older dogs and puppies

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surbie100

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older dogs and puppies
« on: January 21, 2014, 11:33 »
How long does the snarling/growling stage go on for?

I am dogsitting for a friend in a couple of weeks. Honey is a 6 year-old labradoodle, Lily is a 7 month-old poochon. Neither are trained other than (mostly) housebroken & coming when called. Lily wants to play with Honey, who growls and snarls at her, but has so far not bitten. It's been going on for over 4 months.

Her family rebuke Honey for growling and let the puppy do whatever, which I think is why it's lasted so long.

Anything I can do to make the week easier? Honey responds to me pretty well.

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compostqueen

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Re: older dogs and puppies
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2014, 13:13 »
I think they will take their cues from you. If you are quiet and calm I find it transfers to the pets. They will want to play fight at times but at least they burn off some energy whilst doing so. As long as you are there to make sure it's all good clean fun, then it should be ok. Watch them while they eat their food (separate bowls) too just in case things kick off.  I don't wind animals up, as many owners do I'm afraid.  I'd rather they be calm which they will be if they get plenty of exercise in the form of longs walks, then they eat and go to sleep.  They only need food, shelter and walks and the occasional cuddle  :D

The older dog will keep the puppy in check but you just have to keep an eye on things and act as ref. 

Dogs growl to communicate with you and other dogs. Often growling is just a playful noise. You get used to the different growl sounds your dog makes so you can understand what they're indicating. It just takes time to get to know each other that's all.   :)

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RichardA

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Re: older dogs and puppies
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2014, 13:55 »
Is it location specific i.e. perhaps never happening out in the garden or out on a walk but always happens if older dog is on bed or in favourite sunspot when approached ??. If so then it is about priority and respect so put puppy in its place literally and let older dog have its place and strictly enforce the puppy treating older dog with deference when play is not likely to be tolerated. Then on neutral ground let them play etc.
The older dog should be fed first and be treated as priority - it will be the best teacher the puppy can have in the long term.
R

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Agatha

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Re: older dogs and puppies
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2014, 17:25 »
As long as it is only growling and snapping, I wouldn't worry too much.  Puppies who don't listen when the OAPs tell them to behave are likely to be given a quick nip, which means the next time the older dog growls he/she is likely to be listened to!  As compostqueen says, growling is how they communicate.  The WORST thing you can do is to punish a dog for growling - if it isn't allowed to verbally warn the other dog that it is feeling stressed, then the stress will build up and up until it finally can't take any more and starts a serious fight with no warning.  One of my friends had a dog who used to be able to play with other dogs for short periods, then she would get fed up, growl or snap at the other dog who would then leave her alone until she was ready to play again.  She never did any damage and the other dogs just accepted it was time to stop playing, but then my friend saw one of these 'dominance' training programmes on tv and started smacking her dog every time it growled at another dog - the dog now attacks any dog which comes within 20 feet of her!  Dogs usually sort out their own boundaries given time and space - it's the humans who mess things up!

'The love of gardening is a seed that once sown never dies, but always grows and grows to an enduring and ever-increasing source of happiness.'  Gertrude Jekyll

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surbie100

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Re: older dogs and puppies
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2014, 22:17 »
Thank you all for the pointers - all much appreciated.  :)  It is a good 25 years since I last trained a dog, and I know I won't get too far in a week. I'd just like poor Honey to have something of a break.

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shoozie

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Re: older dogs and puppies
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2014, 23:01 »
I'm a wee bit late reading this post.  Please tell your friends not to rebuke Honey for growling at the pup.  This is a perfectly normal healthy thing to do.  It would be like telling us never to talk I suppose, and saying when we are unhappy or annoyed.

If you stop a dog from growling it has no way of communicating the simple dog words 'stop, I'm not happy with that'.  That applies to other dogs and humans. 

A well balanced dog will growl first and expect to be listened to - this is how they talk to dogs and us.  They are not being aggressive by growling, they are only talking dog.  A dog who has their growl taken out of them will bite with no prior warning .... That's what a growl is for.  A puppy has to learn this communication as it'll keep them safe now and help them talk when they are older.

Most adult dogs are usually naturally very tolerant of pups, and they will give a lot of growls as the pup keeps pressing their buttons. The pup needs to learn dog speak after all, and we humans don't speak dog so we can't teach them that!

Lily is 7 months, she is still only a puppy learning her way in the world, so it's not unusual for her still to be entirely focussed on Honey.  She is still learning her manners and this will take time.  But rather than telling Honey to stop teaching Lily, it's better that Honey gets time out from being the teacher, and gets quality time for herself away from Lily.

Same goes for Lily to have some time for quality training for herself and meeting other dogs.  If she is anything like my pup she will think the sun shines from Honey, but this won't help her when she meets a strange dog that is less tolerant of her puppy exuberance. 

You'll have all this sorted in the week  !!




« Last Edit: January 21, 2014, 23:11 by shoozie »

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compostqueen

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Re: older dogs and puppies
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2014, 23:03 »
You could take the older dog out on its own to give it a break from the attentions of the young un.  Leave the pup with your OH for a while :) 



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