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Old dog/new puppy interactions.

August 16th, 2010, 11:58 AM
Hello all you lovely pet owners!

So I got a new puppy just yesterday (poodle/Lhasa Apso), and when we got him home, my older dog (a "Labradane"!) was very enthusiastic, and ran circles around the puppy. As time passed though, she grew more possessive of the pup, following him around absolutely everywhere, jumping up at us whenever we picked him up, followed by a series of neck nibbles for the little guy.

The night went smoothly, since they were both too exhausted to really get into any trouble, but this morning they got a little snippy over playtime. My older, bigger dog wanted to throw around a ball and chase each other for it, but the puppy wasn't up for it, and would keep nipping the older dog when she tried to involve him. Older dog reacted by laying flat so they were face-to-face and whining really sad/loud for a long time.

The puppy also keeps trying to nurse from my older dog.

Should I be looking into any of this? I'm just a little worried that my older dog is being so protective, and that my new puppy won't be into playing with her. :(

Thanks a lot, in advance!

August 16th, 2010, 02:23 PM
First of all, congratulations on the new pup, and we'd love to see photos!! :cloud9:

Secondly - how old is your puppy, and how old is your Labradane?
Do you use crates? Does the pup have an enclosure, or any restrictions in the house?

August 16th, 2010, 03:29 PM
I'll take better pictures once they've settled down, but here's a tentative one from when they were passed out together from exhaustion!

The puppy's two months old, and the older one is 7 years old :) We're trying not to use crates because the puppy was kept in a crate in less than ideal conditions before we got him, so he becomes anxious when we try to put him in ours. We're definitely going to give it another shot to see if he becomes more comfortable with his new environment though. Even then, any sort of separation at all really gets my Labradane all worked up (whining, restlessness, lunging around).

The puppy is free to roam around the house and is allowed out into the backyard every few hours, to get some air and roll around in the grass for a bit. Only restrictions are imposed by my older dog,m I'd say, who tries to keep the pup out of the basement, the garage, etc.

Here they are :D

August 16th, 2010, 03:57 PM

Here's one where you can see the little guy as more than a black little cloud of fluff :)

August 16th, 2010, 04:10 PM
I had big issues with my terriers. He too would grab the skin of my boston and really try to control her as if to nip her. I remember crying one day and giving up. My trainer helped me through this transition. They are best buddies now. One tip was the older dominent dog was on a leash so that I could correct easier. He still dominates her when she is doing something wrong. It's kinda funny and cute now. Also go for long leash walks, you'd be surprised how much dogs will bond walking in a pack with you.

August 17th, 2010, 07:08 PM
I'll try both the leash and the long walks! Thanks a lot for the advice, I really don't know where to begin, since it's the first time I've owned two dogs at once. They seem to have moments where they bond a lot, nuzzling and playing with each other, but at other times, they'll get really nippy, and end up having a barking war. :(

August 17th, 2010, 10:16 PM
If you pup is only 8 weeks old, I would hold off on long walks. A general rule of thumb is to walk a dog for around 5 minutes per 4 weeks of its age. So a 12-week-old pup may only need around 15 minutes of exercise, while a 20-week-old may be happier with 25 or so minutes of exercise. Too much walking can damage bone growth.

Another thing is to walk your older dog on a long walk, just you and him. He'll see that you still love him to bits and he'll have your attention on the walks and not having to split it up between him and the pup.

All-in-all, just keep a close eye on both of them. Good luck and have fun with them! :thumbs up

August 17th, 2010, 11:13 PM
From what I understand, having clear boundaries for the pup, while continuing regular practice for the adult dog is preferred. Interactions between the adult dog and the pup are supervised and brief. Pup learns it is bottom of the pecking order (and it should be - after all, lots to learn still from the alpha (you) and beta (adult dog).

Training should initially be primarily separate. You expect different things from the adult dog and from the pup, after all. The labradane will need lots of exercise (physical and mental) compared to the pup, who requires very short walks, brief play and training on the property. Here's a vid of an 8 week old pup already commanding a variety of commands: and that kind of exercise is just as valid for them as physical exercise. When pup is tired from the 5 minute (mental) exercise and 5 minute bout of playing, and the labradane has had a good long walk and is mellow, take the pup out for a pee and then introduce them for 5 minutes. At this age, your pup is bound to be tired from all that excitement.

Would you consider re-training your pup for the crate, by means of reassociating the crate with safe, sleep and lazy? Is the labradane crated?

August 18th, 2010, 09:02 AM
Sorry I didn't note that it was a young puppy, so make the walks short. I found that my older dog always wanted to correct the puppy, which is fine however sometime it was too much and very dominent. I really just supervised all the time, and puppy was crated for short periods when I wasn't there. It will sort itself out, the pup needs to be the low dog on the totem pole with you being the highest.

August 18th, 2010, 10:19 AM
We've only had the puppy for two days now, and the Labradane (Lucky) has really backed off with the nipping and protectiveness, and has gone to the other extreme, putting up with the puppy (Clover) only for a short while before choosing to leave the room, or switch pillows to nap on, if the puppy joins her. Should I be worried, or is she just trying to get some space?

This has reduced the number of confrontations between them. The last time they fought though, was over treats because I gave them each a bone and the puppy would always abandon his and go for Lucky's, who reacts by giving one sharp, really loud bark, terrifying Clover. The pup also constantly teethes ON Lucky, gripping her jowls with her teeth or biting her legs. Lucky's very patient with this, lifting her own limbs gingerly around him and pushing him away with her head.

The Labradane is not crated, she wanders all around the house as she wishes, but she knows when to stay out of our way. I'll try re-introducing Clover to the crate as positively as I can, since it might help with the kerfuffles between the two!

During walks, Clover tires quickly, so I end up carrying him after about 1/4 of the walk. I hadn't considered it, but this might contribute to my Lucky's distress, since she might feel that a lot of the attention is being focused on the pup.

Thanks a lot for the input everyone, every little bit means a lot, since I feel really out of my element with this!

August 18th, 2010, 10:26 AM
Sounds more positive now that Lucky walks away. I don't do bones with my guys. Just quick chew treats for positive behavior. Crate will help pup with giving a break to Lucky.

August 18th, 2010, 10:56 AM
I tried chew treats, but they go through them really quickly. With the bones, they settle down and mellow out, as they gnaw away, kind of feels like they're bonding. Unless they're disputing whose bone is whose, like yesterday ;)

I was concerned that it might be a sign of submission. Thanks for the reassurance that Lucky walking away is a good thing, Marty!

Floppy Dog
August 18th, 2010, 05:25 PM
When you try the crate training with Lucky, put in a few articles of clothing which have been worn for a day or two, jeans and a t-shirt for example. The scent of her favourite people (you and your family) will make her feel more at home in the crate. It also helps to put the crate where all the action is so as not to trigger separation anxiety. A bone to chew on is good to, as the act of chewing can be very calming to a dog.