Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Dog Doesn' t Like New Puppy

From the Mail Bag
My dog doesn't like the new puppy nor any puppies she sees, and I don't know what to do?

I'm sorry that your dog doesn't like the new sibling.  You did not provide a lot of details - such as whether your dog is ignoring, growling, attacking, running away etc.. 

The first thing I would do is ask yourself some hard questions.
1. Is bringing in a new puppy fair to my older dog who was here first?
2. Is the new puppy or my old dog in any danger?
3. Is the relationship between both dogs going to cause extra tension and stress in the home?
4. Am I prepared to keep the dogs separate at all times - separate rooms, separate walks, separate outings, separate feedings, etc..?
5. Is there a potential for management failure - can one dog escape from an enclosure?
6. Are there other people in the household who might make management difficult?
7. Are there young children in the household
    A. Will they reduce the effectiveness of management programs? (opening doors that should remain closed)
    B. Will they try to get in between fighting dogs and possibly get hurt?
    C. Are the children an additional stressor for the dogs.

If you decide that you want to make the relationship work, your next step might be to find a skilled force free trainer who can help you determine some things

1. Is the puppy being "obnoxious"?
2. Is the older dog in pain and thereforce concerned about too much bodily contact with puppy?
3. Is the older dog a senior who has little tolerance for a rambunctious puppy?
4. Is there a chance for serious injury? Is complete separation advisable? Is there are way to re-introduce the dogs so that they can get long better?

Once the behaviorist has assessed the situation, he or she might suggest several options. If there is a chance that the relationship can be fixed, the behaviorist might help reintroduce the older the dog and pup. The sequence might looks something like this (Go at the dogs' pace. This could take a couple of days or a couple of months)

1. Start with complete separation
2. Then in a neutral area at a comfortable distance, work on desenstitization and counter conditioning - treat for viewing other dog at a distance
3. Parallel walks at a comfortable distance apart - maybe with a barrier in between - like a third human
4. Gradually work on closer walks and removing the barrier
* note parallel walking works best if the dogs can loose leash walk without any equipment (prongs, chokes, nose halters, etc..) and if both dogs are comfortable outside.
5. If things are progressing well, go to a secure, enclosed neutral location. If it's safe to do so, drop the leashes but let them drag in case they need to be picked up.
6. If things continue to progress well, remove the leashes
* note. Make all interactions short.  Call dogs away before they are together for too long
7.  If things continue to progress well, meet several yards from the residence, walk to the residence together. If there is a yard, enter yard together or let new dog enter yard first.  Spend a short time together then end the interaction on a good note.
8. The next day start the same process. If things go well, go into the residence together or let the new dog enter the residence first.
*before entering the residence, remove anything that might make the dog's fight - toys, food, etc..
9. Make the session short. Go back to separation
10. Each day, allow more and more time together. Be careful about showing too much attention to any one dog
11. As dogs continue to feel better about each other, be sure to do some separate things with them as well as some things together - walks, training classes, etc..
12. Teach the dogs how to relax in their own spots. See Relaxation Protocol
13. Set up the residence for safety. See Multi Dog Household Safety'
14. Always remain positive with dogs. No punishment, no yelling, etc..

Keep your older dog away from any other dogs during this process (and maybe after the process as well)
See how to avoid other dogs here.

Also see dog introductions:

And see the video below on on-leash meetings


Tell us about your multi dog household in the comments section below
Email general questions to education@stubbypuddin.com

Friday, April 4, 2014

What Does Pain Look Like?

In yesterday's post, I speculated that what might appear to be anger in a pet might actually be pain.  I starting thinking about other quotes I've read on various lists and forums - where people described behavior that I thought could have been pain related:

"He's not in any pain; he just looks depressed"
"My dog is moving slowly during agility competition. What can I feed him to make him move faster"
"Hot wire fencing doesn't hurt. The dog just yelps when he she touches it."
"Prong collars don't hurt. They simply apply even pressure."
"Putting a slip leash high behind the ears is calming"
"Choke chains don't hurt. The sound of the metal tells the dog to stop pulling."
"Shock collars don't hurt.  It's like static electricity from walking on carpet."

Looking depressed, moving slowly, refusing to  move, yelping, whining, crying, etc... and all be indicators of pain. What looks like obedience or calm might be a dog who is afraid to do anything because of pain or fear of pain.

Other possible indicators
- Chewing or licking a certain body part
- Panting when it's not hot
- Flicking the tongue (usually gastric distress)
- Snapping at invisible flies (can be gastric distress)
- Pacing
- Snapping or growling or biting (humans other household pets)
- Any change in personality or behavior
- Toilet training issues
- Loss of appetite refusing to eat (could be general pain, gastric issue or dental issues)
 - Moving away (from humans and/or other animals)
- Change in gait, change in how the head is held, uncoordinated gait
- Walking faster than normal
- Circling
- Coughing (might indicate heart issues)
- Biting or chewing at the leash, collar or harness
- Lifting a paw
- Scooting
- Staring at guardians
- Following guardians
- Vomiting
- Increased appetite
- Eating non food items (could be gastric distress)

Dogs can't say "Ow! That hurts!" So pet parents should be aware of pain indicators. Don't drag a dog who is refusing to walk. Don't yank a dog who is walking too quickly. If a pup starts chewing dry wall, don't throw a can of pennies. Call the vet instead. Never punish a dog for growling, snapping nor biting. Imagine being in a lot of pain and when you try to tell someone about it, you get your face smashed into the ground - more pain. (alpha rolling)

Be aware that a lot of "tools" and "equipment" that we use on dogs are specifically designed to cause pain and discomfort.  Not only can the pain be immediate, but there can also be long term problems with the over use or improper use of certain types of equipment.

Be aware that over exercise and/or improper or dangerous exercise can cause pain.

If you suspect your pet might be in pain, consult with a general practice vet or a specialist vet (internal medicine, orthopedic, sports, etc..)

Also See:  When Assessing Medical Issues, Rule Out Medical First

Has your dog had any behavioral issues that turned out to be pain related?
Tells us about in the comments section below

Email general questions to education@stubbypuddin.com

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Dangers of Choke Chains

From Bill Campbell's
Behavior Problems in Dogs
Page 247. According to a Swedish Study by Anders Halgren of 400 dogs of owners who agreed to have their dogs' spines X rayed - 63% had spinal injuries. Of the injured dogs with neck (cervical) injuries, 91% had experienced harsh jerks on the leash or were serious leash strainers. Among aggressive or overactive dogs, 78% had spinal injuries.

When Someone Says It Doesn't Hurt, It Probably Does

I have never heard a trainer say, "The clicker doesn't hurt." nor "Praise and treats don't hurt."

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Does Your Pet's Topical Flea/Tick Medication Hurt?

I'm a member of several dog training and dog health lists. A couple of months ago,  on one of my lists, someone had posted that she had never seen animals have any trouble with flea and tick medications except for a cat who would get mad after an application.  She said the cat would walk around sulking for an hour.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Dangers of Antlers and Bones

Note: Discuss food choices/precautions with your vet

Puddin just got the all-clear from her vet after loosing a major tooth.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Puppy Biting Part II. Attention Biting. Stress Biting

In our last post on biting, we mentioned the puppy biting is normal.  But sometimes puppies (and adult dogs) can bite because they learned that it's a way to get our attention.  There are a couple of ways that we can combat attention biting.