separation anxiety and dominant behavior

Posted by hele9001
Dec 31, 2009
Mia my 23 month old bearded collie, has proven thar she believes to be the alpha . I constantly need to enforce the rules after all this time. She hugs my legs, tries to pass thru doors first, pees in other peoples homes when visiting, and gets away with murder because she has such a beautiful normal disposition, always wants to play with other dogs, never barks without a real reason, generally obeys orders altho' reluctantly when it forces her to stop doing something she enjoys, like lying at the door of our store looking outside, and when told you're out of boundary she comes, but whenever she has a chance goes back to the door. Whenever I leave her alone, she scratches at the door for a while, barks for a few minutes until she gets tired and then decides to lie down or play with her toys. My door is completely scratched as well as the wall next to it, which has dents almost to the bricks under it. I have tried leaving and coming back 2 minutes later and scolded her, making angry noises, saying in a nasty voice bad dog, but it doesnt seem to work the same as making her do things I still consider she is in the training stage when at her age she should have learned it and not need constant reminding, I admit that I am not a dominant person, love her dearly, and as people tell me, don't ask her to do things tell her to do them. If I leave full access in the house, she turns ap the pillows of the couch, lies on the extra beds and undoes them all. I catch her at it, scold her and she stops, puts her head between her legs, and comes to me asking to be petted, what I don't do but its the behavior I want to stop, She walks fairly well on her leash, and can be let loose in known areas as she comes when called, When playing with another dog it may take 3 calls but comes . She is loved by all the neighbors, because she is so friendly, and goes for 4 hours a day to play and walk with other dogs. Any suggestions?
Posted by KOPsRobyn
Jan 1, 2010
Hi there

Although it may seem tedious at first, it is really important she knows that you are the alpha dog, as she will continue to challenge you if you do not reinforce this. There are some ways you can establish yourself as leader of the pack, including always walking in front of her when walking through doorways and when walking on the leash, feeding her after you have finished your own meal, not paying attention to her when she asks for it but only when you want to. If you are playing a game with her, make sure it is you that chooses the toy and when you decide that you have had enough, take the toy away with you so that she realizes that it is you that controls playtime. You must also control her movement, meaning that she should not lie in the doorway of the store if you don't want her to. You shouldn't need to constantly tell her to move, so if you've told her once, the next time you see her there take her away from there without talking or looking at her and put her in a 'time-out zone', leaving her there for about 10 minutes.

When running free, you should expect her to come immediately when you call. She isn't respecting your authority if you have to repeat the command a few times, as she is only coming when she wants to. As alpha dog, you should expect to be obeyed right away without being questioned. You may need to go back to basics and put a long rope on her so that you can give her a tug if she doesn't come straightaway when you call her. Make sure you praise her and give her a treat when she does respond as this will give her something to work towards.

To stop her from destroying the couch and beds, you must make it clear to her that she is not allowed on them at any time. If you catch her at it, you should completely ignore her but take her away to the 'time-out zone'. Don't even make eye contact with her when you are leading her away as she is trying to get your attention by doing this, which you are giving her by scolding her. The same applies for when she is scratching outside. You must completely ignore her and eventually she will realize that it gets her nowhere. It is not so much that she enjoys being told off, but the fact that you are paying attention to her will make it worthwhile for her. She must work to gain your attention, which includes behaving herself or obeying commands. Try not to play with her each time she comes up and asks to be petted, instead you should initiate it by giving her a command, such as 'sit-stay', and then giving her attention only when she obeys.

She will struggle initially as she sees herself as being higher in the hierarchy and therefore being in the submissive position to you, who she sees as a subordinate, is distressing. Once you are established as the alpha dog, she will respect your authority, which will result in her being more obedient and an even better relationship between you.

I hope this helps and all the best with the training!