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Old May 14th, 2012, 11:42 AM
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tenderfoot tenderfoot is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Boulder, Colorado
Posts: 1,249
Poms are super smart and FULL of personality! They can be forceful, opinionated and feisty, in addition to affectionate and playful. This little guy was starving - of course he might have some resource guarding issues with food and even toys. He hasn't had anyone take the time to teach him how to live in a group in harmony.
Your Sheltie is highly sensitive and the littlest snark from the Pom and he is keeping himself in check so he doesn't get snapped at again by the Pom. The Pom is now in charge of the Sheltie and the Sheltie is minding his manners according to the Poms rules. Yes, it is not fun to watch because you know your Sheltie would much rather be his normal relaxed self.
So think of it as your adopted a teenage child who is trying to claim the home from your own children by pushing and shoving, stealing their things, getting nasty at meals. Would you permit it and hope it changes? or would you step right up and make it clear that this is YOUR home and you set the rules and you will not tolerate bad manners. You aren't ousting the new family member, you are giving them every opportunity to learn to get along. If the new member argues or doesn't comply then you might have to make your point more often and more clearly until he gets the picture. Trust me Poms are super smart and really do want to please.
You would do well to start some basic obedience drills. Sit, down, stay, leave it, release. These basics give you a means of communication so you can guide him through his decisions.
Then set him up for the very situations he has trouble with. Put him on the leash so you have a means of control and communication while you are teaching. Teach him to sit and wait patiently for his meal. He needs to look to you and be calm before he gets released to his food. It is also good to stand in front of him with his food bowl and when he makes eye contact you can lower the bowl to him. Keep your hands on it. After he gets a bite or two then say 'enough' and lift the bowl straight up and out of range. When he gets calm and looks at you then repeat. Do this until the food is gone. He needs to understand that you control the food, he will get his fair share, but he must have manners. This will evolve to having the bowl on the ground and you are able to step in and pick it up at any time without him getting worried. The leash is there to stop him in case he goes to protect the food.
Then you have to move on to teaching him not to covet things from other dogs. The basic message is that all things belong to you and he gets them when he has good manners and he is never permitted to snark at other dogs for anything.
We have games that you can play to teach all of this and are happy to help.
Be sure you have lots of toys out so if he covets most of them your other dog still has plenty. And you less are likely to have issues if there are more toys than they need, so it is tough to get freaky about 30 toys instead of just one or two.
Please feel free to call (7 days/wk - 9am -pm Colorado time), as it will be easier to chat then to write a small book.
Just so you know we don't do 'treat based' training nor do we use devices. We are all about love, trust and respect taught through a big vocabulary and great drills.
Love Them & Lead Them,
~Elizabeth & Doug
Dog Training the Way Nature Intended
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