This is definitely not right or normal. I am not the trainer that some of the folks here are, but I am the owner of 3 intact males from 9 years down to 3. Both of my older dogs have been absolutely wonderful with the next pup to come along, would tolerate just about any thing from a pup. As they got around 2 years old, each one tried to take on the older. Even when it sounded like all hell was breaking loose as they sorted out some pecking order issues, there was never a bite that required a vet visit. Right now my 3 year old is trying to push the oldest around. Even he knows better than to really bite. I learned quick to manage the situations so they do not really try it anymore. But to have a dog attack a puppy with injuries, seems way beyond acceptable. Good luck and please be careful.
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I imagine it was the last thing you wanted to hear, find a new home for your older dog. I know you love him and want to do best by him. Some dogs just have a screw loose and by the indications you've shared the older male has issues. Realistically the human aggression and aiming for the pup are 2 different issues. Several talented trainers have recognized and recommended sound unemotional solutions to your problem. His behavior is atypical against a human. At the moment you have the upper hand but who's to say another human, your wife, child would be awarded with the same power position. As for the pup, they shouldn't play together. Puppies have zero self control and play viciously hard. Adult dogs know self control and if the wound required staples the older dog was not intent on sending a get away message. He was moments from killing the pup for whatever reason he has. Its emotionally hard sometimes to do the right thing. Don't take it personal as a failure. Just move forward.
A 2yr old male is just coming into his own adulthood. If this dog is not neutered he needs to be asap.
Last edited by Purpledawg; 03-12-2014 at 08:55 PM. Reason: spelling
First of all, dogs don't have "anger issues." Food aggression is not "anger." Secondly, as someone also said, there are adult males who just don't like small puppies in their space, and as the pup gets bigger, the issue goes away. While some have said to re-home the dog, I don't think that's the "fix" because I think that you need some more personal education on dog and pack behavior, or else these very same issues may again return to your household with other dogs you may have in the future.
There's nothing that new here that hasn't been dealt with many times before. Keep the two of them separated until the pup gets older. And, get a really good trainer to come into your home and help you sort out and learn about these dog behaviors. I personally think your male is the alpha.
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I would be keeping this dog on an umbilical cord, that is where they are on a rope/leash and tied around your waist. They learn you are boss and in control of their every move, they go where you go. When you are sitting watching TV and you decide it is time for a snack they go regardless if he is sleeping and you don't ask him or wake him just go. This will put you in the leader position and you will always be there to control things. Don't keep the pup on a lead, she has done nothing wrong.
Thanks a lot everyone. I want to do what is best for both of them. The male has already shown great potential as a retriever and don't want to see that go to waste. For right now I have food and water only in their own crates, and supervision at all times. I'm going to see if maybe my inlaws will take him for a little while as well to keep them separated. I mean they are great 99% of the time and I have had him around kids before and he did great but that was not in his territory. I agree with both sides presented here; finding a new home for him or trying to work it out with more training etc. I am just torn on what to do.
I also want to add that he knows I am in charge. There are no problems with him disobeying me etc. all of the problems are just towards the puppy. But then again maybe he needs to be more obedient than I think.
Last edited by jklessig; 03-13-2014 at 09:00 AM.
Please heed the advice given. It is not a matter of obedience. The dog is aggressive and you won't know when it's going to happen and he could kill the puppy. Are you prepared for that? Again the same would go for a child that he may think needs put in it's place. NEVER let your guard down with this dog. Don't give opportunity for an " accident".
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I am in the process of taking in a rescue dog who is being given up partly because the advice of a "trainer" failed.
The "trainer" advised the owner to put an e-collar on the dog 24/7 and "zap" her any time the owners thought
she was showing aggression.
Many of us here know how easily e-collar stimulus can be associated with something other than what we intend, and
most of us have, for a long time, advised that novices not try to use the collar unless under supervision or strictly
according to a structured program. In addition, behavior and aggression experts seem to concur in advising against
using the collar in situations of aggression.
Just an example of how far off base advice can be. Aggression problems call for someone who is knowledgeable about
aggression. I know good ones who don't happen to be vets, but a specialist in behavior is called for.