New puppy and small dog - NEED HELP managing play!

Torch

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#21
Yes there personalities and play styles are very different so it's only natural it will be lots of management for a while. I took your advice and played/walked the puppy before having them together and it was a world a difference. In fact my puppy barely batted an eye at my dog or cat. He just went straight to his bed to lay down. What I started to see too is just a few play sessions throughout the day also made a difference, it's like I was constantly saying no or off, he also needs time to be a puppy and play with ME. It's only been a day but I've taken in all the advice and I already see improvement. It's going to take a while sure but the work I put in is the work I'll get out of it! Thanks all of the feedback has really helped a lot and I'll continue to implement it everyday :)
Glad to hear it! You will not regret the time you put in now.
 

lizzy275

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#22
As he gets too big to lift, I'd attach a leash to his collar (have it ready during playtime) to lead him away, lure him with a treat, or use a squeaky toy or something to get his attention.
So I used a squeaky toy (one of those unique long drawn sounding ones) and I used it to divert his attention when he was getting too rough and it worked, he stopped and I had him sit/treated.

So my question is I will want to eventually phase out using the squeaky toy. Should I use a verbal command first and if he doesn't comply, squeak the toy to redirect his attention, and then treat? I'm just trying to figure out the best way to stay consistent so that all family members in the household will go about it the same way, not to give the puppy mixed signals or delay the progress (as other than this he is great!). And also if I give a command prior should say something in a firm tone like "enough" or "off"?
 
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#23
"Leave it" command

So my question is I will want to eventually phase out using the squeaky toy. Should I use a verbal command first and if he doesn't comply, squeak the toy to redirect his attention, and then treat? I'm just trying to figure out the best way to stay consistent so that all family members in the household will go about it the same way, not to give the puppy mixed signals or delay the progress (as other than this he is great!). And also if I give a command prior should say something in a firm tone like "enough" or "off"?
I haven't read that you have trained a "leave it" type command? Have you? How? The puppy has to have that skill first. You don't just say "enough" and startle the dog to try to get it to stop doing whatever it is doing. Another tactic could be asking for non-compatible behaviors.

It seems like a lot of people skip actually training this behavior. Maybe you're already training it and I missed a thread.
 

lizzy275

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#24
I've been training leave it for a couple weeks now and we work at it in training classes. He will "leave" food until I tell him "take it". It's not 100% proofed but he does do it during training with food.

I've also taught "gentle" with food. When I say gentle he softly will eat the treat out out my hand usually licking it.

So I guess I was just trying to see which command to use so all members of the household can be consistent.
 

lizzy275

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#25
Quick Question - NEED ADVICE ASAP PLEASE

So things were getting better. This morning something happened that I wasn't sure if it went too far or not.

The puppy was being his usual pestering self to my dog. I've been very proactive in getting him to leave my dog alone when my dog seems bothered and now he is listening better to my verbal. However this morning the puppy went to bite at my dogs leg/neck what have you and before I could redirect him my dog started growling (a lot) and going after the puppy snapping at him (I don't think he really went at his skin maybe more nipping). The puppy cowered away but in a slow motion so my dog was able to go at him for a few seconds and before I had a chance to intervene my dog backed off on his own.

So to me this seemed more than just a correction/warning to the puppy? Did he take it too far? Should I have corrected my adult dog afterwards for this? My dog has always been super submissive and usually when the puppy approaches my dog in this manner my dog just usually lowers his body and takes it so to speak (even though I intervene constantly). So it really caught me by surprise. Some people might say my dog might have just had "enough" and told the puppy but I want to make sure his response wasn't taking it too far??
 

amberdyan

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#26
So things were getting better. This morning something happened that I wasn't sure if it went too far or not.

The puppy was being his usual pestering self to my dog. I've been very proactive in getting him to leave my dog alone when my dog seems bothered and now he is listening better to my verbal. However this morning the puppy went to bite at my dogs leg/neck what have you and before I could redirect him my dog started growling (a lot) and going after the puppy snapping at him (I don't think he really went at his skin maybe more nipping). The puppy cowered away but in a slow motion so my dog was able to go at him for a few seconds and before I had a chance to intervene my dog backed off on his own.

So to me this seemed more than just a correction/warning to the puppy? Did he take it too far? Should I have corrected my adult dog afterwards for this? My dog has always been super submissive and usually when the puppy approaches my dog in this manner my dog just usually lowers his body and takes it so to speak (even though I intervene constantly). So it really caught me by surprise. Some people might say my dog might have just had "enough" and told the puppy but I want to make sure his response wasn't taking it too far??
I wouldn't correct an adult dog for a reaction like that. Ever. Jumping/biting at your neck is not appropriate dog/dog interaction. It's normal puppy behavior that they eventually learn is inappropriate. If you correct your adult dog, he/she may just wait longer and longer to react when they're uncomfortable. It's the same reason I never correct a dog for growling- it just teaches them to skip the warning and go for the bite. It sounds like you're doing a really great job with these guys, but I would watch your adult dog closely when they interact. Is there a chance you're missing subtle signs that he/she is uncomfortable? Is the dog turning it's head away from the puppy or trying to move away/hide? If your dog is attempting to avoid interaction with the puppy and using avoidance body language, letting the puppy continue does two things
1. It teaches the puppy that it can ignore avoidance behavior from another dog/ it doesn't teach him what avoidance behavior is.
2. It teaches the adult dog that he's not safe, that the puppy won't stop even if he's asking it to all the ways he knows how.

Imagine if I tried to give you a giant hug and you turned away from me and I followed you and wrapped my arms around you and then you tried to wriggle away but I followed. I'm not being mean, A hug is a nice gesture! But you're uncomfortable, so you eventually shout "I DON'T WANT TO HUG LEAVE ME ALONE."

If I were you, I would limit their time together so that they both have the best chance to have ONLY positive experiences with each other. Start with small very brief interactions. In the mean time, work with your puppy on impulse control and settling in the house.

I also hear a lot of people say that only other dogs can teach dogs manners and body language, but I think you can speed up the process but intervening every time your adult dog gives off uncomfortable/ avoidance body language. I had a rambunctious annoying puppy and I intervened in every single interaction with a dog where the other dog looked even remotely uncomfortable by removing him and rewarding him for sitting at my side. Now, if he attempts to greet a dog and the dog looks uncomfortable, he runs and sits at my side.

Sorry for the long post! I just experienced similar frustrations with my puppy and other adult dogs in my extended family so I wanted to share : )
 

lizzy275

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#27
Yup sometimes my dog wants to play (but this is when the puppy gives play signals prior like play bowing, etc), the times when he doesn't is when the puppy just goes right up to him gnawing at his body parts (giving no initial play signals) so my dog will lower his body, turn his head so yes he will give avoidance signals. Your analogies make total sense, I can definitely understand how my dog is feeling! I'm glad he succeeded with your method by ignoring and sitting at your side!

Seems like I will have to be quicker to intervene and stop it "before" it happens each and every time as much as possible. It's a pretty constant thing when they are together unless I'm working with them and doing something interesting, they have a bone/something to chew on....or the puppy is very tired. I'll try limiting their interactions more but at the same time I want him to learn sooner than later appropriate behavior/play as he is towering my small dog by size by the day :(

I do have some play sessions scheduled for the puppy with other puppies so hoping that might help as well.

I figured I shouldn't correct my dog for correcting the puppy I just wasn't sure if he went over the top?? as he really went after him growling a lot and cornering him, nipping at him, etc. (all happened so fast and lasted a few seconds). I know the puppy is young and he responded by cowering away but had this happened fast forward a year may not be the case. But it might have been a lesson learned for the puppy I suppose... I'll just continue to closely monitor and try to make each interaction as positive as possible.

I see I still have a lot of work cut out for me, just was feeling a little discouraged/overwhelmed at times. Thanks for taking the time to give your feedback, it does help :)
 

milos_mommy

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#28
I was going to respond, but it would pretty much be exactly what Amber said.

It's totally ok if the dogs are currently separated most of the time. Even if you're there "supervising" but not 100% focused on managing their interactions. You're right that a year (or 3 or 6 months from now) the puppy may try to fight back if the older dog has the same reaction. So you want to do two things:

1) prevent the puppy from instigating or annoying the older dog to provocation by watching VERY closely for signs of discomfort (his tail wags stiffly or front legs get stiff, excessive lip licking, turning away, getting wall-eyed - meaning the whites of his eyes are showing as he looks at the pup with his head turned or averts his eyes).

2) not correcting your older dog for this kind of behavior, or for earlier warning signs or growling at the pup, because if he's getting reprimanded or corrected for communicating his discomfort, he'll stop communicating until he's pushed past his threshold, when he will likely bite.

I'd do frequent (a few times a day) closely managed play sessions that recieve all of your attention, and split them up for the rest of the time. That, combined with socializing with other dogs will allow your puppy to learn appropriate behavior, and as he gets older he'll be less rude and annoying to the older dog. Separating them now will allow your older dog to feel safe and know that you will step in and protect him from the puppy, so he doesn't have to protect himself. So by the time the pup is old enough to be more calm and respectful, your olde dog won't be as anxious about his behavior and fights will be less likely.
 

lizzy275

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#29
Thanks milos, I am starting to realize that now. I need to be 100% focused when they are together so that all interactions stay positive and don't escalate when my dog starts to give avoidance signals so I can intervene at the very initial signal. I do have baby gates where they can be on either side. The only trouble I have is my dog has a little separation anxiety (is great in the crate when they are both in the crate or we are not home) but when it comes to separating with the gate he wants to be on the side I am on...so this means the puppy stays on the other side for the most part when I can't monitor.

I can't lie I do get a little overwhelmed and exhausted at times at the management of things but it is becoming more of a routine now. I just have to keep reminding myself I need to stay consistent with these methods early on so things will get better.

Thanks so much, the feedback has helped me a lot :)
 

lizzy275

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#30
Update

So I just wanted to update and get some more opinions if possible...

My older dog is giving the puppy firmer corrections being that I supposed he is losing his "puppy license". If puppy is annoying him too far I allow the corrections (normally a little growl or even a couple nips at him). However recently my older dog has developed the following habit which I'll try best to explain:

It's always when we get home. When I walk in the door and both dogs are out, they of course both come to approach me. Well when my puppy approaches me my older dog instantly goes over and sort of growls and nips at him. At this point they are both very excited to see me so they both want my attention but my older dog tries to prevent the puppy from greeting me. After this the puppy thinks it's an invitation to play I suppose because he then starts doing zoomies and they both start to chase each other, etc. It's hard to make out if my older dog is growling in an aggressive manner towards the puppy because he does reciprocate and chase/play back...although this time he is much more physical in his play then normal. My older dog is the one dominating the play more so than the puppy. My older dog does sometimes growl in play so not sure if the initial growl at the door is meant aggressively or not or just more of a back off i want the attention so to say...

So now I try my best to have them separate when I come home to greet each individually or even when vistors come over (as it's the same scenario, older dog tries to nip away puppy for attention of the visitor). It has me a bit puzzled though because everytime it's happened they both start going into play/chase mode...ANY ADVICE ON BEST WAY TO HANDLE THIS?

Besides this new behavior, things are being managed (I've been doing my best to tire puppy out, training, classes, etc) but it is still very much management. While they do play nice at times he still often considers my small dog a chew toy. I'm always right there to supervise when they are together, I do notice that my puppy will jump/back off to give my older dog the ability to get up but maybe my older dog likes being chewed on because often he will just lay there so then I intervene. However he lays there mouthing back and truly looking like he is enjoying it. It just doesn't seem like he "wants" to get out...but again it doesn't seem like proper play and it can lead to an obsessive habit so I always intervene and separate when this happens...

So as I've said it has gotten slightly better but only when the puppy is tired out. For some it seems like after being together a month or two things improve greatly. For me I feel like the day that comes is far away. I guess I'm just hoping someone has had the same experience and can relate that it does improve over time and I won't always have to constantly intervene/separate daily.
 

milos_mommy

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#31
My original thought with the snarking from the older dog when you or other people arrive was resource guarding, but if he willingly goes into play sessions with the puppy afterwards, it may just be a whole lot of pent up excitement.

If it's a big issue or one of the dogs seems uncomfortable with it, I'd try to keep them separate when you get in until they can calm down....if possible put one outside, greet the other dog inside, then head out to play with the dog outside for a few minutes until they're both a little calmer before reintroducing them.

Also, if you aren't already doing this, ignore them when you first walk inside. It's normal for people to want to greet their pets as excitedly as their pets greet them, especially if you've been gone a while, but walking past them without acknowledging them and putting your stuff away and doing a few things before you speak to them or pet them or even look at them will let them see that you coming home isn't a huge deal worth getting worked up over.
 

lizzy275

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#32
Yes I was thinking resource guarding myself but then the fact that he willingly goes into play mode over excitement sounds right or maybe it's a little bit of both. In either case I think trying to separate when I come is a good idea for now and not make any fuss. I did this the other day and it went better. I can actually go out to get the mail, and come back in and it's like he acts like I was gone all day again! But yes thanks I will continue this :)
 

amberdyan

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#33
Encouragement: With proper training and management there's a great chance that they will learn to ignore each other and act appropriately and you won't have to manage them 24/7.

Real life fact: You're puppy is... 5 months now I think? You're in for quite a bit more of work until it happens. There's a light at the end of the tunnel, but it's a long tunnel : ). I GOT my puppy at 5 months and it took until he was... probably 16 months for him to be good around dogs that didn't want to play? With training and age he's grown out of being obsessed with other dogs.
 

lizzy275

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#34
Yea it hasn't been that long...I guess it feels like it's been forever though! lol I'll just keep doing what I'm doing, I'm pretty sure with time and maturity of the puppy it will get better. I guess I just get impatient for that light sometimes!
 
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#35
Too little supervision

I know you think you're managing, supervising, and protecting your older, smaller dog. Within your posts, you write a lot that says otherwise.

Think of your older, smaller dog as Grandma and the puppy as a teenager. Would you let a teen beat up Grammy? http://suzanneclothier.com/article-tags/dog-dog-interactions

From your latest update, you come home to two loose, unsupervised dogs of vastly different ages, sizes, and breeds. Please, please, please keep them separated when unsupervised for everyone's safety and enjoyment.
 

lizzy275

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#36
Oh no I would never let them be loose together when no one is home, NEVER, everyone in my house knows this is never an option! Sorry I should have been clearer. When no one is home they are either both crated or the puppy is crated in my room (with the door closed) and my other dog is loose outside my bedroom in the house. When we are home and not able to supervise they are gated off to separate areas of the house.

I meant when I get home from work, sometimes they are both loose as my husband is with them and all is fine...but when they hear that key in the door is when it gets out of hand. However, since then I've been calling hubby and giving him a heads up so when I arrive they can already be separated. It's been working out good this way as both are greeted separately and I can work with manners with the puppy.

Thanks for the link, will definitely check it out!
 
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#37
I meant when I get home from work, sometimes they are both loose as my husband is with them and all is fine...but when they hear that key in the door is when it gets out of hand. However, since then I've been calling hubby and giving him a heads up so when I arrive they can already be separated.
Great management!
 

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