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Richard Rawling
Richard Rawling,
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 731
Experience:  Veterinary Surgeon at Tameside Veterinary Clinic
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We have a multi-dog household, and that has recently become

Customer Question

Good morning, we have a multi-dog household, and that has recently become an issue when introducing a new dog. Before he arrived, we had a 12 year old female jack russel/miniture pinscher cross and a 2 year old male blue heeler/red heeler/austrian shepard cross. They have been great together. the blue heeler was not very aggressive at all. Now we recently brought in a male puppy great pyrenees. Our heeler does NOT like him. it has triggered an unreal aggression in him. He has attacked our puppy multiple times, we figured they would work it out but once we started seeing blood drawn we have kept them apart. this isnt just a nip or quick bite. The heeler is latching on and shaking HARD. Now, another issue - we were considering breeding our heeler with my husbands parents dog, I never liked the idea much and now i know we have to drop it and get him nuetered. But until we do that we have kept the two males apart.. This seemed manageable until recently he has started attacking our older female. She doesnt provoke him. She could just be jumping up next to him on the couch and he attacks. We arent sure even neutering will help at this point. So sorry for the length.... please help! Thank you.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Strange behavior is often perplexing. I'm sure the Dog Trainer can help you. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Tag is the heeler cross
JA: Is there anything else the Dog Trainer should be aware of about the dog?
Customer: Not that i can think of at this time.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Richard Rawling replied 1 month ago.

Hi, i`m Richard, a Veterinarian from the UK. Hopefully I can help today.

Expert:  Richard Rawling replied 1 month ago.

It certainly does sound like there is some stress in your household amongst the dogs and the new pup seems to be the trigger. It seems like Tag as a young entire male, is trying to be the dominant top dog and trying to show the pup who is boss. There are some measures we can take to try and help the transition and I think all 3 dogs would benefit.

There is a pheromone product called Adaptil, which is available as a plug in diffuser and can help calm dogs to enable them to adapt to the new situation. It would be best used in the area where Tag spends most of his time.

There is also a supplement called Zylkene which can be effective and is best used in combination with Adaptil.
It is a milk protein extract and works by promoting a feeling of contentment - think a young pup with a belly full of milk after a good long feed.

These measures can help the dogs transition and can help keep the peace a little.

You will also need to work to help the dogs tolerate each other, however we may need to come to terms with the fact that they may never be the best of friends.

Initially, you could try feeding Tag and the new pup on each side of a closed door, so they can smell each other but not feel threatened by each other. This can really help to get them used to each other in a non confrontational way.

Gradually, if things start to improve, you can try introducing them in the same room for short, supervised periods. This will best be done when both dogs are tired - after exercise is an ideal time to try this. Exposure should be very gradual and controlled, if the pup is jumping all over Tag, it is not going to go well.