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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello,

Firstly I just wanted to say a warm hello and I hope everyone has had good Christmas and soon to be new year!

I was just hoping to get everyones advice regarding the introduction of our two new puppies.

We have one male and one female. We introduced Sarah and Max at a neutral spot down the road in which they've both never been to, and it was pretty intense! Sarah was so joyful and loving and Max was really snappy and growling at Sarah out of fear and just wouldn't give her a chance to play and sniff and kept running to myself or my partner for safety)

Female being - Sarah - Pure Breed Neapolitan Mastiff
She is currently 21 weeks old (we've had her for 8 weeks, desexed etc.)


(older photo)


Male being - Max - Neapolitan Mastiff x Staffy
He is currently 9 weeks old (we've had him for 1 day)




However, it's weird he "humps" her when she is in the submissive position (on her stomach or laying to the side) but then he growls and becomes really scared when she tries to play with him?

There is also a size difference.. which also could be a large factor?

Max and Sarah both have separate dog bowls for water, food bedding and even toys.

Max is currently sleeping separated downstairs for a few nights, before I put him out with Sarah but the problem is, Max doesn't really get along with Sarah.. he is short with her and growls at her every-time she tries to play etc. I know we've had him only for a day and I had to drive 2.5 hours with him in the car, and it has been a big day for him, but I'm so worried he won't like her.

Also, Sarah becomes submissive but Max doesn't yet?

My partner and I have 13 days off work, to try and have a smooth transition with our dogs.

I was just hoping for some advice or tips, if anyone has had similar situations and what they tried to do? I just feel like I'm failing! Is this normal behaviour because Max is simply out of his comfort zone and Sarah isn't?

Thanks in advance
Alfred

P.S - When we first got Sarah she was amazing, she didn't even cry on her first night.. (maybe because we got her at 12-13weeks?) but Max was crying and howling tonight for the first time, which I know is normal but I left him until he stopped.
 

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Firstly, look up Littermate Syndrome. If your dogs become friends, that may occur and it's worse than your dogs not liking each other.

She is bigger than him, she's new, and if she really wants to play, it could be very overwhelming to him. Give him a day or two of rest, let him explore his new house and then start to try and introduce Sarah. Keep Sarah leashed if you have to. Don't let her get too rough with him. Let him meet her on his own terms and then just take it from there.
 

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He's overwhelmed with all of the change and very afraid of this new beast twice his size that wants to wrestle with him.

Work on her recall, and recall her and reward every time she goes near him. Don't let him think that there's no end to it. If you can't recall her from him (which you should be able to do by 21 weeks) then go get her/keep her on a leash and don't let her bother him/sniff, etc for more than a few seconds. Then bring her back physically (with the leash) and reward.

Keep them separated for a few days so that he can get his bearings. Work on engagement and drive building and some basic obedience with food to start to earn his trust. When he looks at her (From across the room, through a door, kennel to kennel, etc.) mark and treat him to build a positive association.

I'm sure they'll end up getting along fine. Many new puppies behave this way when they are overwhelmed by the bigger dogs. Look up littermate syndrome and keep them separated when you cannot supervise- period.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hey Guys!!

Thanks so much for your quick response! I feel so much better getting really thoughtful advice!

I think he needs to settle in a lot more, it was a big day! I was up all night worried that I made such a bad decision. I'd never heard of litter syndrome or anything like that, I thought they would get along like our Sarah did at the dog park?

How do I try and keep them separate? One outside and one inside at all times? Should I try and have play time for a certain period of time? I just feel bad because I want them to get along:(
 

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How big is the place you live at? You can have one dog crated, the other out. Or have one gated upstairs, the other downstairs. One gated to one room for a time, then the other, etc. I would NOT leave a dog outside by itself for long periods of time. I've never had to crate and rotate or deal with littermate syndrome personally, just a few thoughts. Best of luck! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hey Guys,

Day Two! Everything is 150% better then Max's first day yesterday!

Sarah and Max played today, a few growls here and there, but when we first introduced them this morning, they were on their leash and it was in 30 second intervals then a minute then so on and so forth and then I let both the dogs off their leash.

The key part of our success was everyones advice and I think just needed confidence. Below are photos of their day today!

Also, Max was submissive today with Sarah which has been great. The only challenge I'm finding is what to do to continue building their relationship.

My partner and I are so relieved and anymore advice would be great!

Thanks so much!!



 

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Discussion Starter #7
Unfortunately, I must take back my comment I made the other day.

Max and Sarah have been so withdrawn from each other.

Sarah has been extremely stressed and anxious, she is eating A LOT of food because she was afraid that she wouldn't get any. She was bullying Max and not being submissive.

Max has been afraid and submissive and then agressive towards Sarah. It has been horrible the last two days.

Both have been sooking and crying.

I made probably the hardest decision last night and that was to re-home Max, which I know for sure that he will be looked after through RSPCA Australia. I know we made a wrong decision and I've learnt my lesson and I know it was for the best.

Sarah is now back to normal as she was prior to us getting Max.

It's been so hard.
 

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I think you made the right choice. Max is still a puppy and he should be able to find a new home. Littermate Syndrome can be a big deal, and preventing it is three times the work (you need to train and walk each pup separately, as well as both together). If you still want to add a second dog at some point, wait until Sarah is a year or two old and is trained the way you like and is bonded with you. :)
 

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I also feel you've made a good decision in rehoming him.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Yeah, I feel the same as well. Everyone we have spoken to and even the vet said wait a year or two..

After I dropped Max off and cried my eyes out.. I got home and Sarah felt a relieved that everything was back to what it was.

I'm just shocked how quick Sarah is back to normal, I still feel guilt and ponder what it would of been like with Max in a week or two weeks from now, but I know that our decision and everyones input here, I made the right decision.

Neapolitan Mastiff are quite independent dogs and I think she actually doesn't need a friend, but what she needs to do is listen to when I say "come" she just stares at me! hehe

Time to concentrate on training her, so don't expect this is the last time you'll hear from me! haha!!
 

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There was a poster here not too long ago who had to rehome her Neo mastiff because of aggression issues towards her dogs. It took a lot of effort but another poster here helped get the dog into a wonderful home.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hey Guys,

This is quite sad, but I thought I would just let you know that I got a call from the RSPCA last Wednesday advising me that Max had passed away from Parvo whilst he was in the adoption process. We hadn't had him for 9 days.

I've been feeling so sad and guilty, and hope he is doing fine in doggy heaven.

Alfred x
 

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So sorry to hear that :[
 
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