Should I be concerned? - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-02-2010, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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Should I be concerned?

After being so thrilled with how well the two dogs were getting along now I'm worried things have changed for the worse. Little Molly has seemed to become very aggressive with Tasha. When Tasha wants to break off the play Molly keeps going at her biting her tail and ears. Molly is growling regularly where Tasha only growls when she's in my lap and Molly gets too close. Whatever toy Tasha is chewing on Molly takes it away and Tasha doesn't fight over it or growl. There is an abundance of toys for both dogs. Tasha is not innocent in the rough play but she seems to know where to draw the line. Since we never had two dogs before I'm not sure if this is normal or if I should be worried. Tasha is the sweetest dog and I don't want anything to change her personality. Maybe as Molly gets older she'll mellow out. My wife is worried because when this aggressive behavior got me angry earlier I told her the puppy would go before I'd let Tasha become unhappy in her home. Right now they are laying together at my feet in peace but there is too little of that. Is this just what to expect with a puppy that needs to learn how to play nice? I saw a video here once of two Havs playing and it sounded and looked like they were fighting so maybe it's just me and my inexperience with two dogs.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-02-2010, 09:43 PM
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Maybe they are just working out the pack order?

I just have a singleton, so hopefully others will have some suggestions

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 12:05 AM
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They're probably just playing and working out their pecking order. I would certainly say something to stop them if it's getting too bad, but sometimes it looks much worse than it really is. Give it a little time. There was an adjustment period with each one I added to the pack.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 12:29 AM Thread Starter
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They were really going at it earlier and I yelled at them and separated them. Since then it's been quiet with both of them curled up on the couch with me. I think I scared both of them because I don't raise my voice often and I'm sure the neighbors heard me.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 12:34 AM
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I have the same question. My 11 wk old anatolian pup, Oz, and my 8 month old 1/2 hav pup, Ollie, they bicker. it sounds like a fight, but they are 3 inches away (or closer) from each other's faces, and both 'talking' back to each other. sounds aweful, but they aren't putting teeth on each other.
I wonder do I let them work it out? do I interrupt when neither backs down?

they play well together, but I do notice that my anatolian pup wants to play or instigates play more often. Ollie gets snarky if he plays too rough, instead of doing the puppy yelp.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 07:25 AM
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I was feeling exactly as you when my Havanese puppy came come two months ago and my 5 y/o Chihuahua was NOT happy at all. My Chi is a very shy dog and not well socialized, so I had a little more complicated situation. I was not able to have them together for some time. You can... so that's good. I think that when Tasha seems to be getting tired of the playtime you should give the puppy a time out and give Tasha a well deserved break. I mean, separate them for a while. Like someone else said on another thread, if Tasha keeps looking for Molly then she is surely enjoying the rough play.
I tried to play with them together using treats to call their attention so they were together but not "rough playing". I walked with them all around the house, using treats and praise, trying to make them focus on me and not on each other for a while even when they were together. I don't know if it is a good idea but it worked for me.
Everytime the puppy approach the older one in a nice way, without biting or jumping over her, I said "gentle" and treat her. I did the same thing many times and it helped a lot. Now I say 'gentle' and she looks at me and she knows what I mean... I also treat the older one for her patience, haha. Really, I treat the older one because the idea was "good things happen when they are together".
My trainer always encourage me to relax because the dogs catch our emotions easily. Good luck and I hope things get better soon.


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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 09:38 AM
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I think they are probably trying to decide who gets to be boss. If it gets 'to' rough just put them in their corners to break it up a minute. I hope in a few days one will be following the other everywhere, and you will know who the boss is.


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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 09:44 AM
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I concur with what's been said...sounds like they are working out the hierarchy, which wil take time. But Tasha probably does need a puppy break every now and again.

I think Guapo and Paisley are still working things out at times and it's been about 2 months.


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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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My wife pointed out that Tasha instigates the play as often as Molly. We had a quiet night with all four of us on the couch. I had both dogs on my lap close together with no growling from Tasha so I'm probably worried about nothing. I think the time out approach is a good idea. Today when Molly started growling during play we just told them to stop and they did. I guess it's just a matter of getting used to having two and the changes that result. Thanks.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 02:20 PM
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Dexter and Jack went through the same thing....I had lots of concerns.... a four pounder against a 13 pounder.

I separated them at times just because I could not stand the pure loudness and aggressiveness. It went on for a good 2 months of fussing back and forth....Dexter wanted to remain boss. I am still waiting to see if Jack to going to be over-all boss.

90% of the time, it is very quiet around here. Both play together and they are close in weight now. Dexter fusses at times if he thinks I am fussing at Jack, so he fusses at Jack.

It does get better....you have to learn to ignore some behaviors. Divert the behavior onto something else (playing, going for a walk, training) whatever. They have to work it out.

Praise all good behaviors together.



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