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New Dog Too Rough With Old Dog

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I could really use some sage advice. I have only owned two greys, Indy and Holly. They were together for eight years. Indy was a bully, thug, and leader of their two-dog pack. Holly is a very sweet girl but low on confidence (probably due to living with Indy!). But they worked out the kinks and, for the most part, got along well.


I lost Indy in February. Holly, 11, was sad and lost without her companion. I always assumed she would not fare well as an only child, so in March I adopted a 9-yr-old male hound. Former racer and blood donor. Was in foster since 4/09, adopted for one month, then returned "due to SA."


New Dog has very few issues compared to what I went through with Indy. New Dog has been vetted. No known medical problems. And other than some peeing in the house (working on that w/belly bands) and a little garbage picking -- he is a congenial soul.


The problem is: Holly has become apprehensive and a little frightened of New Dog. If out in the yard, New Dog likes to run and play hard -- such that he charges at Holly like a runaway freight train and hip-checks or body slams her, which makes her cry. :crying New Dog has also tried to initiate rough play in the house on a few occasions. I generally try not to intervene in doggie dynamics but the other day, New Dog knocked Holly half off the porch (her lower legs) - which definitely concerns me because she has back issues - so I had to summon the Voice of God and tell him to knock it off! :shakefinger


Holly has bared her teeth at New Dog but she is simply not a rough and tumble girl. The goal was to find Holly a sweet, mellow companion (which he is, for the most part) but despite my best of intentions -- I feel New Dog is just not quite right for Holly.


I am taking him to Greyhound obedience school starting next week but that won't solve the lack of chemistry between the dogs.


I was seeking a gentle senior companion for Holly as she heads into her winter/twilight years. I asked every question I could think of while the dog was in foster but I did not see this one coming. Both are good hounds and fine with me -- just not with each other.


Can anyone share a lack of chemistry story? Truthfully, I am not sure if New Dog is simply trying to jockey for pack leader position or he just wants to play. Or both? I don't want Holly to live in fear of New Dog as she deserves peace and harmony at this point in her life. Oh, I have had New Dog almost two months - and I know it takes time. Sigh. Thanks!!

Edited by IndyandHollyluv
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Guest burgerandfrey

Wow... we really are in similar boats! I'm so sorry about Indy. It sounds like Indy and Holly really did bond despite Indy's bullying. That gives me hope for our Zeke and Lola. Fortunately Lola is still very outgoing with other dogs despite Zeke's bullying, but as time goes on I worry that she might become more timid... especially since she has been too scared to run the last couple of times I took her and Zeke to a fenced in field for play.


I'm also not discounting the possibility that maybe Lola just hasn't felt well the last couple of times I have taken them running. There was a time a few months back when she did most of the running and Zeke was a bit more lethargic.


Does Holly get along better with New Dog when they are indoors or on walks? If the incompatibility is mostly just when they are out in the yard together, but they get along fine otherwise, maybe they just need get to know each other better before they play together.


I don't know if it is helping Lola or not, but when Zeke bullies Lola sometimes we will pay extra attention to Lola... even sneak her special treats when Zeke is occupying the dog bed he just forced her out of. I'm thinking about putting Zeke into "time-out" when he bullies Lola in the yard. Maybe just putting him inside the house, which he would hat if we were still outside, until he chills out a bit. It might just irritate him though, so I would love to hear what advice experienced greyhound owners might have for situations like these. We have also tried calling Zeke when he is about to bully Lola out of a bed or a toy, and he will come over to us. We praise him for coming over to us...but soon he will be right back to bullying. Maybe we need to train him to lye down in the bed that we choose.



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Guest MyBoys

I have a almost 12 year old boy who has somewhat weak back legs, is very gentle and for sure not the leader of the pack, I also have a 10 year old that can handle just about any situation, along comes Henry the now 4 year old who thinks everyone is here for his enjoyment. He started running at Seany, my 12 year old out in the yard, normally I let them work things out but I was concerned Seany would get hurt, Seany has also growled at Henry a few times so I decided to take charge of the situation, staying out in the yard with them I used the VOG at Henry as soon as he started to run at Seany, I went out and stood next to Seany and corrected Henry each time he came at him, it took about a week doing this but now when I let them out all I have to do is say HENRY NO and he backs right off and away from Sean. I know for the most part we should allow them to work things out in the pack order but I also believe there are times when we need to step in and teach the new dog respect for his housemates. Maybe if you took your boy outside first and threw a ball or toy for him to let him release some energy before allowing them out together he would not be as excited when she is out.I know I will take Henry outside by himself and throw his toys for him until he is pooped, then I let the other two guys out and all is well.

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Guest longdoglady

In a pack there are mediator dogs who block and diffuse bullying or aggressive behaviour so I agree with how Myboys handled Henry, some dogs need reminding of their manners just like children :rolleyes:


Try standing between Holly and New Dog, facing him and stepping towards him to herd him away, adding a sharp ah ah if he needs it until he moves away or approaches her calmly. The same blocking technique could be used for the bed situation then praise the "bully" dog when he goes back to his own bed.


I would not give treats or special attention to the "bullied" dog as this may make the situation worse, just use calm, firm, persistant blocking of the bad manners until other dog gets the message.


Good luck :)

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Guest LindsaySF

You won't confuse them. If the new dog is being too rough and Holly won't correct him for it, then you have to. You mentioned summoning the voice of god on one occasion. I would continue that when necessary. The new boy will soon learn what is expected of him. :)

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You won't confuse them. If the new dog is being too rough and Holly won't correct him for it, then you have to. You mentioned summoning the voice of god on one occasion. I would continue that when necessary. The new boy will soon learn what is expected of him. :)


I agree...your girl could get hurt!



Michelle...forever missing her girls, Holly 5/22/99-9/13/10 and Bailey 8/1/93-7/11/05

Religion is the smile on a dog...Edie Brickell

Wag more, bark less :-)

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