when to intervene

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wissymo
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Joined: 25 Nov 2007, 23:40

when to intervene

Post by wissymo » 12 Mar 2008, 11:04

Hi,
Yesterday we went to visit family with our new puppy who is 11 weeks old.
They have a boxer who is 11 years old and things didnt go very well!
At first they were playing ok but after we fed both dogs (seperatly) the boxer seemed to get quite agitated and was growling quite a lot at muzzy.
I panicked after Muzzy went into a submissive position and the growling didnt stop and i picked her up and took her home.
Did i do the right thing or have i just made things worse for next time ?

Is it ever best to step in or will the dogs do better if you just leave them to their own language ?

Would Muzzy learn to read dogs language from the situation or just to be afraid of other dogs ?

Thanks Jayne.
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ALLY LAMBELL

Re: when to intervene

Post by ALLY LAMBELL » 12 Mar 2008, 11:20

Is this a pup you have bred or one you are having? If Muzzy is one you're having, then be grateful when the time comes for you to fetch him - if he's one you've bred and they've bought, that is more difficult. Yes, Muzzy will learn to read the signs of dog behaviour and language.

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wet.dog70
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Location: Helensburgh, Scotland

Re: when to intervene

Post by wet.dog70 » 12 Mar 2008, 11:22

It sounds to me like Muzzy does know dog language since she has used submissive gestures, maybe the Boxer is having language difficulties?. I think understanding the situation is unstable and doing something about it (calmly) has to be good. Perhaps you could try again some time in a less charged environment? There are some people on the site who really know about this stuff, perhaps Barneyboy can help?
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Hel&Mark
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Re: when to intervene

Post by Hel&Mark » 12 Mar 2008, 11:23

Oh Jayne, I'd have done the same. The thing is you'll never know what might have happened, but I'm sure it is better to be safe than sorry. I would think (and I am not experienced with this at all!), that you have done the right thing because if it had got nasty, Muzzy may have been fearful of meeting any other dogs. As it is, the boxer saw she'd submitted, and so the natural pecking order was established before anything went wrong. I wouldn't necessarily avoid meeting them up again, but I would choose neutral ground as the boxer is elderly and is probably only defending its territory and food. Either that or maybe the boxer could come to you? That may work better. Or if they just went for a walk together.

But don't be worried, I think if you'd left it any longer, anything could have happened. Yes, it is nature for the Boxer to put her in her place, but in nature dogs get badly hurt sometimes. :(
She relies on you to keep her safe and that's exactly what you did. :D
(Well, in my opinion, anyway! :lol: )
Helen
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wissymo
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Re: when to intervene

Post by wissymo » 12 Mar 2008, 12:30

Hi there, just to clarify.....im not a breeder,i have had my puppy (muzzy) for 3 weeks and we visited a family members dog.
After speeking to muzzys breeder i now know that we did everything wrong!
We introduced them in the boxers house and closed both doors so we gave neither dog the oppertunity to get away and the boxers growling wasnt corrected.
Need to do some reading up but i now know my instincts were right to move the puppy away and ill do thing differently next time!
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wet.dog70
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Re: when to intervene

Post by wet.dog70 » 12 Mar 2008, 13:11

Hi, Don't be so hard on yourself! Given that the situation was less than ideal, I would say you had to intervene before it got out of hand. The situation you walk away from calmly is a situation you have won! Muzzy knows you are a calm pack leader who will protect her. She will learn to be calm in the situations you cannot control.
Chalk it down to experience. Walking the dogs together is very good idea. I think the Boxer needs the work, not Muzzy by the sound of it :?
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wissymo
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Re: when to intervene

Post by wissymo » 12 Mar 2008, 13:34

Hi wet.dog70,
Thanks but im afraid i wasnt very calm. I have no experiance with dogs and dog language so when the growling started and continued im afraid i panicked,expected the worse and made quite a bit of noise myself....but..i have learnt and now know to react calmly next time.
The boxer does need work but as shes not my dog i cant make that happen!!! I can only protect muzzy and try to do things right.
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Barneyboy
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Re: when to intervene

Post by Barneyboy » 12 Mar 2008, 14:19

Glad you've got some advice. Personally I wouldnt' correct a dog for growling, but take it as a cry for help - the dog has probably (hopefully) already used 'Defcon 1 and 2' in 'dog' ( freezing and eye contact) and has now got to 'Defcon 3' if it has been well socialised. The pup doesn't have the experience yet to read that from a strange dog (especially one like a Boxer, who may not even seem to her to *be* a dog). When you re introduce them, on neutral territory, without any valuable resourses, such as food or toys, praise and reward all the good interactions between them, but watch for the warning signs from the Boxer that he's being pushed beyond what he is comfortable with. There is never any harm in removing the pup before it escalates, but if you leave the pup in there, lots of damage could be done :(
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