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New puppy trying to be alpha

cpyhrr
December 8th, 2008, 12:01 PM
I have 3 dogs; one of which is a new puppy. One of my dogs was my first dog in the group and the one I want to be alpha. He gets depressed if I pay attention to another dog more than him. My new puppy is trying to take over as alpha. He's mean to my older dog, jumps on him, pushes him out of the way, etc. I feel sorry for my older dog and wonder if both him and the new puppy will eventually get depressed from wanting things to change. Anyone have any ideas? If it's always going to be this way, I am going to give the puppy back even though I love him very much. They both get along fine with the third dog.
Carrie

Longblades
December 8th, 2008, 12:11 PM
How old is the puppy?

bendyfoot
December 8th, 2008, 12:15 PM
A few thoughts.

First of all, YOU are alpha, not any of the dogs. What you say, goes, at least when it comes to your relationship with the dogs.

Second, you cannot "force" doggy dynamics into an unnatural hierarchy among your three. They are going to, on their own, establish the relationships between themselves, and it very well could be that this new pup is more dominant than your older dog.

Third, this IS a puppy, and the puppy is going to want to play, very rambunctiously, with your other dogs. Right now he's got a "free pass" and is going to be permitted to get away with all kinds of naughty behaviour because he's young. As he ages, the older dogs may become less tolerant and you might see a shift in the dynamics again. As the pup matures, this kind of play will likely lessen in general. Is your older dog really distressed by the puppy, or is he more bothered/inconvenienced? If your older dog was really concerned about his leader position being taken over, he'd do something about it and put the pup in his place. I have three dogs, one of whom is a pup. She plays very roughly with both the elders, but one lets her get away with it, while the other (the true doggy alpha of the three) will discipline the pup if she's had enough, and the pup obeys. If your dog is acting glum, it's likely not due to the puppy per sey, more likely due to any changes that have been imposed on his routine, the amount of attention he gets, etc. It's not the pup's fault, and the pup does not deserve to be rehomed.

Lastly, it's your job as the leader to keep everyone safe, healthy and happy. If your older dog is seriously getting grumped out by the puppy antics, then it's time for you to intervene and teach the puppy what the boundaries are. This may mean distracting the puppy or separating the pup from the older dog in some way to give everyone a "time out". But all you're doing is training, teaching polite behaviour, you will not be able to artificially change the fundamental nature of their relationship.

hazelrunpack
December 8th, 2008, 12:16 PM
You can only manipulate Pack status to a small extent--what the dogs decide is going to be "the way", is the way it's going to be :D Your older dog may just be putting up with puppy antics and will eventually put the younger dog in its place. Or, it may truly be that the pup is going to end up dominant. However they work it out between them, accept it. We stop shenanigans like humping and growling or when things threaten to escalate and get out of hand because our word is law, but how they perceive the status of the other dogs is something we have no say in. :shrug:

Chances are they'll work things out to their mutual satisfaction and not have difficulties in future. Once status is set, things usually run quite smoothly. As long as no one is getting physically hurt as status signals are being worked out, things are probably normal. Just keep loving them and giving them all attention and see how it goes.

cpyhrr
December 8th, 2008, 12:28 PM
I don't know how old the puppy is; he's a rescue,but probably close to a year. He is about twice the weight of my old dog. Old dog growls and bites, puppy just ignores him and keeps biting, jumping on him. My old dog is a very small Bichon and he's also a rescue and has been my baby for 8 years. I probably shouldn't have brought another new one in and I can still give him up for adoption. My Bichon can't defend himself because the two new ones gang up on him. The puppy has attacked my Bichon and my neighbor's dog and now they're both afraid of him. He's getting pretty heavy and is very strong.

pitgrrl
December 8th, 2008, 12:34 PM
I have to say, and it may not be popular, that if you're afraid of your own dog, than it probably is a better idea to give him back to the rescue so that someone more equipped to deal with him can offer him a home.

I also think that if your older dog is not correcting the puppy and setting boundaries himself, it's your job to stop any overly pushy, annoying or rude behavior. If you're not sure how to do this, perhaps you could find an experienced trainer in your area to come work with you in your home.

Longblades
December 8th, 2008, 12:53 PM
At one year of age, thereabouts, your puppy is acting like an obnoxious teenager. It would be normal for your other two dogs to put him in his place, when he is that old. I doubt they would tolerate the same behaviour from a one year old that they would from a pup only a few months old. Perhaps, then, you are correct that he is too much for your other two to handle, and you?

Not all dogs are the same though, and I sympathize with you in this situation. I know my old Lab girl was very submissive to other dogs and she would never have stood up to any dog, even a pup. That's why, when she got older, I would never have brought a puppy into the household. It wouldn't have been fair to her and perhaps it is not fair to your older one?

How long have you had the new pup? Strong training from you might help but you say your neighbour's dog is afraid of him too and you probably don't have quite as much control with it. You don't want the new dog to hurt the existing ones. Tough decision.

bendyfoot
December 8th, 2008, 12:55 PM
This pup is way too old for the older dogs to be allowing him to get away with stuff. This is mature behaviour. You've got a few options:

1. You need to step up and learn how to be a leader of this pack. Get yourself enrolled in a training/obedience class with the new dog and enlist the help of your trainer to show you some ways to establish your leadership role in the house.

2. As PPs suggested, if you're unable to follow the first route, and you're fearful of your dog, things are likely to escalate and end badly, in which case contacting the rescue about re-homing is probably the best solution.

hazelrunpack
December 8th, 2008, 01:00 PM
Yeah, it's tough when the older dog is smaller than the youngster--and at one year the new dog is full of himself and pushing the envelope.

Have you tried any obedience training with the newbie? Classes can help the two of you bond and further your control over the dog, and instructors can be a remarkable source of information for you.

BenMax
December 8th, 2008, 01:36 PM
This pup is way too old for the older dogs to be allowing him to get away with stuff. This is mature behaviour. You've got a few options:

1. You need to step up and learn how to be a leader of this pack. Get yourself enrolled in a training/obedience class with the new dog and enlist the help of your trainer to show you some ways to establish your leadership role in the house.

2. As PPs suggested, if you're unable to follow the first route, and you're fearful of your dog, things are likely to escalate and end badly, in which case contacting the rescue about re-homing is probably the best solution.

I have to say that I agree with everyone that has responded in this thread.

Even though I work in rescue and want to see families keep their rescue dog, I also believe that sometimes the dynamics are not quite right. So many rescues would disagree with me, however I will be vocal enough to admit that there are sometimes 'bad marriages' with even the pets we choose.

I do believe in pack leadership in establishing harmony (and now is not the time for anyone to talk to me about PR so please save me the grief of quoting and blasting me at this stage). Sometimes if we cannot or do not have the strength or desire to seek out a trainer then it may be in your best interest and possibly your other dogs to kindly ask the rescue to take back their dog.

When you adopted this dog did you have your others with you? Did the rescue know that you have dogs and did they know the behaviours and personalities of yours?

bendyfoot
December 8th, 2008, 01:45 PM
I I do believe in pack leadership in establishing harmony (and now is not the time for anyone to talk to me about PR so please save me the grief of quoting and blasting me at this stage).



cookie?:o:D

BenMax
December 8th, 2008, 01:47 PM
cookie?:o:D

You bad!:laughing: But do you agree with me or not Bendyfoot?

bendyfoot
December 8th, 2008, 01:54 PM
I have to say that I agree with everyone that has responded in this thread.

Even though I work in rescue and want to see families keep their rescue dog, I also believe that sometimes the dynamics are not quite right. So many rescues would disagree with me, however I will be vocal enough to admit that there are sometimes 'bad marriages' with even the pets we choose.

I do believe in pack leadership in establishing harmony (and now is not the time for anyone to talk to me about PR so please save me the grief of quoting and blasting me at this stage). Sometimes if we cannot or do not have the strength or desire to seek out a trainer then it may be in your best interest and possibly your other dogs to kindly ask the rescue to take back their dog.

When you adopted this dog did you have your others with you? Did the rescue know that you have dogs and did they know the behaviours and personalities of yours?

You bad!:laughing: But do you agree with me or not Bendyfoot?

Pretty sure I said almost the same thing in an earlier post? You know great minds think alike, BM :D

BenMax
December 8th, 2008, 01:55 PM
Pretty sure I said almost the same thing in an earlier post? You know great minds think alike, BM :D

You said it...I was just pulling your leg. :D

cpyhrr
December 9th, 2008, 05:51 PM
Some of you have it wrong...I am not afraid of any of my dogs because none of them bite people. My new puppy just gets possessive and attacks the other dogs. I am ALPHA. All my dogs listen to me. I think the new puppy is just testing the other dogs. Unfortunately he is stronger and has more energy then the others. But I must tell you if I go with my heart, I'll keep him; but if I go with my head, I'll give him back to the rescue group. He will adopt out very quickly because he is absolutely adorable. I did find out this morning though that my old dog has a bladder infection so since he doesn't feel well, he can't stand up for himself.
Well, I'm signing off because unless I explain everything in detail, many of you misunderstand and start telling me things that aren't correct or things I already know. Thanks for trying.

pitgrrl
December 9th, 2008, 05:57 PM
Well, I'm signing off because unless I explain everything in detail, many of you misunderstand and start telling me things that aren't correct or things I already know. Thanks for trying.

That's kind of the nature of the internet, no?:shrug:
If one doesn't explain the details, those reading are left to make assumptions based on the bits of info they were given.