Help needed *settling an older dog with puppy - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 08-07-2009, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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Help needed *settling an older dog with puppy

Hello ladies and gents,
I have a big problem. As you saw by the puppy pictures, I have a new little guy. He will be 2 months old this week. He is a Bichon/Maltese cross. I currently have an 8 year old, male Maltese cross. My issue comes with my 8 yr old not adjusting at all to the puppy.

Let me describe the setting they are in. They share half of the first floor (as it is tiled). Rocky(the 8 yr old) has his own house and his own litter box. He also owns his own toys and feeding bowls.

The puppy sleeps in his kennel and also has his own litter box(found out on day 1 the older dog didnt want to go to the bathroom in a shared litter box, so they each have their own).

Rocky spends his entire day in his house and won't come out to see me or the dog. If he comes out to go to the bathroom, the puppy will start chasing him and he has been quite good at not growling at him or attacking him, tho when the puppy gets near his house, Rocky defends his territory(which is understandable).

Rocky has been the single dog of the house his entire life. He did always have(up until 3 months ago) a cat he was friends with. It was the same issue with the cat, tho within 2-3 days he adjusted and he would befriend the cat in no time. They would spend the day paying together.

What can I do to get my older dog to come out and start socializing? this puppy was meant to keep company and be Rocky's play buddy. I did not realize that I would ever have this problem. This puppy has been here for 4 days now and there no changes in Rocky's behavior.

I am debating if more time or a specific method of training would get us over this issue, or if Rocky will simply never adjust to a buddy of his own kind.

I don't want to let this puppy go, but I might have to if I can't correct this problem. All help and advice welcome.

Promoting the beautiful Canadian Horse
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post #2 of 8 Old 08-07-2009, 03:51 PM
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I found the some of the best bonding time for my dogs was taking them for walks together. Be sure that the puppy isn't overwhelming Rocky, I would be sure to make Rocky feel very welcome when the pup is in his kennel.
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post #3 of 8 Old 08-07-2009, 03:52 PM
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Sorry I forgot to say that I hope all goes well for you and I hope you are able to keep the pup!
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post #4 of 8 Old 08-07-2009, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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Hey Tiffany!
Thank you for your reply. I'm going to try that right away. If the puppy is sleeping then I will always the older dog with me. I spend more time with him than the new pupp. I really hope that this gets better. I'm going to give it a little more time otherwise he's going to have to go.

Promoting the beautiful Canadian Horse
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post #5 of 8 Old 08-07-2009, 08:00 PM
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I'm sure they will work it out. Can you give them some time together just the two of them? Maybe you can watch from a distance if things get too out of hand. We have always just let the older dogs work it out with the pups. The pup will learn that the older dog is in charge pretty quick. Expect there to be a few yelps out of the pup. As long as the elder dog isn't too aggressive with it.
There will be some territory setting to be sure, but give it time, I'm betting they will be friends. You need to take yourself out of the mix and let them figure it out.

Here is a very poor quality photo of my Rotty and a litter of Scottys
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File Type: jpg puppy.jpg (58.4 KB, 93 views)

"Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened..."
- Anatole France

Last edited by Vidaloco; 08-07-2009 at 08:11 PM. Reason: add photo
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post #6 of 8 Old 08-07-2009, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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The problem is that I can't leave them completely alone. The older dog can and has become quite aggressive with the little one. I have read up online a lot of the time it has to do with jealousy of the other dog so I have taken all measures to minimize that as much as I can.

There are no changes to the situation at this point. Hoping to give it more time and start seeing some changes.

Promoting the beautiful Canadian Horse
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post #7 of 8 Old 08-07-2009, 09:53 PM
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When dogs are meeting for the first time you should introduce them on nutral territory, meaning it should be a place neither of them have any territorial attachment to. Just bringing a new dog into the house and expecting the old one to be ok with it doesn't usually work well. Since you have already had the new dog in the house I don't know if taking them to a nutral place will help but it can't hurt to try. Good luck!
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post #8 of 8 Old 08-07-2009, 11:28 PM
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I personally would let the dogs settle it out. If your older dog gets aggressive with the puppy, he's just giving him rules, boundaries and limitations. I would just observe and let them do their dog thing. Unless they start to get really rough intervene.

Walking dogs is a good way for them to get to know each other, like FGR said.
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