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New puppy, old dog unhappy. Help!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
We've got our new puppy in the house! Woo Hoo!

Short background:

Current Dog: Ace, male German Pinscher, 3 1/2 years old

New Dog: Eca, female mixed mutt, 12 weeks old

Ace is having a hard time adjusting. Granted, it's only been one day. I know dogs need to establish their own heirarchy (with you as top dog, LOL). Also, since he's the adult, I guess he has to do some "correcting" to show her what is appropriate dog behavior.

The problem is twofold: First, I think he's doing more than "correcting" her. I think he's lashing out a bit out of jealousy and anxiety. Second, I think he's reacting a little more harshly than he needs to. These aren't just growls and nips. He's growling, jumping on her, pinning her to the ground and nipping at her neck. He hasn't drawn blood, but I always intervene because it scares me so.

So two questions:

1. How do I know when it's simple "correction" or when it's gotten out of hand and become aggressive? I don't want to wait until the new puppy gets hurt to put a stop to things.

2. Is there anything else I can do to make this transition easier for Ace? He's still "top dog," in that he receives the most attention and he gets attention first. I've been carving out times of the day when just he and I interact--the puppy is in her crate. He still gets top billing for the couch and the best bed, etc. They're fed separately--him first. Any other suggestions?

post #2 of 9
Here is the google search:

Pet Introduction

And here is a really good one: You can find almost any good info you need on this site.

Hope they help and good luck.ASPCA
post #3 of 9
When I got Buka, we already had a fairly dominant dog, Sally. Sally rode Buka like no one's business the first couple weeks. I worried alot for her, and tried to protect her, but in the end, it was just dogs being dogs, and the two of them made their own relationship.

Fast forward 10 years: When we got Amber (our sick shelter dog), Buka followed the teachings of the wise one, Sally, and was all over Amber's case for the first few weeks. We would joke that she was taking Amber to school. I didn't worry this time, because I'd seen it all before.

The long and the short of it is, dogs NEED a hierarchy to function with one another, and they have no qualms about playing the domination game, even with little puppies, when they first enter the pack. The thing is, when you watch closely, you can see that in the process of playing Drill Sergeant to the little spud, the bigger dog is not just dominating, but also teaching. They teach the little one how to deal with aggression, where their place is, who gets to eat first, and all the other things that keep dog packs humming along.

So, don't wory about Ace and Eca. They're just making friends the way dogs do. It looks bad, but it works for them. Amber and Buka are real buddies now.

The Rev
post #4 of 9
It sounds a little too aggressive for my likes.

Mounting is fine. Growling and nipping should be corrected. Call the aggressor away and seperate them.

How did the initial dog introduction go? The first day is usually the most important. If you do the introduction smoothly on day one things can usually work out okay. It may be that you'll need to start the process over, keeping the two dogs seperate for a few days and then reintroduce them on neutral ground. Keeping them both under your control and guiding their movements. Dog one, sniff dog two's butt. Dog two, sniff dog one's butt. Treats. Repeat. Let the puppy off the leash and see how things go. The let Ace off the leash and see how things go. There should be no need for growling or pinning. Once they're good friends, this stuff might become part of play time, but not initially. You don't want the puppy to ever be scared of Ace.
post #5 of 9
Originally Posted by PortableKitten View Post

And here is a really good one: You can find almost any good info you need on this site.

Hope they help and good luck.ASPCA

That is a good article.
post #6 of 9
Did you introduce them on neutral territory? A park is a good idea. It's not too late to do that if you didn't. Your old friend is being territorial of you and the house AND showing the new dog he's boss. I wouldn't correct your old dog too much. Restrain him if you have to but protecting HIS family is not necessarily wrong.

I got two new cats to go with my "old" cat (she's probably younger) and it's taken them almost three months to get to the stage where they groom eachother. And it's still tentative. They play all the time and never fight but they aren't really close yet.

I also got a new dog (again about the same age as the "old" one) and they've been together almost four months. They mostly play together and the top dog (other than my and s.o.) is not always clear. Sometimes their play fighting gets quite aggressive and we separate them. And if a particularly yummy treat is being served they can't eat together. I don't think they've figured out whose boss yet.

So it does take time. Neutral territory is key though.

How's it going?

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
We did introduce them on neutral territory. They didn't play together, but they did sniff and didn't display any aggression.

Also, when we brought the new pup home, we did another short introduction on the street outside before we brought her into the house.

Ace is still adjusting... but he has become more tolerant of her. He now allows her to sniff and get close to his face, something he wouldn't permit earlier. He's shown signs of *thinking* about playing with her, but no overtures yet.
post #8 of 9
It'll come. Just make sure it doesn't get too aggressive. They do need time.

You're doing a good job.

post #9 of 9
How are things going with the dogs now?

I recently went through something similar. I have an adopted black lab, and we recently adopted a terrior mix. I was afraid it wouldn't work out, but the shelter gave me a week to see what I could do. At first it seemed like a disaster - much like your initial experience. We had to keep them completely separated giving each time in the main part of the house (this, it turns out, was a good thing because they got used to each others smell). My mom and I decided maybe we could walk them together. We were amazed that there was no problem whatsoever with this. Then we put one in the yard with my daughter and I took the other to the other side of the fence. We each played with one dog (catch etc.) and let them go toward the fence to inspect the other if they wanted to. Then, after several days, we'd put them together supervised (on leash). Then one day one got out into the area where the other was - and they were okay. They still have their moments (especially when it comes to food and toys), but it looks like it's going to be okay now. I'm really glad (and relieved).
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