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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Brain Trust,

So, we finally found a sister for our beloved 3.5 year old Euro male, Rommel, she arrived yesterday - a 5 month old Euro female from a breeder in Kentucky whom we named "Ada". Rommel was re-homed with us at around 18 months (after we lost our beloved Kaiser). Rommel is a really sweet boy, but has always had a lot of anxiety (was mostly kept in a basement and the training collar we received from the previous owner was set and locked to 50...which may have contributed to his anxiety). I had previously taken him to a training facility to work on a few things, including socialization, and even though he was one of the larger dogs, always look scared and anxious when in "group play". No idea why.

He is probably the most lovable (and slightly goofy) dog we have owned, a real sweat heart - if not overly sensitive. That said, he is all business when strangers come to the house and as we live on five acres, he also also shown no fear for deer and other animals - he chases them off the property. However, he seems really anxious around the new female pup despite her being half his size. She is super confident and lovable - she playfully chases him and he gets a little scared. He won't "correct" her when she eats/drinks out of his bowls or takes his toys - he just gives in to her. He doesn't growl - and she is just checking everything out and testing boundaries and is really sweet. No aggression from either dog, I am just concerned how anxious he is around her and worry that he won't teach her "limits" in regards to her behavior resulting in increased anxiety.

I am hoping someone here has some insight and/or guidance.

Thank you.
 

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BT --- There is a unwritten rule that the older dog will give free passes to a pup but when they get older ( pup ) that rule goes out the window , that maybe what your seeing .

We have a 6 year old male and a 18 month female - She has been a handfull since day 3 from when she got here lol She would rough house with him and he also had the look as , dad , what do I do ? he would just take it in stride , a few times he would give her a little snip and she would cry a little .

To me , here , there has always been a pecking order where the older dog was boss - yet they were always females ( Bitch's rule - dogs drool ) Younger dogs seem to have respect for the older dog , This did not happen here with these 2 , the Warrior Princess is bound to be the boss ( Bitch's rule ) and Mr. Business is not willing to giving that up , period !

From what I reading - I think that Rommel is giving her the puppy pass -- for now and is unsure how to handle her for now . ( anxiety ) But think it's just a normal thing that is going on now

Good luck !

BTW - How about some pictures of your 2 ?? : ))
 

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I wouldn't want an older male to growl at a puppy for being in his bowl - it's up to you to set boundaries like that. I would really want a harmonious relationship between them - either one where they co-exist peacefully (but aren't particularly good friends), or one where a friendship develops. The best way to do that is to control interactions so the puppy doesn't overstep her bounds. Don't allow her to push boundaries so much that she's overstepping. I wouldn't allow her to be in his food. I would make sure he gets to eat peacefully, and that may mean feeding them in their crates (or feeding HER in her crate) so she isn't in his food.

When they are playing, generally adults will give a "puppy pass" to a young pup for a while, letting them get away with those puppy behaviors. If he's truly anxious, though, I would curb her a bit - keep her on a long line so she isn't all over him for a while. Give him more time to acclimate. Help him understand that you're going to make sure she isn't stepping over the line. Or simply step in when she's getting too wild, remove her and give him a little break by giving her some time out to calm down, and then let her out again. Teaching her to self-regular is a good thing anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I appreciate the feedback and will take the advice to heart.

We have made efforts to make sure Ada knows which bowl is hers and began feeding them at different times so Rommel can peacefully eat. We also try to separate the two so as to give Rommel a break. There has been zero aggression from Rommel and things improved over the 24hrs since we have had her - he still seems anxious and skittish around her at times. Exercising them both helps, last night they were laying pretty close to each other on the floor. Hopeful that things improve over time. It's just a little concerning to see Rommel so anxious rather than just tolerant.

Unfortunately, Ada began vomiting and experiencing diarrhea last night. We woke up to her vomiting early this AM. I took her out and she urinated and vomited again. She wouldn't eat and drank A LOT of water that she later expelled all over her crate. Very lethargic. I just dropped her off at the vet. She's vaccinated for Parvo. Not sure what's going on. Very upsetting, feel so bad for the little girl - she's been through a lot since Saturday when we picked her up (drive from KY and separation from breeder after 5 months, new home, introduction to Rommel, etc - and now at a strange vet). Ugh.
 

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Aw, I'm sorry it sounds like a stressful time for all of you. I'd counsel patience and some separation until your Rommel is just dying to play with her. Hopefully her silliness will bring him out of his shell. Maybe take them on walks together.

We were lucky Loki played well with Bella right away and vice versa. Loki is still seemingly reactive to other dogs. Maybe we just lucked out that day in the yard of his former owner when we introduced them and let them play.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ada is home from the vet - seems to somehow have come down with a nasty GI bug (we haven't had her for even 48 hours yet). No fever and negative for Parvo (she was previously vaccinated for Parvo, but they wanted to be sure because of symptoms). Wicked diarrhea remains, but they gave her some meds that will hopefully help with this as well as some fluids. She's got a Rx for the next week and they sold me some dry food that is supposedly easy on her little tummy. Will keep a close eye on her for the next few days. Vet did opine that stress maybe played some role in combination with the GI bug. Ugh, poor thing.
 

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Not to over-ride what your vet informed you. If the prescribed med is Metronidazole (Flagyl) then the GI infection (possibly Giardia) could have resulted from Ada drinking contaminated water usually standing stagnant pond or puddled water. Prevent the occurrence of Giardia if/when venturing/hiking in a 'woodsy' environment by providing clean water —I'm never without a couple of 'Gatorade' bottles (part frozen) and filled with clean water for my Dobermans for such purpose on outdoor adventures. A couple of squirts when their tongues are indicating dehydration deters them from drinking from questionable sources. Some dogs tolerate drinking from standing puddle water or contaminated water/ runoff/streams while others don't. Hopefully the 'ounce' of prevention will save a 'pound' $$$ of cure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just as a quick follow-up, I am happy to report things are improving - not only does Ada seem to be "back to normal" health wise, but both she and Rommel are getting along better with each passing day (not that it was "bad" before, just a little tense) . Rommel remains very tolerant, but on occasion will turn the table and chase Ada while playing outside which is great to see.

Boy, I forgot how much work a puppy is!

Here are the two of them this morning:

Dog Photograph Window Dog breed Building
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just a quick update, a little over a week and these two are best buds. Amazing how patient Rommel is with Ada...she will jump all over him, nipping at the nape of his neck, and he just takes it until he decides it's time to play. I am finding a lot of daily exercise helps (they are getting around 2hrs/day). Also, I have noticed that Rommel's baseline anxiety (he would sometimes spin in circles until gently corrected - something he has done since we got him at 18 months) has tapered way off - only once during the entire time we have had Ada, happy to see this.

Here are the two of them last evening and this morning:
Dog Dog breed Carnivore Companion dog Fawn
Dog Vertebrate Plant Carnivore Mammal
 
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