Our expert says:
Dog Behaviour Expert
Hi Elize, sorry to hear about your problems and so sorry about the loss of your older dog - how terrible! First of all, although you have had a good experience with the 2 breeds together in the past, on average the combination only scores a 2 out of 10 on the compatibility charts. Having said that, the deed is done and lets see what we can do to help you.
It sounds to me like the older dogs are indeed scared of the pup and dont know what to make of him. Firstly to avoid any aggression, feed dogs seperately and then pick up dishes and put away.
What i would suggest you do is a few things:-
1. Remember that no matter how cute the pup is, he is bottom of the pack. Other dogs are greeted, fed, paid attention to before the pup.
2. Start to introduce the older dogs to the pup one at a time, being together will just make it more of a 'pack' issue and more difficult. How to:-
a. Have somebody hold the pup while on lead, asleep (or in a crate) at a good distance away.
b. Bring in first JR, on lead and stay at a distance. If the dog does not react to the pup, say good girl and treat with really nice tidbits. Dog this over and over until dog is completely comfortable being in same room as pup.
c. Gradually take a step closer to the pup, repeating the above. Dont go all the way to the pup at the beginning. Dogs like us have a 'safe distance' around them and going too close to the pup will not work.Keep on praising and treating for no reaction. What we are doing is changing the older dogs perception of the pup to one that is rewarding instead of fearful, hence the treats. The second the pup is taken away - the treats stop.
d. Gradually work closer and closer to the pup until they can smell one another, remembering to praise and treat for good behaviour. you have both dogs on lead, so are in control of situation.
e. Once you have done this on lead, keep the pup on lead but your JR off and repeat the process.
If you are getting ANY reactive behaviour from JR when you do this, please get in touch with a behaviourist immediately. You can get hold of me and i will put you in touch with somebody in your area. Prevention is always better than cure.
Repeat the above with other dog, practising as often during the day as you can. When both dogs are ok like this with the pup, then start from the beginning with both dogs and repeat as above.
It sounds like a lot of work but is the easiest and safest way to do this and again, if you are not happy, get help!
At the same time, let the pup lie on a blanket for a while and then pop same blanket into jr's beds so they can get used to the scent.
If the puppy gets out of hand with older dogs, they need to sort out as much of the relationship by themselves as possible without interference, but if getting out of hand, you step in and put a stop to it - you are pack leader. Good luck and do have a look at article on the www.friendsofthedog.co.za which is my free website, in the Dog Stuff section on introducing a new dog to a multi dog household first. Thanks Scotty
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