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 the stairs

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StaffySel
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PostSubject: the stairs   Mon 14 Mar 2011, 8:33 pm

I have been reading some articles about dog aggression/dominant dogs and one part said that a sign your dog is being the dominant one is when it rushes past you on the stairs?!

Enzo does this so now im thinking should I stop him doing it? He will wait until I start walking down the stairs or up, and then rush past me to get in front of me.

Does anyone else have this?
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PostSubject: Re: the stairs   Mon 14 Mar 2011, 8:41 pm

Not sure about that Sel, to me it is more about doggy manners.

I let mine go upstairs first when we go to bed. I open the child gate and send them upstairs to bed. Walking down Chloe is very slow and Reuben tends to run ahead and open the child gate but I dont see him as being dominant because he does this.

When we go for walks I always make sure I go through the door first, they know the wait command so they are made to wait and follow me through. It does eventually become habit and in a morning when we come back from the walk they both now wait until I have opened both front doors and entered before they come in.


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StaffySel
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PostSubject: Re: the stairs   Mon 14 Mar 2011, 9:02 pm

I always thought it was a little game he played haha! I also make sure I walk through the door first before him but he doesnt do it automatically, I always have to remind him.

I ask because this weekend enzo had a spat with a dog when I was out and also today when my mum took him out :( Luckily both times the owners apologised to us as if it was their dog in the wrong but I know Enz is the problem.

Its getting me down, I think he is trying to be the top dog/the one in charge so im trying to stop him being like it.

When I take him out with my ex boyfriend he is a totally different dog because my ex is completley in charge doesnt stand for any messing and I think Enz remembers this. I need to 'man up' lol and put enzo straight. lol!
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PostSubject: Re: the stairs   Mon 14 Mar 2011, 9:11 pm

Going back to you feeding him will help, especially if he has to wait to be told when he can eat

Do you still go training with him? If not why dont you make some of your walks a bit of training too or do a bit at home?

You need to be calm and assertive without losing it, ie shouting and screaming (not saying you do by the way) but to a dog this is you out of control so he has to take control.

My two dont really respond to hubby and a lot of the time they ignore him which drives me mad and rightly or wrongly I step in when needed. My hubby does not do anything with the dogs apart from the odd walk and I think this is why they are with him.

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PostSubject: Re: the stairs   Mon 14 Mar 2011, 9:16 pm

mine are not allowed upstairs by right so cant really answer this buffy doesnt come up unless she is called
rizla on the other hand will wait until we are up the top and out of sight then he will bomb up and hide under the nearest duvet lololol

i dont class it as signs of dominence though just a game that he plays he is a very submissive pup
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StaffySel
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PostSubject: Re: the stairs   Mon 14 Mar 2011, 9:28 pm

I stopped going training but I will start again.

I do always practise recall when I walk him and sit stay etc. He is good at these things but I think he might be trying to protect me around other dogs, this is what the trainer said.

I am the opposite to shouting, I am too quiet lol so im also trying to find the right way tio show him im in charge, being calm assertive as you said. I struggle with that, sometimes the only time he listens is when I have lost it lol.



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PostSubject: Re: the stairs   Mon 14 Mar 2011, 9:35 pm

When you lose it is your voice louder or deeper? If you try being calm but use a deeper voice he may respond to that as he is responsive to your ex who I assume has a deeper voice :-)

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StaffySel
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PostSubject: Re: the stairs   Mon 14 Mar 2011, 10:03 pm

Yeah he has a deeper voice, I do try to copy him and it works sometimes.

When Enzo went for a dog the other day I was with my friend and she was very excitable and enzo was jumping up, I think this type of atmosphere makes him excitable too and I can see I should of stepped in and calmed him down. Its annoying because I know all of these things and can see why enzo does it but when it comes to actually doing it its a different thing.

Going back to the stairs thing, I just went upstairs and enz ran past me like usual so I told him to come back down and used the command 'with me' and this time he walked slowly next to me. I think i'll do this in future.
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PostSubject: Re: the stairs   Mon 14 Mar 2011, 10:07 pm

Great start Sel. The last thing you want is him knocking you over. I have broken my toes on the stairs twice and I blamed the dogs both times as they left toys on the stairs. It was not my fault I did not see them lol.

If you have a look in the K999 section Adam has done a very good response to Reubens unwanted behaviour with other dogs. You may find some of it useful.
I realised I was contributing to his behaviour by getting him so excited when we were going for walks.

I'll find the link to the post and add it on here for you x

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PostSubject: Re: the stairs   Mon 14 Mar 2011, 10:09 pm


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StaffySel
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PostSubject: Re: the stairs   Mon 14 Mar 2011, 10:10 pm

Thank you i'll have a read spinner smile
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PostSubject: Re: the stairs   Tue 15 Mar 2011, 5:46 pm

Hi Selena,
sorry, I've come on a bit late to this one!
first up, the dominance thing, I've quite a large problem with the dominance theory / dominance hierarchy which seems to be common place now-a-days. I'm planning to put something on StaffieZone at some point to explain my reservations on it.
Basically it's a misleading, incorrect and often damaging to the dog/owner relationship. I find it behaviourists who use it lack a sound understanding of both the term dominance and how it applies to canines. I personally have no use for the terms dominance or submissive in my behavioural work, and I principally work with canine aggression.

If a dog barges past you on the stairs, there may be a few reasons. Most likely if, like me, you run up the stairs, the sudden burst of energy is exciting for the dog and they want to see what the fuss is about, so their own excitement will see them charge past you.
or, the dog feels the need to look after you so when you head off somewhere, like upstairs, they need to check it out first and keep an eye on you.

This issue is a bit of an indicator to another underlying issue, possibly excitement or a lack of confidence.
Does your dog follow you round the house then shoves past when you head up stairs? or,
does you dog hear you start going up the stairs and come charging from another room?

once upstairs, does the dog go exploring? or wait for you on the landing for you?
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StaffySel
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PostSubject: Re: the stairs   Tue 15 Mar 2011, 7:21 pm

Hi, thanks for your reply.

Sometimes he will run past in excitement, its part of the routine (i get home from work, go up stairs, get changed, take him for a walk) so i can see this is in excitement. He will try to predict where I am going and walk in front and look back to see if I am following.

But sometimes it will just be any other time when I am popping up stairs, he will rush past and stand at the top looking down on me and waiting for me. He does follow me around the house everywhere too.

The aggression side of things - its only ever towards other dogs. Since the weekend I have stopped him sleeping in my bed with me and ive been trying to be a bit more firmer with him when out walking like pulling on the lead, which I am able to stop if I keep on top of it. I am hoping these things will help?
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PostSubject: Re: the stairs   Tue 15 Mar 2011, 7:48 pm

defo doggy manners to me, my alfie Never rushes past me on the stairs , up or down he just seems to know his place which is mad as iv never once taught him that , he waits for me to go through a door first too which is great ,,,,,,he pushes past my sonya no matter what their doing but hey ho thats life ,,,,dads the boss lol!
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PostSubject: Re: the stairs   Tue 15 Mar 2011, 10:45 pm

thanks Selena,
it's the following you around the house bit that interests me and I'd guess this is the cause of the problem. Rushing past you on the stairs is a symptom, why the dog needs to beat you to the landing is more important, but even before that, why can't your dog leave you to wander around the house by yourself?
This is where I'd start my work. Either; 1) the dog feels the need to watch out for you (guard) you so follows you around in order to do so. The fact he seems to try to get in front of you in various situations shows he is taking on the responsibility to address any altercations which may occur, (this may also be the reason for the aggression whilst on walks, I'm guessing he puts himself between you and other dogs when he kicks off?).
or; 2) the dog hasn't the confidence to sit /lie/stay on his own and needs to be in your presence, to see you are acting normally, and to have you make decisions for him, to know there is nothing to worry about.
My guess is reason 1) though.
and if this is the case then it could well be the reason for the onlead aggression. By this I take it he goes mad at some/all dogs, lunging, barking, snarling, etc etc? This is 9 times out of 10 fear based. He isn't confident interacting with other dogs and also feeling he needs to protect you from harm means getting close to strange dogs is too risky, so he puts on the snarling, growling, teeth snapping, lunging act to keep other dogs and their owners at a safe distance. (I bet it works too!!)

The not sleeping on the bed thing is a good idea for now, not because of the reasons the 'dominance' based advice offers, but simply because if the dog feels the need to guard you by letting him sleep on your bed you are allowing him to guard you all night (I bet he wakes first to any weird noises at night!) thus compounding his belief that you require him to guard you. Making him sleep downstairs is a small gesture to show you will be ok on your own at night, he'll have a more relaxing sleep too by the way.
The walks are key here, if you can get him walking loose lead next to or just behind you then you have now assumed the 'protector' role he was once fullfilling. As soon as you see a dog and he begins to show tension, do your job as the protector and lead him away from the perceived threat. He'll soon realise that 1) you don't want guarding and 2) you keep him away from scary things so your good to be around. Then you can work on progressing closer to other dogs calmly retreating when he starts to tense up.
Around the home begin to shut doors behind you so he can't follow every now and again and he'll eventually realise that just because you leave a room it doesn't mean he has to come too, instead he can stay chilled out on the couch.

On the bed thing, my youngest Miz comes and goes as she pleases, sometimes sleeping on the couch with Alphie, sometimes up with us, sometimes she does a bit of both. But she comes up for the company as opposed to coming up to do a guard job, or be guarded by us!
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PostSubject: Re: the stairs   Tue 15 Mar 2011, 11:16 pm

Some really good points there and it sounds just like everything he does. He does bark at noises at night and even more at any slight noise when I am on my own in the house with him.

I will consentrate on the loose lead walking and try to stop the following around the house, although shutting the door I can see him whinning if I do this lol. Would it still be the same if I tell him to stay whilst I leave the room or go upstairs and get him to wait downstairs?

If I am passing another dog when we are out walking, is it best to get him to sit until they past and make sure I am between the dog and him or cross the road, turn away from them?
Thanks in advance :)


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PostSubject: Re: the stairs   Wed 16 Mar 2011, 6:05 pm

good stuff!
the idea behaind shutting the door behaind you is to show Enzo that when you leave a room he doesn't have to do anything, it is a non event.
you have to build it up slowly;
walk out of a room, shut the door behind you, literally a few seconds later go back in but completely ignore Enzo, busy yourself with something, make a cuppa or wash a dish, then do the same, leave for a few seconds, then come back in. Slowly lengthen the time you are out of the room.
For a few days or so he will be right behind the door when you go back in, but the more he relaxes about being on his own, the more you'll notice he does less when you leave him. He might for instance notice you going and sit up, but he'll wait where he is untill you come back in then he'll come up to you (you're still ignoring him at this point). Eventually he'll notice you leaving from his bed/on the sofa/on his mat or wherever etc and he won't bother to budge because he knows you'll be coming back soon anyway.
The important thing is to ignore Enzo when you re-enter a room with him in, (this includes coming home from work) simply because it makes an occasion of coming in, excitement will be associated with it and he'll struggle to change. You only have to ignore him for 5-10 minutes, mainly so he doesn't associate any attention you give with you coming through the door.
A stay command is ok, I tend not to use it because you are never there to reinforce the stay so he can ignore the command as soon as you turn your back. Simply calmly leave and close the door with out engaging him in any way.
With the stairs, you could get him to wait at the bottom untill you are at the top then invite him up.

With other dogs when out walking, only go as close to other dogs as Enzo is comfortable with, (this will vary from dog to dog by the way) once he begains to show signs of stress and tension, head up, ears up, eyes wide, tail stiff etc etc it is getting too much for him so simply walk him away so the distance between him and the other dog is increased. If he makes any sort of move towards the dog, barks, lunges, charges, snarls etc you have taken him too close and he has taken it upon himself to scare the 'threat' away. From his point of view, you have failed to recognise the potential danger the other dog poses and are wandering far to close to it. This may be why he feels you need protecting!

He needs to see dogs aren't scary so show him dogs with out him getting stressed and eventually he won't associate other dogs with stress.
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PostSubject: Re: the stairs   Wed 16 Mar 2011, 6:51 pm

Jo n Buffs wrote:
mine are not allowed upstairs by right so cant really answer this buffy doesnt come up unless she is called
rizla on the other hand will wait until we are up the top and out of sight then he will bomb up and hide under the nearest duvet lololol

i dont class it as signs of dominence though just a game that he plays he is a very submissive pup

crash does tho he has got in the habbit of sneeking up stairs to wake lee up which is funny but unless we r upstairs he doenst go up


i agree with the other posts i thinks its more manners then owt else, crash listens to both of us but if he has been very naughty then its lee who steps in all in all he is like riz
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StaffySel
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PostSubject: Re: the stairs   Wed 16 Mar 2011, 7:46 pm

Thanks Adam, it all makes perfect sense :) I will start doing this straight away.

He will only snarl when a dog is literally nose to nose distance, but walking past on a footpath he will lung & stare etc

I will keep you updated with how I get on. Many thanks

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