For those with neurotic dogs...

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by sammgirl, Jan 15, 2010.

  1. sammgirl

    sammgirl ACoops favorite

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    Has anyone ever been in a similar situation where you have a dog that has issues, and you're going to add another dog or puppy to the household?

    If so, how did you handle socializing the puppy and teaching it that the world is a good place with fun people when you have an older "role model" dog that is terrified of the world as it is and reacts badly to new stimuli?

    Did you separate them? Did you socialize them together?

    Did you find that your puppies were like monkey-see-monkey-do or were they their own little "person?"

    The BF and I have been trying to figure out the best way to make sure that Harper learns the world is a mostly safe place with good people to whom she should be friendly, when Abby is pretty much the opposite of that.

    Harper will be goign to puppy preschool with out Abby and then after that we'll be doing handling classes and probably obedience. So, I know she'll get socialization in that manner.

    However, I know dogs don't generalize well and I want Harper to be socialized at home and to our streets and the park in a healthy way. Cardis have a tendency to be suspicious of things anyway, so you can see my concern.

    Any advice would be helpful. I don't know if anyone has been in this situation. I'm also going to be asking my mentor and some other people in teh breed club for tips, but the more the merrier!! :)
     
  2. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

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    I've got two dogs that aren't the best role models. They have good qualities and bad habbits. I think the best thing is to know what your 'role model' dog's good qualities are and what their faults are.

    Lizzie is a GREAT 'alpha' dog with new pups, so I never had to worry about her over correcting or not correcting for what they need correction for. But, she's really horrid on leash. So, new pups never walk with her untill they learn that they shouldn't be pulling on leash. Lizzie has a really positive outlook on training, so pups can watch her. But she can be bad about meeting new dogs, so new pups don't meet new dogs with her around.

    Major barks, alot. When the door bell rigns, he barks. Pups are either removed from that situation or given a treat while sitting/being near owner. But Majo ADORES people, so the pups are more than welcome to watch/interact with people while Major is out.

    I really haven't seen my pups do much of the 'monkey see, monkey do' type thing. They're usually more interested in what I'm doing or what they were doing. Sometimes I see Blaze doing a copycat thing when he's around other Border Collies, but not usually here at home with the dogs.

    I did do all of Blaze's socializing without the dogs here. His main thing for other dog play time and interation was with my trainer's trained sheepdogs, lol. He did play with her litter of pups once when they were about 8 weeks old and he was about 4 months old.
     
  3. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    When Trey was around, he typically ignored another dog that came in. No dogs we got ever 'looked up' to him so to speak. He was just so crazy they all seemed to realize he just wasn't 'right'. It was very quick before the new dogs realized Trey was a complete pushover. The only real interactions they had with him was to make sure he actually came back inside and they cleaned and groomed him a LOT.

    Now, the papillons do feed off each other a lot. Beau is a caretaker of sorts and the younger two do a lot of 'lets copy beau!'.
     
  4. PoodleMommy

    PoodleMommy Yorkie Love

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    I took Chloe out alone a lot as a puppy so she wouldnt learn from Armani.

    Even now, she is a perfect angel when alone but feeds off of Armani's reactiveness.
     
  5. Toller_08

    Toller_08 Active Member

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    When I bring a new puppy into the house, I separate him or her from the rest of my dogs much of the time. Not because they're bad, but because they do exhibit some bad habits that I try to make sure the puppy avoids learning (ex: Dance's shyness toward people -- no way did I want Keira or Ripley learning from that). I've found that with my dogs, for some reason a new addition never really learns any of the current dogs' good qualities... just the bad, haha. Not sure why. I also don't want my dogs bonding too closely with eachother. They do get to spend quite a bit of time together still, but aren't with eachother 24/7. All socialization with humans and real-life things is done without the other dogs around, training is done without the other dogs around (until the puppy is old enough to use them as a distraction), etc.
     
  6. StillandSilent

    StillandSilent New Member

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    Argon is a nervous creature, but very soft and gentle with new people. He won't rush up to them, but if they ask for a pet, he will ease up and be scratched. Unless he turns over and starts booty dancing in an aisle (we may not go back to Petsmart for a while, the employees are still talking about it). So he provides a good example for Neon, who is also neurotic, but can be HA with strangers. Thus Argon and Neon generally go as a pair.
    On the other hand, Argon has no dog skills whatsoever. He is not DA in the typical sense, except with puppies, but he doesn't understand appropriate play signals, or how to join a game. So he and Neon are kept on seperate rotations at daycare, and that suits them both well.
     
  7. theresa92841

    theresa92841 Gigi Monster & Evil Puppy

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    Gigi was very shy when I got her. And she still is quite shy but much better. The next dog learned none of that from her. It wasn't even an issue. And the new puppy I got in July also learned none of that from her.

    I think it may depend more on how I worked with the other two dogs. They learned some things from Gigi. But nothing that caused me a problem. Except barking. Gigi will bark at things and stop. The 2nd dog doesn't know when to stop. <sigh>
     
  8. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

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    My older dogs really helped raise my pups .
     
  9. Maura

    Maura New Member

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    Your puppy's own personality should dominate him, within reason. Not knowing what your old dog's problems are, it's hard to say. But, you know the problems, so separate when necessary. When we have a thunderstorm I crate my old dog or he will get the foster dog(s) running through the house and bouncing off the windows. A pretty easy fix. If your new puppy has a calm personality that may help to calm your neurotic dog. Having a new puppy may also help to distract the old dog from her fears.
     
  10. sammgirl

    sammgirl ACoops favorite

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    Good advice and I will absolutely take this to heart. Around "safe" dogs and people, Abby would be a great role model.

    I think that Fleur figured that out about Abby very quickly when she came to say in October. Fleur did a few play bows and Abby looked at me as if to say, "What am I supposed to do here?"

    And I think that this is going to be my strategy. I don't want this puppy developing phobias.

    And this is my fear. Cardis as a breed can be reactive, much like Australian Shepherds and Border Collies. Plus, Harper is a really drivey girl from what I'm hearing. I ALSO don't want her harassing poor Abby all the time.

    Argon and Abby could be littermates from the way you described him! Could I PM you? That is just...her to a T. Plus, I don't think Abby understands other dogs, either. It's like...other dogs will want to play and Abby will back away and make eye contact with either me or the BF as if to day, "Ok...what is this dog doing, mom?"

    Not sure how a dog can't understand other dogs...but she doesn't.

    This would be the best case scenario! :)

    Yeah, it would be nice to have that. I bet it makes life alot easier when you have a stable dog model.

    I wish!!! Harper is a fire ball. :)
     
  11. SmexyPibble

    SmexyPibble Blow. Me. Away.

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    I worried about bringing Layla into the house, and she was the puppy. We had Georiga, who was stable, Alaska, who was stable for the most part, Samwise, who was stable, and Oliver, who was stable but very jumpy and nervous when it came to play time. But, we brought Layla into the home as a foster after a couple got her and had her in a crate for 8-12 hours a day. She was so strong willed, she went at the crate door and ripped her face apart and ripped all of her teeth out trying to get out of the crate, as well as cut up her paws. The owners were very surprised and terrified, and decided to find the puppy a new home. We decided to foster Layla, since she was a Boxer puppy and we loved Boxers, and we believed we could help her since we weren't gone for nearly as much time as her past owners were. We found that she reacted very well to our dogs since they were so stable, but we noticed that since Oliver got very nervous when play time became the time, she learned from that. That was the only unstable behavior we had with the dogs, and she reacted to it. She chased him, bit him, jumped all over him, tried to hold him down and display "alpha behavior", etc. She really fed off of his behavior. When we went swimming (I'd take all of the dogs down to the local lake and swim with them, it was awesome for exercise and for wearing them out), he'd go out into the water after the ball, and as soon as he was within her reach (she wouldn't swim after him), she launch on to him, getting very nervous and jumpy and mouthy - just like Oliver would when it became play time. We'd seperate them for the most part during play time. Both of them were perfectly fine when Oliver didn't start his nervous behavior. It seemed as if Layla didn't learn any of the stable behaviors, but instead fed off of Oliver's unstable behaviors.

    When we brought Kenai into the home I wasn't worried at all. Georgia has absolutly no bad qualities what so ever, she is a very stable dog. She goes off leash almost every where and the second I say "Heel", she's at my side, no matter how many dogs or people we pass. Kenai, however, has his own personality and doesn't even think about mimicking Georgia's wonderful behavior. I think she calms him sometimes, but other than that he's his own guy. I'm glad Elly is living with my uncle since we got Kenai, because I think Kenai would had fed off her nervous and bad behavior like Layla fed off Oliver's.

    But, from the way you describe Abby and the way you describe Harper, I don't believe it will be a problem for you, honestly. Abby may not "understand" other dogs, but chances are Harper will. It really doesn't sound to me like it will be a problem between the two.
     
  12. Criosphynx

    Criosphynx New Member

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    dogs do learn through watching others, but it is not dramatic, and som' seem better at it that others. Personally I would not, and do not worry about a dog picking up the habits of another dog as they are not wired to learn that way. As primates we learn by watching others (cats too) but dogs are severly lacking in this department. And as primates we have a hard time imagining an animal that doesn't learn like we do.

    My puppy grew up with four role models of very varying personalities, abilities, and thresholds.

    I do owe them alot for helping me raise him but In the end he grew up to be himself. Not them. And nothing like them, except for well behaved ;)
     
  13. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    We were concerned about this when we got Jack. Sally is reactive to dogs and timid around strangers, and we wanted Jack to have neither of those traits obviously. Therefore, we socialized him without Sally *always* for the formative months, and we socialized the crap out of him. By the time we had them in situations *together* were they might see other dogs and greet people Jack had already established his own pattern of behavior with such things.

    Although Sally is "dominant" so-to-speak, Jack is WAY more confident in social situations than she is, and often she will follow his lead, especially when it comes to strange men.

    Now I have noticed that Jack is likely to react to a strange dog if Sally is there and starts reacting first--then they feed off each other, so we work to head that off at the pass.

    Other than that, when it comes to things like barking, killing critters, etc, Jack has not taken after Sally at all. She barks at strange people outside the house and at the door bell and he doesn't bark at those things at all--we went all Halloween without a peep from him.
     
  14. Paige

    Paige Let it be

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    Set your new pup up for success. If that means not having your other around because it may teach it poor manners when in new situations that's okay. Continue to work on your old dog's less than desirable traits. Good luck.
     
  15. sammgirl

    sammgirl ACoops favorite

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    Thanks guys for your input!!!

    Smexy, I hope you're right!! Abby does have many positive traits, and those I wouldn't mind Harper learning.


    I was wondering about this. Patricia McConnell makes a big point in "On the Other End of the Leash" that people are "apes" and dogs are wolves, and that dogs don't learn from mimicking the way that we do.

    I know sometimes Abby copied Fleur, but it wasn't too dramatic. The most notable of those times was a trip to the park when Fleur threw herself into the pond (yes, water loving keeshond...they do exist) and Abby was like, "Oh boy, that looks fun!" and threw herself in, too!! The ride back was less then...pleasant. It was a duck pond, after all... *bleh*


    Yes, exactly! That's what I'm very much hoping for.

    Yes, I do want the best for Harper. :) I want her to grow up happy and confidant. :)
     
  16. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    I don't think dogs copy each other too much but they definitely respond to signals. If one dog is being nervous and fearful the dog may not be copying the other dog but may be responding similar because "if that other dog is scared something bad must be about to happen" so he starts getting nervous too.

    I think barking is another behavior dogs pick up from each other because that tends to be a group activity.

    But as far as like pulling on the leash and stuff of that manner I don't see a lot of dogs learning that from each other (whether it be to pull or not to pull).
     
  17. OutlineACDs

    OutlineACDs Crazy Dog!

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    Lots and lots of good advice given here. I too, owrried about this when I brought in my new puppy. I made sure he got plenty of time to play with the older dogs in a safe setting. Basically where I knew Rumor wouldn't be reactive. When we went to the agility trial, I walked Rumor in first and crated her and allowed the puppy to walk in beside my more stable dog.

    Most places he goes alone. I take him to play with my older dogs places that I know are safe from causing Rumor to react. I make sure he meets lots of other dogs and people of varying personalities, sizes and temperaments. I want him to learn what is normal and what isn't and that not all dogs like him, or want to play, and some dogs play differently than he does. I want this puppy to be "adjustable" to each situation. I don't put him in uncomfortable situations, nor do I put other dogs in a bad situation by him being around them. I always ask if the other dog is puppy friendly, and if the owner doesn't mind if they greet each other.
     

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