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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This was my first experience with adopting a shelter pup, and I'm afraid it is going to turn out with an unhappy ending. I was afraid to write this for a few days...I hope you all don't think I'm a horrible person. I just really need some advice, or thoughts about what you would do in this situation.
I brought Duke home about 4 weeks ago...I'll admit, it was kind of a spur of the moment thing. I saw him on Petfinder, and I just got this overwhelming urge to go and rescue him. When I got there to be "interviewed" by the staff, I was expecting to be able to interact with the puppy, but when I arrived, he was in his crate, literally crawling in his own feces. Well, intead of grossing me out, this just broke my heart even more. And I did the unthinkable. I adopted him without evaluating his personality, and without seeing how he would react with me. The staff could not tell me anything about him, as he was found as a stray. I took him to the vet, where he was diagnosed with hookworms, got his meds, and took him home.

I have a 6 year old AKC lab, Nellie, who I got when she was 8 wks. She is the most loving, calm, wonderful lab I have ever seen. People comment to me all the time how much they love her, and how great she is about minding me and my hubby in public. Duke was fine with her the first couple of days, still a little lethargic from the worms, and the stress of the new home. Well, for the last few weeks, his true personality is starting to show. He just absolutely terrorizes her...he gets underneath her, and bites her back legs and jumps all over her, and bites her face, and poor Nellie just gets up and tries to get away from it. My husband and I have recently started to give him a good scold when he does this , so that he knows where some boundaries are. But it just doesn't seem to be helping. He is a great puppy with me and my husband, though. He's very smart, amazingly attentive for his age (he's around 12 wks today), but I just don't remember this type of aggressive behavior from Nellie when she was a pup, and I am beginning to realize the importance of knowing the disposition of the parents when choosing a puppy. The problem is, I have no idea what either of his parents are like.

So, I called the shelter, and said that I would be happy to foster him until a more suitable owner was available to adopt him, and they told me that I could of course bring him back to them, but that I should know that they are completely over capacity right now and "will be having to make some very hard decisions in the next few days." So, now, instead of giving him to the shelter to find a better home for him, I would feel like I am giving Duke his death sentence. :'( Of course I don't want to do that.....but I have other family members to think of...and my sanity.

I really am at a loss for ideas what to do about this.
 

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Duke is acting like a typical puppy! When we brought a pup into our home, she also terrorized our older dog. Lots of biting and jumping and generally "getting into her face." Our old dog eventually taught the new pup what the boundaries were...but it did take some time.

Doesn't sound like Duke is doing anything horrible - but it must look that way!

We tried our best to take the pressure off the older dog by taking the pup outside to burn off energy...lots of walks...lots of toys...lots of diversions. The situation probably seems overwhelming, but hang in there - Duke will learn the rules! Our older dog and the pup became inseperable - but the oldster still needed to put the youngster in her place from time to time.

This happened before we had doggie daycare in the area. Now, I would not hesitate to use their wonderful services to entertain a pup!

Hang in there - don't give up on Duke!
 

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I feel for you. Your story is very similar to mine in a lot of ways.

We adopted Angus from the shelter too. While he wasn't crawling in his own feces (that would have broken my heart too), he was far too young to be away from mom and littermates. My best guess is that when we got him he was about five weeks.

He, too, came home with a case of worms, and when that was cured, WHOA! Different puppy! OMG, what have we done! :eek:

He also had big shoes to fill. Crash was like your Nellie: Gentle, sweet, patient and loved by all who met him. Angus was, to sum it up, the anti-Crash. ;)

I am inclined to say don't worry about correcting him when he plays with Nellie. Nellie will do that when she's truly had enough. I think it is actually to your benefit to have another dog to teach him the ropes. We didn't have that with Angus, as Crash had just passed away. :'( So Angus spent his first year with only us to teach him doggie manners. I think one of the best things we ever did for him was get him a brother, Simon. That seemed to do so much for him in teaching him how to properly interact with others.

Twelve weeks was about the time I found this place. I was also just about ready to cry "Uncle." Speaking from my own experience, I say don't give up yet. Truly, he couldn't be worse than Angus. He was a holy terror. But now, what an adorable, wonderful, one-in-a-million dog he is. I won't lie: The first several months, really about up to a year, were very trying. But now I am so glad I stuck it out. He's amazing.
 

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It really sounds to me like Duke is just being a typical puppy. Abby did the same thing to Yeller when we brought her home. I don't know how committed you are to keeping Duke, but I think you should do a bit of puppy refreshing reading, and just go with the flow. I don't think it's that Duke is a bad dog, I really think it's just the puppynish in him. In all honesty, even if you got a pup from a breeder you'd be in the exact same boat. You'd still have a crazy pup playing like a mad man with Nellie. It's just a puppy thing frankly.

Yeller had little scabs on her cheeks from the two of them playing so hard, so rough. I freaked out the first few days, but soon learned to keep an eye, and began teaching Abby "settle" and "gentle". Both those commands came in very handy. When Abby would get so over excited and Yeller was looking like she had enough ( she would just take it like your Nellie does, no complaints, no nothing, she'd just let it go on and on) I would tell Abby to "settle", and physically move her away from Yeller, make her sit on her bed until she settled down.

I might give some simple exercises like this a go, before you totally give up. But really, I think no matter where you got a puppy from, shelter, breeder, wherever, you'll still be in the same boat in the end.
 

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I agree with everyone else has said on this. Duke is still a puppy and you've only had him 4 weeks.

I know it is hard to see him pestering Nellie like that, but she will eventually have had enough & put him right into place.

I often do home visits for Labs4Rescue and whenever a family is bringing a new dog, especially a puppy into a household with an existing dog, I remind them it is going to take time for the two to sort out their places. It does not happen overnight, but it does happen.
 

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Agree that he's just being an overexuberant puppy. There are some adult dogs that just don't have it in them to correct a puppy - and that's where you come in. If Nellie gets up and walks away, step in and calmly redirect the puppy to another game of fetch or tug with you, or even a bit of obedience practice.

I don't allow puppies to bully adults excessively.
 

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Kelly..our akita-shepherd mix, is 14 yo. When we brought Dakota home..we kept them separated for a few weeks..she tends to be aggressive. Long story short..eventually we tried them together outside, basically all is well..but..Dakota does harass her, and she nips/bitey face's him..etc, to put him in his place. He's 19 weeks old almost..and this has gone on for quite a while. Your new dog is still a puppy..lots of exercise, lots of toys to keep him busy..don't give up on him, he isn't doing anything unusual for a puppy. Try a soda bottle after it's empty, with or without the cap, it makes tons of noise when they crunch it and Dakota loves his.. Trust me..if he laid around, didn't show interest or playfulness, you'd probably worry, he sounds happy and is enjoying his new home.
Jackie
 

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My Duke was brought into his first family to be a companion to their 5 year old male Lab. Well my guess is that my Duke acted exactly the way your Duke is acting only the older male Lab finally had enough of the puppy pestering and lashed out at Duke causing a severe injury. That convinced his family the older dog was a threat to Duke so luckily I was given the chance to adopt him when he was seven months old.
If your older dog has the patience to tolerate the aggravation I am sure the pup will grow up to be a great dog. She may well have the motherly instincts to properly discipline the pup to control his exuberance. Those puppy teeth can really hurt.
 

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Don't be a afraid to crate the puppy just to give your other dog some down time as well. Moose had a terrible sore on his ear from where Sky would constantly bite it with those little shark teeth. Moose didn't correct all that much either, we just had to monitor it as it sounds like you are doing now. It does get better!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Everyone--THANK YOU SO MUCH
This was just what I needed. I haven't had a puppy in 6 years--and truly forgot what it was like. I've also never dealt with one that was riddled with worms. It's amazing the stress that I allowed myself to feel b/c of a thing like that. I was freaking out about Nellie getting it, and then Duke re-getting it, and then our house becoming infested with worms....;)

I am a very emotional person, and tend to get too caught up in things, and stress myself out about them. All of your posts were VERY reassuring. I appreciate it so much, and I know Duke does too. I'm pretty sure I just lucked out with Nellie when she was a puppy. I also had to remind myself that when I had first gotten Nellie, I was still living at home, and had two parents and two brothers that were always playing with her, tiring her out. It's a lot harder to do with just me and hubby! :) Also, as I had mentioned in one of my earlier posts, two of my neighbors have told me that Duke looks like he has some Pit Bull in him, and dang it all if I didn't let that little niggling thought lodge itself into my subconscious and make me think he was lunging after Nellie in a vicious attack! Oh, Megan.....gotta settle down......:)

Again, I really do appreciate all of your posts. Thank you for understanding my issues!
 

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Oh boy, you are sounding more and more like me. :D Obsessing over every little thing, haven't had a puppy in so long you forgot what it was like. Seriously, I could have written that post above. :D

I will tell you, it was a TREMENDOUS adjustment for me to get through Angus' puppy months, especially after such a wonderful puppy and dog as Crash was. Yes, we got really lucky, you and me, with our first ones. ;) Crash never caused us a moment's grief. Angus' mission in life was to cause as much grief as possible, as many times a day as possible. :D

You're doing great. Don't worry. You'll get through it. I will promise you, as so many others here promised me, they really do outgrow all this! Just keep consistent with the training, keep enforcing the house rules, and one day you will be so surprised at how it just sinks it.

I used to complain when Angus was a puppy at how much it took to get him to stop doing something he shouldn't be doing. Crash was always the type who just needed a quiet, "Crash, uh uh," to reverse whatever undesirable behavior was happening. It seemed like with Angus I could set off a rocket and he wouldn't blink. ::)

Yesterday Angus was sniffing around in the pantry around the trash. I turned and said very quietly, "Angus, get out of there." He stopped immediately and backed out. I thought of Crash and smiled. :) It took longer with Angus, but he got there!
 

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i don't have too much more to add, all of the previous posts pretty much sum up my thoughts too -- def sounds like typical puppy behavior.

we're going through a similar situation in our home with our new GR puppy who's now 10wks old. the puppy pretty much harrasses/plays with theo about 90% of their waking hours these days. i've seen him go for his ears, face, jowls, legs, and even his man part :eek: . and we went through the same thing when theo was the new puppy in our home a few years ago, he terrorized our older girl cody.

lots of good advice has been suggested, hang in there, good luck, it DOES get better!
 

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It definitely does get better. Just hang in there!! Tell Nellie to hang in there too! I can't remember when the rough play settled out, but it did. It went from being crazy out of control puppy, to two best friends wrestling and playing. They are at it right now as I type this!
 

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Yep, definitely typical puppy behavior. He's trying to entice play with Nellie. Take him out and play with him and crate him to give Nellie some peace. I hope things work out for you guys!
 

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Yup....just breathe and relax. Duke is being a pup. And nooo...I don't think he has pittie in him. He's a liver colored yellow (with amber eyes), which to the untrained person, could have the same effect of looking at a red nosed Pitt. Don't be fooled. Also, worms come and go. He'll be fine!

I would really recommend getting him into a class soon. Have you and your SU alternate between the dogs at night. One takes Duke for a walk and some training alone in the back yard and one takes Nellie for a walk and some individual loving. The next night, you switch. Then have time where you are all playing with both dogs. The more that Duke exeperiences as good interactions, the more he will settle in and learn from Nellie.

I just got my official second dog. Now, I have fostered hundreds of dogs....but this one is here to stay. Rider has been great so far, but Rookie has been gnawing at everything on him....it will pass and Rookie will learn house rules.

I believe in you and your SU!
 

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you have gotten some great advice and support! Your little pup looks awful cute and if it makes you feel any better Lucy was a holy terror at that age...all teeth! I thought "Oh my gosh, I thought I was prepared for a puppy!"" "What have I done?"
Hang in there..it gets better
Please post more pictures of your precious pup.
 

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Would you consider getting him a brother or sister closer to his age...someone to play bitey face with and rough house with?
lol..dont smack me please! It really DOES work. If Duke had a willing playmate...maybe even 2-3 days in doggy day care? Someone to work the puppy energy off on, it might take the pressure off Nellie.

Good luck...thanks for saving him and PLEASE PLEASE dont give up. I know we arent there to see what is going on but we have all "been there" with the puppy stage. We will help you every step of the way. In any way we can.
 

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Maddy was a terror when we got her at 7 weeks. Hudler just took it. Until she finally seemed big enough to take it, then he'd roll her over and sit on her chest and growl at her.

There is nothing wrong with creating a puppy area, like the family room where you spend most of your time, and block it off from the rest of the house with a baby gate. Then if Nellie needs some time away, she can rest on the other side of the gate... We did that with Hudler and Maddy often.
 

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HA! Sorry, but this is (like everyone else said) typical puppy behavior. When Nellie was a pup, did she have an older dog to "terrorize"? My guess is no, that's why she didn't act like this. Tucker was 4 when we brought Frankie home at 9 weeks and Frankie "terrorized" him too. It's really just a good game of bitey face. Tucker hated it at first but now (at 6) he's the one who usually starts it (Frankie is 2 now).

Don't give up on him, please. He'll get through this stage, and Nellie will probably even start playing right back at him.

Sign him up for obedience/socialization class as soon as he's vet cleared too. That should help.

Stick around here for lots of advice and support, OK?
:)
 
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