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Yesterday, while we were at the dog park, a wonderfully friend dog came and sat in my lap.  When Cactus came to see me, the dog in my lap was friendly but Cactus was not a fan of the situation.  He did that stiff legged prance up to the other dog and was just ready, spring loaded if you will, to snap.  When the lap dog did move, Cactus tried to pounce on him, meaning he did his big boy bark and shoved the other dog out of the way.  It was as if he was saying, That is my human!  I have never seen Cactus be aggressive, so this was shocking and in some way endearing......... I just realized though that Cactus thinks I am his "girl".......... because in addition to this dog park incident, when my boyfriend came over last night and I ignored Cactus, my dog went and peed on his bed, even though we were right there to let him out.

Now what?  I like having a boyfriend.  I like petting other dogs at the dog park.  And I am smitten with my own dog!  Getting rid of or eliminating any of them is not my first choice as a permanent solution.... Please help.  The more words I read, the more ideas I can get and then I can piece together a solution.  I appreciate and thank you in a advance for all responses!
 

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Anne, I had a lot of issues like that with Samson when Marq & I got together....Marq is wonderful with dogs and Samson was the first dog that had an issue with him...Samson had claimed me as his and he wasn't about to let go of that role...They are both Alpha, so it took a long time to work thru. Occasionally Samson would snap at Marq, but immeadiately be sorry for it. Crazy thing is, he adores Marq and since we got Angel he's become even more loving.

It takes time, esp as Cactus is still young, but I'd be willing to bet he'll come around....A protector is a wonderful thing and Marq & I agreed we didn't want to take that away from Samson, he needed that "job"...I would never want to remove that from a dog as it's a defense mechanism and could very well save his or your life...I'm of the school of thought that I would rather have a dog that is willing to defend himself rather than one that won't. I realize not everyone will agree with me on that..

The more Cactus is exposed to other dogs with you giving them attention, it could get better also....Poor baby, he's just protecting his "girl". :)
 

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Sounds like Cactus is just being a boxer!  :)  You are his human and he will be jealous of anything that comes in contact with his human. Just give him time and he will soon let you look and even pet other dogs, and maybe even your boyfriend!  :lol:
 

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Personally I wouldn't encourage the behavior - if at all I would start taking things away from the dog (no more sleeping on the bed or no more furniture - or making the dog wait to eat until all the people in the house have eaten) and put yourself in positions for the dog to know that he doesn't "own" you.  

We have a friend with a normally very well-behaved wonderfully trained golden retriever who thinks she owns her owner.  When we went to a function where everyone brings the dogs, she tried to take Chloe's face off for smelling his shoe.  Then growled at my son who got closer than the dog wanted.  This was the first time I had EVER seen this dog act poorly.  Her owner said - she's just protective, it's just that she's not used to other people, it's just we are somewhere that she's not used to, and on and on....  It's good that you are seeing that this can turn into an issue.

I know it seems "cute" - but "cute" can become a hazard if left to go too far.  BTW - I am assumming your boxer is fixed, if not it will be worse with an intact male.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
My poor dear Cactus has not experienced the life of sleeping on my couch or my bed.  I never let that start because I don't want dog hair all over the place- on the dog it is fine; furniture not so much.  

However, my boyfriend came over again yesterday and there were no peeing incidents.  

I absolutely agree that I do not want to take away his guarding behavior.  That is why we got him in the first place.  The fact that he has become a beloved pet, at least at this level of pure joy at dog ownership, was totally unexpected.
 

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Definitely nip this in the bud....it will only get worse.   He thinks you and he are on the same level, when it should be you above him.

If he climbs on top of you, push him off and ignore him.  When he barks at another dog, tell him no and turn away from him.  Show him that he doesn't get attention from you that way.  

Start making him do things to "earn" his keep.  One very easy thing to start with is when he has to go outside.  We put Zoe on her leash and then she can't go out the door until we say "ok".  At first, we had to physically keep her from taking off before our ok but now, she will just stand there with her lead on, with the door open, waiting for the ok.

Don't let him up on the furniture with you until you say it's ok.  Let your boyfriend sit next to you with the dog on the floor.  Pet Cactus to let him know that you still love him and that he can be a part of the family but that he is a dog.  

Things like this will show Cactus that you are the boss...and that shouldn't take away his guarding behavior.  It should only control it.  If you get scared, he will still protect you but he won't be so posessive when you don't want him to be.

I hope some of this works...
 
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