I got a new puppy about a month ago. She's a wonderful female named Tosca and turned 12 weeks old yesterday.
However I need a bit of advice from more experienced owners regarding the relationship between Tosca and my 3 1/2 year old Border Terrier female named Bella.
Bella is dog reactive (insecurity/fear/excitement) and has a fairly obsessive personality. We got her at 7 months and I am fairly certain that she was not socialized much before we got her. I was slightly worried bringing home a puppy because of that but after two days she was always wanting to play with Tosca and their relationship seemed fine.
Then about a week after our puppy arrived I found out that Bella's molar was broken, cloven right through the root. Soon after the tooth was extracted but I am wondering if something happened the very night before the surgery because when they were playing Bella came running in a cowering position with the tail between her legs. I split them up immediately and she went into surgery the morning after. I'd like to add that she was spayed at the same time.
I kept them split up while she was recovering but now it's been over two weeks and Bella has physically recovered but she still gets into the cowered position and snaps at the puppy if she gets close. I don't see any indication that she's trying to be aggressive and so far she hasn't gone for the puppy but this behavior worries me a lot. I don't trust her not going for Tosca if she surprises her, which is very likely to happen as Bella is one eyed.
I had from the start decided to do all socialization without my terrier to not risk Bella's dog reactivity to influence Tosca but now I have to keep them separated in the house. When I go for walks it seems to work if I turn them loose because Bella keeps her distance. Leash walks are a horror, Tosca keeps trying to engage in play and Bella's teeth click like no tomorrow. So I've been taking them out to potty separately and I don't really go for leash walks (Tosca is young so that's not a problem).
Finally, I mentioned Bella has an obsessive personality. Well my 2nd floor neighbor got a cat this summer who jumps up and down from her balcony through our deck. Several times a day. It's made Bella intolerable as she just wants to be finding the cat. So I'm dealing with side effects of that on top of the puppy. The cat thing kinda exploded into our faces in the last 1-2 months (before Tosca arrived) and has been stressing Bella up a lot. She's actually started pooping in the house and peeing as rarely as once every 24 hours because when outside she's too stressed up searching for the cat. My 12 week puppy is currently better house trained than my older dog.
I am wanting to do my best with my GSD, I want to compete with her and having had a reactive dog I really don't want to create another.
So I ask if any of you have any advice with how to handle things between my two dogs. Should I continue to keep them separated? I know some people have dogs that never become friendly, I'm just gutted that they were friendly and playing and now they're not at all. I don't even know if this sudden change has got anything to do with the tooth, or whether her being spayed changed her or what could have triggered this. It breaks my heart seeing my little terrier so deeply unhappy and I'm not sure if I can even fix it.
And no first post can be without photos