Teaching a Great Dane to Respect Boundaries to Stop Her Jealous Behavior towards the Other Dog

By: David Codr

Published Date: April 3, 2020

Molly and Sky scaled - Teaching a Great Dane to Respect Boundaries to Stop Her Jealous Behavior towards the Other Dog

For this Omaha dog training session we trained a 3 year-old Great Dane named Molly to respect people’s personal space and shared tips to stop her from going after her roomie, 4 year-old Weimaraner Sky.

As this session was scheduled during the Covid-19 epidemic, we held the session outside the home on the deck so we could be responsible and practice appropriate social distancing.

Right away I could see that Molly had some insecurities. When I went to give the dogs bully sticks, I help them up and waited for a sit. As soon as Sky sat down, I gave her one. But Molly kept invading my space but wasn’t interested in sitting. This isn’t unusual for Great Danes so I asked for a down. Instead she backed away and showed some fearful behaviors.

Since my ask was so small and non threatening, Molly’s behavior was pretty illuminating. I think that a lack of rules and structure and being able to demand or take attention had resulted in lower self esteem and a motivation to block off access to the humans from Sky.

I made sure to point out that anything a dog is doing when you pet it is what you are rewarding it for. So if the humans are petting Sky and Molly walks in-between them, they need to ignore Molly and continue petting Sky. If Molly attempts to bully Sky at this time (teeth bares, growls, etc) I asked the guardians to instruct Molly to leave the area as a consequence.

The guardians had been getting upset and correcting Molly when she bared her teeth at Sky, but since good attention and bad attention are pretty much the same thing, this wasn’t stopping the bullying behavior. Being removed from the group is a strong response in the dog world so this will be a more effective way of communicating the humans don’t like one dog trying to dominate the other.

Id also like to see the humans refrain from petting Molly when she demands attention by invading space or nudging them with her nose, especially when they are petting Sky. If that is the case, Molly should be help away or made to leave the room while the petting of Sky continues.

To stop Molly from demanding attention, I pulled out my phone so the guardians could film me as I demonstrate how to teach a dog to respect an invisible boundary and how to train a dog to respect people’s personal space. You can learn how to teach a dog to leave the room or stay out of a room by watching the free positive dog training video below.

Teaching a dog to respect people’s personal space this way is important for any dog, but in Molly’s case, it will have multiple benefits; stopping her from blocking Sky’s access, prevent her from competing for position to get human’s food (one of the humans had been feeding the dogs people food which frequently creates posturing problems in dogs), demanding attention and pawing at her humans.

After I showed the guardians how to train the dogs to stay behind a boundary, I coached one of the guardians through the exercise until she was getting the same response I was just like she was a professional Great Dane dog trainer.

We discussed a number of other dog behavior tips in this in home Omaha dog training session. I summarize them all in the Roadmap to Success video below.

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This post was written by: David Codr