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Lisa, Certified Veterinary Technician
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 16501
Experience:  CVT with a special interest in behavior modification through structure, boundaries and limitations with positive reinforcement.
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I have two puppies, both 7mths, a havanese, Bembesito a

Customer Question

I have two puppies, both 7mths, a havanese, Bembesito a neutered male and a yorkie, Bella. Bella, the Yorkie,is very dominant and takes treats away from Bembesito although she is given the exact treat. Bembesito doesn't eat when Bella eats --he sits to the side and waits for her. When they are alone, which is often, she bites his tail and ears. I'm afraid that my havanese's spirit is getting broken. I don't think I should have had two different breeds? Any ideas on how to train Bella out of being so bossy and mean to Bembesito? What is the best solution? Should they be separated? I tried doing that, but they both cry for each other despite everything. I'm really at a loss. They are left alone unfortunately during the day. I was supposed to be working from home, but that didnt' work out. Please advise. Many many thanks!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Lisa replied 1 year ago.

Hi there. My name is ***** ***** I'm happy to help you with your question. Just like an in person consult, I have some questions of my own to help ensure I give you the best advice possible....

Is Bella spayed?

Are they crate trained?

What makes you think that Bembesito is having his spirit broken?

Does Bella ever draw blood?

How much exercise are they getting daily?

What do you do when Bella is "acting mean"?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Lisa,
-No Bella is not spayed yet. They just got their vaccines completed so next step is her appt for spaying
-What do you mean by crate trained? They are wee-wee pad trained and go 90% of the time, but no, do not stay in a separate crate
-No I've never seen her draw blood
-They get about 1-2 hours of exercise running up and down the house. They are no more than 4lbs each and I was told they don't need much more than that
-Bella is "mean" in that she takes Bembesito treats away and kinda "hordes" them. She can't possibly eat them both but she takes his even though she has her own. Bembesito just seems kind more laid back and not as jumpy as Bella, so maybe his spirit isn't broken, but that in contrast to Bella who is super active, he seems more "down". She also growls at him if they are playing, and if Bembesito is in my lap she's try and get into mine whilst growling at him
Expert:  Lisa replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the additional information. I really appreciate it.

Actually what you're seeing is absolutely normal puppy behavior and you really don't need to break it up when they're wrestling or when Bella is being 'mean' to him.

Puppies need to do this wrestling with one another so they can learn about important things such as dog-on-dog interaction, bite inhibition (learning to soften their play bite when their sibling yelps), and other doggy body language such as figuring out pack hierarchy.

There's a great website that explains all stages of puppy play here:

I would suggest that you STOP breaking up the play fighting. By interrupting them when they're play fighting, you can actually cause problems with them as they age since they won't have gone through the necessary stages that it takes to be a dog who understands body language of other dogs and can actually lead to more significant fighting at a later stage.

It's also important to keep in mind that even though they're both puppies, they're VERY different breeds and therefore will act differently from one another. Bella is a terrier...known to be tenacious, bossy and fearless. Bembesito is a Havanese...which are known for being a lot more laid back and mellow. It's just in their nature to play and behave differently, so you can't really compare them.

But just to reiterate....this sounds like very, very normal puppy behavior.

Enjoy the puppies!!!

Expert:  Lisa replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

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