- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


My 2 dogs and one's possessiveness

June 29th, 2009, 10:14 AM
Ok, I have 2 Pomeranians that are overall very happy and well-behaved dogs. The oldest one is about 12 pounds and is almost 5 years old. The little one is about 6 pounds and is about 3 years old.

My problem is the little one is very mean/aggressive towards the older one with respect to food, toys, and sometimes even us for attention. Its starting to get worse where the little one even snaps/nips at the bigger one. She'll even growl and bark at him when he's 20 feet away across the room if she doesn't want him getting something she's claimed.

It just doesn't make sense to me. Otherwise the 2 love each other, they play everyday. Thankfully the older bigger Pom is very very submissive and patient and pretty much stays away from the little one when she is on a tirade.

Here's another odd thing about it. Just recently we went on a trip and had to have someone else look after them for 2-3 days. The little one never did this while we were gone. Of course she was an angel for someone else. :shrug:

I just don't know how to try and correct the behaviour. Nothing seems to work. We've tried taking away whatever she's protecting and she still acts aggressive.

Appreciate any ideas!

June 29th, 2009, 12:13 PM
"..."quote removed by Admin

Anyways, Crazypoms I (like many others here) really love NILF . Poms are smart, getting them to work for what they want would be great mental stimulation for them as well as helping them realize you control the resources and not them. Also, consider Obedience classes and/or finding a trainer that deals with this kind of behavior issues.

Good luck :thumbs up

Link to NILF:

June 29th, 2009, 02:14 PM
Good luck :thumbs up

Link to NILF:

Thanks for the link. We do generally follow those ideas and I can't really complain too much about the dog-human interactions I have. Like I said, they are pretty well behaved and obedient, except for I can't find a way to stop the sometimes aggressive behavior of the one little one towards the bigger one...

I guess finding a trainer is probably the best answer, I was just hoping to find some tips online and try to solve it on my own and save some :2cents:

June 29th, 2009, 02:15 PM
oops sorry for the double post if they both come up. I thought the first one didn't go through, didn't catch the message about posts needing to be approved by the mods before showing up. Sorry!!

June 29th, 2009, 02:41 PM
Don't fret. I have a 17 pound terrier who shows my shepherd no mercy....

June 29th, 2009, 02:58 PM
I am 100% with MommaKat on this one. NILIF is great and getting in touch with a proper trainer/obedience school would be helpful as well.

As to dullmau's post, i think that person is a troll and a :loser:. I give it a couple of days before he/she gets banned... anyone who suggests 'biting' your dog as a valid training method must have something seriously wrong with them and should not be allowed to post on a public forum.

June 29th, 2009, 04:31 PM
Good luck :thumbs up

Link to NILF:

Thanks, good reading. We actually somewhat adhere to that already, and I'm quite happy with the human-dog interactions/behavior, however, I just don't know how to effectively intervene between the two of them. When we first got the little one (at only 1 pound!) we were so worried about the older one (already 12 pounds) hurting her we were very dilligent about getting him to play gently and rolling over for her. I think maybe we did our job too well! But I think it's also in his nature to be gentle/submissive.

Don't fret. I have a 17 pound terrier who shows my shepherd no mercy....

Yeah, I think she has ultra small dog syndrome. She was the runt of the litter and was very aggressive even as a puppy with the other larger litter mates. We've kind of just let it be for awhile, especially since it didn't seem to bother the larger pom, but lately the little girl has become more and more ruthless.

A trainer maybe in the works eventually, was just hopeful to find some wisdom for free on the internet.

June 29th, 2009, 10:00 PM
Welcome to the board, CrazyPoms. You are in the right place.

When we first got the little one (at only 1 pound!) we were so worried about the older one (already 12 pounds) hurting her we were very dilligent about getting him to play gently and rolling over for her. I think maybe we did our job too well! But I think it's also in his nature to be gentle/submissive.

There may be something to what you just said. As a first step, it is always helpful to have some insight into why certain behaviours exist. I came across the following article on canine rivalry that struck me as being similar to some of the things you are experiencing and you may find it interesting.

In doing some of the things you did out of your concern for the safety of the little one when she was so tiny, you may have inadvertently helped her establish the dominant role over the older one, although it could very well have happened this way anyway in the natural course of things. As long as everyone is reasonable happy, it really doesn't matter who is the more dominant (the human is always the highest ranking). There are many on this board who have multiple dog households. I'm sure others have experienced situations where one dog becomes overly aggressive towards the other dogs and they may be able to share some of their experiences in dealing with this type of issue.

June 30th, 2009, 09:48 AM

Thank you very much for the link! It almost sounds as if I should let them be! I just think its a little odd that the little one seems to be getting more and more aggressive despite the fact the bigger one hasn't changed his behavior and is still submissive. I definitely see them as "kids" and always try to treat them fairly, maybe I'll try following the instructions in the article and indulging her dominant behavior. Just seems a little counter-intuitive but obviously what I'm doing isn't working. Thanks again.

June 30th, 2009, 10:04 AM
I agree that 99.9% of the time it's best to let dogs work our their differences themselves. Your older dog would have been able to stop/correct any overly rude behaviour in the puppy when they were playing, and she would have learned boundaries and manners. Normal corrections could include growling, teeth-baring, snapping, and "hitting" the side of the face/cheek/muzzle with an open mouth. Any of these are polite and not painful, even if a pup yelps or cries. The pup would also then learn how to "appologize" politely.

We see lots of corrective behaviour between our three dogs. The ONLY time we interevene is if the behaviour crosses the line from corrective to aggressive. We've seen tons of teeth and growling and snapping...but I think only one truly aggressive incident in the past year. THOSE you stop ASAP. Otherwise, let dogs be dogs. They speak more clearly to each other than we could ever hope to...and interfering with their "language" can cause confusion and stress.

June 30th, 2009, 10:45 AM
Yeah, we definitely saw help from the corrective behaviour between the two dogs. When our first Pom was a puppy we had a really hard time teaching it bite inhibition while playing. Thankfully it grew out of it and is really good now. When we got the second Pom, it learned very quickly how hard it should and shouldn't bite from our older Pom while they played. It took quite a few yelps and an occasional snap or two but we were really impressed with how quickly she learned to control her bite strength when playing.