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Old 01-02-2015, 10:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 4 month old puppy with older blind dog

I have a 20 week old GSD puppy who is bullying my older dog, an 11 year old Chow who is blind. Denali, the GSD, just wants to play, but she is grabbing the Chow's hair around the neck and dragging him around the house. I've been trying to let them sort it out, but he cries and doesn't seem to be interested in snapping at her to make her stop.

Denali is very driven and doesn't know leave it or any other commands well enough to break her from this behavior when it's happening. Only physically separating them works. It's regular (daily), but not constant. Denali loves her older brother and they will sometimes nap together when she's not wound up.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. I don't want her to become overly dominant toward other dogs, and I'd really like to give our Chow a break.
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Old 01-02-2015, 11:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Don't let them sort it out - think of the problem solving skills of an infant and toddler paired together - really not a good combo, and you'd have very low expectations that they would come to some sort of reasonable solution (infant - I will pull your hair when I'm hungry - toddler - I will stick my bear on your face until you stop moving - that kind of thing).

You need to protect the blind Chow - that dog is not equipped as much as a younger, sighted dog in terms of dealing with a puppy so you will have to step in and -

1. Redirect the puppy back to you BEFORE she starts touching him - as she heads toward him is the time to bring her back
2. If the puppy won't redirect, leash her to you
3. If you are having trouble with that, continuing the separation
4. Offer structured time together - leash walks in the yard
5. Give that puppy something else to do to tire her mentally and physically - you take the role of the older dog
6. Reward and reinforce greatly when she is being good around that dog so she knows what you want her to do - use a word - gentle, nice, soft, something so she can also start getting that concept

The message consistently that needs to get into the head of this puppy is that you do not mess with MY dog. You are cute, but you are not invincible in your cuteness. I owe it to my old dog to do that. Keep this mantra in your head - but teach it nicely:



Dr. Sophia Yin's website has a ton of good stuff on having a great puppy - her puppy book or DVD would be worth getting. http://drsophiayin.com/

Thanks for looking out for the older dog and posting! Chows can have some good longevity so she will need to learn to coexist for sure.
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Old 01-02-2015, 11:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Jean said exactly what I wanted to say, except she did it with more tact than I could have.

Puppies are annoying. They have no boundaries. That's where we come in, we teach those boundaries. It's time to step in and stop his annoying bullying of your blind Chow. BTW I am super impressed that your Chow has not retaliated.

Good luck to you!!
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Old 01-02-2015, 12:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I should have mentioned that I don't let this continue indefinitely. I was hoping that our Chow would correct it himself and I thought that would be the most effective solution, so I've been letting it go for a minute or so before stepping in. I don't let this go on indefinitely.

Obviously, my previous tactic isn't working I need a different approach. Thanks for the great suggestions. I'll clamp down more on it and I'll try to work out a way to reward positive play.

Any thoughts about doing some socialization with other adult dogs? Could that help, or is this likely to be too situational with our Chow?

BTW, our puppy is crated at night and while we're gone, so this isn't happening unsupervised.
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Old 01-02-2015, 08:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm probably not going to be much help, since I'm kind of struggling myself. I have a 2 year old hound mix and 4 month old GSD puppy. It sounds like our puppies are exhibiting the same behavior. Like your chow, my hound will not give the puppy a correction. She stalks him, grabs his hind leg, bites his lips and ears.

I leash her and correct her. We are working on leave it, gentle, and kisses. I am seeing 'some' improvement. Even though my adult dog is not a senior, I give him plenty of time away from the puppy. I gate her in the kitchen. I let them play in the yard together, but if she gets too rough, I leash her.

As for other dogs, I only let the puppy meet dogs that I know. She does extremely well with them and shows proper manners. It is only her brother dog that she is mean to. I know they really like each other, I just wish she would learn to be more gentle.

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one in this boat. If you find something that works well for you, give me a shout. LOL!
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Old 01-02-2015, 10:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I brought my pup, who was nuts, home with two senior dogs. One deaf one with poor eyesight. If there was one rule in the house, the puppy was not allowed to harass the older dogs. I enforced that strongly and he rarely crossed that one. I also used both a crate and an ex-pen in the house to allow me ways of keeping everyone managed well.

This is very stressful to your older dog. Take the puppy out and about with dogs his age or trustworthy adults but enforce the no play rule with the chow.
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Old 01-19-2015, 11:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone, for the help. Intervening right away really helped turn it around quickly.
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Old 01-20-2015, 08:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Yay! Excellent. And extra hugs (not that they want it) to the Chow. Love them.
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Old 01-22-2015, 11:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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My older border terrier did fight back when 17 week old Elly joined us and harassed him. Chip is no wallflower, he had a ferocious terrier explosion but he doesn't bite hard. Elly was 40 lbs at 17 weeks, he is 17 lbs. She did not respect his message. She had the physical strength and size to bully him. I had to get the message across. And I sure did.

It's also not good for the puppy to succeed in bullying. It is a self-rewarding behavior, and the more practiced successfully, the more the adult dog will do it. They pick the dog that they can do it to, smaller dogs plus timid dogs of all sizes. Trouble.

Chip sends a propeller wag to your chow!
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