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Discussion Starter #1
We adopted a 1-yr-old beagle mix from the pound about two weeks ago. We have a 10-yr-old husky mix already. The husky mix is easy-going, so we thought that we wouldn't have a problem introducing a new dog to the household.

We didn't anticipate the new dog attacking the old dog.

He takes his toys, takes his bed, takes his food, chases him and bites him on the leg, and cuts in when we are trying to give the husky attention. We had him leashed all the time at first, which of course stops this behavior if he physically can't get to the other dog. But the humans in this house have a life too, and we just can't be holding a leash 24 hours a day. So we have been gradually letting the new dog off leash, and whenever he's excited he attacks the other dog. And he steals the dog's toys and chases him to the point where now if the husky has a toy, he just drops it before the beagle gets to him.

Yesterday, the beagle bit the husky on the leg when they were running around outside so that he yelped, though there was no blood. I was trying to get to them, but couldn't run fast enough. I scolded the beagle right away, and then put him in his crate for a little while. Not as punishment, but so that the older dog could have a break for being harassed.

If I had known this would happen, I would never have brought the new dog home. My husband is pretty fed up, too.

We are trying to be patient, but if this doesn't work, the new dog will have to go back.

I am desperate for help!
 

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First of all, get a crate and crate the beagle mix every single time you cannot watch him.

Do you know what triggers these attacks? How does the beagle react to dogs on walks?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
We are crating him when we can't watch him and at night. The behavior happens right in front of us.

On walks... it depends. If all of us are together (both dogs, me, DH, and DS) the beagle howls and bays at other dogs. If I'm walking him alone, he's quiet and friendly.

The behavior is usually when he's excited - when I am playing with the dogs in the yard, or this morning when I first let them out and the wind was blowing really hard, which excited him. Or if the other dog has anything at all that the beagle wants - a bone, a toy, etc.

Also, I am wondering if the beagle is jealous of my attention. Because the crate is in the living room, and the beagle had separation anxiety when we first got him, I have been sleeping on the sofa to calm him down. The husky sleeps in the bedroom, with my husband. (on the floor by the bed). So I'm wondering if the beagle is too close to me, and if I should start sleeping in the other room again. I'd love to have my own bed back, but don't want to cause him to regress with using the crate now that he's finally starting to get comfortable in it.

The crate doesn't fit in our room or we'd have him in there. It's a tight fit with the furniture already.

(Right now, however, the beagle is perfectly fine with the husky. Both dogs are in the living room while my son eats his breakfast and I get ready to take him to school.)
 

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I doubt the dog is trying to assert his dominance over you or the other dog. In my experience this sort of behaviour is often rooted in anxiety, resource guarding and displaced aggression when over stimulated being symptoms of the anxiety itself. You say he also has separation anxiety, not unusual for a rescue but distressing.

You have only had him two weeks so the stress of the new household etc can be overwhelming..some rescue dogs do NO bad behaviours and practically are shut down for the first couple of months in a new home and some exhibit immediate behavioural difficulties. Looks like you have the latter.

I can only tell you what I would do in this situation:
Have the dog vet checked for thyroid and lyme disease. Low levels of thyroxin, even JUST subclinical (meaning no overt signs of disease, like weight gain, sluggishness, dry coat etc) can cause changes in mood and temperament, including anxiety and aggression/hyperstimulation. It is important to request a full panel, not just the typical T4 test.

I also highly recommend that you pick up a DAP diffuser (dog appeasing pheromones). It doesn't work for all dogs but I personally have had great success with Cracker's anxiety issues simply by having the plug in..in fact I can see changes in her behaviour when it starts to run out (they last about a month). DAP diffusers are kind of like a glade plug in, with a bottle of oil that heats up and contains lavender and the pheromones of a lactating female dog...the idea being that it reminds them of their mothers before they were weaned. Cool eh?

Continue to crate, and monitor (leash on) for overexcitement and bad behaviour towards the other dog.

When you see the dog start to "hype up" or go to steal the other dogs things, use the leash to remove him, have him sit and reward him for LEAVING the other dog alone. Beagles are VERY food motivated so he should get the hang of this quickly.

Institue NILIF..no freedom, petting, food etc unless he says "please" by giving you a sit or other obedience behaviour.

Speak to your rescue about behavioural assistance, some of them offer training or behaviour advice as new adoptees often have difficulties adjusting and the rescue would most likely do what they can to ensure he has a good permanent home rather than have to take him back. (But I would be wary of any "dominance" style training...especially in a dog showing symptoms of anxiety).

Make sure your husky gets lots of good support and one on one time too and reward what has been his incredibly tolerant behaviour towards the new guy.

If you can afford it, find yourself a good positive reinforcement based trainer to help come in, assess the behaviour and help guide you towards a humane resolution of the issues.

I hope this post has been helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thanks, Maggie. I really can't afford any expensive veterinary tests right now. But I will focus on rewarding him for good behavior (which I have been doing) and keep giving the husky one-on-one time. I think I'm going to have to use the crate more to isolate the beagle when I'm with the husky, as he gets upset when I take the husky out by himself (clawing at the door, peeing on the doormat.) I didn't want to over-use the crate, but I may have to start doing that until he calms down.

Our shelter does have a trainer who is a resource, but this gentleman, though very nice, isn't terribly helpful. I emailed him and he didn't have much to say other than to keep him on the leash.

And I'll try the "please" routine.

Thank you so much!

PS I should add that the beagle really is a charming little fellow when he's not acting up, and we really are glad to have him.
 

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I'm glad to hear that.
I totally understand the money thing..really. LOL

Make sure the little guy has awesome stuff whenever you crate him to keep the crate a good place to be, maybe put a blanket over it if he likes the privacy.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes, about the money, neither my husband nor myself is working at the moment. Which means we have plenty of time to break in the new dog but... Yeesh!
 

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I'd have to wonder why someone would adopt a dog when no one in the family is working. They're not money makers, they're a luxury for you to spend your disposable income on.


The dogs need to be slowly introduced. That means maybe 30 minutes a day for a week, then 60 minutes, etc. Pick up the toys and beds, and the stuff they fight over. Slowly add stuff back in once they're okay playing together.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'd have to wonder why someone would adopt a dog when no one in the family is working. They're not money makers, they're a luxury for you to spend your disposable income on.


The dogs need to be slowly introduced. That means maybe 30 minutes a day for a week, then 60 minutes, etc. Pick up the toys and beds, and the stuff they fight over. Slowly add stuff back in once they're okay playing together.
A. I will start teaching in a few weeks. I'm a college professor. We have money set aside for this dog, and paid the $125 adoption fee to the shelter, the vet bill for his well visit, bought him toys, food, etc. My husband is in construction and is routinely laid off for short periods between jobs. Please don't jump to conclusions! We specifically adopted the dog now so that one or the other of us could be home most of the time to train him.

B. It is impossible to "slowly introduce" these two dogs. How would we separate them? Our house is too small. The living/kitchen/dining is all one area. The only way to do that would be to crate one or confine the other to the bedroom all day, which would only cause more behavior problems!
 

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Yes, they should be crated and confined, and kept apart for most of the day. Let one out when you crate the other.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Yes, they should be crated and confined, and kept apart for most of the day. Let one out when you crate the other.
And I repeat, this is totally impractical, in addition to which the dogs will resent being confined and separated from the pack, and behavior will certainly worsen. I am sure that our older dog will not understand why he has been banished to the bedroom, and will start peeing and chewing. The younger dog will feel more anxious, also, and we will lose the progress we have made with his crate training. This is just common sense.

Since the biting is infrequent, and usually occurs when the younger dog is excited, I am convinced that Cracker's advice will do the trick. So far today, the dogs have been perfectly fine together except for a brief incident in the yard this morning.
 

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I love when people ask for advice and immediately refute it.

If neither dog is comfortable being on their own for a while, you have a big problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
It's not a question of being on their own 'for a while.' You are stating that for all but 30 minutes a day, one or the other of them has to be isolated from the rest of the family. That is just ridiculous as well as impractical. I won't confine the older dog, who has been nothing but patient with the newcomer, for something that is absolutely not his fault. And yes, he would probably start exhibiting bad behavior after a day or two, because he would be frustrated and unhappy.

As well, since the shelter personnel told us to keep the new dog with us all the time we are home, the old dog would be perpetually isolated. Which of course, we can't do. It's just not fair or right.

Not only that, "slowly introducing" is moot at this point, for the new dog has been with us for almost two weeks now. When they were introduced by shelter personnel, (who are just as dog-matic as you are in their advice ;-) ) they told us the two dogs should be absolutely fine together. They did not recommend isolation, just leashing for the beagle until he learns the rules of the household. It's probably our fault for not leashing him for the full two weeks, but as I said originally, the humans in this house have lives too and it's getting really difficult to be on the other end of that leash all day.

I confess, some of the "snapping" on this thread is my fault, because I gave a more strongly worded original post than the situation really warrants, because I have learned that mild posts don't garner replies. So yes, we are frustrated about this situation, and concerned that it may not work out, but the problem is really only occasional - particularly when the new dog is excited.

We really do want to stop the behavior a.s.a.p., however, so these dogs can learn to get along amicably all the time. We are trying to be patient; apparently we need to continue doing so.

I don't think your solution is a good one in our case because a) they are already introduced and b) it doesn't really address the issue of what to do when the behavior occurs. It only postpones the behavior until whenever the dogs are interacting again.

I posted because I wanted to find out if there is anything we should be doing to correct the problem when it occurs that we aren't already doing. Like, I don't know, hooting like an owl and flapping our arms because it triggers some kind of canine response to prevent biting.

I didn't come here to get into an argument. You've gotten my hackles up. Now I'm going to put myself in time out.
 

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I don't find it ridiculous or impractical. My dogs are only together for a small part of the day, yet they get plenty of attention, exercise, training and what not. Neither feels "left out". I've only had the second dog 3 weeks so they're past the 30 minute a day limit, but they still spend the majority apart. Most of the day one is with me.

I feel if a dog cannot be confined without acting out, there is a problem still.

Slowly introducing can still work, because there is obviously a problem, and by starting over you can remove the problem.

You seem to have ignored the rest of the post I made about removing the trigger items like toys and beds.

You have gotten a lot of other good advice from posters. You're not going to get a quick fix like an owl sound because it does not exist. Dogs are not robots. There is no magic button.

If you don't let them get to the point of the fight so often, it will get better faster than if you let them start fights and try to punish them.
 

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Good job on reading my post. You're not going to see the point of view, so why don't you try the OTHER IDEAS OTHER PEOPLE posted, instead of trying to criticize my way? (which is working great for our dogs, and people in my classes have had success with as well, but okay)
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I just came back to delete my post. I should not have allowed myself to get into this argument. My apologies for sinking to this level, so common on advice forums.
 

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I just came back to delete my post. I should not have allowed myself to get into this argument. My apologies for sinking to this level, so common on advice forums.
Please don't give up on the forum. There are a lot of helpful people here. I have been trying to formulate an appropriate response to Jesirose and I have been stumbling on my words.

I do know if I crated my current dog that much when introducing a new dog, I would just be creating problems.
 

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MegaMuttMom I'd love to hear any responses.

But if you're going to ask how long I've had the second dog, or my first dog, or ignore the stuff I already posted, it won't be worth it ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thank you for your reply. I don't know if the extended crating method works with puppies; it might. I've never had a puppy, just these two rescue dogs. And you certainly can't treat an arthritic senior dog like you would a puppy. I shouldn't let myself get this frustrated, though. I'm old enough to know better!

;o)
 

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MegaMuttMom I'd love to hear any responses.

But if you're going to ask how long I've had the second dog, or my first dog, or ignore the stuff I already posted, it won't be worth it ;)
I think you were harsh and judgmental with the OP. Saying what works for you is very different than calling someone out for getting a dog without a job and insisting that they reject advice when they clearly were listening to advice given earlier on the thread.
 
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