4 year old female attacked puppy - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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4 year old female attacked puppy

My 4 year old gal is a wonderful GSD that was adopted when she was 3 months. Great with children and people, quiet and often aloof with strangers but never showed the smallest sign of aggression. She was raised with a small poodle and the get along ok even though they donít play with each other or anything.

Like a month ago I brought home a 2 month old GSD. Everything was ok for a few days but after a week the puppy took his chewing toy and my gal just snapped and attacked him. Sheís my wifeís dog and my wife was with the dogs. Our female stopped by herself and the puppy ended up with four stitches above his right eye. Since the the big dog seemed obsessed with the puppy and sheíd growl and go hunting for the puppy. Next day I took her to the farm. Brought her back a few days later and she showed the same behaviour. I kept them apart but one day I put her the muzzle on. I opened the back door and she sneaked her way to the puppy and did the same, this time without the biting.

Now my girl has been on the farm having a great time for 2 weeks. I want to have her back home even though I see her every day. Iím planning to have her there for a couple of months until my puppy is 5/6 months old. My question is about reintroducing each other on the farm with the rest of the dogs out there and if thatís going to work out to later bring my girl back home. Iím really clueless but even though we are enjoying our puppy a lot we all miss Kenny at home, especially my wife and the kids since she spends a lot of time with me. Sheís the smartest and best adjusted dog Iíve ever had so I do want her back in the house.
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post #2 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 09:59 PM
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I’ve started and deleted a reply 3 times already.

I don’t think it’s time for a new puppy if you’re having to farm out your adult. The adult deserves more loyalty than that. Taking her to the farm after the attack, and letting her have the time of her life there just taught her it was a good behavior, because she’s been rewarded with the farm.

A puppy and an adult should never be together unless they are closely supervised and for short periods of time. The energy the puppy gives off, and all the bouncing and jumping and running around they do could annoy the most docile dog into a snap.

IMO, the adult should be brought back, and the pup and adult should be separated via secure and jump proof baby gates. That way they can get used to the scent and presence of each other without the physical ability to do any harm. It should be a slow process integrating a new member.

I think you need to go back to step 1 and start from scratch. Neither are learning anything by being in two different locations.
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post #3 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-14-2019, 12:05 AM
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I have a young puppy in my house and a dominant, fun-police, queen B of an adult female. She does not like the puppy in any shape or form, so they simply donít interact. The pup is in an x-pen when sheís out, and if heís out of the x-pen heís either attached to me on a harness and leash so she can steer clear of him and I can control him, or sheís put away and crated. He also gets crated so she can just be out and enjoy alone time with me.

My female deserves the freedom she has earned through two years of learning how to navigate the household. She deserves peace of mind and the ability to relax. My pup needs to earn that.

They never have toys out together. They never receive high value food items unless separated by a barrier (crate or x-pen). I never feed them near each other, and I donít do food training around one another. I also donít play with either of them if theyíre out together. We just relax and chill - no high energy mojo.

My girl believes itís in her right to correct my pup if he does something she doesnít like, and itís not. So I just donít let it happen by keeping them separated. Otherwise my pup would probably end up dead, despite being very loving and sweet towards her. She just doesnít like him and thatís fine. Theyíre not going to ďfreelyĒ interact until she shows sheís okay with him and heís large enough to hold his own.

This has all been a learning process for me, and itís not easy because my pup has mild separation anxiety, but I work with what Iíve got and so far everyone is alive with no missing toes or ears, so I think itís an okay plan so far, lol. So maybe some of the things Iíve learned and am doing might be of interest to you.
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post #4 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-14-2019, 11:07 AM
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I agree with the below comments...

Getting a new puppy needs to be good for the entire family, including you already established older dog. There are no guarantees your older dog will ever take to a puppy but that is something you should have tested before getting the puppy. Sending her away to the farm I think is cruel, she is probably enjoying herself but GSD's are family dogs, they love their people so you have taken her away from the things she loves the most and allowed the puppy to stay. I am worried that may be a bad thing when you do try to reintroduce them.

I would also say adding the muzzle is a bad idea, it may actually amp the older dog up more because now she has a boundary on her keeping her from doing what she wants. She could just be playing with the puppy (GSD's play rough) and setting the ground rules on what the puppy can do and unfortunately your puppy is to small to keep up with her.

I would say the dogs are acting completely normal with each other and its the humans that have to intervene to make sure they are safe, trained and get through the initial adapting phase. Bring your older dog back, keep the puppy crated or separate from the older dog until you can get it under control. If the older dog never takes to the puppy then you will need to make the decision if you keep them constantly separate or rehome the puppy.

If you think dogs canít count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then give him only two of them.
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post #5 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-14-2019, 11:59 AM
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It can take weeks of separating before you can even take a leash walk with your adult dog and the new pup. Adult dogs hardly looooooove puppies that are not theirs by birth. it was your idea, not hers. Farming her out will make things worse as it doesn't teach her anything. You need to gradually expose her more and more to the pup. Don't forget the training and exercise for your older dog either. I have done this combo a few times with the pup always behind gates and in crate when the older dog was around off leash. Even a crate in a pen so that the older dog couldn't snarl at the crate door. These attacks you described could have very well traumatized your pup that can surface later in his first year.
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post #6 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-14-2019, 02:11 PM
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My oldest female hates my youngest female puppy because the pup is an in your face kind of sociable gal. As long as the puppy stays out of the older dogs face with appeasement behaviors, we have peace. I have found pushy appeasement behaviors to be the number one catalyst for discord between my adults and puppies followed by high value resources.

I start walking any adult dog with any puppies from day one and have never had an issue. However, I do not trust my middle bitch with young puppies and wait until any pups have some size to them before letting her near them. I really believe it is their puppy scent more than anything that triggers her and that tends to dissipate rapidly past 10 - 12 weeks.

I absolutely do training with any combination of pups or dogs. Stonnie Dennis on YouTube has a ton of fantastic videos showing the same type of training.
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post #7 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-14-2019, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfy dog View Post
It can take weeks of separating before you can even take a leash walk with your adult dog and the new pup. Adult dogs hardly looooooove puppies that are not theirs by birth. it was your idea, not hers. Farming her out will make things worse as it doesn't teach her anything. You need to gradually expose her more and more to the pup. Don't forget the training and exercise for your older dog either. I have done this combo a few times with the pup always behind gates and in crate when the older dog was around off leash. Even a crate in a pen so that the older dog couldn't snarl at the crate door. These attacks you described could have very well traumatized your pup that can surface later in his first year.
So much of this ^. Over and over and over again.

I lucked out with my senior GSD. She loves puppies. It’s easier to introduce her to pups than older dogs. She takes right to the pups and mothers them. She’s had a ton of litters prior to me getting her, so maybe that has something to do with it. Who knows. Regardless, please listen to the advice you are being given very seriously.

You can damage the relationship your adult has with both you and your wife, you’ve allowed behavior that has resulted in injury to the pup, and farmed out the adult and let the pup stay. You need to get a grasp on your priorities, which should be adult GSD first, and pup second. You’ve likely set the pup up for fear of other dogs, and could make it worse by bringing the adult in and out from farm to home. You need a better system. Crate and rotate, baby gates, build a gate if needed. Do not allow the adult to see you lavish attention on the new pup. Make sure the adult’s routine stays as close as possible to her routine before you brought a puppy in. If anyone should be farmed out, it should be the puppy, not the adult.

I’ve attached a pic of the gates we build that are more user friendly than baby gates, and you can make it any height you need. You can get the pieces cut at Lowe’s or Home Depot, so the only thing you have to do is put the pieces together, and paint and install. This gate has self closing hinges so my little ones can’t accidentally leave it open. This one is near our front door, because we have a GSD/Husky mix that is an escape artist, and he would shoot past the kids as they were leaving for school. But we also have the same gates, just shorter, to section off areas where we can rotate dogs without having to crate them all the time. I’ll hang out in the family room with my senior and one of the pups, while DH is in the formal living room with the Husky and the other pup. Then we rotate pups, so they get supervised time to play and interact with the older dogs, but we are there with them to stop any bad behavior, which is normally the pup pestering the adult. When that starts happening, we let the two pups together and the two adults together. It’s much easier than it sounds, but we haven’t had any dog on dog injuries doing it this way.
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post #8 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-14-2019, 03:00 PM
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I crate and rotate puppies and adults. Hold the puppy on my lap to keep them safe while the adult dogs smell. It varies per dog on how long before they are accepted but I would never just put an 8 week old down with a strange adult dog.
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post #9 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-14-2019, 04:12 PM
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I'm cool with crate and rotate and I absolutely agree with constant and diligent supervision. Now and forever.

BUT, am I the only one that sees a problem with an adult dog ATTACKING a puppy? To the point of stitches being needed? And a female to boot?
I see this as a pretty significant temperament issue, and one that I would monitor carefully going forward. I have had dogs rough up pups that were being out of hand, but I would have an issue with an attack. Especially if it was repeated. If it was a male dog I may, may, dismiss it. But most assuredly not a female.
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post #10 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-14-2019, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabis mom View Post
I'm cool with crate and rotate and I absolutely agree with constant and diligent supervision. Now and forever.

BUT, am I the only one that sees a problem with an adult dog ATTACKING a puppy? To the point of stitches being needed? And a female to boot?
I see this as a pretty significant temperament issue, and one that I would monitor carefully going forward. I have had dogs rough up pups that were being out of hand, but I would have an issue with an attack. Especially if it was repeated. If it was a male dog I may, may, dismiss it. But most assuredly not a female.
Our female is actually less friendly then our male. We were not there to know if this was an actual attack or just rough play. The puppy also took a toy away from the other dog so it could have just been a dominance thing. I still agree the OP needs to monitor and keep them separated until more training can be done and assurance they will be fine - if they will be fine -

But I have seen my puppies fight over things, play super rough... not needing stiches but that could have just been an accident.

If you think dogs canít count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then give him only two of them.
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