By allowing Honey to have a litter of puppies, we elevated her to Alpha bitch status. This deposed Cyda and led to some serious rivalry. My friend Katie, who is a behaviorist, called round yesterday. Here is what happened.
Cyda was left on her own in the kitchen whilst the other dogs went out. Honey was in the dog room, guarding her babies, which is perfectly natural. Cyda went to the baby gate and started barking at Honey. I would have shouted at Cyda and pulled her away, but Katie called Cyda away, and when she left the gate alone, Katie praised Cyda, turning a negative experience into a positive one. Cyda wanted attention, but it had been Honey who had been getting all the attention, extra food, special privileges, and Cyda was jealous.
We brought Honey out from her babies and Cyda immediately showed dominant behavior, standing over her, threatening her. Katie called Cyda away again, and the instant she responded, she got loads of praise. This positive reinforcement should lessen Cyda’s aggression towards Honey and the puppies. Katie will be down again and in the mean time we’ll work on it.