Posted by: Tess | 2004/01/23

Introducing new pup to grumpy Scotty

We recently had our beloved Great Dane bitch put to sleep (cancer) and have recently acquired another female Dane. We have two Scottish terriers - a female who is fairly old and a four year old male Scotty, who has always been very dominant in our household and rules the roost, so to speak with regard to the other dogs. He and the Great Dane got on well, but he did occasionally attack her out of jealousy. He is not happy at all about the addition of a pup to the family and is driving us mad, with his growling and aggressive behaviour towards her. He has bitten her twice.
He knows he is wrong but can't help himself. How do we integrate this pup into our family, without upsetting him any more?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Hi Tess
You don't say how badly the Scotty has bitten the puppy, but I presume not badly or you would not be considering integrating them. It is important that the puppy is not traumatised at this early age or her socialising skills will be compromised in future, so if you think this is affecting her more than just a discipliary nip would, then I suggest you re-home her and wait until your Scotty goes "to the happy hunting ground" before getting another puppy. However an adult or juvenile dog may be ok with him. If the bites are minor and the pup seems its normal playful self then perhaps it's wise to just allow the Scotty to discipline the puppy. The puppy will soon learn what she's allowed to do and what not. If things get a bit nasty then pick up the Scotty and remove him (rather than the puppy, who may be screaming to get your attention), but don't reprimand or punish him at all, as this will make things worse. He needs to associate the puppy with getting more attention, not less, and certainly not with being reprimanded. Always greet and feed the Scotty before the puppy and praise him (or even give him treats) for any interaction with the puppy, even if he growls. Avoid giving the puppy attention while he's around for a while. He does not "know he is wrong", but predicts your reactions and responds accordingly. Keep the puppy separated from the others when you are not supervising, if you are concerned about him biting again, until things are more settled and the puppy can defend herself.
Karen Gray-Kilfoil

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Our users say:
Posted by: Tess | 2004/01/27

Hi, he is doing both. A couple of times he has bitten her on the face and snout and left puncture marks. He will not allow her to go near our other older female Scotty either.

Reply to Tess
Posted by: carol | 2004/01/25

When he bites the pup is he snapping or breaking the skin ?

Reply to carol

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