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We have a 160 pound Great Dane(Lucy) and a 35 pound Corgi…

Customer Question
We have a 160...

We have a 160 pound Great Dane(Lucy) and a 35 pound Corgi (Winston). We have had 2 occasions that our Corgi nipped at our Great Dane after many other times of the same thing happening. These 2 times our Dane attacked the Corgi and now they are both fearful of each other. We keep them separated but would like to have peace in our household. How do we get our Dane to not be so fearful of Winston? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Strange behavior is often perplexing. I'm sure the Dog Trainer can help you. What is the dog's name and age?

Great Dane Lucy is 6. Corgi is Winston and 9. No problems until 2years into fostering another dog that our Dane got aggressive out of fear.

Veterinarian's Assistant: What is the dog's name?

Lucy

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Dog Trainer should know about Lucy?

As a pup she was bitten by a Dachshund at 8 weeks old. In puppy class our trainer said Lucy was a splitter.

Submitted: 1 month ago.Category: Dog Training
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Answered in 40 minutes by:
1/1/2018
Dog Trainer: Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist replied 1 month ago
Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 20,106
Experience: Behaviorist /Trainer and Dog breeder 18+ years
Verified

Hi JaCustomer,

Welcome to Just Answer. My name is Jane. I have been involved professionally with dogs in the healthcare and behavioral fields for over 20 years. I’ve worked as a Vet Assistant and Behaviorist and have extensive experience in dog reproduction, as a breeder, for even longer than that.. Canine behavioral issues and training are also my specialties. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

It is necessary for me to get a little information from you before I can type up your reply. Your patience is appreciated.

Is Winston neutered?

Is Lucy spayed?

Have they had obedience training?

I also mean Winston as well?

In these instances, it sounds like Winston was the initial aggressor. Is that correct?

Can you describe what was going on before these instances occurred?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
on all. Yes Winston snapped at Lucy first. Winston was sitting next to me on the floor I was on the couch. Lucy came over and from there it just went so fast. He snapped and Lucy just went right to a red zone. I jumped to protect Winston and Lucy just kept trying to get Winston. Now they are both afraid of each other. We keep them separate in and outside. We walk together and they can get side by side smelling something and neither one gets nervous. Maybe Winston. I know some of the tension is from us just making sure Winston doesn’t get bit again. It took us almost 2 years the last time it happened for them to be able to be together and for me to feel comfortable. Thank you
Dog Trainer: Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist replied 1 month ago

Thanks for the additional information. I'm answering your question now. There was a delay in my notification that a response had been received.

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Dog Trainer: Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist replied 1 month ago

Now I know you want Lucy to not be scared of Winston, but Lucy was not at fault here and if you jumped in to protect the dog that was attacking Lucy then now she has no confidence in you to protect her from his attacks. I hope that makes sense to you.

Many owners rush to protect the small do even if it is the small dog that is the aggressive one. This sends a message to the small dog that their actions are ok with you and the large dog then feels they have to protect themselves. This creates a lot of stress for both dogs since Winston knows that Lucy could seriously hurt him.

At this point you need to gain control over both dogs so they feel that you are the boss of both dogs and that you will NOT allow either dog to attack the other one. Winston was being dominant and objected to Lucy coming to get some attention from you. That behavior is not acceptable.

Your first step will be getting them obedience trained. This will serve dual purposes. You will establish yourself as the ultimate boss of the household and thus you will determine who gets attention first and it is your job to give reprimands and not their job. Now formal training classes are great but it is likely going to take time to get them into classes so start training at home as soon as possible. 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

Additional training can also help. 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.

You can not allow Winston to attack Lucy. Lucy's breed are often just gentle giants but when provoked they will protect themselves. One way of helping prevent these attacks is to learn dog body language. That will help you determine if one dog is being dominant, aggressive or just playing long before they get anywhere close to one another. These site will help you learn body language.

https://apdt.com/pet-owners/dog-park/body-language/

http://www.pawsacrossamerica.com/interpret.html

http://www.petprofessionalguild.com/dogbodylanguage

Once they are obedience trained you need to keep up the training. It might not need to be done every day but once or twice a week but you won't be to that point for at least a few months. This should help with the problem.

If you have any further questions concerning this matter or need clarification, please do not hesitate to respond. At the conclusion of our correspondence, your 5-star rating will be most appreciated, as this will enable me to continue to send quality answers to additional clients and receive recognition from the website for my assistance.

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Dog Trainer: Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist replied 1 month ago

Hi Again,

I just thought I'd check in to see how things are going for you and your dog. I strive to provide the best answer possible. Did you find my answer helpful?.

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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 20,106
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Experience: Behaviorist /Trainer and Dog breeder 18+ years

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