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I have a middle-aged Spoodle who's lived alone with me for years. Last month, my sister moved in with me, and brought her Boxer along. We've got some trouble, but it's not the usual problem in this situation, so I've had a hard time finding advice about it. I'd love it if someone more experienced could suggest training tips for me.

My dog is a really sociable boy who LOVES other dogs. He is incredibly happy about having a roommate and follows my sister's dog around at every opportunity with his tail wagging. If she lies down he'll go lie down next to her. He shares toys and happily remains side-by-side with her on walks. But her dog is an elderly lady who just wants to be left alone to nap in the sun most of the time, and all this attention annoys her. He'll try to side beside her and sniff her, and she'll grumble and get up to go somewhere else, only for him to follow her, and so they don't settle and she becomes somewhat distressed. There's a doggy-door she can get through but he can't, leading to a separated area of the yard, and today she went out there to be left alone even though it meant standing in the rain and shivering. (A contributing factor may be that she is completely deaf and very near-sighted, so to her he's suddenly right on her without warning.) She never becomes aggressive towards him, she just gets irritated and unhappy.

When she's in a room with a closed door, he will often sit outside it looking sad and sniffing at the gap underneath. If left long enough he will start to cry. You want to let him in, but you know he'll get in her face and cause some upset.
I trained my dog in the common, usual things, but none of them really prepared us for this. He will come when I call him, and lie down if I tell him to lie down somewhere, but he won't settle there -- he'll lie down for a minute or as long as I'm paying attention, but if I make him lie down in one part of the house then leave, 5 minutes later he'll go back to crying outside his new roommates' door wanting to see her. It's been a month now so it's not just the initial excitement.

What should I do?
 

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I have a middle-aged Spoodle who's lived alone with me for years. Last month, my sister moved in with me, and brought her Boxer along. We've got some trouble, but it's not the usual problem in this situation, so I've had a hard time finding advice about it. I'd love it if someone more experienced could suggest training tips for me.

My dog is a really sociable boy who LOVES other dogs. He is incredibly happy about having a roommate and follows my sister's dog around at every opportunity with his tail wagging. If she lies down he'll go lie down next to her. He shares toys and happily remains side-by-side with her on walks. But her dog is an elderly lady who just wants to be left alone to nap in the sun most of the time, and all this attention annoys her. He'll try to side beside her and sniff her, and she'll grumble and get up to go somewhere else, only for him to follow her, and so they don't settle and she becomes somewhat distressed. There's a doggy-door she can get through but he can't, leading to a separated area of the yard, and today she went out there to be left alone even though it meant standing in the rain and shivering. (A contributing factor may be that she is completely deaf and very near-sighted, so to her he's suddenly right on her without warning.) She never becomes aggressive towards him, she just gets irritated and unhappy.

When she's in a room with a closed door, he will often sit outside it looking sad and sniffing at the gap underneath. If left long enough he will start to cry. You want to let him in, but you know he'll get in her face and cause some upset.
I trained my dog in the common, usual things, but none of them really prepared us for this. He will come when I call him, and lie down if I tell him to lie down somewhere, but he won't settle there -- he'll lie down for a minute or as long as I'm paying attention, but if I make him lie down in one part of the house then leave, 5 minutes later he'll go back to crying outside his new roommates' door wanting to see her. It's been a month now so it's not just the initial excitement.

What should I do?
Hi. Welcome to the forum.

Could you keep a house line on him, to stop him following her?

Walk them separately, so that the old girl gets some space from him?

Is there an interior door into which you could put another dog door? The door to your sister's room, perhaps?

Train him in one room/the garden, while she sleeps elsewhere?
 

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He's so eager for the company of other dogs - could you arrange playtime for him with some friendly, willing dogs? It might reduce his fascination with her.
 

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I wonder if you could try leaving something with their scents with each of them? I mean leave a blanket with his scent near her bed so she could get used to it, and leave another blanket with her scent near his bed to occupy him. I have no idea what effect this will have, it just occurs to me as something to try. Maybe their reactions will give you some clues you could use if you have to consult a trainer.

Come to think of it, maybe you could use the blanket to start training your spoodle to be calm around her. Meanwhile keeping them separated.
 
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