Older dog trying display dominance over puppy?

Hi, I recently just found a 7 week old puppy (she is 10 weeks old now) and we have had her for 3 weeks. Both dogs are female and beagles. They both get along great and love to play with each other.

On occasion though when my puppy tries to take a bone/toy from my older dog, she attacks my puppy and I literally have to pull with great force to seperate her (although this has happend about six times the puppy has never been injured, no marks, no blood, nothing) and it seems as if it is to scare her. My vet had said that this was basically just my older dog establishing who the alpha was between the two and it would continue to happen until my puppy understood that.

Now onto my question, is there any way that I can intervene in this issue? As my older dog is well aware that I am the leader of the pack and is extremely faithful (she even comes crawling with her tail between her legs when she does something wrong when we are not home).

Thanks in advance and sorry for the long post!

Asked by Member 1157674 on Mar 2nd 2013 in Behavior & Training
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It's called Resource Guarding...try to forget the "establishing dominance" mumbo jumbo in this scenario because it doesn't answer or solve the problem. Some level of resource guarding is a natural behavior in dogs, BUT your older dog's reaction sounds un-naturally over the top -- especially directed at a young puppy who at this age usually still has their "puppy license" (meaning the adult is typically MORE tolerant at this time). Please try to not let this scenario play out over and over -- your puppy can eventually have some behavioral problems from being aggressed at in this way over and over, then you'll have 2 problems. I would do some reading on resource guarding and in the meantime separate your older dog if you want to offer her a bone.

Kolbe answered on 3/2/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer