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New Dog Growling At Old Dog?


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I know there is a lot of info about this on here, but I'm having trouble finding info for this problem.


I have a new dog, Connie, at my house. She's only been here 2 days. I have two dog beds on the floor of my bedroom. Last night, Connie was on one of them, and Lola walked by so she could lie in the other one. Lola did not step on her, she was carefully walking past the bed. Connie growled and barked at Lola. What is the correct reaction that I should have, to let Connie know that this is not acceptable? I want to nip this in the bud. (or nip it in the bed, as the case may be...)


Connie is a shy, sweet dog, who came from an adoption place with many other greyhounds. She has no problem with people being on her bed with her, hugging, kissing, whatever.


Thank you for guidance!



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I would first of all move the beds so that they are apart when resting. Many dogs do not like to share sleeping space. We have a similar situation here, with daft old scared-of-his-own-shadow Jeffie growling and barking at Sid if Sid dares to walk too close when he's lying down. Jeffie is also the 'new' dog - Sid was here first.

I don't make too big a deal of it. Firstly, I am strongly of the opinion that it's best to let dogs sort out their own order of things by themselves, and while it's just posturing and warning -which it always has been with Jeff - then I let them get on with it except that we tell him to quieten down if he goes on too long or if we're watching a movie or something. He does, instantly.


And when it's bedtime, I have to make sure that Sid gets his own bed. He is an aging tripod and finds deep donut beds difficult, so we have two flat beds with sheepskin on them in the bedroom and one donut. Jeffie gets to choose, but he cannot choose the one which Sid prefers: I make sure he doesn't sneak onto it by turning a rubber backed mat upside down on it till I'm ready to supervise Sid settling down. By that time, Jeff has settled on one of the others and all is peaceful.


You'll have to make the judgement on whether it's likely to escalate into snapping, but I will say this: you teach a dog that it's not OK to growl at your peril. It's their early-warning system and is there to let the world know they're not comfortable. If you teach a dog that it's 'bad' to growl, that's when you get bitten 'without warning'. If you must intervene, I'd simply clip a leash onto the new girl's collar and cheerfully say 'OK, let's go'. Then you can make her get up and move somewhere else.


But seriously, I'd simply avoid all the hassle by separating their beds. We have one on one side of the lounge, and one on the other. Occasionally they choose to sleep near each other, but it's always Jeff's choice. :)


The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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I like to make a correction, so, they know this is not acceptable. I have only had that issue with one previous dog. The two now are fine.

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I'd separate beds as silverfish suggests and keep an eye on things for a few days. If it escalates or doesn't seem to be improving, then I'd do some exercises where you basically feed the new dog treats as the old dog comes closer or walks past. "OMG, every time she comes over here, I get FOOD!" Works beautifully. I would probably do that for a good 2-3 weeks and then sporadically thereafter, so she doesn't forget.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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I'll just add about it being the new dog. I've found with my lot it is the most insecure of them all who does the most grumbling, posturing, growling and even snapping about resources. She is better when she feels secure in her place and knows she won't be bullied, pushed around, made to move when she's gotten comfortable, or has managed to claim the bed which is beside me (which is where Paige usually sleeps but Brandi, given the choice, occasionally needs). I let the growling happen but also try to not move Brandi unless it's absolutely necessary ( if Paige is sick, for instance, or I am, she doesn't settle if she isn't with me. Otherwise, she settles elsewhere no problems).

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