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Ask Dr. Diane: My Dog Hates My New Rescue

yorkshire-terrierI have two mixed breed dogs that are two months apart and are a little over 2 years old….we just rescued a 12-week-old Yorkie two weeks ago. My Yorkie Poo who also is a rescue dog hates her. She shows her teeth; she has not tried to bite her she is just nasty to her. My Yorkie Schnauzer plays with the puppy. I try to get everyone to greet my two older dogs first…I also give the the older dogs extra attention…I have had my brother keep the puppy a few nights to give the other two a break. Will this get better or should I be doing something different? Thank you for your help.

First of all, congratulations on adopting rescue dogs. Your heart is certainly in the right place. Keep in mind that you have had the first two “canine children” for two years. They were contented being your only dogs. With the addition of the new puppy, you have altered the family dynamic.

The older dogs have felt secure in their position, their relationship with you. They must be taught that the new baby will not in any way interfere with or alter the love and affection you have for them. They should be encouraged to regard and accept the new dog as a young member of their pack.

In your efforts to make the new baby comfortable, do your best not to make the other dogs jealous. Instead, of being jealous, encourage them (through your words of support and approval and your gestures and body language) to love, care for, socialize and even “parent” this new member of your family. I would not let your brother keep your puppy – rather, it is important for all the dogs to adapt to their new circumstances. When your brother or other family members or friends visit, have them greet the older dogs first as they always have, and ask them to treat the new dog like the others – with no excessive fussing or squealing over the new baby!

Try to spend quality time with all three of the dogs together, making certain not to favor any of them. Treat the two-year olds respectfully and matter-of-factly. Reinforce verbally and with petting any and all “kind” behaviors they display toward the new dog. I would also have them walk and play together under your careful supervision. I would crate the puppy as often as possible in the same room with the two older dogs. I would also feed the new dog in his crate. I would not leave him out with the others unsupervised. Let them all get accustomed and adjusted to one another. It may take some time – weeks, even months. Allow them to sniff each other and become familiar with one another. Initially you may wish to let one of the older dogs play with the puppy. Put him away. Then let the other older dog play with the puppy by himself. Then let all three out together to play or just “hang out”. Carefully supervise and monitor their behavior. Use positive reinforcement to encourage harmonious behavior and discourage any negative or aggressive behaviors.

Dogs are highly telepathic and are creatures of habit. Their stable home life has been disrupted temporarily with the new addition to the family. Try to maintain your home life (to the extent that it is possible) as it was before you brought the new puppy home. With patience and understanding, I do believe you can get your “children” accustomed to one another and to get along with each other. Just be sure not to play favoritism. Don’t allow them to become jealous of one another. Show them through your words, actions and gestures that you love them all equally and want peace and harmony to prevail. Each is an important member of and has an important role to play in your family.

dr_diane_pomeranceDr. Pomerance is an animal behavior specialist and an expert on topics such as deciding which puppy is best for your family, how to pick out a rescue, and on healing from the loss of a pet.

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F this rescue

Sunday 1st of May 2022

I did this with my 1 and a half year old rescue that no one wanted. At the time I got her my dog that I raised since 6 months old that was now 7 seemed to like her. The rescue who was given up three times however was more than I bargained for. She had sever separation, social, noise and food anxiety. Luckily not violent. More flight than flight. Still I did my best to treat both pups equally. For the next two years the demands the rescue needed diminished the quality of life that my dog was used to and before I knew it she caught a sudden ailment and died. I didn’t realize how depressed my dog got because I was buried under so much stress from the rescue. If your dogs that you raised and love as your own don’t like a new pet over more than enough adjustments, let it go. I miss my baby so much and haven’t given up the rescue cause there is a reason she went through three prior owners and if I don’t deal with her she will only end up left for dead I feel.

F this rescue

Sunday 1st of May 2022

7 years old

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