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Attacking puppies
  • RedShastaRedShasta
    Posts: 38
    So Tierce went after a puppy tonight at the dog park. It was a 4 month old female Airedale. Tierce trotted up to it and another puppy and was sniffing them. The Airedale started licking Tierce's face, not pushy, just around his mouth and Tierce went a-p-e-s-h-i-t. He jumped on the puppy and started snapping and snarling at her. Then, when she ran away, he chased after her.

    I broke several landspeed records getting to them. The puppy wasn't injured; the owner and I examined her and she was just scared. She perked up a little and started trotting around after a few minutes.

    Obviously, Tierce is not going back into the dog park. It frightened me, though. At daycare, he has friends who can put his head into their mouths. One uses him as her little chew toy.

    I just am freaked out by his sudden 'snapping' towards this little puppy. She wasn't being 'rude' as I've come to think of some dog behaviour; just submissive and not pushy and he just lost it.

    Now, I do think that he could have hurt her if he wanted to and he didn't, but I think his behaviour was WAY over the line when just a snap or a snarl would have done the job. And, of course, I don't really want to push his boundaries and find out the point at which he *will* hurt another dog.

    Anyone else had this experience? Any ideas on what could have caused Tierce to interpret a puppy licking around his mouth as 'I'm the reason that you're getting a bath on Monday'?
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    Post edited by RedShasta at 2013-06-08 01:37:46
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3481
    how old is your Shiba?

    I'm assuming he's an older dog? I won't be
    Surprised if its just the common Shiba intolerance that grows with age.
  • RedShastaRedShasta
    Posts: 38
    6 years, so you could be right about that.
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  • RikkaRikka
    Posts: 1501
    Sagan has done this a few times, as much as I'd like to not admit that. He's fine with puppies who mind their own business, but when they're in his face and licking and give off a "I'M SO SPECIAL GIVE ME ATTENTION" aura, he gets pretty annoyed at it. He's only taken off and snapped/snarled at one puppy in particular who was ALL over me. Jumping, pawing, licking, doing everything she could to get my attention and Sagan ran full-speed at her; he was the opposite end of the dog park minding his own business, and when he turned around to see this Lab puppy trying to jump on top of me, I guess that set off some alarms in his head.

    I did what you did and ran full-speed to grab him and picked him up. The Lab was pretty scared and trotted off in a random direction once she realized Sagan wasn't on her ass. >.> Once I did, I apologized to the owner, and left the dog park. Haven't returned to that particular one in months.

    Since then, he's had two incidents where he's scared another puppy or two, but he's never gotten into a full-blown fight or anything. Just super snarky with outgoing puppies, which is weird, since he's the ripe age of 1. :p
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    Lauren, living with a 4 y/o Shiba named after a scientist. ☆
    Post edited by Rikka at 2013-06-08 02:41:07
  • tatonkatatonka
    Posts: 1210
    Yeah the same happened with Tatonka between 6 months to 1-ish years of age. Now he seems friendly if he likes them/ignores them otherwise.
    Monkey!
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4784
    I think it takes a pretty special temperament to be patient with puppy face licking. I have a very tolerant intact male about Tierce's age, and he is always the first of my adult dogs that I will introduce puppies/new dogs to, but even he has his limits especially as he ages. I can trust him to give appropriate corrections, but it's easier for me to just run the young dogs together and allow them to play and be obnoxious without making the adults participate.

    The face licking is very much a puppy groveling thing, but even though it's very benign, it's still way annoying for adult dogs.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
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  • Koji's momKoji's mom
    Posts: 632
    I had always heard about the "puppy pass" - supposedly where older dogs give puppies a pass for being annoying or rude - is that not really true?

    I feel lucky now Koji didn't get stomped...I had false security knowing he had that pass...yikes..

    PS My neighbors dog who is not a puppy licks Koji's teeth - kind of like an obsession - lick lick lick...and Koji raises his lips and allows it but makes a horrible whine-y noise...an extreme protest - but loves the neighbor so much he puts up with it.....(it's actually hilarious)

    That is random - don't mean to hijack:)
  • RedShastaRedShasta
    Posts: 38
    :D Yeah, apparently the 'puppy pass' lasts to around 4.5 months, according to Dr. Ian Dunbar... maybe Tierce didn't read that memo. It was the relative non-pushiness of the puppy that threw me off; she was just licking his muzzle, something that I didn't think would trigger aggression.
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  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3664
    For some reason, this lip licking discussion makes me picture this clip:



    Even though a benign and non-aggressive behavior, some dogs can take it as a form of pushiness due to it impeding on their personal space.
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  • MarijeMarije
    Posts: 114
    When Shiro first started getting intolerant with strange dogs (he was a little over 1 year old, which is 4 years ago), he started with young dogs. Even a really young puppy once.
    First it was a snark, but it got progressively worse to the point where he would chase them. Not worth the risk. He drew blood on 2 dogs, 1 in the park and 1 that was off leash (the really young puppy) on the street who came in his face when Shiro was on leash, so now we only go to the park if there are old buddies or no dogs at all in there. For some reason dogs he knows from puppyhood are not on his hate list, nor are calm dogs.
    At the same time, Shiro and I have been taking (rally) obedience classes for years now, and he has never shown any aggression towards the other dogs in class. It is really a 'don't invade my personal space while being too energetic' thing and I believe his personal space became the size of half the dog park, because we went there almost every day.
    Anyway, I hope this was a one time thing with Tierce!
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    Some dogs give the puppy pass, some dogs don't. My Akita hates puppies, and what usually triggers his grouchiness is the face licking thing. He hates having dogs in his face, and the more annoyed he gets, the more grovely/submissive they become and more licky, and so you can see it doesn't go well.

    We had to keep him crated away from our Kai Ken puppy for almost two months when we got the puppy. Once Leo stopped with some of the puppy "in your face" activities, Oskar was fine with him.

    So I'd say it may just be Tierce is no longer feeling tolerant of puppies. Try to keep him away from them, I guess. Too bad you had to find out this way, but....
  • curlytailscurlytails
    Posts: 2779
    Did the puppy's breath reek of bacon treats?

    That once caused Bowdu to flip out on a Shiba pup. Other breeds pretty much all get the puppy pass from him, though he'll still snarl within reason.

    And Bowdu was definitely sharper and violently erratic in the months before we got his thyroid diagnosis. This I realized only in retrospect.
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    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1249
    There's a dog at Juni's daycare that likes to lick the other dogs faces. Juni hates it, I think it is way too much intrusion to her body zone. The trainers used to move that dog when we show up, but now she has finally learned and is very careful around Juni.
    I keep writing here in different threads to warn puppy owners: a lot of adult dogs do not like puppies and puppy behaviour. Sorry Ian Dunbar, I don't think there is a general puppy pass up to a certain age.
  • RedShastaRedShasta
    Posts: 38
    Thanks, everyone! The feedback has been awesome. I'm hoping that this is a one-time thing with Tierce and I think I'll try to keep it that way by keeping him out of the dog park.

    I'm kind of torn on off-leash trails. Tierce seems to be more easy going when he is walking and going somewhere. I don't know; he's never had an incident on an off-leash trail... I'd like to be able to let him run free somewhere, but right now I feel safest doing that in places where I can see if other dogs are around so I can call him back and leash him.
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  • XabiXabi
    Posts: 432
    I've had a couple similar experiences with my older male. We still go to our dog park, but it is a concern of mine. Though it can be difficult, I try to keep a vigilant watch over the dogs that are playing with mine. My guy, (only 2yo) has already had a couple scuffles with puppies, one of which escalated to what I would call an attack. I was looking down to send a text and my guy went after a younger puppy which I assume was being submissive. I apologized and gave the owner my information, but she thought he was okay. He has a bit of a hair trigger, since many puppies may not interpret his growling correctly as a warning.

    I certainly have a "back on the horse" feeling about going to the dog park, but I try to stay more aware. I call my guys away from puppies or any dogs that are particularly submissive. That really seems to annoy him. Even lab puppies or other breeds which are physically bigger are a concern. I've watched him semi-forceably push puppies with a paw along with the growling. If I get him to stop paying attention to the puppy it usually goes well from there forward.

    If he snaps and goes into an attack mode, that day at the dog park is done though. That's my only advice. I wouldn't necessarily stay away from the park, but if you can keep watch and then call him off or away when you see him tense up, that may help you.
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  • I disagree. If your dog doesn't like a particular other kind of dog, then it is irresponsible to bring that dog to a place where that type of dog is present and yours is off-leash. When you do, you are taking a risk with someone else's dog when they have every right to expect that their dog will not be subjected to an attack by another. You should never subject someone else's dog to the danger of yours simply because you think it's nice for your dog to enjoy something. The benefit is not proportionate to the cost and it's not fair to the other dog.
  • RedShastaRedShasta
    Posts: 38
    @notoriousscrat And that's kind of where I stand. This incident was so sudden, had no warnings that I could observe and seemed so extreme (even though he didn't hurt the puppy, it was unpleasant for all concerned) that I feel that the only responsible option is to take Tierce out of the dog park and limit his interactions to situations where we know the dogs and know that he interacts well with them or have both dogs under leash control.
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    Post edited by RedShasta at 2013-06-11 03:59:23
  • Koji's momKoji's mom
    Posts: 632
    @Xabi - Oy vey! I agree with @Notoriousscrat -It is wrong to put other dogs at risk - if your dog attacked my dog and I found out you knew he had a "hair trigger" yet you kept coming back over and over? If I was bigger and younger my own "hair trigger" might go off and I'd sue you.

    I was going to say it's selfish, but I bet your dog is not even having fun...If he is in attack mode he's probably stressed...take him somewhere where he is relaxed and other people do not have to worry about their puppies...This is EXACTLY why I do not go to the dog park.

    Each incident is "practice" and they get better and better at it...

    I hope I'm misreading your post...
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8413
    @Koji's mom - It IS selfish behaviour on an owner's part to take a reactive dog to the dog park. And it is irresponsible behaviour. If your dog has a known reactivity (to puppies in this case), then he should not be put in the situation where he is required to interact with those types of dogs, especially in an uncontrolled environment, such as a dog park.

    If there were to be a problem and your dog were to injure another, the fact that you knew he was reactive and still brought him to an off leash dog park means that you are 100% liable for any and all damages, even if the scuffle was started by the puppy.

    We, as owners, have a responsibility to our pets to look out for them in every way. I have a reactive dog. She despises most male dogs (especially non-spitz breeds) and only gets along with a select few females. Therefore, in order to keep her happy, safe, and out of the legal system, I restrict her interaction with dogs to ones where I have 100% control of what happens. She is ALWAYS on leash (unless in my yard). And if there is somewhere that I want to go where there will be off leash dogs, I leave her at home or with grandma, where she gets spoiled rotten.

    My point is, if you have a reactive dog (whether to all dogs, people, puppies, certain breeds, etc.), then champion for your dog. Keep him or her out of situations where he or she will react. And this most definitely means no dog parks!!!
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
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  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    I agree with the recent posts and agree @RedShasta is making the right choice to take him out of the dog parks for now. It is not fair to Tierce to put him in situations he clearly isn't ready to handle responsibly and it is not fair to the other dog owners at the park who shouldn't have to worry about that type of conflict possibly damaging their own dogs socialization skills.

    We should always set our dogs up for success, not just try to redirect/avoid failure.
  • knnwangknnwang
    Posts: 644
    I think its Awesome when mine gets all Shiba 500 in a game of chase, with his tail all puffy & straighten, it’s fun watching the larger dogs try to keep up. That head butt thing with his snout open and play biting does confuse me, but no blood or yelping. Ratchet has never drawn blood and only growled at a bulldog. I would respect the other dog owner wishes if they feel that my little one is being too rough, and I can call him off with a leave it command (usually new people that are not regulars feel uncomfertable with his play style.)

    Here are a few pictures of his current sparring buddy. The other owners are cool with the play style, but I prefer they do the chase game (although when Ratchet is chasing he ends up knocking over the one running away by slamming into then, they are kind of slow.) Both the other dogs are 7 or 8 Months old.

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  • cstrashcstrash
    Posts: 35
    Marty snarled and snapped at a puppy at the farmer's market today. I was shocked an embarrassed. I apologized and explained that he doesn't normally act like this but the owner of the puppy (rightfully) gave me the nastiest look. Marty is 1 yr 8 months so I guess we're entering the stage where he's could become intolerant of other dogs. I thought by socializing him at the park and day care that he might not have such an issue. This is the first time something like this has happened and thankfully both dogs were on leash so no harm was done. But now I'm unsure as to whether I should bring Marty somewhere again where such a situation could occur. Maybe it was just this one puppy that bothered him? Maybe it was because he was on leash? I definitely don't want to set him up for failure by putting him into a situation where he could hurt another dog, but I also don't want to assume he can never go to the park again. I'm just not sure how to "test" him.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3481
    @cstrash

    You can elaborate more and explain the situation. What made him snap?

    Yes shibas get intolerant with age, but you can't just jump to that excuse, something must have set him off
  • cstrashcstrash
    Posts: 35
    I'm really not sure. We were walking and an owner with her puppy approached. It looked like maybe an Australian cattle dog, pretty young, maybe 4-6 months? I'm not sure if it was a male or female. The puppy was extremely mellow, no jumping or licking. The puppy wanted to meet Marty so I allowed him to approach it and they smelled faces first. Marty smelled the dog for a good 5-10 seconds before he growled and snapped. I did not see any signs, but I'll admit I had more of my attention on the puppy because it was very cute. I did not hear a warning growl at all and once I pulled him away he did not attempt to go back towards the puppy. I probably wouldn't worry as much but the look this woman gave me was so awful. I'm sure she was worried for her new pup as I would be if Marty was that young. I think I could've paid a bit more attention to any signs Marty was showing, but I didn't know to expect that he'd do anything. I can definitely try to be very attentive to him when meeting other dogs but since he hasn't done this before I'm not sure I'd know exactly what to look for. He also went from sniffing to his snap pretty quickly... 5 or so seconds, which isn't much time. I'm hoping its more of a one-occurrence but I don't want to find out the hard way that he has a problem.

    I think you're right, Bootz... I can't jump to conclusions and say "I guess he's done meeting dogs!" I'm just still surprised that it happened and I'm trying to think of the best way for our next encounter with other dogs to go.
  • omgtainomgtain
    Posts: 68
    During face to face greetings I always cut things short, about 3 seconds. The more time they have, the more time they can change their minds ;) I would not isolate him, take him out and have fun, but he does not need to meet other dogs. Your pup can smell another dog from 10 feet away, he doesn't need them in his face. If someone wants their dog to meet yours, tell them your pup is in training and people will leave you alone. I'm going to be honest that a lot of people don't really know or understand their dogs and will lie through their teeth about them being friendly. Protect your pup at all cost!
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  • RedShastaRedShasta
    Posts: 38
    I keep Tierce with the dogs I *know* he likes and tolerates. One strategy is to bring your dog to a completely fenced in dog park and keep him on the *other* side of the fence, so he can meet other dogs, but the fence prevents them from coming to grips if he decides he doesn't like the other dog and it also keeps him from being overwhelmed by another dog.

    I spoke with a number of people about Tierce's indiscretion. The consensus is 'sometimes we just don't know what sets them off'. I don't take Tierce to the dog park or daycare any more and I limit his interactions with new dogs until I'm sure that he has decided that they've passed his invisible tests for 'acceptability'.
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  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    I guess it's a warning....it may be that he is developing an intolerance of other dogs, or it may be he simply doesn't like puppies (some dogs don't), or it may be the puppy was rude, or one or both were stressed, or whatever.

    I'd be more careful with future interactions and keep them short, and if you continue to take him to a dog park, I'd be hypervigilant. Maybe another group class would be a good idea? Even if he can't socialize with other dogs, being in a group that is working on something else would be a way for him to be around other dogs and learn to act appropriately (and would also give you and a trainer an opportunity to observe his responses to other dogs).

    i personally think it's kind of annoying when people bring dogs to a dog park and let them hang out on the other side of the fence, but....Some dogs react badly to barriers, so it could make some dogs more likely to be reactive, and it's also just kind of not cool to have another dog hanging around outside the fence like that.
  • RedShastaRedShasta
    Posts: 38
    We don't generally have problems like that at our local dog park, but if any dog is getting reactive, I think it's just good manners to quit for the day and take the dog away from the fence. I have a lot of friends who go to the dog park who I still like to chat with, but I don't want Tierce in there because of his previous antisocial behaviour.

    Then again, when a dog isn't actively coming up to him or in his space, he doesn't really react to other dogs, so that might be why he hasn't caused problems like that. With a younger, more excited dog, the fence thing could well become an issue - and yeah, if a dog is causing problems for dogs already in the park, it's best not to use that as a strategy.
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    Post edited by RedShasta at 2014-06-28 19:58:56
  • millerb7millerb7
    Posts: 132
    So far Chloe is very tolerant (14 months old). She goes to the dog park. 3 days a week. The only thing she doesn't like is when the bigger dogs all run up and get all over her. She'll turn around, stand real rigid and chomp her teeth. Never bites them, just chomps the air. They just walk away and she's fine. It only occurs if it's 3-5 dogs all ganging up on her.

    She LOVES puppies. Usually she lays on her side or back and rubs her head all over them.

    She is a rough player though and luckily our dog park has about a 50:1 husky:other dog ratio lol. So the owners generally don't care since the huskies are rough players as well.

    I also definitely find that meeting other new dogs is WAY easier odd leash. She doesn't feel confined and can roam around them.
  • Sarms802Sarms802
    Posts: 10
    I just started a post that has a similar topic in it... my pup targets smaller and younger dogs too. I completely agree with keeping the face to face meetings short. They definitely do better when it's a super brief "hello", and then on our way.

    I also agree that off leash meetings tend to be more relaxed and less hostile. If on leash, I find it's easier if I'm standing at 3 o'clock or 9 o'clock, rather than directly behind him with a taught leash. That way if you need to give a tug to remove them from the situation, you're not teaching them to lunge forward at the other dog, but rather to walk away.
    Sara - Colchester, Vermont

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    Post edited by Sarms802 at 2014-08-14 16:31:41
  • kiba888kiba888
    Posts: 144
    Kiba has a had a few scuffles with puppies. He is fine with sniffing, but the moment the puppy throws a paw on him or attempts to jump on him. It's a game he does not like and he will snap -- This is the same puppy behavior he use to do that got older dogs pissed off.

  • One of my friends who was convinced that Tierce was a miracle Shiba because he's normally (normally = away from food/treats/value items/the colour yellow/Thursdays) fine with other (adult) dogs. However, she got to see his other side when her puppy knocked over a canister of treats and Tierce became Demon Dog. Luckily we had control of them both. She's a dog trainer and we're going to be working with her to modify Tierce's tendency to bully other dogs over whatever he decides is his. We may not be 100% successful, but any progress is better than none IMO.
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    Post edited by RedShasta at 2014-08-15 01:28:39
  • @RedShasta please keep me posted on how Tierce does with puppies. My dog, Yuki, has been having a problem with puppies (he is a 10 month old puppy) from Day 1, and I'd love to be able to work with him on this!!!!
  • He's still not a fan, but I've gotten advice on positive reinforcement with puppies. Trouble is, it doesn't completely proof him - he's never going to be a dog I can blithely trust with other dogs. Here's one exercise I've been taught.

    Look at that/look at me

    Ingredients:
    Clicker (or marker word, but clicker often is better)
    Small treats, easily chewed (or your dog's kibble - make them earn their meal).
    Toys if the dog responds to them
    Leash
    Collar

    Recipe:

    Station dog near another dog at the edge of its tolerance level (when it starts to react). Encourage the dog to look at the other dog. As soon as its attention is on the other dog, click and treat.

    Repeat this until you wish you never heard of clicker training. Repeat with different dogs, whatever triggers the dog.

    Gradually extend the focus that your dog has on the other dog before rewarding the attention.

    The goal here is not to make the dog 'like' other dogs, but to permanently associate a former trigger with positive reinforcement. The theory goes that the more that your dog associates other dogs with treats and praise or playtime, the longer the delay between focusing on another dog and reacting aggressively should be. Also, this method teaches the dog to focus on the other dog and then back on you, thus breaking up the 'tunnel vision' some dogs that automatically react may have.

    ****
    But mostly, to be honest, I just avoid having him around other dogs he hasn't already shown good behaviour around and even then, not around food and not around toys.

    Hope this gives you an idea for things to try with your Yuki!
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  • Hello everyone...
    My Kiba has been the sweetest Shiba since I brought him home. It is normally just me and him and my girl-friend. He gets along really well with everyone he meets. We have been going to puppy class and our last class is this saturday. He has done great at the class. I have also been taking him to the puppy park, where he plays and occasionally wrestles and plays a bit rough with other dogs/puppies of his size. He's only gotten into one fight (seemed like one) and it was with a pug that was not neutered (Kiba was not neutered until this wednesday). Kiba always seemed to like to try and bully the other dogs/puppies that werent neutered my guess to show dominance.

    Yesterday, my girlfriend got a Sesame Shiba puppy that is about 4 months old. We tried introducing them outside but Kiba just wanted to play with her i thought...so I figured they would get along. Then we took them inside to our apartment and the fun began. Puppy would be minding her own business and he would not leave her alone and they would just bark and growl at each other. He would sniff her...then out of nowhere he lunged at her while the puppy was on my girlfriends lap and kind of nipped at her. Then she would go into the kennel i had (travel size) and he would just lay right outside watching her as if to show her that he is the boss and she is not to come out at all.

    I wasn't much concerned as i figured things would cooldown and eventually they'd get along...but this morning, my girlfriend was putting the puppy on the leash and for the split second i let go of Kiba, he went straight for the puppy and attacked the puppy and grabbed the puppies side. Of course, the puppy did the Shiba scream which sounded horrifying but there was no damage done...

    Does this mean that Kiba does not like this new puppy and the puppy will never be welcomed at our apartment?

    thanks,

    Thomas
  • They will likely be fine in the long-term, but you need to introduce them and get them used to each other much more slowly than you started with. In Kiba's eyes, his home is being invaded by a strange dog. In the puppy's eyes, they are in a new environment with new people and a dog that seems like it doesn't want the puppy around. It is stressful right now to both of them. Try keeping them in separate rooms with a baby gate separating them so they can only interact through the gate. Once they can tolerate each other well through the gate, let them be in the same room, but leashed and in your presence only until they both show they are comfortable with each other. Then try letting them off leash together in the same room, again only in your presence, to see how they do unrestrained. It will take some time and effort, but will be worth it in the long run. Good luck with your new addition!
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8413
    @thomas2388 - You need to slow down and keep the dogs completely separated to start. Please search for threads on the topic of introducing a second dog. There are several great ones on the forum already with great advice.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • Thanks for the replies...we decided to name the new puppy Ari and here is a bit of an update.

    We tried the baby gate and keeping them separated and Kiba would just whine and bark...as if he wanted to be with Ari. It was a rough night, but we kept them separated at night and things calmed down a bit for bed time.

    The weather was great this weekend so we took them to the park so they would be in neutral territory and we would see how they got along. Looks like Kiba is just playing with the Ari in the park and she is having fun as she keeps following him and instigating playful chases with him.

    I did find out though, that the previous owner who had these two shiba puppies (male and female)...our Ari would be the one getting bossed around by the other puppy. Apparently our Ari was always submissive and my guess is that she is really afraid of being bossed around
  • Success with Ari and Kiba. Looks as if the introduction is going well after a slightly rocky start.

    But to get back to beating up puppies at the dog park...

    Benji turned adolescent last Easter weekend (11 months), literally. From Mr Conviviality he turned into a jerk with no respect for senior dogs and no fear of any dog whatever. I banned us from the dog park and immediately instituted @RedShasta's exercise, Look at the Dog. This has been reasonably successful as long as Benji is on the leash. From daily incidents we are down to one or two mild instances a month. He responds well to a Heel command and loves all the treats he gets for complying.

    The problem is that I am unable to exercise Benji adequately without two or three visits a week at the dog park. I live in an apartment with no yard. I can't run with him as he would need or leave him to run free except at the dog park and beside, he adores playing with the other dogs. At 22 months, his behaviour has gradually improved to the point that he plays nicely with most dogs or is able to ignore them. And I see that he is still learning from other dogs. So I have starting going back to the park, cautiously, in the last 6 weeks.

    Trouble is, he still behaves like a jerk when he thinks a dog is too submissive or a puppy. These, he just has to persecute, even going to the extent of nipping their backs. He doesn't bite, so far, but specially in the case of a nervous dog or a puppy, it must be distressing. And I have very little control over him without the leash.

    After read numerous web pages from the positive reinforcement community, including this forum, I am pretty gloomy about the prognosis for Benji. Can I ever hope to improve his behaviour, rather than just managing the problem? Part of the problem is that I don't have any consequence for misbehaviour except catching the miscreant and marching him smartly out of the dog park. Water over a duck's back, I'm afraid; it takes too long for a dog's memory.

    FYI, I had him chemically castrated 6 months ago, with no impact on his behaviour.

    Have any of you ever found a solution for a wilful little Shiba other than exile from the dog park?
  • RikkaRikka
    Posts: 1501
    Trouble is, he still behaves like a jerk when he thinks a dog is too submissive or a puppy. These, he just has to persecute, even going to the extent of nipping their backs. He doesn't bite, so far, but specially in the case of a nervous dog or a puppy, it must be distressing. And I have very little control over him without the leash.


    This is exactly how Sagan acts around certain puppies. I've had the same dilemma as you for over a year despite exposure, finding friends with puppies rather than strangers, positive reinforcement, etc. I focused more on his recall so I can call him over if we come across a puppy so it doesn't end up being a negative experience. It sucks not knowing how he'll react to a puppy as it's often unpredictable, so I remove that scenario entirely because it is distressing.
    image
    Lauren, living with a 4 y/o Shiba named after a scientist. ☆
    Post edited by Rikka at 2015-03-23 14:36:13
  • Rikka said:

    Trouble is, he still behaves like a jerk when he thinks a dog is too submissive or a puppy. These, he just has to persecute, even going to the extent of nipping their backs. He doesn't bite, so far, but specially in the case of a nervous dog or a puppy, it must be distressing. And I have very little control over him without the leash.


    This is exactly how Sagan acts around certain puppies. I've had the same dilemma as you for over a year despite exposure, finding friends with puppies rather than strangers, positive reinforcement, etc. I focused more on his recall so I can call him over if we come across a puppy so it doesn't end up being a negative experience. It sucks not knowing how he'll react to a puppy as it's often unpredictable, so I remove that scenario entirely because it is distressing.


    I thought this was normal Shiba behavior?

    Yesterday at the dog park, there was a 15week old Shiba puppy and the puppy decided to play with Kiba. So Kiba agreed and off they went chasing each other in circles. At some points Kiba would catch up and just slightly nip the puppy's back, puppy would get back up and run off again. Then Kiba would leave puppy alone and the puppy would come and instigate Kiba to play with him again.

  • RikkaRikka
    Posts: 1501
    I thought this was normal Shiba behavior?


    I don't know? I don't think it's good behavior, as a well-socialized dog should be able to play respectfully (or at least tolerant) with dogs of all ages. Sagan is excellent with other puppies who are just as rough as him, e.g. Huskies, German Shepherds, and other bigger breeds, but generally speaking, he's not "nice" towards puppies who show obvious signs of being scared, insecure, or unhappy.

    I socialized the hell out of him when he was a puppy, such as going through two 6-week puppy classes, my ex taking him to Amazon every day and playing with other dogs, dog daycares, dog parks, so on and so forth. He's confident with adults but for some reason, it's always around puppies that's 50/50 with his behavior. *shrug* Again, he's solid in his recall, so I call him back if we're at a dog park and there's a puppy in proximity it isn't a large dog breed by nature.
    image
    Lauren, living with a 4 y/o Shiba named after a scientist. ☆
  • Rikka, thanks for your input. It was really interesting that you had done everything to socialise Sagan well but he still beats up the "wrong" puppies.

    I wasn't able to do so well with socialising Benji, unfortunately. Where I live, there aren't things like puppy daycare, Amazon, Pet Store, etc. I just had to rely on weekly puppy classes and chance encounters on the street; later, when he was big enough not to get lost at the dog park, I took him there. Still, he seemed to get on pretty well with mixing with all dogs and puppies at the dog park until puberty struck. On Good Friday he suddenly started challenging every male and unmercifully teasing every female he could find. On the day after, he decided to take on a grown-up Anatolian Shepherd; no more dog park for Benji. It still haunts me.

    So it looks as if the behaviour was after all mainly testosterone-driven rather than down to lack of experience. Certainly, he's toned down a lot since then; he now only targets the vulnerable ... :(

    Thomas2388, I am with Rikka here; just because this behaviour is Shiba-normal it doesn't mean it's acceptable. And if I don't fix it someone, dog or human, will eventually do, and on worse terms for Benji.

    I thought of maybe using a soft muzzle as a kind of time-out might be a solution. But I'd first need to catch the little pest. Easier said than done. However, I saw a clip on YouTube showing the exact same behaviour by a young Rottweiler. A smaller dog approached her politely. But the Rottie ignored the cues and started nipping the other dog again and again. The handler intervened but couldn't stop her. So he clipped on a very long lead on the Rottie and was able to correct her. Must try that.

    This could help with Benji's recall too, which is currently miserable.

  • RikkaRikka
    Posts: 1501
    I'm sorry to hear that, it's equally frustrating and upset when your dog isn't behaving nicely towards others, even though you actively try to socialize them. I would definitely work on Benji's recall if you can! It's always a good skill to have. :)

    It just sucks since you can't *really* pinpoint why they behave the way they do towards certain puppies but not all puppies. It's easy to have a broad generalization of, "no, Sagan would probably not get along with a Beagle puppy, I will have him avoid that" vs. "yes, Sagan would probably get along with a Husky puppy, let's see how they interact" because of past experiences...
    image
    Lauren, living with a 4 y/o Shiba named after a scientist. ☆
  • Rikka, I don't know why Sagan batters puppies but I have a good idea why Benji does. He always picks a sweet, submissive pup. But he's been fine with a very young Akita and one very young Lab - while another slightly older Lab came in for a pummeling; the two were playing ok, then she rolled over. Quick as a flash, Benji struck. He's the same with submissive adult dogs. Sometimes I don't pick up on the submissive types but usually I do; trouble is, Benji is way too far for me to catch him.
    I have been working on his recall since puppy classes and a special recall class. It's all the same, he'll trot (NOT run) up to me if he hasn't anything better to do. Like bullying a puppy, for instance.
  • RedShastaRedShasta
    Posts: 38
    Wow, it's kind of a relief that I'm not the only person that has had this experience. Tierce also seems to like puppies and dogs that are a little pushy, but not too pushy. What 'too' means depends on Tierce... Submissiveness just doesn't seem to work for him, but it's not fair to the other dog to have it being jumped on just because Tierce has an issue with it. So we're still really careful about introducing him to other dogs and he doesn't get to socialize in the dog park.
    Visit ShibaInus.ca for Shiba evilness!
  • Well, Benji too is again banned from the dog park. There are too many puppies to risk it at the present. And after reading an article about the ten deadly sins to avoid at dog parks, I realised that my solution of putting Benji on a 60 ft lease wouldn't fly (see my post on March 25). I did, though, find an really excellent article on dogs who bully others from an Atlanta rescue centre that adresses the very problem and gives the solution (s). See below. Of course, currently I don't have any friends with dogs to practice with, so that is on hold for now. So I am going to enrol us in the next recall course, in May. Meantime, I will work even more on Benji's concentration (on me) and his obedience on leash. I'll let you know how it goes.

    Meantime, enjoy the article and wish all to whom it is relevant a Happy Easter!

    http://atlantahumane.org/education-center/bully/
  • spacewolfspacewolf
    Posts: 20
    Maybe it is just a rule in our municipality but I was under the impression that dog parks had a specific location for puppies under a certain age as this is an extremely common issue. There is a large play pen in our off leash dog park for puppies under the age of 6 months who are only allowed off leash in that zone.

    I lucked out and have an extremely tolerant shiba without a mean bone in his body but once he hit about 8 months he started instinctually hunting puppies at his dog classes. After about a half dozen corrections he now (usually) avoids the situation entirely. I do still notice him go into "harmless" predator mode when playing with our 13lb terrier on outings. Luckily she is sassy enough to correct him pretty quick :p
    image
    Brody
  • RikkaRikka
    Posts: 1501
    @spacewolf - There are signs in every single dog park in my area that states that dogs MUST be over 6 months old, but alas, most dog owners simply do not care.
    image
    Lauren, living with a 4 y/o Shiba named after a scientist. ☆
  • spacewolfspacewolf
    Posts: 20
    It's really not fair to other dog owners. Pups haven't learned proper doggie etiquette and puppy owners shouldn't expect strangers dogs to put up with it and correct them. It's just asking for trouble and then an otherwise well behaved and trained dog that should be able to run free at the park gets banned or restricted to leash D:<

    BTW Rikka, beauuutiful black and tan :)
    image
    Brody
  • RikkaRikka
    Posts: 1501
    @spacewolf - Trust me, I have strong feelings about it... it's even more infuriating seeing puppies that were literally picked up that day from a breeder at the park - it's happened!

    Thank you! Brody seems awesome, too!
    image
    Lauren, living with a 4 y/o Shiba named after a scientist. ☆

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