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Please help - Dog and puppy interaction


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1 hour ago, Amazetl said:

I am considering a home visit and have looked up a couple trainers in the area.  


It’s a good idea to seek help, but please be careful who you engage. Dog training is an unregulated industry, and there are sadly a lot of ’trainers’ using harmful, outdated methods, often based on long debunked myths about dogs.

 

Here’s a good place to find a dog trainer: https://www.ppgaustralia.net.au/find-a-professional

 

You’ll also want to ensure pup is enrolled in a quality puppy preschool - don’t wait until all vaccines are done. https://avsab.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Puppy_Socialization_Position_Statement_Download_-_10-3-14.pdf

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Just another thought. Maybe it’s worth having your mature golden have a thoroughly good vet check. The puppy may be highlighting issues such as sight or hearing loss, or chiropractic issues, that until puppy arrived she was managing to live with without anyone really noticing. Dogs are very good at adapting, and sometimes even quite significant issues can go unnoticed. 

You might find nothing, but at least that’s ruled out then. 

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Thank you for that. I do feel like she needs a vet check. Maybe it’s just a new puppy in her life but she has been acting sort of startled now and then. She has always been a bit sensitive but she usually is quite a happy carefree dog. She has had some other big changes in life recently too with a family member moving out and taking a dog with them that she was quite close to. They do still see each other but not as often now. 

 

Thank you for the tips on trainers. I have always leaned towards positive training and my Golden has really been very good at that. She pretty much never gets into trouble or does anything bad. It’s just this difficulty with her accepting puppy into her space. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Hi everyone, still struggling quite a bit here. Puppy is going well, she is in puppy class and just loves it. She loves to learn and is super smart and has super focus. Mostly she’s a very good girl but does a few cheeky puppy things but overall is soft and gentle. 

 

Last night she was on her couch where she sleeps at night. She also has her own bed and an open crate in a gated area of the house and she chooses where she wants to be in that room. She mostly sleeps all night. So last night she was asleep on her couch but had only just fallen asleep, big dog needed to go outside which meant going through the gated room. Usually I would get puppy to go in her pen in the other room before letting big dog through but as she was asleep I decided let her through.

 

Puppy was a bit startled awake, not by any noise but she must have just opened her eyes briefly or smelt her or something and she barked a few times like a protection bark before she realised what it was. Immediately big dog got very scared. Big dog had only trotted to the door and had taken no notice of puppy until the bark. Big dog was terrified. Her tail went between her legs and she sort of curled into her body while still standing and decided to run back the other way through the baby gate. I then got a lead on and led her through and she was fine once she got outside. Puppy stayed on the couch. I did get puppy to go into her pen when big dog came back inside. 

 

My dog is terrified of all sorts of things now. She has always been a bit sensitive but she used to be such a happy girl. The reason why I thought of posting is because I was just watching videos of her at about age 1 and 2. She was racing around the room with her extended dog family including toy breed dogs who were chewing their special chews (no aggression whatsoever or resource guarding) and she’s having such a good time and they were all so happy and all got along so well. She was confident and in her ‘pack’. Now her pack has all changed. 

 

She doesn’t have the toy dogs anymore as they moved although she still does get to see them sometimes. They were younger than her and she liked to act like their mum, licking their faces and hanging out with them. She however didn’t really have a lot of interaction with them until they were fully grown because of the size difference. 

 

She does still have her big dog brother. I don’t know what to do to get her confidence up. Puppy is now 4 months and there hasn’t been a pack developed because they are kept separate. 

 

I have watched a lot of the podcasts that were recommended and soon I will have some holidays and free time to really extensively work on the advice and all the games to play. We have done a little bit. I also have a muzzle that she doesn’t mind wearing but I rather not put it on her so we haven’t done that again lately. Last time she had it on she was outside with puppy and other dog just chewing on sticks and all was fine then puppy went up to her and got in her face without touching and she went for her in the muzzle, it’s one of those proper ones and I put my hand instinctively between them which was stupid and the muzzle hit my finger so hard that it broke skin. 

 

Some things I want to do with big dog:

 

- More of her favourite walk trails, she is so happy in the photos I took of her on them

- Short training walks to build on our bond more since she’s sharing me with puppy now

- Maybe get her back to the huge dog park she used to love, there is heaps of room that dogs aren’t all near her but I would only do this with extreme caution. I stopped taking her after reading about what can happen there. But there is grass and smells and water to swim and she loves all that and although I have a huge yard for her to run around in I don’t have real grass for her to roll in

- Pack walk, is that a real thing? She hasn’t yet gone on a walk with puppy but enjoys walks with other dog

- Training class although I’m a little apprehensive of if being close to strange dogs will make her nervous but maybe it’s a good thing to still push through and socialise her to being used to being around new dogs? 

- Vet check and possible anxiety medication 

- Instead of ‘putting her away’ from puppy and separating them keep them together and puppy on a lead and train puppy to stay on mat and respect her 

 

She is fine with puppy doing whatever puppy does as long as she doesn’t get in her face or touch her or around anything she sees valuable. She doesn’t have any problem whatsoever with her big brother dog chewing on a stick with her or touching her. In fact I’ve noticed that other dog sort of acts like her therapy dog or something, she is much happier around him and gains a confidence in herself with him being there. They are super attached and he is getting old now and I won’t ever force anything but I’d so love for her to get attached to puppy and hopefully ease the transition of what has to happen eventually. 

 

I have noticed that when puppy comes in or goes out from her pen in the other room that I put big dog in bedroom with a treat. I think this is reinforcing her to think she needs to be away from puppy. I want to do the opposite with the podcast that talks of doing ‘Easter cookies’ and giving her lots of little treats when puppy comes inside (through a barrier) so she has positive associations with puppy coming inside and watching puppy come in. 

 

I am going to work super hard in the coming weeks and hopefully she will accept puppy. I somehow need to ease my fears too. It’s not just the upset I get at puppy being hurt by her, but the upset of my dog who is just my sweetheart being so upset in this new situation and not being able to help her. Seeing how she used to be and seeing how she is now. 

 

I also don’t know for sure if she is just wanting to correct puppy or if she is actually wanting to hurt her if she feels offended. I wish I had someone to observe it and am looking into trainers. 

 

Thanks for reading. 

 

It is breaking my heart seeing her so unhappy. 

 

Edited to add: Both the big dogs sleep in the bedroom on the bed. Puppy has never been on the bed. She was sleeping in a baby pen just outside of the room and has outgrown it mostly so is now sleeping in the other big room with baby gates and she is quite happy. Doesn’t whine and she can see into the bedroom if she looks at a certain angle and will stand at the gate and do a quick bark if she needs to go outside to toilet although most nights she sleeps through. I would like to bring her into the bedroom but she just seems happy with the current setup and has never had her crate closed so not sure if we could really do that in the bedroom. But this set up is just another way of keeping the separate so I wonder if they would be better together if kept together in the bedroom. 

Edited by Amazetl
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I don't have any advice specific to your situation - but I am wondering if you have taken your older girl to the vet and if so, what the outcome was.

 

I am thinking that ...

 

(a) diminished senses (sight, hearing smell) can cause a loss of confidence and an increased startle response (it may be all the time, or only in some situations - eg: when you were taking her out to the toilet and the youngster barked, perhaps her hearing is dropping and her sight is worse in low light - so she didn't see/hear the pup when it was asleep (she probably could have done both when she was younger), was a bit worried anyway, and then suddenly heard a dog bark and couldn't work out who it was - so became scared. 

 

(b)  arthritis/bad teeth/whatever can mean she is sore (either all over or somewhere specific [sore teeth = don't want pup near face as when it came up before it banged her mouth and hurt her].   Think about when you have had a sore neck (or whatever) - the last thing you wanted was someone coming near you.  In fact, how often are people in a foul mood 'because they have a headache' etc

 

Animals are very adept at hiding symptoms and compensating.   Your old lady may seem fine and happy etc, while at the same time be either in pain, or have very limited sight etc.   

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That is a very good point. She has recently been to the vet for her shots and had a quick health check. Her teeth were good. But she does do an odd thing and has done so for years. When you are patting her if you pat a certain spot sort of on her side near her ear she will do a grimace. It’s like an uncontrollable facial expression. She does need her ears cleaned quite often and I’ve wondered if it has something to do with that. The vet previously didn’t seem concerned. 

 

I don’t think her eye sight has changed as she can catch things well but then perhaps she still can do that like a reflex or something. I will bring all this up at our appointment. 

 

She has gotten a bit overweight in the last couple years. She used to always be super athletic. I have wondered if she has some hormone thing. But she doesn’t have any other symptoms. Her coat is lovely. As for hips and such I haven’t noticed anything but she certainly doesn’t show if she’s in pain or discomfort. She acts very tough, has hardly ever whimpered in her life, although when her ears are starting to bother her she does paw them and moan or more like a groan. She is very good at getting them cleaned and I do it regularly whether she asks me to or not. 

 

I do know from her breeder that in her lines one had a brain tumour and died very young which has always been a worry of mine if she has any neurological concern and with that grimace she does. I did bring this up with the vet years ago and they didn’t seem to think anything of it. I’ve never seen any dog do what she does with that grimace. But other than than she seems very alert, very good at doing training, very attentive. She is moody and I wonder if it’s hormones. 

 

She sometimes gets really excited to see puppy and I have kept puppy on lead with big dog rolling all over the ground showing off for puppy or I’m sure some actual dog communication behaviour and she will roll around right at puppy and make funny sounds and puppy will at that point sort of get on her chest and try to move with her and that’s the closest to contact they’ve had and they seem to enjoy it. But then she can be moody and just a little later want nothing to do with puppy or even look at her. 

 

I want to be brave and let puppy off lead and see what happens but also my girl is quite big compared to petite puppy (she does have long legs though) and she could so quickly do something to puppy if she decided. I was thinking of getting one of those short grab leashes and using that on them. In the podcasts that were recommended though it seems like it’s not a good idea to just let them be together because if something does happen it can really hurt puppy’s confidence. 

 

I really think when she’s in that good mood she needs a good play with puppy and just get to know her. It’s really upsetting me that I don’t trust my own dog. The other older dog can be a bit grumpy now and then but he is so good with puppy. She has never jumped on him or pulled his ears because he does a very low key growl and she gets down low. They will wonder around together and he has never mouthed her, nipped her or even nearly. He is that really well bred trusted Labrador. He will ask to go through the baby gate and go lie down near her and watch over her. He even has gotten in her crate and had a little doze and she got in there with him and cuddled him a moment before he thought that was too much and stepped out but it doesn’t bother him if she touches him or anything. 

 

Although my Golden comes from a reputable breeder I’ve always wondered if she wasn’t socialised too well in her first 8 weeks and that perhaps there was something that wasn’t great in the parents mixed together as several puppies have had physical/illness issues young. So far though my girl has been really healthy and happy most her life. 

 

 

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Dogs that have lived with another dog are usually good when a puppy replaces the outgoing dog.  However some dogs are just happy to be the focus of attention and be the only dog.

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