Max and Rafe:
A Young, Rough Pup Learns to Play Nice
- By Jon Wedemeyer
June 13, 2018
K9 BEHAVIOR CENTER
Name of the dog(s): MAX/RAFE FAULK NO. OF VISITS TO DATE: 2
Max is an 9 y/o M, N, GSD who has been in the home for 8 years and presented with moderate dog/dog aggression. Max had a severe injury when hit by a car and still has pins in his legs. Caretaker is concerned that he will be reactive and injure another dog.
Rafe is a 1.5 y/o M, N, GSD who has been in the home for 4 mos., and presented with a moderate lack of bite and play inhibition, and is also trying to assume the leadership role from Max. Caretaker is concerned he will eventually trigger a bite incident.
Both dogs are very well cared for and the caretaker is very good at controlling both dogs. Prognosis is that Rafe will settle in, learn proper bite/play inhibition and allow Max to keep his role in the hierarchy. Rafe will do very well at socialization and dog park activities with this caretakers guidance. I feel Max's injuries are causing him pain and therefore causing his reactivity and aggression.
- Use LR closet for 1-2 minute timeouts for Rafe when he gets too rough, growls threateningly or tries to bully Max. Rule of thumb: 1 minute for misdemeanor, 2 for felony and play can never be too aggressive, or at Max's expense
- Use the traffic-cop hand signal and a firm “eh-eh!” when Rafe begins to play/sound too rough with Max
- Turn your back to keep Rafe from jumping. Use “OFF” command, the traffic-cop hand signal and a firm “eh-eh!” when he begins to jump up
- Work on dog park socialization with Rafe, both agree Max is happier avoiding parks
- Work on any type of hard play sessions where Rafe can tire himself out, heat permitting
- Remember to always praise Rafe the second he begins to perform any behavior you are asking him to. This tells him that it is what you wanted him to do. Smile wide and clap hands, give him “Good Boy”, “Good Job” and pat him on shoulders and chest. This all builds his confidence, his bond with you and has him look to you for approval
- When walking Max, if you feel he is getting reactive with another dog, stay calm and pat/stroke him on his shoulders, reassure him that you are in control of the situation
- Recommend getting Max vetted for pain in his hind-end
- Always watch your tone of voice and never sound angry – you can sound disappointed or surprised, but never angry, that weakens your bond and the dogs confidence
Please don't hesitate to call, email or text me with any questions or concerns, and please schedule a follow-up whenever needed. I look forward to seeing you guys again soon.