Establishing who is top dog ?

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JackDaniels
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Joined:Tue Jul 17, 2007 5:01 am
Location:Norwich England
Establishing who is top dog ?

Post by JackDaniels » Sun Oct 04, 2009 10:41 am

I wonder if anyone can help me regards 'top dog' status when introducing a new puppy please ?

We have Jack a 2.5 year old beagle, and have just (last weekend) introduced Billy a 13 week beagle into the house.

Feeding times are ok, Jack gets his slightly in front and both eat well, a few times we've had to tell Billy to get back to his bowl when trying to investigate Jack's. Jack doesn't really try to approach Billy or his food, Billy has once 'told' him to go away when he tried to eat a few pieces that had strayed from his bowl (Billy is a messy eater!).

They are playing together and Jack has started to show his teeth more and get Billy on the floor more but seems very aware that Billy is small and never holds him down for long and lets him up very quickly. The last few days there have been more occassions when Billy is being chased by Jack and he has his tail down. Billy still wants to play more and goes for Jacks ears, biting/pulling, frequently to start things off.

I know it takes time for the 'leader' to emerge, but will Jack always fear hurting Billy as he is so small ? will Billy keep starting things off ? Does it mean Billy is trying to be 'top dog'? will it take Jack 'finishing things' for the leader to emerge ?

Should we do anything specific to help things along or let them (within reason) sort things out for themselves ?

I know Jack won't necessarily end up 'top dog' but should he at least have the advantage whilst Billy is small/young ?

Any thoughts / advice / tips / knowledge would be appreciated.

Thanks
Janet

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Mattie
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Re: Establishing who is top dog ?

Post by Mattie » Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:24 am

Forget about top dog, at 13 weeks old Billy has puppy licience and will be able to get away with murder for a while, Jack will start to put him in his place.

Make sure that they don't go to each other's food bowls, the quicker they learn this the better, stand between them and keep them seperate. Food is a very high resource and can cause problems later on.

It is your house you set the rules on how far your dogs can go, you should also protect Jack from Billy going too far. As Billy is small Jack will give in to him quite a lot but this will change as Billy gets older.

As far as possible let Jack check Billy, but you may need to step in before Jack to protect Jack. A friend allowed her pup to do what she wanted with her older dog and as this pup grew bigger and still jumped all over her other dog, she ended up with him having spin damage and was in a lot of pain. She was told to let the older dog check the pup and not to interfer, she has a lot of regrets now.

The leader will be fluid, it will depend on how high the dog puts things, some put toys high and are higher with toys, while others it may be food etc.
[url=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v312/Nethertumbleweed/PIXIE.jpg][img]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v312/Nethertumbleweed/th_PIXIE.jpg[/img][/url]

JackDaniels
Posts:9
Joined:Tue Jul 17, 2007 5:01 am
Location:Norwich England

Post by JackDaniels » Mon Oct 05, 2009 3:39 am

Thank you for your comments they are really helpful.

We have been stepping in and stopping 'play' from starting and also finishing some sessions if they get a bit heated, so we will continue. I was just wasn't sure if we were confusing things.
The example you gave of how things have a knock on effect for when they boys are bigger is obvious really - but thank you for pointing it out.

We will have to be patient and let time take it's course as Billy grows and hopefully Jack will step up in time. We were unsure if Jack was just being overly polite, as he is very docile, but it sounds like he is reacting appropriatly to the puppy and the puppy is just being a puppy and pestering whenever he can and making the most of his puppy status.

Eating time is really improving and we are keeping a close eye and stopping any wondering when needed.

Thanks

mselisabs
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Joined:Wed Feb 25, 2009 11:06 pm
Location:Charlotte, NC

Post by mselisabs » Mon Oct 05, 2009 1:19 pm

Everything sounds pretty normal... I would suggest interfering as little as possible, as there are important social lessons going on! Certainly always supervise their play, but Jack seems to be a good "big brother" - correcting when necessary but not getting overly annoyed by puppy antics.
PS - we want cute beagle puppy pictures!!

JackDaniels
Posts:9
Joined:Tue Jul 17, 2007 5:01 am
Location:Norwich England

Post by JackDaniels » Mon Oct 05, 2009 2:08 pm

Thanks for the advice...How do you put Photo's on here ???

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