Doesn't like puppy. Help!

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Doesn't like puppy. Help!

Post by dizzy on Tue Apr 04 2017, 07:42

This is a strange problem. Dodge is usually very good with small pups, lets them jump all over him, but my neighbours have just got a tiny, 8 week old labrador puppy and all was fine for the first couple of days, he wagged his tail and sniffed her nose, no problems. Then all out of the blue, on the third day he's started running at the mesh fence, growling and barking at her, then running back indoors looking really upset. I just don't get it. He seems like it started when the pup was walking round their garden, rather than being carried. I've tried ignoring the pup and throwing his ball for him to distract him, he'll play for awhile, but doesn't enjoy playing like he usually does.
Any ideas would be very welcome.
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Re: Doesn't like puppy. Help!

Post by LizP on Tue Apr 04 2017, 08:36

It might be frustration, that he wants to play but can't get to her. Fences can be hard things for dogs to understand sometimes, especially when there is something as exciting as a new neighbour, and a baby one at that!

I'd work on introductions as you would with any two dogs, on lead in a controlled way. Pop Dodge on the lead, keep it loose, and walk with him along the fence when his new neighbour is there. I'd even try and coordinate daily sessions with your human neighbour so that you are both working with your respective dogs. It's important for you both as you don't want on-going fence fighting (believe me from current experience, fence issues that one side doesn't cooperate with are a monumental pain).

Keep sessions brief. Allow sniffing but don't give Dodge too much time to think. Keep him busy with other stuff - asking him to sit, walk to heel, play with you if he will - and all the time lots of treats for being good and to build up positive associations. What you are doing is showing him he can deal with the pup in a controlled way.

As soon as the puppy is old enough to go for walks, get them walking together, again in a controlled way. It might be tempting to let them play but I'd leave that until they are settled. My guess is that Dodge would be great with her but best err on the side of caution.

Also, reassure your neighbours that you have a plan. They might be (understandably) protective over their new pup but it's important that they don't transmit worry to her as that could create a feeling of concern towards other dogs that she carries on into later life.

I'm quietly confident that, by just taking control of the situation and helping Dodge find a different way of dealing with it, you'll be fine.


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Re: Doesn't like puppy. Help!

Post by dizzy on Tue Apr 04 2017, 09:46

Thanks Liz. We get on well with our neighbours and Dodge was friends with their previous dog. I wonder if he misses her, she's only been gone for about a month. You never know how dogs will react do you. They really specialise in causing you utmost embarrassment, that's for sure!
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Re: Doesn't like puppy. Help!

Post by LizP on Tue Apr 04 2017, 11:30

It must be doubly confusing for him then. Not only is it a dog next door, it's not the right one!

But yes, they are specialists at 'just when you thought it was all going according to plan..."!


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Re: Doesn't like puppy. Help!

Post by dizzy on Sat Apr 08 2017, 14:30

Oh dear, 6ft fence just being put up! I hope it won't mean problems in the future, the pup's fine with Dodge at the moment and he settles down very quickly once he's had his say, but that could change if they can't see each other!
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Re: Doesn't like puppy. Help!

Post by LizP on Sun Apr 09 2017, 07:53

What a shame. I'd still work as above, hopefully things will settle and the fence might come down again. If it doesn't the only thing you can do is keep working with Dodge so he's not unhappy about it.

Something else that's worth trying is scattering a couple of handfuls of treats on the ground so he can snuffle round near the fence in a relaxed way. Getting heads down can be very helpful in encouraging relaxation.


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Re: Doesn't like puppy. Help!

Post by dizzy on Sun Apr 09 2017, 11:27

Luckily thismorning, as the weather is so warm and sunny, Dodge settled down for a lovely sleep in the sun, and nothing was going to upset him then!
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