Does anyone else have a bossy dog who uses her voice to terrify other dogs? Kenya is never vicious, but she sure looks and sounds as if she is. The other dogs seem to get it (and get over it) fairly quickly, but some dog owners get quite frightened.
Yesterday two old dogs came for their initial visit. They nosed around the house as all dogs do ... and Kenya went into one of her hissy fits when one of them sniffed the basket of potatoes. It was her second hissy fit ... the first occurred at the front door when the dogs attempted to get in past us rather than waiting ...
This time I crated her until she calmed down and gave the other dogs a chance to wander around till they felt comfortable without her to oversee and criticize their every move.
She cried occasionally from the crate.
I reassured the two friends that Kenya was all talk and no teeth, and that the first meeting and first day were all it would take to ensure that all three dogs would get along. But I also told the owner that if she wasn't feeling comfortable I understood and it might be better if she found a different situation for them ... a kennel or another boarding situation if she was going to worry. I mentioned that Erin who lives near them had taken on dogs I didn't have space for, and said they might be more comfortable leaving them there.
After fifteen minutes I asked the women if they wanted to try again. Okay. I let Kenya out but made her sit and look at me and told her she had to be calm. She came into the dining room in a much more civilized manner and behaved like a much better hostess. Everyone got cookies and pats and the women decided that it would be safe to leave these old souls with me for a few days.
I'd like some advice from anyone who has a dominant female dog, and has gone through this. I know that some bitches like Mica have got over the nastiness and become comfortably dominant. Is there anything I can do to hasten the process? Crating works but only after the fact.
I'd like to discover a way to train Kenya out of scaring the hell out of pet owners without interfering with her basic personality as a dominant dog.
These dogs, by the way, did nothing to make Kenya be that nasty. She could have simply said quietly. "The house rule is that no one eats anything Oma doesn't give them, so don't bother sniffing." She didn't have to threaten them with the death penalty.