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Discussion Starter #1
:)

So we weren't planning on bringing a puppy home until next spring, but after choosing the breed we wanted we got in touch with breed clubs, breeders and other Border Terrier owners. We met up with a Border Terrier breeder and we got to meet six adorable 5 week old wigglebutt puppies :D

Anyway long story short, someone backed out when the puppy was 6 weeks old, and we said we'd love the little guy :dog-love:

Say hi to Raiden :)



We brought him home at 8 weeks old, he's now 9 weeks old and he's been so good! He sleeps well at night, he's had two accidents in the house this entire time, and he already knows sit, lie down, touch, his name and responds to a positive interrupter. He's currently learning drop / leave it.

Zoey *adores* him, but I might need advice on getting them to be calmer around each other haha...at the moment when they play she won't tell Raiden off when he's being yappy and snappy, so we remove him and let him cool off for a while in his pen. Atm we're only letting them play for a minute or two at a time, although they do try get back to each other.

Kasper is being his usual moody self :D However he is much calmer around Raiden, and of course Kasper is food motivated so keeping his attention is a lot easier ;) Kasper is also very willing to tell the puppy off...for example Raiden was bouncing on the edge of the couch and yapping at Kasper to try get him to play, Kasper gave him a growl and Raiden immediately calmed down...now if only Zoey could do that :p

So a few questions:

1) Can anybody share with me any photos or, even better, videos of different adult dogs interacting with puppies and what we should look out for? Or articles?

2) Tips on getting the dogs used to focusing and being calm around each other (I'm not expecting too much as it's only been a week!). So far we've had Kasper on the couch and Raiden on the floor; I train the puppy and my bf trains / plays LAT with Kasper. Raiden has no trouble training with me (walking to heel, sitting, lying down etc) and Kasper is happy to do simple tricks and calmly watch the puppy on the floor.

Our issue is mainly with Zoey, as she gets very focused on the puppy. When Raiden is awake in his pen it's hard for Zoey to focus on other things, especially if Raiden is also whining to get to her! If Raiden is awake but quiet in the pen (say my bf is with him or Raiden is chewing a Kong) Zoey will settle with a nylabone or a Kong of her own...but if the puppy is active or noisy she just wants to be with and interact with him.

When Zoey is playing with the puppy, Raiden will come away when called, but Zoey won't...treats are so not high enough value, nor are toys :eyeroll: This means we can't call Rey away either because when he comes to me Zoey follows and distracts him!! Should we physically separate them, by picking Raiden up? We would have Zoey trail a longline but Raiden has a thing for leads.

So far Kasper and Zoey are interacting with Raiden one-on-one, as on the second day when they were together Kasper redirected his frustration about the new puppy onto Zoey and growled at her. So we're letting them adjust to Raiden alone until things are calmer and more settled. They do get times away from Raiden to interact with each other. Any tips on when / how to have them all together?

Hopefully this post makes sense, but I have a tired mushy puppy brain haha...I'll post more puppy photos and updates in the thread in my signature later today once everyone has been walked and tired out! :)
 

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Congrates on your new puppy :), hopefully as time goes one the new fun of another dog and zoey will calm down around him and can focuse on other things. Good luck with him.

Im jeleous, i would love to own a border terrier. I love the bred
 
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There are two stages, the first is having a calm introduction. After this, the two may decide to play, or may decide to keep on exploring the world.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDX9RgsQuJ8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BaYwbnQp8Q
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJKzJ2pLdOk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1EsZLi_kJQ
Notice how the adult dog stays calm and stays on puppy level until they 'meet' and then after they go nose-to-nose for a second adult dog says 'let's play' but pup is still more interested in exploring. Adult dog keeps on trying to get pup to play, almost to the point where stepping in would have been okay, but then adult dog seems to realize the little one isn't old enough to understand play or just not interested and so he just calmly lays there and lets puppy climb.

here are some good play videos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRMdMzQHp_c
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZht--MW2D0

Note the adult dog lowering themselves to be on the same level as the pup? This is a good sign.

play will change as the dog ages and grows, as the gap in 'power' changes between pup and adult dogs. Adult dogs should be checking themselves to account for puppy's smaller size and less coordination.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9zJBH1sgH4



Puppies can also be big pests to older dogs, watch for a dog that looks like he is just ignoring the puppy but the puppy won't relent. Separate the puppy from that dog to give it a needed reprieve and to enforce to the puppy it needs to pick up on social cues.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9s-f98a_Nw

See this vid here, at the beginning the dog is simply tolerating the pup, and the human should have stepped in, then through the magic of editing, it switches to good play.

Note, adult dog growling at pup is the adult dog's way of saying STOP IT! (I don't want to play any more, I don't want to play in the first place, or your play has gotten too wild, back it down). Do NOT correct the adult dog for growling when the puppy is trying to initiate or won't stop playing. This is normal and good behavior, pups will need to learn when to back off. (Note an adult being immediately exposed to a puppy, running over and growling, that's an entirely different subject) Even some minor nipping of the pup by the adult dog is okay, but really the owner should be monitoring and take the puppy away prior to the adult dog having to revert to a nip to get the pup to behave.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks 3dogfam - awesome, thanks - and your house doesn't look messy AT ALL! ;)

Sabina do you see a lot of Border Terriers where you are? I know someone else who lives in America, and she wanted a Border Terrier for her last dog but apparently they're really hard to find where she lives. Thanks :) I know it's early days I just want everyone to start off on the right foot, and I'm struggling to tell if Zoey's enjoying herself or not.

akodo, thank you so much for taking the time to share those videos and add details! I had a look for puppy / adult dog interactions on YouTube but a lot of them were about dominance, so I didn't trust their observations. I'm gonna pick some of the videos you've sent me apart (I'm sorry, this will get lengthy :) )

Okay, first video. Zoey was similar to the large white dog a minute in; excited but no malice. Only Raiden isn't as unsure as the puppy in that video, he's very happy with Zoey now so he's all "play play play!", and launches himself at her.

In the fifth video, at about a minute in you see the older GR doing neck grabs to the puppy, Zoey does this to Raiden when the little guy is all snappy. Raiden doesn't yelp, it's never for more than a few seconds, and I assume it's Zoey's way of getting him to calm down? As soon as Zoey lets go he's back to playing with her. I've read a few articles where neck grabbing is termed 'bullying behaviour', whereas others where they say it's fine in play. The behaviour of the adult dog in that video is really useful, thanks! :)
(I love the bottle chute in the video too!)

Kasper is at the stage now where he can play and interact with the puppy. He handicaps himself in play, he's gentle (similar to 6th video) but he will tell Raiden off when he is too excited / snappy. This is what keeps Raiden from being OTT, and why I wish Zoey would tell him off as he's much more excited and yappy-snappy with her!

Raiden's also more 'intense' than these puppies...I guess he's most similar to the Beagle puppy (6th video I think) but snappier. I want to get him playing more with Kasper so he can learn what's acceptable.

Observations of Zoey playing are that her movements are much more...frenetic? She does play more stop and start with Kasper though, whereas Kasper is more fluid in play. But her face isn't utterly relaxed when she's playing with Raiden either, she has a fairly intense expression.

So if Zoey's not ready to interact with the puppy freely, what should we be doing? How can we get her used to Raiden without becoming excited? Have the puppy in the pen and train Zoey beside it? LAT?

(I should add Zoey likes to pretend she's not enjoying herself during play even when she is, and does this a lot with Kasper. She will look at us as Kasper is playing with her with an "I hate this" expression, then when he moves away she dives on him. This makes it hard to read her)

For example, utterly happy relaxed Zoey



And her "I'm not enjoying this" face, then as soon as Kasper lets go she pounces on him :rolleyes:



I'll try get a video today of her interacting with the puppy, it's just hard managing camera, puppy and adult dog! I'll also post a video I took yesterday of her playing with Kasper too, so you can get a sense for her totally comfortable play interactions.

Can anyone point me to some videos of dogs interacting with puppies that aren't happy, of things to watch out for, like the GSD one above and more subtle signs? A lot of the body language videos I've found are really obvious, so ones that are easy to miss would be good. Or give me some clues what to look for?

Thanks guys, you're a humongous help! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Okay, this was their second play session of the day...this was an unscheduled play session, bf was taking Rey to the toilet and Zoey ran out too :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoS1x_-0PwU

I purposefully didn't interrupt as I wanted other people's thoughts on if / when they would have stepped in - 20 seconds in, 30 seconds, 40? Not at all?

At 50 seconds there's a noise; it's the bowl scudding not a growl ;) With the neck hold she does around 1:15, she actually 'nibbles' at him - what is that??

Okay, and here's a video of Kasper and Zoey roughhousing (they were slightly more giddy than usual here as they haven't played as much as normal since the puppy)...as you can see Zoey did keep her movements much slower and more gentle for the puppy compared to this:
(the video gets lighter about 40 seconds in)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhPjSaP3QPc

So, when would you stop it? How long would you let it go on for? :)
 

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Humm.... I don't like what I am seeing there.

For starters, the American Bulldog is sniffing around on the border pup as if they were strangers which I guess isn't bad, but he is doing it in a very dominant fashion, and then he switches to 'play' but I don't see him giving any body language cues to let the pup know that is what he wants or is offering.

Also, if you watch the other videos, the adult dogs back off and let the pups come to them multiple times during each play. Here the adult dog is constantly looming over the pup, almost like it is forcing the pup to play. In your videos, when the pup does seem like it's trying to instigate play with the adult dog looming overhead, (time 0:25 for instance) the adult dog doesn't seem to get it and doesn't 'play back' in a way that I would expect. Same at :40. At :44 when the adult dog does go into traditional play, he is playing way to rough for the pup and being way too domineering. Pup seems to be caught between wanting to cower, wanting to flee, and wanting to play.

At :50 or so the pup seems like it wants to check out it's food bowl. When a dog is in a situation where he doesn't like what is going on, but he doesn't want to get defensive or confrontational about it, lots of times they will go drink even if the aren't thirsty as a way of 'avoiding' the conflict. I think your pup is very uncomfortable in the situation and doing that, but the adult seems to jump in and almost say NO I AM FORCING YOU TO PLAY WITH ME WHILE I DOMINATE YOU.

Even later, the pup seems to be cowering while the adult is totally over top him, combining showing dominance and playing. When at 1:04 or so the little guy does start to do NORMAL play back at the adult dog, the dog dashes off, circles, and comes back having stopped playing at least for a second and gets in a stiff pose overtop the pup, again being overly dominant IMHO.

The adult dog then seems to pin the pup against the wall, and his 'play neck nibbling' doesn't seem all that playful to me, it doesn't seem like the play neck biting you see the Golden doing in video 5.

If that was my border puppy and you were my friend and you were bringing that dog over, I'd NOT let your dog play with my border puppy.

The 'adult' dog I am guessing is actually a dog that is full grown in body but of an age that he is still a puppy at heart, so he may mellow and become a better playmate over time, but it seems to me your AmBdg is more playing like he would with a similar size and age peer, and forcing the pup into it vs towing down his behavior enough to be appropriate for playing with a small dog/younger dog.

Note this is not uncommon. Some dogs just have a really poor sense of self and others. It's part of the reason why a lot of dog parks have separate small dog areas.

And, as said, there seems to be a lot of dominance pushing that underlies how your Am Bdg is playing, which is also a flag.

Finally, the way your Am Bdg is playing with your Border Collie seems a little more intense than i'd tolerate from either one, seems at an energy level and mindset that a 'mistake' could easily go from a play session to an actual fight, but there are some reasonable breaks, so while it's a bit on the rough and uncontrolled side I'd not say it's bad, just something worth monitoring. It's also just one play interaction, others could be different.

But in summary, I'd expect much different and better play between the Am Bdg and the border pup. You might want to command your Am Bdg to lay down, and then only let the border pup come in and play when the adult stays down on the ground.
 

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She definitely seems too amped up. When I was fostering, because the pups were generally very small, I kept them separated from my dogs in a covered pen for about two days. The only face to face interaction that occurred between them was through our sliding glass door. This gave all parties a chance to get to know each other with a firm barrier. On the third day they would be in the same room during very controlled feeding times, so the primary focus is the food. My dogs have all been trained so that there is no food aggression in any of them, therefore this was an ok time for introductions. Otherwise I would say maybe after vigorous exercise, which may be a good idea given the intensity Zoey is displaying. She looks unsure, and almost all of her interaction with him seemed very insecure/anxious. He is very appropriate (for a puppy) which is awesome, once you get her on the same page as well things should go great. On a side note it seems like he is not completely weaned yet. Discourage him from trying to nurse. An unbred female can sometimes take exception to it, not to mention the teeth.
 

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Humm.... I don't like what I am seeing there.

For starters, the American Bulldog is sniffing around on the border pup as if they were strangers which I guess isn't bad, but he is doing it in a very dominant fashion, and then he switches to 'play' but I don't see him giving any body language cues to let the pup know that is what he wants or is offering.

Also, if you watch the other videos, the adult dogs back off and let the pups come to them multiple times during each play. Here the adult dog is constantly looming over the pup, almost like it is forcing the pup to play. In your videos, when the pup does seem like it's trying to instigate play with the adult dog looming overhead, (time 0:25 for instance) the adult dog doesn't seem to get it and doesn't 'play back' in a way that I would expect. Same at :40. At :44 when the adult dog does go into traditional play, he is playing way to rough for the pup and being way too domineering. Pup seems to be caught between wanting to cower, wanting to flee, and wanting to play.

At :50 or so the pup seems like it wants to check out it's food bowl. When a dog is in a situation where he doesn't like what is going on, but he doesn't want to get defensive or confrontational about it, lots of times they will go drink even if the aren't thirsty as a way of 'avoiding' the conflict. I think your pup is very uncomfortable in the situation and doing that, but the adult seems to jump in and almost say NO I AM FORCING YOU TO PLAY WITH ME WHILE I DOMINATE YOU.

Even later, the pup seems to be cowering while the adult is totally over top him, combining showing dominance and playing. When at 1:04 or so the little guy does start to do NORMAL play back at the adult dog, the dog dashes off, circles, and comes back having stopped playing at least for a second and gets in a stiff pose overtop the pup, again being overly dominant IMHO.

The adult dog then seems to pin the pup against the wall, and his 'play neck nibbling' doesn't seem all that playful to me, it doesn't seem like the play neck biting you see the Golden doing in video 5.

If that was my border puppy and you were my friend and you were bringing that dog over, I'd NOT let your dog play with my border puppy.

The 'adult' dog I am guessing is actually a dog that is full grown in body but of an age that he is still a puppy at heart, so he may mellow and become a better playmate over time, but it seems to me your AmBdg is more playing like he would with a similar size and age peer, and forcing the pup into it vs towing down his behavior enough to be appropriate for playing with a small dog/younger dog.

Note this is not uncommon. Some dogs just have a really poor sense of self and others. It's part of the reason why a lot of dog parks have separate small dog areas.

And, as said, there seems to be a lot of dominance pushing that underlies how your Am Bdg is playing, which is also a flag.

Finally, the way your Am Bdg is playing with your Border Collie seems a little more intense than i'd tolerate from either one, seems at an energy level and mindset that a 'mistake' could easily go from a play session to an actual fight, but there are some reasonable breaks, so while it's a bit on the rough and uncontrolled side I'd not say it's bad, just something worth monitoring. It's also just one play interaction, others could be different.

But in summary, I'd expect much different and better play between the Am Bdg and the border pup. You might want to command your Am Bdg to lay down, and then only let the border pup come in and play when the adult stays down on the ground.
Zoey (female) is a tiny 11kg Staffy, not an AB :D

What do you mean by dominance / dominant? Dominance over what? Or do you mean being rude and pushy, or intense?

What would you recommend - I think I said above that Zoey is too excited to recall from the puppy, so there's no way she would lie down whilst the puppy bounced around her :p How can we teach Zoey to be calm around the puppy; should we be doing more 'puppy = treats' stuff when they are separated, and no free interactions yet?

Kasper and Zoey are very rough players, it's how they have always played and they really enjoy it. It's very very rare they play rough enough to accidentally make one of them yelp :) In the 2 years and 8 months we have had Zoey with Kasper we have never had a fight, and the only time aggression was shown was Kasper RG in the early days.

She definitely seems too amped up. When I was fostering, because the pups were generally very small, I kept them separated from my dogs in a covered pen for about two days. The only face to face interaction that occurred between them was through our sliding glass door. This gave all parties a chance to get to know each other with a firm barrier. On the third day they would be in the same room during very controlled feeding times, so the primary focus is the food. My dogs have all been trained so that there is no food aggression in any of them, therefore this was an ok time for introductions. Otherwise I would say maybe after vigorous exercise, which may be a good idea given the intensity Zoey is displaying. She looks unsure, and almost all of her interaction with him seemed very insecure/anxious. He is very appropriate (for a puppy) which is awesome, once you get her on the same page as well things should go great. On a side note it seems like he is not completely weaned yet. Discourage him from trying to nurse. An unbred female can sometimes take exception to it, not to mention the teeth.
Thanks. They're usually separated (Raiden in pen) apart from several short intro's a day...I like the idea of using food to hold the focus away from the puppy, but Zoey is a crappy eater and the only way she will eat a meal is in her crate :rolleyes: Could we give the puppy a meal and just dish out treats to Zoey? Could we reward Zoey for looking at the puppy from afar, so she associates Raiden with goodies *and* it keeps her away and calm?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
3Dogfam - also why would he try and nurse from her? He's not done that before, could it be because she was stood up and outdoors (I saw the puppies trying to nurse from the mother in a similar situation), or was it just because Zoey was stood still?
 

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Thanks. They're usually separated (Raiden in pen) apart from several short intro's a day...I like the idea of using food to hold the focus away from the puppy, but Zoey is a crappy eater and the only way she will eat a meal is in her crate :rolleyes: Could we give the puppy a meal and just dish out treats to Zoey? Could we reward Zoey for looking at the puppy from afar, so she associates Raiden with goodies *and* it keeps her away and calm?
You could try that, or if she has something that she likes to do that you know will hold her attention even when the puppy is accessible that wouldn't hurt either. I think right now the great place to get her to would be awareness without interaction. She seems very overwhelmed with him in her space and she seems to be reflecting that back onto him.

3Dogfam - also why would he try and nurse from her? He's not done that before, could it be because she was stood up and outdoors (I saw the puppies trying to nurse from the mother in a similar situation), or was it just because Zoey was stood still?
I think it's most likely that he had not been fully weaned yet. It's not a big deal other than the fact that it can make a dog uncomfortable, disgruntled, agitated to have those little needle teeth clamped onto their soft parts.
 

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What do you mean by dominance / dominant? Dominance over what? Or do you mean being rude and pushy, or intense?

Dominance is a term that recognizes there is a hierarchy within a group, that limited resources aren't given out in a 'first come first serve' basis but based on 'rank'. Resources could be food, space, breeding rights, etc.

A great example of dominance is one animal eating food, and another member of the group approaches. Do they both eat? Does the first animal continue to eat while the other waits? (1st animal is dominant) Does the first animal back off and the 2nd animal come in and eat? (2nd animal is dominant)?

Probably the most likely place you will hear the term 'dominance' relating to dogs is something along the lines of 'you as the owner need to be the dominant one'

Here's the deal. For many years we knew that dogs were pack animals. Some years ago someone had the bright idea to study wolves to learn about dogs. They studied an artificially created wolfpack and how dominance came to play their. Not only was this a bad study of wolfpacks because it was a bunch of stranger wolves shoved together as opposed to a natural pack in the wild, but because it was also silly to expect that dogs would act exactly the same as wolves.

This study of dominance had a big impact on dog training and the dog community took many years to figure out it was bad advice

That being said, dominance theory in dogs is real, it's just much more fluid and dynamic and less directly confrontational than this wolf study lead people to believe.

While there is no reason for an owner to do silly stuff like 'Alpha Rolls' to assert themselves at the top of the pack, there IS a 'pecking order' among dogs in a multi-dog household.

Some dogs just couldn't care less where exactly they are in the 'pecking order', they are just happy to belong to the group. In other dogs, being 'top dog' is very important to them. How important dominance is compared to other needs and desires, the health of a dog, issues like having a litter of puppies to feed, etc all come into play and cause changes in the pack hierarchy, or sometimes creates special rules about ignoring it.

For instance, say there are 3 dogs, and 2 of them are very interested in dominance, 1 of those two is physically larger and healthier, and will often be the 'top dog'. That dog gets sick, maybe it injures it's leg. Now dominance is less important to that dog so the other dog slides into 'top dog' spot, at least for now. Dogs generally lets the more dominant dogs eat first, but if one of the less dominant dogs is really really hungry or maybe the food being offered is the FAVORITE of that one dog, it may become more assertive temporarily,


When dogs meet they send messages to eachother based on body language. Often less dominant dogs send subimissive messages of 'hey I there is nothing important going on right here now, no need to fight, I'll defer to you'. Sometimes dogs will got stiff legged, puffed up posture, eyes locked, ears forward saying 'hey, it's really important for me to be boss, you got a problem with that?' if the other dog is more submissive, he sends signals back that say 'sure, no problem, your boss, whatever' and things are fine. OR the other dog sends back it's own signals of 'Hey, not so fast, I AM BOSS DOG' and then you might have a fight. It might just be posturing and growling until one backs down. It might be just a little fight until one backs down, or it may be a full blown brawl.

Some people think 'hey it's not manly to have a submissive dog!' but that just isn't true. Submissive doesn't mean a push-over, it's just the dog doesn't have a big interest in being boss right here right now. It's reasonable for a dog to be willing to fight to protect it's home, but if the dog is just walking along on 'neutral ground' the dog you want is the dog that recognizes that there is no reason to get into a fight over who is boss of a sidewalk 20 minutes from home. (This is another good example of dominance always changing. When 2 dogs meet at the dogpark, dog A may have no problem being submissive to dog B. But when in his own yard, dog A demands that dog B be the submissive one, because it's dog A's territory)

When dogs are packmates or friendly acquaintances, they do not do that same dominance deal of first time meeting, but they do send body signals back and forth a lot. Some common ones dogs use to say 'hey, just a reminder, I AM TOP DOG' is things like pushing the other dog with their shoulder, climbing on top of them or partly climbing on them by throwing a paw on the other dogs back and similar acts, another is to get really in the other dog's 'personal space' or to tower over it. Submissive responses are to give space, be lower physically, etc.

What I see in YOUR Staffy is she goes into stiff legged 'I am boss' pose, and the fact that she gets so right on top the puppy is really communicating 'I am boss'

Compare this to the beagle playing with the rottweiler. The rotty is on his side, showing his belly ('hey I have no interest at all in a fight, I might be a lot bigger than you but I come in total peace) that Rotty isn't interested in telling the beagle pup 'hey you are lower on the pecking order than me' because he realizes it's just a pup.

A dog that sees a really young pup as needing to be 'instructed' on 'I am boss' just isn't acting appropriately. #1 Why is the dog SO concerned with rank that it feels the need to stress it with a PUPPY! #2 Puppies are learning their social cues still, young puppy may not know the right signals to placate an adult dog and can inadvertently start a fight with a dog that is overly dominant.
Note #1, pups seem instinctively to understand rolling over and showing belly is a very submissive gesture and sometimes do that while simultaneously continuing to play, but they often do it without much thought or understanding of what they are doing.

Note # 2 if mom sees an adult dog acting overly dominant, even if that dog is normally higher than her on the pecking order, she's likely to go in and be super-dominant herself and say 'BACK OFF because you may be normally top dog, but you are out of line and I will fight you to defend my pup so don't even start with me'

I want to stress that dogs bringing in dominance just in their regular life to remind each other where they stand, or bringing in dominance during play is totally normal. It's more of a question of how often dominance establishing behaviors are brought up, and are they brought up at an appropriate time.

An adult dog, even a 'teen age dog' should know better than to bring up dominance issues when playing with a 10 week old puppy.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wo98RlvjFEI

Here's a video of an older dog (the white one with spots) playing with a teen age dog, where the older is doing some playing but also stressing that he is still dominant, while the teen is doing a lot of 'hey you are the boss, I'm not wanting to challenge that, but let's ROUGHHOUSE!' In this case, this is totally okay for the dominance and submissive stuff to be incorporated right in the playing,

Note how the dominant dog is standing up, keeping a high posture and the submissive teenage dog is staying lower? Now look at the beagle and rotty video, see the rotty being low because he isn't worried about dominance messages? Now look at you own staffy video, and see how your staffy is very concerned about being tall and being on top, that's because the staffy is bringing a lot of dominance messages when it just isn't appropriate


Note dominance and submission doesn't always pop up when it's about redefining the pecking order. Sometimes dogs are just interacting neutrally, and one dog does something the other doesn't like. The other may then give a submissive signal followed by being assertive. The dog is communicating 'Look, I am not trying to fight you for dominance, but I do want you to stop the behavior you are doing toward me' People can sometimes see this and mis-read who is actually being dominant vs submissive (thinking that the dog who is pushing back is being dominant vs being submissive but disagreeing with the actions of the other dog)


(to be Continued, post length limit)
 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bg_gGguwzg
Go to the 5:36 mark. Teen dog is interested in playing, but also (possibly inadvertently) giving dominance signals. Other dog is probably generally more dominant but here is giving submissive signals because it doesn't want to play but it also doesn't want to fight. This might be part of what your staffy is doing, wanting to play, not being fully aware of the situation, but rather than interacting with a confident and wise adult dog, is making these mistakes against a puppy.

Also go to 8:30 mark. Big dog is being neutral but 'investigating' the two other dogs..one especially, probably of opposite sex, making the smaller dog uncomfortable, so the smaller dog says 'lets play!' as a way to stop being 'assessed' as a potential mate. Big dog accepts the play, and then a second later realizes 'hey the other dog was intimidated by me' and so he rolls over, shows his belly, and is super-submissive to say 'hey I get you now, I'm not trying to push your buttons, let's be friends'. The big dog probably isn't generally submissive, but when on neutral ground, with nothing important to gain or lose, sees no purpose in trying to establish any sort of pecking order, and so has no problem offering up a very submissive posture to a non-threatening dog to reassure that other dog.

Here's another video where the Rotty is being neutral, but the smaller brown dog purposely gets his head lower to really stress 'hey I am not looking for a fight, BUT I am not totally cool with how you are treating me...so if/when I push back, I'm not starting a fight about who is boss I just don't like your behavior'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unBmdRaaq_A

It's also a good example of 'sort of play' where a dog isn't really comfortable and is doing play to diffuse the situation, so just because you see play doesn't mean the dogs are cool with the situation. I wonder when your border puppy was playing if he was really playing because he wanted to play or if that was his way of trying to diffuse your staffy being too much in his personal space and too dominant toward the pup, because the pup seems to alternate between trying to escape and playing, vs most good play where the pup constantly leaves play even if just for a few seconds then turns around and rushes back in to play more.

What would you recommend - I think I said above that Zoey is too excited to recall from the puppy, so there's no way she would lie down whilst the puppy bounced around her :p How can we teach Zoey to be calm around the puppy; should we be doing more 'puppy = treats' stuff when they are separated, and no free interactions yet?
In the end YOU are top of the pack. You get to decide who gets what resources. If I were you, every time the staffy gets dominant with the little pup, tell her NO and end play time between the staffy and the pup and give the staffy a 'time out' in her crate. When they place nicely, give food rewards to both.

Note, that after you separate the staffy from the pup, go back in and play with the pup, make sure pup knows he is being good. Reward the pup when it plays nicely.

It's not so much that I fear the border pup getting hurt, but what I fear is the border pup will learn bad boundaries and bad behavior because it is in the situation with the rude and inappropriate staffy. I'd also suggest it's important to find a calm and well-mannered adult dog for your border to play with and learn appropriate social interaction cues.
 

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Okaay...but I thought 'dominance' wasn't a personality trait? I thought dominance related to resources, such as toys or beds?

I also don't think Zoey is being dominant in the way you use the word, ie. trying to be the boss. I think she simply doesn't know how to play or react appropriately to the puppy. I think she really wants to play with Raiden, but firstly she doesn't know how and secondly she is getting too excited with the little guy.

I wonder when your border puppy was playing if he was really playing because he wanted to play or if that was his way of trying to diffuse your staffy being too much in his personal space and too dominant toward the pup, because the pup seems to alternate between trying to escape and playing, vs most good play where the pup constantly leaves play even if just for a few seconds then turns around and rushes back in to play more.
Raiden is so excitable with Zoey (he RUNS up to her and immediately tries to initiate play; play bows, yapping, nipping etc) and Zoey stands there for a few seconds THEN she begins playing back. Maybe I'll try get a video of this at some point.

In contrast with Kasper, who in the first week scolded the puppy numerous times, Raiden is calm, respectful and doesn't run at him. Kasper is now much more comfortable with the puppy (probably because the puppy is so calm) and even though Kasper tries to play with Rey, Rey won't play back properly because he is still slightly nervy with Kasper.

This is how calm they are together



This is not the case with Zoey. Raiden reeeally wants to be with and play with Zoey...but then Zoey gets too hyped up / intense. When we remove Zoey from the play, once she is too excited, Raiden chases after her trying to continue their interaction.

I think what we're going to do is do more training / calming exercises with Raiden and Zoey, initially with Rey in the pen then with him out of the pen. Training both dogs in the same room, feeding them treats one at a time etc. Gradually we'll move closer then and then I'll c/t Zoey for looking, touching and interacting with Raiden. I'm not going to tell her NO or verbally correct her in any way; if she's unsure around the puppy I don't want to increase her anxiety.

3Dogfam - the big dogs are very willing to do Kongs in the same room as the puppy, that holds their attention for a while...only problem is finding something that will hold Rey's attention, he's not a huge Kong fan yet! :p
 

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Overall I don't see things here as overly alarming. What I see mostly is play. The puppy is very young. The adult female Zoey is basically being gentle. She is not acting in a predatory way. She is doing lots of play body language. She does get a bit aroused by the presence of the puppy and perhaps that would be a reason to separate them for short periods or get their attention and feed treats to both at once as a calming exercise during their times together.

I think the use of the term "dominant" here is overworked and unnecessarily concerning. The owner here is very observant and able to supervise effectively. I'd be optimistic that as the puppy grows, and with continued supervised play times together, all will be just fine.

If you all had seen our Josey and Tessa play together when Tessa was a wee pup, you'd have a lot more to say about things. Tessa would launch herself at Josey with a full on body slam and neck biting. Josey sometimes would get so excited (high tail, barking, bouncing, going crazy) that Tessa would hide under the coffee table. In time, with just a little calming guidance from us, they grew up to be best buddies.
 
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I also don't see anything too extreme with the interactions. Granted I don't have a multi-dog house, but my dog has played with both older and younger dogs. I do believe that Zoey isn't sure what to do. The only thing that concerns me is how intensely excited and focused she is about the puppy and how she isn't "crippling" herself to let the pup play on his level. She also, in the videos, doesn't seem to relax and play bough very much - two things that tell me she's unsure about what to do or how to play with this new little dog. Did she have a lot of little puppy play hours in before this? little dog friends? or have all of her companions been her size? if so, this might be why she doesn't know the rules of playing with little dogs.

I'm sure in time Zoey will figure things out in time, especially with Kasper leading the way lol. Btw the new little guy is adorable.
 
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how adorable a pup he is! how big do border terriers get? zoey just needs to learn not to be too distracted with him when you try get her to calm down or away from him and how to play properly with such a small pup.
 
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Discussion Starter #18
Thank you Sue :)

KayWilson, she prefers smaller dogs to large dogs, but although she's met puppies on lead she hasn't played with them before. She loves to rough and tumble with JRTs though :p Thanks!

crazy, thank you :D I've read a few different heights for Border Terriers, but generally it seems to be around 12 inches :)

We've been doing calming work with all dogs, and especially Zoey and Raiden...she has no problem being calm when he's in the pen, they can all wait their turn taking treats, and all dogs can train next to each other; so we just need to work on teaching her to come away from the puppy! :)

Clips from the past few days...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygHQEjwJtWY
 
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