Greetings:
This morning we had new Nylabones at our house, one for each dog. Zoe and Queenie both happily accepted theirs and settled down for a chew. After a while, Zoe got up and walked over to Queenie, who looked at her with an extremely goofy "what's up?" face complete with airplane ears (must get pictures). Then Zoe walked over to the window and did a fake bark I recognize this bark as pretending there's something going on outside, she uses it in games with me naturally Queenie got up to look out the window too. Both dogs stood there a few seconds, and then (as I expected) Zoe walked over and picked up Queenie's bone and started chewing it.

It was pretty funny. I gave Zoe's former bone to Queenie, and they both settled in for another chew. Queenie could care less, she will share anything and would have happily given up the bone to Zoe if Zoe snatched it from her, but I thought Zoe's way of getting what she wanted was funny and clever (not to mention nonconfrontational).
In other news, Queenie has at last come up with a promising strategy for winning over the cat, Rosalie. Her earlier strategies of barking and whining were ineffective (not to mention discouraged by me). Now she is lying down calmly a few feet away from Rosalie. In return, Rosalie is doing some test sauntering which has gone well. I am still separating them when I am not there to observe, but I think things are going very well considering Queenie has only been with us for 3 weeks.

Catherine
& Zoe & Queenie, black dogs, one medium, one large & Rosalie the calico cat
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It was pretty funny. I gave Zoe's former bone to Queenie, and they both settled in for another chew. Queenie ... from her, but I thought Zoe's way of getting what she wanted was funny and clever (not to mention nonconfrontational).

Absolutely! She had a clear choice between using physical intimidation and using her brain. I'd be thrilled with her decision.

However... knowing their history, hopefully you were on red alert watching for body language signals as soon as Zoe approached Queenie. This is where Rugaas' "Calming Signals" would be invaluable for you.

I can't remember the details about the incident. How long did the fight go on? What injuries were incurred? Did both engage in fighting, or was one trying to get away? What did you have to do to break it up? (You got bitten, right?)

Leah Roberts, Family Dog Trainer
It's A Dog's World
http://hometown.aol.com/dfrntdrums/myhomepage/index.html Get Healthy, Build Your Immune System, Lose Weight http://re-vita.net/dfrntdrums
it from her, but I thought Zoe's way of getting what she wanted was funny and clever (not to mention nonconfrontational).

When Pan came to live with us, she did that to Khan. Exactly once. Now, when she does her fake bark, he either ignores it or puts himself between chewie and her so she can't get back to it before he does.

Unfortunately for him, there are two paths to get to where he sits and chews, and he can only block off one path at a time. Unfortunatley for her, he is smart enough to block off the shorter path, she rarely wins the footrace to the chewie.
Suja
it from her, but I thought Zoe's way of getting what she wanted was funny and clever (not to mention nonconfrontational).

When Pan came to live with us, she did that to Khan. Exactly once. Now, when she does her fake ... for her, he is smart enough to block off the shorter path, she rarely wins the footrace to the chewie.

How funny!
I doubt that Queenie will catch on as quickly as Khan... for one thing, a fake bark could indicate a willingness to play, which she's always up for! Plus she's more the type that will try to get the other dog to take her toy, so they can play.
I wonder if most dogs have a fake bark? Haven't heard one from Queenie yet, although she has a cute "play with me" bark that she tries on Zoe at times.
Catherine
& Zoe & Queenie
It was pretty funny. I gave Zoe's former bone to ... she wanted was funny and clever (not to mention nonconfrontational).

Absolutely! She had a clear choice between using physical intimidation and using her brain. I'd be thrilled with her decision. However... knowing their history, hopefully you were on red alert watching for body language signals as soon as Zoe approached Queenie.

I was watching, but I knew Zoe was just thinking of taking the nylabone, and I knew Queenie wouldn't care even if it was done in a rude way. Hmmm, maybe I shouldn't have felt so sure of this, considering that Zoe obviously felt she had to be more subtle about it.
This is where Rugaas' "Calming Signals" would be invaluable for you.

I will check it out.
I can't remember the details about the incident. How long did the fight go on?

It happened fast, and was over fast.
What injuries were incurred?
Neither dog was hurt but I was bitten it was more like my hand got in the way of their teeth, than an intentional bite.
Did both engage in
fighting, or was one trying to get away?

Zoe growled and snapped, and Queenie engaged rather than backing off so they were both going at each other and I was trying to pull them apart.
What did you have to do to
break it up? (You got bitten, right?)

I went for their collars, which I now know not to do. Somehow when I got hurt, the whole thing stopped, maybe because I let out some god-awful noise, which I should have done in the first place... then I ushered them into separate rooms and walked around muttering "I don't know what to do, I don't know what to do" I was in shock a bit after phone calls to a friend (who told me what to do), my dr, and the dog trainer, I let each dog out of their rooms they both apologized to me and each other (this apologetic behavior could not have been clearer) and we haven't had anything like this since.
Catherine
& Zoe & Queenie
they both apologized to me and each other (this apologetic behavior could not have been clearer) and we haven't had anything like this since.

And you may not. How old are these two again? Which one came into the house first? How long has the other one been with you?

Some bites are unintentional. My chi x pug and my rough collie used to have it out once in a while. They never injured each other. But once my bil tried to break it up, and got bitten by the collie. That fight was over in an instant, as soon as both dogs recognized a human involved (and the collie was mortified). They are well aware of where their mouths are in relation to the other dog, which is their focus. A hand or leg that suddenly gets in the way may just be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
So if you were grabbing for the collar just when the other dog was feinting at his opponent's neck, it could have been an accident.

But it's a different issue if the dog who bit you was the one whose collar you grabbed. This is a common way of getting bitten (I believe I read 30% of all reported bites). Though I don't think the first scenario necessarily reflects on a dog's level of bite inhibition, this does.
I have my students play "gotcha!" with young puppies. Sneak up behind them, grab them by the collar (and/or scoop them into the air) and cry "Gotcha," immediately followed by treats, praise, and cuddling. Get them used to being grabbed. Especially if they're going to be exposed to young children, this helps prevent bites that result from getting startled out of their wits by a sudden grab.
For an older dog, depending on his level of sensitivity to getting startled, I might start by simply touching the collar and being less vocally exuberant - IOW, making sure the exercise is not very startling. Also for a fearful puppy. It should be fun for the dog, not frightening.
I have personal experience with the success of this exercise. I once had a relatively small 5 month old GSD mix in class whose mom had already been given the "some dogs aren't dog park candidates" spiel from earlier observations of her body language during play. She tried to bully another pup, the pup told her to cut it out, and she said "Make me!" and dove at the other pup like a kamikaze pilot. I spent play-time in this particular class hovering over her anyway, so all I had to do was scoop her up into my arms. Going into it, I said to myself, self, you're going to get bitten. :} But it was the easiest way to make sure the other pup didn't get bitten, which was my priority.
As expected, as soon as I lifted her into the air she swung her head with bared teeth and a snarl... saw that the objective of her jaws was a human arm, and immediately chilled. I was quite thrilled to see this, since I had some concerns about her temper in general, not just with other dogs, and mentioned it to her mom. "Yes," she said, "We've been doing a lot of Gotcha."
Actually, I wonder what ever happened to that pup. Her owner loved her to pieces, and showed fairly good leadership skills. But she was a first-time dog owner, middle-aged with back problems, and this was not a first-timer's dog. She was a strong, pushy little brat with a quick temper. I only hope she followed my recommendation to find somebody to work with her one-on-one.

Leah Roberts, Family Dog Trainer
It's A Dog's World
http://hometown.aol.com/dfrntdrums/myhomepage/index.html Get Healthy, Build Your Immune System, Lose Weight http://re-vita.net/dfrntdrums
Actually, I wonder what ever happened to that pup. Her owner loved her to pieces, and showed fairly good leadership skills. But she was a first-time dog owner, middle-aged with back problems, and this was not a first-timer's dog.

i hear this a lot. pit bulls, for example, are "not first-timers' dogs". ok, well, what dogs are? Border Collies? i wouldn't think so, but they seem popular. same with GSDs. Labs? maybe, not my first pick though.

should everyone start with poodles?
-kelly
should everyone start with poodles?

No way. Poodles are one of the more dog-aggressive breeds that I run into.
IMO, the best bet for first time owners is to go to the shelter and find something compatible.

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
IMO, the best bet for first time owners is to go to the shelter and find something compatible.

i did that and wound up with a wussy diva who should have her "pit bull" title revoked. :-)
-kelly
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