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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

For almost a year now we have had a problem with Hurley bullying Layla - only outdoors (that is HIS yard LOL). Since Laylas spay surgery and false pregnancy something has changed. She is the bully now - she attacks Hurley and Dream for no reason whatsoever. She does not hurt them it is all about bullying. I have really been hoping one of them would just put her in her place and get it over with, but they don't. We have been doing NILiF with her, and also making sure that Dream gets all the attention, treats, meals etc. first, then Hurley and Layla is last.

I am not sure what else to do here, Dream is an old girl and Layla attacks her as she is coming down the stairs, or walking into a room. Hurley gets attacked constantly - He runs to the door to get away from her. They both could do her in if they wanted to, she is half their size. Aiyana used to control Hurley with one paw LOL.

How would you handle this? Like I said, Hurleys bullying of Layla was only outdoors, it has gotten better. Maybe that is the problem...she thinks she is boss now.

thanks in advance,

Julie
 

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Will you describe exactly what Layla is doing? Is she tackling/kncoking over? Growling/ hackles up?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
With Dream she usually blocks her way...barking, some times growling and hackles up, she will nip at Dreams legs and neck. On Hurley it is the same, but more often, and she will do it for no apparent reason - he could be just laying there.
 

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Have you had her thyroid checked since the surgery? Such a change in behavior can be a sign of low thyroid.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I am taking her in next month, and was thinking of getting that checked...thank you. Could her thyroid get wacky that fast - her surgery was only last month?
She has always been a very nervous, skittish girl...and really aggressive when playing.

She does not seem to be trying to hurt them...it is more like the bullying Hurley would do to her in the yard which we consulted with a behaviorist for.

She and Hurley have been having dominance issues for months - she wants to be big dog, and it isn't going to happen LOL.

I was hoping that by doing NILiF and her being last all the time, it would help her learn her place, so far no go.
 

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You could see a change in thyroid over a 4-6 week period, certainly.

I wonder also, if making her last all the time is making the problem worse? Much as we would like to, we cannot decide who is alpha and who is not. We have to let the dogs decide that, and then help to enforce it, without allowing bullying. A good alpha does not have to bully and a bad alpha should not be allowed to.
 

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I think I would have the full panel thyroid test done. And after that if it comes out normal (not low normal) then bring in a behaviorist to check her behavior.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You could see a change in thyroid over a 4-6 week period, certainly.

Geesh that would be just our luck around here....I will for sure get a thyroid panel done next month.

I wonder also, if making her last all the time is making the problem worse? Much as we would like to, we cannot decide who is alpha and who is not. We have to let the dogs decide that, and then help to enforce it, without allowing bullying. A good alpha does not have to bully and a bad alpha should not be allowed to.
I guess it could be - I seem to do everything wrong with this one LOL.
I read it somewhere last month and thought I would try it.

It is interesting - Wolfie was always alpha here, she and Dream tolerated each other but were never close. When Wolfie got sick it was Dream that stayed right by her side for that month...after Wolfie died Dream immediately took over as alpha - started marking territory etc. We often teased that they must have had a very interesting talk, I wish I could have heard it.

Hurley has always known that Dream was alpha - he once questioned her, never again LOL.
 

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Thyroid check. And if the others are deferring, they might be fine with her being top dog and your attempts to jockey the rankings could be making it worse.

Don't allow her to be a bully - interrupt her attempts, etc. but maybe stop feeding/petting her last, etc. If the others aren't fighting back, they're cool with her above them. Just don't let her abuse it.

I believe spaying raises testosterone in a female.... gotta double check... but that could maybe contribute.

Keep her in check w/ obedience moves for all of them in times where she's pushy, but try her out as top dog in terms of order of "stuff" given around the house. Might just help her relax about it.
 

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Kay.. Tanhee and I just said the same thing at the same time!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
ok.. thanks all.

Could the fact that she was kind of babied after the surgery have brought this on? Maybe got spoiled and is expecting it now?
She did have a rough go of it...with the false pregnancy and all.
 

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One thing that couldnt hurt is strengthening your presence with all the dogs. Ask everyone to sit or lie down before meals, sit before going out etc- evenhandedly, but so they notice they're being asked to do more for you.

For a while, Tango was tackling Tally way too hard for my liking. I started redirecting her to a stick on a walk or a toy inside. It worked pretty well, and now she censors herself and veers off from her tackle midstep to put something in her own mouth.

Dog dynamics are mysterious even when you live with dogs an entire lifetime.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you,

I do make Layla and Hurley sit before eating, going out etc. Not Dream, she is old and arthritic (two ACL repairs among other things) - it seems cruel to do that to her.

We have been stepping in between Layla and Dream, we don't want Dream to fall or get hurt. Usually all I need to do is call Layla, she will come (not outside though, that is new too LOL).

they sure are a mystery............
 
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