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Old November 6th, 2008, 03:54 AM
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torzechowska torzechowska is offline
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Location: Florence, Tuscany, Italy
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Unhappy New puppy taking over, bullying other dog... HELP please!

Hi, I'm new around these parts, and felt compelled to join as I recently got a new puppy (a month and a half ago), and she seems to be bullying my other dog.

I brought my dog from Canada to Italy with me when I made the move in the Spring, she is a Boston Terrier and almost 3 years old. She is used to moving around and didn't and doesn't seem to bothered by the move. She has perviously lived with other dogs, and gets along well with every dog she meets (she'll run up sniff them and want to play right away).

I got Etna, the puppy who is about 4 or 5 months now, she won't leave the other one alone. Piggy (I know, but it's not her real name!) has been peeing on my bed, she is covered with scratches and bite marks, she won't eat her food unless I sit on the floor beside her and keep Etna away! I am so worried!

I know the peeing is a territorial thing, and I don't punish her just tell her 'no' firmly and make her get off the bed. But she does it during the day when I'm at work. And Etna can't get onto the bed because she's so little. Pig does nothing when Etna bites her, she has become more distant/independent when she used to ALWAYS be at my heels even when I was taking a shower.

I am really worried for the poor thing. Etna is a little rascal, like all small pups, but in no way worse than Pig was when she was little. In fact, she is pretty much trained to only go to the bathroom outside, but will go in the house when she can't hold it (obviously she can't for long at her age), but will look really upset and hide after doing it inside.

If someone could please give me some advice! And I don't think it's that Pig just doesn't like her, becuase they play together all the time, and Pig will sit by Etna's side licking her face, and they sleep cuddling.

Is this just a bratty stage? Will Pig regain her dominance, or is it possible she was never dominant to begin with?

Anything at all would help so much, thanks!!!
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Old November 6th, 2008, 01:12 PM
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K9 Love K9 Love is offline
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I don't like to reinforce, or have my dogs even THINKING about social hierarchy. Of course we all know between my two dogs who is "more dominant" but we do nothing to reinforce this status, nor do we really pay any attention to it. If she acts out of line, or does something "dominant" that is not appropriate, she is corrected for that behaviour, and the victim (usually the pit bull, go figure) is praised for his normal behaviours.

Once your dogs start thinking about status, then you've dug yourself into a hole. I like to say that I'm "alpha by default" in my house. I'm alpha for the same reasons a wolf or feral dog is alpha, but those reasons are not up for debate or "grabs". I'm alpha by default because I am in control of every resource, whether it be necessity or not. Food, toys, love, affection, shelter etc. I'm the disciplinarian that keeps everyone in line and I'm a kind, benevolent leader.

Something I found once I stopped thinking about status in our household is the dogs like to become a part of the structure, a part of enforcing the rules. Often I'll catch my dogs influencing each other when one is doing something "wrong", or the dogs will even "correct" the cats for certain behaviours. Everyone does their little part to keep everything running smoothly. As opposed to thinking everyone is against each other, it's each man for his own and we're all clawing and scratching trying to get to the top! LOL

First off, Etna should not get any special treatment since she's a puppy and it really isn't "fair" to Pig to have a youngster running wild all of a sudden, paying no mind to rules and your not correcting her behaviour. Etna shouldn't be allowed to mess with Pig while she's eating, Pig is telling you that she doesnt' trust you, or that Etna has no respect for you either. If Pig trully trusted you, she wouldn't worry about Etna messing with her food, because she would know that YOU wouldn't allow it. If your a strict but kind leader, your dogs will understand that rules are to be followed for the dominant ones, and that there's no need to worry for the submissive dogs.

You just need some more consistent rules in the household that benefit everyone. Etna needs to tone it down a bit, respect Pig's space as Pig should respect hers and if either one of them break a rule they have to be corrected consistently for that behaviour AND if the other dog is present and acts indifferently or appropriately, they should be praised.

Reward what you want to see, correct what you don't. And these applies in every situation. If Pig is never rewarded for being submissive when Etna nears her food, or eating normally, one day she may decide to take matters into her own hands and correct Etna herself, BUT if YOU correct Etna and show Pig that she needn't worry, she won't.

It shouldn't be up to the well behaved dog to deal with a young, exuberant puppy that's breaking the rules. It's up to YOU. I tried the whole "letting the dogs work it out" for about a year or so and ended up with a dog and a gash on his head. It's not up to the dogs, it's up to you, the leader. YOU set the pace. YOU set the tone. YOU praise. YOU correct. It's all about you baby!

Good luck!
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Old November 7th, 2008, 02:32 AM
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torzechowska torzechowska is offline
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The problem is, is when I scold Etna, Pig things she's in the wrong too and looks very sad. So I pet her and give her kisses to show her she's done nothing wrong, but Etna understands this as it not being her fault either and jumps up onto me and wants the affection too!

As for the food, I always watch over them and hold Etna back so that Pig is always capable of eating her meals completely. If I don't hold her back, Pig will easily give up her food without consideration of her own hunger.

I figure it has a lot to do with Pig knowing that Etna is a baby. She allows Etna to climb all over her and chew her ears, when she would never allow another dog to do the same!!!

Pig is a very well behaved dog, and I see Etna imprinting on her which is a great thing. I just hope that they can work out their own space without Pig being eaten too badly!

Thanks for the advice! I will definitely have to work on correcting Etna's behaviour without having the Piglet think it's all her wrong doing.
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Old November 7th, 2008, 03:17 AM
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TeriM TeriM is offline
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Good advice from K9. I would consider keeping a leash on the puppy to be able to correct her when her behavior is to rough or she is trying to get to the other dogs food. You don't need to be rough, just a firm no and possibly moving the puppy into a calm sit away from the other is a good start. If she is really bad then a quick "time-out" is a good way to calm the behaviour.

Be careful also about enforcing Pig's "sad" behavior. You are much better off with a quick "silly girl" in a cheerful voice and move on to other stuff. She's probably figured out that the behaviour gets her lots of cuddles and stuff so she will continue to do that.

Good luck .
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Old November 7th, 2008, 04:12 AM
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torzechowska torzechowska is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeriM View Post
Good advice from K9. I would consider keeping a leash on the puppy to be able to correct her when her behavior is to rough or she is trying to get to the other dogs food. You don't need to be rough, just a firm no and possibly moving the puppy into a calm sit away from the other is a good start. If she is really bad then a quick "time-out" is a good way to calm the behaviour.

Be careful also about enforcing Pig's "sad" behavior. You are much better off with a quick "silly girl" in a cheerful voice and move on to other stuff. She's probably figured out that the behaviour gets her lots of cuddles and stuff so she will continue to do that.

Good luck .
I definitely think at times Pig is making her 'sad face' for cuddles! What an actress! She has the cutest one though, I have SUCH a hard time ignoring it!

Thanks so much, I will definitely try the 'silly girl' advice!!!
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Old November 7th, 2008, 01:31 PM
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mollywog mollywog is offline
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good advice here so far!
Just out of curiosity, who is larger in size, Pig or Etna?
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