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Hello All!

My two dogs, ages 9 and 4, get along great. They do not play together because my 9 year old Jake has had a rough past and frankly, it seems he does not know how....when i play with my other boy he just rolls over.

Lately my 4 year old Rusty has been nibbling on the back of my senior boy and trying to hump him...I just stop him and say no. This morning when the he went to drink water, Rusty hovered over the water bowl (no growling). Thoughts?

He has tried to get him to play before but Jake has growled at him in fear...in the very beginning...other times they kiss each other's faces and sleep by one another.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Hello All!

My two dogs, ages 9 and 4, get along great. They do not play together because my 9 year old Jake has had a rough past and frankly, it seems he does not know how....when i play with my other boy he just rolls over.

Lately my 4 year old Rusty has been nibbling on the back of my senior boy and trying to hump him...I just stop him and say no. This morning when the he went to drink water, Rusty hovered over the water bowl (no growling). Thoughts?

He has tried to get him to play before but Jake has growled at him in fear...in the very beginning...other times they kiss each other's faces and sleep by one another.
It is me again...apparently this is escalating and I don't know what started it...there is still no growling but they are making more eye contact almost as if they are challenging each other, and keep sniffing each other. Are there ways to prevent fighting before it even begins?
 

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It's hard to say without seeing exactly what they're doing and how you react etc....

It is possible that your older dog has some health issues you may not know about and is 'sick' and your other dog is picking up that he's getting weaker or something. I'd have the old guy checked out just in case to be sure, and make sure they're not left alone when you're not home. Depending on the relationship of the dogs as one gets older the younger ones can challenge or push things, or the older dog can be less tolerant of being pestered and things happen.
 

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It is very difficult to access the situation without being there and seeing the signals themselves. Though it does sound like you know what to look for and are catching the signs early. My one big suggestion would be not to leave them alone unsupervised at this point.

Has anything changed in the house? Anything at all? What about your schedule? Exercise? Food?

Bordermom had a great suggestion with getting the older dog checked out for health issues. Dogs pick up on these things long before we do, usually.

I would continue to interrupt any aggressive or threatening behavior. If you catch one staring, put him in time out. If you notice one dog guarding, take the prize away (even if its the water bowl).
 
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