|08-24-2013 10:45 PM|
|Mary Beth||Wow, what progress you have made I agree with you that Bella could have been jealous and now that she has her own special time with you, she feels secure and not resentful of Tosca. Wonderful of your husband to help with Tosca - he may become a dog person yet!|
|08-24-2013 06:16 PM|
Thanks for your suggestions Some confirms what I've been thinking and there were also new ideas. Like walking them both with two handlers. I have a husband but have been so stuck in the "my dogs, my problems" attitude that I forget that I can ask him for help. He also wants to solve our problems and he connects a lot more with our new puppy so I'm sure he'd enjoy walking her while I handle Bella. He's not a dog person but I have to smile when he's talking to Tosca and offering to take her out to potty. Bella is more of a single owner type of dog, she waits all day for me to do something with her and doesn't care for the other family members.
I have generally exercised Bella quite intensively, she's a great frisbee dog which the kids and husband love and we also bike quite a bit which Bella also loves. She could go on and on all day and runs like a greyhound. She easily outruns Tosca and I look forward to seeing who is faster when they're adults. I had to cut back on exercising with the surgery and am working our way back. We have also been doing tracking and some obedience training. I did try agility but after the basic course and when I started practicing on a weekly basis I gave up, she couldn't handle the stressful atmosphere with several dogs barking and running courses (like it sounds, she's a stressful type). I'm sure she'd excel at something like flyball but there's nothing like that in my area.
However something amazing happened this afternoon. I have been keeping Tosca tied so she doesn't roam free and Bella has several times approached her with the intention to play. I can't describe how relieved I am, now I actually believe that I can get them to be friendly together down the line. Bella does want to control when she's in the mood to play (she did some growling at Tosca when I was taking her out and Bella was in the way) but she does seem less grumpy.
I think that my effort to exercise and train both separately has helped. Bella seemed less stressed already yesterday evening. Maybe there was some jealousy going on, I do admit for a while I was focusing a lot more on the puppy while allowing Bella to rest and recover.
If i just have to deal with socializing Tosca and managing Bella's obsession it's already a lot easier. Right now they're playing and Bella's tail is wagging happily
|08-23-2013 02:14 PM|
|Mary Beth||Poor Bella - a pulled tooth is no fun and neither is recovering from her spaying -no wonder she is out of sorts and stressed out mentally. Over time, I think it will get better. Right now, keep them separated. I do suggest walking them if you have a helper who can walk one dog and keep them apart so Tosco can't lunge and try to play with Bella. If not, walk them separately since Bella does need the exercise and time to potty because she is distracted by the neighbor's cat and Tosco needs walks also. I would also play with Bella and not just the pup, because Bella needs an outlet for her prey drive. If she can do tug - that would be the best - but be sure she ends up winning that will satisfy her prey drive. Otherwise a flit pole which you can also use to play with your pup, will give Bella something to chase after and catch. For Bella's accidents in the house, I would crate her and also review her housetraining - just like you did for your pup. Even without the neighbor's cat, sometimes the older dog will lapse on housetraining when a new pup arrives. Also, if there are classes in your area (not only obedience, maybe Bella can do agility or fly ball) that may also give her some one on one time with you, tire her out, and have practice with being around other dogs.|
|08-23-2013 10:56 AM|
Puppy and older dog problems
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