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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 18804
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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I have two dogs a father and a son. Bouvier and bouvier

Customer Question

Hello I have two dogs a father and a son. Bouvier and bouvier mastiff mix. Since I have accuqied the son both dogs have been not listening to basic commands and have become very aggresive and protective of myself and eachother. They are unneutered and have a tendacy to act as a pack, what one does the other follows. I am wondering how I can corect this behaviour ?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 6 months ago.
Hi JaCustomer, 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. Who are they aggressive toward?What obedience training have you done with them?Are you planning on breeding these dogs?If not, is there some health reason for not neutering them?How long have you had each dog?When did you get the son?What have you tried so far?Are the dogs on leash when they are acting aggressive or off leash?Are they at home or away from home when this happens?
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 6 months ago.
I was hoping to get some responses to my questions back, but don't want you to go without an answer either. Dogs frequently act one way when alone but when you add a second dog, their attitude changes. This is because not only is there a pack behavior situation, but the older boss dog feels they have to prove they are the top dog by becoming more protective and more dominant than the other dog. This is especially true when you have an older and younger same sex dog together like you. Them not being neutered contributes to the situation as well. It is correctable but is going to take a lot of work. You are going to have to start back up formal obedience training with both dogs. Start with the older dog who should be the alpha dog. You don't necessarily have to have a formal class initially though it would be good to do later on. 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. 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. You need to train him first though you can work with both of them. If the younger dog follows the older's lead, training the older one first will show the most improvement the quickest. Work with the dogs individually initially. If you have a partner, let them work with the dogs as well but keep them separate initially while training. Once both dogs seem to be listening more and every time, you will need someone else so you can work with the dogs while they are together. Basically you are training separately and then retraining together. Even if they know commands you need to practice them over and over again rewarding the desired behavior with tasty treats (hot dog slivers work well). This allows you more control over them and establishes you as the boss or leader. As the leader, you decide if you need protection not the dogs. You decide who can come close and who can be on the property, etc. They should be looking to you to decide who to react to strangers, and other dogs. Since they do have aggressive tendencies they should not be off lead and in situations where aggression may occur, a basket style muzzle for each may be the best thing until they are no longer aggressive. A basket style muzzle will prevent bites. They will still be able to knock someone down but not be able to bite. Now if a human is worried about how a dog will react, a dog will sense that worry and figure that the situation warrents them being aggressive. They don't realize it is them you are worried about. A muzzle helps you relax and not worry thus helping prevent that type of aggression from the dogs. Try and relax when walking them. The BAT method might also be useful for you as well. If possible get at least the younger dog neutered. This makes him naturally more submissive and not a good choice of alpha dog. This will make the older dog relax a little in his dominance and he won't need to prove himself as much, so it might help. It certainly won't hurt the situation. Once both dogs are listening well together, then try a group class and warn the trainer so they are prepared in case you have difficulties with them. The trainer can help point out little things that might be contributing to the problems that are hard to convey online. I hope this information is helpful to you. 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 . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer positively so I am compensated for my time.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 5 months ago.
a quick not to see how things are going. Remember to rate if you found my answer helpful.

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