Hi, I am having a few issues with my 18 months old lab Daisy. A few months ago she ran out the front door to my neighbors home. They have 3 dogs 2 boxers and a westie that are able to rome freely due to an underground electric fence. Daisy has met the neighbor dogs before and actually played with the boxers but never the westie. The westie is who greeted her and at first they were ok but after a few seconds all hell broke loose. They were fighting and growling and biting at each other. It was so bad I could not pull the two apart. I had to yell in at my neighbor to help. Since then my sweet Daisy has been completely crazy towards the westie. I really think that if she got at her again she could really hurt her. We have a privacy fence that separates our two backyards and the westie sticks her nose under the fence and barks and nips at Daisy and my other lab who doesn't seem to care- she's a little younger than Daisy. When the westie does this Daisy goes into a very viscous bark and attacks the fence. It's quite upsetting because she is really a sweet dog and we have never had any issues of her being aggressive towards any human. We have since taken her on a few walks and met with the two pugs across the street. Daisy was on a leash and was very standoff-ish towards them but never lashed out like she did on the westie but she did growl a little so I quickly moved her away from the situation. But 10 minutes later another lab came walking by on a leash and she was wagging with excitement and ready to greet them. It seemed like it's only smaller dogs she has issues with until the other day when she growled and snapped at our other lab Ginger who is a 10 months. It happened when we were all laying in my bed. Daisy likes to cuddle right next to my head actually on my pillow and Ginger walked up and Daisy snapped and growled at her? I got on her as my face was very close to the encounter and I refuse to allow this kind of behavior in my home. She has growled one other time at Ginger and it is only when Daisy is getting attention from me and Ginger approaches us. Poor Ginger got the clue and backed off. They play well together all the time and never get aggressive. I am so confused on what to do to fix this I have never had a lab that didn't like other dogs, they have all been so happy and friendly. Any advice?
You need a good obedience class to teach her what small dogs are, and what is appropriate behavior. The terriers are a sparring breed, and it's your job to teach her that she isn't to fight back regardless. If your lab injures that Westie, it will likely be a big bill and it'll be your fault if it happens on their property especially.
I'd work on a much sounder fence than you have too. Her behavior will rub off on the younger one, and to be honest, your younger one is getting close to that maturity level that you are likely to have your hands full on short order. I too have neighbors w/ terrier mixes but fortunately other than one dumb (my fault) incident early on, we've all gotten along very well since. Good luck. Anne
WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014
Is your privacy fence above the ground rather than flush or has the Westie or your Daisy dug through? As windy canyon said, I'd address that issue to avoid the Westie being able to continually provoke your girls.
Second, I'd address Daisy's running out the front door. She needs to be taught that that is a "boundary" that she is not to cross without being given permission. If she runs out that door and through the electronic fencing of your neighbor and injures their dogs, there will be an issue with not only the Vet but very likely your county as well…especially if there are leash laws there. (I am against allowing dogs to be in the front yards of housing in subdivisions exactly because of this issue…having that electronic fencing out there for emergencies such as a front door escape is one thing - allowing one's dogs to be out there antagonizing other dogs who won't get a shock entering your property is another!).
As for the possessive behavior towards you, that has to be dealt with as well. With our five, we find that they can each become VERY demanding of our attention pushing and shoving to the point that WE can become injured. If we are petting one and the other comes up for attention, the second is pushed back gently and told to wait. If that doesn't work, then a down stay is the next command. Sometimes they will all come up demanding it, they are all put into a down stay and ignored for a bit. It takes a lot of work to get them to understand that no one is to push the other out of the way or snap and growl but it can be done once you figure out a way to handle it that works for you. One other thing that we do is take each dog on their own outing with us to the beach or to Petco or somewhere and we try to do it on a schedule, you'd be surprised at how they will appear to know whose turn it is to go when we can keep to a regular schedule with those outings.
Our Yellow Baby Girl "Dream A Little Dream" born December 16 2014
Our Chocolate Girl "Kona of the Storm" born August 8 2014
Our Black Boy "Angus Demetrius" born April 26 2013
Our Yellow Girl "Calliope" born January 6, 2006
Our TriPawd "King" - Shelter Rescue born late fall 2004