need to go through a specially designed behaviour modification program; this should not be attempted by someone other than a professional trainer with experience in this area with this breed.

If by some chance you have gained success by correcting your dog with a training collar or prong collar, you have more than likely forced your dog to be submissive to you.

Some will tell you that was the idea and your problems have gone, but they are wrong.

A dog that is submissive toward you isn't satisfied with his position in the pack, as he has been forced there. Good chance, the minute he feels he has the chance to win, he will take that opportunity to give you a royal flogging.

I have seen it more than once happen to trainers who advocate and advise what's commonly known as an Alpha Roll.

This is a technique in which the loose skin around the dog’s neck is grabbed and the dog flung onto its back, the trainer climbing on top of the dog and giving it eye contact, much like the winning dog would do in a fight.

People all around the world still bare the scars from dogs nearly tearing their faces off.

Do not attempt an Alpha Roll on your dog, it's not the job for novices or professionals, it will achieve no positive results.

To gain the respect of your dog, you will need to put in place a program that will see the dog make the decision as to who is in charge, without the need for a fight or conflict.

This can be easily done with the right trainer, who will specify you a step by step, low conflict, low risk program that he or she can demonstrate and you can practice and implement at home.


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