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Hi everyone, I made a post a while back about how my older female dog doesn’t seem to like the puppy. She tried to attack him a few times when he wasn’t even jumping on her.

Just for some info: pup is nearly 6 months old now. She is 6 years old. Pup is very laid back, sweet and gentle, doesn’t mouth or nip but he is still a puppy and doesn’t understand how she wants space from him so I intervene. She is used to be the younger dog as she has an older Lab bro who by the way is excellent with pup.

I have been managing this by keeping them mostly separate. The few times I’ve tried having them together, if she’s in a playful mood she will want to play with him, without touching, but then can get moody with him.

The other day I didn’t have the baby gate shut and he ran into the room where she was napping and she looked up and snarled her teeth at him and was going to go for him. I actually thought this was good because it was the first time I had witnessed her giving him a proper warning like that rather than just going stiff and the next second going for him.

I am just looking for a bit of support of what more I can do to integrate them as I’m tired of not having them both in the room with me. He is such a good boy that he doesn’t mind staying in the room next to us where he can see me still.

He really is the sweetest pup and so relaxed.

Do I get brave and just let her go at him and let them work it out? Do I just bring him in with us on a lead for however long and then let him in here without it? How do I make her see that she doesn’t need to be scared of him? I am sure she is terrified of him by the way she looks at him. Once when she saw him walking to her she ran into the bedroom terrified and just wanted to be away from him. He wasn’t even doing anything.

Thanks for reading.
 

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Kristy
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The few times I’ve tried having them together, if she’s in a playful mood she will want to play with him, without touching, but then can get moody with him.
If you've never had a problem with your girl attacking other dogs in the past, I would start letting him out based on this. She needs to be allowed to teach him boundaries without injuring him. If it were me, I'd make sure I chose the time carefully - she is feeling good and he has had enough exercise and training to take the edge off of him. If he can control his energy a bit better it will make it easier for him to listen to her. Have an escape route for her so she doesn't get cornered and be vigilant. If you are really anxious about it, you could try finding a dog trainer who would come over for a private session or two to help you navigate the situation until you feel more comfortable. Wishing you luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you.

She has never attacked dogs and isn’t reactive or leash reactive or anything. She isn’t the type of dog who thinks every dog is her new best friend though, she’s just a bit indifferent unless it’s her brother dog or a couple she knows well.

She has never been around a puppy before this. But I didn’t expect her to react this way. I feel like she isn’t sure what to do. It’s like she doesn‘t know how to play except with her lab bro. I feel like I need to get them together and just let them play and just monitor or hopefully she doesn’t lash out at him.

That’s what I’m scared about so having someone come in to help would be helpful, just some support and reassurance for me. I’m sure she is picking up on my own scared feelings of her harming the puppy. I am trying but I feel reluctant to put her into a situation where she’s triggered and seems to be uncomfortable and him in a scary situation where he might end up being scared of other dogs. Right now he has a wonderful temperament and I really don’t want to wreck it.

I do have a muzzle for her and she is okay with wearing it but I‘ve only used it a couple times because she still went for him and there was a lot of power behind her, which could still hurt him.

Also I feel really disheartened and sad because she is the sweetest dog, so gentle and loving and to see her turn like that on him just takes me by surprise. I expected her to mother him. I also don’t believe what she’s done are simple corrections, it seems much more forceful than than and I did have to pull her off. No injury though.

Thanks for the support and tips.
 

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I had an older Bichon when Rukie was a puppy. She reprimanded him a couple times and it looked and sounded like an attack but there was no actual biting. It scared him and he backed off in a hurry. It scared me a little too but after she established her boundaries he figured out how to play with her and they were great buddies with never a skirmish. I realize the size difference makes it a little more worrisome for you but I do believe letting them work it out is the way to go.
 
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