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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 18960
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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My dog of 5 years has been my best friend I thought we communicated

Customer Question

my dog of 5 years has been my best friend I thought we communicated very well. lately she wants to spend time with my neighbor more than me she even slept over there twice by her choice. One thing that has changed is 2 additional dogs have been with us for several months and she is jealous i don't know if she likes Bruce better or is mad at me for having the other dogs stay with us or what has changed her feelings for me it feels like im being dumped by a boyfriend or something. it hurts
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.
Your dog is female. Is she spayed?
What sex are the new dogs?
Are they there for good or temporary?
If temporary, how long do you expect them to stay?
Are you female or male?
Is your neighbor giving her special treats, people food, etc?
What have you tried so far besides what you mentioned?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
poppy is a spayed female.one dog is a 10 year old male , my sons dog I have him while he is incarcerated so probably about 6 more months. The female Shiba Inuis is almost 2 years old , I was dog sitting ,the owners never came back for her so I probably will be keeping her with me alhough at times I wonder if I shouldn'tfor poppy and my Sake, she has been through so much being abandoned from her owners I feel bad and she's very sweet dog and I do love her I have had her for about a year now and my sons dog I've had for over 6 months ,I've known Bruce for about 2 years so none of these situations are real new. I am 49 year old female single Empty nest syndrome. poppy has been my best friend and we were extrextremely close she did Not want me to leave her side and would wait at the door if I left here at my sons house so I guess that that's why I'm so confused with the big change she seems depressed. I try spending alone time with her and remind herthat she is mine best girl I realized I have a unhealthy relationship with her relying so much on her being with me And loving me.
Bruce is around seven year old male he does call her to come in his house and even though I've asked him not to take her for a ride when he leavesleaves to the store or wherever. he doesn't give her dog treats but when he's eating his dinner he gives table scraps but I Give her treats and human food sometimes too poppy is also jealous when he pays attention to the other dogs also she will nudge your arm to get your arm away while petting the other dogs and try to get you to pet just her. She known my sons male dog since she was a puppy and doesn't have much of a problem with him but very jealousy the female Shiba Inu she would growl and bite and snap out for the first 4 months now they do play together but she does not want her to get attention from me she will also often mount the Shiba female while theyr playing or she wants to take a treat or something from her
I responded on my cell phone so sorry if some of it seems confusing hope this is helpful if you have any other questions feel free to ask thank you
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
Jacquiflmoon,
It sounds like Poppy is worried about being displaced. Dogs are pack animals and there is always leaders. You can have a male and female leader, but there can only be one leader of each sex. So she shouldn't have any issues with your son's male. Normally unfixed animals are higher than fixed animals.
Up until now, the shiba was maturing into an adult. I'm not sure if she is spayed or not. If not, that needs to be done as soon as possible as her reproductive status would make her the best choice of leader. Poppy doesn't want to lose her boss status. So if she can't be boss at your house, she'll retreat to the neighbors where she can be the boss. It wasn't much of an issue before because the shiba was still a young dog, but now she is matured into an adult and is likely a strong dominant dog while Poppy is older and may see that the other dog is a better choice.
Of course, dogs don't give up the top position easily and there are usually fights. If you haven't seen any fighting then it is good that Poppy is choosing to not push the issue though her mounting the Shibu is a sign that she still feels she is the alpha dog.
If the shiba is spayed, then she may just feel like she needs a break from the other dogs and goes to spend time away from your home.
If the shiba is not spayed, have that done immediately. That should help Poppy feel her place in the house is secure. Be sure that Poppy is always fed first, shown attention first and given treats first. That is her right as the alpha. If you feel the Shiba is the alpha, then the Shiba gets those privileges.
You might start some obedience training with all the dogs. This allows you to spend quality time with each dog and you will ultimately have better relationships with each one. Let me give you some sites that are great for this purpose. The following site is helpful in helping owners train their 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.
http://www.schutzhund-training.com/training_theory.html
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.
http://www.pets.ca/articles/article-dog_nilf.htm
http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/training_nothing_in_life_is_free.html
Dogs really like training especially when you are using hot dog slivers for treats. The more you train the more likely they are to obey in even the worse situations as their mind starts associating those treats and praise with obeying the commands and everyone gets along better.
I hope this information is helpful to you. If you need more information or clarification, please reply and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. If you are satisfied, please take the opportunity to rate.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thank you for your reply when you say just place do you mean she will feel that she's not as important as the other dogs ?or I love her less? The shiba is spayed. The shiba does not try to be the dominant one she always back down when poppy snaps At her and will even go sit in the corner And hide she's very sensitive I feel a huge delima the first 3 months I felt the shiba was feeling neglected because I wasn't giving her enough love to spare poppys feelings, sometimes still feel that way, but it would be extremely hard to give her up she is very shy and scared of most people but if it would allow poppy to be ok with me I would be so happy. Will she keep pulling away until she is bruces dog? If the dogs stay? I do feed poppy first and spend alone time. Could it be I have a lot of stress right now she feels it and Bruce is very routine and slow opposite of me . I feel depressed that let this consume my day I feel I failed at the concept of dogs a man's best friend, loyal etc. I can't even keep the interest of a f----ing dog I will try training can't afford to pay for classes unfortunately I'm hurting over this
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
I'm glad that Shiba is spayed. In the dog world, the boss dogs gets all the attention. All the other dogs fawn over the top dog and do things for the top dog. When you show extra attention to a non boss dog, it confuses the dog.
Also while Poppy is the boss, maybe she doesn't like being the boss but also doesn't want one of the other dogs to be boss, so she goes to Bruce's to avoid having to deal with the other dogs. If you are under a lot of stress that may stress her out as well and then she goes there to get some stress free time.
My last neighbor had 5 dogs and 4 cats. I also have 7 dogs and 1 cat at the time. Her smallest and oldest dog routinely came to my house to sleep on my porch and if I let her, she would come in and hang out for hours before heading back for home. Seems the commotion at the neighbors was too much for her with all the kids and other animals, so she would retreat for a little while. So that might be the cause.
One thing you could do is install an invisible fence or underground fence that would not allow her to go to the neighbors house. That would keep her home.
I do thin that if you change a few things like not showing the Shiba as much attention, and showing Poppy more which you can do by teaching her obedience at home, you will see a change in her attitude and she is liable to stay with you more. I'd do training with all the dogs, but be sure she gets her practice in first.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi so in the dog world the Sheba and other dog wouldn't feel neglected because they didn't get as much attention or any attention as much as Poppy does I'm just so afraid of hurting all of their feelings I know that is ridiculous but if that's how it works is it okay to only get poppy attention without being neglectful to the other dogs it just seems like the other dogs do get jealous when they're not getting the same attention but maybe it's all in my head I like the idea of putting up the invisible fence but feel selfish to not allow poppy to have a space for peace even though it hurts my feelings I'm guess I'm very complicated I appreciate all your help Half the people I know say I'm crazy because they're just dogs and dogs don't know the difference or have feelingsbut I disagree I could be wrong when be the first time when I get home from work I will do the rating and finish the rest of this process thank you again
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
one last question do you give all the attention to your alpha dog and not spend time with you other 6 or how does that work for you Thanks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
sorry can't let it go when more lasting would it traumatize the Sheba if she were to be relocated again after being abandoned
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
My alpha dog gets all the attention initially. Usually after a few minutes he chooses to move away and I then give the others attention. Each dog gets attention in turn during training sessions and walks or play time. Dogs tend to get adjust to their situations. If she was rehomed to another household where she got attention and training, etc, she would likely do pretty good as long as it was a good home. I personally only rehome puppies unless they were adults when they came here as is the case with fosters. Foster come and stay a few months until good homes are found. They tend to adjust very well.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

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

Jane Lefler

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