Why is Gryff so mean to Alec??? - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 75 (permalink) Old 03-31-2008, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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Why is Gryff so mean to Alec???

Okay, that's sort of a rhetorical question. I know the answer has to do with the pack order. Gryff has become rather attached to me and I know he resents Alec actually being my son! Gryff used to growl at Alec when he would pet him. Today was a really bad day. Gryff growled at Alec just for walking past him. He probably growled at him 20 times since Alec got home from school. However, they just had a rompin' play session that Gryff initiated and were best buddies for about 10 minutes.

I really don't know what to do. I told Alec and my DH today that NOBODY feeds the dog except for Alec and he's not allowed to feed Gryff unless Gryff knows he's being fed (i.e. don't just put the food down and walk away). What else could I do? I still don't even know how to handle the situation when Gryff growls at him. Give him a swat, put him on his back, ignore it,..I just don't know.

Gryff has school on Wednesday so I am going to talk with them about it. It's only Alec he has this behavior with and my son is really crushed.

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post #2 of 75 (permalink) Old 03-31-2008, 08:29 PM
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Ivy, I don't know much, but I think that in your case the 'rompin' play session' was probably Gryff trying to 'fight out' his pack order with your son. I would highly recommend you talk to a trainer or a professional, Gryff's behavior is unacceptable and apparently you've never been able to get rid of Gryff's aggression toward your son.

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post #3 of 75 (permalink) Old 03-31-2008, 08:34 PM
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I agree with a trainer if it is aggression (I haven't followed this issue too closely).

I question whether it's truly aggression or if he sees Alec as a play buddy and prefers to initiate it with a bark. I know that my oldest is much more the player with MeMe and MeMe's always barking at her. My youngest she never barks at except if she get startled in the middle of the night.

One thing that might work is to have Alec totally ignore Gryff unless Gryff is affectionate. I'll hug my oldest and it drives MeMe nuts. Not until she greets Lauren nicely will I acknowledge MeMe. It also helps if you've got another pet for Alec to pay attention to.


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post #4 of 75 (permalink) Old 03-31-2008, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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Actually, Gryff isn't very affectionate at all, even to me. He is like my shadow and he warmly welcomes me when I come home, but he doesn't climb on my lap or smother me with kisses. He is quite aloof, almost like a cat sometimes.

He doesn't bark at Alec, it is definitely a "get out of my way or I am going to bite you" growl.

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post #5 of 75 (permalink) Old 03-31-2008, 09:04 PM
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Ivy, is Alec old enough to walk Gryff? My boys idolize and respect anyone who takes them to the park (which is mostly my DH) but I notice that on the days I take them for a walk-- they will do what ever I say. Walking Gryff will also show him that Alec is a leader.




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post #6 of 75 (permalink) Old 03-31-2008, 09:07 PM
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Oh Ivy - I'm so sorry. That needs a professional trainer. I know how I'd handle it, but wouldn't want to assume I know all the dynamics. Also, when I did have an aggressive puppy I learned that the more often they are successful (i.e. Alec backs down) the more the pattern is ingrained and then it begins to escalate. So it's very important to get a professional in as soon as possible to nip this in the bud. I can imagine how hurt Alec must feel but please reassure him that it's not about "him". One thing I did think about is whether Gryff is resource guarding with you being the object guarded. You'll need to be specific in what you think is causing it so you find a trainer experienced in Gryff's issue. Hugs to you and Alec.


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post #7 of 75 (permalink) Old 03-31-2008, 09:11 PM
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Yes I agree with Lisa, professional help would be best.




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post #8 of 75 (permalink) Old 03-31-2008, 09:13 PM
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I would also back up the professional help advice. I would also likely say, Gryff feels like he is above you in the pecking order too. Cause even Belle knows better than growling around me, like this weekend she was on leslie lap and she did it as low as she could to prevent a correction from me.

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post #9 of 75 (permalink) Old 03-31-2008, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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I had a professional here months ago. Her recommendation was to have Alec do all the feeding and walking and playing. The professional told me basically to lock myself away from Gryff for a few weeks so he could come to rely on Alec exclusively. Needless to say, that doesn't work with a 7 year old who goes to school all day while I'm home all day. Also, Gryff won't walk with Alec. He digs his heels in so hard and I don't want Alec to pull him on the leash. It's all very frustrating. I was very hopeful that this behavior would cease and the two of them would be a boy and his dog.

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post #10 of 75 (permalink) Old 03-31-2008, 11:05 PM
 
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((((Ivy)))) Oh my gosh, my heart is breaking for Alec. I am so anxious for your trainer's help.
I know Bonnie has growled at my younger ones. It is pretty rare. I have initiated immediate "corrections" by flipping her on her back with a firm NO with the kids standing next to me. I have then asked Bonnie to give "kisses" as an apology and she does it no problem. This was the method a trainer suggested to me for the best results. I also make very sure that my children are very respectful of the pups. However, unlike Gryff, both my pups are incredibly in-your-face affectionate.
Good luck, Ivy, Alec and Gryff! I think my newphew went to school in New Paltz -- is there a U there?
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