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ZorrasFeeder December 28th, 2012 07:00 PM

Will My Adult Dog Attack My Puppy?
Hi! First post:) So, I have a little issue on my mind ever since I brought my puppy home 2 days ago. She is a teensy Pomeranian, who is very happy and jumps and chews (naughty thing lol). She is eager to run around, yet my older female dog worries me. We introduced them on neutral ground and were very positive. Lucy, the older, wagged her tail and whined, trying to get to the puppy. We let her sniff and find out what this fluff bundle even was. We then took Zorra, the puppy, to our house with Lucy.
So far Lucy has been watching Zorra avidly, and when we let both meet each other on the ground (cautiously), Lucy stares down, wagging and with complete concentration on her face. When the puppy moves, she follows it, staring, and I'm afraid that if the puppy runs she might chase it and snap out of reflex. She is, after all, half terrier. My concern is that Lucy might forget herself and hurt the tiny puppy out of prey drive. Is this feasible? Lucy never growls or has her fur standing on end; technically she shows no aggression, but her fixation worries me. I'm afraid she might hurt Zorra. I just don't know how to read her body language. Is my fear sensible?

hazelrunpack December 28th, 2012 10:11 PM

Most adult dogs have an inhibition against biting dogs smaller than themselves--with an obvious evolutionary benefit to puppies--but sometimes that inhibition fails. If you have any doubts, you'll need to supervise them very very closely and never leave them alone together without someone being there. Perhaps your vet can help you decipher Lucy's body language and help set your mind at ease. If not, he might at least be able to refer you to a behaviorist who could figure out what's going on.

Meanwhile, try to be vigilant without getting too anxious. The calmer you are, the easier it will be for Lucy and Zorra to accept each other.

Welcome to the board, ZorrasFeeder. When things settle down there some, I hope you'll share some pics of your two furbabies with us! :D

Dog Dancer December 29th, 2012 01:20 AM

Welcome to the board and congrats on the new puppy. I would not count myself amongst those who are great at reading body language, but if you can post a video of the fixation it may help others here give you some advice. That said, we're not professionals, and if you really have serious doubts a professional trainer/behaviourist may be your best bet. Like Hazel said though, they should never be left together unattended, not for a long while. Lucy may correct your puppy for inappropriate behaviour, but that should be a fairly swift correction on her part, not an attack and you should be able to tell the difference. Good luck to you.

kitona December 29th, 2012 07:43 AM

Agree about keeping pup seperate from older dog until you know for sure they're ok together. Not all adult dogs, especially females, take kindly to pups that they didn't give birth to being around. I have a Finnish spitz spayed female that would happily kill any pup under 4 months old. I've never proven this but she's made herself very clear. She's fine with them as long as they're not in ''her'' house.
Also, your older dog may be having jealousy issues. If you and your friends are cooing over the cute pup, your other dog is probably feeling left out and not #1 anymore. It helps a lot to pay extra attention to her.
Good luck!

ZorrasFeeder December 29th, 2012 11:49 AM

Thanks so much for the friendly advice!:) I'm very excited about my new puppy, but of course I can't leave my Lucy all left out..she's been a 'single child' for seven years, she's bound to get a bit jealous. But to be honest, I've come to enjoy Lucy's calm, well-behaved nature now that I have an overly excitable puppy I have to train, haha. I make sure to give her extra love and also, to only let down Zorra when Lucy has been outside and fed. I think that Zorra will be less 'prey' if Lucy has already eaten and is tired.
I have an appointment with the vet next Friday, and I will take Lucy with me so that Lucy can be analyzed by a professional. I mean, I pride myself on knowing my dog, but she has surprised me negatively in the past (oh jeez). Thus, I need a vet asap, also just to make sure Zorra is doing fine!
In the meantime, I'll be cautious, but I think we're making progress. Lucy sniffed Zorra's behind in a friendly manner and then walked towards me happily. So, at least no aggression. Still, I won't let them play yet.
Need to work on being calm, though! I am very concerned, especially because Zorra only weighs about 2 pounds!

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