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Discussion Starter #1
Hello:

We adopted a 4 1/2 month old labrador retriever puppy last week he's about 35# pounds. Our 7 year old maltese mix is 20# and not happy. The puppy runs him over and pounces on him. The maltese corrects him by growling and biting, but the puppy backs off for a minute and then continues the same behavior. The maltese now hides from the lab and shakes and is very uncomfortable with the lab around.

Some background. The maltese mix grew up with a golden retriever and they were very peaceful together. The played appropriately. The golden passed away last august. The current dogs are both male. The golden was a female.

Our question is what do we do to help them get along? Who should be disciplined, the maltese who is growling and biting the lab, or the lab who is playing rough? If so how do we discipline
Should we allow the maltese to hide from the lab?

Thank you
 

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Don't get mad at the Maltese as he is just trying to protect himself. I went through the same thing when I got my Doberman, and I have some Shih Tzu x Maltese. I would make sure that they are not allowed to be together unsupervised. Try and teach the puppy to "leave it" every time he goes to play with the Maltese and put a leash on him so you can keep him away. I was lucky that Remmy, my male would get mad at Kris (the Dobe) every time she stepped on him or one of the other dogs and she learned to respect them, still does even though he is 10 lbs. and she is 75 lbs. It takes a lot of work and supervision as most pups just want to play all the time till they are older and can hurt the smaller dog. It will get better as the pup gets older but try and find a suitable sized dog for him to play with.
 

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No matter the size of the dog, you have a big puppy. Kyllobernese gave you good advice. As long as there is no fighting, let the Maltese correct the pup. Yes, I would keep him in a leash so you can control and correct. I always use, "No! Easy!" It has only been a week so the pup needs to settle in and get some training. Lab pups can be very exuberant! Start him with some basic commands like Sit, Stat, Down and try to calm down the wild man. Lol. Reward for good behavior. When he will listen to you, try doing both dogs together and make sure the Maltese gets fed first and the Lab learns to wait. Time and patience
 

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I'd go further than redirecting, I'd separate the dogs if puppy is bothering the little guy. Give him a timeout in crate or pen when he starts pouncing on the older dog. Let him out after a couple minutes and have plenty of toys around for him to pounce on instead. You don't want a situation where the older dog MUST attack the younger one to live in peace.

In time they will learn how to play together but baby dog needs to learn not to pounce and wrestle with a much smaller dog and older dog needs to learn that baby dog really isn't going to smash him flat or draw blood even though he is a pest.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ive been trying to re-direct the lab all day to his toys and giving him treats when he "leaves it". I have both dogs on a leash when they go out. The lab will not listen to the leave it command when it comes to certain things...the little dog...the kids pant legs....and blankets. This was the outside scenario: Lab is on a leash he lunges to pounce on little dog and tries to nip the back of the little dogs neck. I pull the leash hard to yank lab off the little dog and say "leave it." I do this over and over for a good 5 minutes. The lab keeps lunging back...i pull back and repeat the command "leave it" Lab gets upset and starts barking. Then we start over. As far as blankets and kids Ive been using the bitter spray in his mouth and that seems to work better then the treats at getting him to stop. Please let me know if I am incorrect in any of the above. I felt bad yanking the lab on the leash over and over...also he was very unhappy with the bitter spray in his mouth.
 

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He is a puppy and you have only had him a short time. If it escalates to the point where he is getting too rambunctious, remove him from the situation. At that point, he is getting aggravated and so are you. Puppies have short attention spans. Better to work for a few minutes a few times a day then in long sessions. Give him supervised time with the smaller one only, at least for a while.
 

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The bitter spray is not made to squirt in their mouth but to put on some things that you do not want the puppy to chew. My five month old pup started to chew the corner of my baseboard and I sprayed where she was chewing and she has left it alone. Far better to stuff a toy in his mouth when he tries to chew on you so he realizes what he can chew on.
 

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Ive been trying to re-direct the lab all day to his toys and giving him treats when he "leaves it". I have both dogs on a leash when they go out. The lab will not listen to the leave it command when it comes to certain things...the little dog...the kids pant legs....and blankets. This was the outside scenario: Lab is on a leash he lunges to pounce on little dog and tries to nip the back of the little dogs neck. I pull the leash hard to yank lab off the little dog and say "leave it." I do this over and over for a good 5 minutes. The lab keeps lunging back...i pull back and repeat the command "leave it" Lab gets upset and starts barking. Then we start over. As far as blankets and kids Ive been using the bitter spray in his mouth and that seems to work better then the treats at getting him to stop. Please let me know if I am incorrect in any of the above. I felt bad yanking the lab on the leash over and over...also he was very unhappy with the bitter spray in his mouth.
Of course he won't listen to the leave it cue; he very likely has no idea what it means. Even if he's gotten the idea in some situations, being outside with lots of excitement is far too much of a distraction for him. He's a baby. Imagine if your child has just learned to recite the alphabet, then you ask him to recite it on stage at Carnegie Hall. He probably won't be able to do. Same with puppies and dogs. He may understand a cue in a low distraction environment when he's set up for success, but not when he's excited and surrounded by distractions.

In the scenario you described, the puppy isn't going to learn or offer a proper leave it; he's either going to get scared or, what it sounds like, more excited. Try the technique in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNAOe1djDyc

Work on management. If the puppy won't leave the older dog alone when they're outside, he can go out alone or on leash but gently kept away from the other dog. Keep non-dog items out of his reach. Use the leash or baby gates / ex-pens to keep him away from your kids (gently, there's no need to yank). Use baby gates or ex-pens to keep him out of areas he shouldn't be in.

I've never used bitter spray, but my understanding is that it's supposed to go on the items, not in the dog's mouth. Honestly, there are probably more things he shouldn't chew than he should. It's probably easier to closely supervise, and keep non-dog items away from him and encourage him to play with dog items than it is to cover everything with bitter spray.
 

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Put him in a crate for a time out when he gets carried away, whether he is barking or mouthing or chasing the other dog. He is likely overstimulated and needs to chill. At his age you will be letting him out and putting him away half a dozen times an hour!

If on a walk then arrange it so he cannot get near the other dog and go home. It isn't fair to your older dog and you don't want him to have to all out attack your clueless puppy. I walk dogs separately then plan short training walks together before counting on being able to walk two dogs with a semblance of control.

7 year old Ginger just turned to mush when Bucky bounced playfully on her when B arrived. B got timeouts when he got that excited and now half the time she scoots away instead. It isn't quite play but it is sure better than melting. Maybe in another few months they will be playing together. I never let her have to charge him to get him to stop, I don't want her to feel like that's the only way he will leave her alone and so far so good, no scuffles at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I watched the video and will practice with him. I imagine I will need to crate him when he gets overly excited and does not want to listen. I am in puppy obedience training and the trainer told us to spray bitter spray in his mouth if he is barking too much or wont drop what he is suppose to leave. It has worked so far, but now am unsure if it is good for the dog. He gets in these moods where he has his jaw open and will bite anything in site. I think its becoming a game where he bites the rug we say leave it and give him a treat or his toy... he goes back and bites the rug and it repeats over and over again. At that point i think I will crate him...but trying to get a leash on him or make him get in the crate..that is a whole other battle.
 
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