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older Bernese attacking puppy

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
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Member Since
03/13/2014
 
 
Barked: Thu Mar 13, '14 12:38am PST 
hi I have had a super male Bernese mountain dog for 8 years
perfectly behaved perfect recall and just a dream obedience wise
6 months ago I got a male Berner puppy
on day one he got attacked by the older dog and had his lip punctured
he has been attacked seriously 4 or 5 times since and bears the scars
we keep them seperate or supervised now and the pup sleeps in a crate at night
the attacks seem random as the pup plays happily with the older dog most of the time and the older dog tolerates it
we feed them in separate bowls and are careful with treats chewys etc
the weird thing is the older dog growls daily at the pup out if the blue
the pup could be lying still on the other side of the room or in his crate and suddenly the growling will start
we correct immediately and he reluctantly stops
I thought it would stop after time or after the pup stopped being a puppy but after 6 months I'm not sure
the older dog is fed first and well exercised and is still super behaved in every other way
any advice would be extremely appreciated
thanks in advance
paddy
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Kali

She's game for- anything that's- fun.
 
 
Barked: Sat Mar 15, '14 6:10pm PST 
It sounds like same sex aggression which can happen with any breed. You might try getting a behaviorist or finding the pup a new home through a Bernese rescue. Please keep us posted. Good Luck!
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Member Since
03/13/2014
 
 
Barked: Mon Mar 17, '14 4:09pm PST 
it would be difficult for me to re home the pup as we are very attached
I think a behaviorialist may be our only choice
the older dog is really obedient .its like he just can't understand why it isn't acceptable and can't help himself
I was just hoping for a few tips or things to try
thanks anyway
paddy
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Kali

She's game for- anything that's- fun.
 
 
Barked: Mon Mar 17, '14 5:01pm PST 
The behaviorist can help you with the tips. Unless we can see what's going on, we really can't help in this case. Sometimes, it's the dog you think is the problem and other times, its the dog you don't think is the problem. The only thing you can do until you get help is keep them separated. You'll have to have a schedule for who can be loose in the house when. Good Luck and please keep us posted. I've had serious issues with Koby and found a really good trainer that "Gets Him". That's what you need to find, someone who "Gets Your Dogs". When you do, it can be a long long road to fixing the problems. Koby's been in training since last April, just to give you an idea. If you are patient and work at it, you will end up with 2 great dogs. Please keep us posted. smile
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Star BN RN- RA

IM too CUTE
 
 
Barked: Mon Mar 17, '14 5:11pm PST 
Contacting a behaviorist is a great idea but you may also want to contact your breeder for suggestions.

The BMD people i know are always wanting people who purchase their puppies to contact them with any issues and to keep a line of communication open for the dogs entire life (and sometimes longer). They try their best to develop a friendship between puppy buyer and breeder. Since the breeder is familiar with the breed they may have some suggestions that a behaviorist would not think of.
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Member Since
03/13/2014
 
 
Barked: Tue Mar 18, '14 12:02am PST 
thanks guys
I'll do exactly that
breeder first as that's so easy
finding a good behaviorialist. might be trickier
I'll keep ye posted of course
regards
paddy
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Toto, CD,- RN, CGC

We don't- doodle!!!
 
 
Barked: Tue Mar 18, '14 4:41am PST 
I'm not so sure keeping them separated is a great idea, at least not when you are around them. We had a six year old come in for grooming today and also a new puppy they had gotten eight weeks ago. They came in TWO cars because they were afraid to put them together since the older dog was hating the pup.
We put them together here (under supervision), the older dog growled at the pup twice when the pup got too close, and the pup responded as it should by backing off. By the time the owner came to pick them up they were sleeping curled up in a tight ball together.
The problem was that with ANY growl the owners were rushing in to "rescue" the puppy and separate them, instead of allowing the older dog to set some rules. Once we explained that this growling and even snapping was as it should be, they hopefully, are now a bit more relaxed. If the older dog isn't allowed to tell the pup when to back off the problem will continue to get worse and worse until there is a major problem with them both hating each other.
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Cohen CD RE- ADC SGDC- FDCh CGN

The Monster
 
 
Barked: Tue Mar 18, '14 6:13am PST 
That's very cool, Toto, but I'm sure you're aware of how different a dog behaves at home vs when it's out in an unfamiliar area. In this situation it seems to have worked out and it was indeed the owners who were handling things poorly, but the few low key growls that you saw may have been several degrees more intense at home.
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Toto, CD,- RN, CGC

We don't- doodle!!!
 
 
Barked: Tue Mar 18, '14 10:50am PST 
I have no doubt that they were...but you don't give up and keep them separated! My comment to them in the morning was we would try it here BECAUSE they weren't on home turf.
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Mulder

Spooky Mulder
 
 
Barked: Tue Mar 18, '14 5:24pm PST 
I don't know, this sounds a little more serious than just two dogs working it out... OP said the older dog has already physically injured the puppy, we don't know if he'll escalate or not.

This one most likely is one that needs to be seen by a behaviorist before anything else is done. I, personally, wouldn't feel comfortable putting a young puppy with an older dog who has already done serious physical harm to it.
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