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Paige. My Dominant Little Bitch.


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So we're out tonight doing our bit as extras in a tv thing. We're here with other greys and handlers. Brandi's doing well. Paige is not. She's ok with: make dogs who behave well, most submissive females but with females who are equally dominant, she's being a complete arse. I guess all I can do is keep her away from the other dominant female and the boofy make who likes jumping on others.

 

Not really asking for advice but I wanted to vent to people who understand. I'm with people who freak when they hear a dog growl. I don't discipline for growling and Paige has never bitten but it's bloody annoying when I'm told my dog is aggressive by other dog owners and handlers when all that's happening is communication rather than the start of a fight.

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I totally feel for you! If it makes you feel any better, Truman is what we call "moody blues" sometimes. He gets in these weird funks (usually at events or the dog park where he's had enough excitement), and he becomes standoffish and growly. It might be an immaturity thing because he's young and still a little insecure. Maybe it's just how he is. I find it a little embarrassing, but I don't discipline him for growling at dogs. To me, better a growl than a bite. Luckily, other greyhound owners are always really nice about it. I apologize, and they usually stop me and say, "no need." But I do receive my fair share of, "What's wrong with him? Why is he so aggressive?" That always sticks in my craw. <_<

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I hear you. Summit is the same way. I hesitate to refer to it as "dominant" since I feel like that requires some sort of resource to manage, however I do know what you mean. It's sort of a less laid back personality type. Summit is fine with almost all females, but large males with the same sort of personality can be an issue... you know the ones... tail up, ears up and forward... so called "dominant". Summit also does not tolerate behaviours like mounting him. If a dog goes to sniff him and then starts putting his head on Summit's tail head or anything funny like that and he will growl and possibly turn around and snap. I don't correct this behaviour so long as it is appropriate to the situation. A situation where another dog is being rude I do not correct Summit. And I classify a dog STARING at us completely motionless from 5 feet away to be rude, when most owners would say "my dog wasn't doing anything to your dog". Yes, yes it was.

 

Summit is also aggressive towards huskies for some unknown reason. I don't correct him for this either but it is a situation that I manage much more closely. If I see a husky approaching I warn the owners to keep them back. Sometimes I get dirty looks. I'm sorry my dog doesn't like yours. I'm telling you to keep it away for everyone's safety because I'm a responsible owner.

 

What we have done is worked on a very solid "watch me" command. So I don't correct the growling, but I ask for a more acceptable behaviour and reward it. I will also reward an interaction with a dog that I thought was going to be a problem that Summit interacts well with or ignores (dogs running up to us uninvited etc. obviously I avoid meetings with dogs that I think might be problematic).

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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Kasey tolerates dominant males as "oh ya, you want to tell me what to do? I'll just run around with my tail high in the air and see if you little jerk can catch me" ;) And then he'll stand there and go "nah nah, you can't tell me what to do." But he won't go in to do a "correction" to an offending dog, unless that dog has pissed him off and he'll turn around to snap. He's so carefree it's pretty funny, however he does rule the roost at home with Ryder and his ruling is so subtle and not very often that I forget how "dominant" he can be. For years, before we had Ryder we thought Kasey was the Omega in any pack, but oh how he proved us wrong. He's one confident pup. I think his dominance sits in the middle. He likely wouldn't be alpha in a big pack unless he had to be, but he'd certainly be right up there.

 

I'm not familiar with growling to stake claim, but I can understand how you can be frustrated with others that are not aware of how dominant behaviour can be expressed. Perhaps they just don't have a lot of experience in big groups?

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I have a dominant little bitch too. We were at our first M&G on the weekend and everything was going great until I opened my big mouth and jinxed it. I made an innocent little comment on how relaxed and calm Bonnie was. Enter a big, lovely, laid back brindle boy. He has a cute little habit of resting his chin on the back of his sister's neck. Poor guy wasn't ready for the correction he got when he tried it on Bonnie. But to be fair, he made a beeline for her from behind when he started sniffing, which startled her. Luckily, I'm beginning to understand Bonnie's body language, and managed to pull her away when he got to the back of her neck. But it was embarrassing, as some of the other grey owners, who only heard her bark, reacted with "oooohs and awwws, as if her behaviour was inappropriate. That was a little disappointing to hear from "my own kind".

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I don't discipline for growling either (don't get me started on why THAT'S a bad idea!) and I have two greys who will growl to let other dogs know they don't like what's happening, just as yours do. However, for this reason, I wouldn't be taking them to an event like the one you're at. JMHO, but I would expect to be complained at in that situation. The crew and the other handlers will probably just expect everyone to behave so they can get on.

 

That's not meant to be a criticism. I so understand were you're coming from. But in my experience public events with a lot of strange dogs in this kind of situation usually want bomb-proof dogs. They should have explained that to all of the owners though, before they hired/accepted you.

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Guest FastDogsOwnMe

I have an almost 16 year old Whippet who is what I'd refer to as "intolerant of crap" and has been that way his entire life. I don't punish him for it. I will tell him to chill out, or "easy" if I see him get that look when another dog is sniffing him, but that's it, most dogs know to leave him alone. My senior Greyhound isn't dominant at all, but she doesn't tolerant mounting or being bothered when she's sleeping.

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How long have you had Paige?

 

Is she consistently snarking at certain types of dogs or is it the behaviour of those dogs that is setting her off? I ask because I went through quite a challenge with Hester until I was able to watch and record many greetings to learn what the problem was. Turns out Hester would give a calming signal (usual he would avert his gaze) and then check to see if the dog responded in kind. Lo and behold when a dog did not respond in kind he would puff himself up and warn the dog until it gave some indication it was not a threat. The big fellow actually had it right all along and I was a jerk for discouraging him from using his instincts to protect himself.

 

Interestingly after nearly two years with me and many hundreds of greetings where nothing has ever happened, Hester seems to have learned that the signals or an absence of them from other dogs just doesn't seem to matter that much. As a result of his learning he is much more tolerant of less than perfect approaches. If you haven't had Paige that long or if she hasn't encountered many other dogs (I am talking hundreds), you may find that over time she will chill out as she learns that these other dogs that bother her so much never do anything bad.

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Well we got through the night. The only two dogs Paige had trouble with were an oversized oaf who, the first time they met a couple of months ago, greeted her by leaping high in the air then attempting to wrestle her to the ground. He was put in his place by her pretty quick that time, and now they avoid each other. The other was the same bitch. I was watching them both and they gave off identical signals, requesting submission or calming signals, but effectively mirroring each other, both getting surprised when the other didn't 'get it' and escalating from there. All of this was happening in the hour or so before filming when I was making a point of testing things out to make sure there would be no problems.

 

I've had Paige nearly two years. This is how she is. She has always been quite bossy but is also very well socialised and never escalates to anything. Having said that, her mother when she came up for adoption was described as being intolerant of badly mannered dogs, badly mannered puppies and other females. She needed to be homed as a single dog or with only a submissive male. Paige is not that bad but is very vocal about her opinions.

 

The filming went well with absolutely no hiccups anywhere. Paige behaved immaculately, although she did cozy up to a recently neutered brindle boy who took a lot of interest in her. She encouraged this by rubbing up against him and generally behaving like a hussy. Brandi, on the other hand, told that boy of twice for getting too familiar - apparently Brandi is the sort of girl you need to buy dinner for! :bounce2

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Guest lynne893

For some reason, we've always had bitchy females :) All I can say is I totally understand being around other people who don't seem to "get it" that dogs will be dogs and growl at each other to communicate.

 

Good luck!

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