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Getting possessive : (

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Sugars Mom
Working Dog
Posts: 1734
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:16 am
Tell us about yourself: I adopted a Dutch Shepherd mix (without knowing what she was) from the SPCA here in Victoria BC and am now trying to learn everything I can about this breed. My husband and I work from home most of the time so I thought it was time to get a puppy! We have his 2 boys here half the time and we wanted a nice family dog.

Sugar looks like a miniature Dutch Shepherd with floppy ears, and has every ounce of DS traits in her little body!

I hope to learn from other DS owners and share doggy experiences.
Location: Victoria BC

Getting possessive : (

Post by Sugars Mom » Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:39 am

A couple of weeks ago, Sugar and I were at the park and a bunch of dogs were there that she plays with. They all play well together, non of them get snappy with each other.

That day, I called Sugar over to me, practicing the recall around the distractions of the other dogs, and she came running up. She knew I had treats. Another one of the smaller dogs also came up alongside Sugar, (not uncommon as all the dogs know treats get handed out and are usually quick to notice an opportunity to get one), and Sugar snapped at him! I was shocked as I have never seen her snap at another dog or anyone. She was clearly being possessive of "her" treat. I told her no and had her lay down at my feet for a little while before she could go back to playing, and I did not give her the treat. She was fine after that. I tried again later and gave out treats to her and other dogs without incident.

Then yesterday, we were at the park with a couple of dogs that Sugar plays with regularly, one of them a 6 month old Boxer. Sugar had found a large stick, (more like a small branch) and was chewing on it. The Boxer puppy came over to check it out and Sugar snapped at him! Again, I was so surprised. This was the second time, different dog, that she snapped at, being possessive. In the past, she had always shared or given up whatever she has, but now she is obviously standing her ground.

I want her to stand up for herself, but I do not want her to snap at other dogs like this. Both times I felt it was totally uncalled for. Neither time the other dog got in her face, or was acting aggressive in any way.

Am I over reacting or should I be concerned?

What things can or should I do to stop this type of behaviour? I do not want this to escalate!!
:muffy:
Sue (and Sugar)

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Schlussdibusti
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Re: Getting possessive : (

Post by Schlussdibusti » Sat Oct 08, 2011 2:53 am

I wouldn't be overly concerned. Sugar is growing up and will establish herself in the world and around her "friends". She snapped, she didn't bite or hurt them. "This is my stick, my treat, stay away". The way you described it, it looks more like she is standing her ground.

I personally don't like to take treats to the dog beach or dog parks. It is more often than not a source of trouble and ignites competition amongst the dogs. Even the most mellow dog, like a Lab, can get overly possesive over food.

Marco wants to add: "You go Sugar! What the hell are they thinking trying to take your treat and stick! You show them! We are DS, not some push over" :wtg:
Eva & Marco BH
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Sugars Mom
Working Dog
Posts: 1734
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:16 am
Tell us about yourself: I adopted a Dutch Shepherd mix (without knowing what she was) from the SPCA here in Victoria BC and am now trying to learn everything I can about this breed. My husband and I work from home most of the time so I thought it was time to get a puppy! We have his 2 boys here half the time and we wanted a nice family dog.

Sugar looks like a miniature Dutch Shepherd with floppy ears, and has every ounce of DS traits in her little body!

I hope to learn from other DS owners and share doggy experiences.
Location: Victoria BC

Re: Getting possessive : (

Post by Sugars Mom » Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:43 am

LOL, thanks Marco!

I'm glad she is standing up for herself, but both dogs approached in a friendly manner, so that is why I am questioning it. No bite or anything, just the warning to back off. Which they did. Whats if she meets up with a dog that doesn't want to back off? And I don't want her to be one of those dogs that starts stuff up.
Sue (and Sugar)

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Marjolein
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Re: Getting possessive : (

Post by Marjolein » Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:36 am

same here, I do not give out treats/toys/affection when we are with "strange" dogs that do not belong to the pack. Actually from what I have seen this is usually the source of a fight. Dogs do not share, they are not programmed to do that at all, even the weaker ones get to defend their turf... So why ask this of your dog. They can play fine, but I never give them anything when there is other dogs around, and if they already had a stick or whatever, they can snap to a certain extend, but I keep moving on, never stand still, they have to follow me, so no time for a stand off over a stick.
If they snap at each other, that is different, I do not tolerate that in my (tiny) pack.
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Re: Getting possessive : (

Post by Dutchringgirl » Sat Oct 08, 2011 12:20 pm

I stopped going to the dog park since I got Sadie, Thalie gets along with everyone and is more interested in the ball, and like Marjolein said, we dont stay still. But the first time I brought Sadie, she got possessive of Thalie and would growl at the dogs that came over to us, so I found other places to go. Each dog thinks the park, and everything in it is theirs. Thalie is the Alfa but Sadie tries to assert herself. Sadie dosnt get to far and I dont allow much more than a "HEY"
Lisa, Thalie CGC & Sadie, Cookie the Basset, CT
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Re: Getting possessive : (

Post by vneerland » Sat Oct 08, 2011 4:25 pm

Sugars Mom wrote:LOL, thanks Marco!

I'm glad she is standing up for herself, but both dogs approached in a friendly manner, so that is why I am questioning it. No bite or anything, just the warning to back off. Which they did. Whats if she meets up with a dog that doesn't want to back off? And I don't want her to be one of those dogs that starts stuff up.
It does not matter if the other dogs did not offer anything. She was letting them know not to think about offering anything. She is just trying to establish herself in a bit higher rank. I never offer treats to a group, not even of my own dogs. That is just asking for trouble. If I do feel the need to treat, I grab a collar of neck (of the recipient) and make sure they are the only ones getting it staight form the palm of my hand. But if it drops..... :oops: (all bets are off again)
I would let Sugar be a dog. Do not throw sticks or balls and avoid playing with sticks and toys with more dogs present. Like children, dogs do not always get along perfectly. Unless she starts to pressure other dogs into fights (by body posture, pushing on the withers, stiff legs and tails etc) I would not lose sleep over it.
ImageJudith Van Neerland Dutch Shepherds Image

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Sugars Mom
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Posts: 1734
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:16 am
Tell us about yourself: I adopted a Dutch Shepherd mix (without knowing what she was) from the SPCA here in Victoria BC and am now trying to learn everything I can about this breed. My husband and I work from home most of the time so I thought it was time to get a puppy! We have his 2 boys here half the time and we wanted a nice family dog.

Sugar looks like a miniature Dutch Shepherd with floppy ears, and has every ounce of DS traits in her little body!

I hope to learn from other DS owners and share doggy experiences.
Location: Victoria BC

Re: Getting possessive : (

Post by Sugars Mom » Sat Oct 08, 2011 5:37 pm

Thanks for the advice and info everyone. I'll keep my eye on things.
Sue (and Sugar)

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alspyce
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Tell us about yourself: I am in New York State. Got my first DS about 14 years ago (more or less as a rescue- lost her in Nov.). After years of GSD's, and a few dogs of other breeds (Rotti/Beauceron/Ger. Shorthaired Pointer/ Yorkie and my current Jack Russell) I now have another DS, 4mo female, no name yet, tho I have a few in mind.
Also have a horse-old quarter horse mare-32.
Can't wait for all the snow to get gone! Spring is coming too slow this year!
Location: Corinth, New York

Re: Getting possessive : (

Post by alspyce » Sat Oct 08, 2011 5:53 pm

Could also apply to DS:
boxer-laws-1.jpg
boxer-laws-1.jpg (55.53 KiB) Viewed 1719 times
"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." Anatole France
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Re: Getting possessive : (

Post by Christie M » Sat Oct 08, 2011 8:07 pm

I recently ran into something like this myself. I am going to be teaching some classes at a local indoor/outdoor dog park and decided to take my younin for the grand opening. My dogs are social with each other, actively seeking each other out and enjoying their company. But they are my dogs and bonded with me first. They know that they need to tolerate other dogs coming into and out of their environment, but they may never like it. Its just not what they were created for.

So my girl would hang out with me, interact with some people she knew and kept to herself. When other dogs would mug her (and I mean RUDE), she would quietly ask them to back off. When that wasn't effective, she as a bit more demonstrative. But she always showed good threshold and she wasn't bullying anyone.

When it was all said and done, we were all standing around talking about the success of the event. One woman said "I think it was amazing that there were so many dogs out and the only dogs that showed any aggression were Bison.... well and yours.

I was stunned. But of course I forgot that most people just don't know. My dog was the socially appropriate one in all of the situations. She didn't kill the social idiots that rudely entered her space and invaded her. She understands appropriate greeting behavior and dog body language. I wonder what people would have said if I spent the whole open house walking up, putting my face an inch from all of human faces, bumping thier bodies saying "You wanna play??? huh. Huh. Come on, lets play." Maybe I'll do that next time :-)
Christie Meyer
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Be proud of the things that you have taught your dog. Be humbled and grateful for all of the things that your dog has taught you. - Unknown

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vneerland
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Re: Getting possessive : (

Post by vneerland » Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:04 pm

One meets many blissful dog owners in our line of business....... ;)
Ignorance = bliss
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Marjolein
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Tell us about yourself: I'm a Dutchie myself ;-) but live in Germany with Johan and my two DS's Cobber-Dingo and Knivil (Dingo and Ivil to friends...)
Location: Warbeyen, Germany
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Re: Getting possessive : (

Post by Marjolein » Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:23 pm

Christie M wrote: I wonder what people would have said if I spent the whole open house walking up, putting my face an inch from all of human faces, bumping thier bodies saying "You wanna play??? huh. Huh. Come on, lets play." Maybe I'll do that next time :-)
whoohaa! :lol: :lol: Good point! Took me about 5 years to learn to just not waste my breath anymore, I take it, and walk on... it's no use explaining anyway...
Latest one I had big trouble not saying anything was at a birthday party where this one woman stated her dog felt depressed as the kids in the park had said to him "man, that dog looks ugly" (Welsh Corgi) :shock:
:cry: poor dog... no wonder he is depressed :?
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Sugars Mom
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Posts: 1734
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:16 am
Tell us about yourself: I adopted a Dutch Shepherd mix (without knowing what she was) from the SPCA here in Victoria BC and am now trying to learn everything I can about this breed. My husband and I work from home most of the time so I thought it was time to get a puppy! We have his 2 boys here half the time and we wanted a nice family dog.

Sugar looks like a miniature Dutch Shepherd with floppy ears, and has every ounce of DS traits in her little body!

I hope to learn from other DS owners and share doggy experiences.
Location: Victoria BC

Re: Getting possessive : (

Post by Sugars Mom » Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:31 am

vneerland wrote: It does not matter if the other dogs did not offer anything. She was letting them know not to think about offering anything. She is just trying to establish herself in a bit higher rank.
I think this is it...she is coming into a new stage it seems. Today we left for a walk and at the corner lives a dog and they invited Sugar to come play in their yard with him and their visiting dog (first time going into his backyard). As we were coming through the gate, the visiting dog came up to Sugar all snarly. Not biting but all up in her face (neck to be exact). I kinda pushed her away as Sugar wasn't so sure about coming in anymore, and I wondered what was going to happen now. Sugar just kinda stayed away from the other dog and checked out the yard and the neighbour dog. It didn't take long before she got comfortable. She found a ball and was playing with it and the visiting dog came over to her and she gave it a warning and the other dog backed right off. Twice Sugar warned her to stay away, which she did, and they established a mutual respect for each other. Then they started playing together, wrestling and having alot of fun with each other.

So all is good so far : )
Sue (and Sugar)

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