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Discussion Starter #1
I'm pretty certain that my 11-week-old Lab puppy is being overly aggressive with my 3-year-old ACD/Aussie. The Aussie (Snoopy) is, while able to stand down a 1500-pound bull, pretty timid away from the field. The puppy (Woody) is overall doing well with training, but is highly energetic until I've worn him out with a long walk and I run into problems between the time I get up (5:30 a.m.) and sunrise, when I feel comfortable taking him out in the field.

Given that they've only been walking together about a week and a half, I'd like to keep them separated for a time, then re-introduce them to one another. Hopefully that will give me time to work with the puppy, and set up better interaction.

Does this seem logical? Can anyone recommend ways to give them a better start once I do put them together again? I am honestly not certain who is more to blame in the situation, but I do know I've got to get control now.
 

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It sounds like the puppy is just too much energy for your adult dog which is totally understandable and normal. Puppies are obnoxious because they haven't learned the dog rules to how to interact politely yet. I highly doubt it's actual aggression.

I would force separation if your adult dog isn't telling the pup to back off but is obviously uncomfortable, or if your adult -is- telling the pup to stop but the pup isn't listening. But otherwise I would let your adult communicate to the puppy what is and isn't acceptable.
 

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As I mentioned in your other thread, it's normal for puppies to want to play constantly and be all over adult dogs. I highly doubt he's being aggressive.

I have no problem separating for a while if the puppy is really annoying the adult, but I wouldn't bother separating for days or weeks at a time. He won't learn to interact with her appropriately if he doesn't get a chance to do it and get corrected by her for being annoying.

My sense is that you're reading too much into what is totally normal puppy stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It's entirely possible that I'm overly concerned. There was a serious dominance issue between my old Lab and Snoopy. They had to be managed very carefully at the door to prevent conflict. We had a couple blood draws on both parts over three years. I'm trying to avoid it with Woody. (Also, Snoopy is my son's dog, and he is much more worried about her and I want him to be comfortable with them.)
 

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It's entirely possible that I'm overly concerned. There was a serious dominance issue between my old Lab and Snoopy. They had to be managed very carefully at the door to prevent conflict. We had a couple blood draws on both parts over three years. I'm trying to avoid it with Woody. (Also, Snoopy is my son's dog, and he is much more worried about her and I want him to be comfortable with them.)
That type of behavior is not typical, especially not with a lab. The chances of it happening again are pretty slim unless Snoopy is just not dog friendly (and you haven't mentioned her being the problem). I think you're being over protective of this puppy because of what happened in the past. Just let him be his own dog and figure out how own way. Woody is only 11 weeks - assuming already that his normal puppy behavior is somehow aggressive is going to stress everyone out. And if you worry enough he might decide there's something to be worried about too which isn't what you want.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
It's been a couple days, and I've put them together for supervised play several times. I do not get the sense that there's anything wrong. I think my son is over-reacting to the situation. I did separate them a time or two, putting them both in a down position and letting them get calm, and that got the idea across to both that they needed to chill. (And it wasn't me worrying about the puppy, but Snoopy--my son was concerned that Woody was nipping at her too hard. I've tried telling him that she's accustomed to more abuse than that from the cattle, but she is his best buddy.)


I'm happy to report that they're doing much better on the walk now!
 
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