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New Puppy - dog barking very loudly anytime she goes near anything he deems as "his"

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Abcynthia, Oct 2, 2013.


  1. Abcynthia

    Abcynthia PetForums Member

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    Hi there,

    I'm really desperate for advice. I'm sitting here in floods of tears, because I am panicking we have done the wrong thing.

    24 hours ago we picked up our new puppy. The whole reason I thought it was a good idea was because our dog loves other dogs so much. Our older dog is a 2 and half year old springer x collie, however I doubt his cross as he is actually of a larger size than both those breeds. Anyway I chose a shar pei as our second dog as I have had experience with the breed in the past and always wanted one. Now I will state this now my older dog is intact and we are taking him to the vets today to be booked in for neutering. He has lived with another dog before, but she was older than him. The new puppy is female.

    Anyway my problem - when she first arrived he was fine with her and was licking her and playing with her. Then just before bed time last night after they had a time out from each other I brought her back through and forgot he had a bone. All she did was walked past it and he pinned her and barked very loudly at her. He then went to do it again, but barked repeatedly in her face. I took this as a limited resources thing and removed it.

    This morning however was fine until about 10 minutes ago. They had time apart again, this time her with us and him having a pigs ear in the kitchen. When we brought them back together he went crazy pinning her repeatedly and barking very loudly. I know I should let them sort it out, but it is very scary to watch. My older dog very rarely barks at all so to see him like that shocks me. He pins her upside down and she yelps and barks back. He just did it over and over again. It just looks very aggressive.

    Sorry I'm sitting here absolutely freaking out that we have done the wrong thing. I don't know what to do. Keeping them apart loads will surely make it worse? I know it has only been 24 hours, but keeping them separate for long periods of time won't be easy. Especially as she is currently crying her head off with being in her crate on her own.

    Sorry this is such a jumbled mess. I am just very upset.
    Thank you x
     
  2. Dogless

    Dogless PetForums VIP

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    Could you maybe create a space that is your older dog's for having his treats that the pup cannot gain access to? Like a crate of his own?
     
  3. Abcynthia

    Abcynthia PetForums Member

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    Hi Dogless

    He actually has a crate of his own, but maybe I made a mistake putting hers next to his. Now you have said that - this behaviour was mainly in the kitchen where he has his food, his bed and the majority of his toys are. He only did it in the living room over his bone. Maybe he feels a bit threatened over "his" area? We don't usually have the doors open, just open them when he comes through then close it behind him, so maybe he feels a bit like the kitchen is one massive crate. So we have opened the whole downstairs up for him to wander as he pleases. I am also feeding hand treats for behaving well to him when she is around and he is fine with that. They are now playing like nothing happened - he even lets her nip his face without getting upset hence why I was a bit shocked. It was just traumatic to watch :(

    Thank you so much for your reply. Just talking helps me calm down.
     
  4. Dogless

    Dogless PetForums VIP

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    Sounds like resource guarding - it can be toys, food, spaces - any resource that is valuable to a dog. I'd probably feed the dogs in their crates and settle them in there with any chews until things become more harmonious. My younger dog resource guards food from other dogs (nothing from humans) so I feed mine with a closed pet gate between them and one round the corner in the kitchen so that their stress is greatly reduced.

    A good book to help you understand what may be going on and resolve it is "Mine!" by Jean Donaldson. (Booklet really - very short).

    If you have any doubt at all I'd consult a professional behaviourist however your older dog has only had 24 hours so far to get used to the young interloper which will take time as well.
     
  5. sezeelson

    sezeelson PetForums VIP

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    Hi there, I have experience of this and would just like to say, it's not the end of the world! And you can manage this very well :D

    The first thing I would like to say, considering your puppy has only been home 24 hours is to separate the dogs completely.

    Dogs are not the typical pack animals we think they are and bringing a new dog into the home is a big deal for any resident dog. Some are fine, some shutdown and get depressed, some become tense and stressed out.

    I would keep pup segregated to one room for 7 days to help your older dog come to terms in his own time without any pressure on him. If it's not quite feasible to keep her locked away (you don't want her on her own all day!) then purchase a puppy pen so she is segregated in one room. Never 'encourage' interaction at this stage. This could be all he needs to settle and relax with her around and not feel the need to guard.

    Resources -
    It's not uncommon for a dog to guard something in their lives and is a very natural instinct. This comes about when a dog has something he desperately wants to keep and a human or other dog gets to close for comfort! It stems from distrust. Resources could literally be anything from a smell, space, object and dens to food, bones, wrappers and bowls.

    So, you need to find out what he is going to guard from the pup. Is just bones and treats? Or could it be his dinner and toys too?

    Anything he does guard or you think he may guard must be kept completely out of reach from all dogs until the time is right for it.

    Teach both dogs a very strong 'leave it' and a very strong 'drop'. This is vital for making true progress. You must never let any of the dogs take from the other, even if they 'seem' ok with it. It's very important, especially for your older dog, to learn that the other dog is not a threat to their possession.

    Make sure feeding is done separately and bones are given out of sight of the other. This is to prevent him practicing the behaviour.
    Every time he growls and she doesn't attempt to take his bone (even if she wasn't even going to in the first place) the growl has been effective and will be used again next time until it becomes a strong habit, making it even harder to manage.

    The trade game -
    Start this with your older dog without pup around. This is where you simply trade what he has for something else. This helps to teach him that greater things can come from giving what he has up, it also builds trust between you and him.
    Start with low quality things he has never guarded (like a toy) and slowly build it up until your working with bones and high value treats.

    Another game you can play, you must have a perfect leave it command for this though!
    Is to put one dog in a leave while you drop a treat on the floor for the other dog and then swap over. This takes serious impulse control and should be worked towards with pup, there is no way she can do this until she has had lots of training.

    If you have a helper you can leash pup and give your older dog a bone. Have your helper walk pup up and down at a distance from your older dog. Every time pup passes, toss your older dog a yummy treat, even if he doesn't look at her. If he does react, move pup back a bit. As long as he doesn't react, slowly move pup closer.
    Do not take her too close in case he does react, you don't want to risk her getting injured.


    It can be very hard work to begin with but when you get into a routine and a feeding pattern etc. things will fall into place and as long as you are proactive his behaviour should reduce significantly.
     
  6. Abcynthia

    Abcynthia PetForums Member

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    Thank you for your reply Dogless.

    He doesn't do anything like that with humans. I was very conscious that he didn't grow up food and toy possessive because we have 2 young children. Things have been much calmer the rest of the day. I lifted anything I thought he might be funny about. I have also moved the puppies crate away from his and they are both currently have rest time with a Kong in each. I will certainly give the book a read. I need to remind myself to stay calm and not let myself get upset x
     
  7. Dogless

    Dogless PetForums VIP

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    It's easier once they have a routine. Mine cottoned to where they needed to go to eat very quickly, same for chews or anything like that; they go without being asked and stay there now. Rudi (puppy) also had a whirl at guarding the sofa very briefly so the routine became that he got off and into his crate when Kilo wanted to get on. He now gets off and into his crate automatically if he is on first and Kilo approaches - then straight back out again and onto the sofa which I don't mind as the behaviour was very short lived.
     
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