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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Up to now our 10 lb maltipoo has been dominant over Dexter our 3 1/2 month gsd puppy.But things seem to be changing.

Yesterday evening my daughter called to tell me that our 10lb male maltipoo (neutered by shelter at 1 1/2 years old so he still acts like an unneutered male) was posturing towards 3 1/2 month german shepherd and they got into a fight. She said Dex (german shepherd )left several small teeth marks on Maltipoo. After the fight they were okay, but I seemed to think the maltipoo stayed very close to me when I got home as if he was afraid.

I assumed the posturing by the maltipoo was because my 13 year old shih tzu is in heat. (shes too old to spay now) And the male maltipoo still mates with her. But isnt Dex too young he doesnt even seem interested in her?

But again today,my daughter called and said she was petting Dex and the maltipoo came up and lunged toward Dex and Dex bit him back before she separated them. Also since the fight yesterday Dex has been taking all the toys and showing dominant posture towards the maltipoo.

I have no problem rehoming Dexter as I have someone close who will take him, but my kids dont want to give him up? any suggestions what s going on and how to fix?
 

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Yikes!

Hopefully, the experts will chime in here, but if I were you I would separate the dogs immediately until you get enough advice on how to manage the issue properly. I used a crate when I brought Jack home, because he and Lillian took a minute to figure out they didn't need to decide who was dominant, since it was MY house, after all. It took a few weeks of crate rotation, correction, and redirection before we sorted it all out. Gratefully, they are the best of friends today.

And for goodness sake, take up the toys until it's sorted. Those are YOURS as well, and they are not allowed to fight over them. You'll end up paying to get one of the dogs stitched up, or worse, over a silly stuffed animal or ball.
 

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I agree. Also, the additional tension created by a female in heat requires at least temporary separation. It looks that Dex is just sticking up for himself. The Maltipoo was trying to let him know that he (Dex) is an interloper and Dex is saying to back off and establishing his own dominance. YOU have to take over and let them know that YOU are the boss. 3 1/2 months is a transition time and it is crucial for you do establish YOUR dominance right now.
 

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Please keep your small dog safe before it ends up with more holes in it as your gsd grows. When your gsd is big enough he will be able to fit the whole dog in his mouth.
 

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A puppy is not going to FIGHT. If nobody else steps in, he'll be forced to defend himself which creates problems in general regarding socialization and training. SEPERATE THEM!!!! Do NOT leave a 13 year old in charge of them without adult supervision. Your male needs to be reminded he's not in charge, your female needs to be separated from the apparently temperamental male and your PUPPY needs to be protected from butthead attacks over things that don't matter to him yet.

If you're unable to keep the dog separated and raise the GSD properly in terms of socialization and protecting him from any number of things (including your own dogs), rehome him with someone who can. The kids don't make the decisions. The parents do. You are setting your puppy up to fail by allowing the maltipoo to continue this behavior. THIS behavior early on can cause severe negative repercussions, especially for a puppy that grows extremely fast and can destroy your maltipoo with one shake of his head. A line has been crossed and to allow this to continue is asking for a dog aggressive GSD. Believe me, speaking from experience, that's not fun or easy to manage and everyone suffers as a result. Your puppy doesn't deserve to be attacked for what he perceives as no reason and your maltipoo doesn't need to be attacking anyone or anything period. It's not an acceptable response.

Your puppy likely perceived the posturing as a sign to play. And I wouldn't trust the word of a 13 year old on doggie body language. All puppies know is play play play.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
A puppy is not going to FIGHT. If nobody else steps in, he'll be forced to defend himself which creates problems in general regarding socialization and training. SEPERATE THEM!!!! Do NOT leave a 13 year old in charge of them without adult supervision. Your male needs to be reminded he's not in charge, your female needs to be separated from the apparently temperamental male and your PUPPY needs to be protected from butthead attacks over things that don't matter to him yet.

If you're unable to keep the dog separated and raise the GSD properly in terms of socialization and protecting him from any number of things (including your own dogs), rehome him with someone who can. The kids don't make the decisions. The parents do. You are setting your puppy up to fail by allowing the maltipoo to continue this behavior. THIS behavior early on can cause severe negative repercussions, especially for a puppy that grows extremely fast and can destroy your maltipoo with one shake of his head. A line has been crossed and to allow this to continue is asking for a dog aggressive GSD. Believe me, speaking from experience, that's not fun or easy to manage and everyone suffers as a result. Your puppy doesn't deserve to be attacked for what he perceives as no reason and your maltipoo doesn't need to be attacking anyone or anything period. It's not an acceptable response.

Your puppy likely perceived the posturing as a sign to play. And I wouldn't trust the word of a 13 year old on doggie body language. All puppies know is play play play.
My daughter is 19, not a 13 year old. I dont know where you got that from. She said she was with them in the backyard and it happened so fast. She said she was getting the ball after throwing it and none of the dogs went after it,she looked over and the maltipoo was standing still and so was Dex and then the maltipoo and him went at it. She separated them til I got home. The maltipoo has never done this before he is a licker and has never attacked anything up until now. But neither has Dex. And she said for sure Dex was not playing either. She said they were both still and very quiet when she first saw it happening but that it happened to fast for her to get them and I believe her. Im sure she got in between as fast as she could.
 

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I wonder if the maltipoo has a retained testicle. It is unusual for a castrated male to behave like that. Protect your GSD pup from both dogs. Maybe giving him back to the breeder is the best you can do unless you are fully committed to do everything you can to make this work, which I think is very hard. It is tough to undo dynamics like these.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Opps got this morning incident wrong. Daughter said she was petting Dex and maltipoo came next to her and Dex tried to bite the maltipoo.

Maltipoo was neutered at rescue, so I could have him checked at vets office to see if it was done properly. Right now I am getting someone that works with aggressive dogs to come out. I am going to try my hardest to fix this. If not Dexter will be rehomed.
 

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My daughter is 19, not a 13 year old. I dont know where you got that from. She said she was with them in the backyard and it happened so fast. She said she was getting the ball after throwing it and none of the dogs went after it,she looked over and the maltipoo was standing still and so was Dex and then the maltipoo and him went at it. She separated them til I got home. The maltipoo has never done this before he is a licker and has never attacked anything up until now. But neither has Dex. And she said for sure Dex was not playing either. She said they were both still and very quiet when she first saw it happening but that it happened to fast for her to get them and I believe her. Im sure she got in between as fast as she could.

the fact remains, the dogs should be separated while there is a female in heat on the property. Its a dangerous combination. GSDs by nature are rough players and vocal. You've created a tense situation by bringing a puppy home with a male that thinks he owns the INTACT female. He may be a licker normally but an intact in heat female in the house that he has claimed, all bets are off. He doesn't care if the puppy is a puppy. Far as he's concerned, the puppy is still a threat to his status as "breeding male". If you've been on this forum a while, I'm sure you've heard the phrase "Males fight for breeding rights. Females fight for breathing rights". Well you have a male that thinks he needs to fight for breeding rights he doesn't actually have (being fixed) and he doesn't give a rats behind if the puppy cares about that or not. If the female is nearby when they're playing and the puppy so much as moves in her direction, the maltipoo will view it as a move on his territory. Put the female in a crate and take the boys outside. They'll likely be perfectly fine without her around but it's still not a chance that should be taken. A puppy being attacked WILL defend itself if nobody else steps in.

Crate and rotate until the female is out of heat. Or rehome the puppy since this will likely be a reoccurring problem. As the pup grows, the maltipoo will likely act the same way each time and by the time the pup is 6 months old, the maltipoo will certainly not be a match for him. The puppy WILL hurt the other male whether he intends to or not unless proper care is taken to train BOTH as to what is acceptable.
 

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Opps got this morning incident wrong. Daughter said she was petting Dex and maltipoo came next to her and Dex tried to bite the maltipoo.

Maltipoo was neutered at rescue, so I could have him checked at vets office to see if it was done properly. Right now I am getting someone that works with aggressive dogs to come out. I am going to try my hardest to fix this. If not Dexter will be rehomed.


Dex took the opportunity to play. He viewed it as an opportunity. HOWEVER, that should also be corrected because guarding behavior like that is unacceptable and a potential problem if not corrected early as well.
 

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i'd keep them seperated. i would not rehome your pup! just being realistic here, not mean, but a 13 y/o dog is nearing the end of it's days soon anyhow. the pup has his whole life to spend with you
 

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2 males OK - usually
1 male, 1 female Ok
2 females, Ok - maybe, could be,
1 male and 2 females OR 2 males and 1 female -- well, ya know 3's a crowd.

I see this as totally the small dog's issue, not the puppy. 12 week old puppies are not aggressive over a female in heat or anything else. Yes, they play and sometimes they make plenty of noise with growling and using their teeth -- this is NOT aggression it is play. Puppies learn to play together, with their teeth and their noises.

If the person that works with aggressive dogs tells you that the baby is aggressive, run. The aggression at this point is on the part of the small dog. The pup should not have lost his puppy license yet, and the older dog does not like the puppy, and having a bitch in heat isn't helping matters from the point of view of the adult dog.

Put it this way, the puppy does not see the older dog as a threat, but the older dog does see the puppy as a threat and he is curbing the puppy probably the only way he knows -- probably the dog hadn't been well socialized, or learned dog-behavior as a puppy, and it has all been ok as all you had was a female that he got along with.

So now you have two boys. The baby is not causing the problem, but if you let this continue, you will cause a problem with the baby dog.

I too think that maybe it would be best to call the breeder and rehome the baby dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Just got off the phone with behaviorist and daughter (had to pay extra for the behaviorist to fit 30 mins into her schedule) it seems Dexter is resource guarding my daughter. Daughter has some things to work on till we can get the Behaviorist for 2 hours next week. Until then I have made it manditory to separate dogs. I will be there next week when the behaviorist comes back and will update everyone on how things are going or not going, just incase anyone else is going through the same thing. if any one else has any comments or questions please feel free.

Just to clear up a few things. While I was home, both Dexter and Maltipoo where around female with no problems. Dex even sniffed her a few times in front of maltipoo and there was no problem. I dont want to rehome, but trust me I wont have dogs hurting each other either.

Dex is 14 weeks and 3 times the size of the maltipoo
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
No, no, no the puppy at 14 weeks is not resource guarding your daughter. Does the trainer know how old Dexter is?
Yes, she went to my house to watch them. Let me see if I can explain this right. She saw no signs of aggression for the short time she was there, but did say that the fact that my shih tzu is in heat is prob a problem ramping up the maltipoo. She said (and my daughter acknowledged) that Dexter was using his body to block my daughter. My daughter said she noticed as she pointed it out. He is in front of my daughter and when the other dogs come around he swings the back part of his body to push them away. Both smaller dogs moved away, my shih tzu went outside but the maltipoo continued to try to get to my daughter for her to pick him up. But there was no aggression. My daughter said she has also seen the behavior when she feeds them. Dexter pushes the other dogs away from their own food bowls using his body, but she thought its just him being a puppy. That the other two dogs wait until hes finished eating their food to eat.
Maybe Dexs puppy license is running out. And when im not there he takes advantage. My daughter is a softie, its just her nature. She is very soft spoken and Dex maybe trying to take advantage of that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Oh just incase this matters, just before the behaviorist got there and my daughter took Dex out of his crate , the maltipoo started licking Dexter on the mouth.
 

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You are absolutely doing the right thing coming here to ask for advice and hiring a professional behaviorist. I wish all owners were as responsible and committed.

I don't think you'll have trouble sorting this out, I doubt you will need to regime your pup!

Keep up the vigilance and hard work. And I have two females and a male, and have not had a single problem since the initial rescue period which I managed as described. They are a solid pack today. No scuffles and no worries. Best of friends!

Hang in there, have patience and consistency, and keep us posted. You'll get there!!


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