How to Train Your Older Dog to Accept a Puppy

Medium
1-8 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

You're super-excited about the arrival of a new pup.  Your much-loved older dog is getting a bit long in the tooth, and you've high hopes that introducing some new blood is going to help him feel young again. After all, what's not to love about a puppy? (OK, yes, you know it's hard work with all those puddles and accidents, but the cute face and cuddle factor more than make-up for it.) 

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. 

Defining Tasks

An older dog has a lot invested in his home. It's his core territory and he has things pretty much the ways he likes. He knows when meals happen, when it's time for walks, and that everyone adores him. Then along comes a new puppy and everything's turned on its head. 

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. 

Getting Started

You will need:

  • Separate resources for each dog, so each has their own bed, crate, food and water bowls, and toys
  • Treats
  • A treat bag you can wear on your belt so as to have access to treats at all times
  • A crate for the puppy
  • A pen or pet gates to corral the pup and provide the oldie with peace
  • A clicker
  • A squeaky toy

The Time with the Elder Method

Most Recommended
2 Votes
Step
1
Understand the idea
The older dog has been your companion for a long time. It's therefore perfectly natural for him to feel unsettled, jealous, or threatened by the presence of a puppy who gets all the attention. Do the older dog a favor by understanding things from his perspective and helping to maintain a sense of order and place in his world.
Step
2
Give the older dog attention first
Yes, the puppy is intoxicatingly cute, but no that's not a good enough reason to overlook the older dog. It's essential the older dog has his place in the fur-family preserved, which means putting his needs first and have the puppy fit in second. In practical terms, this means greeting the older dog first, putting his food bowl down first, letting him through the door ahead of the puppy, and putting his leash on ahead of the youngster.
Step
3
Don't punish the older dog for growling
Puppies have very bad manners. They'll jump all over another dog without being invited and are liable to steal prized toys or food. That precious puppy has to learn boundaries and how to behave, and the older dog is the one to teach him. But more than this, it's wrong to punish the older dog for growling, as his behavior is completely natural. To inhibit his way of correcting the pup will lead to confusion and inner conflict, which could be disastrous in the long term.
Step
4
Keep the older dog in routine
Your senior dog's world has been turned upside down by the arrival of a puppy. Dogs find change hard to deal with, so don't make the problem worse by disrupting his normal schedule, which means he has no anchor points in his day anymore. Instead, try to keep mealtimes and walks at the regular time in order to promote feelings of security and reduce resentment over the pup's arrival.
Step
5
Give the older dog "me time"
Let's face it, everyone needs a break from the kids from time to time, and dogs are no different with puppies. Be sure to spend time just you and the senior, so that you have time to refresh your bond. Also, give the older dog a safe space where he's allowed but the upstart isn't, so that he can escape if it all gets too much. This will refresh the senior's stores of patience and help him better accept the newbie.
Recommend training method?

The Clicker Training Method

Effective
1 Vote
Step
1
Understand the idea
A clicker is a small plastic device that makes a clicking noise when you press the trigger. The click is a great way to 'mark' a behavior that you want to encourage. This is called capturing a behavior, and you can think of it in the same way as pressing the camera shutter captures the picture. The payback for the older dog is he gets a reward each time he hears the clicker, and so offers behaviors that are most likely to make this happen.
Step
2
Teach the dog to know a click means a reward
First, the dog needs to link hearing a click with getting a reward. This is easy to do and most dogs learn the link after as little as one or two sessions. Offer a treat. As the dog eats it, click the clicker. Scatter several treats on the floor. As the dog eats each one, click the clicker. Having got the dog's attention, throw one treat at a time and click as the dog eats each one. Then try clicking before giving the treat. You should find the dog's ears prick forward as he anticipates the reward. Job done!
Step
3
Identify a good reaction to the pup
Let's say the older dog alternates between growling at the pup and turning his head away to ignore the youngster. Obviously, ignoring him is preferable. Rather than telling the older dog off for growling (which you should not do for a variety of reasons), instead click him when he turns his head away. Then reward him. This teaches the older dog that the simple act of turning a blind eye is rewarded and he will start to do this to earn a treat.
Step
4
Identify positives behaviors
But two dogs living together is also about them getting on well together. Be alert for encouraging signs that the older dog is accepting the younger. This could be the older one wagging his tail when the pup approaches, or engaging in a game of tug. Simply click these actions as a means of showing your approval and help teach the senior the right way to behave.
Step
5
One-on-one clicker training
Consider using the clicker to teach the older dog tricks or refresh his basic training. For the dog, this represents wonderful one-on-one attention from the pet parent, which helps him feel secure and builds his confidence.
Recommend training method?

The Time with the Puppy Method

Least Recommended
1 Vote
Step
1
Understand the idea
It is human nature to coo over a puppy, which means the older dog fades into the background. However, from the word go this upsets the balance of their future canine relationship. Dogs are happiest when there is a clear pecking order and each understands their place. As the adult dog, this automatically makes the senior top of the heap and he should be treated accordingly. If the oldie is consistently given attention first and the puppy controlled, then they will get along just swimmingly.
Step
2
When the two dogs are in the room, ignore the puppy
Both dogs are in the kitchen. You walk in. Be sure to greet the older dog first, giving him a fuss and only greeting the puppy when the senior has been acknowledged. This sends out a strong message to the oldie that he is top dog and the puppy is an underling.
Step
3
Give the puppy his own toys
In the canine world, it is the height of bad manners to take someone else's toys. It will help the doggie duo to get along if each has their own things. Present the puppy with his own toys to play with and praise him when he chooses these. If the puppy picks up his senior's toys, then say a short firm "No", distract him and remove the toy, returning it to the senior.
Step
4
Teach the puppy self-control
You wouldn't allow the kids to rampage unchecked through the house, so don't allow the puppy to do the same. If the puppy gets over excited, go for 'time out'. Stop the game and wait for him to calm down before continuing. This teaches him that the fun stops if he's over exuberant and over time, teaches him self-control that the older dog will benefit from.
Step
5
Crate train the puppy
Crate training not only helps with potty training, but can save the sanity of the older dog. When the puppy has his own place to go, this leaves the older dog with the run of the house, which does his morale (and therefore tolerance of the pup) the world of good.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Shadow
German Shepherd
8 Years
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Shadow
German Shepherd
8 Years

My german shepard gets running around in circles everytime i try to get her used to the puppy

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Joanne, Is she trying to run away from puppy or running around because she is excited? Based on the picture I am guessing nervous and she is likely trying to avoid or control the puppy's movement. If she is excite then many of the following suggestions will still apply. First, I highly suggest crate training the puppy. Almost all puppies will cry the first two weeks of crate training - it is new to them and they have to be given the opportunity to learn to self-sooth and self-entertain to prepare them for environments they will have to be in later and prevent dangerous destructive chewing habits that happen without confinement. Use the Surprise method from the article linked below to gradually help her learn to be calm in the crate and to relax by using rewards for being Quiet. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Once she is crate trained then life with both dogs can be a lot easier for everyone. Crate pup at night and when you leave, and you can use an exercise pen with some toys in it also. When you cannot directly supervise the dogs together, puppy should be crated or in the pen. When you are supervising, teach both dogs the Out command (which means leave the area) and make whoever is causing issues leave the area as needed. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Decide what your house rules are for both dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your older dog when she is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If she obeys, praise and reward her. If she disobeys, stand in front of your older dog, blocking the pup from getting to her, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your older dog. If your older dog growls at your pup, make your older dog leave the room while also disciplining pup if pup was antagonizing your older dog. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your older dog - you want her to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for puppy to learn respect for your older dog because you have taught it to her and not because your older dog has had to resort to aggression or she has to hide and run away all the time. If you want pup to be free but don't want to chase after her while you are home, you can also clip her to yourself using a six-foot leash, so that she has to stay near you and not wander near your other dog. Whenever puppy enters the room, give Shadow a treat while pup is not looking. Whenever she is calm, relaxed or tolerant of puppy also give Shadow a treat. Try not to let puppy see you rewarding her though so that she doesn’t run over and overwhelm her. Right now Shadow probably feels overwhelmed by pup and because of her age it’s harder for her to handle her and keep up with her energy. She needs to feel like you are the one managing her, protecting her from puppy pestering her, and making puppy's appearance pleasant for her. Take the pressure off of their relationship and help their interactions to be calmer. Don’t expect them to be best friends. The goal right now is calm, peaceful coexistence. They will likely end up bonding and enjoying each others company as adults later if you work on peaceful coexistence now but they don’t have to play or be best friends right now. My own older dog was very tolerant of our youngest dog for the first year and did well, but they were not buddies until she became an adult and calmed down. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

I have an 11 year old Yorker she’s never liked other dogs doesn’t get along with them she’s very territorial and partially I feel is because of how we raised her. She was my first dog I got her when I was pretty young and I didn’t know the importance of bringing her around other dogs. Now we just got a Doxie just 9 weeks he is very chill does not jump around at her or try to play too much he is honestly quite mellow. But I’m scared because the first time he approached her she growled than quickly made a snapping reaction I don’t know how to explain like she got really close to him with her mouth and I don’t know if she’s just pretending, to scare him off or if she would actually go through with biting him.

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Question
Ferdinand
Newfoundland
9 Weeks
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Ferdinand
Newfoundland
9 Weeks

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?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

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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Question
Dani
Havanese
18 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Dani
Havanese
18 Months

I had an 18 month Havanese poodle mix and a 6 month old mini Aussiedoodle names Dakota. They get along great until we added a brand new 8 week old border collie named Freya to the mix. They are all female if this makes a difference. Freya and Dakota get along great for the most part, but the oldest Dani seems to hate her. If Dani is playing with a toy with Dakota and the puppy comes up she growls and snaps at her, but yet plays fine with Dakota. I am guessing it’s jealousy but I am afraid she is going to hurt the puppy. The oldest has always been the alpha but now the puppy seems to be challenging her back, especially over toys. I have read a lot of conflicting things on how to handle this behavior. The biggest thing is do I let the older take the puppies things and eat from puppies bowl because she is alpha or give them all the same rules ? I am a bit overwhelmed and thinking a third dog may have been a mistake. The puppy is already heavier then the two older dogs and I want to correct their behaviors before they get any worse!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Staci, First of all, you are the one in charge of all the dogs and none of the dogs are in charge - if you were not present, your older dog could be in charge, but as the human that roll belongs to you. Your older dog may or may not end up being more dominant than puppy, but any rule you make for puppy, hold your other dogs accountable to that too... Older pup needs to learn that it's not acceptable to show aggression or bully younger pup because you say so, and not because younger pup puts up a fight. Eat dog needs to be fed in a separate locked crate - where they can eat in peace. vying over food and eating out of each others bowls can lead to issues for all those involved - including your older dog's attitude. There is a lot of conflicting advice out there - even wags articles are written by different people, so don't feel bad, just adjust it now that you know. Decide what your house rules are for all the dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your older dog when she is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If she obeys, praise and reward her. If she disobeys, stand in front of your older dog, blocking the pup from getting to her, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your older dog. If your older dog growls at your pup, make your older dog leave the room while also disciplining pup if she was pestering. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your older dog - you want her to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for puppy to learn respect for your older dog and vice versa because you have taught it to her and not because your older dog has had to resort to aggression. Don't tolerate bullying from your older dog in the name of letting her be more dominant - it's not okay for any of the dogs to do that in a human household. Don't let puppy relentlessly pester the older dogs - moderate the interactions and play and give everyone a break when they start getting too rough and worked up. Teach all three a Place command and practice having them all stay on their separate Place mats for 1-2 hours as they improve at the command - to simply learn an "off" switch in the house, calmness, respect, and impulse control. Crate train all the dogs and give them food stuffed Kongs in the crates to work on to teach them to self-entertain and self-sooth when you can't supervise them to teach them what they need to learn during this transition phase. Set up an exercise pen for puppy when you need her to leave other pups alone, or attach her to yourself with a 6 foot leash. Out command - which means leave the area - teach all the dogs this command so you can tell them when to leave each other alone: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ If your older dog doesn't improve, work on building her respect for you and calmness. Have her work for everything she gets, including pets, food, toys, exiting to go on a walk, ect...by having her do a command first. Pups should heel slightly behind you and focused on you during walks -without competing to be in front, and exit and enter doors calmly without rushing it and competing. 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 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
charlie
minature poodle
5 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
charlie
minature poodle
5 Years

my female had puppies we kept 2 of them but the male won't accept the pup's what to do.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

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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Question
Ted
Cairn Terrier
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Ted
Cairn Terrier
3 Years

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!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

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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Poppy
miniature poodle
7 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Poppy
miniature poodle
7 Years

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.
Thanks.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

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

I am in the same boat, a toy poodle not liking the new Goldendoodle. Funny thing my poodle is Poppy too :)

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Hershey
Pit bull
2 Years
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Hershey
Pit bull
2 Years

This is our new dog we have gotten from a friend who was unable to keep her . She seems to not like our 6month old puppy who is lab/put mix. She is always walking in front or cutting off the puppy and sometimes snapping at her what can I do

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Austin, For the jealous behavior, pushiness, and resource guarding, work on taking the pressure off of both dogs to be in charge and in control by mediating situations for them, work on commands that improve calmness and self-control, and make and enforce the rules so that the dogs are not working it out themselves - you are telling them how to react and behavior in a calm but firm way. I suggest teaching both dogs Out (which means leave the area) and Place - which is similar to Stay but on a certain spot and they can sit, stand, or lie down but can't get off the spot. Practicing Place with both dogs in the same room on separate place beds can help facilitate calmness around each other and respect for you. Out is great for giving direction and giving a consequence of leaving the room when there is pushiness or mild resource guarding. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo I also suggest crate training both dogs so that they can have a calm place to chew on a chew toy away from each other when things are tense, or one dog is pestering the other, or you are not home to supervise while they are still getting to know each other. Crate training is an important potty training and safety measure for a young pup also. An open crate while you are home can also serve as an additional Place to practice, and feeding both dogs in separate locked crates can prevent food resource guarding and remove stress around mealtimes! Crate Manners - great calmness and gentle respect building exercise : https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Surprise method - for introducing crate for first time: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Decide what your house rules are for both dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem, you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your other dog when he is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If he obeys, praise and reward him. If he disobeys, stand in front of your other dog, blocking the pup from getting to him, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your other dog. If Hershey pushes pup or gets between you and pup uninvited, tell Hershey Out and enforce him leaving. When he is waiting for his turn patiently, then send pup to place and invite Hershey over - no demanding of attention right now from either dog. Make them wait or do a command first to work for your attention if pushiness is an issue, and make them leave if being pushy or aggressive. If Hershey growls at pup, make him leave the room while also carefully disciplining pup if pup antagonized him. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your dogs - you want them to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for them to learn respect for each other because you have taught it to them and not because they have used aggression. When pup first enters the room, give Hershey a treat without pup seeing so pup is associated with good things for Hershey - treats stop when pup leaves. When Hershey is being calm, tolerant, and friendly without acting dominant and pushy toward pup, you can also calmly give a treat. Keep the energy calm when interacting with the dogs. Don't feel sorry for either dog, but give clear boundaries instead. Don't expect them to be best friends right now - the goal is calm co-existence. When puppy matures and they have learned good manners around each other, they may decide to be friends as adults, but calmness, tolerance, and co-existence comes first. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Lucy
King Charles Spaniel
6 Years
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Lucy
King Charles Spaniel
6 Years

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 ??

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

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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Coco
Shih Tzu
3 Years
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Coco
Shih Tzu
3 Years

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.
Thank you
Anna

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

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!

Hi Anna, I am in the exact same situation now. Just wondering if Coco has already overcome her fear of the new puppy and if so how?
Thanks so much!

-Debbie

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Jack Henry
Weimaraner
5 Years
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Jack Henry
Weimaraner
5 Years

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.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

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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Simon
Great Pyrenees
2 Years
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Simon
Great Pyrenees
2 Years

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

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

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
Pomeranian
7 Years
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Brewer
Pomeranian
7 Years

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?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

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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Nellie
German Shorthaired Pointer
2 Years
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Nellie
German Shorthaired Pointer
2 Years

Hello,
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.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

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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Ryder
Lab shepard
5 Years
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Ryder
Lab shepard
5 Years

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.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

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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Zoe
Golden Retriever
1 Year
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Zoe
Golden Retriever
1 Year

Hi There!

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?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

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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scooter
Chihuahua
7 Years
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scooter
Chihuahua
7 Years

We recently introduced a new puppy to our household and scooter is not happy about it. When our new puppy starts getting playful and pounces on his toys, scooter snaps at him and chases after him as if he's trying to snap the puppy out of his playful mood. Sometimes, our puppy isn't even trying to play wich him and is chewing on his bone in the corner, but scooter goes after him anyway. We want to teach our new puppy to respect scooter's space, but has scooter gone too far with his overly dramatic signs of aggression?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Claudia, If pup was pestering Scooting - climbing over him, following him around all the time without giving a bit of space, stealing his toys he has right then, trying to eat his food, ect...scooter's response would be normal discipline. Going after puppy when puppy is simply playing by himself in the room is not acceptable. Correct Scooter for that. Both dogs need to know that you make and enforce the rules and that is not their job. Crate pup at night and when you leave, and you can use an exercise pen with some toys in it also. When you cannot directly supervise the dogs together, puppy should be crated or in the pen. When you are supervising, teach both dogs the Out command (which means leave the area) and make whoever is causing issues leave the area as needed. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Decide what your house rules are for both dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your older dog when he is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If pup obeys, praise and reward him. If he disobeys, stand in front of your older dog, blocking the pup from getting to him, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your older dog. If your older dog growls at your pup, make your older dog leave the room while also disciplining pup if puppy was directly antagonizing him or breaking a rule too. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your older dog - you want him to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for puppy to learn respect for your older dog because you have taught it to him and not because your older dog has resorted to aggression. You also want your older dog to learn respect for puppy - not because puppy has demanded it but because you have shown older dog that that's how he should treat him because of respect for you. If you want pup to be free but don't want to chase after him while you are home, you can also clip him to yourself using a six-foot leash some, so that he has to stay near you and not wander near your other dog. Don't tolerate your older dog being possessive of you and trying to keep puppy away from you - that is a form of resource guarding and related to a lack of respect for you also. You can also reward your older dog with a treat when pup isn't looking at it whenever puppy enters the room and your older dog hasn't reacted poorly yet, whenever Scooter is tolerant, or friendly. Try to do this so puppy doesn't see the treat and rush over too -which could lead to conflict. You want to reward calmness and tolerance around puppy, and discipline bad behavior around pup. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Sarge
Shetland Sheepdog
5 Years
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Sarge
Shetland Sheepdog
5 Years

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?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

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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Gunner
German Shepherd
11 Years
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Gunner
German Shepherd
11 Years

I just got a new puppy and my older dog is attacking her. I have to keep him muzzled when she is around or he will viciously attack the puppy.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Tina, You need to hire a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues and aggression right away. This isn't something I suggest tackling on your own. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Stella
Irsh wolfhound
4 Years
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Stella
Irsh wolfhound
4 Years

We have two new puppies teddy and bear which are shihtzus they or 7 weeks old. When she sees the pups she runs upstairs. She growls snarls and shows teeth but when the pups or in there crate she is fine she wags her tail and wants to play when she sees them but she is completely different when they are out of the crate we also have a German shepherd called zeus and he is completely when with the pups.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Catherine, I suggest hiring a trainer who is very experienced with fear aggression, desensitization, and structure. It sounds like Stella may be fearful of pups because she hasn't been socialized around puppies before since she was little. You really need a trainer to help you with the details of desensitizing her to pups. Here are a few important things you can do to help as part of that process though: First, I highly suggest crate training the puppies if you haven't already done so. Use the Surprise method from the article linked below to gradually help them learn to be calm in the crate and to relax by using rewards for being Quiet. Crate in separate crates. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Once puppies are crate trained then life with the dogs can be a lot easier for everyone. Crate puppies at night and when you leave, and you can use an exercise pen with some toys in it also. When you cannot directly supervise the dogs together, puppies should be crated or in the exercise pen. When you are supervising, teach the dogs the Out command (which means leave the area) and make whoever is causing issues leave the area as needed. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Decide what your house rules are for all the dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. Things like: no aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, no keeping another dog away from an area or person, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your older dog when he is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If he obeys, praise and reward him. If he disobeys, stand in front of your older dog, blocking the pup from getting to him, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your older dog. If your older dog growls at or gets too rough with your pup, make your older dog leave the room while also disciplining pup for antagonizing if needed. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of the dogs - you want them to learn to look to you when there is a problem or they are scared, and the dogs to learn respect for each other because you have taught it to them and not because they have had to use aggression, roughness, or bullying. If you want puppies to be free but don't want to chase after them while you are home, you can also clip them to yourself using a six-foot leash, so that they have to stay near you and not wander near your other dog...and tell your older dog Out if he tries to antagonize puppies. I would crate or use the exercise pen with one pup and clip the other to yourself and rotate who is where when you are home, instead of clipping both to yourself at once to make things less chaotic. Whenever a puppy enters the room, give your older dog a treat while pup is not looking. Whenever he is calm, relaxed or tolerant of puppy also give him a treat. Try not to let the puppies see you rewarding him though so that the puppies don't run over and overwhelm him or cause food aggression. Teach puppies and older dog Place and have them practice just staying on place when things need to be calmer. If any dog gets too wound up, send them to their crate, exercise pen, or place to calm down with a food stuffed chew toy - puppies especially will tend to get really crazy when over-tired, and need a chance to wind down and rest then. Older dogs are more likely to become aggressive when highly aroused instead of calm. Desensitizing your older dog to puppies will likely look like pairing the presence of puppies with good things whenever your older dog is calm, giving all the dogs structure so the household doesn't feel chaotic for anyone and all dogs are looking to you for leadership -which helps them feel more secure, teaching the household rules to all the dogs and you being the one to enforce those rules to take pressure off the dogs to do so (and because you don't want a dog deciding what and how to punish another dog), and managing the house-hold so that puppies are calmer, less in your older dog's space, and supervised when free. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Gus, Monte and now Mac
Frenchbulldogs
9 Weeks
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Question
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Gus, Monte and now Mac
Frenchbulldogs
9 Weeks

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 !
Tom

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

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

Hi Caitlin.

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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Marley
Min Australian shepherd
4 Years
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Question
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Marley
Min Australian shepherd
4 Years

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.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

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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Kobe
Beagle
3 Years
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Kobe
Beagle
3 Years

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.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

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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Gabby
Miniature Pinscher
7 Years
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Gabby
Miniature Pinscher
7 Years

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!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

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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Kofi
Pit bull
3 Years
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Kofi
Pit bull
3 Years

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?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

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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Alpha
German Shepherd
8 Years
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Alpha
German Shepherd
8 Years

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!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

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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Kaya
Pit bull
15 Years
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Kaya
Pit bull
15 Years

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
[email protected]

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

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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Kylo
Miniature Schnauzer
1 Year
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Question
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Kylo
Miniature Schnauzer
1 Year

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.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

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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Mia and Mushu
American Staffordshire Terrier
3 Years
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Mia and Mushu
American Staffordshire Terrier
3 Years

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.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

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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Mulder
Chesapeake Bay Retriever
3 Years
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Mulder
Chesapeake Bay Retriever
3 Years

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

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

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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Punkin
Basset Hound
15 Years
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Punkin
Basset Hound
15 Years

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?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

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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Jackson
Shiba Inu/Mix
10 Years
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Question
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Jackson
Shiba Inu/Mix
10 Years

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??

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

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

Hello- I was glad to read your story as our family is in the same situation. We have an 11 year-old lab (Maggie) who has been an only dog, and we recently adopted a 7 month lab puppy. Maggie’s joints in her hind legs have been bothering her for a few years, but recently tore her hind knee trying to run after a squirrel with the pup. Maggie now has to have surgery, and is not feeling well at all. The puppy wants to still run and play, but Maggie has little to do with her. The pup is constantly stepping on and over Maggie while she is laying down, and often her bad leg. This has been so stressful for our family, and we are considering re-homing our new puppy. We have had her for a little over a month. She has adjusted well, but I really worry for our senior lab. I also worry about the emotional stress on the puppy in a re-homing situation. What decision did you finally make with your puppy?

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Sophie
Terrier mix
12 Years
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Sophie
Terrier mix
12 Years

I have a 12 year old terrier mix. Queen of my life for the past 11 years.
Enter Teddy - the 6 month old chocolate lab puppy.
Sophie has always been standoffish to other dogs. She wasn't socialized well as a pup - and frankly as long as the puppy isn't interacting with her she is fine. They will lay on the same couch. Lay on the same bed and mind their individual business.
However, if Ted shifts in the night on the bed near her, touches her or gets to close to her while walking around the house she will growl, or even snap in his face. I'm not certain she is biting him - but i can see her teeth and hear the snap, snap, snap at him.
They walk perfectly fine together on the leash for walks, sniffing the ground together.
They eat in the same room but separate bowls and Sophie is fed first, no growling unless Ted gets TOO close.
And she growls and snaps when he is near any of her toys or near her when she is on her "section" of the house.
I don't need best friends. I'd like them to play one day, but at this point. I just want PEACE.
I have not noticed Ted really snapping back at her. He will back down. Only time he doesn't is when he gets the zoomies. Which I will now start taking him to another area or taking away the toy until he is calm.
He will get down in the play crouch, snap his mouth and bark in a "why won't you just play with me" attitude. While Soph just side eyes and growls. Snapping if he gets to close.
This has been going on for about two weeks now.
I just want them to be able to walk down a hallway and not have soph turn and bite.
I want to tell her no - but I also feel like I'm doing something bad - that she should be able to teach him boundaries. But I feel like its excessive now.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kristin, There are two sides to this: First, Ted does need to learn boundaries. Work on building both dogs' trust and respect for you, so that neither dog has to make or enforce rules for each other because you are leading both. For example: 1. No bothering another dog when they want to be left alone. 2. No trying to steel another dogs food or hovering around while they eat. 3. No guarding objects or people. 4. No blocking another dog from getting to a certain area or from going through a door way. 5. No being pushy with people or other dogs. 6. No stealing another dogs toy they have. Decide what your rules are and when one dog breaks one of them intervene. For example, if one dog takes another dog's toy, take the toy back from the thief, return it to the dog who had it first, and make the thief leave the room. If one dog tries to guard you or the couch from another dog, make the growling dog get off the couch and leave the room right away. If one dog tries to steal another dog's food block the thief and firmly walk toward them until they leave the room - better yet feed both dogs in locked crates to prevent stress around mealtimes in general. When both dogs respect you, know the house rules, and know through your consistency that you will enforce the rules, it leaves less room for the dogs to try to control each other and get into fights. Second, advocate for your older dog by crate training the puppy and using an exercise pen to give the puppy a place to play with food stuffed chew toys and things to do. I suggest teaching both dogs an Out command and work on that to teach the, boundaries with each other (no pestering for puppy) and no aggression and pushiness for older dog. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Zoey
Maltese yorkie
7 Years
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Zoey
Maltese yorkie
7 Years

A week ago we brought home a rescue mini golden doodle puppy from the local shelter. She is almost 3 months old. Our 7 year old Morkie, Zoey, will have NOTHING to do with her. Anytime Maggie (new pup) tries to play with Zoey, Zoey growls and snaps at her. Zoey has also started throwing up daily and hiding behind the furniture to stay away from Maggie. How do I help Zoey accept Maggie? Is the throwing up something I should be concerned with or is it stress from the recent change to our house?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Deb, Stress can make digestive issues worse but throwing up when a new puppy is introduced is not a common issue, even among older dogs who also feel anxious about new puppies. I highly suggest checking with your vet about the digestive issues. Until other things are ruled out I would NOT assume it is only stress. First, whenever Maggie enters the room where Zoey is, Maggie gets closer to Zoe, or Zoe is generally tolerant of the pup, give Zoey a treat so that Maggie is associated with good things in her mind. Try to give Zoey the treat without Maggie seeing it so she won't com over and crowd her. Teach both dogs the Out command. Use that command when Zoey tenses up around the puppy or acts aggressively, to teach her that she can move away. Use the command (and enforce it consistently) whenever Maggie is pestering Zoey AT ALL. "Out" command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Crate train Maggie and set up an exercise pen as well. Give her food stuffed Kongs and other fun, safe hollow chew toys you can make interesting for her while she is in the crate and exercise pen. Give a lot of structure. When you cannot directly supervise the two dogs together Maggie should be in the exercise pen or crate so that Zoey feels like she can trust you to monitor and mediate the relationship between them. Although it may seem harsh, if combined with training sessions and exercise, the structure of the crate or exercise pen can help prevent potty training issues, destructive chewing, separation anxiety, and other common puppy problems - teaching her to be trustworthy in the future. Advocate for Zoey and her well being and stress levels and protect Maggie from being bitten. Create rules for both dogs and be the one to enforce the rules so that neither dog tries to make and enforce rules themselves- which leads to more fights. For example, No dog is allowed to be pushy. If they are, they have to leave the area. No dog is allowed to guard an object, person, or piece of furniture. If they try to guard, they have to leave the room. No dog is allowed to steal or hover around another dog while they are eating. Use "Out" command to make them leave the room or feed the other dog in a crate where they won't be bothered and can relax. No dog is allowed to steal another dog's toy they had. If they do, take the toy from the thief, return it to the dog who had it first, then make the thief leave the room. Structure and boundaries can help both dogs learn to be calmer and more relaxed. Don't expect them to play. They simply need to be able to calmly co-exist. As your pup matures and calms down, your older dog may learn to like her even more, if you work to teach boundaries now. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Xiva
Collie
10 Years
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Xiva
Collie
10 Years

My dog is older and a rescue. She doesn’t cope with dogs in her face but once she knows a dog will happily walk with them. If she meets a new dog she growls and will try and avoid a greeting. We have got a 17 weeks old collie x puppy who is all round her face and I’ve been letting her growl and tell the pup off. She has started snapping and I’ve been telling pup no and moving her away from hassling her when she is sleeping. I haven’t crated the pup as she had. 24hr journey in one and was petrified when I put her in one the first night. We have had a bit of toy envy as they have both been having the same toys so will now look to separate the toys...however pup I’ve heard growl and snap twice and the only time she rests seems to be when I’m out the room completely or sitting on the settee. I’ve started feeding her in her bed and trying to put her in there when she is sleepy on me but my eldest one is exhausted as she’s having to be on the go all the time to keep an eye on the pup and telling it off....really want it to work out without any future aggression from them both

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello D, First, I highly suggest crate training the puppy. If you do not there could be future separation anxiety issues, dangerous destructive chewing habits, and other issues. Right now is the easiest time to work her through her fear and allow her to bounce back from her experience. Almost all puppies will cry the first two weeks of crate training - it is new to them and they have to be given the opportunity to learn to self-sooth and self-entertain to prepare them for environments they will have to be in later and prevent dangerous destructive chewing habits that happen without confinement. Some puppies will sound like they are dying in the crate volume-wise, this is normal too if you are still in the first two weeks of crate training. Do not let a puppy that is otherwise alright out of the crate when they cry. That will only make it worse the next time and the puppy will not overcome their dislike of the crate. My own puppy had to be crated for 12 hours straight for two days due to distance when I picked her up as a puppy (with potty breaks), and she cried like she was dying the first two days of crate training when we got home. We used the Surprise method after that and now as an adult she will willingly go into the crate to sleep whenever the door is open without even being told. Instead of letting her out of the crate, use the Surprise method from the article linked below to gradually help her learn to be calm in the crate and to relax by using rewards for being Quiet. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate There is a more intensive separation anxiety protocol you can do if she doesn't overcome her fear using the surprise method and some perseverance on your part. What you are experiencing is still normal for many puppies though, and likely not true separation anxiety yet (although not addressing it now makes it more likely to become that). Once she is crate trained then life with both dogs can be a lot easier for everyone. Crate pup at night and when you leave, and you can use an exercise pen with some toys in it also. When you cannot directly supervise the dogs together, puppy should be crated or in the pen. When you are supervising, teach both dogs the Out command (which means leave the area) and make whoever is causing issues leave the area as needed. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Decide what your house rules are for both dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your older dog when she is trying to leave, tell pup Out. If she obeys, praise and reward her. If she disobeys, stand in front of your older dog, blocking the pup from getting to her, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your older dog. If your older dog growls at your pup, make her leave the room while also disciplining pup if needed. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your older dog - you want her to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for puppy to learn respect for your older dog because you have taught it to her and not because your older dog has had to resort to aggression. If you want pup to be free but don't want to chase after her while you are home, you can also clip her to yourself using a six-foot leash, so that she has to stay near you and not wander near your other dog. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Milo & Dolce
Shihpoo and toy poodle
10 Years
1 found helpful
Question
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Milo & Dolce
Shihpoo and toy poodle
10 Years

I have a 10 year old dog at home named Milo and yesterday I brought home a new puppy named Dolce. Milo has been foaming at the mouth since Dolce has been home due to stress. He is even afraid to be in the same room as her and his tail is always down. When we crate Dolce we take Milo out for a walk so he still gets attention but when he comes home his mouth goes back to foaming and it seems as though he is depressed that the new puppy is here. What can I do to ensure they are equally comfortable with one another?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Emanuela, First, continue to create a buffer between them so that puppy has a place to play away from your older dog whenever you are not directly working with them. I suggest crate training Dolce and setting up an exercise pen with food stuffed chew toys also. You can even feed the puppy all her food in toys to make it fun for her. When you are able to supervise and she is free, reward Milo with a treat whenever Dolce enters the room or Milo is doing well around her (try to be sneaky giving the treats so that Dolce doesn't see it and run over, when you can). Practice things like heeling with them both once Dolce learns to walk on a leash well. Teach Dolce the "Out" command - which means get out of an area, so that you can use that to tell her to leave Milo alone if she starts pestering him too much. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Give both dogs rules and structure at home and you be the one to enforce the rules for both dogs. Don't baby Milo, instead act confident and give dependable leadership, enforcing house rules and encouraging him with a cheerful tone of voice when he acts relaxed around the puppy. Teach pup manners and be the one to manage Dolce so that Milo doesn't have to. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Chubbs
Border collie mix
12 Years
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Chubbs
Border collie mix
12 Years

Hello,

We have a 12 year old Border Collie/Lab/Dachshund mix and just got an 8 week old yellow lab, but we also have an almost 6 month old baby. Our 12 year old will growl at the puppy from across the room and just doesn’t seem to want to put up with him at all. He’s snapped at him a few times but hasn’t but him hard. It’s difficult to not chastise him when he growls at the puppy, because sometimes the puppy isn’t doing anything wrong.

I did take him for a walk without the puppy last night and that seemed to help. But I can’t even eat a meal without him growling at him a bunch and I really don’t want him getting bit, there’s a big size difference right now. I also put the puppy in a play pen if I need to eat or use the restroom so he can run around still, but I really want them to be friends. I just want them to be able to be civil together because I feel really on edge that he’s going to bite the puppy and I can’t be in between them at all times, especially when the baby is awake. I also need to pump and try to keep the puppy out of his crate as much as possible during the day, so he only goes in there when I’m putting the baby to sleep or if I leave. He does really well in the crate at night and doesn’t cry, but during the day he cries and barks.

He goes to my mom’s house some weekends and plays with her dogs all the time. My sister even got a German Shepard puppy and he plays with her really well, but she was about 10 months when they met, so she was bigger. Will the puppy just need to get bigger and then he’ll accept him? We got the puppy Saturday.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Faith, First, check out the article linked below to help your pup adjust to the crate during the day faster. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate When you cannot directly supervise the dogs together, right now puppy should be crated or in the pen. When you are supervising, teach both dogs the Out command (which means leave the area) and make whoever is causing issues leave the area as needed. You can also tether your puppy to yourself with a six or eight foot leash or screw an eye hook into the baseboard somewhere and create an additional rest/play area for pup near where you sit to nurse. Essentially you just want to prevent pup from pestering your older dog while Chubbs is still adjusting, to decrease stress. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Decide what your house rules are for both dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs (especially your older dog). No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your older dog when he is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If pup obeys, praise and reward him. If he disobeys, stand in front of your older dog, blocking the pup from getting to him, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your older dog. If your older dog growls at your pup, make Chubbs leave the room while also disciplining pup if he was doing something he shouldn't have been. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your older dog while also reinforcing that you run the household not your dog - you want him to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for puppy to learn respect for your older dog because you have taught it to him and not because your older dog has had to resort to aggression. If you want pup to be free but don't want to chase after him while you are home, you can also clip him to yourself using a six-foot leash, so that he has to stay near you and not wander near your other dog. When Chubbs is being tolerant of your pup, when pup first enters the room - before Chubbs acts aggressively, and generally when Chubbs is calm around pup, reward Chubbs with a small treat and calm praise. Try not to let pup see the treat you are giving Chubbs because you don't want him running over begging for food by Chubbs. You can discipline aggression but it just has to be done calmly, where the dog clearly understands why, and the dog is also rewarded for doing the correct thing and when they are in the right state of mind - so that the atmosphere is not normally one of discipline, but more like 90% rewards and only 10% discipline - which should become even less as things improve. The purpose of discipline is to interrupt unwanted behavior or mindset to create an opening for your dog to then be able to learn something good in place of that behavior - so great behavior modification usually involves rewards in addition to discipline. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Jai
German Shepherd
9 Years
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Question
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Jai
German Shepherd
9 Years

Just had a new puppy and Jai refuses to eat what can I do to change that

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sharon, First, I would not assume pup not eating is related to the new puppy, even though many dogs will refuse to eat while anxious. You may want to contact your vet to make sure there isn't something else going on too that requires medical attention - especially because of pup's age. After ruling out possible medical causes, I would start by giving her a calm place away from puppy to eat her meals - she needs to know that puppy won't come over while she is eating so she can relax enough to want to eat. Second, I would try making the food temporarily more enticing. You can purchase freeze dried meat toppers and crush it into a powder. Place your dog's food and the powder into a ziplock bag and shake it up until it's covered with powder. Let the food sit that way overnight ideally - it can be less time if needed though. Feed pup that food in a calm location. Many people also have success adding some goats milk to a dog's food. Once pup is less anxious, more adjusted to puppy, and eating well consistently, you can gradually reduce the amount of powder or milk added to the kibble until you are back to plain kibble. Using pup's kibble as training treats and having pup perform commands to earn their food ironically can make the food seem a lot more appealing to many dogs - I suggest doing this at a time when puppy is crated and not competing for the food though. To deal with pup's overall anxiety about the new puppy- first, I highly suggest crate training the puppy. Almost all puppies will cry the first two weeks of crate training - it is new to them and they have to be given the opportunity to learn to self-sooth and self-entertain to prepare them for environments they will have to be in later and prevent dangerous destructive chewing habits that happen without confinement. Use the Surprise method from the article linked below to gradually help her learn to be calm in the crate and to relax by using rewards for being Quiet. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Once she is crate trained then life with both dogs can be a lot easier for everyone. Crate pup at night and when you leave, and you can use an exercise pen with some toys in it also. When you cannot directly supervise the dogs together, puppy should be crated or in the pen. When you are supervising, teach both dogs the Out command (which means leave the area) and make whoever is causing issues leave the area as needed - like if puppy tries to pester your older dog or steal their toys. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Decide what your house rules are for both dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, no bothering another dog who wants to be left alone, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. By doing this you are teaching both dogs mutual respect AND taking a lot of the pressure off of them both. For example, if pup comes over to your older dog when he is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If she obeys, praise and reward her. If she disobeys, stand in front of your older dog, blocking the pup from getting to him, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your older dog. If your older dog growls at your pup, make him leave the room while also disciplining pup if she antagonized him first or did something else to break a rule. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your older dog - you want him to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for puppy to learn respect for your older dog because you have taught it to her and not because your older dog has had to resort to aggression or he has to hide all the time. If you want pup to be free but don't want to chase after her while you are home, you can also clip her to yourself using a six-foot leash, so that she has to stay near you and not wander near your other dog. Whenever puppy enters the room, give Jai a treat while pup is not looking (at first if Jai won't take a treat, give genuine praise and a quick massage or play with him for a second with a toy he likes - do whatever he finds rewarding). Whenever he is calm, relaxed or tolerant of puppy also give him a treat or reward. Try not to let the puppy see you rewarding him though so that she doesn’t run over and overwhelm him. Right now Jai probably feels overwhelmed by the puppy and because of his age it’s harder for him to handle her and keep up with her energy. He needs to feel like you are the one managing her, protecting him from her pestering him, and making her appearance pleasant for him. If you can take the pressure off of their relationship and help their interactions to be calmer, then he may adjust to her presence as she grows, especially when she calms down when older. Don’t expect them to be best friends. The goal right now is calm, peaceful coexistence. They may end up bonding and enjoy each others company as adults later but they don’t have to play or be thrilled right now. My own older dog was very tolerant of our youngest dog for the first year and did well, but he needed me to advocate and uphold our household rules so he didn't have to, and the dogs were not buddies until she became an adult and calmed down. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Ralphie
cockapoo
12 Weeks
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Ralphie
cockapoo
12 Weeks

We have had our pup ralphie home for 4 weeks now. We have 2 older dogs 11 & 13. The 13 yo has accepted him, well tolerates him and ralphie submits to her straight away when she curls her lip or growls. Unfortunately our other dog, cocker spaniel seems to be scared of him. She growls, air snaps at him or tries to get out of the way of him all the time. When she snaps, ralphie isn’t getting the message! He doesn’t seem phased by her at all. I separate them as I can see the older dog is stressed. She’s such a placid dog. I assume she’s scared as she has been known to poo when interacting with ralphie. I reassure her as much as I can and she’s responsive to me but I’m getting a little worried as 4 weeks along and it’s not getting much better. It’s hard for us also as we can’t leave them unattended, so separate them a lot. Thanks

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kaye, Keeping them separate when you cannot directly supervise them is great. Continue that. Also, whenever the puppy enters the room where your older dog is, give your older dog a treat. Whenever your older dog acts friendly, tolerant, or calm around the pup, give a treat. Try to be sneaky about the treats and not let pup see it so that Ralphie won't just run over to get one too and overwhelm your older dog. Only comfort and give pets around puppy when your older dog is doing well. The more you pet, praise, and reward a certain mindset or behavior the more you tend to get that behavior from a dog. It's hard not to pet a dog to comfort them, but instead, act like what they are worried about is no big deal and try to sound confident and upbeat, then when they act brave, friendly, tolerant, or calm around pup praise and reward that mindset and behavior, letting them genuinely know that you are proud of them. You want things to be structured for all the dogs. You want to be matter of fact, confident and upbeat yourself around them, and not sounding worried, sad, or sorry for your older dog - its easier for your dog to feel confident when they see you being confident about the situation, and they are more likely to feel worried about it if you seem worried about him. Teach all the dogs the Out command (which means leave the area) and make any dog who is breaking rules leave the area. This means that any dog who is trying to steal from another dog, bother another dog while sleeping or eating, acting aggressive toward another dog, being rude and rough with another dog, being possessive of or pushy with you (which includes sitting on your lap and 'guarding' you - non of that), and any other rules you see that you need to implement for the dogs. Boundaries and structure can help a nervous dog relax and feel like you are handling things, and help an excited pup calm down. You want the dogs to be able to look to you to defend them from each other when needed, enforce the rules, and keep things consistent so that they don't have to try to work it out themselves as much. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Eli
Catahoula Leopard Dog
6 Years
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Eli
Catahoula Leopard Dog
6 Years

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!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

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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Perseus
Chihuahua
7 Years
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Question
1 found helpful
Perseus
Chihuahua
7 Years

Perseus, our older dog(the black one), seemed to be alone after everyone leaves the house to go to school, work, ect. So we thought getting him a puppy or friend would be a nice change and make him a bit happier. No.
At first we thought caging them in the kitchen together would make him get used to the puppy but it only got him angry and he ended up barking and snapping at the puppy. At first he wanted to play with the puppy but as we drove off he ran away from the puppy. She's only 2 months and even in the house he 100% is avoiding her,he's not a "senior dog" so we don't know what's wrong with him. Although, one thing I did wrong was yell at him for getting mad at her after the whole kitchen. How can we make him more relaxed around her, or at least tolerate her?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Gabriel, First, I highly suggest crate training the puppy. Almost all puppies will cry the first two weeks of crate training - it is new to them and they have to be given the opportunity to learn to self-sooth and self-entertain to prepare them for environments they will have to be in later and prevent dangerous destructive chewing habits that happen without confinement. Use the Surprise method from the article linked below to gradually help her learn to be calm in the crate and to relax by using rewards for being Quiet. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Once she is crate trained then life with both dogs can be a lot easier for everyone. Crate pup at night and when you leave, and you can use an exercise pen with some toys in it also. When you cannot directly supervise the dogs together, puppy should be crated or in the pen. When you are supervising, teach both dogs the Out command (which means leave the area) and make whoever is causing issues leave the area as needed. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Decide what your house rules are for both dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your older dog when he is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If she obeys, praise and reward her. If she disobeys, stand in front of your older dog, blocking the pup from getting to him, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your older dog. If your older dog growls at your pup, make him leave the room while also disciplining pup for pestering if needed. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your older dog - you want him to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for puppy to learn respect for your older dog because you have taught it to her and not because your older dog has had to resort to aggression or he has to hide all the time. If you want pup to be free but don't want to chase after her while you are home, you can also clip her to yourself using a six-foot leash, so that she has to stay near you and not wander near your other dog. Whenever puppy enters the room, give Perseus a treat while pup is not looking. Whenever he is calm, relaxed or tolerant of the puppy also give him a treat. Try not to let the puppy see you rewarding him though so that she doesn’t run over and overwhelm him. Right now Perseus probably feels overwhelmed and annoyed by her constant following, pestering,k different play style, and higher energy. It’s harder for him to handle her and keep up with her energy, and many dogs don't appreciate the pushiness of puppies who haven't learned to be calm, respect personal space, and understand no yet. He needs to feel like you are the one managing her, protecting him from her pestering him, and making her appearance pleasant for him. If you can take the pressure off of their relationship and help their interactions to be calmer, then he is far more likely to adjust to her presence as she grows, especially when she calms down when older. Don’t expect them to be best friends right now. The goal right now is calm, peaceful coexistence. They may end up bonding and enjoy each others company as adults later but they don’t have to play or be thrilled right now - just calm and tolerant of each other. My own older dog was very tolerant of our youngest dog for the first year and did well, but they were not buddies and he often avoided her getting too close until she became an adult and calmed down - once she calmed down they would occasionally play when he initiated it, but in general just enjoyed hanging out calmly around each other - like your dog does while in the room with you most of the time and not "doing" anything specific with you, just being near you. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Charlotte
Dachshund
10 Weeks
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Question
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Charlotte
Dachshund
10 Weeks

We recently got a 10 week old dachshund puppy. We have a 6 year old dachshund and a 6 year old lab/collie mix. They have both reacted very differently to the new puppy. My older dachshund tries to "herd" the puppy away from us and she has snapped a few times when the puppy gets overly playful. My older lab/collie mix wants absolutely nothing to do with the puppy. He actively turns away, runs away and refuses to be near us when the puppy is around. He's only ever growled once at the puppy, he just stays clear. He could be laying with us and the puppy could come walking up and he runs away. He's been very anxious. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Denisse, First, take the pressure off of your older dog and crate train pup, tether pup to yourself with a leash, and confine pup in an exercise pen with safe chew toys. When you cannot directly supervise the dogs together, pup should be confined so he can't pester the older dogs - especially your oldest, nervous dog. When pup first enters the room and the dogs haven't reacted poorly yet, and whenever the older dogs are calm around pup, tolerant, and generally responding well, calmly give older pups a treat without letting puppy see. Keep your energy around all the dogs calm, happy, and confident. Teach all the dogs the Out and Leave It commands, and use Out to keep puppy from pestering the older dogs, and your 6 year old dog from herding puppy. Out (which means leave the room or area): https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Give all the dogs structure and boundaries at home. Always be the one to make and enforce the rules instead of letting the dogs decide those things. For example, not biting, no guarding people or things, no pushing out of the way, no hovering while another dog is eating, no stealing toys or food, no pushiness or demanding of your attention, no aggression, no bothering while sleeping, ect...Decide what your rules are and enforce them for all dogs consistently to help them learn respect for each other without aggression, and to remove the pressure from them all and provide clear leadership for them so they don't feel the need to control each other or fight for attention as much. Pay attention to how you are interacting with the dogs. Give clear boundaries and consistency. Don't tolerate nudging, barking, shoving, climbing on your lap, or other attention demanding behaviors. If that's going on, make the offender leave the room, and call back and tell them to do a command before giving attention when they return. Being a little firm and very consistent yourself can help pups respect you - which helps them look to you for rules and directions and fight less with each other, and feel more secure because they trust you to handle situations. If there is a bigger issue with pushiness, aggression, and attempts to control each others behavior or resource guard things, check out the article linked below and follow all three methods, especially the consistency method and working method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you As always, if things are getting worse and not better, or you feel overwhelmed hire help. Look for a trainer with experience with fear and aggression, who has great recommendations from previous clients, who will come to your home and work one-on-one with your family to address the issue there - an obedience class is great but not what you will primarily need for this situations - you would need private problem behavior training. It would also be worth enrolling puppy in a puppy kindergarten class that has time for moderated off-leash play. Check out the article linked below for what to look for in a puppy class. You may not be able to find a class that does all of those things, but make sure there is time for moderated off-leash play to help puppy learn bite inhibition around other dogs (control of pressure when he bites during play): https://www.petful.com/behaviors/puppy-classes-when-to-start/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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pebbles and murphy
shitzu showowa
8 Years
0 found helpful
Question
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pebbles and murphy
shitzu showowa
8 Years

new puppy not ours but boys girlfriend who lives with us our dogs have never been that interested in treats so you can't reward them when they ignore puppy but just over a week they are still growling and showing there teeth we don't tell them of just try to calm and say good boy or girl

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Paul, When they growl or show teeth, there does need to be a consequence in this case - such as having to leave the room where people and fun things are. Your attitude should be calm and firm though - not angry or sorry for them. Be careful not to praise while they are acting aggressive or that can actually reward the aggression and encourage it to happen even more frequently - instead, praise while they are tolerance and calm (if you aren't already doing so). I suggest building all the dog's respect for you and taking the pressure off of all the pups to be in control - letting you manage interactions, instead of them feeling the need to. Teach all the dogs "Out" (which means leave the area) and Place - which is similar to Stay but on a certain spot - they can sit, stand, or lie down on Place but can't get off the spot. Practicing Place with the dogs in the same room on separate place beds can help facilitate calmness around each other and respect for you. Work on teaching each dog Place while by himself first, then adding more dogs to the training session and room on separate place beds as they improve. Out is great for giving direction and giving a consequence of leaving the room when there is pushiness or mild resource guarding. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo I also suggest crate training all the dogs (even the older ones) so that they can have a calm place to chew on a chew toy away from each other when things are tense, or one dog is pestering the other, or you are not home to supervise while they are still getting to know each other. Crate training is an important potty training and safety measure for a young pup also. An open crate while you are home can also serve as an additional Place to practice, and feeding all the dogs in separate locked crates can prevent food resource guarding and remove stress around mealtimes! Crate Manners - great calmness and gentle respect building exercise : https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Surprise method - for introducing crate for first time: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Decide what your house rules are for the dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem, you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your other dog when he is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If he obeys, praise and reward him. If he disobeys, stand in front of your other dog, blocking the pup from getting to him, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your other dog. If your older dog pushes pup or gets between you and pup uninvited, tell your older dog Out and enforce him leaving. When he is waiting for his turn patiently, then send pup to place and invite your older dog back over - no demanding of your attention right now from any dog. Make them wait or do a command first to work for your attention if pushiness is an issue, and make them leave if being pushy or aggressive. If your older dog growls at pup, make your older dog leave the room while also carefully disciplining pup if pup antagonized him. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your dogs - you want them to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for them to learn respect for each other because you have taught it to them and not because they have used aggression. When pup first enters the room, calmly praise your older dog so seeing pup is associated with good things for your older dog. When your older dog is being calm, tolerant, and friendly without acting dominant and pushy toward pup, you can also calmly praise your older dog. Keep the energy calm when interacting with the dogs. Don't feel sorry for any of the dogs but give clear boundaries instead. Don't expect them to be best friends right now - the goal is calm co-existence. When puppy matures and they have learned good manners around each other, they may decide to be friends as adults, but calmness, tolerance, and co-existence comes first. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Stoffel
jack russell mix
11 Years
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Stoffel
jack russell mix
11 Years

Stoffel is 11 years old and an only dog for around 4 of them. He gets lonely though when we are at work. We adopted a boxer puppy Maya so that he has a play mate. He does not like it at all. He is super anxious, runs away, hides in the bushes all day and refuses to have anything to do with the new puppy. It is now day two but I am stressed about him. He looks very depressed. Will he get used to the new baby and how can I help him?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello, First, I highly suggest crate training the puppy. Almost all puppies will cry the first two weeks of crate training - it is new to them and they have to be given the opportunity to learn to self-sooth and self-entertain to prepare them for environments they will have to be in later and prevent dangerous destructive chewing habits that happen without confinement. Use the Surprise method from the article linked below to gradually help her learn to be calm in the crate and to relax by using rewards for being Quiet. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Once she is crate trained then life with both dogs can be a lot easier for everyone. Crate pup at night and when you leave, and you can use an exercise pen with some toys in it also. When you cannot directly supervise the dogs together, puppy should be crated or in the pen. When you are supervising, teach both dogs the Out command (which means leave the area) and make whoever is causing issues leave the area as needed. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Decide what your house rules are for both dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your older dog when he is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If she obeys, praise and reward her. If she disobeys, stand in front of your older dog, blocking the pup from getting to him, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your older dog. If your older dog growls at your pup, make him leave the room while also disciplining pup if needed. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your older dog - you want him to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for puppy to learn respect for your older dog because you have taught it to her and not because your older dog has had to resort to aggression or he has to hide all the time. If you want pup to be free but don't want to chase after her while you are home, you can also clip her to yourself using a six-foot leash, so that she has to stay near you and not wander near your other dog. Whenever puppy enters the room, give Stoffel a treat while pup is not looking. Whenever he is calm, relaxed or tolerant of May also give him a treat. Try not to let Maya see you rewarding him though so that she doesn’t run over and overwhelm him. Right now Stoffel probably feels overwhelmed by Maya and because of his age it’s harder for him to handle her and keep up with her energy. He needs to feel like you are the one managing her, protecting him from her pestering him, and making her appearance pleasant for him. If you can take the pressure off of their relationship and help their interactions to be calmer, then he may adjust to her presence as she grows, especially when she calms down when older. Don’t expect them to be best friends. The goal right now is calm, peaceful coexistence. They may end up bonding and enjoy each others company as adults later but they don’t have to play or be thrilled right now. My own older dog was very tolerant of our youngest dog for the first year and did well, but they were not buddies until she became an adult and calmed down. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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RIVER
Blue Heeler
8 Months
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RIVER
Blue Heeler
8 Months

Need to introduce to our family dog blue heeler that's 2.5 years old.. but puppy has no training and is new to the leash..so pup has no self control with barking and being calm..theh first meeting was at our home out in the yard where both dogs where pulling to go see the other.the younger one basically was all over but looked like she was trying and kindna bitting the family dog then the collar came off from whaling around from not being used to a leash either all in same day we got the 8 month old

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ashley, You can go a couple of different routes here. What I suggest based on your description if doing a puppy obedience boot-camp with your new pup and keep him separate from your older dog using a crate and separate rooms most of the time while learning to respond to you, be calmer, and get used to the leash...Then have the dogs gradually get used to each other by having both practice staying on Place on separate beds in the same room (or separate visible rooms if needed at first) and going on walks (with two people - each one handing a separate dog) where both dogs are expected to heel very structured and focused on you - and not competing to be in front, using the Walking together method from the article linked below: Walking together - or passing approach, then walking together if they are struggling to walk in the same direction at first: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs I recommend going this calmer route (opposed to a quick initial introduction) because it gets pup off to the right start listening, learning manners and commands, learning to trust and respect you, and it makes the dogs' interactions calm and more boring and task oriented from the start - which is what you want - for your older dog to be able to relax around pup more and to set the expectation for pup that he should be calmer around your other dog - over-arousal can lead to fights. Check out the following videos and articles for details on what to work on teaching pup. 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 You can also tether pup to yourself with a 6 foot leash around the house to give him more freedom out of the crate once the dogs are more relaxed around each other - but you don't want pup to pester your older dog in the in-between training phases when he isn't ready for complete freedom yet. Reward your older dog when pup enters the room (without pup seeing the treat so he doesn't rush over), and for tolerance, friendliness, and calmness around pup. Don't pressure them to be best friends - you want peaceful co-existence to get things started and friendship may come later when things are calmer. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Helix
pitbull/boxer mix
6 Years
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Helix
pitbull/boxer mix
6 Years

Got a new puppy, 8 months old, Helix (old dog) is "bullying" running beside her and pushing or standing in her way when she wants to go in the door, cutting her off by running in front of her and standing there.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Valerie, First, crate train pup and when you cannot directly supervise the dogs together, puppy or older dog should be crated (in their own crates). When you are supervising, teach both dogs the Out command (which means leave the area) and make whoever is causing issues leave the area as needed. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Decide what your house rules are for both dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your older dog when he is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If he obeys, praise and reward him. If he disobeys, stand in front of your older dog, blocking the pup from getting to him, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your older dog. If your older dog growls at your pup, make your older dog leave the room while also disciplining pup if needed. Be vigilant and take the pressure off the dogs - you want both dogs to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and to learn respect for each other because you have taught it to them and not because your older dog has resorted to aggression. Teach both dogs Place and have them stay on their own Place mats on separate sides of the room for 1-2 hours at a time (work up to that amount of time gradually). This is to teach calmness, self-control, and respect and trust for you without a lot of excitement. It is also a great way to have dogs coexist without trouble to adjust to each other, and puts both dogs in a calm mindset while in the same room as each other- and you want both dogs to have a calmer mindset around each other. If your older dog is still being pushy, then I suggest a bit of a boot-camp for him as well. Keep life very structured for him or for both dogs for a while. Make him work for everything he gets in life by having to do a command first, such as Sit before going for a walk, Down before being thrown a ball, Come before being petted, Wait before being given dinner, ect...Have your dog heel on walks, practice Place, Crate Manners, and Down-Stays a whole lot, and let you through doorways first. Having a dog work like that can help establish respect and trust for you so that when you make and enforce rules for the dogs they listen to you better, instead of competing so much. It also encourages a calmer mindset, and works on things like impulse control. These commands are most important for your older dog probably, but they would also benefit pup and help him get off to the right start with manners. 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 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Diesel
Border collie x kelpie
9 Weeks
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Diesel
Border collie x kelpie
9 Weeks

We have a puppy of which is nine weeks and does not get along with our three other dogs. All three dogs yap and snap at him and nothing seems to be working and my parents are considering taking him back. I tried taking your information in but didn’t seem to work. This pup wants to play with the other dogs but because there is another male dog he attacks the pup. Not sure what to do, any suggestions?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lavinia, It sounds like the issue if your older dog's aggression. That dog likely needs his aggression dealt with first. I suggest hiring a professional trainer who specializes in aggression to help. You can start with the following: Have your older dog work for everything he gets for a while by having him perform a command first. For example, have him sit before you feed him, lay down before you pet him, look at you before you take him outside, ect.. If he nudges you, climbs into your lap uninvited, begs, or does anything else pushy, make him leave the room. Teach him a Place command and work on him staying on place for up to an hour, even when you walk into the other room for a minute. Practice crate manners. Work on teaching a structured Heel. Forget about getting places during a walk for a while right now, instead go somewhere open, like your front yard, a park, or culdesac and practice a heel where his nose does not go past your leg. You need to hire a trainer to help you with the aggression and you need someone who uses a lot of boundaries, positive reinforcement and fair discipline tactfully. Look for someone who is very experienced with aggression and different types of aggression - many trainers are only experienced with fear based aggression and you likely have some dominance- based or possessive aggression going on too, and they are treated a bit differently than fear. 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 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Vincent
Australian Shepherd
3 Years
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Vincent
Australian Shepherd
3 Years

My puppy a rescue lab mix is almost 6 months old, we have had him for three weeks . Vincent has time of tolerance however gets aggressive a few times so far, the last time the puppy didn’t stand for it and came back at him actually grasped on to his back, my son fortunately pullled him off , he is a lab mix , the puppy is not aggressive to my other dog at all . I have them separated and the puppy on a harness most of the time so he doesn’t lunge at Vincent etc, however at times when I think I can trust Vincent he seems to still be ready to attack him.
They are both males and I am worried Vincent just is too territorial. Like I said he has come pretty far already it has been three weeks .
I am worried becuase the puppy didn’t back off last encounter but instaed went after Vincent . They are both rescue dogs Vincent has heeled mix maybe part rotted, the puppy is lab retriever mix maybe part pit . He is playful and loving but won’t seems to back down to Vince

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Deborah, I highly suggest hiring a private trainer who has a lot of experience with behavior problems and different types of aggression to help you. You are at the point where it's time to hire help it sounds like. For the training in general, I suggest crate training both dogs using the crate manners and Surprise methods from the article and video linked below. Feed both dogs in separate locked crates at meal times. If both pups are already crate trained (which it sounds like they might be), then still practice the crate manners part, and skip doing the Surprise method. Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Second, teach both dogs the Out command (which means leave the area) and make whoever is causing issues leave the area as needed - including if pup is hovering around water bowl to guard. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Decide what your house rules are for both dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your other dog when he is trying to leave, tell pup Out. If he obeys, praise and reward him. If he disobeys, stand in front of your other dog, blocking the pup from getting to him, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your other dog. If you’re your older dog growls at pup, make him leave the room while also disciplining pup if needed. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your dogs - you want them to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for them to learn respect for each other because you have taught it to them and not because they have used aggression. Teach both dogs the Place command and work up to having them both stay on their separate Place beds calmly for 1-2 hours. This is a great calming, self-control building, and tolerance exercise. It also helps get them both in a working, more respectful mindset while in the same room as each other. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Finally, work on manners and building respect and trust for you with both dogs. Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Working method and Consistency method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Bella
Labrador Retriever
7 Years
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Bella
Labrador Retriever
7 Years

We rescued Bella at age 1 1/2 years old. At the time we had a border collie, Lucy. They were never pals , but peacefully coexisted. Lucy passed away a couple of weeks ago. We just brought in Timmy, a golden retriever puppy. Bella tries to avoid him at all costs. The other day Tim got too close and Bella literally had his head in her mouth. I was afraid she had put his eye out. I corrected Bella, by my voice. Timmy is careful around her now, but I can’t trust Bella around him. A little more of poor Bella’s history, or at least what the rescue knew. A couple got her as a puppy and then realized they were expecting a baby. They must have kept her for a few months after the baby arrived because when we got her she was quite unnerved by baby/toddler noises. At the time my granddaughter was about 2 and Bella went after her. The child just walked past Bella who was on the couch. She did not even touch Bella. I worked with her and my granddaughter saying “be gentle Bella, be gentle Julia(granddaughter)”. When I couldn’t be in the same room with them I put Bella outside or in a bedroom. Fast forward, she became just a perfect girl. Can dogs have PTSD, memories that they can’t forget? Oh I forgot she also had at least one litter of pups before we got her. Please help us! I hate to think she is so unhappy.
Sue

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Susan, Many people do think dogs can have at least a form of PTSD (I am not a vet though). If you feel overwhelmed, things are getting worse, or there is a bite, then I would seek professional help. Aggression is something best addressed immediately or it can get worse, so if you feel good about working through it yourself you can try the below suggestions, but if you are not seeing improvement or feel overwhelmed by it, then you may want to hire someone who is very experienced with aggression to come to your home and help one-on-one with you (obedience classes aren't enough - you need someone who has a lot of experience with behavior issues to address it with the dogs and teach you how to manage it in real time). First, work on taking the pressure off of both dogs by mediating situations for them, managing more, working on commands that improve calmness and self-control, and making and enforcing rules for the dogs so that the dogs are not working it out themselves - you are telling them how to react and behavior in a calm but firm way. I suggest teaching both dogs Out (which means leave the area) and Place - which is similar to Stay but on a certain spot and they can sit, stand, or lie down but can't get off the spot. Practicing Place with both dogs in the same room on separate place beds can help facilitate calmness around each other and respect for you. Out is great for giving direction and giving a consequence of leaving the room when there is pushiness or mild resource guarding. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo I also suggest crate training both dogs so that they can have a calm place to chew on a chew toy away from each other when things are tense, or one dog is pestering the other, or you are not home to supervise while they are still getting to know each other. Crate training is an important potty training and safety measure for a young pup also. An open crate while you are home can also serve as an additional Place to practice, and feeding both dogs in separate locked crates can prevent food resource guarding and remove stress around mealtimes! Crate Manners - great calmness and gentle respect building exercise : https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Surprise method - for introducing crate for first time: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate An exercise pen for puppy would also be a good additional option but I wouldn't leave puppy in there even while Bella is in the room. It can be a good way for her to get used to puppy's presence in the room without puppy being able to approach her while you are nearby. Decide what your house rules are for both dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem, you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your other dog when she is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If he obeys, praise and reward him. If he disobeys, stand in front of your other dog, blocking the pup from getting to her, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your other dog. No demanding of attention right now from either dog. Make them wait or do a command first to work for your attention if pushiness is an issue, and make them leave if being pushy or aggressive. If your older dog growls at pup, make her leave the room while also carefully disciplining pup if pup antagonized her. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your dogs - you want them to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for them to learn respect for each other because you have taught it to them and not because they have used aggression. Most of all you want Bella to feel like she can trust you to handle situations that make her nervous instead of her handling them with aggression. When pup first enters the room, give your older dog a treat without pup seeing so pup is associated with good things for your older dog - treats stop when pup leaves. When your older dog is being calm, tolerant, or friendly without acting aggressive, fearful, or pushy toward pup, you can also calmly give her a treat. Keep the energy calm when interacting with the dogs. Don't feel sorry for either dog but give clear boundaries instead. Don't expect them to be best friends right now - the goal is calm co-existence. When puppy matures and they have learned good manners around each other, they may decide to be friends as adults, but calmness, tolerance, and co-existence comes first. Be very careful with up close interactions right now. I would focus the most on managing them in the house using leashes, Place beds, crates, and exercise pen, and giving Bella feedback with rewards and reprimands based on how she is responding to puppy, and teaching puppy to focus on you, give Bella space, and learn calmness and manners (he is still a puppy so this will be an ongoing thing). Again, this is a sensitive situation so don't hesitate to call in professional help if things are not improving, suddenly get worse, or you feel overwhelmed or unsure how to proceed. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Mojo
Australian Shepard mix
4 Years
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Mojo
Australian Shepard mix
4 Years

Our 4 year old Australian Shepard mix won’t accept our 6 month old Australian Shepard rescue. He has never shown a mean bone in his body and he loves our relatives dogs. Except now he snarls and growls at the puppy we brought home 2 days ago and we thought he would progress over a couple of days but he hasn’t. Is there any chance they will get along?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Syndey, Unfortunately, I can't make any guarantees but what you are experiencing isn't that abnormal. To give them the best chance of adjusting to each other I suggest doing the following: First, I highly suggest crate training the puppy. Almost all puppies will cry the first two weeks of crate training - it is new to them and they have to be given the opportunity to learn to self-sooth and self-entertain to prepare them for environments they will have to be in later and prevent dangerous destructive chewing habits that happen without confinement. Use the Surprise method from the article linked below to gradually help her learn to be calm in the crate and to relax by using rewards for being Quiet. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Once he is crate trained then life with both dogs can be a lot easier for everyone. Crate pup at night and when you leave, and you can use an exercise pen with some toys in it also. When you cannot directly supervise the dogs together, puppy should be crated or in the pen. When you are supervising, teach both dogs the Out command (which means leave the area) and make whoever is causing issues leave the area as needed. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Decide what your house rules are for both dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your older dog when he is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If he obeys, praise and reward pup. If he disobeys, stand in front of your older dog, blocking the pup from getting to him, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your older dog. If your older dog growls at your pup, make him leave the room while also disciplining pup for antagonizing if needed. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your older dog - you want him to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for puppy to learn respect for your older dog because you have taught it to pup and not because your older dog has had to resort to aggression or he has to hide all the time. If you want pup to be free but don't want to chase after him while you are home, you can also clip him to yourself using a six-foot leash, so that he has to stay near you and not wander near your other dog. Whenever puppy enters the room, give your older dog a treat while pup is not looking. Whenever he is calm, relaxed or tolerant of puppy also give him a treat. Try not to let puppy see you rewarding him though so that he doesn’t run over and overwhelm him. Right now Mojo probably feels overwhelmed by pup and because of his age it’s harder for him to handle him and keep up with puppy's energy. He needs to feel like you are the one managing puppy, protecting him from pup pestering him, and making pup's appearance pleasant for him. If you can take the pressure off of their relationship and help their interactions to be calmer, then he may adjust to his presence as he grows, especially when he calms down when older. Don’t expect them to be best friends. The goal right now is calm, peaceful coexistence. They may end up bonding and enjoy each others company as adults later but they don’t have to play or be thrilled right now. My own older dog was very tolerant of our youngest dog for the first year and did well, but they were not buddies until she became an adult and calmed down. If your older dog is listening to you, is guarding you from puppy, or acting pushy toward you or pup, also work on the following commands to build your dog's respect for you - which can help with those types of issues and teach your dog to let you handle the situation more: Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Working method and Consistency method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Jersey
Old English Bulldogge
6 Years
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Question
2 found helpful
Jersey
Old English Bulldogge
6 Years

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?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

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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Casper
Shih Tzu
8 Years
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Casper
Shih Tzu
8 Years

Casper is a introverted dog. He gets nervous whenever dogs get near him during walks. Whenever a dog gets close to his face, he snaps to protect himself. He used to not be aggressive towards other dogs, but as he grew older he got aggressive. He has not been traumatized by another dog before. I really want a new puppy or young adult dog, but I am not sure I can do this because of Casper. Is it possible to get my dog to tolerate a new pet?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Chloe, Honestly, I suggest waiting to get a puppy until it no longer effects Casper. Casper may be able to get to the point where he can tolerate another dog and not act aggressive with proper training and desensitization, but as many dogs get older health issues and fatigue can make it really hard for an older dog to keep up with a puppy and keep boundaries. A puppy's constant energy can be stressful for an older dog - even though that dog can learn to "act nicer". This in term may make your older dog feel even worse and get less of the attention from you that he may need in the years ahead because of how time consuming puppies and new dogs are. Because your dog has already been showing less tolerance for other dogs, he may not feel as good physically (I am not a vet though). Common things like arthritis can make tolerance hard for a dog because of constant pain. I would start by speaking to your vet. If pup's lower tolerance is related to something like arthritic pain, then better managing physical symptoms might make Casper more tolerant of other dogs again. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Sam
Cocker Spaniel
12 Years
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Sam
Cocker Spaniel
12 Years

I have a 12 year old cocker spaniel called Sam, it’s been just him and me for the last 6 years but my boyfriend has just got a puppy who is now 3 months and is naturally full on madness, full of energy and exuberance. The problems are mostly home based as when out on walks or even in close contact in the car, he is fine with her but when he brings the puppy to my house Sam watches her like her hawk then will growl, stand over her and eventually snap at her and it does become increasingly nasty. The puppy isn’t intimidated by him in any way and seems to think his running at her and snapping is him playing and so she runs at him trying to encourage him to play all the more. He is constantly alert and watching her then lunging at her. We’ve tried the ‘let them sort it out themselves’ approach, which hasnt changed the dynamic at all, I’ve tried to be calm and soothe Sam and reward his short periods of good behaviour but that doesn’t work either and I end up spending a lot of time shouting at my dog in order to stop his aggression which I’m finding upsetting now. He just doesn’t want her in hiS environment. Any suggestions?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Pauline, First, in addition to possibly feeling anxious and overwhelmed by put, Sam may also be acting pushy, jealous, and resource guarding - these are more respect issue than fear issues, so you want to address overall household dynamics and respect with both dogs while also taking the pressure off to relieve anxiety. For the jealous behavior, pushiness, and resource guarding, work on taking the pressure off of both dogs to be in charge and in control by mediating situations for them, work on commands that improve calmness and self-control, and make and enforce the rules so that the dogs are not working it out themselves - you are telling them how to react and behave in a calm but firm way. I suggest teaching both dogs the commands "Out" (which means leave the area) and "Place" - which is similar to Stay but on a certain spot and they can sit, stand, or lie down but can't get off the spot. Practicing Place with both dogs in the same room on separate place beds can help facilitate calmness around each other and respect for you. Out is great for giving direction and giving a consequence of leaving the room when there is pushiness or mild resource guarding. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo I also suggest crate training both dogs so that they can have a calm place to chew on a chew toy away from each other when things are tense, or one dog is pestering the other, or you are not home to supervise while they are still getting to know each other. If your older dog is crated while pup is free, it needs to be in a room where pup can't come up to his crate. Crate training is an important potty training and safety measure for a young pup also. An open crate while you are home can also serve as an additional Place to practice, and feeding both dogs in separate locked crates can prevent food resource guarding and remove stress around mealtimes! Surprise method - for introducing crate for first time: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Crate Manners - great calmness and gentle respect building exercise : https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Decide what your house rules are for both dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem, you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your other dog when he is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If pup obeys, praise and reward her. If she disobeys, stand in front of your other dog, blocking the pup from getting to him, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your other dog. If your older dog pushes pup or gets between you and pup uninvited, tell your older dog Out and enforce him leaving. When he is waiting for his turn patiently, then send puppy to place and invite Sam over - no demanding of attention right now from either dog. Make them wait or do a command first to work for your attention if pushiness is an issue, and make them leave if being pushy or aggressive. If your older dog growls at pup, make him leave the room while also carefully disciplining pup if pup antagonized him. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your dogs - you want them to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for them to learn respect for each other because you have taught it to them and not because they have used aggression. Since your dog is older he probably feels overwhelmed not being able to keep up with puppy and feeling like he can't defend himself all the time - making him defensive. Take that pressure off him. When pup first enters the room, give your older dog a treat without pup seeing so pup is associated with good things for your older dog - treats stop when pup leaves. When your older dog is being calm, tolerant, and friendly without acting dominant and pushy toward pup, you can also calmly give a treat. Keep the energy calm when interacting with the dogs. Don't feel sorry for either dog but give clear boundaries instead. Don't expect them to be best friends right now - the goal is calm co-existence. When puppy matures and they have learned good manners around each other, they may decide to be friends as adults, but calmness, tolerance, and co-existence comes first. When pup is free and Sam is no longer charging at her, you can also attach her to yourself with a 6 or 8 foot leash while doing things at home to keep her away from him with having to crate her. Using an exercise pen for puppy with some dog-food stuffed chew toys is also a great way to give Same a break. Only give them freedom around each other right now when you can directly supervise and be teaching. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Echo (5 years) and Ryder (3months)
Brittany (Spaniel)
5 Years
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Echo (5 years) and Ryder (3months)
Brittany (Spaniel)
5 Years

Currently I think my trouble is with my older dog. She always runs at/over the new puppy. Sometimes they play nice and well but sometimes my older dog takes it too far and doesn't let up, pinning the puppy to the ground and not letting him get back up. Is this okay? What is the best way to combat this? Also the puppy instigates too on occasion, but the older dog doesn't seem to know when to stop, she used to be really submissive when playing with other dogs, so this is new behavior and we want to make sure we handle it correctly. She also will steal all the toys, his and hers, or take them to the puppy to tease the puppy then growl when he tries to take it away... is this normal?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Amber, Pinning pup isn't acceptable. When well socialized dogs play they may wrestle and mock growl but you should see them taking turns being the one tackled vs. on top, taking turns chasing vs. being chased. They should let another dog take a break when they express they want one. Their should generally be a good give and take. When there isn't those things in place you need to intervene and moderate the play. I highly suggest crate training both and teaching both Place and you be the one to decide when they can play, what's acceptable, and for how long - usually play starts fine but as the dogs get tired it can get out of hand - they might nee you to give them a break if they don't do it themselves. Because you aren't always able to moderate the play, you be the one to decide when you can moderate it - meaning that play only happens when you are willing for it to happen and to take it as a teaching opportunity. This will take work but can prevent future aggression issues if done well. Teach both a place command, the Out command, and crate train. Use those commands as tools, as well as your own confidence, consistency, and willingness to make them follow through when you give a command - to teach them the rules of your home and how and when to interact with each other. Expect this to take work for the first year - keep the long term outcome in mind, knowing that they will need a lot of structure and help from you but the pay-offs are super important for their relationship, the peace of your household, and preventing later issues. Plus such structure can have huge benefits in other areas, like better listening, better calmness and self-control in general from the dogs, better management of the dogs so that they can be more involved in your daily life - going places or being able to visit with your guests because they are calm, ect... Place - start with a few minutes on place and gradually work up to 1-2 hours on Place around distractions over the next year for both dogs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners - this is still good for a dog who is already crate trained: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Surprise method - for introducing crate for first time: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Decide what your house rules are for both dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem, you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your other dog when he is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If he obeys, praise and reward him. If he disobeys, stand in front of your other dog, blocking the pup from getting to him, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your other dog. If your older dog pushes pup or gets between you and pup uninvited, tell your older dog Out and enforce him leaving. When he is waiting for his turn patiently, then send pup to place and invite your older over - no demanding of attention right now from either dog. Make them wait or do a command first to work for your attention if pushiness is an issue, and make them leave if being pushy or aggressive. If your older dog growls at pup, make him leave the room while also carefully disciplining pup if pup antagonized him. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your dogs - you want them to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for them to learn respect for each other because you have taught it to them and not because they have used aggression or pushiness. When pup first enters the room, give your older dog a treat without pup seeing so pup is associated with good things for your older dog - treats stop when pup leaves. When your older dog is being calm, tolerant, and friendly without acting dominant and pushy toward pup, you can also calmly give a treat. Keep the energy calm when interacting with the dogs. Don't feel sorry for either dog but give clear boundaries instead. Calmness and tolerance are your goals at this stage - they don't necessarily have to play with each other (but can if taught how to do it nicely) but calmness and simply tolerating and enjoying each other's company calmly is your goal for a good relationship between them. Without seeing the growling in person I can't be much help there. Some dogs will do what you are describing as a way to tempt the other dog into playing with them and the growling will be a play growl that's done in fun - generally that type of growl is accompanied by something like a play bow, relaxed, happy body language, or maybe running away to get pup to chase them. A stiffer, tense growl might be some competing and attempting to dominate pup and needs to be addressed by increasing respect for you in the home and then you laying down rules and boundaries for what's acceptable and not acceptable in their relationship with each other and you enforcing those rules so the dogs aren't deciding that (dogs don't always handle discipline and issues in a way that's safe or okay when living with people - so I generally don't recommend letting the dogs just work it out when there is an issue - you might not like what they work out). Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Casey
Jack Russell Terrier
5 Years
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Casey
Jack Russell Terrier
5 Years

We just got a new puppy. He's eight weeks old. Very playful. My older dog Casey HATES HIM. She's growling, showing her teeth and snapping at him. She bit him once and caused him to bleed. Since then I've been keeping them apart to avoid any situation of this happening again. The Puppy can't even walk by the older dog without Casey snapping and growing. Well at this point now my day consist of keeping them apart and holding onto my Jack Russell terrier whenever the puppy gets to close. I get mad at casey and yell.Am I doing it wrong should I let them get together and let her growl and snap at the puppy. Also I should mention that since we got the puppy my older dog won't eat or drink from her own bowl. She goes days without eating and jumps in the bathtub for a drink. So now I leave the bathtub water trickling. Help please

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Donna, You need to hire a professional trainer to help you in person with this. I can give you a general overview of what's needed but you need someone who can adjust the training as you go based on how the dogs are responding and demonstrate several things to you. Look for someone who is very experienced with aggression and behavior issues - ask a lot of questions and read client reviews or ask them for previous client referrals from clients who dealt with aggression. First, if both pups aren't already crate trained, crate train not only puppy but also Casey. Second, teach both dogs the Out command (which means leave the area) and make whoever is causing issues leave the area as needed - including if pup is hovering around water bowl to guard. Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Teach both dogs the Out command - which means leave the area. Use this command with both dogs to manage interactions when they do happen (I don't recommend letting them too close yet though). Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ As they are more ready for interactions, only let them interact under direct supervision. Decide what your house rules are for both dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your other dog when she is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If he obeys, praise and reward him. If he disobeys, stand in front of your other dog, blocking the pup from getting to him, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your other dog. If you’re your older dog growls at pup, make her leave the room while also disciplining pup if needed. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your dogs - you want them to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for them to learn respect for each other because you have taught it to them and not because they have used aggression. Do not let your older dog discipline puppy through aggression - that will increase aggression in your older dog and likely lead to injury and fear-aggression in puppy. Teach both dogs the Place command and work up to having them both stay on their separate Place beds calmly for 1-2 hours. This is a great calming, self-control building, and tolerance exercise. It also helps get them both in a working, more respectful mindset while in the same room as each other. This is especially important for Casey. Casey is the real issue here and her respect for you needs to increase so that she trusts you to manage interactions. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Finally, work on manners and building respect and trust for you with both dogs. Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Working method and Consistency method - good for both dogs, but especially Casey. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Whenever puppy enters the room, give your older dog a treat while pup is not looking. Whenever Casey is calm, relaxed or tolerant of pup also give Casey a treat. Try not to let puppy see you rewarding him though so that puppy doesn’t run over and overwhelm her or cause food aggression. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Mulvey
Vizsla
4 Months
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Mulvey
Vizsla
4 Months

I live alone with my 4 month vizsla puppy Mulvey. At my parents house is my family dog, a 10 year old cairn terrier cross, Jasper.
Jasper hates Mulvey. He viciously growls when Mulvey is around in his territory, even when the puppy is playing with his toys in his bed minding his own business, Jasper will get right in his face and growl. He snaps at him when Mulvey tries to play with him. When he isn’t growling and snapping he is pacing around panting, clearly stressed by his presence!
They’re ok when they are out on the walk, Jasper just runs ahead and Mulvey stays with us.
What can I do while at my mums house to make their relationship better?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Eleanor, I suggest teaching both dogs Out (which means leave the area) and Place - which is similar to Stay but on a certain spot and they can sit, stand, or lie down but can't get off the spot. Practicing Place with both dogs in the same room on separate place beds can help facilitate calmness around each other and respect for you. Out is great for giving direction and giving a consequence of leaving the room when there is pushiness or mild resource guarding. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo I also suggest crate training both dogs so that they can have a calm place to chew on a chew toy away from each other when things are tense, or one dog is pestering the other, or you are not home to supervise while they are still getting to know each other. Crate training is an important potty training and safety measure for a young pup also. An open crate while you are home can also serve as an additional Place to practice, and feeding both dogs in separate locked crates can prevent food resource guarding and remove stress around mealtimes! Crate Manners - great calmness and gentle respect building exercise : https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Surprise method - for introducing crate for first time: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Decide what your house rules are for both dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem, you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your other dog when he is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If he obeys, praise and reward him. If he disobeys, stand in front of your other dog, blocking the pup from getting to him, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your other dog. If your older dog pushes pup or gets between you and pup uninvited, tell your older dog Out and enforce him leaving. When he is waiting for his turn patiently, then send pup to place and invite the older dog over - no demanding of attention right now from either dog. Make them wait or do a command first to work for your attention if pushiness is an issue (especially older dog), and make them leave if being pushy or aggressive. If your older dog growls at pup, make him leave the room while also carefully disciplining pup if pup antagonized him. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your dogs - you want them to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for them to learn respect for each other because you have taught it to them and not because they have used aggression. When pup first enters the room, give your older dog a treat without pup seeing so pup is associated with good things for the older dog - treats stop when pup leaves. When the older dog is being calm, tolerant, and friendly without acting dominant and pushy toward pup, you can also calmly give a treat. Keep the energy calm when interacting with the dogs. Don't feel sorry for either dog but give clear boundaries instead. Don't expect them to be best friends right now - the goal is calm co-existence. When puppy matures and they have learned good manners around each other, they may decide to be friends as adults, but calmness, tolerance, and co-existence comes first. The above are the things you can probably do without the other dog being your dog. Honestly the older dog probably needs to go through a period to build their trust and respect for the people in the house so that they will learn to look to people to handle any issues and stop resource guarding things. Since they are not your dog you won't be able to do this unless your family is willing. Doing a doggie bootcamp would look like having the older dog work for everything they get in life by doing a command first - liking sitting before being petting, down before going outside, wait before eating, ect...It would also look like practicing structured things like a long Place command, a very calm, structured heel - where pup walks behind you and pays attention during the entire walk, long Down-stay, waiting for permission before going through doors like crates and outside, getting off furniture when told, not being allowed to climb into laps or demand attention without being asked to, leaving the room if they are being pushy or resource guarding, desensitizing him to things he tends to resource guard, ect...It's basically an entire attitude adjustment that would then effect his natural response during stressful situations (like a puppy) from trying to control pup and make and enforce household rules to recognizing that that job belongs to the people and he can depend on them to manage things. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Sushi
Pekingnese
16 Years
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Sushi
Pekingnese
16 Years

Hi. I am conflicted if I should get this 11 wk old pekingnese puppy my biggest concern is that is will upset my senior boy. He’s up there but still really with it, just a little weak on one of his hind legs. He had a sister dog for 4 years but sadly we lost her 2 years ago. I know I can manage the puppy and keep him out of Sushi’s way most of the time but I don’t want to make him sad. Very conflicted love him so much but this baby is so cute and we wanted another dog. The lil white one is the pup

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Michele, How is your current dog with other dogs, especially puppies? Often knowing how your dog does around other dogs and puppies can give you an idea of how stressful or not a new puppy will be for your current dog. If your dog does not do well with others, then a new puppy could be very stressful and difficult for her. Keeping the puppy out of your older dog's space is very important since she won't be able to negotiate the puppy herself with health issues and age, but since you are up for that level of management, that may be less of an issue for her. Is the puppy with a rescue or breeder? Some rescues will let you foster first or do a trial period for two weeks to see if its a good fit, before committing permanently to keeping pup. I often add a new puppy to our household when my current dog is middle aged, but not too limited physically yet since puppies take up so much of my focus, time and energy. I work a lot on my current dogs doing well with other dogs throughout their lives so that new doggie additions are less stressful when that happens, and I manage the interactions between the dogs a lot, using a crate or exercise pen often for pup, while they are young. There are several good ways to add to your family though. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Kaiser & Sadie
German Shepherd
2 Years
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Kaiser & Sadie
German Shepherd
2 Years

Our GS is 2yr old and a GREAT dog. He's kind and loving. However, he is also very playful. And his 95lb mass is way more than our 45lb docile (9 yr old female) mutt is willing or interested in handling. We take him to daycare 3 days a week and he plays very well w/other dogs (migrates to GS though). This got us thinking that maybe we should get him a friend at home (another GS). I'm concerned about making a bad choice though. Should we get a young puppy, an adolescent? And does gender matter? Our Sadie is the alpha and the GS is fine to let her be the alpha, however he is also protective of her (not in a bad way, but more of a nurturing way). He just doesn't understand that he is way too big to play with our Sadie. Any suggestions?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Carrie, My first piece of advice is not to get another dog for a current dog - only get one if you want another dog yourself because there are no guarantees they will be playmates - they might just end up lounging around. To facilitate a good relationship between dogs, I generally advise people not to expect them to be best friends; instead, facilitate calm co-existence. As they learn to respect and trust each other with your help and they both mature, they very well may be buddies but there are no guarantees because dogs, like people, have different temperaments and some dogs simply like each other better than others. Also, this phase of wanting to play all the time will very likely decrease starting in 1-2 years (around 3-4 years of age) so you may end up with two dogs who simply hang out together without playing like your current dogs do, for the next dozen years. With that said, if you decide that you personally would like another dog for yourself to add to your current crew, then puppies are usually accepted more easily by social adult dogs, but if you do go for an adult, look for one that is pretty laid back - neither the most submissive dog nor the most dominant, but confident and calm, with a middle of the road temperament. That type of dog is most likely to be accepted by current adults. Opposite sex is usually tolerated better than same sex - especially once the puppy or dog hits adolescence or adulthood, but since you have a female and a male right now, you could go either way. A female may be harder for your current female but a male could end up as competition to your male. A calm, structured household where there are clear boundaries and rules that you enforce can help both all dogs adjust to a new dog though. How does your female do with other dogs? Assuming she did fine with your gsd as a puppy, the more likely issue might be your male accepting a new dog, so a female could be a slightly better choice - but just like with an adult dog, see if you can fine a middle of the road puppy. One that is confident but calm, and not timid or overly submissive but not dominant or demonstrative either. Look for a happy, laid back puppy. A middle of the road puppy is often the easiest dog to own and does best with other dogs because they don't encourage other dogs to bully them due to timidity but aren't picking fights either. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Marco
Standard Poodle
12 Years
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Marco
Standard Poodle
12 Years

Marco is very submissive, he was a rescue along wit his brother Polo. Polo always picked on Marco, and they were separated.
Now Marco is about 12 and in order to have someone when he dies, I've adopted a 4-month old standard puppy.

Puppy has only been with us for two days and is wanting to eat Marco's food instead of his own. Marco is submitting to this and isn't getting much at all. Puppy's own food just sits there.

I feed them in different places but puppy wanders over as soon as I put Marco's food down.

The crate thing: puppy was crated to travel from Indiana to Denver where he missed connection to Santa Fe. So he stayed in Denver overnight and was flown to SF the following day. That crate came with him to our apartment and now he won't go into it, rather sleeping on the floor in the bedroom. He avoids it at all costs.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ann, If you can't crate pup, feed Marco in his crate and feed puppy in a closed room like a bathroom and don't let both out until they have either finished their food, or stopped eating for at least 15 minutes - at which time you will remove the food when you let them out so that the other dog doesn't have access to it...Doing things this way is by far the least stressful option for both dogs - you can also use a baby gate at the bathroom door instead of closing the actual door so that pup can't scratch on the door. As for crating pup, I wouldn't give up on crate training just yet. I would suggest purchasing a new, different type of crate and starting from scratch with crate training. My guess is that pup flew in a vari-kennel type crate and is avoiding that crate. If so, purchase a wire crate and work on getting pup comfortable with that. If the crate was wire, then do the opposite and get a vari-kennel. Either way, you can use things like baby gates and exercise pens for confinement to take the pressure off of your older dog - it's also extremely important to work through all that now to prevent separation anxiety later. Surprise method for crate training (with the new crate or an exercise pen): https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Another option at meal times is to stand guard over the dogs during every meal time and teach both dogs the Out command. Whenever pup tries to go toward your older dog's food, follow the "how to deal with pushy behavior" section of the Out article linked below to make pup leave your older dog alone - be persistent. If you go this route you 100% have to supervise the dogs each time they eat. You can also feed them in the crate and closed off room some of the times and supervise and teach at other times - puppy just cannot be allowed to go over to your other dog's food period. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Luna
pit lab mix
3 Years
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Luna
pit lab mix
3 Years

Hello!
So we recently brought home an 8 week old french bulldog, and our current dog is very hyperactive and can be very clumsy at times. She's very obedient and listens to commands very well. When they finally met, Luna was playing very rough with the pup, using her paw to stop him from walking, or putting her paws on his face. So we stopped the playing and just let her sniff the pup and wait to see what she did. She eventually stopped being so rough and would only wag her tail but not do anything, she would just stare and side-eye him. Later at night, we put them back on the floor and let them walk around and Luna wasn't really playing anymore, just only wagged her tail and stared at him as he got closer and sometimes move away as if she finally realized he's a puppy and it's very small compared to her(50lbs vs. 5lbs). We're very scared she's going to play roughly with the puppy whenever he's walking all over the living room and hurt him but also not sure if it's a good idea for us to stay behind the puppy and her watching them at all times. We noticed the puppy would start barking at her sometimes when I was next to Luna but she would get in front of me as if she was protecting me from him but she wouldn't do anything just stare and wag her tail. Luna isn't really around dogs as much, only when we take her for walks she occasionally plays with some dogs but she gets very overprotective over my girlfriend sometimes but for the most part she's okay with other dogs; she's very weirded out when it comes to small dogs. We have been rewarding Luna every time the puppy comes close to her and she doesn't snap at him. The puppy has been good in the crate so far, and Luna sleeps on her own bed and we make Luna see that the puppy he's in the crate so she knows he has more privilege. Luna isn't an aggressive dog at all, instead she's very cuddly listens to us very well. But her signs when the puppy comes close to her are very confusing by wagging her tail but just staring as if she wants the puppy to go away or saying what are you. Any idea what her behavior is saying? Are we on the right path on getting her used to the new puppy? Also, what tips do you recommend for this behavior and what other techniques we should apply to both? Thanks in advance!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Luis, At this stage definitely always supervise the dogs when they are together. Confine pup to the crate or an exercise pen when you can't supervise. Is the tail wagging a loose wag or very stiff - stiff can actually be a bad sign and doesn't necessarily mean happy, a loose, relaxed looking wag with happy body language is a good sign, and Luna is probably excited about pup but just unsure how to proceed. With two dogs, its always a good idea to give both a lot of structures, decide some boundaries for both dogs, and you be the one to enforce the rules. I do NOT recommend letting dogs work it out among themselves, and don't worry about trying to make one dog alpha over the other dog - that will naturally be what it ends up being depending on personalities - instead, you focus on both dogs listening well to you, following your house rules, and looking to you for calm leadership - so that neither dog is the one in charge in your home. Dogs will naturally figure out which dog is in charge, but that can involve behaviors people don't find acceptable, like aggression, in the process. Some examples of rules you can put into place for the dogs can include, but are not limited to: No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your older dog when she is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If he obeys, praise and reward him. If he disobeys, stand in front of your older dog, blocking the pup from getting to her, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your older dog. If your older dog growls at your pup, make Luna leave the room while also disciplining pup if pup broke one of your rules also. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your older dog - you want her to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for puppy to learn respect for your older dog because you have taught it to him and not because your older dog has had to resort to aggression or avoid him. Some good commands to work on with both dogs to help with boundaries and calmness include: Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Leave It: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Place, Out, and Leave It are great commands for multi-dog households especially! Out is probably the number one command I use managing multiple dogs. Continue rewarding pup for being calm and tolerant, that's great! Try to avoid spoiling either dog a lot, including your older dog. Keep things calm, structured, and normal - rather than giving either dog lots of extra privileges or attention. You want both dogs to feel secure via your calmness and consistent leadership most of all. From what you described - assuming the tail wagging was more relaxed I don't hear anything that sounds alarming or worrisome, just typical adjustment things. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Tilly
Miniature Schnauzer x
11 Years
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Tilly
Miniature Schnauzer x
11 Years

And have recently brought a Coker spaniel who is now 3 months old, we also have a 11year old miniature schnauzer cross who we have had since she was a puppy. Ever since the puppy arrived my older dog has been scared and anxious of the puppy but the puppy doesn’t understand and just wants to play. Even though my older dog has the full run of the house and the puppy only gets the downstairs my older dog seems to just spend all her time upstairs and won’t come down and spend time with the family. This then makes me feel guilty about leaving my older dog upstairs but I can’t spend all day every day upstairs and it also isn’t fair on my puppy to leave her downstairs by herself. We have also tried just shutting both the puppy and older dog downstairs with the family but my older dog constantly stands and scratches at the door until somebody will let her back upstairs. What should I do?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello, At this point I suggest hiring a private trainer who can come to your home and help you in person - someone who has a lot of experience with behavior issues and fear. Also, find something your older dog likes, such as chicken, tug of war, liver paste, peanut butter (No xylitol - it's toxic), ect... Whenever pup enters the room where she is or she acts at all tolerant, relaxed, or confident around puppy - praise and reward with the thing she loves. Be the one to moderate puppy - so that your older dog sees that you will handle interactions and protect her from being overwhelmed by pup. For example, if pup comes over to your older dog when she is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If she obeys, praise and reward her. If she disobeys, stand in front of your older dog, blocking the pup from getting to her, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your older dog. Teach both dogs Place and work up to them staying on Place for up to an hour on separate place beds on different ends of the room. Teach puppy Out - which mean leave the area, and Leave It, and use those commands to manage puppy and your older dog together - to help pup learn to give your older dog space. Purchase an exercise pen for pup and practice the dog's being in the same room together while puppy is in the exercise pen - reward your older dog whenever she relaxes while puppy is in the room. Out command - read the entire article but pay special attention to the "How to Teach the Out Command" and "How to Use Out to Deal with Pushy Behavior" sections for puppy: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden Surprise method - can be used to introduce pup to exercise pen and crate: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate

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Zoe
Shepherd Lab
9 Years
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Zoe
Shepherd Lab
9 Years

We have a 9 year old Shepherd/Lab girl and just recently brought home a 9 week old Shepherd/Husky boy. It's going ok, besides our girl keeps taking the pups chew toys. The main issue we are having is our girls food protection. We keep her bowls in the kitchen, and she won't leave the area. Normally she naps upstairs during the day. But she hasn't done that. She becomes a bit aggressive when the boy even steps foot in the kitchen. She is allowing him to get a bit closer, but I'm worried about her rest. Should we move her food to a more non-neutral area?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Melissa, I highly suggest moving both dogs' food bowls to their individual crates. Feed both dogs in separate, locked crates - so that they feel secure, can't be bothered and don't have access to the bowls or area when you don't want them too - close both crates so the other can't get in when they aren't eating also. Do set feed times, no free-feeding, and if the dogs aren't eating at all for 15 minutes, end that meal, remove the bowls from the crates, and give whatever food remains with the next meal, in addition to that meal's portion. For example, if pup leaves half a cup of their breakfast, remove the bowl, and give the half cup plus the normal 2 cups they have for dinner (just an example) so that they are getting 2.5 cups for dinner. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Ruff
Lurcher
6 Years
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Ruff
Lurcher
6 Years

5 days ago we brought home a 4 month old Deerhound x Greyhound pup bitch. Our resident 6 year old male is a rescue dog and we have had him for 2 years. He can be unpredictable whilst out walking and can be shouty at some dogs, he's very loving and playful. Since introducing the pup, he has become a lot more sulky which I understand is to be expected. We have adopted all the suggested techniques, such as putting him 1st before the pup etc. In that respect nothing has changed for him, intact we've tried to ensure we are being overkill with our attention and love for him as I'm sure this can be counteractive. He has taken to lying and watching her every move like a sergeant major and no relaxing like he did before her arrival. Generally he is tolerating her up to now but isn't at ease. She pushes her luck and tries to instigate play like a little madam. He usually ignores her or growls and bared his teeth however on 2 occasions he has sprung up tall wagging, standing tall with his ears pricked. He will run/ chase her and do the bowing thing. She instantly retreats to his under or behind a chair and he seems very excitable. Do you think this is playful or him being aggressive? When he's had enough and goes to another room, she reappears and runs after him as if to keep the game going. I've noticed he has become overly loving towards me in particular (I'm home all day) there's been a couple if occasions he has been near me and she has walked near to me and he has reacted. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do in this situation. Help?!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Laura, If the tail was stiff when wagging that means arousal and not necessarily playful - just aroused. That might be his way of trying to chase her off. If he is play bowing and looks more relaxed that is probably an attempt to play - but he may not know how to do it properly - he is probably learning too. There may be some semi-aggression and at other times play both going on. My main concern is that he is starting to resource guard you. I would actually stop paying so much attention to him via petting and affection - instead do it through making him work more and giving both dogs more structure and rules - which you enforce and not the dogs. Structure can help an anxious dog feel secure, it can take the issue of leadership off of the table so there is less competing - you are in charge and making the rules not either dog, and it can help both dogs learn how to behave instead of them trying to figure it out on their own. Your leadership can also ensure puppy doesn't pester him too much and increase his anxiety - so that he feels he can relax more. I highly suggest crate training the puppy. Almost all puppies will cry the first two weeks of crate training - it is new to them and they have to be given the opportunity to learn to self-sooth and self-entertain to prepare them for environments they will have to be in later and prevent dangerous destructive chewing habits that happen without confinement. Use the Surprise method from the article linked below to gradually help her learn to be calm in the crate and to relax by using rewards for being Quiet. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Once she is crate trained then life with both dogs can be a lot easier for everyone. Crate pup at night and when you leave, and you can use an exercise pen with some toys in it also. When you cannot directly supervise the dogs together, puppy should be crated or in the pen. When you are supervising, teach both dogs the Out command (which means leave the area) and make whoever is causing issues leave the area as needed. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Decide what your house rules are for both dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your older dog when he is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If she obeys, praise and reward her. If she disobeys, stand in front of your older dog, blocking the pup from getting to him, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your older dog. If your older dog growls at your pup, make him leave the room while also disciplining pup for antagonizing if needed. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your older dog - you want him to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for puppy to learn respect for your older dog because you have taught it to her and not because your older dog has had to resort to aggression or he has to hide all the time. Don't tolerate guarding you, being pushy for your attention, your dog blocking puppy from getting to you or any other demanding behavior from either dog right now. If you want pup to be free but don't want to chase after her while you are home, you can also clip her to yourself using a six-foot leash, so that she has to stay near you and not wander near your other dog when you aren't ready to moderate them. Whenever puppy enters the room, give Ruff a treat while pup is not looking. Whenever he is calm, relaxed or tolerant of puppy also give him a treat. Try not to let puppy see you rewarding him though so that she doesn’t run over and overwhelm him. Right now Ruff may feel overwhelmed by puppy. He needs to feel like you are the one managing her, protecting him from her pestering him, and making her appearance pleasant for him. If you can take the pressure off of their relationship and help their interactions to be calmer, then he may adjust to her presence as she grows, especially when she calms down when older. Don’t expect them to be best friends. The goal right now is calm, peaceful coexistence. They may end up bonding and enjoy each others company as adults later but they don’t have to play or be thrilled right now. My own older dog was very tolerant of our youngest dog for the first year and did well, but they were not buddies until she became an adult and calmed down. Finally, work on manners and building respect and trust for you with Ruff, and puppy once as pup grows into an adolescent and adult too. Teach both dogs the Place command and work up to having them both stay on their separate Place beds calmly for 1-2 hours (for puppy this will be a long-term goal as she gets older, her attention span will be short at first). This is a great calming, self-control building, and tolerance exercise. It also helps get them both in a working, more respectful mindset while in the same room as each other. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Working method and Consistency method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Mac & Winnie
Shih Tzu
11 Years
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Mac & Winnie
Shih Tzu
11 Years

We just got Winnie a couple of days ago she is a 16 week old French Bulldog, and our older dog Mac is having a really hard time adjusting. He wasn't eating his food for a day (which has now stopped and he is eating), and he will not interact with the puppy at all. Winnie was being playful the first day we got her, biting Mac's tail and he snapped and growled at her and since then Winnie has learned not to do that. However, Mac will not even look at Winnie. Winnie was on the floor and Mac was up on the couch (Winnie cannot jump up), and Winnie would walk to the side Mac was sitting on & Mac would get up and move to the other side of the couch. Winnie would walk to that side (from the floor), and Mac would move to the other side of the couch. It's making me feel really bad for Mac, however I just am really eager for the day where the two get along and love each other. Any tips?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Emma, First, I highly suggest crate training the puppy - if you haven't already. Almost all puppies will cry the first two weeks of crate training - it is new to them and they have to be given the opportunity to learn to self-sooth and self-entertain to prepare them for environments they will have to be in later and prevent dangerous destructive chewing habits that happen without confinement. Use the Surprise method from the article linked below to gradually help her learn to be calm in the crate and to relax by using rewards for being Quiet. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Once she is crate trained then life with both dogs can be a lot easier for everyone. Crate pup at night and when you leave, and you can use an exercise pen with some toys in it also. When you cannot directly supervise the dogs together, puppy should be crated or in the pen. When you are supervising, teach both dogs the Out command (which means leave the area) and make whoever is causing issues leave the area as needed. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Decide what your house rules are for both dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no pestering another dog when they want to be left alone, no being possessive of people or things, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your older dog when he is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If she obeys, praise and reward her. If she disobeys, stand in front of your older dog, blocking the pup from getting to him, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your older dog. If your older dog growls at your pup, make him leave the room while also disciplining pup if she antagonized him by doing something against the rules. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your older dog - you want him to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for puppy to learn respect for your older dog because you have taught it to her and not because your older dog has had to resort to aggression or he has to hide all the time. If you want pup to be free but don't want to chase after her while you are home, you can also clip her to yourself using a six-foot leash, so that she has to stay near you and not wander near your other dog. Whenever puppy enters the room, give Mac a treat while pup is not looking. Whenever he is calm, relaxed or tolerant of pup also give him a treat. Try not to let Winnie see you rewarding him though so that she doesn’t run over and overwhelm him. Right now Mac may feel overwhelmed by Winnie and because of his age it’s harder for him to handle her and keep up with her energy. He needs to feel like you are the one managing her, protecting him from her pestering him, and making her appearance pleasant for him. If you can take the pressure off of their relationship and help their interactions to be calmer, then he may adjust to her presence as she grows, especially when she calms down when older. Don’t expect them to be best friends at this age. The goal right now is calm, peaceful coexistence. They may end up bonding and enjoy each others company as adults later but they don’t have to play or be thrilled right now. Calm, co-existence is the goal at this point in any new dog relationship. My own older dog was very tolerant of our youngest dog for the first year and did well, but he avoided her some at first and they were not buddies until she became an adult and calmed down. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Tucker
Chihuahua
5 Years
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Tucker
Chihuahua
5 Years

We got a new puppy, a border collie mix, he’s 10weeks old and his name is Baymax. He’s a cute little pouncy thing and is slowly starting to take commands.

I have my chihuahua mix named Tucker he’s 5 years old. Tucker isn’t always mean to Baymax, he’s okay to approach Baymax, but he growls when Baymax approaches him. If he’s sitting with me or my boyfriend and Baymax approaches, Tucker growls louder and his hair raises. We’ve only had Baymax for a few days now and don’t expect them to be best friends just yet but what are some tips to help Tucker adjust, he’s smaller than the puppy and normally has a LOT of energy and now he’s just quiet and reserved.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Cere, First, I highly suggest crate training the puppy. Almost all puppies will cry the first two weeks of crate training - it is new to them and they have to be given the opportunity to learn to self-sooth and self-entertain to prepare them for environments they will have to be in later and prevent dangerous destructive chewing habits that happen without confinement. Use the Surprise method from the article linked below to gradually help him learn to be calm in the crate and to relax by using rewards for being Quiet. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Once pup is crate trained then life with both dogs can be a lot easier for everyone. Crate pup at night and when you leave, and you can use an exercise pen with some toys in it also. When you cannot directly supervise the dogs together, puppy should be crated or in the pen. When you are supervising, teach both dogs the Out command (which means leave the area) and make whoever is causing issues leave the area as needed. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Decide what your house rules are for both dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, no bothering another dog when they want to be left alone, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your older dog when he is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If puppy obeys, praise and reward puppy. If he disobeys, stand in front of your older dog, blocking the pup from getting to him, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your older dog. If your older dog growls at your pup, make your older dog leave the room while also disciplining pup for antagonizing if needed. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your older dog - you want him to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for puppy to learn respect for your older dog because you have taught it to him and not because your older dog has had to resort to aggression or he has to hide all the time. If you want pup to be free but don't want to chase after him while you are home, you can also clip him to yourself using a six-foot leash, so that he has to stay near you and not wander near your other dog. Whenever puppy enters the room, give your older dog a treat while pup is not looking. Whenever your older dog is calm, relaxed or tolerant of puppy also give your older dog a treat. Try not to let puppy see you rewarding him though so that pup doesn’t run over and overwhelm your older dog. Right now your older dog probably feels overwhelmed by pup and its hard for him to keep up with his energy. He needs to feel like you are the one managing puppy, protecting your older dog from him pestering her, and making his appearance pleasant for your older dog. It also sounds like your older dog is resource guarding the people - this is actually a respect issue for you guys. Don't tolerate any pushiness, guarding, or your dog getting between you and pup. If you can take the pressure off of their relationship and help their interactions to be calmer, then he may adjust to puppy's presence as he grows, especially when he calms down when older. Don’t expect them to be best friends. The goal right now is calm, peaceful coexistence. They may end up bonding and enjoy each others company as adults later! But they don’t have to play or be thrilled right now. I find that about half of all older dogs find new puppies stressful at first. Many do adjust as puppy matures though and may even become buddies - you have to add structure and boundaries to help their relationship be calmer and not force interactions though. My own older dog was very tolerant of and did well with our younger dog as a puppy for the first year, but they mostly just co-existed calmly and he avoided her touching him. It wasn't until she became an adult and calmed down that they really became friends and liked playing together. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Alina
Lab mix
10 Weeks
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Alina
Lab mix
10 Weeks

We just rescued a two month old lab mix - the person who rescued her allowed behaviors with her other dogs that my other dog and my family need to stop. The first is biting - I know she is teething so I have given her plenty of toys and things to chew on but she still has bit me and broken skin and goes for my other 5 year old Cocker Spaniels ears.I work from home most of the time but have to keep her in the kitchen with a gate up because otherwise she will just bite at the older dog. I feel bad because she cries. I also crate her at night time. She is trained already to do her business outside which is great.It has only been a week that we have had her but the biting doesn't stop and her going after the other dog is non stop if I let them both together with me there. She probably needs to burn off energy - I just am so stressed and don't want to give her up as I promised to give her a forever home but I can't let all this continue no matter what I do. I signed her up for puppy classes but it is in a group so not sure how that will go.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Stephanie, First of all at 2 months old everything she is doing is 100% normal, and unfortunately it takes all puppies time and practice to learn to control their bites - it's part of their development. Know that it's not just her or her u bringing but related to age. A puppy class should be good for her because puppies actually learn how to be gentler with their mouths by playing with other puppies and being given feedback from the other pups. It sounds like you are doing a good job overall. Train training, giving your older dog some space, potty training, and signing up for a puppy class are all fantastic first steps. It's normal for pup to cry the first two weeks they are adjusting to the exercise Pen and crate. To help things along, check out the article I have linked below and work on teaching the Leave It method. Once pup understands leave it, tell pup to leave it when she starts biting or acts like she is about to bite. If she obeys, praise and give a treat. If she keeps biting, use the Pressure method to deter her. Leave it method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Also, work on teaching pup Out and follow the section on How to Deal with Pushy Behavior when pup is pestering your older dog - to teach her to give them space when needed. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Finally, you can download 2 free pdf puppy e-books here: www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Woody
Yorkipoo
10 Weeks
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Woody
Yorkipoo
10 Weeks

We had 2 Shih Tzu's but unfortunately 1 passed away a few months ago and left the other shih tzu very lonely. We decided to get a puppy as a companion for our shih tzu but she hasn't taken to the pup at all she just wants to be up on the sofa away from him but she will watch him play and eat etc.. what is they best way to get them to bond safely?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Megan, First, I highly suggest crate training the puppy. Almost all puppies will cry the first two weeks of crate training - it is new to them and they have to be given the opportunity to learn to self-sooth and self-entertain to prepare them for environments they will have to be in later and prevent dangerous destructive chewing habits that happen without confinement. Use the Surprise method from the article linked below to gradually help him learn to be calm in the crate and to relax by using rewards for being Quiet. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Once pup is crate trained then life with both dogs can be a lot easier for everyone. Crate pup at night and when you leave, and you can use an exercise pen with some toys in it also. When you cannot directly supervise the dogs together, puppy should be crated or in the pen. When you are supervising, teach both dogs the Out command (which means leave the area) and make whoever is causing issues leave the area as needed. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Decide what your house rules are for both dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, no bothering another dog when they want to be left alone, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your older dog when she is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If puppy obeys, praise and reward him. If he disobeys, stand in front of your older dog, blocking the pup from getting to her, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your older dog. If your older dog growls at your pup, make her leave the room while also disciplining pup for antagonizing if needed. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your older dog - you want her to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for puppy to learn respect for your older dog because you have taught it to him and not because your older dog has had to resort to aggression or she has to hide all the time. If you want pup to be free but don't want to chase after him while you are home, you can also clip him to yourself using a six-foot leash, so that he has to stay near you and not wander near your other dog. Whenever puppy enters the room, give your older dog a treat while pup is not looking. Whenever she is calm, relaxed or tolerant of puppy also give her a treat. Try not to let puppy see you rewarding her though so that he doesn’t run over and overwhelm her. Right now your older dog probably feels overwhelmed by pup and because of his age it’s harder for her to handle him and keep up with his energy. She needs to feel like you are the one managing puppy, protecting your older dog from him pestering her, and making his appearance pleasant for your older dog. If you can take the pressure off of their relationship and help their interactions to be calmer, then she may adjust to puppy's presence as he grows, especially when he calms down when older. Don’t expect them to be best friends. The goal right now is calm, peaceful coexistence. They may end up bonding and enjoy each others company as adults later! But they don’t have to play or be thrilled right now. I find that about half of all older dogs find new puppies stressful at first. Many do adjust as puppy matures though and may even become buddies - you have to add structure and boundaries to help their relationship be calmer and not force interactions though. My own older dog was very tolerant of and did well with our younger dog as a puppy for the first year, but they mostly just co-existed calmly and he avoided her touching him. It wasn't until she became an adult and calmed down that they really became friends and liked playing together. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Fidelo
Miniature Schnauzer
7 Years
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Fidelo
Miniature Schnauzer
7 Years

I have had Fidelo for 4 years he was a rescue, it was just him and myself living alone in Florida. He goes everywhere with me. We have flown home to my parents house only 2 times but the second time my dad passed away so we did not go back that year. We stayed with my mom. Now 2 years later we came back up to see my mom and she happened to find a Shih tuz who is 3 still very much a puppy. How can we get my dog to tolerate or even play together. Fidelo had heart worm and was treated but he has to take a pill once a month.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Susan, First, I would make the goal calm coexistence between them. You want them to get used to simply being in the same area calmly and giving each other space before a lot of rough housing and play begins. It's also okay in general if dogs aren't play buddies. Older dogs and puppies generally play differently than each other so an older dog won't always want to play. As long as they can calmly co-exist, they can still have a good relationship. My own dogs had a decent age gap between them and rarely played, but they enjoyed each others company and got along well together. Give both dogs structure and boundaries. Keep the dogs separate when you aren't there to directly supervise. You can reward the older dog with a treat whenever pup isn't looking if your older dog is being calm and tolerant around the pup. Also reward your older dog whenever puppy first enters the room to help him associate the pup with good things. I suggest crate training or setting up an exercise pen for pup to stay in with some safe chew toys when you aren't able to supervise the dogs or either dog needs a break. Taking the dogs on a structured heeling walk together is a good way to calmly introduce them. Follow the Passing Approach method until they are calm passing, then switch to the Walking Together method from the article linked below. Passing Approach and Walking Together methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs I suggest teaching both dogs a Place command also and practicing having both dogs on their separate place beds with at least a few feet between in the same room with each other next, so that they simply get used to being near each other and relaxing. Place: https://youtu.be/omg5DVPWIWo Finally, if they are doing well with the above exercises and seem relaxed around each other, you can give them more freedom under your supervision but interrupt them and make any dog causing an issue leave the room if there is pestering or aggression. Don't let the puppy pester your older dog. Your goal is to teach your older dog tolerance and to relax around pup, and to teach pup to be respectful and give your older dog space when he wants it. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Willy Jo
English bull terrier
4 Years
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Question
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Willy Jo
English bull terrier
4 Years

I have a fixed female 4.5 yo English Bull Terrier and just got an 8 week old Olde Boston Bulldogge - my EBT has been wagging her tail and positive towards the puppy but we had in incident earlier where puppy yelped because she was either stepped on or got scared and my EBT kind of went after the puppy, not in an aggressive way but more like a, “you sound like a squeak toy and I want to give you the death shake” kind of way. I had to forcefully hold back the EBT. The EBT’s tail was wagging the whole incident. I was wondering if this is correctable behavior or is this instinct and I should get in touch with the breeder and take the puppy back before she gets hurt or killed?

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Training Success Stories

Success
Angel
Shih Tzu
12 Years

Caitlin Crittenden, you are a saver of lives. Praise God I found your Wag Walking site. I truly had given up hope with a dog issue. After reading a few stories in your blog, I found several people had the exact same problem as we (myself, two dogs) had. Caitlin wrote an answer of hope in our lives that in my humble opinion must have been Heaven sent. Bless you child!

6 months, 3 weeks ago
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Sketch of smiling australian shepherd