Puppy isn't listening to older dog.

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Puppy isn't listening to older dog.

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Old 01-10-2016, 11:20 AM
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Puppy isn't listening to older dog.

I have a large breed 9 year old dog who is reactive with strange dogs outdoors but is fine with dogs indoors as long as they leave her alone while she's laying down. She especially doesn't like puppies and avoids them. She's a pro at letting them know to back off if they get too close. She licks, turns away, bares her teeth, growls, and looks to me to see if I can separate them before she has to bite. She's very good inside.
New puppy(12 weeks old) doesn't listen to any of that. She's snapped or bit at him three times now which is the only times I've tried to let them figure it out. He fully screamed and took off each time, only to return to pester her more so I have to keep my older dog and puppy separated by a little wall I built around her bed.
What do I do here so he learns? She doesn't want to bite at him. She tells him extremely clearly, and she looks to me to get him away before she resorts to snapping. She's started growling when he's further and further away, a few feet now because she feels that uncomfortable. I don't want to keep them separate forever. How do I teach him because my older dog is doing everything right as far as I can tell?
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Old 01-10-2016, 11:42 AM
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It's not uncommon for puppies to completely ignore and continue to pester. Leggs was like that with Dexter and our cat and still is at times. I do let my dogs work things out if giving clear signals, fair corrections, and backing off. Simce corrections are escalating and puppy is not backing off, you'll need to intervene.

I managed a lot of it. When very young I placed him in a play pen with chews and toys if unable to supervise closely. When out, I kept him close to me. I rewarded (capturing with verbal marker and treat) all sorts of polite interaction and just calm/relaxing together in the same room. If he started anything inappropriate (walking over to a dog with a chew, stalking the cat, etc.) I interrupted (normally kissy noise or a upbeat "Hey you!"), called him to me as I moved away (often triggers chase/play), and redirected him to a different activity.

Settle on a mat is also super helpful. All of my dogs know this and I use it often. I've trained it to the point I can have all settled, release one to work/interact with me, send them back and release someone else for fun. I also use their settle for when I give out high value chews. No one is allowed to get up and steal from another dog. Taught it by first teaching the settle. Then just management. Redirecting right back the second my puppy got the idea to go visit.

Last edited by kmes; 01-10-2016 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 01-10-2016, 12:03 PM
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Keep them separated so that the older dog isn't continually correcting the puppy. You want to develop the puppy individually, so keep him confined in the house and take him out alone to train. You won't need to keep them separated forever, just until the puppy is more mature and has acquired some impulse control and is more socially adept. What you want to avoid is the older dog creating fear in the puppy because then you will likely end up with two reactive dogs.
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Old 01-10-2016, 12:33 PM
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Like I said, I have a wall up and I am working on crate training the pup so they can be apart. I've also done sessions of giving them treats while I have them calm on either side of me and do a lot of distracting to keep the pup from trying to climb the wall.
I had a friend tell me to let the older dog tell him off and that's when the snapping and scaring him happened those three times because I didn't intervene.. But it's pretty clear that won't work right now. So how long do you think it'll take for him to learn to not be so rude? I've been introducing him to other dogs but she's the only one who tells him off.
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Old 01-10-2016, 02:15 PM
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I don't think your puppy is being rude to your older dog at all, he is being a puppy. That's what puppies do (to borrow from the Geico commercial). So you need to puppy-proof not only your house but also your older dog. Your top priority should be to crate train the puppy. When loose in the house, under supervision, keep him on a long leash so you can intervene quickly if necessary. I would also make sure the puppy is not over stimulated in the indoors and while around the older dog.

This might not be what you want to hear, but I doubt you will be able to make much progress until the puppy is around 8 months old when they are mature enough to understand the required manners. Until them you have to manage the situation.
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