Is this "mothering" or something else? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-27-2019, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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Is this "mothering" or something else?

We have a female gsd who is almost 2 and a puppy we brought home on the 12th at 8 weeks. They arnt together unless supervised but my girl literally wont leave him alone. I thought he would annoy her with puppy antics but he doesn't. If he moves too fast she goes to jump on him. If he walks by she goes to grab his neck. If she walks by she knocks him over and he rolls to his back and she then puts her mouth on his neck. It's like she wants him in a constant state of being pinned down. He growls and yaps back then tries to exit the situation but will eventually try to go mess with her if she's laying down(but she is the instigator 90% of the time). They are playing but i think he gets frustrated being pinned quickly and she doesnt know how to be gentle. Any tips, advice or experiences? Is it still just too early and she needs time to adjust to him?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-27-2019, 08:07 PM
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When we first got Samson our 18mth female would do the same.I kept them gated apart indoors.When we were outdoors together she was tethered so Samson could choose to engage with her or not.They eventually became good friends and playmates.At almost twice her size Samson is really gentle with her.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-27-2019, 08:15 PM
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I would not allow this and work them together and separately both.His own mother wouldn't allow other dogs to mess with her pups so you won't let her either as you own the pup. I think your female is too young for mothering. She is testing him though but doesn't seem to know her limits.
I have seen this behavior from Deja as well but once the pup was about 5 months old, harmony set in. It does take a lot of work though. I know it is after fact but I think it is easier if the first dog has matured at about 4 age before introducing a pup.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-27-2019, 09:37 PM
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Doesn't sound good to me. I'd separate them immediately. Walk her on leash around pup and don't let her have anything to do with him unless she is calm and appropriate.

I don't know what my male would have done because I didn't let him access to puppy after an initial attempt when my read on him was that he was way over the top with his energy and it wasn't friendly or over excitement.

My puppy was old enough for short leash walks so that's how I acclimated them to each other and within 2 weeks they were best pals.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-27-2019, 10:50 PM
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Lyka mothers pups. Crios was older (9 months) when we got him, but she would “show” him where it was okay to lay down, which was his bed, his kennel, or his “place” space. If he tried to get up, she would put a paw on him to keep him laying down. With Seiran, she would literally pick her up by the scruff and move her to where she wanted her to be. That stopped when we separated because of the broken jaw. She’s always been incredibly gentle, but she has had litters, so I think the maternal instincts kick in when she’s around a pup.

She doesn’t do what your female is doing though. She doesn’t chase or knock over or show any type of bullying. I’d put a stop to it, and separate them until your female gets used to the pup being in the home. I corrected Lyka with verbal commands even when she was just gently handling the pup, because that’s my job!
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-27-2019, 10:54 PM
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Imho, this is not play behavior or " mothering ".
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-28-2019, 08:12 AM
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Doesn't sound like mothering or playing to me either, at least not in way humans typically think of it (e.g., nurturing, patient, gentle). It sounds more like an adult dog schooling (bullying?) a puppy that the adult views as problematic --- for whatever reason. I wouldn't allow it to continue for several reasons. First, YOU are the one who should decide what's appropriate/inappropriate and shape/correct behavior of one or both, as needed. Some adult dogs are good at parenting unrelated puppies, others not so much. Second, there's the size differential which can quickly injure the puppy (physically and emotionally). Third, that size differential isn't going to last forever and as the puppy grows up, you may have a really serious problem on your hands. Stop it now.

I'd do as others have suggested and keep them separated (crated or leashed), as necessary. I'd also make it VERY clear to the adult female that her behavior is not acceptable and correct it as needed. That means that, even if you have her leashed, you still have to monitor and correct her behavior (e.g., hard stares) before she acts. The message to her is "I'm in charge of both of you and you don't get to do that or anything like it." And, you have to be utterly consistent with that message.

I've always typically lived with 2 dogs, though I'm down to one at the moment. My approach has always been that while I'd prefer that they develop a good bond with each other, I'll accept peaceful co-existence (that is, ignoring each other). I set the rules and I enforce them because I'm in charge (or pack leader, alpha, whatever you want to call it). That means that I step in and correct (even harshly, if needed) when anyone breaks the rules. For example, I don't allow rough-housing inside and only what I deem appropriate physical play outside. No exceptions.
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Last edited by Aly; 07-28-2019 at 08:21 AM.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-28-2019, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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Seriously you guys are great. I posted here and in a gsd Facebook group. There they said it was normal or mothering. It doesnt feel right and im so happy to get your responses. 1 person said it was normal but to stop it and show her that he belongs to us not her. It truly does feel like bullying. She does stuff then eyes my husband or me to see our response. Im so glad to get a solid answer while he is still fairly new and before damage happens. It would be nice for them to have a great play relationship but im perfectly fine if it doesn't exist and they just coexist. She will attemp to get him to chase her because she loves chase but outside of that i dont think whats happening is going to lead to anything good. So thankyou. We will immediately take action.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-28-2019, 10:41 PM
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My dog does exactly what you described to my cat constantly. She gets away with it for the most part because the cat is usually outside and the cat seems to enjoy it most of the time strangely enough. But if it were another dog I'd put a stop to it, might lead to dog fights and injuries as it will only escalate as they mature and the pack dynamic changes. It's a dominance/resource guarding behavior I believe. If anyone gives the cat attention or seems to be enjoying him or there's food around she gets more aggressive but never intentionally hurts him, just "puts him in his place" so to speak. I can tell the dog needs put in her place when she goes overboard, like chasing him out of the house when he comes in. When I'm not around the two will cuddle on the bed/couch together for hours.
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