barking/aggressive towards my older son - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-13-2017, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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barking/aggressive towards my older son

Leo is now 14 mos old. He is best buds with my younger son, age 14. Whenever my younger son and older son(17) argue or push each other, no matter who is more aggressive or started the fight, Leo will always bark and try to bite my older son. Leo will even run after my older son to "protect" my younger one. Neither son is really hurting his brother.

When I witness this, I will say no to Leo but he seems very aggressive towards my older son. Not sure what to do to stop this behavior. I'm not always home when this happens and my younger son seems to get a lot of pleasure of using Leo this way. My older son is very gentle with Leo but doesn't hang out with Leo as much as my younger son.

Any advice to stop this behavior would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-13-2017, 04:10 PM
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I am sorry. I know boys love to roughhouse. Havanese are very sensitive. I would focus on the behavior of my boys.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-13-2017, 07:21 PM
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I agree with Marni. The dog is not doing anything wrong, so there is nothing to punish. He is doing his best to try to protect your younger son, in a situation that appears threatening to him. I would work on having the boys do their rough-housing away from Leo.

And if it is a real disagreement, this could be a great way to get your sons to learn to work through a difficult situation without resorting to getting physical or yelling.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-13-2017, 07:45 PM
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I agree with Marni. The dog is not doing anything wrong, so there is nothing to punish. He is doing his best to try to protect your younger son, in a situation that appears threatening to him. I would work on having the boys do their rough-housing away from Leo.

And if it is a real disagreement, this could be a great way to get your sons to learn to work through a difficult situation without resorting to getting physical or yelling.
Wonderful advice. I think that there is a lot to be gained when kids (or anyone for that matter) have the opportunity to grasp the nuances of a dog and to learn how to get the best out of their pet. We can learn so much by understanding animals, especially when we realize that they have more sensibilities than most people are aware.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-14-2017, 01:05 PM
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this behaviour could be what is called splitting. Dogs will try to intervene , calm down other dogs when conflicts arise. They seem to do it with humans too. The obvious solution is for your sons to resolve their differences peacefully. This splitting can sometimes be witnessed early in conflicts where the dog actually gets right in between two individuals dogs or humans where tensions seem to be rising eg. shouting. Our dogs are more tuned into things than we realize.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-15-2017, 08:47 PM
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this behaviour could be what is called splitting. Dogs will try to intervene , calm down other dogs when conflicts arise. They seem to do it with humans too. The obvious solution is for your sons to resolve their differences peacefully. This splitting can sometimes be witnessed early in conflicts where the dog actually gets right in between two individuals dogs or humans where tensions seem to be rising eg. shouting. Our dogs are more tuned into things than we realize.
While Kodi has never tried to nip or bite, he will DEFINITELY get RIGHT in between any two people in the house who are irritated with each other and even using an "annoyed" tone of voice. Then he does his best to get our attention. He TRULY doesn't like conflict, and sees it as his job to be the peacemaker.


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-16-2017, 12:16 AM
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While Kodi has never tried to nip or bite, he will DEFINITELY get RIGHT in between any two people in the house who are irritated with each other and even using an "annoyed" tone of voice. Then he does his best to get our attention. He TRULY doesn't like conflict, and sees it as his job to be the peacemaker.
When I was a kid the only time any of our dogs nipped anyone was once when a neighbor kid pushed me (or so I'm told, I don't remember it). My previous dog (a Dalmatian) was never aggressive, but when we were living in Macedonia I had a massage therapist who came to the house. Kelsey (my Dal) was fine with the normal parts of the massage, she'd wander around the house, lie down, etc... but the minute the massage therapist would start the part where they are basically karate chopping you up and down your back, she (the dog) would jump up onto the table and stand over me. Never aggressive, didn't growl or bark or nip or anything, but she made it very clear that she didn't like that part at all and wouldn't let anyone hit her mom.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-16-2017, 07:59 AM
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Both our first Havanese was, and now Tux is the same way. My husband and I never argue but if we are talking about an issue that we both are upset about (not at each other), both dogs would pick up on the change in character of our voices and immediately come to us and try to convey they are worried too. I am so cognizant of a dog's awareness of every nuance exhibited by humans. I watch the behavior of anybody's dog especially if the owner seems oblivious to it. They are amazing little creatures.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-16-2017, 10:33 AM
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Maybe have your older son spend some extra time with the dog and do some training to strengthen his bond with the dog.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-16-2017, 10:55 AM
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Ironically dogs will also confuse loving behavior with hostile behavior. Many people misinterpret when their dog tries to intervene when they are hugging and kissing and they jump up on them as if they want some loving too. Dogs don't hug and thus they may see this as threatening.
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