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Discussion Starter #1
Hello!

My Cassius (neutered 10 year old Giant Schnauzer/Great Pyr cross), who is ordinarily very friendly with other dogs, has reached a state of perpetual irritation with my pup Jet (6 month old Standard Poodle, still intact). It's not a crisis or anything - he has a safe space away from the puppy, and the pup isn't allowed to pester him when he's eating or sleeping - but I WOULD like for them to end up friends, as they're both playful, gregarious dogs. Anyone else experienced this when adding a pup to the household? I know neutering isn't a guarantee of anything other than non-reproduction, but have you found that male dogs tend to be more amicable with one another if they're all eunuchs?

I suspect they'll be fine as the pup becomes calmer and more polite with maturity, but any suggestions for how to foster peace in the meantime would be quite welcome.
 

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Can't say if it's same sex aggression or just an adolescent dog annoying a senior dog. But I think more structure and separation are always good. What I mean by that is, when they are together they get reinforcing experiences for just being near each other. For example, name game where each dog gets a treat after their name is said, switching between Cass and Jet. You can do short and simple training sessions with both dogs, not necessarily to teach new skills but to get both dogs have fun in a structured way around each other. Other than that, having Jet do something appropriate or be somewhere else if you sense he's about to bother Cass. If Cass is attacking Jet on sight or something, I would say you have a more complicated situation on your hands.

I don't think my experience reflects yours, especially since Soro was always dog selective and guardy, regardless of the other dog's gender. But when he was 11 and I got puppy Brae, I was basically prepared to do separation for the rest of Soro's life. Lo and behold, they started playing when Brae was ~8 months old. It didn't mean they were friends or that I no longer had to be careful. But their relationship certainly changed in a meaningful way. Brae is still not neutered, so I don't think gender had anything to do with my situation
 

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^^^^^ above, general rule is safety first, rather be overly cautious, using baby gates, and different routines then allow them to experience a bad event that they will not let go of from the experience.

Had a group of strong GSD's as individuals. Two of the males needed some personal space during their growing stages as they were challenging and focusing on the oldest males. Sirus at 6 months needed 6 months to get through the stage, The second that he see the oldest males, he would zero in on bothering them. So he went out to the indoor Barn kennels , "cause he couldn't be trusted and it was all he was thinking of not to trust him" Finished is puppy training and bonding one on one. Every 30 days I would bring him back to the house and the second he saw the older males he zero'd in on them , so "not ready" and back out to his area and more one on one time bonding . It was a phase for him, that he didn't get to get better at. and matured out of it.

The second male, one of those irritating pot stirrers,, couple of stronger dog scuffles and he caved and learned from those to behave in a group.

The one female, she was a faker, she always looking for an opportunity to go at my other females, she wouldn't do it in front of me, and lucky my other females wouldn't take the bait she was putting out trying to start a fight. She never got better and could not be left unsupervised with the girls.

I always try when it's puppy to adult at the ages where maturity kicks in for the pup, that your adult may be seeing what your not seeing and feeling the need to remind the pup that they older and not going to accept any challenges. Especially when your adult has been good. I would baby gate, rotate routine, give a strong consistency in your daily house hold for rules and turn taking. Give that a month and see how it goes. Dogs love structure and rules.. never hurt. it's great wait your turn, respect space and confinement, get some OB refresher and single dog one on one time for bonding stronger. It's always a positive..
 

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Some dogs don't like intact males, apparently. But obviously, you can't know if that's the problem.

When we got our puppy, our 13yo male wasn't impressed, but honestly, he only had to put her back in her place a couple times and she eventually got the message (and we ended up getting another dog for her to play with). It's a bit hard to say what the problem might be without more details.
 

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We added a female puppy when our male was 4 years old (both altered before coming to us). He was NOT happy about it for at least the first 6 months. He'd growl and snap to try and let her know to knock it off, but that just made her more wiggly and excited. She was an unusually pesky and persistent pup and she'd just annoy him til no end. He really started to accept her once we started training them together. We worked on them both settling on mats near each other, walking on leash together, playing training games together etc... I'd give our male tons of praise and treats while she was jumping all over him (which usually got her to calm down and wait for treats as well!) Rewarding him when she was around and being annoying was the most helpful thing we did. He still didn't LOVE her until she was about a year old, but he began tolerating her better and now they are best buds...snuggle with each other on the couch, play together, eat together etc.

Especially if your older dog is friendly with other dogs, there is definitely hope that they will turn out to enjoy each others company. Puppies are just annoying. Cute and wonderful in many ways, but annoying.
 

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I agree with "PatriciafromCO" - safety first. Separation, until they can handle co-habitation. Even if it's just crates or x-pens, or rooms side by side. Doing so just gives a sense of security to both. I would never want to trigger dog aggression in either dog. Also I know that my definition of peaceful coexistence is not necessarily my dog's (because I believe in pack structure). And they have to sort all that out (a younger dog is not automatically the submissive one).

I acquired a puppy when my older dog was about 9yr. But more importantly he had an "only dog" mentality. Conflicted between a touch of insecurity and natural independence. Free of separation anxiety (for example), happily enthusiastic about adventures and travel, but with no particular desire to mingle with other dogs. Yet not dog aggressive at all (never got into a dog fight with others) having visited our breeder's home with many dogs on the loose! I only say all this to illustrate his range of personality, which I truly respected. And never wanted to disrespect his status as senior (happy) member of my household. So for my second dog's young months (also extremely confident, and totally socialized with other puppies and dogs) I maintained him safely separated from my senior dog's privilege of roaming the house. Instead, I got my puppy a buddy (from the breeder) to share his own space with (in a huge x-pen enclosure). So all were happy.

I DEFINITELY fed and bedded them separately (in their crates) but side by side. Letting my senior dog know that the puppy wasn't going to be leaving. But also wouldn't become a threat because I was in control of the household. As I was putting them together more and more, it was essential to take them both walking, and on car trips. I even alternated family obedience training time between them. (Equal attention for both!).

Eventually my senior dog attempted to play with the 2nd dog. A bit of tug of war, and chase, and sharing some toys outside. I know they were a real source of company for one another. And while I needed somebody to come in to feed them during a 10 day stint, they successfully co-habitated with each other with virtually no supervision. Every once in awhile, only in my presence, they'd be a skirmish in the kitchen, which was just a confirmation of rank. But blood was never drawn.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Can't say if it's same sex aggression or just an adolescent dog annoying a senior dog. But I think more structure and separation are always good. What I mean by that is, when they are together they get reinforcing experiences for just being near each other. For example, name game where each dog gets a treat after their name is said, switching between Cass and Jet. You can do short and simple training sessions with both dogs, not necessarily to teach new skills but to get both dogs have fun in a structured way around each other. Other than that, having Jet do something appropriate or be somewhere else if you sense he's about to bother Cass. If Cass is attacking Jet on sight or something, I would say you have a more complicated situation on your hands.
Oh, yeah, it's not that bad by any means. Cas reacts when the puppy is bugging him - he doesn't initiate tussles with the puppy. And even at that I don't think the pup's ever felt his teeth, he just makes a big show of being grumpy. He's a huge boy, though, so I feel like I should be extra cautious - he could easily injure a smaller dog without intending to.

I've been doing that little switching game you suggested with Jet on a leash so he can't get overexcited and mob Cas. So far, so good. I'm not sure if it's actually making Cas like Jet more, but it's making him react with positive anticipation to being next to Jet, which is almost as good, eh? For some reason this activity seems to trigger Jet to make appeasement gestures to Cas, like licking Cas's chin, which Cas is taking in a friendly way, too.

Lo and behold, they started playing when Brae was ~8 months old. It didn't mean they were friends or that I no longer had to be careful. But their relationship certainly changed in a meaningful way.
I'm hoping for this, as they're both very playful dogs - it'd be nice if they could play with one another. But I'm prepared to keep a close eye on things and I'd be happy with just calm cohabitation.

I'm starting to suspect the problem might be (at least in part) that Cas could be feeling some old dog aches. He's not showing signs of pain but he does move more slowly and deliberately than he did when younger. I imagine being jumped on by 45 lbs of puppy doesn't feel great if you've got a touch of arthritis. I think I'll talk to the vet about it.

^^^^^ above, general rule is safety first, rather be overly cautious, using baby gates, and different routines then allow them to experience a bad event that they will not let go of from the experience. [...] Give that a month and see how it goes. Dogs love structure and rules.. never hurt. it's great wait your turn, respect space and confinement, get some OB refresher and single dog one on one time for bonding stronger. It's always a positive..
Thanks - I felt like I might be overreacting, but better safe than sorry, right? Especially as Jet's in his formative months. For now I'm only letting them interact when I'm supervising and it's a controlled circumstance.

Especially if your older dog is friendly with other dogs, there is definitely hope that they will turn out to enjoy each others company. Puppies are just annoying. Cute and wonderful in many ways, but annoying.
Thanks! I hope this is how things turn out for us, too!

Here they are at the groomer's last week:
 

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OH, you have a Poodle (and a Standard at that!). He will definitely figure it out!! Most Poodles are pretty gregarious and social! I think your Schnauzer is just being a bit of a grump (probably jealous too!). Have fun!
 

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Hey, just thought I'd give an update on this situation - I've made sure to minimize their opportunities for conflict by feeding them separately and limiting Jet's access to Cassius, especially when he's rambunctious (which is most of his waking hours, lol). I've also had Jet interacting with friends' dogs that are unaggressive but have appropriate boundaries and will correct him if he's being rude, which has improved his dog manners a bit.

Since Cas and Jet have for a while now been interacting peaceably when there's structure (like training sessions and on-leash walks), and Jet's big and sturdy enough now that being inadvertently injured is less of a concern, I've started letting them run freely in the yard together and it's going great. They've been playing nicely, with Cas even initiating play. I've kept the sessions pretty short so Jet doesn't get overexcited and turn into an alligator, and Cas doesn't get achy and crabby, as is wont to happen at their respective ages (9 mo and 11 years).

Jet has always been a fan of Cas, but now Cas greets Jet genially when the pup's let out of his crate in the morning and when they're reunited after being apart for a while (e.g. if I take one somewhere and leave the other home), whereas back when I posted this thread his reaction to seeing the pup was more like OH GOD, THIS AGAIN?

So yeah, so far, so good!
 
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