Friend's dog really frightening me with his bossy rudeness.

(38 Posts)
Gertrudesgarden Wed 01-Jan-20 18:06:31

and I'm a dog lover, my family have had dogs all our lives. Always rescues, always on their last chance, all mixed breeds, and all amazing, funny, affectionate and loving, once their anxiety had calmed down and they realised they were home. But this's a pure breed, an anatolian shepherd, and it is just being allowed to rule the roost. It's 18 months old and is already nearly 60kg, his head is about 11 inches across, standing his shoulder is level with my hip and I'm 5'7 and if you sit down, he immediately looms over me, and tries to climb on the furniture to domineer over me. He spent an hour yesterday being hauled off my husband as he was trying to hump him, and although the dog did eventually calm down, it was more because he was tired than anything the two owners did. One of the couple is ineffectual beyond belief and the dog often humps him (which in my mind is a domineering behaviour, disrespectful and needs sorting now) and whilst the other tries, at best his discipline is a loving sigh of "oh dog, you shouldn't do that, come on now, lie down" rather than authority speaking.

Whilst the dog isn't out of control (yet) I can see it happening and I'm not comfortable going to their house any more. I'm not happy being loomed over by a dog with a mouth large enough to engulf my head, and I'm not remotely happy with being pestered and barged about by him.

I know it's a "fault" if you like of this breed - they're working dogs who should be guarding a flock of animals, and most definitely not meant to be house pets. The dog is walked, and they do have a large garden so he's got plenty of room to roam, so those needs are provided for. Whilst he's not aggressive, he IS domineering and I'm very very uncomfortable with it. I'm just not going to their house again, am I? I've never trusted a dog less in my life.

I'm not sure what I'm asking here, maybe just expressing my anxiety about this animal as I have to hide it when I visit them as of course, dogs pick up on that. This creature is absolutely scaring me.

OP’s posts: |
pigsDOfly Wed 01-Jan-20 18:57:26

Not sure it sounds as if the dog is being domineering as such, he's just being a dog and because he's huge his behaviour is more obvious than it would be if he were smaller; that's a lot of weight and power climbing all over you and whatever he's doing he's probably not holding back. I'm not surprised you're uncomfortable around him.

The owners sound completely unequal to the task of training and housing this dog; a large garden, no matter how large, is never going to be enough for dog like that. As you say, it's a working breed, stupid to get it as a pet in a home. I'm surpised it hasn't chewed up their house by now.

If I were you, I'd keep well away from their house and dog and I'd tell them why. After all, it's not unreasonable to not want to be climbed all over and humped by a creature that weighs as much as a human adult.

My dog weighs 6.5kg there's no way I would allow her to pester and annoy someone the way this dog is being allow to; dogs need to be trained how to behave around people, it doesn't come naturally to them.

Snufflesdog Wed 01-Jan-20 19:16:22

I wouldn’t allow my dog to behave like this
But I guess it’s their house and their dog and their choice. If they’re happy to live like that, provided the dog doesn’t seem like it’s going to bite or hurt someone outside the home, and the dog is loved, exercised, fed etc it’s really no one else’s business what they do, just as I don’t always like other people’s parenting choices, it’s not my business how they want to live.

But you don’t say if the dog is a rescue, could it be that they are working on these things?
Or they’ve now realised they made some mistakes with their puppy and they’re working on them, when you’re not there.

Or is it their first dog? maybe they’re doing their best but are just inexperienced? Could you as an experienced dog owner offer to help, would they take that well?

Ragwort Wed 01-Jan-20 19:18:56

Just don’t visit, I am not comfortable around dogs, my dog loving friends understand that and we meet in neutral places, without the dogs.

TeacupRex Wed 01-Jan-20 19:21:08

Yeah, this is an accident or rehome waiting to happen, unfortunately. Anatolians are naturally very dominant dogs, suspicious towards strangers and can definitely be aggressive if they feel like they are being threatened or challenged. As you say, never bred to just be pets, they bond strongly to a herd of livestock and defend them against large predators. Anything that can physically take down a wolf should not be taken lightly.

I wouldn't think twice about avoiding someone's home if their dog made me feel unsafe. You are absolutely right to stop visiting if they're unable to control their dog and it scares you.

adaline Wed 01-Jan-20 19:26:38

Anatolians are potentially very dangerous dogs when they're in the wrong hands, which unfortunately, it sounds like this one is.

They need strong ownership and strong boundaries to be good pets - they were originally bred as livestock guarding dogs and generally don't do well in a house unless they're out at work day.

I wouldn't be comfortable around an untrained dog of that breed either. They are big dogs and can potentially do a huge amount of damage if things go wrong. Dogs like that should not be in the hands of the in-enxperienced!

Tumbleweed101 Wed 01-Jan-20 20:06:41

The dog is right in the middle of the adolescence phase too so probably needs some really good training right now to stop unwanted behaviour.

All dogs need good training but it's definitely even more essential with dogs that can't be physically restrained due to their power and size. Are they doing any training with him?


Bobstergirl Wed 01-Jan-20 21:16:16

Good grief this is like reading information from the 70's grin

No dog wants to be dominant.

This is a young intelligent (not bossy or dominating dog) that needs to be trained and mentally stimulated

They do not need strong ownership and strong boundaries to be good pets they need educated owners who are willing to mentally stimulate the dogs and train them and have lot of time to give to this.. They are intelligent breed who will go self employed if not kept occupied.

Your friends do seem to be out of their depth and a recommendation to a good positive reward based trainer would help them enormously.

Your fear is probably warranted as an unruly teenaged untrained large dog can cause injury.

Wolfiefan Wed 01-Jan-20 21:18:53

Bobster is right. It’s not domineering. It’s got no idea what it’s doing is behaviour humans consider “bad”.

Gertrudesgarden Wed 01-Jan-20 22:59:34

Yeah, you're right, my choice of words is about how I actually feel, not what the dog's intentions are. I think if I trusted that the owners were in control I'd feel better, but for now I'll meet them outside their home, without the dog. It's a shame as I love my friends, and they clearly adore their dog, but I'm just too overwhelmed by this boisterous puppy (and he is a puppy it seems - 4 years to full maturity for this breed, according to the website). I've got a cracking bruise on my shoulder where he jumped up and caught me yesterday. I think I'll just say it's too much for me with the dog in their home and ask that we meet in town instead or they come to me (without dog, as I have cats).

OP’s posts: |
Gertrudesgarden Wed 01-Jan-20 23:06:03

oh, I forgot to answer the questions. They have had some training with him, and yes, he's their first dog as far as I know. He was bought from a proper breeder, and yes, he's eaten their home (he seems to prefer carpet to his homemade fresh beef mince dog food). He seems sweet natured, and they do use a couple of tools to control him on walks, such as a figure of eight nose loop. The moment that was put on him, he was under control. It's inside the house that he's boisterous. I wonder if he's being protective, and that's probably to be expected, but I don't want to be seen as a problem he has to deal with. Still, I doubt they'll ever be burgled.....

OP’s posts: |
Wolfiefan Thu 02-Jan-20 08:28:43

Some training?
I chose a giant breed for my first dog. We did formal training for over two years and homework every day. Some won’t cut it!

Gertrudesgarden Thu 02-Jan-20 10:03:45

I agree. Every dog needs daily reinforcement.

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LochJessMonster Thu 02-Jan-20 11:57:57

It's not 'dominant' as such but it is being allowed to get away with behaviours it shouldn't and as such is the one 'in charge'.
But only because it hasn't been trained not to do those behaviours.

What should have happened with the humping incident is the dog put on a lead and made to lay down away from your husband.

This is a breed that needs boundaries, stimulation and good training.

Bobstergirl Thu 02-Jan-20 12:44:48

Needs boundaries this phrase has been thrown around a lot on this thread. What does it mean?

Rollonspringtime2020 Thu 02-Jan-20 12:48:06

We have ddogs.2 big ones. Always always ask guests if they prefer them to be put in the utility room.. Def not an issue to me to do so. Text your friend ahead and ask her to put it out. If she won't just don't visit and tell her why.

slipperywhensparticus Thu 02-Jan-20 12:51:43

"Needs boundaries" in my mind means training to know acceptable behaviour and unacceptable behaviour and consequences

SharkasticBitch Thu 02-Jan-20 13:00:14

I too am uncomfortable with the phrase 'needs boundaries'. I think dogs do better in predicatable environments in which the consequences of their actions are consistent but I would not alter those consequences depending on the size of the dog. ie. I would not consider harsher consequences for a large dog than I would for a small one. In fact, one might be more sensible NOT to use harsh consequences for a 60kg animal. I would suggest that for such a dog, then working WITH the dog so that it wants to do what you want it to do is a much safer approach.

All training is really about altering the dog's experience of it's environment to encourage and consolidate behavioural habits you like. Whilst it impossible to do that without punishment of some sort (negative punishment, mostly) just because you cannot withhold something (e.g. attention) without it being punishing for the dog, it is far safer for everyone for us to focus on forming good habits by encouraging what we want, not punishing what we don't.

To me, the phrase 'boundaries' suggests the latter and I think that's why it makes me nervous. That may not be how it's meant, though, and just be my interpretation.

Besides, ultimately there is just no making a 60kg dog do anything it really doesn't want to do without the use of some fairly serious tactics (and probably weapons). Who has the stomach (or nerve) for that?

SharkasticBitch Thu 02-Jan-20 13:01:33

p.s. imo, no one should ever have to be around an animal they are not comfortable with, so no one is ever unreasonable to refuse to visit a house where that happens without suitable arrangements being made so that they do feel comfortable.

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Thu 02-Jan-20 13:18:43

I think boundaries just means consistent training on the part of the owner so that the dog always gets it right and isn’t put in the situation where he gets it wrong. Of course that does rather depend on the owner having the slightest clue what they are doing, which doesn’t sound likely in this case.

Hoppinggreen Thu 02-Jan-20 13:23:18

I do believe in firm boundaries for dogs, by that I mean they should be patiently and with positive reinforcement taught what they can and can’t do. This should be consistent
Dogs of all sizes should be taught like this from as soon as you get them but it’s particularly important where the dog is large and so is more of a potential threat
Sounds like these people are clueless and have taken on a difficult breed. Let’s hope it doesn’t end in disaster

LochJessMonster Thu 02-Jan-20 14:44:35

needs boundaries I would mean as needs to know that jumping up/humping/trying to sit on you on the sofa is not allowed. Snatching food/items etc. Learning commands such as 'wait' 'leave it' etc.

It should just be basic training for all breeds really, but the larger the breed the more important it is.
A chihuahua jumping up at you isn't likely to knock you over, a Anatolian shepherd is.

mrsjoyfulprizeforraffiawork Thu 02-Jan-20 17:12:31

Poor dog - I hope they can be persuaded to do proper regular training with him and take him for enough exercise every day or he is going to be very frustrated and unhappy.

Gertrudesgarden Thu 02-Jan-20 18:13:14

It's certainly taught me that I will never, ever, take on a massive dog like that. Our German shepherd cross was tall but slender (goodness know what her other parent was) and once her anxiety was calmed, she was a total sweetheart, but till then she was a size I could keep controlled, and she was biddable and keen to learn and be praised. This big beast does exactly what he wants if he's off the lead, and totally ignores commands unless hes on the lead and enforce commands with the figure of eight loop, which moves his head into a submissive position. I'm worried about the future, to be honest.

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Bobstergirl Thu 02-Jan-20 18:55:38

I agree with you all about boundaries smile and also this highlights how ridiculous it is to say a specific breed needs boundaries inferring others dont.

@SharkasticBitch I love your post

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