Aggressive / Rough Play

Aggressive / Rough Play

Postby chelynnah » Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:30 pm

From: ttrogwhip (Original Message) Sent: 31/03/2005 20:26
My two whippet boys can get very rowdy. They are both two years old and neutered. This is usually not a problem and they are just playing rough, without any issues. Over the last two years we've managed to only need one run to the vet for stitches one time. It wasn't because of a fight, but rather Griffin took off running and Baldwin came up behind and bit his back for what seemed like no reason.

It seems like Baldwin is just really vocal and tries to dominate and intimidate Griffin whenever it's time to go out and play. Griffin isn't a pushover, but Baldwin established his dominance or so it seems, now he can just be a bully. He also has a growl that sounds like it should be coming from an african lion or something, gotta be the most vocal/non barking dog I've heard. He's always super sweet toward people, and usually best buds with Griffin, very hard to figure him out.

This hasn't been a problem but I would just like to hear others experiences about what whippet playtime consists of.

From: SueHop Sent: 31/03/2005 20:48
My Gracie plays exactly like that - horrible growl, intimidation, chasing down, etc. She is also really good with people and most of the time with other dogs (exuberant young males sometimes irritate her ) I rarely let her play offleash with other dogs because of her hard play. Although, if the other dog is not intimidated and tells her off then she will play very nicely.

Honest...I'll play nice this time.


From: EricPahl Sent: 31/03/2005 20:52
Me too, Im all ears on this topic. This rough play could be a deciding
factor between Cooper staying with us or going back to Kathy's to find
his forever home. Cooper is bigger than Mossimo, Mossimo is a very
mouthy fella, and Cooper loves to mouth back, but the rough play at times
looks like a real fight. Cooper likes to jump on Mossimo and if nothing
else bite his neck... And these brothers are only 8 months... You say yours
are two years? Oh boy...

I wonder why Jonathan dosent have these problems? Or does he?


From: heythorphunt Sent: 31/03/2005 21:07
Jack and Thomas can get pretty loud too. Not a big deal at all really. Thomas likes to instigate by barking and Jack will snap back at him. They are loud more then rough. The problem comes when we come across another dog. Jack will go to say hi and then Thomas will jump on Jack and then all hell brakes loose. Not that they would ever bite another dog but I can see the concern in other dog owners faces when it gets loud. Rough play is normal. They are establishing their positions. I always tell people I dont worry until the tail stops wagging and the hair goes up on the back. Then its time to step in. If the tail is wagging and they are having fun I dont care how loud it gets (except I know most people dont understand dog behavior).

From: ttrogwhip Sent: 31/03/2005 21:07

How long have Cooper and Mossimo been in your house together? With my dogs, who are not real brothers, it took a couple months for them to buddy up. My comment before was really related to outdoor play and the fact that Baldwin tries to act like a 'tough guy' a lot of the time. I would rather see him loosen up a bit. I am no expert but I think some of it may have to do with the fact they are the same age, and Griffin always needs reminding that he is #2. Baldwin can't let his guard down and when they get outdoors the setting changes a little and he's got to reprove he's the alpha.

Most of the time he just postures and does the deep growl, and a lot of time Griffin will give it back to him for a while and then conceed defeat.

All in all, they are good buddies and it took about 2-3 months to have them get close. I would say if Mossimo and Cooper are not drawing blood, but rather mock-fighting give them a few months and it will cool off. You will probably always have a rivalry to some extent, but that can be fun too.

From: WileyandKai Sent: 31/03/2005 21:14
Kai asserts her dominance over big 40 lb boy Wiley. In fact Jonathan will attest to the fact when we were at our whippet meetup, and were throwing the flying squirrel, Kai had to grab it from Wiley, and hide it. She does not allow him to have anything, and bites his neck a lot when they are playing outside. Inside the house they pretty much get along, or do their own thing. Every now and then there is rough play in the house, and I think it is pretty normal. Neither of them have ever gotten hurt, and again it is mostly Kai showing who is boss.

From: ebranger Sent: 31/03/2005 21:25
Hunter and Derby look like they are going at it so hard sometimes that it looks and sounds like they are trying to kill each other. They get their cuts and scrapes, but no serious damage (yet, thankfully).

Of course, right after they are done trying their best to kill one another, they have no problem curling up into a ball and snuggling together.

From: ttrogwhip Sent: 31/03/2005 21:28
It sounds like Wiley and Kai have the same relationship as Griffin and Baldwin. You pretty much described what happens at our house to a T. The only difference is my big boy is the bossy one, not the other way around. Baldwin is a 40lbs boy , Griffin has spunk but is only 32lbs.

From: WhippetSpa Sent: 31/03/2005 21:46
Spencer is almost 4 and Mason is a little over 4 months and she wants to play with Spencer CONSTANTLY. She will never let him out of her sight. At first Spencer wanted nothing to do with her, but now they play together a lot. Spencer will even initiate play with her. They make a lot of loud noises, but the whole time those tails are just a waggin'. It's so fun to watch.
Karen, Spencer and Mason

From: piedane Sent: 31/03/2005 21:46
These all sound like typical dog behavior, dogs are dogs and they play rough. If I got rid of my dogs every time someone got injured then I would be a one dog family and for some people that probably works out better. Multiple dogs aren't for the faint of heart because they get pretty wild. I don't know how Jonathan does it but at my house rescues are thrown into the mix very casually. I don't make a big production out of it. I just open the door and throw everyone in the yard together.. usually about 8-10 dogs of various sizes, ages and breeds. No one is allowed to growl ever except in play. I am the alpha and everyone is respectful of that. New dogs aren't sure where they fall into the mix so I just let everyone find their place in the pack on their own. The more humans interfere the longer it takes for them to settle into their places. The only time I recommend people interferring is when dogs are challenging humans otherwise let them be dogs. I am the top dog and then usually one of my older dogs follows me and it goes down from there. My Whippet and older Border Collie are just behind me. I have never had a serious dog fight because the dogs know that I am alpha.

Unfortunately these are whippets so when they do get rough many times stitches are involved. Just the down size of having thin skinned dogs. Just let them be and they will figure it out on their own.


From: WebWILL2 Sent: 31/03/2005 22:03
I have a two year old male and a six year old male. They can loud and fast and generally I let them go - of course Willow, the eight year old female feels its her duty to yell (bark) at them to stop. So sometimes I break it up just to get her to shut up.

I also step in if I see bared teeth. They can play rough, but not viscious.


Willow - "If they don't knock it off I'm gonna body check someone into the wall."
Web - "He started it!"
Marco - "No, he did!"

From: BrigitteGreen Sent: 31/03/2005 23:20
Bambi, Rudolph & Summer sometimes play rough, too, but it usually involves a toy that ends up torn to shreds in the tug-of-war that ensues. They sometimes do the mouthing thing also where they make the dinosaur noises. But it's all in good fun and rarely, if ever, turns into a real fight.

It usually starts with Rudolph taking a stuffed toy and doing butt-tuck zoomies around the house. Then one or both of the girls give chase and try to take it away from him. If Summer gets it, she'll run with the toy through the dog door and then the action starts in the dog run, until Rudolph takes it back and runs back into the house with it. It's actually a lot of fun to watch these games they play.


From: EricPahl Sent: 01/04/2005 01:47
Cooper and Mossimo have been reunited for only a Week now.
They are full brothers, Mossimo came to us at week 8 and Cooper
went to another home at around 12 weeks.

They really appear to love one another, but the rough play is scary
at times. I want them to be 100% Whippets, but was afraid they
were getting to rough.

No blood drawn so far. : -)

From: ttrogwhip Sent: 01/04/2005 03:09

It sounds like they need to get used to each other and their respective places in the house.
These are the guys that started this whole conversation anyway. Griffin is fawn Baldwin is black, as you can see they have gotten used being buddies.

From: Chinabound98 Sent: 01/04/2005 07:14
As the saying goes, "It's all fun and games until somebody loses an eye!"

In my house, any play that brings the dogs up on their hind legs gets stopped. I swoop in as the Pack Leader and get the dogs focused on other things. There is a bit of a fine line between rough-and-tumble play and aggression. Many believe that the rough play is practice fighting -- and the more a dog practices, the easier it is to turn into aggression if there's ever a misunderstanding between the dogs. I personally like my dogs to center their "rough" play on a toy, not each other. Playing dual-dog tug is fine by me so long as the four-feet-on-the-floor rule is followed.


From: NorenaEmil Sent: 01/04/2005 11:36
Since Emil is an 'only child' he hasn't got anyone to play rough with but his rottweiler friend, Kera. They have so much fun and it's all 'in good spirit'. He has loads of other doggie friends but Kera is the only one he really play fights with. When Kera, plays with other dogs who are more her size, she plays rougher but she 'turns it down a notch' with Emil and let him be the dominant one, i.e. he's on top of her a lot.

I guess for a person who didn't know better, he'd think they were fighting for real.......but it's just normal doggie behaviour, I think. Espcially for dogs who have been properly socialized and understands 'doggie language'.

It's great to see two such opposite breeds as a rottie and a whippet having so much fun together.

I'm babysitting Kera for a couple of days and this morning she tried to hump Emil while he was still in his teddybear jammies. She's almost twice his weight so he just buckled under was a priceless sight!

Norena & Emil

From: chelynnah Sent: 01/04/2005 12:24
It can sound really bad! I tend to stop it (like Paula) when Savvy (the boss) starts to get too stressed out watching, or if I see the 'mean teeth' rather than the dinosaur teeth. Or if it gets just plain too loud for me. I tend to tell them 'gentle' or 'cool it' if I want them to just tone it down, and 'enough' or 'all done' if I want them to stop.

If they are just too into their play and don't listen they get a loud all done with a water spray. Then lots of praise when they stop.

But if you watch carefully 99.9% of the time it's all noise - and there is no hardness to the teeth biting.


From: WileyandKai Sent: 01/04/2005 14:33
Awww, Griffin & Baldwin look pretty happy. I would say you have nothing to worry about looking at those two.

From: ttrogwhip Sent: 01/04/2005 16:18
One other thing that is interesting and very noticeable is when a third dog is added to the mix. There are a couple dogs that my two whippets are used to having over to the house fairly regularly. It seems like whenever one of them comes over, Baldwin suddenly feels the need to dominate Griffin. He seems like he has something to prove himself all over again. They could be vegging out in the house minding their own business, and as soon as company comes over with a dog, Baldwin is playing the tough guy again, growling, mouthing Griffins neck, staring him down with the hairy eye......

It only lasts 3 minutes or so til everyone settles down.

Anybody else have predictable behavior like this when guest dogs visit?

From: hoops49341 Sent: 01/04/2005 16:32
Just a quick story about "the noise" of whips playing. At a former point in my life I had the 2 greatest whips ever. We had moved into a new house on a canal over the winter and the sound travels on the water differently than it would in a neighborhood setting. The first thing I did when we moved in was get a fence around the property for the boys. They would run around chasing each other at 100 miles an hour making all sorts of racket. Lots and lots of growling…back and forth, back and forth for about 10 minutes, until it was time for the couch. Well, I am sitting on my back porch one fine spring day when a police officer shows up at my house….Someone had reported a dog fighting operation! Once he saw the dogs and how well cared for they were he knew it was a misunderstanding and apologized. I even got a chewy out to entice the boys in to playing…So he really understood. As spring wore on and I met my neighbors the entire neighborhood eventually realized just what it was….There were no more cops but lots of porch sitters as my ex-husband and I ran them up the street and back.
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Re: Aggressive / Rough Play

Postby chelynnah » Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:31 pm

One Dog Beats Up on Another

From: Tinygriffon1 (Original Message) Sent: 14/10/2003 01:34
Hello all,

We have two Whippets, both neutered males. Dasher is 2 years old and Sunny is 1.

Sunny is more active, more dominant, more assertive, and more pushy. He also, at least to humans, is incredibly sweet and cute and has big black eyes and a round white head and we love him very much.

Dasher is mellower and more docile and more sensitive, but has his own mischievous streak. We love him as much. They are both great and fun dogs.

When I take them out to let them off leash so they can run and play, Sunny always beats up on Dasher. Sunny will grab on to Dasher's neck or collar and just hang on, running alongside. If Sunny can't get Dasher's throat, he will nip at his flanks. Sunny also loves physical "combat" and will pounce on and push over Dasher. Dasher will play back as best he can but always heads for me so I can protect him and shoo Sunny away.

Sunny's constant play/bullying (IMO!) of Dasher has really inhibited a lot of Dasher's freedom and enjoyment of running. Sometimes he won't even run, he'll just stay close to me. If he does run off, Sunny loves to get between me and Dasher and crouch down. Dasher knows if he tries to run for me, Sunny will intercept him, biting his neck, wrestling, etc.

Anyway, they usually play in the house ok.

This behaviour really, really bothers me. I know dogs play differently than we do and that there is a top dog, bottom dog, but I feel that this is extreme. I don't know what turns my sweet little Sunny into the park demon-thug. I also don't know what is natural or what is actually a problem.

I looked at spiked collars today for Dasher but the selection at Petco was limited. I don't know what other options there are, other than not exercizing them together.

Thoughts or advice or anything??



From: WildAbout_Whippets Sent: 14/10/2003 03:00
Your situation sounds similar to situation I faced with Vegas, Scotch and Stryder. While everyone seemed content inside my home, everything fell apart outside. Stryder didn't feel safe getting off the deck because Vegas and Scotch would tackle and bully him. It got to the point that Stryder wouldn't run out in the yard even if Vegas and Scotch were inside.

I also felt that Stryder's freedom was limited to whatever Scotch and Vegas felt appropriate at the time. At first I thought it was all puppy play (Vegas and Stryder are only one month apart), but I noticed Stryder becoming very clingy. Most importantly he would shy away from interactions with the other whippets. Although he would cuddle with Genie on a regular basis.

Anyway, I guess my point is to let Dasher have some freedom away from Sunny. Take action now and don't sit on this behavior. Chances are everything will turn out fine between the two boys. It may be Sunny's way of showing his maturity.

I don't know if Stryder's fate would have turned out differently if I restricted his outside activity with Vegas and Scotch or not, but I wish I would have seen the signs earlier. I'm lucky that everything has turned out okay with Stryder.... he's in the best home possible

Hope 'Stryder's Story' helps...


From: KarenzK9z Sent: 14/10/2003 03:00
There's a thread somewhere way back about this exact thing. I only have 1 Whippet, and the Shelties won't play with her much, but I do remember several people saying that when Whippers run together, they often do this. If you could find a racing muzzle (I'm sure somone on the board can tell you where to get one), that would be big help. Sunny will be able to bark, pant, drink, whatever, but he won't be able to bite. I'm sure Dasher would be glad! It might also give Dasher a bit more confidence so he won't hide behind you so much.
Best of luck,
Karen and Grace (who is too fast for the Shelties, so they play with each other!)

From: eclipse207 Sent: 14/10/2003 04:28
This is a very common play thing that whippets do while running, although a bit frustrating for the owner and the dog getting "beat up". I would still take them to the dog park, but keep a lead on Sunny, maybe a flexi or a 25 foot training lead. This way he can still romp with Dasher, but when you see this behavior starting, give him the hardest pull you can to put him on his ass, and yell NNNNNOOOOOO!!!!!. A few times of this and he will probably start learning that rough play is not acceptable.
Why this works is that he still has some freedom on the long lead, and he isn't going to know where that correction came from because you are so far away. After awhile you will be able to remove the leash, and just your voice command will stop him in his tracks. The yank and NO must be done at the same time, as Sunny will associate the voice command with the action.
Good Luck,

From: Chinabound98 Sent: 14/10/2003 06:02
I would suggest breaking up the play any time it gets too rough. Your younger dog is learning how to be a bully and that's not a good thing. You also don't want the older dog to decide that he's had enough and decide that lashing out and becomming aggressive is the only way to get the "thug" off his back.

When I have another dog over to play with my Whippet, I watch the play and the minute I don't like how its escalating, I step in and very loudly yell, "OK - That's enough!" not in a mean voice, but loud and with purpose so that it effectively gets the dogs attention. Then I give them something else to do -- practice a couple sits and downs together, etc.

For clients that come home with littermates who end up freestyle wrestling and it gets too rowdy, I give them a small air horn and advise them to blast the horn as an attention getter to interrupt over the top play. Hide it behind your back so the noise comes from God.

I wouldn't suggest a Flexi in a dog park situation -- too dangerous, especially a 26 footer. Other dogs can come charging into the area, not see the cord and go thrashing through it, hurting themselves or at the very least, yanking the Flexi out of your hand and sending it "chasing" the dog it's attached to. I personally wouldn't use the hard yank correction, but I don't really do corrective training. I'd rather teach the dogs to respond to a verbal command letting them know that the play is getting too rough. If they aren't allowed to play rough, they'll learn not to do it.

I also dont' think a prong collar is safe in a playing environment. It's a training device that typically builds more dirve than it flattens -- it's not something to wear while the dog is out running/playing/wrestling.

Finally, I'd suggest taking them out seperately - mostly the 2 year old so that you can build his confidence. How is he other times when they aren't playing? Would you consider him a confident dog?

Just my .02. In the end, you have to take what we all suggest with a grain of salt and do what feels right to you.


From: becca Sent: 14/10/2003 13:24
Great advice Stephanie. I have had two sets of litter mate Dobermans over the years. They 'kill' each other for about two years, play biting, arguing over everything, chasing, and more. It drives you crazy! But, then one day, it just stops, and they become normal. It seems like it will never end though! Inside, the bitch beats up on the dog, and outside he beats up on her. In the house, I use a spray bottle of water set to a long stream-to reach far! I don't even have to spray them once they know what it is, I just show them the bottle and they go their separate ways. Litter mates are a pain while young no matter what the breed!!!
My 3 1/2 cents!!! Becca

From: Dahli Sent: 14/10/2003 16:40
We have two male littermates and they do the same thing to some degree... the one who is the boss in the house is tormented by the other when running - the nipping and neck biting annoys the heck out of Max and he does have trouble shaking him, since Jackson is just a tad faster, the problem isn't constant but just enough to cause me some concern. The suggestion about the muzzle is a good one, since the runs are in a field in which we need binoculars to see where they are ;-)

From: chelynnah Sent: 14/10/2003 17:45
I would recommend a muzzle rather than the spike collar. That way they can play as rough as they like and no one can get hurt:) Find a good quality racing muzzle. There should be some members who can recommend one.


From: Tinygriffon1 Sent: 14/10/2003 18:08
Wild About Whippets Annie,

That's why I've followed the Stryder story with such interest and why Stryder affects my heart so. I really identify him with Dasher. I am so glad Stryder is happy and gets along with Casino so well. I know how hard it was for you.

The thing with using a flexi-lead on Sunny at the dog park is that Sunny is more active and I usually hope he gets all his running out so he'll be more calm in the house. And I do try to break up their "play" when Sunny gets bullyish, but often they are far away from me and it takes me a while to get there. (like the person who mentioned needing binoculars to see them!! almost)

Sounds like a racing muzzle would be worth a try. Are there any online? Pet stores around here don't sell them. Although, I live near Portland and we have Multnomah Greyhound racing so maybe somewhere there they sell muzzles?

I really appreciate everyone's advice. You've all given me things to consider. It's nice to know I'm not the only one in a situation like this.

From: BrigitteGreen Sent: 14/10/2003 18:33
Here is another idea. It may get me lambasted, but I'll take my chances and share anyway. I often go through this very situation with Bambi & Rudolph. She is the boss in the house, he is the boss at the park. They run so fast that there's no way I can intervene -- without my remote control. I have a set of electronic collars and they have proven invaluable.

First and foremost, I use them when we're out hiking. I don't mind them running around like crazy hunting squirrels and such, but when they've gone too far and don't respond to COME, a low tapping will bring them back. For me, this is a lifesaver. Twice, Bambi has gone after deer and didn't respond since she wasn't wearing a collar. Both times, she needed four stitches. I know a lot of people don't like electronic collars, but I will continue to swear by them because I believe they can save lives. If I tap, they come back, it's that simple.

In the situation you're talking about, if Rudolph goes after Bambi and I think it's gotten out of hand, I will actually use the correction mode with him. It's one remote control with two buttons that are color coordinated to the collars, so there's no mistaking them.

Fire away!


From: Tinygriffon1 Sent: 14/10/2003 20:22

What is "correction mode"? What does it do to the dog, and is it painful?

I'm one of those non-fans of electronic collars, but I'm interested in your experiences.


From: BrigitteGreen Sent: 14/10/2003 20:29
As opposed to a positive tone, which you can also do with the device and train for, it's a zap. I've tried it on my own hand and it's a slight, unpleasant electronic impulse. I put it on the lowest setting and on "momentary," which means that by the time the dog has realized he's being corrected, it's over. I do it simultaneously with a loud NOOOO! It definitely gets his attention and he responds immediately. I haven't figured any other way to intervene in a situation where two dogs are going at it, moving at 35 mph away from you.


From: skeezix123 Sent: 14/10/2003 23:03
Brigitte, this sounds somewhat sounds like my "sparky." That's my low voltage fence. It just gets their attention. Works wonders. I can now leave it off 99% of the time. They are deterred just knowing what will come if any of the dogs tries to go beyond it.

From: WhipPetLisa Sent: 15/10/2003 00:26
I'm really sorry you are having this problem TG. It looks like there is some great advice here and I hope you find something that works for you.

Maybe you need a 150 dog to keep them both in line LOL. Megan loves HER boys. I don't see clear cut pack roles here...all I know is everyone seems to be a happy camper. Casino were very jealous when Megan and Stryder played together. Stryder plays more aggressively which Megan loves.

Over the last several days, Casino has been joining so the 3 of them are playing together. More and more Stryder & Casino are hanging out together taking turns being the chaser and chasee. Megan is happy to chase them or to let them chase her and bite her on the butt LOL. Pogo initiates play w/both boys. Once she thinks they are getting too rough, she tells them off and they back off. Pogo sometimes initiates play with Megan...Megan looks at her like "are you nuts"? It's interesting to watch the dynamics around here.

We are rooting for you and your boys. Stryder is an extremely confident now, but never overly aggressive. So things can change! Keep up posted.


From: skeezix123 Sent: 15/10/2003 00:48
LOL Lisa. Megan could put Pogo's whole body in her mouth.

What I find interesting is that Skeezix my nine year old whippet wouldn't have anuything at all to do with Buster when I brought him home at 9 weeks of age. Well that has long passed and now I find Skeezix stealing Busters toys and playing with them. Alas, things do change for the better. And lord can those two play HARD.

V and the wrecking crew

From: KarenzK9z Sent: 15/10/2003 01:06
I've never used an shock collar on a dog, but I can certainly see where they have their place! Like at night, when Lilly, or "Yapper" as she's come to be known, is barking at a leaf or a worm or some stupid thing. *G* If they're used intelligently, I think they can be a very valuable tool. By the way, do you know where I can get one for my husband? Sometimes he yaps, too, and I'd just like to give him a great big ZAAAAAAAAAAAAP! LOL And remember, Brigitte, you're in a pretty much flame-free're safe! *G*
V, we have an electric fence also. Nolan calls it "Mr. Shiny Wire." The dogs have all met Mr. Shiny Wire once or twice, and are now fully aware of where they can go and where they can't.
While these methods may sound harsh to some, they're all, I think, WORLDS better than losing a beloved pet. The ONLY time a dog has been really traumatized by the wire is the first time Beau, one of our Sibes, "met" the wire...with his *ahem* privates. He was jumping over it, and didn't quite make it! Talk about some screaming....He ran straight in the house, between my legs and wouldn't move (or pee) for over an hour. I shouldn't laugh, but...I did!! *G*

From: BrigitteGreen Sent: 15/10/2003 01:37

You're absolutely right about the collars being a deterrent. To some degree that's unfortunate because Rudolph has become "collar-wise," meaning he knows he can't beat up his sister if he has his collar on. It's good that I don't have to use it then. But I have to be very vigilant about them wearing the collars in any situation where I think he might go after her and in some situations where he probably wouldn't so they're just used to having them on. On the other hand, they seem to know that the collars are just part of the equipment when we go hiking and that they're just a signal they have to come back when they get too far. Incidentally, these collars have a range of up to a half-mile, so I feel pretty safe in knowing they shall return from any rabbit/squirrel/deer chase.


From: beegdoggys Sent: 15/10/2003 03:07
and now here is another 2 cents. ;O)

It may be a dominance issue. Perhaps there is some confusion as to who is alpha and who is beta.

In my opinon ;O) You should be alpha with a very clear beta. In other words is it clear to your Hounds who is the beta? It is my belief that we reinforce who is the top dog every day. We can do this with who we pet first and feed first and who is elevated in"our" eyes. Sometimes if it is not clear who is number one the number two dog feels the stress of not knowing where he fits in and will "challenge" the alpha. If you keep it clear who is number one, then number two feels much more secure and happier with his role in life and limits the "challenges".

Just some thoughts,


From: SueHop Sent: 15/10/2003 16:20
This is how Gracie plays too - with all dogs. When I visit with my friend who has her puppy (now 2 years old) and her Father's littermate - the two older dogs will ALWAYS band together and race Casey in circles and bite at his neck. He will run to his Mom and jump in her arms - his human Mom that is. Trying desperately to get away from his "birth" Mom.

At the offleash park Gracie will choose a small dog and course it. She will chase it down, roll it, and then bark like mad and try to keep it down. VERY EMBARRASING! We don't go there anymore.

I try very hard to correct this behavior, but so far I have not been successful. I am attending a 2 day seminar at the end of October on how to be in charge. Let's hope it works. She still pushes pushes pushes me to find out what she can get away with every day.


From: Tinygriffon1 Sent: 15/10/2003 17:43
>>Maybe you need a 150 dog to keep them both in line LOL.<<

Well, we have an 80 pound dog, but all she wants to do is beat up on Dasher, too! She loves to lunge at him and put her jaws around his neck and pull downward. She is the Brown Bomber.

Lisa, it is so wonderful that you have happy campers in your home. I've always liked Great Danes and wanted one for most of my life until the reality set in that I'd have to pick up GIANT poops in the backyard.


Yes, probably dominance plays a part in all this and it's my fault. They know that I am alpha, but their places are not firm, as Lisa said, I don't see defined pack roles, they seem to interchange. But they are spoiled and I don't do much in the way of obedience with them.

Thank you all so much for your advice.

Yesterday I took the two Whippies to the park and we brought a long a dog frisbee. I threw that and that seemed to help a bit in focusing Sunny's energy onto the toy instead of Dasher's neck and flanks. Sunny did go for Dasher at first, but then spent a lot of time running around with the frisbee in his mouth, hoping to be chased.

There are a lot of good ideas here, I really do appreciate it!!!

From: MaryAck Sent: 15/10/2003 21:06
Your issues with Dasher and Sunny really hit home for us. After having so much fun at dog parks with our first whippet, we've been so disappointed after getting the second. Holly, (now 4 yo) spayed female really enjoyed playing "chase me, or if you won't, let me chase you' with dogs at the dog park since she was a puppy. Then we got Detail, now 20 mos, male, much bigger. Holly's alpha, but Detail tortures her constantly, begging her to get mad enough to prove her alpha role, in and out of the house. He uses blocking, herding, circling, bumping, barking, and neck soaking until he gets a rise out of her. He also works hard and successfully at separating her from us. If we throw a ball, or call her, he'll make sure it's impossible for her to come to us. He would make us rich as a defensive tackle on a pro team.

The consequence is that most of her fun is ruined and she is now snappish with puppies and demonstrates fear aggression when she's on the leash around other dogs. She used to be great at coming when I called, but he's really untraining her. He's careful with her with his teeth (remember, she IS alpha), but his bumping out in the field is rough. His game of making her prove her alpha position is a 24 hour game for him, and I think her nerves are shot and she's depressed.

We have to avoid all situations with other dogs or else take them separate places. There have even been rumors about our marriage failing because my husband takes Detail to one dog park and Holly and I go somewhere else where 've can be alone'. (I must admit, as an up side to this, Holly and I enjoy our ladies night out strolls.)

Brigitt - I have strongly considered the electronic collar. The behavior happens out of my reach and Detail would think he really was hot stuff if I chased toward him when he was trying to get a reaction from Holly. I also have the rare problem of Holly running after deer, only to return with cuts or puncture wounds (not to mention my panic when she takes off).

Those of you who have used the collars, what kind did you use and where did you get them (USA)? I am a strong believer in positive training, but this specific behavior need correction.

Monica - I think you make an excellent point about how we treat the alpha and beta. We work hard at ignoring Detail's attention-demanding behaviors but haven't thought about letting him know that we consider Holly alpha to him. That may be forcing him to keep testing. and testing and testing.....

I love this board - I learn something new every day!

(don't get me wrong - we love our Detail Devil Dog to pieces, we just didn't expect him to be such a bratty little brother)

Thanks all,
Mary, Holly and Detail

From: BrigitteGreen Sent: 15/10/2003 21:33

I'm going to refer you to a web site, This company in New Jersey I believe has nearly every type of electronic collar on the market. When I was doing research, I called there, talked to the proprietor about what the collars would be used for and he suggested the Tritronics Multi-Sport 2. You can ask him about collars with positive tones and momentary stimulation, as well as regular stimulation and be sure to ask about the range of the collar. Ours goes up to a half-mile, and I think the technology is getting better all the time. I must warn you that these are very expensive, but for us, worth every penny. I know these are not for everyone and many people object, but I have to say that this has solved our problems. Rudolph also likes to MAKE Bambi run by barking and grabbing at her until she does so, telling him off in the process. It's very unpleasant, and with the collars, it just doesn't happen. I don't even have to really use it anymore because Rudolph knows he has to behave himself. And like I said, nothing is better for bringing them back to me when chasing that deer seems more important than life and limb. Good luck!


From: Dahli Sent: 16/10/2003 00:29
Brigitte - I am so intrigued by this concept we will likely check into it in greater detail. What really puzzles me though is how does the collar get them to return to you? We have a similar problem with losing sight of and almost losing them when they are on the 'hunt' out in the field. What is the reason this works to end that? Can you explain that a bit more for us?

From: BrigitteGreen Sent: 16/10/2003 04:08
As you know, Dahli, when they're chasing a rabbit or deer there is virtually NOTHING you can do to break them off the chase. You can yell until you turn blue, but they can't hear you. They are in prey drive and focused like lazer beams on their prey. The brief electronic impulse actually GETS THEIR ATTENTION. I yell COME in coordination with pushing the button. Suddenly, I have their attention--and from far away I might add. "Oh, my mom is calling me, better turn around." It works every time. Rudolph is better on recall than Bambi, but whenever he turns around and makes a beeline for me, she follows right behind.


From: Tinygriffon1 Sent: 16/10/2003 04:40
>>>He also works hard and successfully at separating her from us. If we throw a ball, or call her, he'll make sure it's impossible for her to come to us. <<<
I can relate so much!! Yes, and I feel so bad for Dasher when he can't get to me, and I know he wants to, but Monster Sunny is ready to intercept and attack! I'm sure this distresses you with Holly as much as me.

>>>The consequence is that most of her fun is ruined and she is now snappish with puppies and demonstrates fear aggression when she's on the leash around other dogs.<<<

My case hasn't gotten this far and I'm sorry yours has. You might be at the point where they have to be exercized separately. If our sitch gets worse, that's where we'll be. And it's a bummer, because you know Detail is just trying to have fun, just like Sunny is, but geez, it's so rough!

>>> His game of making her prove her alpha position is a 24 hour game for him, and I think her nerves are shot and she's depressed.<<<

Have you done obedience with Detail? I'm not accusing, because I barely have done obedience with Sunny so I am no one to judge, but it's one of the first things I usually look at in situations (and advise others!) because it's helped me in the past and seems to generally help with Alpha-issues.

Good luck, MaryAck! Hopefully things will work out well for both our dogs! Hey, if ya live near Portland, OR, we could get our sweet, sensitives together and let our little thugs have at each other!

Some of our nicknames for Sunny are Doe-eyed Devil, Little White Devil, Little White Turd, Punk, but we also have cute ones like Booboo and SweetieCutie and LoveBuggie, because he also happens to be very affectionate and is our best cuddler!

From: Terje Sent: 16/10/2003 10:19
I have the same issue with my two borzoi. Every time I let them out into their large pen, my 17 month huge boy Charlie will grab Paloma (3½ years old spayed bitch) by the neck and hang on. This causes her to yelp, and they will wrestle for a bit, then she gets loose. After this, it seems it's over, and they are happily chasing each other around, although Charlie may try again a few times. This is him trying to be dominant, but I rarely see it as agression. And on multiple occations, I've seen Paloma, who's 4 inches shorter and much lighter, actually wrestle Charlie to the ground, flipping him over - causing him to look very surprised and subdued.
As long as this doesn't escalate into real agressive fights, and there are no injuries, I'll leave them alone, it's their way of establishing rank.


From: Dahli Sent: 16/10/2003 17:12
Ahhhh ok gotcha, that makes sense and you're right Brigette - it's the getting their attention thing that we need - sometimes the whistle works but other times they can't hear it - because of distance, wind etc, so this would work for that.. thanks

ps thats so funny TG1 - we callour best cuddler Booboo too!

From: chelynnah Sent: 16/10/2003 20:14
Regarding shock collars I believe they DO have their place in dog training, but in my opinion they are a last resort. I totally believe in the way Brigitte is using them (so don't worry, no lectures LOL) as she is using it corretly and humanely. My problem with things like shock collars, prong/pinch collars and the like is that they are SO open to abuse. People think that the 'tool' will be the answer to their prayers when really the 'tool' is just that - an aid to be used properly.

If people on the site are anti shock and just not wanting to say anything that's okay too. If you still like the idea of HOW they work, but don't want to shock, there are remote control citronella collars out there too, that will do the same thing. It's a matter of what you're comfortable with and what works for you and for your dog.

We have used the anti-bark citronella collar with success with Chelsea. This is the type that sprays a burst of citronella scented gas triggered by the bark. They also do remote control ones for training like Brigitte is using the shock ones.

You also need to know your dogs and train them properly. I wouldn't use the citronella OR shock collar on Savvy because I know what her 'fear triggers' are and the citronella spray resembles the burst of wind that terrifies her (yes, she is afraid of WIND - silly dog).

Anyway, my point is that all the training tools out there have their place, and it all depends on what you have tried, what may/will work for you and your dog. In the case of Dasher I would probably start with a muzzle and if that doesn't seem to curb him then I would work down the line. I would think, though, that with the muzzle he will learn it's no use to try to bite and play rough and that in itself might break the habit so that a few months down the line you can let him out without it.

Just my thoughts:)


From: beegdoggys Sent: 16/10/2003 21:48
Excellent post Wendy (as usual :O)

I guess I am in the anti-shock/prong group. I too think of it as a last resort and so far am lucky enough not to have come to that juncture with my babies. So having said that, I have a hard time condeming others when I havent been in their shoes.

I also wanted to say to TG, I am so very sorry if I led you to believe I thought it was your fault. I was in a bit of a rush when I wrote my response so I apologise profusely if I made you feel that way.

I too have experience in this with my Colin and Tessagh. Colin is alpha (after me :O) but just barely. Tessagh is 2 1/2 years old and is smarter than him in a lot of ways while lacking in his sensitivity. Anyway, while Colin is still alpha, I treat him so. He always get his pan put down first, even if it is only for a second. He gets groomed first/petted first and treats first. It wont be long now before Tessagh will be alpha and I am having a hard time being objective enough to know if the time is now.

Does anyone out here have any experience with alpha reinforcement? I did think of switching roles a couple of weeks ago as Colin has taken to mounting her in a last ditch effort to dominate her and he gets all agressive with her when she plays with other dogs or doesnt listen to me. Anyway, when I started reversing things to see how it would play out, Colin started seriously putting her down as he did when she was a puppy out of control. There were times that he would pin her till she yelped "uncle". I have gone back to supporting His Highness and things have returned to normal. I would love some more insights into this topic if any of you out there have any.


From: SueHop Sent: 16/10/2003 22:03
This is what I do at home with the 4 (oops only 3) dogs at home. The older sheltie is alpha and gets attention first, food first, etc. Then Gracie, then Devin, then Kyra when she still lived with us. This is the order they go outside and come back in - although Gracie is pushing to get through first ahead of Oscar. Right now he is still in charge.

I would always let Gracie out of her crate before Kyra. The shelties are crated in another room and Stephanie handles them. Oscar gets out first.


From: BrigitteGreen Sent: 16/10/2003 22:29
Just for the record, I, too, am against using prong collars on whippets. Also, just to be clear, I keep the electronic collars ( I prefer that terminology to shock collar) on the lowest setting, and the dogs get treats and praise when they return to me. I agree with Wendy that there's certainly room for abuse but if used properly, I believe they can and do serve a purpose. As one of my neighbors said on our hike early this morning, "They can prevent a world of heartache." He then proceeded to tell me about the time his dog cornered a deer and the thing turned tail and decided to chase his dog instead. EEK!

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