Are my dogs getting along?
August 6, 2009 8:11 PM Subscribe
I just got a new puppy, a goldendoodle who is now nine weeks old and kind of strong-willed. I also have a submissive dachshund who is more than 10 years old. They've been living together for about two weeks, and I'm wondering if the little one is bullying the older dog. How can I tell, and how can I stop it?
posted by curiouskitty to Pets & Animals (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The dogs are about the same size (10 pounds for the doodle, making him one of the bigger pups in his litter, vs. 13 pounds for the dachshund, who was the runt of her litter), so I think they may be jockeying for dominance over the other. I don't think they are seriously hurting each other, but they're nipping at each other's face, ears, etc., and fighting over toys. The dachshund is very gentle -- she wouldn't bite me even if I stuck my fingers in her mouth while she was gnawing a chew toy. The puppy is teething, so he's biting, though not hard (at least not me), and I am trying to train him out of the habit. I know that will take some time. Finally, the dachshund has neck/back problems (she had surgery when she was four), and though the vet said she's healthy enough to have a playmate -- which is one of the main reasons we got another dog -- I worry about the roughhousing. I've heard that humans shouldn't interfere too much as the dogs figure out their pack order among themselves. Is this true? Are they just going through a temporary boundary-setting period and this is totally normal? Sometimes I can't resist refereeing when they are really annoying each other, but it can get exhausting and I don't want to be unnecessarily paranoid. Is everything okay as long as they're wagging their tails? Will the dachshund put the puppy in his place if she's getting hurt, or does that depend on how submissive she is? What are the signs that their playing is getting too aggressive, and how can I get them to play nice in the long term?