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Old 12-18-2012, 03:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Older dog hates puppies.... About to get a puppy...

So I have a 21 month old GSD (Midas) who was attacked by another dog when he was a several months old. After that, he was very dog reactive. I hired a behaviorist and now we're able to go to the dog park and I just have to keep an eye on him. Mostly because of the OTHER dogs, but every now and then there will be a puppy under the age of 4 months and he pretty much hates 80% of the puppies he meets under that age. He has never actually injured a puppy, but he charges at them, growling and hackles up and if he is off leash, he will open his mouth on them like he's going to bite them, but never has (he has only had this opportunity twice though). Unfortunately, I am in nursing school so our training has been pretty sparse in regards to what the behaviorist set up for us, but the changes have been very noticeable. If I had spent more time on it, I'm sure this wouldn't be as bad.

Anyways, I am putting a deposit down on a puppy tomorrow (yay!). It will be another male GSD, 8 weeks old. I am afraid that Midas will harm the little guy and I am curious to know if there are any good techniques besides the whole neutral environment thing to help get them used to each other? He kinda does better with meeting new puppies if someone holds the puppy in their arms and he can sniff their bottoms, but it's only so-so. I know he will adore this pup after it's 4-5 months old, but until then.... whew. Some puppies he is fine with if they leave him alone, but that never happens lol. Other times, he just snaps at them when they jump on him and chew on him.

Does anyone else know what I am going through or have any insight? Or any training techniques to get him to do better around puppies? Thanks!

**Edit - he went from not being able to look at ANY dog from 50 yards away without hackles up, barking, growling, and air snapping, to only not liking puppies but liking any other dog really.

Last edited by stephanie.jackson; 12-18-2012 at 03:42 AM.
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Unfortunately, I am in nursing school so our training has been pretty sparse in regards to what the behaviorist set up for us,
Well...pardon me for asking, but are you really sure this is the time to get another puppy?
I'd work on your current dog and his issues if it was me, before bringing in another puppy.
Also dog parks can be horrendous for reactive dogs.
One bad encounter can blow your dog's entire psyche as you've seen.
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I would seriously reconsider getting a 2nd puppy if your first dog isn't getting the training he needs because you've been too busy. Adding a 2nd dog when your 1st dog isn't at the level he needs to be is going to be problematic for you and not fair to Midas or the 2nd pup.
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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See, that's his only real issue. The next 3 months are going to be the best times for me to get a puppy with my schedule. I am about to graduate in May and then as an RN I will be working 12 hour shifts and so potty training will be worse then.
The puppies won't be ready to ship until Jan. 20th and it's winter break for me so I am going to work with him because I only got to do reactivity stuff about 1x a month for the last 8 months or so because my life got hectic with a divorce/working/school/moving. But in the 2 months before all that, we worked about 3-4x a week and he made such great progress. Long story still long, I have time to work a lot with him now and that's why I wanted some input on getting a dog to like puppies. Now that I think about it, even when he was a puppy he hated being around puppies. He never wanted to play in our puppy groups, he just wanted to lay with the older dogs.
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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When we did our training, I did make the mistake of not working him around puppies. I am so overly cautious that he would cause any kind of injury to them so I avoided them like the plague. He loves small breed puppies, or any small dog for that matter.

So do I just do the exact same thing we did with older dogs? Should I have someone hold the puppy? That's one of the few situations that I don't know if I can hold back my fears/anxiety which I am sure he can sense. After winter break I will also have more time do to it being the last semester & I can bring the puppy to work with me... and having a stable home finally and no divorce issues.
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Old 12-18-2012, 04:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Why do you need a 2nd puppy right this minute? Why not next year? Or a few years down the road when your life has settled down? You sound like you have a lot on your plate right now. Just because you have time now because it's winter break to potty train a puppy doesn't mean you should get another dog now. I'm sure you understand there's more to puppies then just potty training... socialization, exercise, training, etc all comes with a 2nd dog in addition to the exercise and training needs of Midas. You obviously don't have enough time to even work with your 1st dog's behavior issue towards puppies, how will you have enough time for TWO dogs?

I can totally understand the puppy fever, heck, two of my coworkers just got 3 new puppies between them! Gives me the itch so bad; but I know that now is NOT a good time both financially and time-wise. The dogs I have already need more training before I can think about a third dog.
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Old 12-18-2012, 04:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I don't understand why you would want a puppy, when your current dog hates puppies. With as little time as you have right now, you can't even give your current dog the time and training he needs. What makes you think getting a puppy is a good idea? And why another male? IMO, you are setting yourself up for failure.

And what breeder is willing to sell a puppy to someone in your situation?
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Old 12-18-2012, 04:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Verivus, I do understand he has this issue. I know my post is kind of all over the place. I moved into my new place in August and have settled down and so that dramatic part of my life is over with. Also, the hard part of my nursing school is over thank goodness. I will, from now on, have much more time to dedicate to training. We've been doing a lot of training indoors and at stores, but working on his dog reactivity usually takes several hours and there really aren't too many puppies around so that part was never worked on. He really, really enjoys the dog park now and each time we go I see a big progress. He went from hating all dogs, to sniffing and being around them, to now actually playing with new dogs. He has never shown any aggression to older dogs at the park.

Not only did I make the mistake of avoiding puppies for their safety, but I figured I don't run into too many puppies and he only has an issue if they jump on him, so it shouldn't be the main focus of our training. I don't want it to come off as if we don't train, go for walks, or make public appearances. It's just that one specific thing.

Like I said though, it's not all puppies, just many of them. He's loved all my friend's GSD puppies (she breeds them), loved the puppy who stayed a week at my house, etc. It's just if we go to PetSmart and he goes to sniff a pup, they then jump on him and go for those big ole ears, and he growls and overly corrects them. Nobody has helped give me an answer on training techniques for this issue I appreciate all of the responses though.
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Old 12-18-2012, 04:32 AM   #9 (permalink)
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You said you had seen a behaviorist in your original post. There is nothing I can really contribute that would be more useful then what a behaviorist has discussed with you. You said yourself that you noticed changes following the behaviorist's advice. My advice would be to continue working with the behaviorist. That's going to help you more then any dog forum.

Honestly, I don't think you understand the point I've been trying to make. As a newbie RN I think you're life is going to become more hectic as you adjust to full time work.
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Last edited by Verivus; 12-18-2012 at 04:39 AM.
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Old 12-18-2012, 04:34 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stephanie.jackson View Post
So I have a 21 month old GSD (Midas) who was attacked by another dog when he was a several months old. After that, he was very dog reactive. I hired a behaviorist and now we're able to go to the dog park and I just have to keep an eye on him. Mostly because of the OTHER dogs, but every now and then there will be a puppy under the age of 4 months and he pretty much hates 80% of the puppies he meets under that age. He has never actually injured a puppy, but he charges at them, growling and hackles up and if he is off leash, he will open his mouth on them like he's going to bite them, but never has (he has only had this opportunity twice though). Unfortunately, I am in nursing school so our training has been pretty sparse in regards to what the behaviorist set up for us, but the changes have been very noticeable. If I had spent more time on it, I'm sure this wouldn't be as bad.

Anyways, I am putting a deposit down on a puppy tomorrow (yay!). It will be another male GSD, 8 weeks old. I am afraid that Midas will harm the little guy and I am curious to know if there are any good techniques besides the whole neutral environment thing to help get them used to each other? He kinda does better with meeting new puppies if someone holds the puppy in their arms and he can sniff their bottoms, but it's only so-so. I know he will adore this pup after it's 4-5 months old, but until then.... whew. Some puppies he is fine with if they leave him alone, but that never happens lol. Other times, he just snaps at them when they jump on him and chew on him.

Does anyone else know what I am going through or have any insight? Or any training techniques to get him to do better around puppies? Thanks!

**Edit - he went from not being able to look at ANY dog from 50 yards away without hackles up, barking, growling, and air snapping, to only not liking puppies but liking any other dog really.

If this is the case, then what is the problem?
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