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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a dog whom has been the only dog for the past two years. We recently was given a new puppy.

So, this puppy is rude and would take food, chews, and treats from the old dog. The old dog is now air nipping and barking at the puppy when she tries to take things, but she still persists.

So, what is the best way to prevent my older dog from being too pissed off at the new puppy? Or should I focus on teaching the puppy manners?
 

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Yes, focus on teaching the puppy manners. First off, physically separate them when food or chews are part of the picture. Crate the pup or use baby gates, X-pens, or similar. The older dog should not have to worry about stressful mealtimes or having to defend his chews from the new pup.
You can also actively work on her manners by teaching her to settle on a 'place' (mat, bed, etc...) and then have her stay there (use a leash at first to make sure she stays put) while they each have a chew/treat.
Your older dog will be much less grumpy at the puppy when he doesn't have to constantly be guarding his stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks! At first I was letting the older dog correct the puppy but can't take the hint. Would putting the older dog in another room while training the pup be ideal or should they be able to see each other?

Thanks.
 

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Definitely step in and redirect the puppy when they don't respect the older dog's "bug off" signals. Otherwise you run the risk of things escalating, possibly to the point of them needing to be separated 24/7. Made that mistake once, hope to never do it again....

If the older dog has good mat/place skills, then having them stationed while the puppy is leashed for training will work. Otherwise, use baby gates or a pen to keep them apart while you are training them.
 
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Cat-dog, GSD spayed female and Tornado-dog, JRT mix, neutered male
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I've never physically separated my dogs.

I simply stand and step in as needed. With meals, I would make both sit and wait, then put the bowls down and release the dogs. I put the bowls about 2-3 feet apart (the width of my kitchen aisle). Often the more food oriented one (or puppy) would try to check out the others bowl. I would just keep redirecting them to their own bowl. They learn that they aren't to eat out of the other bowl.

With my prior two dogs, Moose-dog was a VERY slow eater and Bat-dog was an inhaler. I taught Bat-dog that she could not check out Moose-dog's bowl until I said OK. She would eat hers quickly, then sit and watch in anticipation like a kid at Christmas while he ate kibble by kibble by kibble. Once he was done, I gave her the signal and she would clean the bowl. Sometimes he left a few kibbles for her.

With Cat-dog and Tornado-dog, they have the same meal drive and insist on sharing their bowls - so I just let them.

With treats, I do the same thing. I make them sit, then give the treat and then stop the one from going after his sibling's treat. If they eat the treats at about the same speed, they learn pretty quickly to focus on their own treat.

If one eats significantly faster than the other, then I only give "quick eating" treats. And have the faster eater play with me until the slower eater is done with their treat.

With Cat-dog and Tornado-dog, Cat-dog will only eat dog biscuits and only when she's under the bed - so I could give Tornado-dog a chew for teething without issue. When I give Cat-dog a biscuit, I give Tornado-dog one. He eats his very fast, so once he's done with the biscuit, he gets a dentastix (she doesn't like them). By the time he's eaten both, she's just about eaten her biscuit. He never bothers her for it.
 

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I did separate my current puppy (Gibbs) from my older dog (Teagan). She's very soft and wouldn't correct him at all at first, and he pestered her ceaselessly. He also did the taking chews and toys away from her - right out of her mouth. When Teagan did start objecting a little, it would stop him for like 10 seconds and he'd start again. I figure it's my job to protect her. After all she didn't ask for a puppy. Also, while I can't imagine it happening, if she did finally get to the point of having had Enough, she could hurt him badly even with me right there.

So from the time I got Gibbs, he wasn't with Teagan except now and then for a few minutes. As soon as he got too pesty, he was behind a gate or in his ex-pen. He's 6.5 months old now and has been with Teagan almost all day for the last few weeks. He isn't any less exuberant, but he's figured out the boundaries pretty well. When he does get too pesty, I still pull him away. Two times I do that; 3d time and he's alone again for a while.
 

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Thanks! At first I was letting the older dog correct the puppy but can't take the hint. Would putting the older dog in another room while training the pup be ideal or should they be able to see each other?

Thanks.
This really depends on the dogs in question. For scheduled mealtimes, I'd suggest starting with total separation. Many dogs can & do learn how to eat calmly in the presence of other dogs, but... if your older dog has already shown some lack of patience with the close proximity of 'potential competition', why would you want to allow that to continue? Doesn't he deserve to enjoy a meal in peace?

For chews or treats, you will have to carefully observe & determine if total separation (at least at this point) is necessary, or if you can start with heavily managed sessions. As long as you can keep the new pup from getting close enough to the older dog to cause stress (which can include faster eating/chewing, hovering over his chew, etc...) you can work on this issue while they are in sight line of each other.

But, at the end of the day, my opinion is that I'd rather separate the dogs so they can fully enjoy their food/treats/chews (I mean, isn't that sort of the POINT of giving them?) than allow even low-level guarding issues to continue (since that means the dog/s are in some way stressed during what is supposed to be something good) The less we set our dogs up to feel the need to 'guard', the less they will actually guard, for the most part.
 
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