Help us with The Accidental Shepherd
Hello - Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.
This is Raph's story: We found him wondering our neighborhood last year. He was matted and covered in fleas. When we took him to the vet to see if he had a chip (he did not) we found that under all that hair he was slightly under weight and guessed to be about 10 years old. Well needless to say we never found his owners, and even if we had I'm not all that sure we would have willingly given him back. After an extensive grooming he has adjusted to life as an inside dog well. He how has two cats and another large dog as hairy companions. During his settling in he never showed much chase interest towards the cats but was overly trying to be friends with our other almost willing dog. They're comfortable around one another now and can be outside together without ever having problems. When we're not home though he must be kenneled, primarily because he doesn't think house-training applies to him if we're not there. He's a sweet old man though, overall.
The problem: Recently we have adopted a tiny puppy. (You already know) He's about 8 weeks old and Raph seems to have a new found prey drive towards him. I truly thought our other dog would be the problem but he seems to have taken to the puppy very well. Raph, on the other hand, bit his tail (lightly, but still) when I went to let him smell his butt. I have recently read up on predatory drive... apparently me holding the puppy could have, in his mind, initiated the hunt and he was trying to help me take down this puppy beast.
We're keeping both the puppy and Raph on a leash inside to work towards co-habitation but Raph seems to be overly "shepard" (as a friend put it" towards the puppy. Last night I went to let him smell the puppy's dirty bedding before tossing it in the wash and he immediately bit it! He let go of it right away but it just seems so out of the ordinary for him... he's an old man, not a biter. Any tips on how to proceed? He's a smart dog but I just woudn't forgive myself if he hurt this little puppy. Also if it is prey driven - Why in the world doesn't he chase our cats? If anything they deserve it more...
It hasn't been but a week now, I was just hoping to reach out for some help from people that have experience with shepherd instincts and behaviors.