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Euphoria

Growling for attention

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So we have some really weird behavior happening. Usually when I get home from work Tyrael rushes the door and sits for attention like we trained him. No more jumping on us when we walk in anymore. Yay. But I always acknowledge and give attention to my older dog first. We try to get Tyrael to sit and wait his turn but he gets super pushy, shoving his way in, pushing the other dog out of the way, pushing her over and then the weird weird part, growling at me and shoving his face in my face or under my hands and sometimes a little snapping to get attention. He's super demanding and I'm at such a loss on how to curb this behavior. Ignoring him till he's polite makes it worse. I feel like it's damaging my relationship with my older dog too because she kind of sulks away like I'm the one that pushed her away when he does this. It's not as often but it does happen when I haven't left. Sometimes he just comes up and demands petting.

We've tried ignoring, making him sit and down politely to wait, tried acknowledging him first so he can get it out of his system but he just gets greedy when we do that. Help!

He's currently in rally classss, we're starting agility handling and more rally January 11, we do brain games and training 3x 30 minute sessions a day except on class days, he has a puzzle dish for food, we 1 hour walk every day and 2x 30 minute play tearing up the yard tug-o-war sessions per day.

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I was about to also suggest a crate. I know some people think it's confining, but it teaches a dog that they can entertain theirself. Set aside time out of the day where the dog has to find ways to entertain himself. Don't interact, don't train, don't talk, don't pick up his toys, just ignore him. If he bugs you just say something like 'enough' or 'go play' or whatever word you want.

 

I know you're trying to do your best to make sure that your dog is plenty busy, but with all dog and especially border collies they need to learn to have an 'off switch' to keep them from relying on you to keep them entertained.

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Pushy behavior from my dog nets them what I call puppy push-ups. Puppy push-ups are a string of sits and downs, with no rewards. There are usually about six reps, and most dogs get the point. Be a jerk and "gimme six."

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He is crate trained. He gets defensive about his crate lately. I can't figure out what his story is right now. He goes in willingly and lays down but when we close the door he snaps at the closure. We've been treating and giving bones in his box again. Never bug him inside that's his safe space where he is allowed to go to be alone if needed. He also entertains himself a lot during the day or so I'm told. Most days I work im gone 7-12 hours, boyfriend is home all day.

I love the idea of puppy push ups! Going to try that when I get home today!

Tyrael is also a year and 4 months so I'm wondering if maybe it's a phase? He's my first purebred dog, firstish border collie. My older dog is a border collie corgi mix.

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Why exactly are you always giving attention to your older dog first? Sounds like you're setting him up to be jealous. Dogs aren't robots. I'd be upset too if I was always second to someone else - and if after all my pushing and demanding I finally got paid attention to first, you better believe I'd try to hold onto that. Is it that difficult to acknowledge both your dogs at the same time?

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Not exactly the same situation, but when my new rescue dog finally got used to her home, and realized it was a safe and happy place, she started demanding attention late afternoon. She'd stare at me and play-growl and yap, all asking me to give her attention and play with her. It was very frustrating! I ended up taking myself away from her when she did this for a couple weeks: I'd go to the bathroom and shut the door and wait until she calmed down.

 

Taking away the reward she was seeking seemed to work. She will still ask for attention sometimes, but she turns herself off pretty quickly now.

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Why exactly are you always giving attention to your older dog first? Sounds like you're setting him up to be jealous. Dogs aren't robots. I'd be upset too if I was always second to someone else - and if after all my pushing and demanding I finally got paid attention to first, you better believe I'd try to hold onto that. Is it that difficult to acknowledge both your dogs at the same time?

 

There is a whole school of thought that says the dominant dog should always get "served first." The reasoning is that it stops fights from happening. I know people who have had good luck with that approach, and I've also seen it backfire when hierarchy within a pack is changing.

 

I tend to ignore everybody until the "greeting response frenzy" is over. That way the whole mob-the-owner-at-the-door ceases to happen. Then I chose who and when to fuss over, when it suits me. The dogs squabble much less, and never about petting rights.

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My dogs eat in their crates. I've seen too many food fights get started.

 

I hadn't thought about it but the crates are in dominance order so Tommy gets fed 1st, Zeke 2nd and Joey 3rd.

 

Joey started trying to throw his weight around at about 18 months. He was pushing the boundaries there for a while. I discouraged it and he's pretty much stopped it. But he is the most reactive of the dogs and he pushes in all the time. Fortunately, the other 2 are pretty mellow and they just put up with him. If he gets too out of line Tommy let's him know about it. It wouldn't be good if I had another male who pushed back.

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There is a whole school of thought that says the dominant dog should always get "served first." The reasoning is that it stops fights from happening. I know people who have had good luck with that approach, and I've also seen it backfire when hierarchy within a pack is changing.

 

By dominance theory logic, the older dog is deferring to the younger one, so the younger one should be pet first. I don't really agree with any of it and I've yet to see any well informed study or article that said that dominance theory is sound and/or a good idea. But either way it makes absolutely no sense in this situation.

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Yes, well...

 

Euphoria, have you tried telling him to knock it off? He would get nothing from me that he did not earn. Not in any order. Make him work for every word, petting, meal, whatever. He's throwing his weight around - dominance-based or not. I've seen that sort of behavior escalate to biting people and serious fighting with other dogs in the household. I'd recommend bringing it to a screeching halt. If a sharp word and making him work for everything he gets won't do it, I'd get a trainer in.

 

JMO.

 

Did you try the puppy push-ups?

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That's kind of what I do. If Joey starts that stuff I tell him to knock it off. I just don't put up with it.

 

If any of the dogs start snarking at each other I sit on it. Only if Tommy gets on his case. If he starts to throw his weight around she will correct him and I let do it.

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So, back in October for whatever reason I couldn't post anything... it just kept giving me an error.

Now in February Tyrael is doing much better. He only growls for attention when he gives me morning snuggles in bed and I start falling asleep again. When I come home I ignore both of them until after I give my human companion attention (he was getting jealous too lol)

Tyrael sits until I give Kasha a hug and then I get a puppy tackle.

Puppy push ups didn't work he did one "rep" and then looked at us like we were stupid. He sits and waits patiently now though. He's getting better ^o^

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