Draft Animal Power – Draft animals and sustainable land stewardship › Forums › Draft Animal Power › Other Working Animals › Guardian dog aggression
- November 5, 2012 at 8:00 pm #44168AnonymousInactive
Another couple on our farm raises broilers and has a 1 year old female Maremma guardian dog. I have a male Akbash who is 3 who the Maremma gets along with fine. There are two other male pet dogs on the farm who the Maremma also gets along with fine. I have an eight year old female Border Collie who is the alpha dog on the farm. My Border Collie has snapped at the Maremma a few times, no contact but just to say stay out of my way. A few times the Border Collie got out into the field where the Maremma was and they barked at each other through the fence. Now the Maremma has moved to the farm yard for the winter and things aren’t going well. If I have my Border Collie outside with me and the Maremma sees her the Maremma barks wildly and throws all her weight into her chain. The only way to get the Maremma to calm down is to put my dog back in the house. My dog walked past the Maremma (she now ignores the Maremma) on the chain and the Maremma attacked, going straight for the throat. So we moved the Maremma farther into the barn so she can’t get at my dog when my dog is just walking by. Then the Maremma chewed through her harness and came hunting for my dog. Again she had my dog on her back and went for the throat. We had to kick the Maremma to get her to let go. My dog also was trying to prove her alpha status so she stood her ground instead of running. Does anyone have any experience with training guardian dogs to recognize a dog as “safe” / convincing two female dogs to get along?
Thank you for your help.November 5, 2012 at 9:34 pm #75453Does’ LeapParticipant
I am no dog trainer, but I have some thoughts. My read of this situation is that your Maremma does not see you as the Alpha. I have 3 B Collies, a Jack Russell, and a Maremma. The dogs do not fight around me. They work out their hierarchy when I am not around. Maremmas and other guardian dogs are tricky b/c they are bred to be independent so “training” is difficult. My Maremma does not know how to sit, or stay, or lie down. Heck she only “comes” when she feels like it. But she does her job of keeping my livestock safe and knows that I am boss. I can handle her in any way (mouth, feet, roll her over), take her food away, etc without challenge. Most importantly (and relavent to your situation) is that she will accept other people and animals on my insistance. Agression or barking at the wrong animal or person gets a sharp “hey” followed by “good girl” when she stops. If she didn’t stop, I would chase her off.
I recommend putting your Maremma on a leash and letting the BC walk around at will. When the Maremma shows agression, you get her to stop. This can be anywhere from a tug on the leash with a sharp reprimand to putting her down on the ground. I would repeat this as necessary until the agression stops and don’t forget the praise. I also feel like the two dogs should be able to work out their own hierarchy at some point. I think preventing this will lead to problems. That said, I am concerned that the Maremma is going for the throat. If your BC was on her back and not fighting (i.e. classic submissive behavior), the Maremma should reign over her for 15 or 20 seconds by growling but continuing the fight at that point is not natural or healthy behavior IMO. Perhaps your work with the dog will help this.
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