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Yvonnefee

Second dog syndrome

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Hi there, looking for some advice from fellow puppy and dog owners. 4 weeks ago myself and my partner got a beautiful golden lab pup 8 weeks old. We live with another couple and their 3 yo English/American staffy. The staffy (Ray) is really well behaved, very gentle and listens well. The pup (Archie) and Ray have got on well so far, although Archie can sometimes demand bark at Ray to play. But most evenings they will cuddle up together which is very cute. However recently I have noticed that all of Archie’s attention is on Ray and the only time he looks at us is if it’s food related. We have him in puppy school but his progress is slow, I’m concerned he doesn’t need to know or learn human behaviour as he is not dependant on us like he would was he an only dog. I’ve been reading up on this and the future behavioural problems it could mean in the future and I’m getting v concerned and worried. Any advice appreciated 

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Tassie   

I think you're wise to be getting onto this early.   And you've put your finger on the problem.   Your lab pup has more value for his friend Ray than he does for you .. except when it's food related.    So your job is to use the value he has for food, and use that to build value for learning stuff and doing stuff with you .. so that you become more valuable to him than his dog buddy.    So you'll need to spend lots of time . in short sessions .. working and playing crazy games and teaching tricks to your pup .. with lots of food rewards … and without Ray in the picture.    (By the way .. there are two different breeds   Staffordshire Bull Terrier ( the short ones, sometimes also called English) and the American Staffordshire Terrier (Amstaff) … the tall ones.).

 

There's a great free dog training series open at the moment, which will give you lots of ideas of training to do and games to play with Archie to help him buid value for you, and help him in his learning.     It's on Facebook, and if you search for Recallers Masterclass you should get the link.

 

I would also be intervening to prevent Archie becoming a pest to his buddy.   HE has his puppy licence at the moment, but they can run out.   Some  separation .. maybe with an ex pen for Archie, would be good, so that Ray knows he doesn't have to do the disciplining.

 

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1 hour ago, Tassie said:

I think you're wise to be getting onto this early.   And you've put your finger on the problem.   Your lab pup has more value for his friend Ray than he does for you .. except when it's food related.    So your job is to use the value he has for food, and use that to build value for learning stuff and doing stuff with you .. so that you become more valuable to him than his dog buddy.    So you'll need to spend lots of time . in short sessions .. working and playing crazy games and teaching tricks to your pup .. with lots of food rewards … and without Ray in the picture.    (By the way .. there are two different breeds   Staffordshire Bull Terrier ( the short ones, sometimes also called English) and the American Staffordshire Terrier (Amstaff) … the tall ones.).

 

There's a great free dog training series open at the moment, which will give you lots of ideas of training to do and games to play with Archie to help him buid value for you, and help him in his learning.     It's on Facebook, and if you search for Recallers Masterclass you should get the link.

 

I would also be intervening to prevent Archie becoming a pest to his buddy.   HE has his puppy licence at the moment, but they can run out.   Some  separation .. maybe with an ex pen for Archie, would be good, so that Ray knows he doesn't have to do the disciplining.

 

Hi Tassie and thank you so much for your great response. I’m defiantly going to ramp up the time training and playing with Archie alone. Usually we leave them outside together, do you think it’s a good idea to Archie in an outside pen so he’s not constantly getting at Ray? 

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Dogsfevr   

I see it different ways some owners are insanely boring,use the same uninspiring voice tone over and over again and have expectations the dog should meet but often don’t think it’s the humans that are just no value ..

 

Some puppy classes are also very boring and don’t teach self control and enjoying your human so it really depends on the class you attend and what there focus is .

 

I guess what you need to consider is will you always be sharing a home with another around or are your future plans different .

Then base the house management on the future keeping in mind there is no guarantee they will always like each other 

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Tassie   
3 hours ago, Yvonnefee said:

Hi Tassie and thank you so much for your great response. I’m defiantly going to ramp up the time training and playing with Archie alone. Usually we leave them outside together, do you think it’s a good idea to Archie in an outside pen so he’s not constantly getting at Ray? 

Just make sure that when you're training Archie, it's play and excitement .. work is play, play is work …. it's the fun interactions that help pups learn and create great bonds.

 

For me, I'd be getting Archie used to an x pen, and a crate (again, through making them valuable places to be)… just so that if the need arises and you start to see Ray getting annoyed, you can be ready to separate them when you can't actively supervise the interactions.

 

 

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Rebanne   

Archie certainly needs to learn alone time as there is no guarantee he will have Ray forever. I'd have Archie inside more at the moment. An outside pen is a good idea but he also needs to learn toilet training and that's a bit hard to teach if he is outside all day. Good advice above :) Though I do have to say I always have more then one dog and while they all enjoy being with each other, all very much enjoy alone time with me or even just hanging on their own. i.e 2 dogs inside, one out and visa versa.

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15 hours ago, Tassie said:

I think you're wise to be getting onto this early.   And you've put your finger on the problem.   Your lab pup has more value for his friend Ray than he does for you .. except when it's food related.    So your job is to use the value he has for food, and use that to build value for learning stuff and doing stuff with you .. so that you become more valuable to him than his dog buddy.    So you'll need to spend lots of time . in short sessions .. working and playing crazy games and teaching tricks to your pup .. with lots of food rewards … and without Ray in the picture.    (By the way .. there are two different breeds   Staffordshire Bull Terrier ( the short ones, sometimes also called English) and the American Staffordshire Terrier (Amstaff) … the tall ones.).

 

There's a great free dog training series open at the moment, which will give you lots of ideas of training to do and games to play with Archie to help him buid value for you, and help him in his learning.     It's on Facebook, and if you search for Recallers Masterclass you should get the link.

 

I would also be intervening to prevent Archie becoming a pest to his buddy.   HE has his puppy licence at the moment, but they can run out.   Some  separation .. maybe with an ex pen for Archie, would be good, so that Ray knows he doesn't have to do the disciplining.

 

Hi Tassie and thank you so much for your great response. I’m defiantly going to ramp up the time training and playing with Archie alone. Usually we leave them outside together, do you think it’s a good idea to Archie in an outside pen so he’s not constantly getting at Ray? 

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Thanks everyone. I’ve started to implement some of the learns here already. This morning before work I spent about a 1.5 hours solely with Archie - playing with him, feeding him and then doing some training. I plan on doing the same after work. The dogs do not sleep in the same room and Archie has no issues with that so all good there.  Leaving him alone from time to time is not something we had taken into account so will try and incorporate that. For now they are together for a few hours during the day while we’re at work, but I’m going to look into an x pen. Initially I thought it was a dream having Ray the ‘big brother’ but didn’t take into account the impact it would have on mine and my partners relationship with Archie. He’s 4 weeks off his last vaccination so looking forward to taking him out on walks, should help with the binding too I hope :) 

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