Biting visiting dogs

Posted by Isabelle
May 24, 2011
I have a labrador who is three.
He is very well behaved normally but when we have dogs visiting, especially my daughters dog (who is also a lab) he has to grab him by the cheek and drag him around the place. When I try to intervene, he gets annoyed at me, as if he is disciplining the other dog and doesnt think I should stop him. After a while the behaviour stops, but he has to do it every time they meet. I am assuming it is a dominance thing, but the other dog is very off handed with him, doesnt try to take his spot or do anything aggressive, hmy dog just doesnt seem to be able to meet this other dog without this display. It has even resorted to me separating them because the other one looks so unhappy.
Any suggestions about what I can do.
Posted by KOPCaroline
May 28, 2011
Hey Isabelle,

Quick question - what is the other dog doing while its being dragged around by the face? Is it unhappy and trying to get away, or going along with it, tail maybe wagging, but certainly not down?

Face grabbing is a pretty common play behaviour, usually with younger dogs, but my own dog still does it to his good buddy Daxter If your dog stops after a while and shows no other signs of wierd behaviour, it might just be his personal way of saying hello and starting play, especially if the other dog isnt outright bothered by it.

Just wondering how the other dog reacts before I give any solid opinions on what to do...
Posted by Isabelle
Jun 7, 2011
Hi there

The other dog doesn't do anything about it although personally I don't think he enjoys it. After a while it stops but it is always the same and the other dogs owner gets annoyed. there is a lot of growling on my dogs part and it probably looks worse than it is. The other dog is quite submissive which makes it look worse
Posted by KOPCaroline
Jun 10, 2011
Hmm...I stick with my opinion that this is just an excited (albeit rough) way of saying hello.

Try continuing to verbally correct him. As soon as he starts, give him a sharp "no". If he listens, good. If not, call him to you and give a sit/down, and stay. Make him sit there for a few minutes, then let him go. If he goes to grab the other dog by the face again, repeat.

If his listening isnt the best, especially when another dog is around, put your dog in time out for a few minutes in a different room, but use the same idea - he gets put away when he acts roughly, and gets another chance to behave better. I know its a pain, but hopefully you wont have to keep it up long before your dog understands that its an inappropriate behaviour.

As I said, my own dog and his puppy playmate do the same - Jackson (my dog) grabs Daxter by the face and walks around like that. When they were younger it was a bigger problem because it just riled both of them up, so we were constantly telling them "no" as soon as it started, and it seemed to work. Jackson does it occassionally now, but only for a minute, and he still listens if I tell him "no" when he does it.