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Old dog meets puppies.. should i be worried?

Mrs Bungle
March 8th, 2006, 08:07 PM
Okay, so today our pooch Scruffy (hes a 10 year old shetland sheep dog, about 20lbs or so) met my fathers two pups that he brought from South America. The pups are about 2 months old (as far as i know). The male pup is a little smaller than my dog, and the female is quite a bit smaller than him. Now, heres the thing, my dog Scruff, hes not a bully or agressive or ever showed weird behavior. One thing about him though, is that hes not particularly playful when it comes to other dogs. He can tolerate to be around other dogs, and sniffs them and such, but doesnt really play at all. Hes been in contact with other dogs - like my parents other dog they had (he passed away) and never had any issues.

Now, with the new pups, specifically the male, he just wasnt himself. The male is super playful, barks and stuff, and jumps a little, and Scruff just i guess couldnt handle it and started barking, snarling and even kinda snapped at him and the female (the female he did it once to, even though she wasnt doing anything, and the male he did it to a couple times but that only seemed to be because the male was in his face trying to play)

Whenever he would snap at the pup or get snarly, i would say,"NO, stop" and same to the pup if he was getting to rowdy.

But now, my question is, should I be worried about my dogs behaviour? Is this normal since they dont know each other well? Will my dog ever be nice to these guys?

Oh and as an aside, when i took the male outside to go pee, Scruff came with, and we were in the backyard and Scruff seemed normal, and less annoyed with him. Mind you, the dog wasnt in his face so i dont know if it matters but i thought id bring it up anyawy.


March 8th, 2006, 08:12 PM
In my opinion, older dogs set out to teach younger dogs how to behave and what is tolerable. Some very naive puppies don't stop for a simple growl, so adults learn that they have to step it up. I don't think it's unexpected for your old man to be snappy, but I would still correct it. When we had the two pups here and they relentlessly jumped on Boo, he was snappy too. We'd correct him, but remove the puppies as well. Older or calmer dogs just don't have the patience they used to.

Outside, where there is more room, the older ones relax the rules a bit and don't feel so backed into a corner.

Mrs Bungle
March 8th, 2006, 08:41 PM
thats a good point, i never thought of it.. The he is teaching them whats acceptable and what isnt.

Do you think I should be worried that scruff might actually hurt one of them if he snaps ? I dont know how rare it is or not..

Btw, i am including a pic of the two pups for you all to see...hehe

Mrs Bungle
March 8th, 2006, 08:41 PM
heres the female..

Mrs Bungle
March 8th, 2006, 08:44 PM
oy it didnt work.. try that again

March 8th, 2006, 08:52 PM
Very cute. I like the last one the best.. She's adorable.

March 8th, 2006, 09:10 PM
Totally normal behavior for Scruffy. Your response was good too. Help Scruffy to maintain some calmness, but let the puppies know they need to back off too. That way he feels supported by you and you help to teach the pups. The puppies will learn not to bug him and that is an excellent lesson - other creatures have boundaries they have to respect.

Mrs Bungle
March 9th, 2006, 09:50 AM
Should I be worried that he may actaully hurt one of them when he decides to snap??? Or is that pretty much unlikely?

Does it make a difference if Scruff may also be scared of the pups? or do the same rules apply in this case, that hes just showing boundries, weather hes scared or doesnt want to be bugged ?

Thanks guys for your help!

March 10th, 2006, 10:38 AM
If this is normal boundary setting he should not be hurting the pups. He might intimidate them but thats okay. He might even cause a pup to cry, but pups are sensitive and they can overreact. Try to be around when they are together until you get a sense of how intense he is being. He should not harm a pup, and if you think he has then you need to have him on the leash with the pups and help him to learn some manners himself. In a few days, after he sets his boundaries he might even start to engage in play when he feels more secure around them.

Mrs Bungle
March 10th, 2006, 10:59 AM
I think that my dog needs to learn some more manners as well.

The reason why i say so, is that it was mostly the larger male that was buggin him, the other female wasnt doing anything, but at one point, she was looking at him and walking by, and he just snapped at her and we couldnt tell if he really bit her hard, or if he just kinda was trying to scare her or what (the girl didnt have any marks on her and the only thing she did was start to whine for a couple seconds till we picked her up and then she stopped)

March 10th, 2006, 11:01 AM
I think all pups make him nervous and he feels the need to keep them at bay at all costs.

Mrs Bungle
March 10th, 2006, 11:04 AM
Yah that makes sense..

So then, maybe i will just try to get them used to each other by bringing the pups around often, and HOPEFULLY that will work and he will not be so skittish and cranky