How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Jane Lefler Your Own Question

Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 16676
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 16+ years
Type Your Dog Training Question Here...
Jane Lefler is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

We have a labradoodle 3 years old who relentlessly goes after

Resolved Question:

We have a labradoodle 3 years old who relentlessly goes after our 7 year old Labradors neck. Now we have a new lab puppy and she is going after him too so that the pup is afraid of her. Otherwise she is gentle as can be. Good with our grand kids and us. Help?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 9 months ago.
Hi JaCustomer,.My name is Jane. I have been working professionally with animals especially dogs in both health and behavioral issues for over 18 years. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today. .In order to supply you with the best information, I do need to ask for some additional information. Once I receive your answer, it will likely take me about 30-45 minutes to type up your response. I hope you can be patient. .So chica is a labradoodle and the others are labs. Are the females spayed?How old is pup?How long have you had the pup?How long have you had the older female and when did you get Chica?What obedience training have they had?Does the older dog have any health issues?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Females are spayed
Pup is 9 wks
Had pup almost 3 weeks
Had older female since 8 wks
Got Chica at 7 wks
Obedience from us
Older dog is very healthy
We also had an older blind female lab who we had put down a little over a year ago. She was almost 15. Chica left her alone
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 9 months ago.
Millie,
.
thanks for the additional information. As I'm sure you know, dogs have an alpha male and an alpha female. Usually the oldest, most dominant dog is the alpha of the whole pack. You can also have an alpha male and an alpha female.
.
In my opinion, females are much worse than males when it comes to aggression toward each other but I'm sure other people have had a different experience. Usually it is females that I get calls about. In your "pack", It is likely that the older dog that is no longer with you was an alpha dog at one point, but I can see the 7 year old taking over the alpha position at one point or another just because the older dog was blind.
.
Labs are pretty easy going dogs for the most part, so any switch of leadership may have been an easy transfer of alpha position and done without much aggression. However, your young girl is part poodle which are very strong willed dogs. I can see her wanting to be the top dog.
.
Now I don't know exactly who is the current alpha dog, but Chica is definitley trying to prove to them that she is the boss. If it has been going on for some time, it may be that she feels that the 7 year old dog does not respect her or accept her as the boss. Thus she feels the need to continually reprimand her and make her submit. They accomplish this by putting their head over another dog's neck and even grabbing the other dog by the neck to force them to the ground into a submissive position. Generally speaking, if there is no bloodshed, we will frequently allow this behavior.
.
With the pup, older adult females do tend to teach puppies how to get along with other dogs by teaching them puppy manners. This does involve reprimanding them if they disrespect the alpha too much. However, sometimes a female will get too rough which again you can not allow. If she is worried about him becoming more dominant when he becomes a mature male, she may be more dominant now to hopefully keep him submissive to her when he matures. It is not that unusual to have an older female be the alpha over the male.
.
If injuries are occuring or it looks like things are getting totally out of hand, then you will need to step in and stop the behavior. If this has been going on for months, then it also needs to be stopped. The good news is that in most cases, you can stop it. Let me give you some specific training techniques after I discuss obedience training. You need to start them all back on obedience training. Chica needs to see you as the ultimate boss. So obedience work with her is something that has to be done. I'd start with the pup as well.
.
Before you can get them into classes, the following site is helpful for teaching you how to train your dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.
.
Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.
.
If all of them are trained, you can help eliminate some fighting by having them separated in the room using commands. However, you can also keep leashes on the aggressor and use it to try training her out of the behavior. Both dogs should be leashed and if one dog even looks at the other dog, a correction should be done. Any sign of aggression including a prolonged look, hair raised on the shoulders, a growl or even a stiff legged walk, should be corrected. A correction is a quick tug of the leash and a firm low toned "NO". Once you have done this couple of times, you should notice the dogs ignoring each other. When that happens, you will want to reward them for the desired behavior. Again, use tasty treats like the hot dog slices. This teaches the dogs that you WILL not tolerate fighting in YOUR pack.
.
This usually works well to help stop aggressive behavior that goes beyond establishing dominance and into full blown aggression. You do need to consistent with them. Additionally, you need to get her checked over to be sure she doesn't have a medical reason for the sudden aggressive behavior such as a thyroid problem or even pain. You can read about these here:

http://www.petplace.com/dogs/medical-causes-of-aggression-in-dogs/page1.aspx

. http://www.apdt.com/veterinary/assets/pdf/Dodman_MA10.pdf

.

I would also get your older girl a senior checkup. Frequently a younger dog will take the top position over when an older dog becomes ill. Dogs know if another dog is ill long before humans do and smart owners will recognize that and have their dogs seen when another dog starts acting more aggressive toward the older dog. So I would have that done as well.

.

I did want to address the shock collar as well. Using the tone is ok, but I would avoid using the shock. When a dog is displaying any type of aggression toward a person or a dog and a shock is given, the dog tends to feel that the dog or person was the source of the shock and it actually makes it worse. The instruction book that came with the shock collar should have mentioned not using it for aggressive situation.

.

I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have .


Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 16676
Experience: Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 16+ years
Jane Lefler and other Dog Training Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 9 months ago.
Hi Millie,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Chica. How is everything going?

Jane Lefler

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there. Alice H. Jacksonville, Fl.
< Last | Next >
  • I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there. Alice H. Jacksonville, Fl.
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Pawsitivtrainr

    Dog Trainer

    Satisfied Customers:

    145
    35+ years Training Dogs
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PA/Pawsitivtrainr/2012-6-19_191152_DOROTHYANN500X509.64x64.jpg Pawsitivtrainr's Avatar

    Pawsitivtrainr

    Dog Trainer

    Satisfied Customers:

    145
    35+ years Training Dogs
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AG/agilityaddict/2012-6-6_18501_IMG4422.64x64.jpg agilityaddict's Avatar

    agilityaddict

    Pet Trainer

    Satisfied Customers:

    89
    20 years experience training dogs in obedience and agility, current 4-H agility superintendent
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetdeb/Debbie Headshot 500.64x64.jpg Dr. Deb's Avatar

    Dr. Deb

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    68
    I have been a breeder and owner of dogs for over 40 years.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DO/dogdoc4u/2012-6-18_0347_CanonPics2012082.64x64.jpg Dr. Altman's Avatar

    Dr. Altman

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    55
    Practicing small animal veterinarian for 15 years
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MS/MsAM/2012-6-9_16426_anna.64x64.jpeg Anna's Avatar

    Anna

    Pet Trainer

    Satisfied Customers:

    43
    40 yrs. training pet dogs and performance dogs in obedience, agility, herding, tracking, and therapy.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/1I/1ISUDVM/2011-3-1_22028_Honeymoon2005075294928803490646858.64x64.jpg Dr. Bruce's Avatar

    Dr. Bruce

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    32
    13 years experience as a veterinarian dealing with dogs.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/jadedangel57/2014-5-4_221755_janenewsm.64x64.jpg Jane Lefler's Avatar

    Jane Lefler

    Animal Behaviorist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1366
    Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 16+ years