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current dog wont get along with the new puppy
lesleyydlt posted:
Two days ago my friend gave me a very small dachshund puppy. She's adorable and we really like her, but my three year old dog Mason doesn't really like her. Every time she gets close to him he will growl at her. I don't understand why he would act this way towards her because he gets along fine with my friend's teacup chihuahua. I really want to keep her and I want them to get along. What should I do?
d_caitlin responded:
It may be that your dog is used to being in charge and he is teaching the puppy his rules, or about personal space. It isn't about "liking" or "not liking" her. The chihuahua may come at him in a completely different way and so he treats her differently. If you don't like the way your dog is teaching the puppy rules, or the rules he is teaching, then give him a stern "no" or snap your fingers or whatever you do to snap him out of it- Make sure you are calm and follow through. Yelling and being angry or scared won't help. Also make sure you are setting up the same rules you have for the dog on the puppy. Just because she's cute and tiny doesn't mean she can't have rules. Puppies can be overwhelming and obnoxious to older dogs because of their high energy and because they're still learning. His growling could be his way of letting her know she needs to calm down or respect his space.

Because your dog was there first, make sure you honor that social order. Your dog first, then the puppy when it comes to feeding, play or affection. This will help the puppy learn respect. Also praise your dog when he's having a good interaction with the puppy. Let him see her as a good thing and that you have accepted her. Take them on walks together- walks where they are at your side and paying attention to you. Teach them obedience, probably seperately at first, and then together. Having an older dog help raise the puppy is a fantastic experience, just make sure that you are always in charge and you are the one setting the rules.

If this becomes too stressful for your dog and you can't make it work, either consider a behaviorist or giving the puppy away. Otherwise it's not fair to your dog.

Good luck and congrats on the puppy.


William Draper, DVM, better known as "Dr. Will," is a well-known small animal practitioner in the Atlanta, GA area. He grew up in Inglewood,...More

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