Our second puppy is having trouble adjusting

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Our second puppy is having trouble adjusting

This is a discussion on Our second puppy is having trouble adjusting within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hi everyone, thanks in advance for your help. In November we got a Chorkie puppy (named Freda), and she is now 8 months old. She ...

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Old 04-14-2012, 06:36 PM
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Our second puppy is having trouble adjusting

Hi everyone, thanks in advance for your help.

In November we got a Chorkie puppy (named Freda), and she is now 8 months old. She has been really difficult to train in general, and is terrible on a leash, but we did a lot of research into small dogs before we got her and I don't think we've babied her at all. She's just stubborn.

Four days ago, we got a second dog, a black lab (named Vitalia) from the shelter. She's 9 months old and we are her third home. She has pretty bad separation anxiety and tends to follow us around the house, get up when we leave a room, check to make sure we're all still here, etc.

Vitalia is very obedient and quick on the uptake compared to Freda, and she's very submissive to us. We introduced them fairly well, first at the shelter (Where they didn't fight at all, just sniffed at each other) and then, when we brought Vitalia home, at the park opposite our house. We were really careful about introducing them both neutrally and equally. Freda sleeps downstairs and Vitalia sleeps in our bedroom, and we feed them in separate rooms (Freda by her crate in the living room, and Vitalia in the kitchen). I walk them together; Vitalia is always 98% perfect on the leash (sometimes she drags to sniff at stuff, but never to harass Freda) and Freda is as bad as she's always been, plus she tends to try and antagonize Vitalia whenever we come to a stop for a light or a car.

However, any time Freda isn't either in someone's lap, or in her crate, they both go nuts. I'm pretty sure they're fighting for dominance, but I don't know enough about dogs to know how to deal with it. They chase each other, growl a little, and any time one seems to start to lose interest the other coaxes them. Vitalia stands over Freda a lot, herds her, bats at her and pins her with her teeth. Freda is too small to do a lot of those things but she does the batting and she tends to bite back. I say bite - nobody's been hurt, as far as I can tell, and there definitely hasn't been any blood. So far it hasn't been any kind of dangerous biting, but I'm still pretty scared. Vitalia's huge and I'm really frightened that she might hurt Freda.

I adore both of them and I can't bring myself to get rid of either of them. I really want to help them get along but I'm not sure what's dangerous, what isn't, and how to get them to listen and behave how they should when they start doing that.

Any advice is really appreciated xoxox
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Old 04-14-2012, 06:46 PM
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They have to work out the structure of the relationship. As long as neither one is hurting the other, you will want to supervise and redirect when you begin to see it going too far.

We've introduced different sized dogs many times and sometimes the struggle for dominance is a pain but we've always monitored it and worked through the adjustment period, which can be days (with our most recent addition) or months (our first introduction, which was with the single most hard-headed daschund I have EVER dealt with).

It's going to take a little time but I wouldn't leave them unattended together just yet.
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Old 04-14-2012, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RAFM View Post
They have to work out the structure of the relationship. As long as neither one is hurting the other, you will want to supervise and redirect when you begin to see it going too far.

We've introduced different sized dogs many times and sometimes the struggle for dominance is a pain but we've always monitored it and worked through the adjustment period, which can be days (with our most recent addition) or months (our first introduction, which was with the single most hard-headed daschund I have EVER dealt with).

It's going to take a little time but I wouldn't leave them unattended together just yet.
Thank you so much! That really helps set my mind at rest. Is there anything I can do to help them? They tend not to listen to verbal commands at all while they're doing this so I usually end up physically pulling them away from each other until they calm down. Is that bad? Is there anything I should avoid doing?

Sorry for all the questions, and of course anyone who has answers for me is welcome to respond! <333
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Old 04-14-2012, 07:03 PM
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If its just rough play I wouldn't pull them apart until you can tell one of them is becoming stressed, then use a toy or treats to distract and seperate. Never put your hands into a dog fight, even with a small dog. You can get seriously wounded.

For us, typically the small dog (with our first daschund that was very dominate) would become very mean when he'd had enough...he would bite and pull the big dogs mouth, that is typically when I would call it. I would just stand up, get a loud voice while saying 'alright, enough, settle' and move towards treats. Each dog had to work for the treats so there wasn't aggression and we had a very submissive labx that easily acquiesced to the daschund.

Also, when it became clear that Andy, the daschund would be the dominate one, we supported that. He was fed first, he got treats first and he was allowed to sleep in my lap. Charlie, the labx was always second. This minimized their struggles as well.
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Old 04-14-2012, 07:05 PM
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Are you sure they are really fighting? Is it possible this is just normal doggy play interactions?

Do you have any video to share? That would help us a lot, to help you!
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