Dominant Dog, Melbourne VIC
We have a 1.5 year old staffy x and have just adopted a puppy from the RSPCA shelter. Until recently I thought our older dog was well socialised, because he likes playing with other dogs. But he is extremely dominant and wants to engage in rough play with the new puppy who is a little more frail than he is. The puppy seems to encourage it, but then, of course, yelps if she gets hurt. We're also having problems getting our older dog to be obedient, and he's ignoring many of the commands he used to obey. We're going to do some obedience training, but I wondered if there was any other things we could do to try and reduce his dominance and encourage cooperation.
REPLY: Dominant Dog, Melbourne VIC
It is a little like having a second child and the first one being put out - as the new one gets most of the attention now. Please ensure that your first dog gets their own attention and private time, and do the same with the puppy. Puppies/dogs play rough but it is rare that this ends up out of hand - more noise than real animosity. The older dog will teach the younger dog respect etc - and make it clear that it was first in the house. If things persist, I would recommend an inhome dog trainer and we would be happy to look if we can help.