Jun 11 2008, 01:24 PM
So, we just got a new puppy, a 9 week old Beagle girl (Willow). Our other dog is an 8 year old Dauchshund (Dodger). We just put down our sixteen year old Bishon a week ago, and got the new puppy Tuseday. We realize this a lot of change for our Dauchshund.
The puppy is doing good. A very well behaved puppy, but still a puppy. Dodger just doesn't want to accept her. Yoday he snapped at her with very little provocation. He often growls and bares his teeth when she walks by. It wasn't like this yesterday, or even earlier this morning.
Is this normal behavior, or something to worry about? Dodger is not starved for attention, he is getting more now even with the puppy. He is a great dog, the best in the world.
I guess I am really asking is this: should we worry? Should we take steps to introduce them, or just let him go at his own pace. Our dog we just put down didn't act this way with Dodger, the first dog he ever lived with. He just completely ignored him for a couple weeks, but never lashed out. I would love to hear from people who have experienced the same problem, or type of problem.
Thanks in advance for any comments.
Jun 11 2008, 08:08 PM
What did you do to intriduce them - or did you just bring pup home and toss her into the mix?
This may be something to worry about or it may not be. More info is really needed.
Now, do you give the pup stiff first? Puppy pats, treats, etc? If so, you are putting a pup who does not deserve to be on top due to age a position over the existing dog. Therefore, worsening the situation.
Next, how accepting of other dogs on an off your property was your older dog?
if not much, then this is a red flag.
However, if very accepting, then changing your routine a bit and allowing the older dog to set limits should be enough. Dogs will use body langauge (shifting ears, stiffening, changing eye set, etc) to show another dog to back off or to try and settle the situation. If the other dog ignores, then teeth will be shown. if dog ignores, the next step will be a growl or even a snap. The next step could be an all out fight.
Puppies are often given a bit of leeway in a pack BUT NOT ALWAYS. Now, you have a pup who is NOT part of the pack trying to work into the pack. And if you are like most owners, pup is getting things first because well, pups are cute.
When I introduce new pups to my house (and in the past year I have brought in two pups to dogs who are over seven), that pup is generally kept in the kitchen with me or walking through the house on lead with me. When we go out, I allow the older dogs to check out and do their business and then pup is let off lead to run. I do not fret about grumbling, tooth showing, a quick snap or two especially if the pup is really being a brat. If the older dog is telling the pup off and pup does not stop, I then intervene and leash up the pup and get him out of the situation. I do not pick up and carry if at all possible as this elevates the pup to a higher status in dog langauge. I just get in, take pup out and give everyone a chance to settle. I also lavish praise and treats when I see older dog behaving with pup.
It can take months for a new dog to acclimate to a house and other dogs to accept the dog.
I WORRY when:
1 - Older dog keeps telling pup off and pup will not relent and back off.
2 - Pup does relent and back off but older dog keeps up the assault and will not stop.
Jun 12 2008, 04:02 AM
When we introduced them, well, we just introduced them. Our pup was outside and we brought Dodger out to meet her. The grumpiness didn't start until the next day.
We don't give the pup anything first. We feed them at the same time, take them outside at the same time, etc.
Dodger has been real eaccepting of other dogs, on and off our property. He doesn't like the neighbor dog, a Labrador mix, but that is becaquse she is a puppy still, but full grown. She comes barreling over and he gets scared because she is so big. When she is calm, he walks up to her and sniffs and stuff. We have alos watched family members' dogs. He has always gotten along with them good. Our Bishon was also accepting, and behaved very well with Dodger as a puppy when we brought him home.
So far, he only growls when the puppy goes near him, and only goes after her when she is trying to play with him.
When he growls or snaps, I admonish him in a firm tone. When he doesn't growl when she comes near, I praise him and say "Good boy." Will this help, or hurt?
Jun 12 2008, 04:13 AM
When he growls and snaps he is using dog language to tell her off and then you punish him for that. This just makes the pup seem even more negative. I would allow him to tell the pup off as long as he is not making contact and if he does, just calmly walk him away. if he does not set his boudaries now, trouble will ensue later as the pup will not learn respect.
I suggest you get:
Turid Rugaas - Calming Signals - it is basic dog body language.
Jun 12 2008, 04:27 AM
So what about when the pup will not relent?? Do you let a nip happen?? What sort of consequences should there be for the pup when not listening??
Jun 12 2008, 05:11 AM
From my first reply
"When I introduce new pups to my house (and in the past year I have brought in two pups to dogs who are over seven), that pup is generally kept in the kitchen with me or walking through the house on lead with me. When we go out, I allow the older dogs to check out and do their business and then pup is let off lead to run. I do not fret about grumbling, tooth showing, a quick snap or two especially if the pup is really being a brat. If the older dog is telling the pup off and pup does not stop, I then intervene and leash up the pup and get him out of the situation. I do not pick up and carry if at all possible as this elevates the pup to a higher status in dog langauge. I just get in, take pup out and give everyone a chance to settle. I also lavish praise and treats when I see older dog behaving with pup. "
The consequence is the pup looses the ability to play at that moment. Everytime pup does not relent, I calmly leash and remove him. if I know teh dog will just give a nip and not rip into the pup, I will allow a nip to happen. You have to know your own dog. But a quick nip generally does not hurt the pup.
I worry when the older dog keeps escalating and the pup does not let up at all. That is when professional intervention needs to be sought before a fight happens.
Jun 13 2008, 02:21 AM
Thanks for the advice. I don't admonish Dodger for gorwling or snapping at the pup, which is a rare occurance. And when it does happen, the pup seems to get it, and backs off.
But what about when I tell Dodger he is being a good dog for not growling or snapping? Do you think that has any negative consequences?
Jun 13 2008, 03:06 AM
No. reinforcing the desired behavior is what you SHOULD do.
Jun 13 2008, 01:01 PM
Okay. Thanks a lot for your advice. They were even playing a little bit today.
Jun 14 2008, 05:18 AM
That's the type of behavior you want to encourage, praise, and reward.
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