Recently I got an email from a friend who had bought one of my puppies a few years ago. She had added a new puppy to the household, and was having real behavioral problems with the original two dogs. This is what she wrote, and below is my answer. Not seeing all the behaviors with my own eyes, this was the best advise I could give her.
What would you advise her to do, from your own experience?
Hi mrs sowards
I just had a concern with jade, we got a puppy a month ago n for some reason jade has turned extremely aggressive but not with the puppy bt with chloe (chihuahua). She cant even smell or be anywhere near chloe, n they recently got in a huge fight luckily it was nothing major just some cuts. I still give her the same attention bt now we actually have to keep all 3 dogs separate n she only wants to be carried. I know i have to fix her bt shes never been this aggressive n i dnt know what’s wrong with her.
Sent from my iPhone
Sorry to hear Jades showing her dark side! I’m guessing it’s just re directed jealousy. First, it’s virtually impossible not to talk to a puppy in a baby voice that, to a dogs acute ear, is vastly different than the voice you use for her. Not just voice, but mannerisms, body language, etc. EVERYTHING you do with that puppy turns Jade green with jealousy, but since it’s a puppy, she is restrained by her instincts to not kill it, especially if it whimpers and lies on it’s back submissively, which if it’s a good puppy, it should know how to do. Secondly, she may have built up animosity towards the chihuahu, you never know, dogs have feelings too, so she may be taking her hurt and anger out on her. OR, if she’s good around the puppy, even if bossy, she may be claiming the puppy for herself and letting the Chihuahua know it’s hers, stay away. Watch to see if that’s what’s happening.
So what to do? Obviously you must keep the puppy away from any fights going on. Puppy needs it’s own crate, and needs to stay there when not supervised by you. If Jade is just jealous of the pup, make sure you let HER decide what treats or toys she’ll let the puppy have. Puppy must be subordinate to the other two dogs. She doesn’t get anything special unless it’s a one time deal like a treat and you’re alone with her.
I would suspend all treats, and take away all toys and special blankets and beds…bread and water for everyone, haha… Until things settle down and everyone figures out their place in the new hierarchy. The introduction of a new dog no matter what age always means a shift in the landscape, and the dogs, especially if they are badly spoiled, which we all know our Wiener dogs are by definition badly spoiled….well, they are all worried they won’t get the usual allocation of resources. So take everything away for two weeks, be friendly but not your usual spoiling, take them for walks together, puppy included if old enough( four months, all shots over with by two weeks). And when not home, keep the puppy in its crate, and don’t leave anything lying around the other two will fight over. No chewies, no toys no bones, no food, no beds. Water only. Two bowls. I came home once having left an all day type chewie laying around, and Mercedes and Mokie had nearly killed each other. (see the post Wiener Wars.). Blood everywhere. Luckily they were equally matched and got tired out about the same time. It was a gruesome scene tho.
Unfortunately, even tho we joke about spoiling, it has real consequences, and Jade is showing you that. The fact she makes you carry her, for cripes sake, is a huge indication that she thinks she owns you, which is the message we send dogs when we spoil them. We think we’re sending them love notes, but they think we are here to carry out their every wish. Withdraw that, or start giving it to a new dog, and things can get hairy. Do like I say, take all the goodies away, including the beds and blanket, give them each an old raggedy blanket they never had before, nothing special, they must not get the impression you think the blanket is worth anything, and if you don’t think they can tell what you value and like, think again. Put Chloe and Jade in pens or crates if they continue to not get along. Don’t allow them on the couch during this two week period either, because where they sit, how close, who’s furthest away, are all signals that someone is more special than someone else. Yes, it’s hard times in the Big House for a while, that may cure them. Treat them like barn dogs. They will bark and cry and be pissed off, but be firm. If you stay the course, they’ll adjust their thinking back to being dogs who YOU boss around, not the other way around. Otherwise, you’re going to have to deal every hour of every day with dogs that can snap without warning.
How does Chloe act around the puppy? Does she like it? Share? Pal around? Sleep with it? Ignore it? Snap at it?
Let me know how it goes