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  #1  
Old 10-01-2008, 02:48 PM
Dave Dave is offline
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Default Need advise on new dog/existing dog issue

Need your help.

I have a 4 year old German Shorthair/Black Lab female (spayed), Tess, that has been with us for 3+ years. Se has been a very good dog, well trained and a more Alpha female with other dogs. My wife and I are gone during the day. We decided to get another dog for companionship for Tess. We picked up a German Shorthair/Queens hound male (neutered, recently), Sid, who is about 1 year old. They are about the same size. At the pound Sid seemed submissive. We worked with him for 3 days around other dogs before taking him home. Once we brought him home, Tess was playful, but Sid was hesitant. They have had one day together. My concern is that Sid will come and nip at Tess if Tess comes to me or my wife for petting. We have taken the Alpha role, however, I'm at a loss how to make Sid stop the nipping and accept Tess' affection. It is apparent by the eyes that Sid has made Tess submissive to him. What is the training we need to do? Is this just a time issue? We've had two dogs in the past, but my wife and I feel as much stress as the dogs!

Last edited by Dave : 10-01-2008 at 03:26 PM. Reason: miss spelling
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Old 10-01-2008, 03:09 PM
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MissDolittle MissDolittle is offline
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Default Re: Need advise on new dog/existing dog issue

Hi Dave, welcome on board!

Here are my thoughts:

I would start with taking both on a walk together, one on each side and eventually next to each other. By traveling together they are going to establish the rank under your control, not theirs.

If you claimed the alpha role you will not permit any dominant behavior in your presence.

However, in the end the dogs have to make it out between each other. Are you sure the nipping is aggression and not just play?
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Old 10-01-2008, 03:25 PM
Dave Dave is offline
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Default Re: Need advise on new dog/existing dog issue

When Tess comes up for me to pet...Sid shows teeth at Tess. There's no playing in those eyes. I tap the nose, lightly, on Sid and speak softly, but sternly, "Knock if off". I have done the walk twice today, thanks. It does help. Any other suggestions?
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Old 10-01-2008, 09:24 PM
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MissDolittle MissDolittle is offline
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Default Re: Need advise on new dog/existing dog issue

Sounds like this is more over you than between them. Give them a few days. After all, you did bring a 'rival' into another dog's territory. It's new to both of them and takes some getting used to.

I bring home different dogs into my pack of 5..no 4 dogs now every week. I watch them closely. When those tails go up, I'm on them, because a straight up tail indicates dominance. If the tails is down between the legs, I am very close by too, because fear is weakness and usually a reason to get attacked, only when the tail is even with the back and maybe even wiggling, do I let them go about their own business.

But every dog is different and without seeing and feeling myself into the situation, it's hard to give tips and suggest a particular correction.

Maybe our REAL dog trainers can jump in here! lol
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Old 10-05-2008, 05:05 PM
Dogstar Dogstar is offline
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Default Re: Need advise on new dog/existing dog issue

This post is REALLY long, so.... :P Sorry! Ask if you need clarification on anything.

I'd first take the terms of dominance and submissiveness out of this conversation- they're not really all that relevant to the issue, which from your description is resource guarding. The resource your new pup is guarding is YOU.

The #1 thing I would do is institute NILIF- Nothing In Life Is Free. This means that for ANYTHING desirable in life (attention from you, petting, going out into the yard (yes, even to potty), having his leash clipped on for a walk, having his food bowl put on the floor, getting the ball thrown for him to chase- ANYTHING), he needs to do something you ask him to.

Start by picking a relatively easy behavior (one he already knows is fine, or teach him something new- he needs to do it reliably on a single verbal or hand-signal cue, though.)- that behavior is his new 'key'. For most dogs, sit is the best, but I do know people who use down (or even something else entirely). Anyway, ask him to do that behavior and require that he hold it until you release him- if he breaks (stands up, bounces, whatever), ask him to sit (or whatever) again and don't give him the reward (open the door, go out for the walk, put down the food bowl) until he is sitting.

Don't make it TOO difficult in the beginning- if your dog doesn't already have a proofed sit with distractions and knows the position but not to hold it by default, it's silly to think he'll be able to hold that sit while you open the door and stay there until you release him to bounce into the yard (but you CAN) build up to that. That's the basic method- your dog 'pays' for access to all resources by following YOUR rules. Googling "NILIF dog" will also get you a few more articles.

If Tess is already well-trained, I'd have her follow the same rules- it certainly reduces chaos around the house and makes it VERY clear who is in charge- humans! :P

Another game you can do a bit further down the road is to put both dogs in sit-stays, call one dog, pet them briefly, call the other, and make a HUGE fuss. Alternate who gets the pat on the head and who gets a party thrown for them. :P (You're using the Premack Principle here- something non-reinforcing predicts a highly-reinforcing behavior- the other dog getting called and petted isn't reinforcing, but the fact that their getting called, petted, and treated happens AFTER that means thta the other dog getting attention becomes a GOOD THING.)

(Sorry so slow to respond - having timeout issues.)
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Old 10-06-2008, 11:17 AM
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Default Re: Need advise on new dog/existing dog issue

Premack Principle!! OMG, I'm sooooo going to try this!!! With 4 dogs! There is always a huge competition going on when I call any of the dogs, all 4 will come running and compete for attention. THANKS!
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Old 10-06-2008, 03:32 PM
Dave Dave is offline
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Default Re: Need advise on new dog/existing dog issue

Dogstar, Miss Dolittle, etal,

Thanks very much for the advice. Things are going really well. The walks I have taken, and commanding "heel", "sit" and "Stay" (with rewards) has demonstrated remarkable changes. After 4 days, I allowed them "off leash" for 5 minutes in an open field and saw both play and chase each other. I then would practice "come" commands with Tess always responding perfectly...thereby, Sid would follow- treats are abundant. Life is improving. I am going to use your suggestions, Dogstar. The nipping from Sid is non-existent (but I'm always watching). I'll let you know in a couple of weeks what happens. Thanks for caring!

Oh, a new problem...Sid is chasing the cat. Cat is very comfortable with Tess. They have played together for years. Tess will even put the cat's head in her mouth. the cat will place her paws on Tess' mouth..no claws. They both tussle on the floor- a 60 lb. dog with a 16 lb. cat. Any ideas how to make Sid stop chasing the cat like it's food?
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Old 10-07-2008, 11:44 AM
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MissDolittle MissDolittle is offline
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Default Re: Need advise on new dog/existing dog issue

All my dogs chase our cats, but our cats know by now that when they stop running, they get a load of lovin' lol.

I wouldn't be so sure about cats that do not belong to us...and other animals such as squirrels. My dogs killed a rabid skunk earlier this year which walked into our backyard and ended up getting us quarantined for 45 days.

But what my Danes love to chase most is thunder. I swear they think it's Godzilla coming around the corner and they want to eat it.

So ya, any tip on putting a stop to that, I'll take it!
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