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Hello Forum: I would love your advice and tips. Cash is a very dominant pup. He is very loving and outgoing, But this morning he did two things that worry me and would like to nip in the bud. The first thing he did was when I was preparing his food. He sat there and barked at me-- a very demanding bark- I said No and he stopped but then started again---

The 2nd thing was-I was trying a very gentle brushing to get him used to it and he growled and snapped. I put him in a down position and said settle. but he didn't.

My third question is this- and I feel terrible even asking- please don't judge me--have any of you ever sent a dog back? I just have this nagging feeling that the dynamics are wrong for our little pack of 3 and now 4. Although my husband likes Cash's spunky-ness, and I do too, I just feel like there will always be a battle of Wills. We thought we were getting a calmer dog by her descriptions.

And although Jas has seemed to be OK with him- he still seems to me like a bit of a bully. Is this just puppydom or can I expect this when he is older.

Jasper was my first dog ever because of allergies all my life--And he is an unusual Hav in that he is very low energy was incredibably submissive--- and very independant and would go off by himself even if we are home, even as a puppy (he was a great first dog) Cash is the total opposite- hates to be alone, demands to be the center of attention and is a dominant little guy. SO although I've read and read and watched countless episodes of the Dog Whisperer- I do feel a little out of my element with these two

I would love for it to work out. Especially because I think this would be the last attempt for a 2nd dog (and I think Jas could use a buddy) But I would love your honest assesments if this is something that can be worked through or if a personality is a personality.

thanks all.

Missy
 

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Missy - I am sad to hear you are struggling with this decision. I can say that Logan has been trying to be a little more dominent lately too, but more with the other dogs, than with me. Before you make such a big decision you should check with the vet or a trainer to see if there are specific things you can do to teach him that doing those things are unacceptable. I can say that my girls growl & snap at the comb when I groom them too - never at me, but I dont groom real often. Their groomer tells me that they NEVER do that with her, so I assume it is only happening with me.
 

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Samson & Delilah's Mom
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When dealing with a dominate pup you have to win. If he tries to bite and a firm No doesn't work. Hold him by the scruf of the neck" like a Mom Dog would do" another firm "No" in a growlly voice. If he still doesn't submit. You need to add a little shake and another growlly "no". Do not let him get away with biting or growling at you.

Barking when you prepare his food - put him in his crate until you are ready to feed him. And feed Jasper first. In a pack the dominate dogs eat first. Feed yourselves, Jasper, then the pup. He has to learn where his spot is in the pack. Once he know how is boss, there will be peace most of the time.

You have to be Alpha dog. Not everybody can deal with strong willed dogs, that is why there are so many dogs in shelters etc. Try to find a good trainer in your area that can give you one on one help. Some times the spunkie ones make the best dogs after they know their place. I had to do these things with Sam and a few of my German Shepherds and it does work. But you have to win everytime.

Sam would try to bite the kids if they startled him. I had to be very careful and watch them like a hawk. It took a few times before it stopped. You have to be consistant, firm and fair. If you don't have the personallity to take charge. Don't feel like you are giving up. It would be better to give him back than to create a monster. Try to find a trainer before you give up. Good luck and I really hope it works out.
 

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Dear Missy,
I would feel the same way as you- you need to do what is best for your family. I do not think you are being harsh - you need to use your instinct. Your instinct is your gift. Do not ignore it. If you feel you want to gice it more time, I would run not walk to a trainer who knows alpha training. We have done this not knowing about the position our puppy had within the pack before getting him, and it is truly anazing. You need to be educated about how to be the alpha in your pack and then how to communicate this to your pup. For instance, your pup never eats before you. And when you so feed your pup, youhold the dish and pretend to be eating from it before you give him his plate. Alphas always eat first. You never allow the pup to enter or exit a threshold first- You must always go in and out the door first. If your pup is in the middle of the floor, you need to walk into him (obviiously not to hurt him, but to move him). Alpha's never walk around the underlings in their pack. Sometimes you need to do this just to make him move. never allow him to sit higher then you - not on the couch or the bed. The alpha of the pack is always in a higher position as the look out for his pack. All these tings have you thinking like you are the alpha of the pack. And when you do these things and more, what you are doing is not only establishing yourself as the alpha (leader) of his pack, but you lower his anxiety because he no longer feels that he needs to do these things because you are protecting the pack. None of these things are hurtful to the dog, it gives them the comfort to be one of the underlings of the pack, protected and taken care of. Everyone in the household must adhere to the training.
There is more that you will learn- I have found this training enormously helpful.
And if this does not help, do not second guess your instincts.
Goog Luck!
Lynn U.
 

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Missy,

First let me say that you have to do what you feel is best for your situation. If it means returning the puppy, then it has to be done. I know how you feel. Sometimes it just gets overwhelming. When my son (now 36) was 2-1/2, and I was 7mos pregnant, my husband brought home the most beautiful German Shep pup. After 2 weeks of craziness, the pup went back.

Now, I'll tell you my experience with Kodi and Shelby.
KODI is a very sweet, calm boy, except for playtime. Then he plays just as hard as any dog. He will sit and let me brush him for hours. So when we got SHELBY we were surprised that she is so "feisty". I have not been able to brush her for more than 5 mins unless she has something to distract her. like another brush. Also, she is a biter. Part of the problem is teething, but she likes to bite. I just have to let her know that I am the boss. When they play together, she is much more aggressive and louder than Kodi, so I have to watch them. If I think it is getting out of hand, I give them both a nudge to stop them. Now that she is getting a little older (going on 5 mos), she seems to be calming down a little. Also, her personality is starting to emerge.

Maybe this helps, maybe not. But I know you will make the right decision for you and Cash.
 

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It isn't always easy, Missy. Great advice from everyone here. You might need to sit quietly with your thoughts and see what your gut tells you is best for you and your household.

Ricky is very confident and resembles your Cash quite a bit. We did not want a shy dog as we are very busy with the kids, with lots of family and friends that visit and with outings. I did not want a dog that feared loud noises and commotion and that's what we got. I had a chance to pick from the litter at the breeders' and the first one I held was very much an Alpha dog. We were told he needed a lot of firmness and would likely be a barker - we let him go and chose Ricky who was not shy, but quieter. Well...... that is until he was 3 mths old when he showed us just how much he loves to bark!! Sigh....... lol :)

A dog that is spunky, entertaining, wild and very social is a great addition to the family, IF that is what you want. He will be a bit "hard-headed" and might require more effort, but it can be done with consistency and learning how to train. Now, if we had TWO like Ricky, things might get 'interesting' around here! lol I wouldn't trade him for the world though. :)

Do what feels right and don't forget that any pup can be trained, esp. at this very young age.

marj
 

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Missy. I think everyone gave you some great advise already. Talk to your breeder. She may give you some insight. Maybe Cash wasn't acting like this in his other pack but is trying to take charge of your pack.

Alpha dogs are tough. We originally like the dog in the litter that was black and tan. The breeder came right out and said she was the alpha even growling at her Mom. She said she wouldn't place her in a home for a pet with novices.

Good luck. Things will work out.
 

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Cash's mom would grab him, pin him, show teeth, growl, and then let him up and walk off and forget about it. That's what I would do too. It's not mean being the pack leader. They all need it. Some more than others.

You've gotten some good advice here. I also agree with the making step aside part although that's harder with a little puppy. I even do that with the horses. When the herd is together sometimes I make it a point to walk through them and make sure that they all step aside. They don't like me any the less but respect me as the leader. Some dogs might not even naturally want to be the Alpha in a pack but feel like it's necessary to take the position if there is not a clear leader.
 

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Try this for the barking while preparing food.

You're at the counter preparing the food. The INSTANT he barks you completely stop working with the food and do nothing but stop and look at him-show no emotion. When he stops barking, you go back to what you were doing. Bark = food prep on all stop. Do this as many times as it takes. No words are necessary or even beneficial. If the barking doesn't stop the first session, put everything away and go do something else. In about 5 minutes go back and take the food stuff out again and do the same thing over and over until it works. Show no emotion. Say nothing. Barking equals his world stops turning.

I can tell you for a fact that this does work. You can not loose your patience or your temper. He won't starve.
 

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I think you can handle "Cash".....you sought advice when you needed it,and alot of people on this forum have alot of good advice.I would take it all.I can not really add anything different,but I wanted to post and encourage you.
I think you have to decide in your heart what is best for you and your family,and then just "go for it".If that means you keep him,GREAT,if that means you send him back,that's GREAT too.Do not beat yourself up over this.Perhaps the breeder has a different option for you(a more calm,submissive pup),but either way,no one should judge you at all,and you shouldn't feel that way.If you are still on the fence about it,I definitely would talk with the breeder and let them know your situation.
 

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Missy,
Very tough decision and I feel for you. My havanese is very easy going but the maltese is extremely alpha. Everyone kept telling me that she would calm down as she got older, etc... well she is now 4 and she know officially knows who is the boss. I am not sure of the exact issues with your puppy but when I picked Isabelle, I didn't know better as a first time dog owner. This is why we didn't add another maltese and looked for an easy going breed. This has taken lost of obedience and behavior work. Belle will still boss my husband around barking and she does this to many dogs. The havanese will let her get away with a lot until they play or she hurts Dora and then Dora will remind her who is bigger. There are lots of things you can do to let a dog know that you are the boss. You really might want to read Cesar's book too. I would really recommend that you talk to your breeder. Matching dog's personalities with those of their families is very important! ie- not sending the hyper dog with those who spend most evenings on the couch, not sending alpha dogs to inexperienced owners.

Amanda
 

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Discussion Starter #12
thanks

Hi All: thanks for all the advice and the encouragement. I did speak with the breeder yesterday and she had some great advice much luck the advice from all of you. She says he really wasn't an alpha at her house-- but then again she had so many older dogs that took that role. Cash's grandmother in particular would keep the pups in line. Her thought was that Cash needed a strong leader- that he had already figured out that is was one wrung up on Jasper and was trying to really figure out his role in our pack, see if he could get ahead of me.

It is amazing what a few changes can do. I started eating in front of him first, and then feeding Jasper and then when he was quiet I fed him. ( I had been feeding him first because Jasper is such a finnicky eater I wanted Cash to act as an example) I've been much firmer about mouthing, using the scruff of the neck technique if no doesn't work. and I continue to stop him when he steels something from Jasper.

Cash has been much better behaved. Less whining and no more demanding barks(grant it - it has been less than a day) But also, this new routine seems to have bolstered Jaspers confidence. I have noticed in their play just last night that Jas has taken a lot less gruff and has also made Cash lie down.

My Husband has become really atatched to Cash immediately. So Cash stays and we will work it out. In general I see that his presence has actually been really good for Jasper. Once puppydom is over I think having two will actually be easier and more fun.

I have been re-reading ceasar's book, the monks of new skeet and the breeder suggested Mother Knows Best by Carol Lea Benjiman (have any of you read that one?)

Thanks again, keep the advice coming.

Missy, Jasper and Cash
 

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Try this for the barking while preparing food.

You're at the counter preparing the food. The INSTANT he barks you completely stop working with the food and do nothing but stop and look at him-show no emotion. When he stops barking, you go back to what you were doing. Bark = food prep on all stop. Do this as many times as it takes. No words are necessary or even beneficial. If the barking doesn't stop the first session, put everything away and go do something else. In about 5 minutes go back and take the food stuff out again and do the same thing over and over until it works. Show no emotion. Say nothing. Barking equals his world stops turning.
I can tell you for a fact that this does work. You can not loose your patience or your temper. He won't starve.
I have done this and agree that it works best. Barking like a maniac will only get me to stop what I'm doing and ignore you.... be quiet and I'll play/get your food ready/let you out/praise ... whatever !

Missy, I am so happy to read your latest post!! I'm not surprised that hubby has grown so attached to Cash. He likely enjoys that he can play with him more physically than he does with Jasper. If Cash is like Ricky, then you can roughhouse him (to a point of course) and not be afraid he'll break. We love that about Ricky!

I'm very glad you have changed some things as you will see that a new mindset makes all the difference and will let the little one know that certain behaviours are just not acceptable in your home. He'll just love you the more for it. :)
 

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Missy,
True to many books, dogs really like to know their roles in their pack and have routines. I have lots of things I do with Isabelle that I wish my husband would be better at. Some of the things I do- not letting her go crazy with the squirrels, I always walk out the door before she does then I invite her while she is doing a sit stay (this has taken a long time!), I will grab the back of her neck when she needs it, and I have even placed her on her back as the behaviorist told me to do when she went to bite for removing a bone. She really has came along way. She does get confused over who is boss to my husband and if I had to pick, my money is on the 4lb maltese!

Dora is very easy going and I love that attitude. She only gets upset when Belle tries to take her bone, or nips her a little to hard during play. She willl immediately jump on top of Belle. Belle backs off rather quickly!!! She thinks of both of us as her boss.

Just let us know when you need help! I am sure you guys can easily adjust the pack :)

Amanda
Amanda
 

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Missy: Now that your family has made a decision I hope you are feeing little better. I have Carol Lea Benjamin's book "Second Hand Dog" she writes with alot of humor. Very straight forward, easy to read book. I can only assume her book "Mother knows Best" would be written with the same humor but no nonsense approach. Another bit of advice. A tired puppy is a good and happy puppy. Lots of walking exercises if you can get out. Good luck and keep us posted.
 

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Congratulations, Missy.
I am certain that you will not regret your decision. I think you were the one who had to find your place in the pack. The dynamics are so different when you get your first puppy. The first one depends on you for everything, and I think that makes them a little more restrained. Then you get puppy #2, and it upsets the applecart.

You also said you see a change in Jasper, and that's because you are back to being his leader.

Keep up the good work! :D
 

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MIssy - I am so glad to hear about your decision.I am sure that Cash will eventually calm down. It amazes me how quickly Logan has learned some of those very things - in 1-2 days. If you stay consistant, I am sure that by next week you will forget he was ever misbehaved.
I can attest to the husband thing. When Lily & Lexi came, he needed time for them to grow on him. But 2 days after Logan came home, he was singing his praises & saying how much he likes this dog. It must be a guy thing??!??
 

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Hi
I think it is an individual thing but trust me it does get better -it is hard not to compare you dogs .I did that constantly when I got Cosmo . Asta did this and Asta did that and Cosmo does not do any of that .
I realized I had to focus on the positives in Cosmo . He was very cute . He was very assertive like everyone else in the family . I needed to learn how to challenge the energy . I started reading as much about dominance . I could I changed vets to someone who was supportive and understanding and would listen and offer suggestions .
I found this forum with all you wonderful people who were so willing to help and to share and I realized I can do this . I am not alone ..
We went to puppy class and believe me he was not too well received in the beginning but we finished and graduated and he was a happy dog ...
I am so happy he is in our lives ..
First of all Cash is a new puppy and he is just getting used to you and your family and he is trying to find his place in the order of it all . It would be interesting to see what Tom or Kimberly has to say from a breeders point of view . Which is best to return the dog now or to wait a week or two ...
Each dog is so different - its parents are different . My dog Asta was so unlike Cosmo . Cosmo sounds a lot llike you little fellow Cash . He is much more dominant . Trust me all the advice people have given you is very worthwhile and right on the money .
It does work . Everything they say - it takes time . They have to earn everything . They have to learn to wait and accept you are the pack leader .
Cosmo is not allowed on the furniture or on the bed - he sleeps in the crate . Everytime I would weaken and let him up - it was a mistake . Now I accept it - he will never be allowed up on the furniture or bed . Now it is a new dog and he has new rules. He has to have time outs . He was a real barker as well and he still barks but he is learning and it is much better . I really praise him when it is positive barking . So many times he has let me know there are people at the door as I have not heard the doorbell ..He is my helper.
I had the same feelings as you maybe this is not the right dog for me but I remember my German shorthair and he was the same in the beginning . He was such a wonderful dog in the end once he matured and we al found our place .. .
As to returning the dog that is an individual decision maybe Cash is just too difficult and challenging for you and maybe it is what would be best for everyone involved - it is not fair to the dog either if you have this feeling of uncertainity towards him . I think they can sense it and it makes it worse .
I know I had some stressful times with Cosmo - the good news was that he did crate train and I could leave him for an hour or two . He would nap and I would get a breather ..
I do think Cash will settle in as my vet definetly recommended a second dog for Cosmo as she said they will learn their place and order from the other dog or dogs . You already have the second dog .
He has been with you such a short period but I know you feel like you did not get the chinese dinner you ordered and right now it is hard for you ..
You will do what is right for you and your family . I just remember how excited you were to welcome him home ..
Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hi Everyone: Thanks again for all your encouragement, ideas and support. We have had a very good weekend. It seems that all Cash needed was a firm hand to become the puppy that was described to me by the breeder. He is so very sweet- a natural retreiver who likes to leap onto your lap with the the retieved object- He is a chow hound, which has been good for Jas. And Cash and Jas are definetly becoming best pals. And I am very fortunate that he is sleeping through the night- and is mostly getting potty training ( a very few mistakes- that were really ours)

So the training continues- but he really seems much calmer knowing that he doesn't have to be in charge. I feel much better having decided to keep him and not sitting on a fence.

thanks again,

Missy
 
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