Dog trouble

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Xytheus, Oct 5, 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Not sure where else to ask this. Google is failing me.

    My little sister adopted a new puppy recently. It's a little over three months old and we've had it for two months. A week ago the puppy tried to steal our bigger, older dogs food and the bigger dog attacked the pup pretty ferociously. We caught them so no harm was done but the puppy was definitely freaked. The two were back to playing with each other within a day. Now all of a sudden today (a week after the previous incident.) the big dog attacked the puppy twice without any reason. Why would it do this?

    Possibly helpful info:
    The big dog is a lab-shepherd mix. About 7 years old.
    The puppy is a mix of everything under the sun. Only breed we can identify is terrier.
    Both are female.

    The big dog also did not eat it's food today and only ate a little the day before.
  2. My eldest dog before she passed was like this at first. When they are that young you should feed them separately. The only example I can think of is that when Lucy was on the couch (typically in her spot) and the puppy would come over to "play" she would snap at the puppy as if to say "stay away this is my spot." Or "Buzz off im tired!" Its highly likely your edlest dog is very territorial over certain aspects on the house.

    My dog was also 13 years old and plagued with lime disease and other bodily failures so she was naturally more testy. Oh and my dog was a yellow lab. I don't really have much advice to give on why your elder dog is behaving that way since I'm not actually there to SEE what's going on. Plus I'm not an expert.
    • Useful Useful x 2
  3. Oh yeah! And the fact that they are both female plays a lot into this as well. They are more likely to fight over who is top dog compared to a male and female pairing. Same goes with male and male pairings. This could be your dog simply showing its dominance, and even my dog Lucy bit my puppy clarice pretty hard. She has a little bump on her head from a bite Lucy gave. We used to have another female dog that was around five years old that was a rescue dog and they would constantly fight over food to the point my eldest dog Lucy ended up in the hospital. (we ended up having to give the rescue dog away)

    Unfortunately, you both need to CONSTANTLY watch them. One wrong move and your bigger dog could easily and seriously hurt the puppy or even kill it.
    • Useful Useful x 2
  4. Hm.. Well, admittedly, our bigger dogs and our really little one have gotten into a fight or two before. Most of the time, over food, other times it can be anything as simple as one getting on another's nerves, or, especially over dominance. Dominance is always a huge piece, and if that's what it is, it can be a bittt complex. You need to let them settle things themselves, but also keep them under a constant watch and make sure that you intervene if it gets to be anything more than growling towards each other and/or slight wrestling. o_o

    As Vio said, it'd likely do you some good to separate them while they eat! Personally, we do that in my house, even though our dogs are no longer puppies.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Everything said so far sounds on point, especially the thoughts about dominance.

    On that note, bear in mind that you (as the owner) are included in the dominance equation. I can't tell you how many times I've run across owners who fail to assert themselves. So, each dog is actually eating food that belongs to you, which you are letting them have. My older dog (also lab-shepard mix) needed gentle reminders of this when we introduced the younger dog. They are both males, but evolution applies regardless of gender when it comes to canine dominance ... in my opinion.

    Hope this helps.
    #5 Sterling, Oct 6, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2015
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Dominance and Territory is what I'm thinking the main issues here are.
    Perhaps part of that being territorial over the house, not liking the little puppy taking up space in 'her' home.

    Though I would also suggest feeding the dogs separately. That way you eliminate the risk of then quickly snatching food from the other while eating at least.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. I have pretty much the same problem at the moment - my neighbor's dog is about 6 years old a pekinese-something mix (so she's pretty tiny) has been over a lot and she sees me as her second owner so she was really angry when I got my own dog (he's a 6 month old windhound-mali mix). At first she tried to attack him all the time (which he thought to be funny because he's already twice as tall). Now I got her to stop - you just have to be very calm and let them sort it out themselves as long as no serious biting is involved and also show them that you are the "chef". As soon as they calmed down a little I did some work with them (search games and tricks) next to each other. If you do that you should not favor one over the other - also when you pet them or something like that.
    Now I only have to watch out when it comes to their pillows (my puppy really does not like to share his) and food.
    Also. I tried letting them play together on neutral ground - just go into the woods, a large field or some other place you can let them run free. They are a lot calmer outside where there is no fighting over territory and I found it really helps them to get used to each other.
    And like the others said watch them constantly.

    Of course I am in no way an expert - it's just what I did pretty recently and helped in a similar situation. I hope it helps a little.
  8. I have some experience in this area. I'm a dog shelter volunteer and I've done a lot of my own personal studying about dogs and their behavior.

    Your puppy is definitely learning the manners of the house, as can be seen when you said that the pup tried to steal the older dog's food. When you introduce a new dog into the household expect some challenges. Everyone is basically testing each other to see how the social power/hierarchy is going to change, and you are included in the mix.

    In regards to feeding time, always, always, ALWAYS supervise your dogs until you are ABSOLUTELY SURE they will get along. Even then, I've petsitted for a client who had their beagles for over ten years and they still supervise their dogs during feeding time because one of the beagles likes to steal the other dogs food.

    Also, when you are feeding them you want to discourage any sort of behavior that could be seen as aggressive or possessive. You see your pup look towards the other dogs food/bowl a few seconds longer than deemed acceptable, you tell them no. That way they start learning that their bowl is the only bowl they can eat out of.

    If this doesn't deter the behavior of any of your dogs, then you will have to separate them. You could using a slow feed bowl for your puppy to keep them engaged in their own bowl instead of the other dogs. Slow feed bowls have ridges in them so your dog will have to work to get the food. (Make sure the material its made from is safe for your dog).

    Like the others have said your puppy needs to learn manners. I'd suggest Googling how to do Introductions to New Dogs, or Dog Social Skills.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.