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Hi
Would love some guidance. I have a 10 month mongrel bitch. She's clearly jealous of a puppy we're looking after and trying to show dominance to him but I'm trying to understand whether her behaviour is in the normal range which would settle down over time or whether she is likely to do serious damage. She is my first dog and was rescued off the street and fostered with her brother from about 10 weeks and I took her at about 4.5 months. She was apparently dominant with her brother. She is generally sweet natured and friendly with dogs and people although she's a bit adolescent (stand-offish sometimes and attention seeking others) at the moment.

We've had dogs visit here at our house for play before. I have been looking after my friend's 10 week male puppy for a couple of days - kind of an experiment as we are thinking of getting another dog to keep her company. She has met the puppy twice before off her territory and was fine - she didn't like it if the puppy was in my lap but I wasn't too surprised by that. When the puppy first arrived here she was very happy and friendly and they played really well under supervision for about two hours and she tolerantly put up with his being a puppy pain. The problem started when I started to dish out their food - although I was going to separate them to eat, stupidly they were both together nearby when I was dishing up. She does not resource guard with me or my husband - we can take bones she is chewing away without problem. She suddenly went nuts and terrified the puppy, snarling and barking and growling at him and she kind of sat on him and pinned him with her body. She didn't actually bite or injure him. I then separated them and fed them and left them apart for a few hours. She was then crying to be joined with the puppy (who was behind a baby gate). So I leashed her and carefully let them come together in the garden under supervision. After only a few moments - seemingly prompted by nothing - she again lashed out at the puppy and this time grabbed him by the neck in her mouth and pinned him, all the while snarling intensely. It was very scary looking. However, again she did not actually bite and he was completely unharmed although very frightened. Obviously I pulled her off instantly and have kept them separate since. She keeps coming to the baby gate and crying for the other puppy and play bowing. However other times, especially if he barks, she goes rigid and stares intently at him. Given that this puppy is only visiting I will just keep them apart but I would like to understand whether this means she wants to damage him and we should not get another dog or whether she is trying to make him show submission (which he doesn't) and it sounds like the normal sort of thing which would pass with a bit of time and effort? Have I got a problem dog?

Any guidance would be much appreciated. Sorry for the length - I though detail might help with diagnosis! I live in Mozambique at the moment and there is no way for me to get professional input - it doesn't exist here.


Thanks
 

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This is my non-professional opinion. After bringing in a new dog to our home with our resident dog I did LOTS of research of how to handle the situation. So if I was in your situation, I would -if possible- find a way to let the two dogs in the same room but before your dog is able to react, distract her by showering love and attention on her or playing with her and completely ignoring the little puppy. This will show your dog she is YOUR dog, and the other pup is next in line. That should help decrease the jealousy. We read that was how we should treat our two pups while adjusting to life together. It was VERY hard b/c we wanted to love on the new puppy b/c we assumed she was scared and sad being in a new place with strangers. BUT we did our best to give our resident dog all the attention or at least showed him attention first for a long time before turning to the newbie and giving attention. Worth a try?!

Also, seems completely normal, especially if this is an isolated incident. If she did this for every other dog around, then I would say intense training is needed. But seems to me she is just extremely jealous and feels threatened by the little pup!
 
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