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He *IS* A Stubborn, Willful, Dominant Dog!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

First… I went back up on my Armour Thyroid, and feel much better today than yesterday. Almost like night and day…

Second: I just got home from uptown. It is *bitterly* cold out there!

Third: In July I returned a bunch of bottles of supplements to Life Extension .org. They said they would apply part of the credit back onto my credit card, and carry almost $92 as a credit at their site (as product refund) plus $25 as membership credit. I was a bit concerned about that as I only received an email from them showing the $25 credit, not the whole almost $117 credit. But, I trusted them, that when it came time for me to put in another order, that my full credit would be there waiting for me...

Yesterday I called them about how much credit I had coming - knowing pretty much what I did have coming; and they told me I had ONLY “$25” credit. They NEVER applied the other almost $92 credit to my account. And, then - when I firmly insisted I had a lot more credit coming than that - he asked me, “Do you have any verification of what the credit was?” THAT question made ‘red flags’ go up for me. Cause I felt for sure that if I had said, “No.” then they would have stuck with only giving me the $25 credit, instead of the almost $117 that I knew I had coming. But, when I told him, “I don’t know for sure, but I do have a document of it somewhere here in my computer.” And, so he put me on hold for a LONG TIME, and when he came back he said he had found the notes of the return in July, and that I did have almost $117 credit coming, and they don’t know why, but it was NEVER APPLIED TO MY ACCOUNT.

THIS kind of behavior makes me not trust them. I had always trusted them as a really above-board company, but if a return is not credited, and they only are able to find that the customer does, in fact, have a credit coming, IF said customer has documentation of it… well, trust just went down the tubes with them. And, then they reaffirmed, that any time a product isn’t right, or it no longer suits my needs, I can return all unopened bottles. Yeah sure… but I better keep really good records, cause they can just lose all records of me having a credit coming. And, then they just get to keep all my money!

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January 14, I decided to stop putting my 27 month old dog in the kennel at night, in hopes THAT would turn around his behaviors described in January 13th blog (link below):

I really thought that whatever issues he had with the crate (perhaps, I thought he was locked into the crate with the lights out at night at the puppy mill). I do know that his being locked in the crate at night caused him intense anxiety. So I thought that letting him out of the crate, and having just a puppy gate keeping him in the laundry room, would solve the problems. That he would settle down, and the ‘contest-of-wills’ thing would stop. So, I left the door of the crate open, and I even put a night light in the laundry room for him, cause I do know he is scared of the dark.

And, his anxiety did immediately drop - like a rock. And he was so happy. And, head-knocking between us stopped. Almost… There were some warning signs… Like the next night I let him on my bed (we like to have up to an hour together before I put them to their own beds), and he went up to take his place on my pillow (not allowed). I called him back to the foot of the bed, and he wanted to get really mouthy with me; threatening to nip my fingers. But, then he settled down. BUT, instead of laying BY my legs, he literally draped himself over my legs (a dominant move; being TOP DOG).

But, everything the 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th, was pretty darn good; really calm and peaceful. He did periodically try to order me to hold him. But since he isn’t supposed to DEMAND being held, he would do this whiny baby thing, like, “I’m just a little baby puppy. You have to hold me.” Like I was supposed to get all sympathetic at his babyness, have it melt my heart, and do what he wanted. (He is, in lots of ways - not just this - a very manipulative dog. He even has it down trying to work out of one ‘parent’ what he wants when the other one won’t allow it. Mainly that means that when I won’t allow something, he works Chuck to over-ride it, and give him his way.) And, I admit that a couple of times I gave in to his “I’m just a baby” act, and held him. But, then I decided to completely quit letting him pull the shots. And, that is when the stubborn, willful, dominant dog came back FULL FORCE!

Sunday he DEMANDED I hold him, when I was doing work in the computer. He cannot stand for me to be heavy into any kind of work. So, he started repeatedly demanding I hold him. And, I kept telling him to “go lay down”. So, as has been his pattern in the past when he doesn’t get his way, he showed me, by literally saying “p*$$ on you”. And, he went and peed up the laundry room (not in the potty tray). Now I know for a fact that he knows only to use the potty tray, cause the only time he pees up the laundry room is when he is upset at me. SO, I locked him in the crate for almost an hour. He didn’t have anxiety in there. But he did get a bit more p.o.’d at me. When he came out of the crate he acted a little nippy at me. And, so I gated him in the laundry room until he could be more submissive.

Then last night he wanted to go down to Chuck’s. I had already let him go see him, and had called him back. And, I told him to stay up here. I was talking to Chuck from the top of the stairs (Chuck was at the bottom of the stairs). Mocha kept wanting to go to Chuck. So, I told Mocha to sit. He didn‘t obey. I told him to “shake hands” and he got nippy with my hands. Not in playing either like he tries sometimes. But serious. As in p.o.’d. He would look intensely straight into my eyes as if to straight out tell me who is boss, and then he would get very nippy with my hands. I would tell him to “knock it off” and then again try to get him to “shake hands”. Round and round. He was just absolutely determined to ‘show me” who was the boss. Finally he gave in and did as he was told. Cause I wasn't giving in, and letting him get off without obeying the command.

Needless to say though, the dogs did NOT get to spend any time on my bed last night.

This morning right away, Mocha decided to tell me again who was boss. He refused to do potty. He refused to come when called. He refused to be on my lap. Yet when I was reading my kindle he stood there and barked at me, ordering me to let him up on my lap. I ignored him (telling him “quiet“ just gives him the attention he is demanding, and with this dog, even negative attention is attention - NOT that he ever lacks for attention though). He spent much of the morning barking at me, ordering me to do HIS WILL. Just stubborn, willful, and demanding. I just spent the morning pretending I didn’t even notice. Not correcting him, cause he even seems to thrive on corrections. But, ignoring him... well, that seems to get somewhere.

Later in the morning I called him to “come”. He looked at me, but didn’t move a muscle. So, I threw one of the shake cans (bottle with pennies in it) across the room (not AT him, but to get his attention that I meant business). Suddenly he came running. Nothing wrong with his hearing then.

A few minutes ago he started in barking at me again (cause I’m on the computer). When that didn’t work he came over and started scratching at my hips and legs. I just ignored him. He gave up and is now over there sleeping with the other dog.

For 2 years this little dog has destroyed my life. Two years of almost no sleep; 2 years of nothing but a contest of wills. No more! I will work on 'breaking him' of his determination to dominate.

I will keep leaving him out of his crate at night. So, I can sleep. But, that little guy is going to get put some real submission training during waking hours. Not in an aggressive way. But, he will never ever get away with demanding anything: be it attention, food, going to see Chuck, anything! To get what he wants he will have to do something for it; he will have to 'earn' it. Any ‘demanding’ from him that I not do any work, will get met with him being locked into a crate near me; where he can see me but no longer be constantly breaking my train of thought so I get nothing accomplished except greater and greater stress. Any kind of demanding that he doesn’t back off of when first told to, will earn him some crate time. I am done having my life destroyed by this stubborn, willful little dog. Telling me literally, “p*$$ on you”, will for sure earn him crate time.

For the past 2 years I have said, “I didn’t want to break him.” But, he has spent the last 2 years breaking me, and destroying my life. Now I am going to break the little sucker. I will be gentle, firm, but consistent. All good behavior will be avidly rewarded and focused on. All bad behavior will be ignored when appropriate, worked on 'directly' to change when appropriate (like keep making him work with a command instead of biting at me), or locked up when necessary (a time out). But, from now on I will be working on systematically ‘breaking him’ of his determination to be TOP DOG.

What’s really weird is that he really comes off in so many ways as anything but a dominant dog. He is manipulative and sneaky in his dominance; kinda passive aggressive, but on the way to becoming actually *aggressive*. I really think if I don’t ‘break him’ now, that he will become a full-out aggressive dog. Cause gradually he has gained confidence in his ability to dominate and rule this house. Ain’t gonna happen NO more!

I do think that with my getting the sleep I need at night, I will have enough energy during the day now to work on his ‘issues’. I do think this can turn around in a relatively short amount of time. He’s already shown a rapid shut-down this past hour, in his dominating behaviors, by my ignoring his demands today, all day. Sure it took all day, but it seems to be sinking in… He‘s been over sleeping now almost the whole time I have been working. Wow! I do know that being it is his nature to be a dominant dog, I will always have to be aware of it, and act accordingly to keep it in line. If I can save him though it will be well worth it. Cause he does also have a lot of really good traits.

Mocha tried this *ONCE*! It REALLY didn't fly with me, and he ended up in the crate. He's never tried it again.

He tries this with both me and with Shatzi. Surprisingly, Shatzi, who would not let ANY of the other dogs bother him in any way, allows Mocha to lay on him.

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DO NOT use force or compulsion. I cannot say that enough! I have seen and heard about deplorable things done in the name in dog training and expelling aggression. Don’t try them, no matter how frustrated or angry you are! Aggression incites and breeds aggression; learn to use your mind to get your dog to do what you want.

Even the smallest signs of aggression can escalate build on itself and lead to more serious and pronounced aggression. Aggression is no laughing matter, and even the smallest signs can escalate very rapidly into an uncontrollable dog.

Don’t blame yourself. The old adage that if only a dog was “raised right” it wouldn’t have shown aggressive behavior is an urban legend. I have seen distinct and ruthless aggression from puppies as young as 6 weeks. Sometimes good people get aggressive dogs.

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Dominant behavior in dogs is a situation which can quickly spiral out of control. It is best to try to prevent dominant behavior from developing in the first place. A dominant dog will also be more aggressive with playing. The dog needs to feel that they are the “top dog” and have a tendency to try and show that all the time.

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One of the best methods that you can use to prevent dominant behavior in your dog is to always use positive reinforcement. Reward good behavior with plenty of praise, petting, and an occasional treat. If your dog disobeys you do not hit, or yell at, your dog. This type of punishment can contribute towards the development of dominant behavior. Instead tell your dog in a firm voice, “No, Bad Dog.” **Then place the dog in a **timeout area** and **ignore the dog** for a set amount of time.** Dogs crave attention and affection; your dog will soon learn that good behavior results in affection and attention, and bad behavior results in no attention at all.

Having rules around the home, and making sure that your dog follows them is also a good way to prevent dominant behavior. Do not feed your dog at the table, do not allow your dog to beg, and do not allow your dog to get on the furniture. Have a set of commands that you want to teach your dog such as sit, lay down, and come. Set limits to your dog’s behavior, and let your dog know what type of behavior is acceptable or not through positive reinforcement.

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Most people are nice. Some are bullies. Bullies are actually cowards who really don't think very well of themselves. That's why they try to bring others down - to try to build themselves up; so they don't seem as low they see themselves as being. It's called 'leveling'. Don't be a bully. Live in a way that you can actually like and respect yourself.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MZZCHIEF 1/26/2014 1:14PM

    Thanks for the heads up on Life Extension and their refund policy.

I loved your story about Mocha. He sounds like an impish little guy.
One thing that came to mind, especially since its winter where outside time is uncomfortable for humans, is the possibility that your pups aren't getting adequate exercise? When they don't, they channel that energy into all sorts of neurotic behaviors.

Why not try taking them for a 30 minute walk twice a day if possible, and see if that helps?

Also.. has the dog been neutered? It was the only thing that stopped my male pom from marking indoors.

: )

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SCOOTER4263 1/25/2014 7:00PM

    I don't know what breed of dog you have, but it matters because 27 months in some breeds is a lot more "grown-up" than others. Also, depending upon the breed (because this is tough with a 120 dog), you can grab him just right and flip/roll him into a submissive posture - ask your vet to demonstrate. Being in a submissive position helps reinforce that *you* are the dominant one. Also, I'm assuming he's neutered -if not, you could have a real battle on your hands. I grew up raising Dobermans, so I have some street cred here.

If you're using a crate (which is perfectly fine) make sure it's the right size - a dog should be able to turn around easily, but this is a crate, not an apartment, and for crating to be effective it has to be not-too-big and not-too-small.

There can only be one lead dog in the pack - make sure it's you.

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ENDUROVET 1/24/2014 4:20PM

    Glad you are having better relations w/Mr Mocha... He sounds like QUITE the handful!

My Miss Clarice never got the house-breaking message (which is probable the primary reason she found herself relinquished to the shelter @ 6 yrs of age) - she sneaks away to leave little turds on the carpet; I can see her watching me anxiously when I clean up! No she doesn't get punished "after the fact"... a few tiny dog turds are a small price to pay; perhaps you could say I have a high tolerance for sh!t :-)

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1CRAZYDOG 1/22/2014 9:40AM

  You're doing the best and progress takes time, as you well know. Keep @ it.

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LIVE_AMAZINGLY 1/22/2014 12:55AM


Thanks for your support. It means a LOT.

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LIVE_AMAZINGLY 1/22/2014 12:52AM


Thanks. I went to Amazon and ordered her book, as well as a kindle book by that name.

Susan Garrett's book is hard copy. I like that kind the best. It will be here by the end of the month.

I really appreciate your giving me the information to her book.

Comment edited on: 1/22/2014 12:56:59 AM

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DJ4HEALTH 1/22/2014 12:42AM

    I guess that women never watched the show "it's me or the dog" then she would understand what you are saying. And yes you have to be firm with that type of dog. Plus you do need your rest too., So keep going and you will break him.

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NORWOODGIRL 1/21/2014 11:39PM

    We call the program "NILIF - or Nothing In Life Is Free". Susan Garrett has written a great book on the subject.
Good for you.

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LIVE_AMAZINGLY 1/21/2014 8:54PM


I figured I would get some comment from someone who is ignorant about dog behaviors. That is why I even posted the links, so that people who are ignorant of dogs, and would assume that I am being mean to my dog, would be able to read what professional dog trainers say. And, thus not just go by their own ignorance.

You really should learn something before you speak up. Since you apparently didn't read the articles, or even the posted quotes by professional dog trainers, I gather you just wanted to make some mean, nasty comments.

It's really cowardly of you to come to my page and make negative, nasty comments, when you keep your page closed so nobody can communicate with you in any way, even to reason with you. But, then again, there probably is no reasoning with someone like you.

You are making really WILD, outlandish DISHONEST statements when you accuse me of keeping the dog in a crate most of the time. The true facts are is that the dog is seldom in the crate. He is roaming the house most of the time. How do you think he gets the opportunity to do the misbehaviors I have described? Huh? Think about that one!

Both my dogs get a LOT of love, and holding. The thing is, a dominant dog cannot get away with DEMANDING.

And, if you haven't figured it out, a 27 month old dog is NOT a puppy! He is a full-grown, mature adult dog. Think about it! A puppy is up to a year old. Did you know that?

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GOALWTIN7 1/21/2014 7:46PM said:

It sounds like you have no love for this dog. You can't hold a puppy and show him love. You keep him in a cage (crate) most of the time. Why not give him to a family that will love him. You just want to control him. I feel sorry for your dog. Did you ever hear of giving him a chew toy. Maybe you were raised without a lot of love and just control.

Comment edited on: 1/21/2014 9:18:57 PM

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GOALWTIN7 1/21/2014 8:46PM

  It sounds like you have no love for this dog. You can't hold a puppy and show him love. You keep him in a cage (crate) most of the time. Why not give him to a family that will love him. You just want to control him. I feel sorry for your dog. Did you ever hear of giving him a chew toy. Maybe you were raised without a lot of love and just control.

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PHOENIX1949 1/21/2014 8:43PM

    Good luck with this steep uphill battle.

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