Question about adopted dog behavior.
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  1. #1
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    Question about adopted dog behavior.

    About two past Saturdays I went to the shelter to adopt a dog. I got a dutch shepherd, which is about 1 yrs and some months old, so it has been about two weeks now that she's been with me. I also have a German shepherd who is about 6 years old and he has been living with me for about 6 months. My dutch, which is new to the house, she'll go onto my german's bed and she'll lay on there and won't move even if my german is standing by there, sometimes she'll do her play stance when he comes around, she'll roll around on his bed, or just lay there until i told her to get out of his bed. One time she was laying on there and my german came around and he started showing his teeth, then she started showing her teeth until she was told to get off, and recently she puked on his bed. Also, one time she was laying on his bed then gets off after my german got done drinking water and I saw that she was hiding behind the chair, ducking her head, waiting to see what he would do, but he didn't do anything. She won't go on his bed if he's there but she'll go onto his bed every chance if she can get to it. My question is why is she acting this way as if she claims that bed to be her's.

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    Senior Member gingerkid's Avatar
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    Re: Question about adopted dog behavior.

    Is there another bed for her, and if so, is it similar to the GSD's bed?
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    Re: Question about adopted dog behavior.

    She has a different bed

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    Senior Member Canyx's Avatar
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    Re: Question about adopted dog behavior.

    Dogs always want what the other dog has...

    I'd recommend instilling more structure and boundaries in your household until your dogs understand the routine. For example, new dog stays in X part of the house and resident dog stays in Y part of the house. Teach each bed a 'place' behavior and an 'off' or 'come' behavior. I'm not saying they can't ever be together. But by setting down some rules you will be better able to diffuse tense situations like when one dog guards a resource from another. Or, if that particular bed is the source of the problems. You can just remove that bed, for now, and bring it out for training purposes. Maybe teach the new dog to enjoy the other bed. You can find tons of resources online about how to teach a dog to go to bed using positive reinforcement.

    The whole 'let them figure it out' thing can work for some dogs. But it can also cause one or both dogs to escalate over time.
    Last edited by Canyx; 03-31-2019 at 03:21 PM.
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    Member airillusion's Avatar
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    Re: Question about adopted dog behavior.

    Quote Originally Posted by Canyx View Post
    The whole 'let them figure it out' thing can work for some dogs. But it can also cause one or both dogs to escalate over time.
    Canyx is right, letting them "figure it out" doesn't work for all dogs. I have one now that was raised in a "let them figure it out" household and though she didn't resource guard in her last household (she always had other dogs resource guarding things from her), she started resource guarding immediately in my household. My other dog never resource guards and actually tries to give the resource guarding dog toys. Though she does always want what the resource guarding dog has. They both want what the other has. Based on advice from here and my trainer, I started out keeping them separated by baby gates most of the time and only allowing them together when I was there to supervise. It has mostly paid off as the resource guarder no longer guards food or me but she still tries to guard toys so we don't leave toys around the house. They only get toys when I can supervise or when they are alone or in their individual crates. Its important to learn to read your dog to see before it escalates, my dog starts out by going stiff, then she growls and bares her teeth, then she snaps. The moment I see her go stiff, I call them both and grab some treats and start a training session to bring the tension back down.

    It might be a good idea to get 2 or 3 beds that are exactly the same so there are less reasons for your dogs to like one over the other.

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    Senior Member hanksimon's Avatar
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    Re: Question about adopted dog behavior.

    Could she like the smell of the GSD's bed? She's little more than a puppy in age, probably even less by maturity/experience. I think she might even like to sleep in the bed with him, if he'd allow it, but I imagine he told her "no" fairly early on.

    She has a new bed and she 'wants' (?) his old bed. Would he accept her bed and let her have his bed? And, what would she do in this case? It doesn't sound like she wants to take the bed away from him, but the smell may offer a little more security? Her play behaviors tell me something else is also going on ... Do they ever play? Does she have a 'crush' on him?

    Does he know how to play, or is he even interested in other dogs. Also, she sounds like she wants to play, and she is probably high energy - does she know how to play, and how is she with other dogs? Will either of them play with you?

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