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Old 01-23-2009, 03:28 AM   #1
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Question New puppy not accepted by our older dog

We recently bought a puppy. The add stated that the pups were 8 weeks old and had their first shots etc. We went to the house that was selling them and picked a male. Named him Jesse (White Sheperd / Golden Cross). On our way home we were reviewing the vets notes and realized that the pup was actually only 6 weeks old. Pretty young to be seperated from the litter. Anyways, we brought him home, and within seconds of walking in the door, our older dog Joey starting to growl and snarl. Joey is a three year old Husky / Golden Cross.

Joey has been socialized and has many play dates with our friends dogs in our house and in dog parks and has never displayed that type of aggression. After researching the net, we found out that went about introducing them the wrong way. Water under the bridge. Its been a little over two weeks and things only seem to be getting worse. I keep reading conflicting courses of action to take in this matter. Some people say that it is normal for the older dog to show agression as it his his territory and that we should allow him to express him self. Other articles say that we are the pack leaders and shouldnt allow him to snarl or growl at Jesse and to correct him when he does and use positive reinforcement when he doesnt growl. Jesse is far to young to defend himself or to even recognize Joey is telling him to get lost.

In this particular case we believe Joey is showing Fear Aggression as he always runs away from the Jesse and often tries to hide behind us. I've read that we cant coddle him when he does this as it only reinforces his fear. The short of it is, we're confused. Do we let him growl and snarl ( He has bitten Jesse 3x, not enough to break the skin, but Jesse definitely felt it), do we correct it when he snarls? How should we correct it?

The weird thing is that when we take the dogs for small walks, Joey seems to be more relaxed and almost seems like he wants to play with Jesse but as soon as we walk in the door...

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Greg

Last edited by GB179; 01-23-2009 at 03:30 AM..

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Old 01-23-2009, 08:34 AM   #2
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Hi GB and welcome to the forum.
I would be more than worried that an adult dog would show aggression towards a little puppy. Normally little puppies can get away with almost anything and it isn't until they are about 4 months old that an adult dog will begin to expect reasonable behavior from them.
Without being there to see it it is hard to say what is going on - the pup may be so little that Jesse is triggering a prey drive in Joey. Or Joey could be defending his territory.
One time I have heard of this happening and it turned out the little puppy was extremely ill and the older dog smelled it.
That's about the best I can offer ....
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Old 01-23-2009, 09:27 AM   #3
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Hi GB, what a difficult and honestly quite surprising problem I actually don't think I could advise on this and as Skunk said we can't see the behaviour... maybe you should get a behaviourist in ASAP? That way they can assess the behaviour and go from there. But I would go about it quickly, I agree with Skunk it's very strange for an adult dog to behave like that with a little puppy, I would be worried about the puppy getting badly hurt if he's already been on the wrong end of things 3 times. I'm sorry it hasn't all gone smoothly for you when it should be great fun and that I can't be more helpful.

Let us know how you get on
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Old 01-23-2009, 09:49 PM   #4
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Thank you Skunk and Bonnie. We'll going to schedule an appointment with the vet asap for both Joey and Jesse. Just reached number 4 for bad incidents a few moments ago. Thanks again.

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Old 01-23-2009, 10:22 PM   #5
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H'oooo boy. I can only speak from experience. Calypso, my late Sheltie, was never real appreciative of puppies. In her lifetime she went through the introduction of my mom's Pom's Fizzgig then later Taliesin, and lastly after I moved out of their house she had to cope with Ashenpaw a male Border Collie. She tended to be snippy, and annoyed with them at first. And how we had delt with that was having the 'new arrival' closed off into one segment of the house by a baby gate. The Kitchen is usually the choice. A baby gate blocks the way and they are allowed to see eachother through the gate and interact with low risk. When she showed interest, and we had time, we would place her in with the new pup and watch to make sure things didn't get out of hand. If she started to get too annoyed, we'd put her back on the otherside of the gate and let her chill. This worked well as the pup clearly had a limited living space and she had control of the rest of the house. Gradually, they got used to eachother and we were eventually able to ease them into being left unsupervised together.

Ash is the little pumpkin in the blanket behind her. This is right about when she started to accept the fact that the little fuzzball was not going away.


I guess the whole key to the approach is to letting the older dog get used to the new arrival. Limiting the spacial arrangement helps to demonstrate that and keep the interactions supervised.

I'm not sure what you tried in the past, but it may be possible to go back and try a variant of this. Seeking help from your vet as you are is good. I hope they learn to get along together. See what they suggest.
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Old 01-25-2009, 09:20 AM   #6
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We had something like this go on with Molly and Mabel, Mabel being the pup and Molly being her mum so it was totally unexpected for us for Molly to become snappy and intollorent of her own puppy but she did. Mabel could not even pass her without Molly lungeing at her growling and snapping sometimes making contact but never breaking skin. Mabel was a typical exuberant pup who was used to her mum and playing with her was a common thing but Mabels play got more energetic and possibly Molly after doing her bit for procreation just wanted to rest up.

We were advised that it sounded like Mabel was being a little pushy towards her mum and what we saw as puppy play was in fact Mabel being pushy with her mum and Molly seeing this as a threat to her positioning within the pack and feeling worn out and in need of extra attention from us. Each time Molly had gone for the pup we had interfered and told Molly off, this only served to make the situation worse so what we did was watch them carefully together and when Mabel got too much before it escalated we would distract her and praise Molly and give Molly lots of attention, if we missed signals and Molly snapped we ignored the whole thing and didnt give any reaction allowing Molly to tell the pup off and put her in her place, the pup to begin with would snap back at her mum hard Molly would retreat to her bed and appeared depressed but once we allowed them to get on with things and just intervene before any lungeing took place Mabel started to show respect for her mum, Molly became brighter in herself and we now have love and harmony between them.

It might be similar for you guys your adult may just be fed up with this pushy playful puppy and want them to start behaveing with some manners.

Before this happened to us I was of the mind like some of you guys that all adult dogs will accept and tollorate anything from a pup but not always the case but when it does happen its normally the older dog feeling anxious and intimidated by the pup. Hope this helps a bit, obviously each case and each dog is different and has to be dealt with in the appropriate way to thier situation but thought Id share our experience and how we dealt with it.

Good luck

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Old 01-26-2009, 08:44 AM   #7
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Hi Greg thought i would break down your post and try to share some knowledge that i know and apply as a pet owner , a breeder and a dog lover.

there is not point going over what you have already done.. the first initial introduction was incorrect but ahh well it happens noone is perfect

Firstly bad on the people who sold you the pup they shouldn't have let a 6 week old pup go but ahh well some ppl dont care.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GB179 View Post
Other articles say that we are the pack leaders and shouldnt allow him to snarl or growl at Jesse and to correct him when he does and use positive reinforcement when he doesnt growl. Jesse is far to young to defend himself or to even recognize Joey is telling him to get lost.
YES YES YES this i swear by.. i NEVER allow:
1 my old dogs to be left alone with my puppies... especially IF there is food around.. dogs are territorial period!

2 my dogs ALL know i'm Alpha and a real ***** IF they try to have one over me... there fore they know not to try me.. saying that i am always on top of them...

Quote:
Originally Posted by GB179 View Post
In this particular case we believe Joey is showing Fear Aggression as he always runs away from the Jesse and often tries to hide behind us. I've read that we cant coddle him when he does this as it only reinforces his fear. The short of it is, we're confused. Do we let him growl and snarl ( He has bitten Jesse 3x, not enough to break the skin, but Jesse definitely felt it), do we correct it when he snarls? How should we correct it?.
YES i would correct and in the exact manner a mother dog would... you push or scruff your dog on it's side and keep your hand on its neck (not to choke but firm enough so your screaming dog stays down while you are standing over it ), this will tell the dog in it's own body language THAT you are NOT impressed AND that you are TOP dog.. eventually once the dog see all is ok and stops the tension AND the screaming... you release the dog AND turn your back or even walk away as if nothing happened... DO NOT cuddle him after the screaming a HUGE NO NO..

also if he screams and carrys on you just growl at him and use a GRUFF voice.. i know it sound stupid but believe me i have more repsect from my dogs doing that what they understand then anyone going look at that lunatic.

When you have aggressive and actively working dogs like mine who will turn on their owner you have to be prepared to bite them on the nose and show them whos boss (face to face with baring teeth and praying on the inside that they wont bite your face)... any professional and REAL trainer will tell you they have been bitten. it's life!


persoally i feel Joey needs to be put in his place!!! however i also say you do what you feel comfortable with.. i deal with hard working dogs.. and people who know me know the scars i have on my arms from dogs attempting to challenge MY STATUS...

certainly good luck with it but like a alpha dog you must protect your young... the puppy... there fore.. your older dog must know where not to cross the line.

sometimes one can be very lucky i have a bitch here who can run with my 16 week old pup and not a worry... she wouldnt hurt her.. (well she wouldn't dare try) but Chloe's sibling Abby FORGET IT she wants to kill everything.. so really you need to work on your status and have both respect you. they are just play mates and the pack mates so to speak but alpha must be someone who is boss.

good luck.. hope it does all work out for you!

The weird thing is that when we take the dogs for small walks, Joey seems to be more relaxed and almost seems like he wants to play with Jesse but as soon as we walk in the door...

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Greg
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Last edited by skunkstripe; 01-26-2009 at 01:00 PM.. Reason: removed foul language

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