|Barked: Tue May 3, '11 7:46am PST |
|"He then got one of his nylabones and began chewing on it. She immediately walked over and sniffed it. He showed her his teeth and growled a little. We instantly told him "no" and removed the bone."
He's just letting the pup know that the bone is his and to lay off. Growling is communication, it is not always aggression. Totally normal and not really all that threatening considering this is a very recent arrival. What you did though, was give Darwin even more of a reason to protect his bone by removing the bone. He might now make the association: pup comes near my bone, someone takes my bone away. So that can wind up amping the behavior up, he might decide to head the pup off even sooner. Good things don't happen when the pup comes over to sniff what I've got...It might not work that way for Darwin, but it can raise stress levels over bones and toys.
Lupi has got a good point. If Darwin has a bone or toy, try to make sure the youngster has one, too, and redirect the puppy to it only if the little guy really isn't getting it. Most of the time older dogs that were in the house first and puppies work these things out with little human intervention needed. What you ultimately want are dogs that can work things out among themselves without your constant supervision. They'll settle in to a mutual understanding, but they need to be allowed to communicate among themselves to get there. To achieve that you'll need to be a little more hands-off and sit back and watch what develops, you'll know if it gets too serious. I know you're worried about aggression, keep in mind that can make you hyper-vigilant and seeing things from that perspective can make you worry too much. (I've done that in the past) Try to relax and have fun, it really does help.
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