alpha male?

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alpha male?

Postby mybiglad » 09 Jun 2014, 22:19

Hi, I adopted my lab from MKF 5 months ago now. He is generally very good when free running but about 8 weeks after getting him and being free from incident, he ran at a young Siberian Husky on a lead. Normally he would do this at play but this time he kept running at the dog, getting very close but not making contact, barking with heckles up and smacking his teeth together. I naturally intervened, apologised and made him sit and told him off. I was taken a bit by surprise as until then he'd been great with each dog we met. He has since taken a dislike to a younger male labradoodle (off lead) and although he is clearly putting him in his place, he is not as mean as he is to the husky. The second time he saw the husky he very deliberately made a beeline for him and I had to take hold of his collar to bring his attention back to me. The behaviour isn't out and out aggressive as there is no contact but it is certainly with intent. I put him on his lead, made him sit (the dogs were about 8' apart) and he didn't bark or try to get to him once, although kept a watchful eye on him.

Most recently, he passed a mastiff cross (on lead) who he has ignored until last week (we see him a couple of times a week) but this time we passed a little closer than normal and he ran at him, again barking, heckles up but not making contact. He came back for 2 more runs at him until I caught up with him but then I simply stood in between them and told Milo to go away from him which he did. I would say this dog is a similar age to Milo who is 5.

Today he was out with my partner and Milo made a beeline for another dog, not sure of breed, but has seen him before but was intent on reaching this dog and was literally inches from him barking and basically overstepping the mark. Again male and on lead so not immediate threat to Milo but of course the dog wanted to retaliate thus inflaming the situation.

I know most people where we walk so am quite relaxed and at ease when I'm out with him and if I see a dog he's had an altercation with I simply gain his attention and change path.

I've had a couple of labs before and have socialised them from pup and have never had any problems at all. Of course, I don't know Milo's history and have seen him be put in his place by smaller dogs, some male, some female and he hasn't retaliated.

Do you think he is just naturally trying to be alpha male now he is settling in and the dogs he feels may be a threat or more dominant need putting in their place? If so, do you have any tips for dealing with this behaviour. Is it just a case of him realising that actually I'm the alpha and be a little tougher on him with more harsh tones if he does behave this way?

He is never 'rewarded' for his behaviour, is always told off with a no, that's naughty or told off and put on his lead. It depends on the level of aggression he shows. He knows from our body language if we are not happy with him. Most dog owners understand and accept an apology but being summer, less experienced walkers are out there and I don't want him to overstep the mark and maybe bite another dog or be the person everybody avoids so any thoughts, hints and tips would be appreciated.

Jane x
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Re: alpha male?

Postby Lesley and Mike » 09 Jun 2014, 22:27

We took Smudge to dog training, and it has helped immensely in her ability to deal with difficult situations whereas before she would have been barking at any dog or person that went by, maybe this may help Milo.
Lesley

Not that I mean Milo isn't well trained but it was really good for her in improving her ability to socialize well
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Re: alpha male?

Postby mybiglad » 09 Jun 2014, 22:34

Thanks Lesley

He doesn't bark at people, some dogs he will pay no attention to whatsoever, some he will run and play with and some he will just sniff at. So far, it's only these 4 dogs he's had a problem with and he's out twice a day.

He gets pushed around by dogs too and has always been great with my little jack Russell although he can be a bit rough at times.

Still dog training may be a consideration especially if it can deal with his selective deafness which oddly enough never bothers him when I use the word biscuit!!

Thanks again for your advice

Jane x
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Re: alpha male?

Postby Melliott » 09 Jun 2014, 23:07

I hope John will be along with some advice for you soon.

Love Michelle X
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A Labradors face feels like home
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Re: alpha male?

Postby Pedosjun » 20 Apr 2018, 07:42

I know it's too hard to understand. But the knowledge in the body.
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Re: alpha male?

Postby jackie » 21 Apr 2018, 18:20

How old is he Jane? Has he been neutered? It sounds like he feels vulnerable, I suspect something has happened to him previous to your ownership. You can try dog training classes so he can gain some confidence around other dogs - it would be a good starting point.

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