HELP! Puppy aggressive to older dog! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-18-2018, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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HELP! Puppy aggressive to older dog!

I brought home Cosmo, my 12-week-old GSD, 4 weeks ago. Molly, my 12-year-old American Eskimo, was not thrilled. (We've had her for 6 years, and she was fine with our other dog--who passed in September--but he was here first; they basically ignored each other.) At first Molly snarled and growled at Cosmo when he would approach and he would back away, and then he'd try again, more intensely, with the same result--but escalated--from Molly, until usually we stepped in to stop him from continuing to harass her. Over the last few weeks he has gotten more persistent until once she pinned him on his back and I had to get them apart, but thought, "Maybe he has learned his lesson now!" Unfortunately it has continued to escalate, and the only good news is that it is really only bad when one of them is excited or energetic (for Molly, that's when she thinks it's dinnertime, and for Cosmo that's usually when he wakes up from a nap OR when Molly thinks it's dinnertime and starts running around, getting him hyped up in turn). His behavior has gone from: jumping around her and trying to engage her, to biting at her neck or side as she goes by, to mounting her from the side, to mounting her and biting her neck, to today when he (having now grown a few inches to be her same size) mounted her and pinned her to the floor while biting her neck while she actually screamed--seriously, she sounded human! I pulled him off and separated them. He finally calmed down and note they are napping side by sideg on the floor in front of me. All of these times, from the lesser offenses through today, Molly has protested by snarling, growling, snapping, and chasing after him, but now instead of backing off he comes back harder. Up until recently I really felt like he was trying to play and just not giving up, but today looked much scarier--she was screaming and he wouldn't stop!. He has spent time playing with some other (bigger) dogs at a friend's house, and always takes no for an answer there, but of course they are bigger. I try to get him outside for a good while whenever he gets the "zoomies" but to no avail. And Molly doesn't make things easier by continuing to hang around him once I've separated them. ***Update: as I'm typing this, Cosmo woke up and we went outside for a potty break, can't back inside and were in the kitchen, all calm; Molly wondered in and he immediately mounted her; I pulled him off--she went to lie down and he lay down near her, then he went up to her--she growled and he let her be. I can handle interactions like that, but what of the other stuff, when he won't back down? It doesn't seem like playing. He is a friendly, smart, wonderful puppy otherwise, and Molly is my dear old gal; it's ok with me if he tries to play (as puppy's do) and if she says no but he isn't listening and it's getting worse. Please help!
Thank you!!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-18-2018, 09:18 PM
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I only skimmed this but it sounds like the younger dog is using the old dog as his personal toy. You've got to shut the young one down yourself, 100% of the time. Put a leash on the young one, whatever you have to do to make the puppy respect the older dog. And maybe the pup needs more interaction with you so it isn't looking for entertainment from the old dog.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-18-2018, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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I only skimmed this but it sounds like the younger dog is using the old dog as his personal toy. You've got to shut the young one down yourself, 100% of the time. Put a leash on the young one, whatever you have to do to make the puppy respect the older dog. And maybe the pup needs more interaction with you so it isn't looking for entertainment from the old dog.
Thank you for your response. I do keep a leash on him because of this, and I will continue to stop the behavior as you suggested. I do interact a lot with Cosmo; for the last couple weeks he came to school with me most days, and now that I'm on winter break I'm home and interacting with him throughout the day, from playing both inside and outside, to training, to going places in the car. Just now he was jumping at Molly whenever she came near; if she walked by he would leap at her and just keep pulling add hard as he could on the leash until I got him into another room. Maybe I'm going to have to keep then completely separate until I can get an appointment with a professional trainer.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-18-2018, 09:45 PM
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Thank you for your response. I do keep a leash on him because of this, and I will continue to stop the behavior as you suggested. I do interact a lot with Cosmo; for the last couple weeks he came to school with me most days, and now that I'm on winter break I'm home and interacting with him throughout the day, from playing both inside and outside, to training, to going places in the car. Just now he was jumping at Molly whenever she came near; if she walked by he would leap at her and just keep pulling add hard as he could on the leash until I got him into another room. Maybe I'm going to have to keep then completely separate until I can get an appointment with a professional trainer.
That sounds like a good idea. Feeding time was a big problem? Crate puppy before food prep and until after meal is over.

Maybe you need to be more firm with the pup about leaving the old dog alone, doesn't seem like he is getting the message.

If you post your general location, maybe someone can suggest a good trainer to help you
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-19-2018, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your thoughts. I am in Lexington, Kentucky in case anyone knows of a good trainer to recommend. Can you give me any suggestions as to how to be more firm with the puppy? I don't yell or hit; I try to first head it off by stepping between then and blocking his access, getting him to sit, and praising when he calms down. If he starts at her before I can head it off I hold down on the leash while beginning all out the above; he pulls so hard that I'm afraid he'll hurt himself. I guess I need to be better at stopping it before it starts.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-19-2018, 01:35 PM
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Our "puppy" is older, he's 9 months now and is often with our very tolerant 9 year old female GSD. We see the same persistent antics from our boy as well. We constantly supervise and intervene to avoid an escalation because while our female has a high threshold for puppy nonsense, she does have her limits.

We can usually keep him content by playing tug, having short training sessions, and short walks. We don't have a routine per se, we just use those when we know his antics are likely. The regular interaction with him has him looking to us for fun vs our other dog or getting into mischief in general. We also taught him a "general" place command. We have him lay and stay in a spot until he learns to calm himself. If we are too busy and can't watch him and he's in one of his moods then the crate works well in those situations.
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