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old dog vs puppy

pamha
April 5th, 2005, 09:00 AM
Our vet has already told us this is a lost cause, but I wanted to ask in case anyone has any ideas or techniques we could try. Our older dog Maggie is nearly 13, blind and mostly deaf. She`s never been aggressive to people or animals even when other dogs have tried to go after her. They are both chow-probably shepard mixes although Maggie is 3/4 chow.

Lola, the 3 month old shelter pup, is so far a more aggressive personality. We are working on basic training (she`s mostly housetrained) and will be enrolling her in puppy/obediance training soon. The problem is she *really* wants to socialize and play with Maggie, rolling in front of her constantly, getting in her face, you get the idea. While I understand both of their behaviors, our fear is that Maggie will lash out and seriously hurt Lola, Lola is about 1/3 her size. So far she`s only caught a few nips, but not enough to deter her. Our vet confirms there is a possibility of serious injury and recommends keeping them separate. We`re lucky enough to have a gate separating the front and back (both fenced) yards, but Maggie prefers to spend most of her time in front, using the back for potty business, so I`m constantly switching dogs when they are out. We`re also trying to only have one in the house unless Lola is in her crate.

I figure as Lola matures she`ll learn to ignore Maggie and be more responsive to voice commands to keep away, but Maggie may not live that long. Plus theres the possibility that Lola will start to bully her. We`ve already seen that Lola is aggressive in defending her toys and food- we can take things away from her without protest, but not Maggie.

I know we`ve already made a few mistakes, not introducing them on nuetral territory and in getting 2 females, but I think its more having a puppy at all that is making Maggie so hateful with her. The vet thinks at her age and being blind, she`ll never accept a puppy.

Is there any hope to get them to live peacefully together?
thanks,
Pam

PS can someone please tell me if puppy questions are more appropriate for this forum or the training forum? I have a lot of them!

Lucky Rescue
April 5th, 2005, 10:33 AM
Maggie is old and infirm, and I'm not surprised she doesn't want a bouncy puppy bothering her.

At 13, she may not be around long enough for you to worry what will happen down the road when the puppy matures. That is a good thing, since two adult females of these breeds could fight fiercely when both are mature.

For now, adult dogs usually will not harm a puppy, although they may be very noisy in disciplining them and teaching them manners. However, since Maggie's sight and hearing are diminished, she could accidently harm the puppy if startled or confused.

I really don't think Maggie should have to tolerate this annoyance at her age, and I would stop the puppy from harassing her if she doesn't like it. She deserves peace in her old age.

badger
April 5th, 2005, 10:50 AM
While you are training the puppy, could you not use the 'Leave It' command when she starts getting in the other dog's face? That way it would be like any other forbidden activity.
Obviously they shouldn't be together when you are absent, for the reasons LR mentions.
I think you just have to give up the idea that they'll be pals and work on some kind of co-habitation.

andone
April 5th, 2005, 11:42 AM
my puppy tried to play with my 4 year old dog..didn't go over too well. he just growled at her, but didn't bare his teeth. no one got hurt, including the time he really got mad and started barking. since teya sleeps in my room, she thinks that when mugs sleeps in there, it's for her amusement. she doesn't understand that mugs knows that he was there first, and it was his room first.

Loraxp
April 5th, 2005, 12:46 PM
We just adopted a new pup (3 mos.) and I initially were afraid that our 2 other dogs were going to hurt her. I then realized how important the snarling and nipping is - they are establishing pack rank! While we are out the baby goes in the crate. When we are home we keep an eye on her, but don't discourage the others showing her who is boss. If it gets too rough we stop it... but otherwise it is natural.

My hypothesis on your specific situation...
As to an old blind and deaf dog being introduced to a new pup - it will likely take her getting used to her scent, then once that is accepted demonstrating rank in the pack. Some snarling and nipping to be expected... under your watchful eye of course ;) . I love the idea of the "leave it" command too, but after rank is established the pup will likely "leave it" on her own.

From experience, PLEASE try extra hard (and I know it's hard), to give the old lady the same amount of attention she recieved before the arrival of the pup. This way when her time is up you won't feel guilty for missing her final precious years, and she will hold less resentment towards the new arrival.

These are just my experiences/opinions. I hope something above might help you and yours out. Good luck with the new baby, and lots of love to the older one!! :)

Prin
April 5th, 2005, 02:45 PM
What I would do in your situation is run the puppy alone (at a dog park or somewhere big where the pup has room to trot). Play play play so when you come home the energy level will be a bit lower. This old lady needs some peace in her old age.

Normally, adult doggies don't hurt puppies but I wouldn't count on that when you're talking about a very old dog. They can be very crabby as it is.

I would teach the pup "Leave her alone" and go remove her from around the older doggy.

yviej
April 7th, 2005, 11:59 AM
I have the same experience with my Papi. My boyfriend has a American Eskimo, Happy, that is around 13 years old too. Whenever we bring Papi over to play, Happy always doesn't seem very pleased. Like LuckyRescue said, since Happy is so old, he doesn't like any young, "bouncy", puppy deterring him. However, his other Pomeranian X, which is about 7 years old loves to play with Papi. Mostly because they both have such high energy. So, yeah ... I think it is probably an age issue.

I would probably keep the young one away from the old one is possible. That's what I do. They can be in the same area, just as long as the Papi doesn't "disturb" Happy.

pamha
April 7th, 2005, 11:22 PM
I think this is just going to take time until Lola learns to obey consistantly. We are starting puppy/obediance class in 4 weeks! (can I hang on til then?). Once she learns to leave Maggie alone, they should be able to co-exist peacefully. Although she`s never been with another chowx since puppyhood, she does get along well enough with other adult females. Generally just ignores them now that she`s too old to want to play. Maggie is submissive generally, and I doubt even knows how to act dominant, she just gets really mad when Lola ignores her 'back off' growl. Things are getting a little easier now that Lola is used to using the backyard & I have some light barriers in the house so we can separate them more easily. Other puppies we`ve been around have backed down properly, but I think we must have accidently chosen a wanna-be dominent- she is REALLy pushing boundaries in areas I hadn`t expected.
thanks!
I`ll be back with more questions soon