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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

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