Introduction to a Puppy

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by tx_cowgirl, May 27, 2009.

  1. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    As some of you may or may not know, I have a BC pup planned next summer. I know it's a looooong way away but I just wanted to make sure I'm completely prepared. So here's the thing....

    Mudflap HATES puppies. Loathes them. Absolutely cannot stand puppies. (Sometimes I just wish she would understand English--"Mud, you know you were one of those little annoying balls of fluff once too?") She gets very growly and nippy with them. She is nippy initially with in-your-face friendly dogs, but even the slightest raise of volume in my voice and she immediately backs off and will simply ignore them until they prove to be "playworthy." Lol. With puppies however, she's not as easily controlled. I know in time she would be very tolerant of a pup, but it's the "in time" part that concerns me. Recently I took her and Z to the park with my friends two dogs(one adult, one pup) and she was unusually aggressive with the pup. I think it had a lot to do with me being a little on edge, but this puppy wasn't even the typical, begging for attention, annoying pup. He was actually very calm and respectful towards Mud and Z, but Mud just wanted nothing to do with him. Zekers of course loves everyone and was smitten with the little guy.

    Other than my friend, I know no one with puppies, and typically people with puppies at the park or Petsmart are very unwilling to let you work with their pup and your growly puppy-hater. Lol. I could easily spend the time to get her used to that puppy, but not all puppies. I don't want her causing any issues with the new pup when he/she finally comes along, so I'm just looking for tips on what I can do to prepare her for this. Many thanks in advance.

  2. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Wow, innnnteresting...Funny enough, Buddy is not too fond of puppies either..i was so embarrassed, he growled at a puppy that was so little, it could barely walk!! But, he had just seen the rottweiler.

    It would be good if you could get MUd some chances to learn to be calm around puppies before you get your new puppy...Doesn't Zeke go to school? (oh, is that at the Petsmart?) Maybe you could ask them for some advice on Mudd, have them get you a puppy to show you how to calm Mud when a puppy is around...Like emphasize you want them to SHOW YOU what it is to do, maybe they'll kinda forget they are putting a puppy in there with MUd, maybe it's the wording.

    Ha, you can volunteer at the local dog pound and bring Mud along to use those opportunites to teach Mud to be calm around puppies....?

    Tx, you just gotta make some new friends with puppies is all, ha ha!!

    This will be interesting thread, cuz i know with grown dogs, i DISTRACT Buddy, as well as praise anytime i can catch him being calm around rottweilers. But with puppies, they so WILL crawl all over Mud...wonder what it is you are supposed to do then???
  3. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    With our pounds amd shelters I'd be CONCERNED with taking Mud there. Health reasons. o-o;
    She goes to Petsmart all the time, and I've asked my trainer about it, some. The only thing she's though of is a spray bottle, which is effective, but...I don't really like it. I did TRY to introduce her to my friends VERY laid back, so NOT annoying puppy recently, but friend didn't really watch him, and I had Z with me too, so I was handling more than I needed to. Didn't go well. With adult dogs, if she's nippy all I have to do is raise my voice the slightest bit and she backs off. She won't pay them any mind at all again unless she decides to play. With puppies, she'll tone it down but she's still aggressive. The thing with Petsmart is that few people want to sacrifice their pup's safety, lol. They tend to overreact and think they're sticking their pup in with an uncontrollable dog-mauler. Sooo...kinda hard to recruit volunteers. I will be recruiting the help of my trainer of course. And I think if she actually LIVES with the pup it will be easier for me to work with the two of them. That way I have total access to and control of the situation. But I'm still just kinda worried as to how she will react....
  4. fickla Experienced Member

    I don't think I'd worry about it too much. It sounds as though Mud just doesn't want dogs in her face. You say she's being "aggressive" but as long as she's not mauling puppies and just growling/air snapping/ etc. I wouldn't be too concerned. If she doesn't like puppies than having her be around them might backfire if she is holding back her warning systems and then feels she has to explode when the little bastards are too much to handle. I suppose you could just click/treat her for being calm and not reacting as puppies move close to her, and then eventually sniff her, but I don't know that I would bother.

    It will be a huge adjustment once you actually get a puppy, but depending on the severity of Mud's reaction, it may not be that big of a deal as you think. Hopefully you're monitoring puppy closely, puppy goes over to Mud, Mud lifts lip/warns puppy, you call puppy away and reward pup for leaving her alone. If you're consistent and if the puppy is listening to Mud's signals they will learn to coexist and hopefully get used to each other with time.

    Granted I'm saying all this without ever meeting Mud and without knowing how bad she is. If she is as horrible as you're making it sound, then I guess I would start with the clicking for tolerating puppies at closer and closer distances. Or possibly the "look at that" game instead from CU. Either way good luck, it's going to be so much fun when the time finally comes!
  5. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Definitely not just air snaps. I think she's one of those that if she were to be loose with puppies she'd be the overstrict disciplinarian. If I didn't hold her while she was around puppies, she would definitely carry out her warning. With pups, they don't even have to be paying any attention to her at all. They can be milling about a foot away from her and she'll start snarling. Her body language is never really aggressive or dominant that I've noticed. Except on a few occassions.

    But, she's always been kinda growly and grumpy at first with new adult dogs--but she never gives as much warning. With puppies I guess she thinks her warnings need to be much stronger. o-0 I don't know. Fortunately I have a lot of time before I'll be getting the puppy.

    Such extreme differences in my dogs....Rusty thinks puppies are God's personal gift to him, and Mudflap thinks they're spons of Satan. And Zeke just loves anyone not big and intimidating, lol!

    The thing that would concern me about teaching pup to heed her warnings is that someone would have to be holding Mud or she wouldn't just be lifting her lips/warning him. If she was just in a sit stay and puppy was roaming about, I don't think she'd just warn him/her. I dunno. But, I could have her in a sit-stay with puppy leashed and walk him round. I think if I had puppy in hand I could have puppy in control and have Mud on a "watch" or something to distract her from the evil fuzzy thing on the end of that leash. Hmm....
  6. fickla Experienced Member

    Have you read Susan' Garrett's Shaping Success? The book isn't about this at all, but she shares her experience with Buzz when she first got Encore. Apparently Buzz hated puppies too and was a bit nervous around all dogs. At first she kept the 2 dogs completely separate, the only time she would bring the puppy around Buzz was when she was actively working on the two getting used to each other. She of course practiced this a lot.

    I think she started with Encore in an exercise pen and just clicked and treated Buzz for ignoring the baby. Eventually she worked up to Buzz being right next to the exercise pen, body touching, and still not paying attention to the pup. My memory isn't the greatest, but she may have also done an open bar/close bar thing with the puppy entering and leaving the room and giving Buzzy treats.
    It doesn't give too much detail on what she did after that, but at least it shows you that Mud could learn to get along just fine with a new puppy.
  7. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Can't say that I have but does sound promising. I'll have to check Amazon for it. Thanks for the recommendation, Fickla!
  8. fickla Experienced Member

    Well I don't know that I would buy the book just for that section. It's a GREAT book if you want to do agility, but there's only a chapter on Buzz and baby Encore :)
  9. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Lol, well agility is in Zeke's future. ^^ As a hobby though.

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