Bossy Pack Behavior

I asked for permission to put up these anecdotes about this kind of teaching ES behavior ("You're the alpha I'm the beta and everyone else must follow your rules!"):

Leslie- I would like permission to cross post this message, about your ES training the other dog to other lists, and I would also like to put this and similar accounts- Jennifer Rohling's Jagger and Ted Green's Buddy on a page about this typical ES behavior, with their permission.



Leslie Moore's Sully

I am a failure being the alpha figure - wish I was better but after so many years being raised by cats it's a great culture shock to try to control an animal. I agree there are pack problems. Sully is such a loveable dog he doesn't have the demeanor to be the pack leader like Spot did. I have a leaderless pack at present.

It DOES seem that Sully is trying his best to teach Flake manners. In fact before I left town I spent a long time with them in the back yard trying to teach Flake to sit. Sully will bound up to me like he's going to knock me over (Which he used to do when he was younger) and then he will stop, sit and be very still - I always give him a big bear hug when he does that. Flake was jumping all over me and I was fussing at her. Sully grabbed her by the back of the neck and took his paw and forced her rear end to the ground and held her there while he growled. I praised him for trying to teach her to sit and gave him the big bear hug he loves so much. His whole demeanor started to change. He trotted around the yard like he was king!!!! Just before I left town I told him to train her to sit while I was gone. Would you believe it - when I went out to feed them last night he sat down and as she ran up he barked at her and she sat down!!!!!!!!

My main problem in training the Border Collie is the same one that her previous owners had. I cannot get her complete attention. The farmer tried to get her attention to teach her to herd cattle and he said she is the only dog he's ever had that wouldn't easily work - said she wasn't interested in the cows and he couldn't hold her attention. I find this to be the problem too. I can't get her to look me in the eyes - she always looks to Sully.

Sully's eyes are always on me as if he's searching for my approval or reading my mind. He was easy to teach the things I taught him but I must admit my heart wasn't in teaching him a lot of the things that we were supposed to do in obedience class.

Several people wrote to report that clicker training would help and gave this site:

American Dog Trainers Network -- CLICKER TRAINING - A Revolutionary Approach to Dog


Jennifer Rohling's Jagger

NATCH Rohling's Stones Jagger, MAD, RM, SM, JM, FGDCH, U-CD, CGC, VCC
Jagger's Pedigree

Last night a friend brought her young dog over to visit and play with my dogs. Moss is a young, really happy golden mix - just the kind of dog Rubi really hates. I let them all outside except for Rubi. After she had watched through the window for awhile and become accustomed to Moss's presence, I decided to let Rubi outside. Everything was fine and Rubi was just ignoring Moss but then she suddenly decided that Moss was evil. I am used to dealing with Rubi's problems and have developed quick reflexes, but this time I was up on the deck and could not get there quickly. As I took off, I started to yell at Rubi but before I even had the words out of my mouth and before I had reached the steps, Jagger came out of nowhere and broadsided Rubi, grabbed her by the neck and quickly pinned her. Moss escaped and Jagger let a very sheepish looking Rubi up. Rubi ran back to me looking very guilty with a vigilant Jagger right behind her. Jagger stood at the top of the steps, blocking Rubi from going back out to the yard, and Moss from coming up on the deck. I put Rubi back in the house and, satisfied, Jagger ran off to grab a toy and give it a victory shake. I thanked her and she looked quite proud of herself!

Jennifer & Jagger the Protector

Dr. Ted Green's Buddy

Trudy and Bud are doing well.....their relationship is evolving. Trudy at first put him off.....sort of like "cooties!" But she persisted and now they are playing well, she steals from him, he disciplines her when she is really obnoxious (she pulls out big wads of his fur). A curled lip and audible snap she respects now. And a few times she has flown back at him with astounding conviction for a puppy! He just holds his head up, out of reach. But he has always allowed her to move into his food without a complaint. They both love their milk and cheese curd treats, and table scraps. She wolfs her treats down and dives into his unless I tell her no. He just backs off. And lately his deference has changed from puppy tolerance to deference to a female.

She is smart and biddable, but talks back when she doesn't like the orders. She knows "wait" well, learned it from Bud in one day, and will sit while we go out to the cows. And she'll stop nipping on command as well. She is interested in the cattle, but more cautious than Bud was (he wasn't!), and more submissive. Plenty of herding imstinct judging from my being subjected to heeling and crowding. Bud is teaching her plenty, from manners to household rules, to watchdogging. And the "where to poop" demos were a hoot! But they worked reasonably well. He has reverted to pooping away from the lawns again. And Trudy is reasonably reliable in the house now. So that's the puppy news.


Buddy is now teaching Trudie to bring up the cow....they make a very persuasive team. He has also served to train her to stop and wait on command, to come close to me and sit when a moving vehicle is near, and to heel on command. And she comes on the run at command. Boy, is this all helpful! Trudy has learned so much from Bud now, it's amazing! Sit, stay, wait, right here (heel), come, down, and more, and now, "bring the cow".
Best regards,


Mary Peaslee's Dover

He was such a good boy... we went to a "Leonberger Party" up in Washington. About 6- 8 Leos were there, including one adolescent male who just didn't have very good doggy manners. He and another dog were starting to mix it up when Dover swept in, pushed himself right between these two (huge) dogs and got right in this guy's face. Dover told this dog, in no uncertain terms, to KNOCK IT OFF !, and then to hammer his message home he kept an eye on this dog for the rest of the day. When this dog ran around Dover would shadow him, and if he started misbehaving Dover would jump right on him -- barking, pushing, no taking any nonsense. His interventions were so quick and forceful I really can't tell you exactly how he got this K-9 "punk" to straighten up, but he did. Dog dynamics really are interesting. Despite being one of the smallest dogs there, and a visitor, there was no doubt as to who the boss was that afternoon. Dover didn't get in any fights (unlike Bri, who did not get along with another bitch), but he broke up several and kept everyone in line.

The attached photo show him, (wet from the sprinklers), following the Leo around.

Nancy Keefe's Jagger

Another ES named Jagger (no relation to NATCH Rohling's Stones Jagger, MAD, RM, SM, JM, FGDCH, U-CD, CGC, VCC) has exhibited similar behavior.