New Puppy Growls at Older Havanese - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-13-2012, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
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New Puppy Growls at Older Havanese

Hello: I'm new to the forum and am grateful for all the expertise contained within. We have a wonderful Havanese who is almost two years old, a female. We just added a 10 week-old-puppy (Havanese), a male. Adorable. The older female is adjusting well and is entirely accommodating of the puppy. Occasionally the puppy will give a little growl to the older dog -- usually it is in response to the older dog coming into the puppy's space. That is, puppy is sitting on my lap and the older female wants to snuggle too, or the puppy is in his crate and the older dog approaches. The female is also entirely tolerant of the puppy coming into her space when she's eating or drinking water, sleeping, etc. Is this all normal? Is it possible the puppy is attempting to demonstrate dominance? Or, is it simply that the puppy is trying to figure out its new environment and is fearful, thus the growl. Other possibilities? Many thanks for any insight.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-13-2012, 09:35 AM
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The puppy is more than likely afraid. How long have you had the puppy and where are all the pictures?

Maddie at 5mo old
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-13-2012, 11:17 AM
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Hi Wordgirl and welcome to the forum. I also have two...both females, almost two and ten weeks old. My little one is very feisty and barks and growls at everybody and everything...so will be interested in the response to your question. She does seem to be playing to me and they both rough house couple of times a day and then lay down together and sleep.
Izzy never ever growls and the puppy even growled at me when I was trying to comb her! I wonder if I should be doing something to stop this. So thanks for the post and happy mothers day.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-13-2012, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wordgirl View Post
Hello: I'm new to the forum and am grateful for all the expertise contained within. We have a wonderful Havanese who is almost two years old, a female. We just added a 10 week-old-puppy (Havanese), a male. Adorable. The older female is adjusting well and is entirely accommodating of the puppy. Occasionally the puppy will give a little growl to the older dog -- usually it is in response to the older dog coming into the puppy's space. That is, puppy is sitting on my lap and the older female wants to snuggle too, or the puppy is in his crate and the older dog approaches. The female is also entirely tolerant of the puppy coming into her space when she's eating or drinking water, sleeping, etc. Is this all normal? Is it possible the puppy is attempting to demonstrate dominance? Or, is it simply that the puppy is trying to figure out its new environment and is fearful, thus the growl.
Other possibilities? Many thanks for any insight.
--wordgirl
Welcome to the forum. It's good that your two year old is tolerant of her new brother. Quite often it's the other way around. Seems from your description that the pup is protecting or guarding it's space. Nothing wrong with this as far as dog behavior goes. Because this generally can be modified it generally rules out any sort of dominance play. Dominance seems to be a catch-all for this sort of behavior. As with any growling, the growl itself is the pup's way of communicating to the other that it's uncomfortable and so it should not be "punished" in any way. What you want to do is to change the pups view of the other dog. You want the pup to realize that nothing bad happens when the other dog comes near. In fact you want to make a "classical " conditioning so that something good happens when it is approached by the older dog. Have your pup on you lap and have some good treats ready. Call you older dog to come from a distance and as she is approaching hand feed the pup rapidly. Have your older pup sit at your feet and continue feeding the pup. Even if your pup growls at this point don't worry about "rewarding the growl" sort of speak. It doesn't work that way. Your pup will learn that good things happen when the older dog approaches. Have someone call the older dog away from the area and it's then that you stop feeding the pup. Have tiny little treats available ,but rapid feed the pup on approach of the other dog and stop when the older dog goes away. Practice this over and over. Here's more on resource guarding. http://www.4pawsu.com/Donaldson.pdf Practice this in different location. Get alone with the pup , call the older one and treat the hell out of the pup as the older dog approaches.

Dave and Molly
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Last edited by davetgabby; 05-13-2012 at 12:36 PM.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-13-2012, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your responses. What you've suggested makes sense to me so I'll continue to act on your good advice. Our older dog hardly made a sound of any kind in the first 6 months, so it's possible that our new guy is much more communicative overall. Right now the two are playing wildly -- the amount of energy and noise coming from the both of them is unbelievable! Dave T.: thank you for the link to the newsletter. What a helpful resource. Again, with great appreciation.
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