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I need serious help

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So this may be a bit wordy, but I've found if you don't give all the information in the first post, you usually have to add it later anyway. :D


So. After we adopted her, we discovered that Oreo freaks out when confined in a kennel. She exhibits destructive behaviors and if there's nothing to destroy, she runs endlessly in circles or back and forth, becoming increasingly anxious and frantic. Hearing this, my mom volunteered to take her for our honeymoon, which is over 5 months away. Mom has a 120 lb golden named Moose.


So I took Oreo over to Mom's today to introduce her to Moose. They sniffed each other all up, and all was well until mom petted Oreo, causing Moose to bark a couple times (from a distance). Oreo ran, growling and nipping to Moose, who rolled on his back in submission. :rolleyes: Most of the time they were ok with, if wary of, each other.


My problem is that Oreo seemed to be determined to be the Alpha dog. I think she would have hoarded Moose's toys if I had let her. She would run up to him, and he would drop his toy (friady dog) and she would take it. Then she would lay down and put it between her paws, and the few times Moose tried to come take it back, she would snap at him.


I think it would have been good for her if he would have snapped right back, but he's just too big a pansy.


I have five months to train these dogs to get along with each other. Does anyone experienced with this kind of thing have any wise words for me? I am willing to put the effort in during the time I have. (Probably one day a weekend is realistic.)



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First off, you--or your mother, I should say--need to put your FOOT DOWN. Those are not her toys, nor are they his....they are YOURS, and they are borrowing them. If she can't play nice, she can't play at all...and it sounds like she is really taking advantage of poor Moose.


Since its your mother thats going to be doing most of the discipline in this matter, it would be a good idea to have her work with you. Both of you installing some basic obedience skills in Oreo will help as well.


Also, any initial interaction between the dogs needs to be done WITHOUT toys. Neither of you pay any special attention to either dog, causing one or the other to get jealous or uneasy. Give them some time to get used to one another and work out a truce of some sort. Once they seem amiable enough, THEN introduce toys. Make sure there is enough to go around.


When Oreo gets posessive over ANY oy, the toy needs to be removed from her posession. First you need to be sure that your mother can take something from her without a fuss. Once thats established, then the next time Oreo decides to pirate a toy from Moose, scold her in the VOICE OF DEATH, take the toy up, and leash her. Stand on the outskirts of the play area, and put her in a down-stay. Let Moose have the toy he was forced to give up, and ignore any complaints, plaintive whining, yapping, etc coming from Oreo....don't even look at her. Act disgusted with her, if you must. Do nothing but make sure she keeps that down-stay. This is something you need to be on top of at all times, you are the boss, not her, YOU dictate who gets to play with what.

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Tricky, but not impossible, I think!


When I first got Buddy, he was horrible with other dogs, period. My sister has the wimpiest dog in the world, a little Eskie, who stays at my parents' during the day while her owners are at work. So, every time I visited my parents, we had a Buddy/Snowy issue. The first few visits, Buddy would decompress if Snowy even approached me. (By decompress, I mean react AGGRESSIVELY with snarling and teeth bared.) Eventually, they learned to just sort of ignore each other: Snowy comes running to greet me and gets all the hugs and kisses she wants. Buddy generally goes off to greet my father and get some treats from him. Only once in a very great while, if Buddy feels Snowy's making too much extensive eye contact with him, he'll let out a low growl, but he'll even drop that when I give him the signal.


I think the trick was gradual, slow exposure - Buddy and Snowy together with nothing bad happening, until Buddy learned he can trust her not to do anything stupid like take his toys or jump up on him. (If your mother's dog is submissive, I suspect this will help a lot! She'll know what not to do to avoid setting your dog off.) Also, I think that Buddy figured out another dog around ME frequently meant treats for the other dog and for him. As he got better with Snowy, it also improved at the dog park. He can handle six dogs all getting treats from one guy, now, where before he used to blow up if a treat was near and another dog approached. (Life on the streets taught him that, I think.)


I don't know about the toy problem - since Buddy lives alone with me, he gets full access to the toys unless I put them away. I think he would melt down if Snowy came over and tried to take them... but that situation just doesn't come up. (Because of his background, I think Buddy needs to be an only dog.) There are lots of good articles around about "resource guarding," which this sounds like. Maybe if you can't untrain the guarding him by then, your mom can just be careful to separate the dogs when the toys are around? Baby gate? Bedroom?


Good luck!



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