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Hudson's Malamutes - Frequently Asked Questions

39. New Puppy Comes Home to Meet Current Pets

When you bring a new puppy home and you have another pet in your home your existing dog is of course going to be jealous or dominate to some extent. Some more than others. And some have different issues with different things. But you want to nip all jealousy or dominate/bully tactics in the bud as soon as it starts. Knowing how to tell when it is proper correction and a problem correction is very important. Knowing your dog/pup and reading into body language is very important. Your puppy can learn a lot of things very fast. Just as it is important for your pup to learn from his mom/littermates he learns from you and your pack when he/she goes home - You are his mom/pack now. If you allow any bad behaviors to happen from either your puppy or existing dog it is only going to cause future problems possibly with your puppy learning these bad traits also. So being consistent and enforcing everything immediately is very important.

I am sure everyone has the basic concept - Nothing in life is free. "NO FREE LUNCH"
This means the pup has to do something for everything it gets or is allowed to do. Everything should be earned by your pets and nothing is given way for free. A duty or task should be required before anything is given. This includes food, toys, friends, playtime. Until they get the hint that everything that they get to do or have comes from there owner(pack leader) and not of their own free will. It is imperative that you are seen as pack leader for everything that your pup/dog needs.

But if you do experience these problems such as aggression with food at feeding time, stealing of toys, bones being fought over there are a few things that you can do.

Obviously some choose to free feed. So if you are having issues with feeding or food aggression then I suggest that starting to schedule feed until you get the problem under control. Feeding in different rooms or different times when you first get your new dog home is recommended. Remember that everything doesn't have to be taught in one day. And there is no set rules, each dog is an individual and you need to find what fits that dog the best. Each dog knowing its place and staying consistent is the key for you. Before you feed or give anything you can have the dog sit right there on the spot. Or you can use down or come so he knows you are in charge. This should include all things as simple as a meal, treat, walks, scratch behind the ear, even when your dog wants to go out to potty.

When I have my puppies it is sometimes chaotic when you have 5-10 puppies all arguing and positioning for my attention. I feel puppies have very short attention spans so I work very short intervals with them. Multiple times a day I go out with a small treat - usually a greeie or small hand treat. I make the puppies sit on their butts before they are rewarded with my attention. If they fight for that treat I do not allow it and I correct the dominate dog in that pack at that time. I am the pack leader and no one needs to be correcting in this situation but me. I sometimes hold a puppies nose and look them in the eye and say NO. I sometimes put them on their backs until they submit. And I ignore them after they have been corrected and pay a lot of attention to the dog that was being corrected by the other pup/dog. If that pup/dog comes out I correct again, send them to the back of the pack and only again pay attention when the ears are down, tail is down and they are in a submissive (I'm sorry) position.

I do not allow any of my dogs or puppies to jump on me either. These dogs are very big and although you might think it is ok for this big dog to jump on you it is not a positive thing. They do not understand that your little niece, nephew, neighbor child or grandchild that comes over is not as big or as strong as you and someone could get hurt. So my philosophy is if they can not do it with a three year old child they should never do it with you.

I would always supervise in the beginning when they have a bone, toy or fun things. If you get dominate behaviors be sure to correct that behavior immediately. Always remember you are the pack leader. I can't stress enough - "waiting" even one minute for a correction of bad behavior becomes ineffective. Everything has to be done right at the time the issues are happening.

The correction can be some or all of these things. Take the bone/toy away. Yell, NO. Stomp on the floor while yelling. Send to crate/time out. Sit in-between both dogs.

If one dog is more the dominate than the other then focus your attention on the dominate dog. You need to let them know it is your place not theirs to tell someone in the pack who will eat or play when they do. Do more activities with that dog like more walks or outside time to get some of that energy out.

I don't think any one person has a quick fix for any one dog. They all need to be treated individually. And my saying always goes "What you put in you will get out". The more you work on a behavior or problem the more success you will find. Always stay strong and always remember - There is no such thing as a bad dog only an owner that doesn't know how to handle a problem.

Doris from Wildpaws has some really great ideas also - http://www.wildpaw.com:80/forum/index.php?showtopic=7

ALPHA TRAINING

You can start with one or two and work your way up as they become routine. The main thing is consistency! If you make a rule, you have to enforce it every time. Alpha training works so beautifully with young pups. They never get the control and thus don't fight it.

  1. Alpha always eats first. Either change the dog's feeding time or grab a little bite of something before feeding your dog.(We make added advantages for the whole family by letting the dog have the last bite of whatever we are eating. He has to wait patiently. This way even my kids get Alpha! We also feed our cat first.)
  2. Alphas always go through doorways first. This includes all doorways INSIDE the house. Either call the dog back to you or take her back and make her wait.
  3. NO FREE LUNCH This means the dog has to do something for everything it gets. Most people have the dog sit, but you can also use down or come. This should include meals, treats, walks, pets, and anytime the dog wants out.
  4. Alphas always have the highest position. This means don't let the dog on the furniture, especially the bed. While training, don't lay on the floor and DON"T ever let the dog stand over or on you. Don't let the dog put it's paws on your lap and stand with it's head higher.
  5. Alphas always have clear passage. This means you teach the dog to move out of your way instead of walking around. Depending on temperament, you can walk up about a foot from the dog and say move and then keep walking. The dog should get out of the way. If this doesn't work at first, try luring with a treat or toy until she learns the command.
  6. Alphas make the rules. This is probably the hardest! You have to show the dog that you decide when to play or pet her. Our rule was for every 3 times Kodiak asked to play or be petted, the 4th time we said no. You need to also stop a game before she is ready every few times. Don't wait for the dog to walk off and leave you
  7. No rough play-At least until the dog is 12 to 18 mos and KNOWS it's place in the pack, you should avoid tug of war and wrestling. In dog terms (especially for young dogs), this is a way to test the other members of the pack to see who is vulnerable. In trying to let the dog have fun, we end up sending the wrong message with these games.
  8. Alphas decide where and when to go. Use the tether(umbilical) system for bonding and Alpha training. When you are home, put a 6 ft leash on the dog and hook it to you. I used a leather belt and put the loop of the leash through it and buckled it around my waist even if I didn't have belt loops. To begin with, tell the dog when you are going to move. This teaches the dog to pay attention to you, that you are in control, and to wait patiently by your side. It helps a lot to talk to them and BE HAPPY! Make her feel she is helping by coming along. This worked great with Kodiak and now I can tie him to me anytime my hands are full and he follows right along.
  9. Insist the dog obey first time, every time! This is probably one of the most important for independent breeds. Do not repeat yourself! Do not assume the dog did not hear you(they have excellent hearing for the things they are interested in!). Give a command, wait a few seconds, then put the dog in position or make him do what you said. If a pup is never allowed to ignore you, it will make training SO much easier and faster.

Here are eight great reasons to tether-train your dog:

  1. Better bonding. If your dog is overly independent and doesn't recognize your leadership, an excellent bonding exercise is to tether her next to you every possible minute when you're home. If you have trouble finding an object to tie her to, attach the tether to your belt or ankle. This is known as umbilical cording.
  2. A feeling of safety. Close tether training gives a fearful dog the security of knowing where she belongs. She'll also adapt more easily to new environments since she'll know the ropes.
  3. Easier housetraining.. Dogs will avoid eliminating in their immediate surroundings, so tether-training can help you with housebreaking. Take your dog out regularly, and praise her lavishly for going in a sanctioned spot. If she doesn't do her business, return her to the tether and praise her for resting quietly.
  4. A calming effect. Inside your car or at home, tethering will settle a hyperactive dog. If your dog gets especially wild around guests, designate a spot as hers and tether her there when you entertain. Set up a comfy bed there, so she can rest comfortably.
  5. Soothing separation anxiety. If your dog gets upset when you leave or aren't nearby, close tethering is a useful technique. Gradually increase the time you keep her tethered, by just a minute or so each time and never so long that she shows signs of anxiety. Then tether her farther from you, gradually increasing the distance until you're out of her sight. Do this incrementally, so she's always comfortable (otherwise you could make the problem worse). When you need to go out, untie her, but ignore her when you leave and for a few minutes after you arrive. Making a fuss will undo this independence training.š
  6. No more demolition dog. If your dog chews your shoes or digs up your flowers, tethering can limit her ability to destroy your possessions. While she's tethered, give her a Kong filled with goodies or a „chew puzzleš (another kind of chew toy with food inside). If you think separation anxiety might be causing the destructive behavior and close tethering isn't helping, consult a professional behaviorist.
  7. You're the boss. If your dog behaves aggressively, give her a calming time-out by tethering her near you for five to 10 minutes. By immediately establishing your leadership, tethering dispels her confusion over her status in the household hierarchy. If necessary, have your dog drag a leash from her collar, so you can control any volatile situation.
  8. A member of society. You can use the tether as part of a socialization program. It's a way to allow your dog to see and be involved in people's activities without being the center of attention. Remember, a dog who can be peacefully tethered possesses a skill that'll prove handy in countless situations over her life.
    from-petco.com
Dog to Dog Communication
by: Dr. Nicholas Dodman

Dogs use different parts of their bodies to communicate with each other.

Without a sound, two properly socialized dogs meeting for the first time can size each other up in just a few moments. An exchange of glances can tell each canine if they're going to be friends or enemies.

How can dogs do this without a sophisticated verbal language? The answer: facial expressions, body language and posturing. Although dogs signal intent by barks and growls, the message is not complete without the telegraphy of body and facial language.

Various parts of the dog's body are involved in this form of communication. Here is a quick primer in canine body language.

Facial Expressions
A combination of facial expressions communicate a dog's mood and intentions that can be understood by other species, including humans. Here are a few examples of facial communication:

Relaxed mood: Soft eyes, lit up, looking - but not staring. Ears forward or flopped, with tips bent over (if anatomically possible). Mouth open, lips slightly back, giving the impression of smiling. Tongue hanging limply from the side of the mouth

Anxiety: Eyes glancing sideways or away. Ears to the side of the head or flopped. Teeth clenched, lips firmly retracted. Tongue either not evident or lip licking

Intimidating: Eyes staring like searchlights. Ears forward. Teeth bared

Fearfulness: Eyes looking forward or away, pupils dilated. Ears pressed back close to the head. Panting/breathing hard through clenched or slightly open mouth. Jaw tense so that sinews show in the cheeks

Stress: Yawning plus other signs of anxiety or fearfulness (as above)

Head-Neck Position

Head down ("hang dog"): Submission or depression

Head in normal mid-way position: Everything is all right

Head/neck turned to side: Deference

Head held high/neck craning forward: Interest or, depending on other signs, a challenge

Head resting on other dog's back: Demonstrating dominance

Torso/Trunk/Upper Limb

Tensing of muscles and the raising of hackles: Threat/imminent fight

Gestures

Play bow - head low, rump elevated: The universal sign of canine happiness and an invitation to play

Paws on top of another dog's back: Dominance

Looming over: Dominance

Rolling over: Submission/deference

Urinating by squatting: Deference

Urinating by leg lifting: Dominance/defiance

Humping: Dominance

Backing: Unsure/fearful

Tail Position

Tail up: Alert, confident, dominant

Tail wagging: Dog's energy level is elevated (excited or agitated)

Tail held low or tucked: Fearful, submissive

Tail held horizontal and wagging slowly: Caution

Tail held relaxed and stationary: Contented dog

There is no one sign that gives away a dog's feelings but if you consider all the body language signs, you can get a pretty good idea of what's going on in the dog's head. A dog that is staring at another dog, his ears pricked and his tail stiff, is probably conveying dominance, or at least a wish for it.

A dog that averts his gaze from another dog and hunkers down nervously as if waiting for an explosion is likely fearful and is trying to defuse the situation by acting submissive.

Sometimes body language signs can be ambivalent, however. For example, it is not uncommon to observe a dog growling at another dog while occasionally glancing to the side, backing up, and with his tail wagging. Such a dog is invariably fearful. Whenever fear signs are present, fear is in the equation. These dogs are unpredictable with other dogs and will alter their body language and behavior according to circumstances. If the opposing dog retires, they may jump around and "look happy." If the opposing dog approaches too close the fearful one may snap or bite. Owners, if present, can help defuse their dog's ambivalence and uncertainty by taking a strong leadership role. It's amazing how rapidly a fearful dog‚s disposition will change when an authoritative owner steps in and controls the moment. Dogs need strong leaders.

Another aspect of communication is odor. Because dogs have such an amazing sense of smell, it is likely that they learn a lot about other dogs from their smell. That's what all the sniffing is about. It is difficult to imagine what sort of information passes between dogs via this medium. We do know that intact male dogs "smell male" (because of male sex pheromones) and that neutered males do not have this characteristic musk. By neutering males, we alter the olfactory signals they emit and thus other dog's perception of them. It may even be that the "non-male smell" equates with a diestrus (in-between heat periods) or a neutered bitch smell.

When an intact male dog meets a neutered one, the response may not be confrontational because the other dog doesn't perceive a rival. He may believe the neutered dog is female.

Non-verbal communications signaling "let's play," "leave me alone," "who do you think you're talking to," "I'm not going to cause you a problem, I promise," are going on all the time between dogs but many dog owners don't realize it. It's amazing what can be conveyed with the odd glance or posture. Some dogs are masters at such subtle language.

The worst canine communicators are those dogs that have been raised without the company of other dogs during a critical inter-dog socialization phase of their lives (3 to 6 weeks). Hand raised orphans provide an extreme example of what may be lacking. Many of these dogs are socially inappropriate having not learned canine communication and social etiquette. They may attack and continue to attack another dog when the psychological war is already won. They may not know how to signal defeat when they are being attacked themselves. And that's just the (extreme) tip of their communication failures.

Most dogs are not this "dyslexic" and can communicate what they need - as with humans - but the good communicators usually have the edge. Fully functional body language is a beautiful thing that can help resolve uncertainties at a glance. Humans communicate in body language too. We're just not so good at it and some of us are positively stiff. If dogs could talk they'd probably categorize us as "dumb animals."

Psalm 115:1
Not to us, O Lord, but to you goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness.
© 2004-2013 Jolene Houghtaling
Hudsons Huskies and Malamutes
P.O. Box 241
Baxter, TN 38544
(931) 432-0955
Pups@HudsonsMalamutes.com