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Re: Dominance Issue

Posted by:  Marie Evans
Posted on:  September 20, 2001 at 16:31:12

In Reply to: Dominance Issue
Posted by:  Alexander LeVeque
Posted on:  September 19, 2001 at 20:26:23

Question:

: I recently adopted a male JRT of 4 years old. In general he is a good boy but he has a dominance problem. Whenever anyone is laying on the ground (including me) he will attempt to bite ears and hump legs, arms, etc. Is there anything I can do to prevent this behavior?

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Hi Alexander,

If this terrier is not neutered make an appointment and get him in ASAP. While much of this humping behavior is steeped in dominance issues if this is an intact male dog it can also steeped in sexual behavior.

Many people unconsciously encourage mounting behavior with some of the games they play with dogs. Body to body rough-housing can bring a display of dominance mounting behavior. I suggest not getting on floor level with your dog and allowing him to stand/walk on you. While you see this as a great play period for your dog, he doesn't see it as play but as a way to try to jockey for a dominant position.

You can try a Set-up with your dog by putting him on leash and recreate the conditions that usually get him to start the mounting behavior. In this instance have someone lay on the floor and as soon as the dog approaches and begins to mount, give a sharp leash correction and a firm NO! You can also arm the person on the floor with a water pistol to shoot in the dog's face as soon as it tries to mount/nip.

You may have to do this set-up several times. The dog then should stop with just a voice command. If he does you must praise him lavishly, tell him what a good boy he is.

My other suggestion is what I tell everyone! Get him enrolled into a good obedience school and work with him everyday. An older dog can learn just as well as a younger dog, it is never too late to go to school, that applies to dogs as well as us humans!

So remember, neutering if not already done, no rough-housing especially floor level, set-ups with correction and praise and last but certainly not least obedience school!

Good Luck!
Marie