Sadly, things don't go according to plan. The puppy knows his job just fine and wants to play in that floppy eared, pounce-and-box-his-face way that puppies do. The trouble is the established dog is none too thrilled about it. In fact, he's downright grumpy about the new addition. So far he growled and grumped, shown his teeth and snarled, but not actually gone as far as snapping at the new bundle of fun. Oh dear, this isn't how you planned things at all.
You're fairly confident the older dog wouldn't actually hurt the newbie, but still, this tension wasn't part of the plan for one big happy fur family. In fact, you're wondering if you made the right decision since all that's been achieved is making the older dog miserable.
Now the older dog is no longer the center of attention. To make matters worse he's expected to put up with having his face boxed and tail pulled. Then there's how the upstart steals his food, bed, and favorite toys.
Helping an older dog accept a puppy has a lot to do with getting into the mind of the established dog, and understanding how he sees the world. This enables you to minimize the disruption to his life so that he feels less threatened and can open his heart to the youngster. This involves making sure each dog has his own resources (food, water, bed, and toys) and you acknowledge the older dog ahead of the puppy.
In addition, you can use reward-based training methods such as clicker training, to reward the older dog when he uses an appropriate coping strategy, such as getting up and moving away from the annoying pup, rather than growling.
I have a 10 year old dog. We adopted a puppy 7 weeks ago, she is a Cattle Dog/Wheeler. When we got her I was not aware that my 10 year old dog had torn both his ACL'S . He had surgery 3 weeks ago on one..he is NOT warming up to puppy at all. I feel so bad for him...and the Puppy too. Im considering rehomi g the Puppy. What do you think??
Hello Kathleen, I would need a bit more information to make a suggestion and of course only you can really be the one to decide what you feel is best, but there are a couple of things to consider. The first thing is the severity of your older dog's injury. Although his mobility might not change, does your vet think that he will continue to be in pain from it long-term? Part of his dislike of the puppy might be due to his pain. He is vulnerable, grouchy from hurting, and unable to keep the puppy from bothering him with his limited mobility. That can add a lot of stress to their relationship and keep him on edge around the puppy. If he is likely to get better and not be in pain often, then when the puppy gets older, calms down more, learns more manners from you, and your older dog's injury causes him less pain, then he may get used to the puppy and they could be fine together. To get to that point you probably need to keep them separate most of the time while your older dog is healing or he may come to dislike the puppy even more if he feels constantly bothered by him. You can also attach the puppy to yourself with a six to eight foot leash while your dog is resting to keep your puppy from bothering him. This will help your older dog feel like you are in control and will have the added benefit of improving potty training and chew training. You will also need to work on your puppy's manners, boundaries, and obedience over the next six months so that when the dogs are together after your older dog is feeling better, the puppy will listen to your instructions and be respectful of the older dog's space and limitations. Even healthy older dogs sometimes do not like new puppies at first. A small amount of annoyance and avoidance is fairly normal for your older dog, but if you feel like you older dog might try to hurt the puppy and he is acting truly aggressive toward the puppy, then that will be harder to address. It is not impossible but it will be work and management of the dogs on your part, and it will take time. You will have to decide if you can give the dogs that right now and while also taking good care of your older dog. The best thing to do may be to talk to your vet to get an idea of what to expect with your older dog's recovery and future pain levels, and to hire a well respected trainer in your area to simply come to your house. The trainer can evaluate the two dogs together and your older dog's reactions toward the puppy. He can also evaluate the temperaments of both dogs and how likely they are to be competitive with each other. He might be able to give you a better idea of whether your older dog is likely to warm up with time or if this could be an ongoing problem and continue to cause him a lot of stress. I hope your older dog is feeling better soon. It is always hard when our pets get injured or sick. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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We have 2 older dogs, a 7 yr old sheltie and a 4 yr old border collie mix. The sheltie has always kind of been alpha and the border collie submits and is cool with it. They aren’t best pals, but they get along fine
We just brought home the Newfie puppy about 5 days ago. We have maintained that the sheltie is alpha by feeding first, greeting first, and keeping his toys away from the puppy. He also is the only one allowed to sit with us on furniture. The puppy is naturally rambunctious and bounces and paws at the dogs. The sheltie is NOT having it. He stiffens and tries to turn away a bit, but doesn’t actually move away and eventually will snap. The puppy cries loudly and drops to the floor. I haven’t seen an injury yet from the 3 times this has been the result, so the puppy may just be sounding very dramatically out of fear and communicating submission. But it still concerns me. I don’t even expect them to be best buds. But I do expect them to tolerate each other eventually.
The 4 yr old is doing great. He doesn’t really want to play with the puppy, but he moves away and walks away, and occasionally growls as a warning without snapping.
I really am trying to protect the senior dogs from the rowdy puppy behavior, but I know this rowdy stage could last a while and the puppy being a Newfie, he will only get bigger and stronger. I separate them, but the sheltie tends to be jealous and if I’m paying any attention to the puppy, he wants to be part of it too...but then gets annoyed when the puppy plays with him.
Are there any other tips you can give me to help the older dog to tolerate the puppy’s behavior a bit more?
Hello Lindsey, Congratulations on the new puppy. When dogs in your home are not getting along the easiest thing to do is to remove the question of which dog is alpha entirely. To do this, you must be the one to make and enforce the rules for each dog, so that the dogs are not left to decide on their own. The bellow article can accomplish that without too much confrontation. Make sure that the rules apply to all of the dogs, not just your Sheltie or just your puppy. "The Obedience Method" and "The Consistency Method" are less strict methods to begin with, so I would recommend implementing steps from both of those, and if there is still a problem use the more strict method, "The Working Method". Here is that article: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you That article mentions Dobermans but the training is the same for all breeds. Also follow the steps for "The Clicker Training Method" in the article "How To Train Your Older Dog To Accept A Puppy", that you asked this question at the end of. You can also use that method without a clicker, by following the steps, using your voice in place of a clicker. The word "Yes!" in an excited tone works well for a clicker replacing sound. The timing of your "Yes!" and pairing it with rewards exactly like you would a clicker are important. Do this to help your older dog enjoy the new puppy by pairing the new puppy's presence with rewards. Also, along with working on teaching your dogs that you are the one who makes and enforces the rules, choose rules that require the dogs to give each other mutual respect. For example, "No dog is allow to take a toy from another dog", "No dog is allowed to fight another dog or be possessive of an item", "No dog is allowed to bother another dog while she is eating". If one dog tries to take another dog's bone, then scold the thief firmly and command them to leave the area, while blocking the dog with the bone from the thief so that the thief cannot get to their bone, but if the thief does steal the bone, the dog with the bone is not allowed to retaliate, that is your job! Instead you take control and go over to the thief and take the bone back and make them leave the area, and you return the bone to the dog who had it before. You can see how you are the one monitoring the dogs and creating and enforcing the rules so that the dogs do not try to do it on their own. This builds respect and also trust, because the older dog feels like you will defend him when needed so he does not have to defend himself as much. Also have a rule that the puppy must leave the older dog alone when the older dog is trying to sleep or get away or is telling the puppy without hurting him to leave him alone. Teach each dog the "Out" command, and when your older dog is trying to get between you and the puppy because he is jealous, tell the older dog "Out", so that he has to leave and not be demanding of your attention when you did not offer it to him. In the same way, when the puppy comes over to you or over to your older dog when your older dog does not want to play, tell the puppy "Out", and stand between the older dog and puppy and firmly walk towards the puppy and block him from getting to the older dog until he gets bored of trying and leaves the area. All of this will take extra time and vigilance on your part, but if the dogs learn the new order of things now, then it should get better as the puppy ages, rather than letting the puppy and older dog fight it out when the puppy gets old enough to potentially want to challenge your Sheltie's dominance status. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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We just brought a new puppy home and we are having difficulty with toys. Our old English keeps trying to steal the puppies toys. I know it says not to yell at the older dog if he growls at the puppy taking his toy, but what do you recommend if our bulldog takes the puppy’s toy and starts to growl?
Hello Kristie, I recommend telling the older dog "Ah Ah" in a stern tone of voice, making him drop the command, which you can do by teaching the drop it command, giving the toy back to the puppy, and telling the older dog "Out" if he starts to move toward the puppy to try to take a toy. "Out" simply means leave the area. Tell your dog "Out" and then get between him and the puppy and walk toward him seriously until he backs out of the area and walks away. Your body language is claiming the puppy and the toys for yourself when you do this, so that you communicate that the toys belong to you. It is then not an issue of whose toys they are and which dog is more dominant, but rather you being in control and the leader for both dogs. Do the same thing but a bit more gently if the puppy tries to take the older dogs toys also. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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my female had puppies we kept 2 of them but the male won't accept the pup's what to do.
Hello Dorie, Without more details about what he is doing I cannot hreally help. It might be worth hiring a trainer to come to your home and evaluate the situation. In general if an older dog is acting aggressively toward a new puppy I recommend a combination of doggie boot camp and making the puppy's presence rewarding. Have him work for everything he gets in life by doing a command before you feed him, pet him, take him on a walk, play with him, or give him anything else he wants. Work on teaching him "Place" and having him stay in place with distractions around for up to an hour. No being pushy. No climbing into your lap uninvited. No guarding furniture, people, objects, or food. Keep a drag leash on him when you are home, and when he gets possessive, pushy, or rude, pick up the end of the lead and make him leave the area calmly but firmly. Reward calmness and obedience with calm attention, but don't over do it. When there are issues between dogs in the same household, increasing respect for the humans in charge, creating rules for all the dogs, and being the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs do not have to is advised most of the time. If you are in charge, and you make and enforce rules and are the mediator between the dogs, there is less to compete for and expectations are clearer. When he is being tolerant of the puppy, you can reward him calmly with a treat and praise (but keep space between them when you reward to avoid any food fights though). As soon as the puppy leaves, rewards and attention stops - you want to associate good things with the puppies' appearance. Also, I suggest crate training the puppies and setting up an exercise pen. Feed the puppies their kibble food in hollow chew toys as often as you can in the crate or exercise pen instead of only a bowl (where Charlie can't steal it or bully them while eating). This gives the puppies something to do, teaches them to entertain and sooth hthemselves, and helps prevent boredom barking by keeping them busy. It also prevents them from wandering into Charlie's space when you are not directly supervising them together. The puppies and Charlie hould only be interacting right now under your direct supervision. You want Charlie to feel like you are supervising and in charge and the puppies are not something he ought to handle - it's your job. Create rules for all of the dogs and enforce those household rules for each. Some good rules might include: No dog is allowed to be pushy. No dog is allowed to beg. No dog is allowed to be possessive or people, objects, food or furniture. No dog is allowed to steal another dog's toy. No dog is allowed to bother another dog when they want to be left alone. No dog is allowed to block another dog from getting somewhere. No dog is allowed to stare at or intimidate another dog. No dog is allowed to steal or bother another dog while they are eating (I suggest feeding all the dog's in separate areas where no other dog can get to them - such as in crates). No dog is allowed to tell another dog what to do. Have consequences that are related to what the dog did, such as having to leave the room, when a dog breaks a rule. If another dog takes a toy, you be the one to take the toy back from the thief and return it to the dog who had it originally. I also suggest hiring a professional training to come to your home and help you implement this training. Look for someone who has experience doing the types of things suggested above. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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We are already doing the things you've outlined in training older dogs to accept pups. I've got a 5 month old patterdale x cairn, they have they're own things, food bowl, water bowl toys etc.. but when he jumps on my older dog, he's biting him so hard he's making scabs on him. Ted whines and yelps, even growls at him but the pup is relentless! Ted then gets stressed and runs off upstairs. Ted's never played with toys, or younger dogs, he's really lazy. On walks my pup tries to have a go and Ted won't move, I put him back on the lead, but this makes my pup more determined to go for him. Help!
Hello Katy, For the biting, check out the article that I have linked below and first follow the "Leave It" method. Once your puppy knows "Leave It" command, then use that command when he starts to go over toward your older dog. If he obeys, then reward him with a treat. If he disobeys, then enforce the command by telling him "Ah Ah" and getting between him and your older dog and walking towards him until he backs out of the area where your other dog is. Block him from going back over there until he gives up and walks away or lays down. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Also, teach him an "Out" command. To teach him "Out", toss a large treat several feet away from you, while with the same hand, pointing to where you want him to go with your pointer finger. When he runs over to get the food, praise him. As soon as he finishes eating the treat, tell him "Okay" to indicate that he can come back toward you, and encourage him back. Repeat this often until you can point and say "Out" and he will go to where you are pointing before you toss the treat. When he does that, then toss the treat to him when he is in the correct spot, away from you, where you pointed. Next, transition to using it in real life. Whenever he disobeys the "Out" command, then get in front of him and calmly and firmly walk toward him until he backs out of the area you told him to get out of. Continue to block him and stand firm until he gives up trying to go back to where you told him to leave. If he tries to return to the area you told him to leave once you walk back there or away from there, then repeat walking toward him. Expect to repeat it a lot at first. The more consistent you are about enforcing him staying out of somewhere you have told him to leave, the more likely he is to respect your command. Practice in the kitchen, around things he wants to bother like plants, and finally, around other dogs, including your older dog. Keep him out of the area you tell him to leave, until he is told "Okay", so that he will learn to leave and stay out of an area through your consistency. This takes repetition. When he has learned the command through practice, then tell your pup "Out" when he is bothering your older dog. If he disobeys, then get between them, in front of the puppy and walk toward him firmly to make him back up. Do this until he is several feet away from him. Expect him to try to get past you at first. Be like a soccer goalie and prevent him from getting by until he gives up and leaves. With practice he should learn that you mean it when you say "Out". Finally, set up a crate or a sturdy exercise pen for pup. When he is especially crazy, then put him into the crate or exercise pen with a food stuffed chew toy to let him take out his crazies on the toy, give your older dog a break, and help him calm back down. If you introduce a crate properly and put a fun toy into the crate, and don't act angry when you put him in there, then the crate of exercise pen is not a harm punishment just a place for him to calm back down and play more quietly. To introduce the crate, check out he article that I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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I bought a goldendoodle and he has been here for a week now. my miniature poodle is not accpeting him. she snaps when he gets too close and growls at him. she hasn't hurt him but she has snapped. she mostly likes to disappear upstairs where the puppy isnt allowed. they have the odd moments when they will sit together on the couch when being given attention but when he gets to close she gets uneasy and leaves the room or growls at him. i want them to get along and havent been scolding her and trying to give them equal attention. wanted to know of any tips or if this is going to work out. i really hope so.
Hello Stephanie, Unfortunately I cannot tell you if things will work out for sure, but I can offer guidance to increase the chances that it will. First, whenever the puppy enters the room or is near Poppy, offer Poppy treats. When the puppy walks away, stop the treats, so that they are only associated with the puppy's presence. Second, set up a crate or exercise pen, and teach the puppy to chew on his own chew toys in there whenever you cannot supervise him. You can encourage chew toy chewing with Kong's and other hollow chew toys stuffed with his own food that has been soaked in water and mixed with a bit of peanut butter, liver paste, or soft cheese. This will make the toys more fun. You can also feed your puppy all of his meals this way right now. To make the food last longer, you can freeze loosely stuffed toys overnight too. The cold will even help comfort teething. The confinement with toys will help your puppy learn good chew toy habits, and will prevent a number of unwanted things that puppies can get into. It will also give your older dog a break and prevent the puppy from pestering her when you are not there to stop the puppy. Third, create rules for both dogs and be the one to enforce them. As long as you are also rewarding your dog for her tolerant behavior and paying attention to her for doing the correct things, you can gently discipline her for behaviors that you do not want her to display. Just make sure that you recognize calm, tolerant behaviors also and reward them. Some examples of rules for the dogs are: "No dog can take another dog's toy", "No dog can bother another dog while he is resting or wants to be left alone", "No dog can hover near or try to steal another dog's food", "Do dog can demand your attention or push another dog out of the way", "No dog is allowed to act aggressively toward another dog", "No dog is allowed to block an area or doorway, keeping another dog from getting through". When one of the dogs tries to do one of these things, tell the offender "Ah Ah", and then give a fair discipline. For example, if one dog stole another dog's toy, take the toy away from the thief, return it to the dog who originally had it, and then make the thief leave the room. If one dog tries to push another dog out of the way to get your attention or climb into your lap, then tell that dog "Out" firmly, and then walk toward that dog until he backs out of the room or area. If he tries to slip past you, block his way like a soccer goalie, until he stops trying to get by and either lays down or leaves. You will have to repeat this often at first, until the dog's learn that "Out" means do not come back in until you are invited. When you are ready for that dog to come back, tell him "Okay" or call him over to you. Also, do not let Poppy guard you. If Poppy is standing on your lap or in front of you growling at the puppy to keep him away, then Poppy is actually being possessive of you, which shows a lack of respect for you. It is the way dogs claim something as their own. This is not okay. More dog fights happen when the dogs try to compete for who is in charge. You are in charge not either dog. If this is going on, then have Poppy work for attention, food, walks, toys, and anything else that she wants by doing a command like "Sit", "Down", or "Watch me" first. This is a gentle way to teach respect.She has to earn what she gets for a while until her attitude improves. When a dog looks to an owner to be the owner/leader, then that dog is more likely to trust the owner to handle situations rather than acting aggressively, to handle situations herself. To summarize, defend Poppy from being overwhelmed by the puppy, create rules for both dogs and enforce them yourself, reward Poppy for tolerance around the puppy, and don't let either dog take charge, show them both through your help and boundaries that you will lead and take care of things so that they do not have to. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Hi, so we have got a new puppy a little French bulldog and our cavalier is 6 years old, she only came last night so still very early days, but the cav keeps growling at the puppy, I have read your website but just wanted to ask if all this will settle down ??
Hello Rebecca, If Lucy is being gentle with the puppy, despite the growling, then Lucy might just be adjusting to the new puppy. That is not uncommon with an older dog and a young puppy. The main thing to watch for it whether or not your older dog is being gentle despite feeling tense. Whenever the puppy comes into the room where Lucy is or is near Lucy, start giving Lucy a treat, to help her learn to like the puppy. Whenever the puppy leaves, stop the treats, so that the puppy will only be associated with the puppy being around. Also, set up an Exercise Pen or crate for the puppy, and whenever you cannot supervise the puppy, put her in there with a fun food stuffed chew-toy. This helps the puppy learn how to be calm and chew on her toys, and it gives Lucy a break to reduce her stress about the new puppy. When the puppy is free, be the one to moderate their interactions. Reward Lucy for being tolerant and get between the puppy and Lucy, and walk toward her until until the puppy leaves the area where Lucy is if the puppy is trying to pester Lucy. You want Lucy to feel like you are in charge or the puppy and will take care of things, so that she does not feel like she has to. If Lucy gets too snippy, then send her out of the room too. Enforce your household rules for both dogs. This means, no disciplining the puppy harshly for Lucy, and no pestering your older for the puppy. Create rules for the dogs and moderate their interactions themselves, rather than expecting Lucy to teach the puppy on her own. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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My Three year old female Shih Tzu Coco is very well socialised and a great joy. So we decided to get a new puppy and we got it a week ago. Another female Shih Tzu. We took Coco with us when we got the puppy. As soon as she saw the puppy she ran away and started salivating a lot.
This has been continuing for the last week. She seems beyond depressed, drooling whenever the puppy is near her, has completely gone off her treats and hates the scent of the puppy. So will not even come close to us if we have touched the puppy before.
She doesn’t act aggressive at all, just watches from afar and drools and looks depressed. If the puppy goes near her she’ll turn around ignore it and go somewhere else.
I’ve just bought her an adaptil collar to see if it helps, but as she won’t accept any treats, is there anything else I can do?
It’s heartwrenching to see her so upset.
Hello Anna, It does sound like fear. Whenever the puppy is around, have a little party with her. Talk in fun voices, dance around, laugh, talk to her, make things fun with your own energy and confidence. Also, give her time to get used to the puppy. I suggest using a crate or exercise pen for the puppy. Put the puppy in there whenever you cannot closely supervise the two dogs together. Whenever the puppy is free, closely supervise him, and when he goes over to her, get in front of him and lure him away with a toy, treat, or by acting silly. You want Cocoa to learn that you will handle the puppy so she can relax. She does not know what to do when the puppy comes over, and that makes her feel even more anxious. If she knows that you will handle the puppy, then that helps her relax some. Practice something fun outside with Cocoa, like tricks, agility, fetch, hide and seek, or some other game. Have one person work with her, making the entire outing fun and building her confidence. Have the other person hang out with the puppy somewhere that Cocoa can see her, like the porch. Keep the puppy far enough away for her to relax with your encouragement though. The goal is to distract her with something fun in an environment where she doesn't feel trapped with the puppy. Overtime, the goal is for the puppy to become normal and boring. Practice the fun outside regularly with her. Keep the puppy far enough away that, with lots of silliness from you, she can respond to the fun while the puppy is also in the yard with the other person. If you are not seeing any progress, even small amounts, in two weeks, then I suggest hiring a trainer who is very familiar with counter conditioning and is creative enough to use means other than food to help Cocoa learn to associate the puppy with fun things and relax more. A trainer can show you how to do things in person with your own body language and communication that can help Cocoa. It may take a few months for Cocoa to like the puppy. What you are looking for right now is Cocoa and the puppy being able to coexist without as much anxiety, Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
Coco is Spayed by the way.
I also forgot to say that the puppy is 9 1/2 weeks old now, she is crated and also in a puppy pen during the day. She has already learnt the sit and stay and lie down command. We try to Give more attention to Coco, and try giving each of them one on one time. But it doesn’t seem to help Coco. She seems to hate the scent of this puppy and anything she touches or licks!
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My concern is anticipatory, just trying to be proactive...My 5 year old male weim mix Jack Henry is a rescue and we have had him for 4 years. He lived with our other dog and cat for a few years, both of whom have passed away. We are getting a 9 wk. old puppy in a week and although Jack has had one initial meeting, I am still very anxious. I think after some time he will learn to be okay with the new addition as he is very sweet and likes to please, but I am concerned about when we are not home. We will crate train the puppy and are hiring a sitter to come by to let the puppy out while we are at work; my question is, do I put the puppy crate out in a safe area where my other dog has access or not? I am afraid if I separate them with a door, my dog will try to get to the puppy if it whines. But I am also afraid if I leave it out, Jack will paw at the crate, chew at it etc. We plan to do a couple dry runs for minutes at a time, I just thought you may be able to share some insight. Thanks in advance.
Hello Peggy, Congratulations on the new puppy coming soon. I suggest crating the puppy away from Jack Henry. Half of the reason is actually for the sake of the puppy. One of the benefits of crating a puppy is to get the puppy used to being by himself. Give him food stuffed chew toys, like Kongs stuffed with his own food and a bit of liver paste or peanut butter, so that he will learn to self-sooth and alleviate his boredom while in the crate. By doing that you can prevent future separation anxiety, so that he will not always have to be with your other dog or you. This is very important for trips, if you other dog is ever sick, or if he needs to be boarded. It also makes it more likely that he will sleep while you are gone and simply relax, rather than try to interact with your older dog through the crate. Once both dogs are used to each other and the puppy is crate trained, you can crate the puppy in the room where Jack is some of the time, since the puppy will be less exciting and use to being crated and settling down by then. Even when you do that, I recommend still giving both dogs times where they are separate to prevent over-dependence on one another. To keep Jack from scratching at the door, if you live in a two story house, then you can put a tall baby gate at the entrance of the bottom of the stairs, then put the puppy's crate in a back bedroom or bathroom. That way the noise will be muffled and the first barrier will be a gate and not a door that he will scratch. You can also crate the puppy in a large closet or bathroom that you have to go through a bedroom to get to, put a baby-gate at the bedroom door entrance, and then close the bathroom or closet door, to muffle the noise and prevent door scratching. You can also purchase protective screens for doors to use when you are gone. Practice the training during the day, by crating the puppy during the day at times also. When you are home, you can crate the puppy in a more central location if you wish, since you will be there to keep Jack from bothering the puppy, and since the puppy will have other times, when you are gone, to learn to be by himself. When you first bring the puppy home, give both dogs boundaries and be the one to both make and to enforce the rules for both dogs, so that neither dog is in charge or bugging the other one. This helps both dogs learn to relax around each other, not be pushy, and enjoy one another when both dogs want to play, rather than being pestered while trying to relax and sleep. Also, reward Jack whenever the puppy enters the room and he is being tolerant of the puppy at first, to set a good foundation for their relationship. It sounds like Jack is likely to enjoy the new buddy. Don't be surprised if it takes a couple of weeks for the dogs to calm down around one another though. Rules and rewarding the behaviors that you want to see more of should help though. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Hi so me an my husband decided to get a 3rd puppy my dog simon is having a hard time having this puppy around he is 6 months okd enerjetic aimon grawls at him is this normal before we got this ouppy it was only my two dogs that grew up together one yr apart
Hello Blanca, Most socialized adult dogs will be tolerant of young puppies, but once a puppy approaches dog adolescent and starts maturing more, many dogs become less tolerant. The six-month old male puppy might feel like a threat to Simon's ranking in your household. Many six-month old puppies are rude and pushy because they have not learned proper doggie social rules or how to interact with other dogs properly. If the aggression toward the puppy is bad enough that you feel like Simon might hurt him, then I suggest hiring a professional trainer, who will come to your home, to work with you. If Simon is just giving the puppy warnings when the puppy is bothering him or his stuff, but is otherwise controlling himself and never harming the puppy, the work on teaching your new puppy boundaries around the other dogs. Also, work on helping Simon like the new puppy, and be the one to create and enforce your house rules for all dogs and how they are allowed to interact with each other yourself, and areas of your home. First, don't leave the puppy unattended with Simon. Crate Train the puppy and crate him or put him in an Exercise Pen with a fun, food stuffed Kong or chew-toy, whenever you cannot watch him carefully. This is important for potty training too. When Simon is free, if he goes over to Simon or your other dog and won't leave him alone, then get between the dogs, tell the puppy "Out", point to where you want him to go, and then walk toward him until he backup or moves to where you pointed. Block him from getting around you or past you and wait until he stops trying to go back to Simon before you move out of the way. After you move out of the way, if he goes back over to Simon, then repeat walking toward him again. Expect to have to repeat this a lot at first. He will come to understand these boundaries with time and lots of repetition. Doing this not only keeps Simon from lashing out at him, it also teaches the puppy not to pester the older dogs, and helps Simon relax more because he feels like you will take care of the situation so he is not forced to deal with it himself. Next, whenever the puppy enters the room or Simon is being tolerant of the puppy, then reward Simon with a treat. Preferably where the puppy does not see it. Do not let the puppy rush over while Simon is eating. Recognize when Simon is not reacting poorly and praise him and reward him for that good behavior so that he will give you more of it. Finally, decide what your house rules are. Some examples can be, "No dog is allowed to bother another dog when he wants to be left alone", "No dog is allowed to be pushy for people or dog's attention", "No dog is allowed to take another dog's toy he had", "No dog is allowed to bother another dog's food or hang around while he is eating", "No dog is allowed to keep a dog from getting through a space or moving about", "No dog is allowed to shove another dog out of the way when he is getting attention or in general", "No dog is allowed to act aggressively toward another dog and take matters into his own paws". Whenever you see one of the dogs breaking one of these rules or another one, then you be the one to deal with the rule breaker, so that the other dog does not have to handle the situation himself. Do not leave the dogs to work it out for themselves. If all dogs view you as in charge, fair, and taking care of situations, then they will have less to compete for and fights will be less likely. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Brewer is our darling well mannered (most of the time) male Pomeranian. He was an easy puppy picking up basic commands and crate training within a few weeks of having him. He travels well and goes everywhere with us. About four days ago, we brought home the cutest little nugget, a 8 week old female. I made a few mistakes the very first day trying to get them settled. Brewer snapped, growled, and reactedin a way I've never observed from him. I realized it, corrected my actions and followed all your guidelines. Immediately I noticed Brewer seemed happier. He wanted to play again and cuddle. We take three daily walks with both of them and they seem fine. He ignores her mostly. Even just wandering the yard he is okay. I can hold her, kneel down, and he approaches with curiosity. However, her on the floor leashed in the house still freaks him out and he gets a little aggressive, not as bad as day 1. He has also played games and done his tricks right near her corral, seemingly not phased by her. I am hoping this improvement is a good sign. He gets to free roam our living area while she is corralled and we avoid too much interaction with her until he goes to bed. I feel like everyone is safe and all needs are being met. My question is, what would the next steps be? I plan on keeping our routine as is right now and monitoring how close he is willing to let her get outside but once I feel its time to take the next step, what do I do?
Hello Stacy, It sounds like you have made great progress. Good job! When you have the puppy leashed in the room while Brewer is present, keep the two dogs far enough away that Brewer can relax. When Brewer relaxes a bit, toss treats over to him. You want to associate the puppy's presence with the rewards. As Brewer gets more comfortable, you can toss the treats a little less far so that Brewer has to choose to come a bit closer to the puppy to eat them. Take this slow and let Brewer decide when he is ready to get closer, rather than letting the puppy get closer - which worries him. As the puppy matures and calms down a bit, he will probably also relax more. When that's the case with dogs, it just takes time, and making the puppy's presence fun for the older dog with treats and obedience and games will help. As well as preventing the puppy from overcrowding him and overwhelming him by managing where the puppy is well - like you are doing now it sounds like. Continue with the rules, making the puppy's presence pleasant for him, and giving them both some of their own space, and then just give the dogs time. Some dogs warm up within a month, some take a year (when the puppy matures) to really accept a new pup. Also, there are different types of growls. A small growl that never involves injuring the puppy, when the puppy is doing something rude, like climbing on the dog or biting, is fairly normal. When it happens you need to intervene and manage the dogs, but if that's all the aggression is, know that that's common and not super serious. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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I have a 2 1/2 year old female German Shorthaired Pointer named Nellie. She is very active but, she also has a lot of anxiety. We just got a 7 week old female Aussiedoodle puppy and introduced them yesterday. Durning introduction Nellie started foaming at the mouth. She wasn’t acting aggressive at all she continued wagging her tail. So I put the puppy in her crate for a little break and Nellie went to her crate and started foaming again, after about 5 minutes she just walks away and goes to lay on the couch. The weird thing is that if I pet the puppy especially near the puppy’s mouth the scent on my hand makes Nellie foam even if the puppy is no where near. My vet said that Nellie make look at the puppy as prey (because GSPs are so prey driven) she may think she is a small animal. Now she doesn’t want to even be in the same room as the puppy. Please give me any advice you can. I just want Nellie to be as stress free as possible and the new puppy to be safe. Thank you.
Hello Katlyn, It is possible that it is prey drive, the foaming at the mouth is more likely due to excitement and nervousness though. She is probably overly aroused and unsure about the puppy because it is something completely new. If she fixates on the puppy with a hard stare and her body gets really stiff while she does that, that can be a sign of prey drive - so watch out for those types of behaviors, but drooling and foaming is more often due to nervousness or over-excitement. While she is leashed, spend time very gradually getting her used to the puppy by having two people work on obedience commands or tricks with both dogs in the same room about ten feet apart. Also, whenever the puppy enters the room, toss Nellie treats if she acts calm or tolerant. Purchase an exercise pen for the puppy and either supervise the puppy very carefully when she is free or have her spend time in a crate or exercise pen with some food-stuffed chew toys to entertain her. That will give the dogs some space so that the puppy can't overwhelm Nellie, but it still gets Nellie used to simply being in the house or same room with the puppy. The idea is to keep encounters calm, let them warm up to each other gradually, and reward Nellie for being calm and tolerant around the puppy with treats to encourage her to like the puppy and relax around it. The obedience commands and training sessions are to help her calm down by putting her focus on you so that the puppy is less exciting. Don't get the dogs too close while training them in the room right now though - in case Nellie has any resource guarding around the treats toward other dogs that you haven't had a chance to find out about before. If she does view the puppy as prey, that may improve as the puppy matures and gets bigger, but be careful right now. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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My boyfriend and I just rescued an 8 month old hound mix and my dog who is 5 years old will not accept him. My dog is very possessive of me and will grow at the new puppy when he goes anywhere near him. He has snapped on him when he went over to get closer to him on the couch but no one was bit. I did hear the new puppy whine but boyfriend and I looked for teeth marks on both dogs and saw none. Sometimes my dog will let the new puppy on the couch and won't growl until he goes near him. How can I fix this? We have already fallen in love with the new puppy and won't give him up and I could never give up my 5 year old dog either. Is there anyway to resolve these issues so my dog can accept the new puppy? BTW... my dog growls at most dogs on the street when I walk him and when he looks outside and sees them through the window.
Hello Kathryn, Check out the article that I have linked below and follow the "working" method. The first step is to work on respect and consistency so that both dogs are responding to you and not vying as much to be in charge and compete. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you I suggest not letting the older dog on the couch and areas he is guarding for now. Things need to be more structured around your house for a while for both dogs. Reward the dogs for tolerance and calmness but keep rewards calmer. You can reward the older dog whenever the younger one enters the room, gets closer to him, or generally does something that requires tolerance. Keep the younger dog from crowding the older dog's space. When one dog is in another dogs space or being mean or rude make the dog that's acting badly leave the area. Check out Shaun O'Shay from Good Dog training or Jeff Gellman. If the aggression is more than just warnings or you feel uncomfortable handling it on your own, I highly suggest hiring a trainer who uses a lot of structure and boundaries as well as positive reinforcement and has a lot of experience with aggression and counter conditioning, to come to your home to help you. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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I have a lovely 1.5 year old female Golden Retriever/ German Shepherd cross named Zoe. She's super well behaved, loving and easily trained..... until recently. My husband adopted another dog ( Red heeler mix @ 1 year old male) named Dusty. Dusty is a loving pup but rather untrained, rough around the edges as he lived most of his life in the pound and shelter. We definitely expected him to need a lot of love, patience, care and training.
I trained Zoe to walk, commands and overall to be very well mannered, but I have never had any experience introducing another dog into the household that isn't trained. We are doing out best with Dusty and slowly he is catching on to not jump or nip, or get into the garbage. But Zoe seems to be losing her training a bit; ex:like in parks she has recently decided that sometimes she is done playing and will wander back to the car and ignore my commands. I don't know if this is just jealousy or feeling like her home/ person is being taken from her. Is this a normal thing? And how to I integrate them to both feeling loved while maintaining Zoe's original demeanor?
Hello Laurel, What you are experiencing is pretty normal. The new dog is getting a lot of your time and attention - training wise and in general. The new dog is also competition and there is probably some stress and competing going on, which can impact respect and listening. All of this is pretty normal if the dogs are generally getting along alright. Go back to the basics with Zoe when you have time while still training Dusty. Practicing known commands just with her, and with both adults handling each dog and training them together too. With time and going back to basics on training and being consistent for a while most dogs will get into a new rhythm, adapt to the changes, and improve. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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My Mom and I brought home a female Chi-Apso puppy about three and a half months ago now. We already had a Shetland Sheepdog and a Chihuahua at home. The Sheltie came to us when he was four months old in February 2014. The chihuahua came to us in March 2017. They get along great. Not so much with the puppy. Our Sheltie doesn’t like her. He bares his teeth if she gets too close and has snapped at her a couple of times, though admittedly she got in his face both times, trying to take his toy during one of them. He mostly ignores her, which is fine, but now when we let him out for a few hours (he loves the outdoors) and then try to let him back in, he refuses to come in unless there’s a lot of coaxing. Our Chihuahua will play with her when no one is watching but only while he’s on the couch and she’s on the floor. He constantly growls at her when she’s near him and snaps at her when she gets too close. The puppy just wants to cuddle and play but neither of them want anything to do with her. Because of this, my Mom has started to resent our two older boys and says I “baby” them because I don’t treat them any differently than before. She refuses to listen to any advice. It’s been a few months now. They have to know she’s not going anywhere. Something’s gotta give. What should we do?
Hello kaitlyn, It sounds like both dogs need to learn respect with a lot of new structure, working for what they get, and generally creating new house rules for all dogs to follow. The aggression might be a combination of lack of socialization around other dogs (so the new dog is overwhelming at first) and either dog believing that they run the house, and simply being unaccustomed to being around puppies. By building the dog's respect for you, showing them that you are handling situations, and desensitizing them to the puppy by making the puppy's presence pleasant through rewards, and rewarding general tolerance of the puppy, many dogs will improve. If the issue becomes more severe, hire a professional trainer who is experienced in this area and can show you in person what to do in response to the dogs (this is often easier to follow when demonstrated). Look for a trainer who uses a lot of structure and implements clear boundaries and also known how to desensitize the dogs to the puppy's presence through rewards. The training will take work though. Many dogs improve dramatically around a new puppy when given rules, taught boundaries, desensitized to the new dog, and given time to adapt. The structure helps the dogs look to you for guidance instead of handling situations themselves. Also, give the puppy boundaries. Protect the older dogs from being pestered. When you cannot supervise the puppy with the older dog, she needs to be confined to a crate or exercise pen with safe, fun chew toys, like food-stuffed Kongs. Make the older dog feel like you are handing situations so that they do not have to. If they feel like you are handling things and maintaining rules for the puppy too, it will be easier for them to relax around her and accept her. Check out the article that I have linked below and follow the "Working" method and the "Consistency" methods with the dogs, especially the older ones. All the dogs can benefit from the training if you have time to do it with the puppy too. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Also, create household rules for all dogs and be the one to enforce the rules for the dogs, so that neither dog has to enforce anything for the other dog. Some good rules include: "No dog is allowed to act possessive of people or things (If they do, they have to leave the room). "No dog is allowed to block a dog from going through a doorway or getting to an area". "No dog is allowed to be pushy for attention (nudging hands, barking, or jumping onto laps without being invited first. Instead have the dog do something like "Sit" first and make the dog leave if they do not listen and are still pushy). "No dog is allowed to take another dog's toy (If they do, take the toy from the thief, return it to the dog it was stolen from, and make the offender leave the area). "No dog is allowed to hover around or steal another dogs' food (I suggest feeding the dogs in separate crates to prevent any potential food aggression from starting, then the dogs can eat and feel relaxed about their food). "No dog is allowed to act aggressively toward another dog" (Make the offender leave and stay out of the room). "No dog is allowed to beg for people food" (competing for food near one another is asking for trouble right now). "No dog is allowed to bother another dog when they want to be left alone" (Keep the puppy from bothering your older dogs unless they initiate the play or until the puppy learns to be more polite about it, and reward the older dogs for being tolerant when the puppy is calmly trying to say hi or generally near one of them and they are being tolerant and nice). "All dogs have to get off furniture when told 'Off'." - teach the dogs what this command means. If any dog is guarding the furniture or refuses to get off, they are not allowed on the furniture until their attitude changes. When the puppy enters the room and an older dog stays calm, reward the older dog with a treat or toy. When the puppy gets near one of them and the older dog stays calm, also reward the older dog with a treat. Stop giving treats when the puppy leaves. You want to associate the puppy's presence with treats and for the treats to stop when the puppy leaves, so that the older dogs will want her to stay. This will help desensitize them to the puppy's presence. If you feel like you need more help, I suggest finding a trainer who uses both positive reinforcement and fair corrections who will do the training above, including the rewards for tolerating the puppy and helping you implement more rules and structure. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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My husband and I have rescued a 2 month old puppy - Basset Hound/German Shepard mix and my middle dog - Little Missy Belgian Shepherd 3 years old - is warming up to him but Eli has twice now attacked the puppy, there are wounds but he is okay, the first time really shook him up, which is expected, and he bounced back but today was the second time and I have had it. I am not sure what else to do. We have had Monty (puppy) for a week now and I know it takes time but this is behavior is HIGHLY unlike Eli, he has NEVER lunged or offered to even attack another dog. Even when we dog sat for some friends and family members who Eli doesn't really know.
When we got Little Missy she was 6 weeks old and Eli NEVER reacted this way to her.
I have been working with all three and when we love on Monty we are loving on Eli as well, keeping him in his routine of feed, walks, treats, and pills.
Due to Monty being a rescue and a bad history with crates we are not crating him while we are away BUT we are blocking Eli and Little Missy from Monty so they are in separate rooms. I am purchasing two new dog gates to help keep them separate but I don't know what else I need or can do to help Eli cope with the new puppy.
Thanks for the advice in advance!
Hello Gabriele, I suggest hiring a trainer who uses both positive reinforcement and fair corrections and structure to evaluate the situation. Without being able to ask a lot more questions, see the dogs together, and work through the situation it is hard to address exactly what is going on. Little Missy might be more submissive than the new puppy so Eli views the puppy as a threat even though she was fine with your other dog. The lack of crate training might be giving the puppy too many opportunities to wander around and pester Eli when the dogs are free, and Eli simply lacks impulse control and bite inhibition - which is how much pressure she bites with. When Little Missy was young if she was crate trained she might have bothered Eli less, or she may have learned more quickly to avoid Eli - so the dogs didn't fight. The issue could be because of this puppy's specific personality or because he is male - although that is less likely. Either way Eli's lack of bite inhibition and her lack of control is serious. If the puppy is continually going up to Eli that needs to stop. You can work on teaching the puppy an Out command, which means leave the area, and use it when he tries to approach Eli. I also suggest setting up an exercise pen with some food-stuffed chew toys and letting the puppy spend a lot of time in there unless you are working with him or able to directly supervise him and moderate the dogs. This is not something they should work out on their own as I am sure you know. All of the dogs need a lot of structure. Eli should be working for everything she gets in life right now by doing a command like sitting for you first. No pushiness, guarding, being possessive, giving stares, or blocking areas is allowed by any of the dogs. Any dog that breaks those rules has to leave the room and not come back until invited. The puppy needs structure too. Work on basic obedience and don't encourage pushiness or pestering or jumping. I highly suggest hiring a trainer too though because this is a serious situation that needs to be addressed in person by someone who can work with the dogs, demonstrate training, adjust as needed, and evaluate what's going on. Because Eli punctured the skin, that means that she does not have control of how hard she bites and can hurt the puppy badly if given the chance. The puppy can also develope fear-aggression from growing up being attacked or intimidated. So sorry this is going on. I know the fights must have been terrifying. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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I just added a third pup to our pack. My older Frenchie ( Gus) is an angel pig. He’s sweet, patient and knows how to isolate himself from situations he doesn’t want to take part in.
My 4 year old (Monte) is the challenge. Since his puppy days, he tried to establish dominance, growls are kids and adults and can be quite agressive. He’s very loyal and nice once he settles in with you.
Enter the new puppy (MAC) . Gus is fine with him. Gus rather wait until Mac is of age to rough-house.
Monte, however, is displaying very agressive behavior. I can’t go near the puppy. He growls, attempts to attack and just isn’t having it. While training the pup is critical at this age, what’s the best strategy on making this a friendly pack?
I try and acknowledge Monte before the puppy and play with him but he’s very aware of the puppies presence and is very over protective.
Thank you !
Hello Tom, Monte needs to start doggie boot camp. I suggest an attitude adjustment for Monte where he has to work for everything he gets in life by doing a command before you feed him, pet him, take him on a walk, play with him, or give him anything else he wants. Work on teaching him "Place" and having him stay in place with distractions around for up to an hour. No being pushy. No climbing into your lap uninvited. No guarding furniture, people, objects, or food. Keep a drag leash on him when you are home, and when he gets possessive, pushy, or rude, pick up the end of the lead and make him leave the area calmly but firmly. Reward calmness and obedience with calm attention, but don't over do it. When there are issues between dogs in the same household, increasing respect for the humans in charge, creating rules for all the dogs, and being the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs do not have to is advised most of the time. If you are in charge, and you make and enforce rules and are the mediator between the dogs, there is less to compete for and expectations are clearer. When Monte is being tolerant of the puppy, you can reward him calmly with his own dog food or attention (keep space between them when you reward to avoid any food fights though). As soon as the puppy leaves, rewards and attention stops - you want to associate good things with the puppy's appearance. Also, I suggest crate training the puppy and setting up an exercise pen. Feed the puppy his kibble food in hollow chew toys as often as you can in the crate or exercise pen instead of only a bowl (where Monte can't steal it or bully him). This gives the puppy something to do, teaches him to entertain and sooth himself, and helps prevent boredom barking by keeping him busy. It also prevents him from wandering into Monte's space when you are not directly supervising him. The puppy and Monte should only be interacting right now under your direct supervision. You want Monte to feel like you are supervising and in charge and the puppy is not something he ought to handle - it's your job. Create rules for all of the dogs and enforce those household rules for each. Some good rules might include: No dog is allowed to be pushy. No dog is allowed to beg. No dog is allowed to be possessive or people, objects, food or furniture. No dog is allowed to steal another dog's toy. No dog is allowed to bother another dog when they want to be left alone. No dog is allowed to block another dog from getting somewhere. No dog is allowed to stare at or intimidate another dog. No dog is allowed to steal or bother another dog while they are eating (I suggest feeding all the dog's in separate areas where no other dog can get to them - such as in crates). No dog is allowed to tell another dog what to do. Have consequences that are related to what the dog did, such as having to leave the room, when a dog breaks a rule. If another dog takes a toy, you be the one to take the toy back from the thief and return it to the dog who had it originally. I also suggest hiring a professional training to come to your home and help you implement this training. Look for someone who has experience doing the types of things suggested above, and who has experience with aggression. Your issue sounds more serious than the typical dog adjusting to a new dog, and you want to be careful not to get bitten yourself and to protect the puppy. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
Thank you for your response. I’m either currently doing all that you mentioned or on the path doing so minus the hired help.
Monte always has to work and obey before getting rewarded with treats or any other commands relating to getting what he wants. He listens all the time but just isn’t used to puppy company. I will continue to do my best. He dies have a history of not liking anything new whether that be humans or dogs. So, hopefully he adapts quickly. Monte also loves claiming items. He thinks the house is his until he’s shown otherwise.
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My dog Marley simply will not accept the female puppy we rescued. If she comes near him he is snarling and growling. Its been over a month. I'm extremely stressed worried he will hurt her. He has snapped at her but hasn't bitten her. I have done everything suggested here. I dont know what else to do.
Hello Anita, To begin, get Marley used to wearing a flexible silicone basket muzzle. That type of muzzle will be more comfortable and still allow your dog to open up his mouth to eat treats. To get him comfortable wearing the muzzle let him sniff the muzzle and then feed him a treat. When he is comfortable with that, then touch the muzzle to him and feed him a treat. Repeat that until he is comfortable with that also, then hold the muzzle against his face and feed him lots of treats through the muzzle holes while he is wearing the muzzle. When he is comfortable with that, then buckle and unbuckle the muzzle and feed him a treat. Finally, put the muzzle on him and buckle it and sporadically feed him a treat through the holes while he is wearing it. You can also use a straw dipped in peanut butter as a reward for him to lick. Start by having him wear the muzzle for only a few seconds and then gradually increase the amount of time that he wears it for, until he ignores it while he is wearing it. As soon as the muzzle is put away stop feeding him treats so that the treats are only associated with the muzzle. Once he is comfortable wearing the muzzle, then put the muzzle on him ahead of time whenever you know that the puppy will be around. A good muzzle should be comfortable so do not worry about him having to wear it often. It will be worth it. While he is wearing the muzzle, reward him with treats through the muzzle hole anytime that he tolerates the puppy receiving something like your affection or coming near him. When the puppy leaves the area, then stop giving him treats. If he attempts to nip, attack, or act aggressive toward the puppy, then correct him firmly. A good way to correct him is to immediately tell him "Aha" or "No", remove him from the area, and then make him perform fifteen commands in quick succession without any rewards, sort of like boot camp pushups. Telling him when he did something wrong will help him to learn in the future that that action is unacceptable behavior. Removing him from the area will address any possessiveness. Running through his obedience commands without rewards will reestablish that you are the one in charge who makes the rules and not him, which directly effects how he interactions with the puppy. Also monitor the puppy and do not let her pester him. Both dogs need to have clear boundaries and neither dog should be allowed to break your family rules. Decide what your rules are and be the one to enforce them so that neither dog will. Some rules examples are: "No dog is allowed to bother another dog when he wants to be left alone", "No dog is allowed to be possessive of objects, areas, or people", "No dog is allowed to shove another dog out of the way to get attention or get to something", "No dog is allowed to bite or act aggressive toward another dog", "No dog is allowed to demand your attention", "No dog is allowed to bother another dog's food or food bowl", "No dog is allowed to take something from another dog", and "No dog is allowed to make rules for another dog". Dogs will naturally establish a dominance order and unfortunately under-socialized and impatient dogs can be harsh rulers to more submissive dogs, and if the more submissive dog decides to oppose the other dog at some point there can be real fights. Do not let the dogs decide who is in charge. Neither dog gets to be in charge. You are in charge and both dogs need to follow your rules and let you be the mediator between them. If one dog takes another dog's bone, the first dog cannot attack the one who took the bone. Instead, you step in and correct the thief and give the bone back to the dog who had it originally. You are both leader, judge, and enforcer in your home. Right now Marley is trying to be the enforcer so he needs to learn to respect your leadership, trust that you will manage the puppy so he does not have to, and learn how to coexist. The muzzle will allow you to correct and reward his behavior in real life circumstances so that he can learn without risking the puppy being harmed. Work on his general respect toward you during this time also. In the end that will likely have the biggest impact on their relationship To increase his respect for you follow the "Working Method" from the article that I have linked bellow. If you are able to, you can also implement the other two methods found in that article at the same time, but if you only pick one choose "The Working Method". https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Hello i have 3 year old male jackabee and i just welcomed in a 5 week old male beagle mix mountain cur. My jackabee (kobe) seems like an aggressive dog and scares everyone but once you get near him he is very playful and sweet. He is also pretty good with other dogs when we take him out on walks accept pitbulls because he got attacked buy two of them that nearly killed him. Ever since then he seems a bit more aggressive towards other dogs. I tried introducing The puppy to Kobe outdoors on the road since people told me that was the best thing to do, kobe was sniffing him at first but once we put the puppy down he sniffed him jumped back and then went straight to him and attacked him. He did not hurt the puppy it was more of a scare thing but he did jump on him. I feel like if I have to constantly be carrying the puppy so Kobe won't go after him. He growls and Barks at him when he sees him walking in the house. I dont know what to do and im afraid if i let the puppy down to walk Kobe will attack him. When I'm holding the puppy he likes to sniff him so I let him and then he just walks away.
Hello Julieta, Most adults dogs are naturally tolerant of puppies even if they do not do well with adult or adolescent dogs. The fact that he immediately went to attack him with little warning is very concerning. You need to hire a professional trainer to come to your home and help you in person right away. This isn't something that can be addressed here. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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I have a 7 year old min pin. She has always been a mamas girl, and tolerates the rest of the family. We brought home a three month old Australian shepherd puppy about one and a half months ago. We keep the puppy in a pen most of the time, and Gabby runs around the house like she always does. We let the puppy out for a little while in the evenings so they can spend some time together. At this point, he's a lot bigger than her, and being a puppy, wants to smack at her and lick her, etc. in a playful way. When he smacks at her, we tell him no, and take him to another place in the room to play. She is not warming up to him at all. When he comes out to play, she goes into her crate, and doesn't come out until he's back in the pen. She also seems very hurt by me for bringing the puppy into her home. I need for them to be able to peacefully live together,and hopefully to be friends one day. Any advice is greatly appreciated!
Hello Sonya, Continue to carefully monitor the puppy and Gabby's interactions and keep the puppy from smacking her. What you are doing currently with management sounds great. Whenever the puppy enters the room where Gabby is or Gabby is being tolerant of the puppy, reward Gabby with a favorite treat (keep the pup from coming over to try to snatch one - to avoid food fights though). You want to pair the puppy's presence with rewards and praise to help her look forward to the puppy being around. When the puppy is put back up, rewards stop. Mostly just keep training the puppy and teaching things like Place and Stay and Leave It to help the puppy learn manners as he grows so that he will not become a bully when he matures, but respect you and obey your instructions around Gabby. Many dogs never love puppies and do not completely relax around them until they mature as adults. As long as she is not experiencing huge anxiety or displaying aggression and you are carefully managing the dogs together and preventing bullying and fear aggression it's alright if they are not best friends. They simply need to be able to peacefully co-exist at this point. Work on rewarding Gabby for tolerarance so that she feels less anxious about him. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Hi, i have a 3 year old pitbull named kofi. All my family members work so kofi would stay home alone all day. He has acces to some part of inside the house & acces to outisde of the house. Obviously everybody in the family loves him, but For like 2 weeks he looked very depressed so we decided maybe we should get him a friend so adoptded a 2 month old pitbull. For some reason kofi doesnt pay any attention to the pup he follows him a little while and then he stops, but he looks even more depressed. Kofi gets close to him and he starts drooling, and he looks very anxious and scared of the pupp. What can i do for kofi to act normal around the new puppy?
Hello Edgar, First, I suggest addressing Kofi's depressed attitude with your vet and make sure there is not a hormonal or painful issue going on that is making him feel bad, especially if everything else before the puppy was introduced was the same as it was before and there was not an obvious change causing the depression (like suddenly being left home alone when he wasn't before). Once you figure out why Kofi has been feeling sad and address that if needed, then you can help him adjust to the puppy by rewarding him with a treat whenever he is tolerant of the pup or the puppy enters the room where he is. You want to pair the puppy's presence with something else he likes, like food, to help him look forward to the puppy being around. Do not feed him while the puppy is right next to him though, he to avoid potential food fights (try to be sneaky about treats so puppy does not see him being rewarded and come pester). When the puppy leaves the room, stop the treats so that the treats are associated with the puppy being around. If Kofi normally likes other dogs he may grow to like the puppy as the puppy grows. Most adults dogs play differently than puppies, and if they have not been around a lot of puppies puppies can make them feel a bit anxious. As the puppy matures he may grow to like the puppy better when the pup is calmer. Advocate for your older dog and keep the puppy from pestering him when he wants to be left alone. The puppy should be crated in another room with the door closed when you are not home so that it cannot bother your older dog, have potty accidents, or chew things. Your older dog needs to feel like you are in charge of the puppy and maintaining household rules for everyone and protecting him from too much pestering from the pup, so that he can relax around the puppy and warm up gradually. Once puppy is trained to heel, walking the dogs together can be a good way for them to bond. Someone else can also hold the puppy's leash so that each dog has a person walking it and the group is simply walking together in a structured way (no pulling or competing to be in front, you should be leading the way). Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Recently I lost one of my German Shepnerds to cancer. The surviving male is the alpha hence the name. I bought a Malinois puppy 3 weeks ago. She is 4 months old and Alpha has attacked her and hurt her on several occasions.
I have tried paying the older dog more attention and love but he pretty well ignores me except when I have food!
Hello Julie, You need to hire a professional dog trainer to work with you right away. Alpha needs structure, boundaries and to respect you more. He needs to work for what he gets in life and essentially be put in doggie boot camp. This needs to be done in a way that gains his respect for you mentally and not just by trying to physically overpower him. I HIGHLY suggest hiring a trainer to help you. Until then he should not interact with the puppy without a muzzle and careful management. Not only are the attacks dangerous for pup but they also reward Alpha for his bad behavior and increase the aggression, and can create fear aggression in pup also. Check out Jeff Gellman from SolidK9Training on YouTube. Do not try to train on your own though without taking precautions or you may be bitten. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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So we got my 15 year old rescue about 3 months ago, she is friendly and playful with the other dogs in my apartment complex. Then a friend told me she needed to rehome her almost 2 year old pit. My lab will not give her a chance and I don't know what to do.
If you have any suggestions you can email me at
Hello Taylor, I would need a bit more information. Does she simply not want to play with her? Has she growled, lunged at or attacked her? Is she frightened of the younger dog? If she simply does not want to play with her, that is not necessarily an issue as long as there is no fear or aggression between them. In that case I suggest teaching the younger dog an "Out" command and to give the older dog space, unless your older dog initiates playing. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Dogs like people have preferences of who they enjoy hanging out with. They do not have to be friends with everyone as long as they can peacefully coexist. To help her feel at ease around the other dog, keep the younger dog from pestering her, reward her for being tolerant of the young dog and reward her when the younger dog enters the room she is in, and give them time to get to know each other in a boring kind of way. Once they consider one another as part of the family and the younger dog calms down, she may enjoy her more on her own. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Our dog, Kylo, is just over a year old. He is the sweetest boy. Very playful and loveable. He goes to visit his friends (a male golden retriever, a female chow and a female poodle) everyday and he gets along great with them. When he can’t go play with them he is usually very depressed and thus we decided to get a new puppy, so that he can always have a companion with him. We brought home a 8-week old mini Schnauzer yesterday. The first couple of hours went really well, they got along and played. However sometime last night he decided that he has had enough and now he is in a terrible mood towards us and the puppy. She really wants to play with him but he just growls at her. It breaks my heart to see Kylo like this. We got the puppy hoping that it would improve his live, not make it miserable. Any advice on how we can improve the relationship will be greatly appreciated.
Hello Nicole, Congratulations on the new puppy! To improve the dogs' relationships work on three things. The first is to reward Kylo with treats whenever the puppy is around. As soon as the puppy leaves stop all rewards and ignore him for a minute. The idea is to make him think that the puppy's presence equals good things so that he will begin to enjoy the puppy's presence more. When you do this, keep your body between the two dogs so that they cannot compete for the food, and stop rewarding Kylo if he starts acting possessive and mean about the treats. The second thing is to make sure that Kylo has space of his own. Many older dogs simply get overwhelmed by puppies. Be sure to give the puppy a space of her own where she can go to chew on her own toys and leave him alone when he has had enough. As she gets older she should learn to respect his boundaries better if you work on teaching her to respect his space, so that he does not have to tell her to go away by growling or snapping at her. Lastly, decide what the rules are in your household for both dogs and you be the one to enforce them instead of either dog enforcing them. For example, if the rule is "Do not steal another dog's toy", then when you see one dog start to take the other dog's toy, go over there and defend the dog who originally had the toy by making the thief leave and returning the toy to whoever originally had it. Some great ideas for rules are: "No fighting", "No being possessive of people, objects, toys, or food", "No bothering another dog when he or she wants to be left alone", "No climbing, stepping, or generally disrespecting the space of another dog", or "No pushing another dog out of the way to receive attention". By deciding on the rules and being the one to enforce them, you are taking that job away from the dogs and preventing them from fighting over who is in charge, especially as the puppy grows. Neither dog should be in charge. You should be in charge. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Hello we recently just got a new 8 week old puppy and our older dog Mia who is 3 years has been fine with him. But last night she was eating a treat and she snapped at him, she did not but him but he had slobber all over. I’m not sure what cause this because before this incident if she would be chewing on a bone and he came up and started licking the other end or nibbling at it she was fine. They eat next to eachother and he sometimes even sticks his head in her bowl while she eats, she also patiently waits behind him to be done eating so she can finish any left overs he has. How do I deal with this situation and what do you think made her snap? Afterwards she looked like she knew what she did was wrong but I am worried about it happening again.
Hello Maria, Based on how they normally interact with food there may be tension in their relationship around food already, before this incident, and it has simply built to the point where she was telling him to give her space and not beg for the treat she wanted through nipping. First of all their food relationship with each other needs to change, so that there is less stress surrounding food in general. Feed both dogs in crates with the doors closed so that they can both eat in peace without the other dog hovering around, cleaning up after them, or trying to steal their food. Just because she has been tolerant that doesn't mean there has not been stress there which can lead to issues like the most recent incident. Second, make sure the puppy is giving her space. Do not let him bother her while she is resting or eating (by feeding in crates like mentioned). If he comes over and is shoving her out of the way while you have treats, work on teaching him "Out" and make him leave the room when he is pushy. Teach her "Out" also, and when she is not being tolerant and gets possessive of food, make her leave the room. Out command article link: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ When the puppy is around and she is tolerant, praise her and sneak a treat to her to reward her for her tolerance. This helps associate the puppy's presence with good things, especially during normally tense times. Third, most dogs are naturally gracious toward puppies while they are little. As they get older, older dogs begin to expect puppies to be less rude and follow the rules. They will often start 'disciplining' the puppies when they feel the puppies are out of line. Work on showing her that it is your job and not her job to discipline and teach the puppy. Be responsible for keeping your puppy from being rude toward her also, so that she does not feel like she has to be the one to discipline him, and instead can look to you for help when needed. At some point puppies also get old enough to challenge the order of who is in charge. Rather than letting the dogs decide who will lead, if you have established trust and respect toward you, and shown both dogs that you are managing the household and interactions, then the position on leadership already belongs to you, and it is not something either dog should be as likely to fight for. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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We just brought home a three month old Pug and Mulder does not seem to like him. He follows the pup or walks up to the puppy and will growl or show his teeth. We ignore the growling but get pretty nervous when he shows his teeth bc he could do real damage if he bit the pug. He’s never shown aggression to another dog and only ever play fought other dogs before
Hello Holly, The fact that he is walking over to the puppy and growling, and not simply growling when the puppy approaches him is very concerning. First, I suggest a sort of doggie boot camp for Mulder. Have him work for everything he gets in life by doing a command first. For example, before you feed him, have him Sit. Before you pet him, have him lay down. Before you take him on a walk, have him "Watch Me". Also work on pairing the puppy's presence with good things. Whenever the puppy enters the room, before Mulder has acted aggressively, reward him with a treat without the puppy seeing you (you don't want the puppy coming over to beg or that could trigger Mulder to act aggressively toward him). Work on teaching Mulder the Out command and make him leave the room whenever he is behaving badly toward the puppy. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Be very careful when they are together right now. Do not leave them unattended. Set up an exercise pen for the puppy so that he can play in there when you are not directly supervising the two dogs in the room together. Also, decide on house rules for both dogs and be the one to enforce the rules so that neither dog is allowed to enforce the rules for another dog. For example: No dog is allowed to growl at another dog or act aggressively -they must leave the room. No dog it allowed to bother another dog when they want to be left alone. No dog is allowed to block another dog from getting somewhere or shove another dog out of the way. No dog is allowed to guard an object, person, or area. No dog is allowed to bother another dog while eating, including hovering around and staring at them - I suggest feeding both dogs in separate crates with the doors closed to avoid potential food fights and tension. Feeding in crates also makes meals less stressful because the dog does not have to worry about protecting their food. Decide on your household rules and enforce the rules yourself to keep the dogs from bullying, pestering, or annoying each other. Finally, I suggest hiring a private trainer who will come to your home to work with Mulder and the puppy, and teach you how to keep both dogs safe while working through this. Look for someone who uses both positive reinforcement and fair corrections, is very experienced with aggression, and understands puppies as well. Ask questions and read reviews or references to find someone qualified. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Two months ago my husband rescued a 9 month old Jack Russell terrier. Our 15 year old basset was okay with him for about 6 weeks. Then she started leaving the house early each morning and refusing to come inside all day. In fact if I don’t put her on leash she wouldn’t come in at night. She isn’t eating well and even refuses water most of the time. She hides under our shed and doesn’t respond to our calls. I feed her first, give treats when he is near and constantly reward her in his presence. I’m getting concerned about her health which was fine when she got her annual check up 4 weeks ago. I need help but there aren’t any trainers within an hours drive. Any suggestions?
Hello Linda, Unless something changed between the two dogs, like the new dog started bullying her or there was a traumatic incident, like a fight, I would be concerned that there is something medical going on, especially something hormonal, mental, or something causing her pain. If you feel uncertain about whether it's the new dog, you may want to see if a trusted friend could keep your younger dog for a week, and watch your older dog to see if she perks up and relaxes again. If she does, then you will know it's probably anxiety related to the younger dog and can treat it accordingly, but if she doesn't improve, then it may be medical and not behavioral, and will need to be followed up with your vet. If it is behavioral, first, give the younger dog structure. Make sure he is crate trained, have an area set up where he can spend time away from your older dog, or tether him to yourself with a leash when practical. Essentially limit his access to her to times when you can directly supervise him and her and advocate for her so that he isn't being too rough, in her space, or bullying her. You want her to feel like you are managing him so that she doesn't have to feel anxious about not being able to defend herself from him. Continue rewarding her for being in his presence but also work on teaching him things like Place, crate manners, and rewarding him when he automatically calms down to do something like chew a bone on his bed. Keep the atmosphere in your home with the dogs calm and confident, not overly excited or anxious (when you can - I know it's hard not to exude anxiety when you are worried about a dog). If she feels up to it, you can also give her extra attention but this attention should look purposeful, like practicing simple obedience commands she is able to do (Watch Me is a good one for an older dog). The attention shouldn't look like a lot of babying of coddling that can feed nervousness, but should be peaceful and confident. You want to build her confidence and calmness. Check out the links below for some commands to work on with the puppy to help him calm down and so that you can give him instruction for where to go when he is in her space. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Also, since there are no trainers close enough to come to your home, I suggest looking for one who can do Skype or phone training sessions (if you determine it's not medical). Someone on Skype can observe the dog's body language, and even over the phone they can ask questions to trouble shoot what specifically might be causing the anxiety, and be able to adjust the training based on how she is responding to it. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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