Update on Rocky (moved to puppy beh from gen info)
A week ago Rocky (7 month old GSD, not neutered) got introduced to my other two dogs, Lady and Max (1.5 years old, GSD and Aussie mix, fixed). Here's an update and some questions.
Here's the pack:
From left to right: Rocky, Max and Lady.
And here's Rocky:
Rocky got weighted today and came in at 91 lbs. He is big, strong and wants to play. The other two are now tolerating him in play for anywhere from one to five minutes. Than hair goes up on their backs and if I don't control things it turns into more of a brawl than anything else. No hard bites, squealing or anything like that.
Rocky seems to want to mess with Lady the most. Almost as soon as I let them out into the yard he'll go over to her and play-bite the top of her neck. She seems interested in playing but he just seems to be too rough for her. She actually pulled a muscle on her right front leg and is limping, which has created a bit more of a hair trigger on tolerating Rocky.
I know they've only known each other for a week but I am a little frustrated. There is no way I can let the three be in the yard without supervision. To some extent both Lady and Max are a bit scared of Rocky. For example, if he is laying on the floor in front of the TV while we are sitting on the couch both Lady and Max are hesitant about coming over to the front of the couch and generally walking near him. I don't really know how to handle this aspect of things.
Eating is another source of frustration. Lady and Max always ate together and out of the same bowl. With Rocky's introduction they are hesitant to go over to the bowl when he is eating. I got a much larger bowl (guessing 1.5 ft diameter) so that there's plenty of room for all to feed. I realize this might take time. I just don't want Rocky to bully the other two and for Lady and Max to be fearful of him. I don't see him as being aggressive, I just see it as him being a huge puppy who wants to rough-house and the other two are smaller and older and just don't care for that.
Yesterday I decided to feed them in the yard rather than inside. I brought the bowl out. Had all three sit-stay and not touch any food until I allowed it. I then hand fed all three of them. They were all laying in front of the bowl being fed and I kept the peace. I did this in the morning and in the evening and it worked well.
I've been walking Rocky a couple of miles a day in the early morning. As soon as we come home I let him go out in the back with Lady and Max, always with me supervising and controlling the "volume" of the interaction. I usually have to stop and down-stay all of them every five or ten minutes in order to keep things from escalating. Today I decided to walk him out to the back on leach. With this I was able to give him a correction as soon as he went for Lady. This got things under control right away but, of course, isn't allowing any play to speak of.
Any thoughts on controlling and improving their relationship? In the house they are great. They lay around and rest, often inches from each other and sometimes even touching each other. The conflicts are always in the backyard.
The other issue is that Rocky is mouthy. Boy does he like to communicate with his teeth. No clamping down at all. So, I'll say he has a very soft mouth --which is good-- but, frankly, I'm getting tired of it fast. Yelping only works part of the time. Sometimes it gets him more excited. "No" also works, sometimes. I've seen suggestions about carrying around a toy to offer-up when the nipping happens. My situation is that I've removed all toys from the house and the yard in order to prevent conflict between the dogs. If I now introduce a toy for Rocky it could create conflict. How should I handle this?
He is super-social with people. Total strangers walking down the street, at Home Depot, the vet even friends and family visiting. He is also great with doggie encounters. He doesn't get exited and doesn't pull on the leash. He just wants to meet them and whines.
I am going to visit the local Schutzhund club meeting on Sunday and see what develops.
Looking for continuing advice on both the pack relationship and nipping aspects.
I would NOT allow/expect my 2 older dogs to interact with a crazy over the top GSD if they didn't want to.
If I get a crazy over the top GSD then it's MY job. When we go outside Rocky should be so tired from being with you, training with you, engaging with you, that he doesn't feel he has to play with the other dogs AND he will listen to you when you ask him to leave them alone.
I'd have him on leash when outdoors while working this out.
And I'd realize that I need to take him out of the house/yard to pack him in the car to tire him out daily so he looks to YOU for play/engagement and will leave the other dogs alone.
There is a 2 prong issue here. YOU getting the leadership role so he looks to you for guidance and listens to you when you give it. Plus him getting the normal puppy edge off with other activities AWAY from the other dogs and with you.
How much clicker training have you done? How much engagement work have you done? How long can he play chuckit in at field before dropping for a rest? Are you able to drive him to new places at least 3 times a week so he is only with YOU and away from the safety/security (boredom) of the house and learns to instead look to you for guidance and information?
How many tug toys do you have that you are using AWAY from the other dogs?
GREAT training to cap his drive and focus it is Crate Games (DVD by Susan Garrett)
It's ok to separate the dogs when you work this out. Baby gates and crating are fine. And keep Rocky on the leash outdoors.
You see this? MANY of us get painfully bit by our dogs ---> http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...tips-help.html until we take the hours needed to TEACH them how to play and not hurt us.
We have the same situatuon. A 12mo old rescue and a hard playing 10 month old. Will be watching this thread
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Leerburg | Introducing a New Dog into a Home with Other Dogs
If he is already "hassling" lady you have a serious issue! Most problems don't start until the dog reaches maturity. 18 to 26 months or so he's already started showing you he has "issues." And most likely he thinks Lady is the dominate dog?
You should stop feeding these dogs together! Unless you think you can stop him before he strikes a house mate ,while eating? Note.,, you can't.
He should be in a crate, and on a drag leash in the house. He's not the same as your other dogs and you have a "pack" now and that means a lot in GSD world!
Sorry if I sound like an alarmist but if this crap is starting now?? You have major issues! And since I am in full alert alarm mode be sure and read the proper way to break up a dog fight on the Leerburg site.
They will use a long needle when they stitch your fingers "if" you get the chance to break up a fight and do it wrong,
Or just go with the advise above which was a much softer way of saying what I just said, :)
I enjoyed meeting everyone and look forward to future meetings. The introduction of Rocky to the rest of my little pack has been a bit of work but it is now settling into a good situation. He's just a pushy 90 pound puppy.
Yeah, they are big puppies. Kaleb was very stubborn. The last month or so he has really started listening. There are times when he still does his thing. He mostly likes to steal stuff and run outside with it. He does it less often now. It's like a game to him.
My two older dogs are going to be 8 and 7. It's been just them for a long time. When we got Riley last year my oldest male would give him a lot of corrections and didn't really have patience for him. Eventually they all started to get along, but Riley was a sick dog and is no longer here.
That's when we got Kaleb from the people who do the dog club (I don't think we can mention the breeder here). There were no real issues with him and the other dogs. I think because they had recently adjusted to three dogs.
I look forward to seeing you and Rocky at dog club.
The most useful part of going to the club meeting on Sunday was probably to have just have Rocky understand and learn to remain calm while sitting in close proximity to a bunch of other dogs. I did a bunch of recall and heel training while you guys worked on other drills. The distraction from having other high-energy dogs working near him also helped.
As you probably figure out, I'm all about my kids. This is more about my kids learning to handle the dogs than anything else. Yesterday we went to Petsmart to get some supplies and my six-year-old was heeling Rocky around the store with great confidence, even when other dogs approached or crossed his path. It's an incredible confidence builder for kids.
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