A Rottweiler & 3 Dachshunds Territory Issues

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by storm180, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. storm180 New Member

    1st issue: I have a 4 year old female rottie who I have had from a puppy and my daughters dachshund grew up together and played when they were pups. Then my daughter moved out for a few months and then moved back with her dog and my rottie was somewhat aggressive towards her and her dog now and they can't play together. My daiughters dogs just cowers now but at one time they were best friends and they were even kenneled together with no problems.

    2nd Issues: So I have two other dachshunds that are older than my rottweiler but they also interacted with her when she was a pup and as she got older she started to play rough with them and due to their delicate backs and having back surgery on one of them I thought it would be a good idea to keep them apart. However my problem I have is I have the rottweiler on one side of the gate and dachshunds on the other and I can take the dachshunds out through the gate past my rottie to the backdoor and let them out and my rottie just lays there. Coming back in is a whole different story she goes absolultey crazy when they try to come back inside and if I try to pick the dachshunds up she tries to knock them out of my arms. I am tottally confused by the fact they are ok going out but not in and this happens all the time.

    I do disipline the rottie and she had all her trainings and she knows her commands but she chooses to ignore them in this situation. This is the only time she ignores her commands.

    I plan on calling a professional in a few weeks to come out and evaluate but I haven't been able to find anything online similiar to this.



  2. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Hi Sean, welcome to DTA. Tough situation you have here. I know integrating an additional dog into a household can be stressful - I took in my mom's 2 dogs when she passed away a few years years ago and def had a few 'complications' - but with some careful thought and strategic planning, all things can be worked thru and overcome.

    With that said ... I'm going to address a few things you said, altho not in any particular order. I want to remind you (or educate you, as you may not know - one never knows the extent of anyone's particular knowledge of 'dog language', etc) .... you said when you exit with the doxies, your Rottie will lay there and there is not problem but when you come back in with them, she'll aggress. She knows her commands, but is choosing to ignore them, even tho you discipline her. It sounds like it could be an issue of a "door thing" - like oh good, they're gone, oh man, not they're not, or some kind of barrier frustration. Or - even tho you're not seeing it, dogs are constantly "talking' to each other, subtle whisker flicks, eye shifts, ear shifts, tail shifts, ets - could it be that one of the doxie's is sending some kind of a signal to your Rottie that is setting her off? It may not be her at all that's starting this, yet she's being blamed because of her size and reaction. Not sure of course - it's hard without seeing it - but only throwing it out as a possibility. You remember that kid in school who always started the 'stuff' yet never got blamed for anything? It may not be that she's "choosing" to ignore her commands, but reacting to signals the doxie's are sending. There's one of her, and several of them. Size doesn't matter so much in a dog's world.

    My first suggestion would be to take a deep breath and step back. Is there some way you can either put her behind a different gate or in a different room when the doxies go in/out so there's no chance for aggression on your Rottie's part? Don't let that continue. First and foremost, you must keep everyone safe and calm. Take the pressure off your girl to even want to aggress. Keep her 'safe' too. Sounds weird, I know - but she may be feeling a bit outnumbered. Size has nothing to do with it.

    You said you were going to call in a professional in a few weeks. Please don't wait that long. The longer this goes on, the more out of control this gets, the worse it will become - for all of you. Please make sure, whomever you call, it's someone qualified, and someone who uses positive methods. Don't use someone who will come in and suggest any kind of dominating and/or punishing methods. No punishing her for aggressing, or telling her NO. It will only make everything worse - and guaranteed, an explosion will happen down the line. Working on maintaining some kind of peace and calm in your house should be your ultimate goal. Mine had to be with a series of baby gates - I have a dog-aggressive female German Shepherd, my mom had 2 smaller older dogs, but we worked it all out, and they lived here peacefully for 3 years until they both passed away. It took strategic planning, lots of positive reinforcement, talking with a qualified positive reinforcement trainer for help and suggestions, and support from my friends. Was it easy? No. But the dogs did learn to relax in each others' presence, and would even lay up against each other on opposite sides of the babygate. It was a moment I never forgot. I also knew I could not let them on the same sides, I couldn't trust the situation (much as you've described - my big dogs, her old small dogs, and a few extra issues I won't go into) - so similar situations.

    I don't know the ages of your daughter(s) but please enlist of the help of your family and stop the possibility of aggression, the jumping up of the Rottie to knock dogs out of your arms, etc. Just don't let that happen. Make sure she's in a different room, behind a door, a gate, etc, both for the safety of the doxie's, your Rottie, .... and you. Don't allow the possibility of anything unforeseen (as of yet) happening, that you'll regret - forever. Given her sheer size and bite power, she could injure one of the doxies so quickly without even really meaning to (even trying to inhibit a bite), - and would you be able to forgive her? Not sure. Don't put her in that position.

    I'm sure someone else will chime in with other suggestions, lots of great people on here.
  3. storm180 New Member

    Well let me give you some added info. This problem has been going on awhile but due to the fact that my rottie has had 2 ACL surgeries in the past two years it hasn't been a behavorial problem that we addressed because of the other things going on along with back surgery for one of my other dachshunds. Not trying to make excuses just letting you know.

    My daughters dog won't be an issue for much longer because she is getting married in September and she is moving into her new home with the dog. My other 2 doxies both female and long hair and a short hair and yes the short hair does tend to make my rottie mad because originally Molly (short hair) grew up with a male rottweiler from a puppy who taught her very bad habits. That male rottie was my rescue dog and they were very close and he passed a few years ago. There are days molly thinks like a big dog.

    However cassie my long hair is very timid and does not make any agressive issues towards the rottie but if I pick her up even in the house and Dakota sees me pick her up she goes off the wall even when she is in her room and I am in another room but she can see me. She doesn't like me picking up any of the smaller dogs no matter where I am or she is. However cassie can walk right through the gate past her bed where she is laying down and go right out the door. No problems. Now here is something I did notice. If cassie is outside I can open the door and Dakota will go out the door sniff cassie and cassie will walk in the door and no agression and dakota stays outside. However if I just open the door and cassie walks in and dakota is in the room she gets all agressive and barks and starts pawing her on her head like wack a mole. Cassie gets scared and tries to make a run for the gate and she pounces around her all while ignoring me.

    We are looking into humane trainers because I don't believe in anyone hitting my dog with anything. I went through 2 puppy schools because the persons teaching were aggressive towards my dog because it was a rottie. I have owned rotties for the past 10 years and my previous ones never had issues with family memebers. It seems most trainers in idaho do not use humane methods of training.

    There is one other thing I just thought off. Dakota my rottie when we are walking is ok with other dogs coming up to her and sniffing her and walking around her and they are perfectly fine. She throws a fit when they walk away from here. So its another issue with the away thing. I did talk to one trainer who told me that had no idea and never heard of this issue that the dog gets agressive when other dogs leave her but is ok when they come to her.
  4. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //She throws a fit when they walk away from here.//

    i promised myself i'd stay off a thread with dogs with issues, even just once!!:ROFLMAO: lol, but, i will just give you a tip on the excitement or whatever when the dogs walks away.
    Next time, when dog is about to walk away,
    at that moment, BEFORE Dakota reacts,
    have Dakota look at you, do a sit, do a trick, speed-feed treats if you have to, to help break that habit, while other dog walks away....

    You may find this is easier at first, if Dakota's back is towards the dog walking away, to prevent Dakota from looking over your shoulder at dog walking away.

    and/or you also walk away, instead having Dakota watch dog leaving? Just some ideas to consider
    to prevent Dakota from further strenghtening her idea/habit, "Dogs leaving away gets me too excited.". You don't want Dakota making that an ingrained habit.

    You can prevent a reaction, by keeping Dakota focused on YOU, while dog leaves,
    overtime, later, you can also begin to work to desensitizing Dakota to be able to calmly watch the dog walking away, or calmly watch a dog coming through a doorway.

    (later on, is more steps to desensitizing a dog to be able to calmly watch what previously upset them). But first, for now, just prevent the reaction/habit for now.

    What happens if Dakota leaves first? same thing?

    One cue to teach, when dog IS calm, is "Let's Go". After dog solidly understands that "Let's Go" means "i am about to follow mom in an entirely new direction" you can begin to do "Let's Go" when Dakota is thinking about being upset.
    I practice "Let's Go" most every walk-------for no reason--------so my dog does not associate the cue with being upset.
    In this video, kikopup is teaching a dog "Let's Go" when there is a chance somes dogs in that situataion could have been upset, but, i taught it, like any other cue,---- when my dog IS calm. LIke in his own yard,
    and then, taught him on the street, when no dogs were around.

    Same way i taught the cue "sit", when buddy IS calm.
    but i can USE IT when my dog is upset. This might help, or it might not. But, it's a handy one for a dog to know, beats dragging away a screaming dog....

  5. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //I do disipline the rottie//

    I'm not sure what YOU mean by 'discipline' a dog, but, usually, if a dog has an issue of some type, punishment based responses (scolding, yanking, etc) from you to the dog, are usually useless for unwanted behaviors,
    as you have probably figured out by now.
    Years from now, you could still be 'disciplining' the unwanted behavior, nothing would have changed, at all. Dog has NO idea what you DO want him to do, instead.

    Your goal instead, is more to induce or capture the wanted behavior,
    and reward that.
    Dogs tend to notice, remember, and repeat behaviors they get rewarded for,:D
    while "correcting" a dog does not, in any way, teach the dog what you DO want the dog to do instead.

    Picture if you were trying to teach a dog to rollover.
    You get your treats, and dog offers a "sit".
    You punish dog, "that is NOT what i wanted"
    Dog offers a lie down.
    You punish the dog, "that is NOT what i wanted."
    None of these punishments or scoldings, etc, teach the dog what you DO want him to do..

    but have HUGE hopes, :) cuz, you can help Dakota learn how to be calm,
    when he sees a dog coming into a door, and reward that, and help Dakota learn a new behavior entirely for that situation.
    and you can help Dakota learn how to be calm when he sees a dog walking away.

    it can be done!!! :D I think you can make this better, if not completely solve it!!
    but for now, do try to stop the whole cycle of "dog leaves---i freak out" thing, by having Dakota focus on you while the dog walks away.
  6. storm180 New Member

    Ok just to clarify what I mean as disipline. I tell her no and I point when she does something wrong. In this case she ignores it. I have even tried thr squirt bottle with water. Now when I said she knows her commands she does. She knows her calm command, come, no bark, etc and she listens in every situations except for the one I addressed earlier. I can say those commands till I am blue in the face and she ignores me. I have tried the treat thing and she is so fixated on the dog I am holding in this case that she drops the food. 90% of the time she listens to every commnand and does it. Its the 10% she doesn't when I am holding a dog or another dog leaves her. I have even squirted her with the water bottle to break the attention on the dog I am holding and she tottally ignores being squirted and her eyes don't leave the dog I am holding.
  7. southerngirl Honored Member

    Maybe you could try having someone else hold the dogs and keep a distance that is far enough for your Rottie to take treats. Every time she looks at them click and treat, or you could work on your Rottie's commands at a distance and slowly get closer(if she starts acting up take a step back) once you are able to get her to obey her commands beside the person holding the doxie's start working with her while you're holding her. Also try and stay calm and patient getting angry will not help.
    Oh and what are your dogs names.:D
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  8. storm180 New Member

    I will give that a try and see what happens. The rottweiler name is Dakota and the dachshunds are Molly and Cassie.
  9. jackienmutts Honored Member

    You've been given some good suggestions, I hope you can come up with something workable for your situation and try to move forward. Do remember, when Dakota is reacting, she's using her 'emotional brain', not her 'thinking brain'. Dogs can't use both at the same time. It's not really that she's ignoring you or the commands you're throwing out at her to stop - essentially she can't hear you. Her (thinking) brain is busy (talk to the paw, cuz the ears ain't listenin' :confused:).

    Using a squirt water bottle really isn't accomplishing much, as you've seen - except to get Dakota wet. I'd forgo that one altogether - just a suggestion.

    I think, as Tigerlily mentioned above, beginning to work on a "let's go" would be a good place to start. Begin working with her on-leash, in a quiet area, away from all other dogs, just her and you. It could be on a walk, in the yard, anywhere - but no other dogs around. And as you turn to head the opposite direction, say "let's go" - and when she comes with you, reward her - and make sure it's something high value, such as hot dog, chicken, etc - something really good to her. Remember, you're going to want this "let's go" to be one of those behaviors that will make her 'feel good' (hence, a really good reward), therefore, pay her well for doing it. Practice, practice, practice. Hopefully, waaaaaay down the line, that behavior will be strong enough that when a dog is walking away from her (whether it's at home or out on a walk), you can say "let's go" and she'll just come with you calmly . For now, if she meets dogs out on a walk, I'd ask the other dog's owner if you could please exit first, and practice "let's go" ... then quickly walk away. And reward her, if she comes with you nicely. Reward, reward, reward. No such thing as too much!

    Southerngirl suggested you have someone work with you, and have someone hold the dogs, and practice walking away. Again, a good idea. Do this on leash. And - really make sure to take time and figure out what Dakota's threshhold is. How far away do the other dogs have to be so that she doesn't react when they walk away? Is it 10'? Is it 25'? Is it 30'? Is it 15'? However far it is, make sure you start out a foot farther than that. So, dog walks away, Dakota doesn't react. Good girl!! Reward. Now, a little closer (maybe 6"). Dog walks away again, Dakota doesn't react. Good girl. Reward. Now 6" closer again. Dog walks away. Dakota reacts. Do not reprimand her. Just say "let's go", walk her away, get the practice dog back to where it was the time before (farther away), so Dakota can be rewarded again, and then only decrease by 3". Take it as slow as Dakota needs to go. And practice, practice practice. Some days will be better than others. Some days she might do well, other days she might not do so well. (Just like us humans - dogs have better days than others). Hopefully you'll see that gradually she becomes calmer and calmer as dogs walk away. This is will be caused by a shift in her emotional brain. Every time a dog walks away (and she remains calm) you'll be rewarding her with something REALLY REALLY good - keep that mouth busy. If you ever see her look up at you instead of that other dog, just shove food in her mouth. :LOL: When her shift starts going from the emotional state she's been in (anxiety, over-stimulation, hyper-excitement, whatever it is - cuz it doesn't sound like aggression) to looking to you for direction, REWARD REWARD REWARD!!!!! Doing something besides reacting is a sign she's thinking - and that's a good thing! Another thing to remember - if she doesn't take treats (assuming she's food motivated), she's above her thresshold, she's too anxious, and she can't eat. Again, it's not that she's ignoring you, it's that it's all too much for her - always a sign it's time to step waaaay back. Let her be your guide, but don't try to do to much at one time. It will all take time, but have hope - my bet is, you can sort this all out.
  10. Adrianna & Calvin Experienced Member

    Hi there

    I'm going to agree with a few others and say NOW is the time to call the trainer (you can ask around here for a recommendation, if you give your city/state/country), and be sure to ask about philosophy and methods used. We can help you pick someone knowledgeable and non-coercive, if you'd like. You have a big dog who is showing aggression towards some much smaller dogs, and that is always of concern as there isn't much a big dog can do to a little dog without causing significant harm. Veterinary hospitals are all too familiar with "big dog little dog" accidents :(

    Besides the more specific information above, I'd look into the following for your problem:

    1- Behavioral Adjustment Training (BAT), there is a great DVD series ("Organic BAT") and book by Grisha Stewart
    2- Control Unleashed for Puppies (I know, there aren't any puppies! But it is the most up to date version of the book) by Leslie McDevitt. Specifically, the Look At That game and the Go to Mat. The LAT game is when you teach the dog to point out certain triggers for you i.e. the dog starts to tell you when she sees something worrisome by indicating it with a nose point. It both lets her unload some of the stress burden on mom, and also gives her something to do when she sees it.
    3- Training a dog to lay on a mat can prevent a lot of misbehavior if the 'go to mat' is rock solid. *This does not count as desensitization* -- you will still need to do that work. What it can do is teach the dog how to control herself under average circumstances, and give you a default behavior for those in-house moments when things go a bit awry. There are some great videos on youtube for this.

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