When two dogs hate each other
What do you do when your two dogs hate each other and can't be in the same room because they fight?
Two female German shepherds who are big strong dogs and when they set their mind to something it can be scary for the owner to intervene, especially if the dogs are determined to get their own way!
It is always interesting when an owner tells you the dog that is allowed to greet you at the door is fine yet that same dog goes on to nip you because you have the cheek to ignore it!
This can often be a real eye opener for owners who are in a set routine with their dogs without even realising it but I guarantee their dog realises it and uses it to their advantage because what did the owner do when the dog nipped me? Give it a lot of attention, or they would have had I not stopped them.
The same dog would not let me into the kitchen, she blocked the door with her body as the kitchen was where she was in control and it took a good 10 minutes before she realised she was not getting the response she thought she would.
If a dog does not get a response to a behaviour, there is not point in repeating that behaviour.
The problem with these two dogs is they both think they are in control so they argue with each other and these arguments do get very heated which is a very scary thing to deal with.
The reason they argue is they are competing very strongly for attention, for all of the attention and they cannot have all the attention all of the time but they try to make sure they do achieve that.
There is no balance to the attention, it is all or nothing and with every dog I work with, it is not what you are doing that causes the issues, it is what you are not doing that causes the issues.
Dogs are like nature, they abhor a vacuum and is there is a gap in the attention, they will fill that gap with a behaviour they know you will react to and that is rarely a behaviour we want from our dogs.
If we have a favourite that will create competition as that dog is getting more attention. When both of your dogs are willing to compete, then you will have problems and the biggest problem we have as people is recognising what we are doing is causing imbalance and then changing our behaviour to create balance.
If you have dogs willing to compete, you will need to calm down as your dogs already associate excitement with attention and your dogs need to be able to think clearly and to do this they need to be calm.
This can often be one of the hardest changes owners need to make, they have to bring a balance to their interaction with their dogs. Many owners understand and get it, some do not yet it is all about your dog and getting them to be better behaved and to do that long term, you will have to change your behaviour.
If you would like to change your dogs behaviour, please comment on this blog or use the contact page to get in touch.