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Puppy Raising Discuss all aspects of puppies, puppy health, etc. This forum is to be used by those members who want advice about puppies specifically.

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Old 06-17-2005, 02:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Puppy rivalry - it's worrying us to death!

Hey all!

My 8month old (Peica - 50 lbs) was adopted when she was about 10-weeks and she is a great dog. But since we introduced a young pup (8 Weeks < 10lbs) in the home, the peace is all gone!

The moment we let them out of their crates they start doggy play - we don't get any attention at all and the ruckus is just too much. The younger one is extremely boisterous, as compared to my older one who is a gentle soul.

What bothers all of us in the family tho is that all our morning wakeup kisses, the snuggling, the playing, and any shared moments with Peica are gone. It seems her relationship with us is completely need based.

We tried to read about domination in the canine world and heirarchy and all that stuff but right now it doesn't seem to make sense which one is bossing who :~

The younger one was only introduced last week into the family, the first night was a nightmare and now she sleeps well, but I am not sure if we are bonding enough with either of them since she's not cuddly like when we got her at all!!!

Please someone help!

We have a behaviour specialist coming in next week but am not sure if I can wait until then.

Thx mucha!
- P&D's Mum
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Old 06-17-2005, 04:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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For now, I believe your older pup is going to be more dominant than the younger. And as time goes on (when the smaller pup gets older), she'll eventually exert her status and try to compete for the higher ranking. This is one thing with multiple dog family's is they say sometimes in these situations, the new dog(s) brought in, will bond more closely with their 4 legged pals than the 2 legged.

I would give them each seperate time with you. Take the older pup on a walk by herself, and vice versa. While you're out, work on some commands, have some play time, etc.

There are certain postures, eye contact, and behaviors that show when a dog is trying to dominate the other. One of the most common is mounting. This behavior is completely normal, but should NEVER be allowed towards a human. Doggy to doggy is okay, but when they try to go for your leg, they're trying to dominate you. I believe another sign is biting on the neck. I'm not really positive on that one, but have read it once before.

Signs of submission are ones such as licking the lips of the other dog, rolling over, urinating when greeting, and there are many more.

I'm in no way a trainer, but am just sharing the information I have with you.

Flyndog is a trainer, and if she spots this thread, she could give you some good information about dogs and hierarchy.

But, try my suggestion. Give them each special time with everyone.

Good luck with your pups!
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Old 06-17-2005, 04:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Definetly give each one some alone time with you every day. It can be training time, going for a drive/walk, or just cuddle time. I have two dogs, one is two years old and the other is an 8 month old pup. As often as we can my husband and I split up with a dog. My husband will take one and go run errands or go to the park and I will stay home and train or cuddle the other. We can only do this about 2 or 3 days a week because of our work schedules. Usually I am home alone with both dogs and then I mainly train them both together. It helps them both bond and listen to me and not so much to each other. They both have to do the commands I give when we have training time out in the yard or out on our hikes/walks. They do great and both listen to me very well. I am working on getting them to obey their commands fast by giving the one whose bottom hits the floor first on a sit command the treat. The other one just gets praise. They catch on very fast for that one.
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Old 06-17-2005, 04:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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the puppys are only getting to kno each other, believe me, thiings will settled down, you have nothing to worry about IMO, just let them play, the will settle down, that is what happend with my SHeltie and Golden! they couldnt get enough of each other but then settled down...
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Old 06-17-2005, 05:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Something I just thought of.. you can teach both puppies the "enough" command. This means that play time is getting too rough, or they just need to settle down for a bit.
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Old 06-17-2005, 07:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks much!

Thanks everyone for taking the time to type out the detailed responses. You guys have no idea how precious you advice and encouragement is to us at this time.

Thanks Barrett for the great advice, esp the one on inducing competitive-ness for the treat - altho I think I'll haveto wait on that one until I get more attention from them - lol

Thanks Chi-chi for the comforting words. I just wonder if my older one had been really agressive how much more horrible it would have been.

Thanks Snowy spirits for the insight.

We are so worried that we might be doing things wrong - i.e disrupting the heirarchy they are trying to establish. For instance, we kept on molly-cuddling the younger one until we realised we were unwittingly challenging the older one. Once we realised this, the fighting did subside tremendously for the day. But now I don't know really when to intervene the problem is the older one has to be crated pretty much all the time the younger one is and I am not sure if that is so good.

We do feed and sleep them separately. But we have not tried taking them out - walking/for a drive separately. I will let you know how things go. Again thanks a lot folks!

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Old 06-17-2005, 07:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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To Snowy Spirits

How do I teach them enough? I tried to teach the older one 'leave her alone' and that works - for like half a minute or so and then she is back at it.
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Old 06-17-2005, 07:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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IMO, if they are trying to "work something out", as long as they aren't hurting each other or being extremely nasty, let them be. I've heard that if you intervene at the wrong time, it can send mixed signals among dogs. But you have to let them know that YOU are the alpha. YOU decide when it's time to play, and when it's time to settle down.

If "leave her alone" works somewhat, you are on the right track. When you tell her this, and she responds with actually leaving her alone and not playing, praise her, give her a treat, and possibly give her a toy to concentrate on, other than the puppy. Be persistent with it, and if you have to, tell them "enough!" and put them into their crates for a little bit. But don't make the crate seem like a bad place, so give them a nice toy or bone to chew while in the crate. A stuffed kong can work wonders at getting a dogs attention off of something, and a really yummy treat
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