Hello, everyone! I haven't been able to log on in ages. Been a crazy summer for me and our family.
I need some advice, I'm stumped and concerned.
We added a new puppy to our household on Friday. From the first meeting, our current male Lab (Cole) was NOT happy to see the puppy. When we introduced them, he charged the puppy and scared the poor thing half to death. He didn't hurt the pup (Cody), and he's relaxed and has been ok with him since, except for a few incidents when the puppy got too close and he growled/shoved the pup with his nose and moved away.
I don't know how to handle this periodic ...aggression? He hasn't hurt Cody, but when we introduced Chloe as a puppy to our home, Cole was THRILLED with her. Is this just because he's 5yo now, and is done with puppy schinannigans? Or is it because Cody is also male?
Cole is usually VERY good about dominance issues and/or aggression. He's very, very loving with Chloe and that seem to be on even keel. We've tried very hard to nip any dominance in EITHER of them in the bud, immediately. (Hubby and I are alpha, afterall, right?) Chloe seems to think she's higher in the pecking order than my sister Nicole (who lives with us), and sits on her head...seems dominant, to me, anyhoo. LOL But other than that...
I could really use some advice. Cody is 9wks old, very smart, and a joy to have. He's doing very well on his leash and I really, really hate the thought of giving him back to the breeder because Cole can't handle a "brother."
If he's simply growling and moving away, I wouldn't be overly concerned. Not every adult dog is thrilled about sharp puppy teeth and bouncy puppy rudeness, and the only way to communicate "go away, pest" is by growling. The charging hasn't recurred?
I would be rewarding quiet, calm behaviour around the puppy (manage this so that resource guarding doesn't flare up - have both dogs on leash and at a distance initially)
No, no reoccuring charging. Thankfully, that was a one-time incident.
Cole has been doing very well about not "guarding" his toys or anything like that. I've been very careful not to feed them together, or give them anything they can fight over. Chloe is actually more prone to thieving toys from the puppy than Cole, but she doesn't do it aggressively.
Tonight I exercised all three of them for over an hour (well, the puppy watched mostly), and afterwards we all sat around on the floor. Cody was gnawing on a toy and the other two laid down nearby and relaxed. Then, Cole actually laid down beside Cody (probably more to hog the fan, than to be near the puppy), and I wanted to take that as a good sign.
It was just so unexpected. He's usually SO happy to meet other dogs and play with them, puppies included, that I expected a bit of hesitation or avoidance at worst...certainly not charging and pushing/growling.
Not every dog is thrilled at having a puppy in their house. Over the weekend I rescued a Pit Mix puppy who's owners had a sign on their door, "$40 or best offer." Needless to say this is not in a nice part of town. I brought her home to try and find a permanent place for her and Oona wasn't very happy. I put the puppy in a small crate and Oona took one look at her and headed off to her nest in another room. A friend has a three year old Pit mix named Georgia, that she rescued from a puppy mill in PA. She took the dog when she was six weeks old, so she never got the socialization her littermates would teach her. At first I didn't think it would work, but after being with them for 3 hours, both on leashes, I knew that Georgia wouldn't intentionally hurt her. But to err on the side of caution for the first couple of weeks I told them to go slow. That both dogs shouldn't be out of their crates at the same time unless both adults were home and both dogs were on leashes, and to use both crates and puppy gates to control their movements.
Going thru this now to and had the same concerns as you do, Our two year old was pleasant to the puppy when they met but did let her know who is the boss. Now the pup is 4 months old and getting big. the pup wants to play with the big dog 24/7. The older dog does play but quickly reaches her limit and lets the pup know in no uncertain terms she’s done. The pup will stop for about 10 seconds and resume. They do not/have not hurt each other even though the dog play looks ruff, its mostly like a movie fight. they make lots of noise, and get real close but rarely does teeth touch each other although the big dog takes every opportunity to "roll" the pup when they are outside and chasing each other around. They do get along well and like being together. We did supervise them when they are together just to make sure.
We made a big deal of the older dog when the puppy came home, giving her extra attention and treats along with alone time and car rides with us without the puppy to easy any doggie concerns that she was being pushed aside. It seems to have paid off. Keep feeding them apart, when you buy toys get two of the same thing for now. Give them each the same things such as toys, treats, attention. They need to work out the doggie dynamic and it will come with time.
Our dogs now do everything together such as walks, eat together (in different bowls) and sleep together during naps on a floor. Hang in there and good luck with the new pup!