A puppy and two foster dogs not getting on
I was in #Nottingham on Monday working with a 22 week old puppy. Nothing remarkable about that you might think but puppy had arrived after my client had taken on two other Cavalier king charles spaniels on a foster and the two foster dogs were not coping very well with the puppy.
They would keep out of the puppy's way and one of them was quite stressed, she was not eating.
My client was worried, the two foster dogs belong to a friend of hers so she wanted them to be happy and she wanted the puppy to be well behaved as well so she had her work cut out and she was getting stressed!
It is amazing what you can achieve in an hour. The main thing we needed to achieve was balance, balance between the three dogs and to remove any pressure of responsibility.
That means my client effectively, calmly and nicely demonstrating she was in control. Once the three dogs see someone acting decisively, calmly and with purpose, the weight of responsibility is lifted and they can all relax and get along without anything to worry about.
Dogs usually do not want conflict or argument, they like to relax and chill out and it is our job to make sure they know doing nothing is an approved behaviour.
Once they understand that, they are much less competitive, much more relaxed and much more tolerant.
Puppy's are inquisitive, they are nosy and they want and need to learn and have to learn about personal space and etiquette. whilst they do learn this from their mother, it is not up to a dog they just happen to live with to take over this role, especially in this case as the female foster was much to timid to cope with a boisterous puppy who wasn't hers.
It is the owners job and responsibility to gently, calmly and persistently guide the puppy to the right behaviour and then to praise again calmly to ensure the puppy is praised for being calm in a calm way.
Puppy's are easy to teach and it is best to remember that, the older they get the more work you will have to put in so invest the time when they are young and you will have a much easier life with your dog.