View Full Version : a little worried...

5th December 2006, 10:30 PM
Lately Holly has been snapping more at Amber. It's invariably when Amber approaches Holly when she (Holly) is chewing away at something. I think it's Holly telling Amber that this is *her* time, and she wants to play by herself. Sometimes when Holly's on my lap, she'll snap a bit at Amber if Amber tries to get up too, although there's never a problem the other way round. As you can see from my pic, they often do sleep side by side; they'll even eat off the same plate, they're quite happy to be confined together in one crate, even for several hours at a time. It's not that Holly doesn't want to play with Amber- she does, but it seems to be on her terms. Amber has become much less cheeky too.

Is this all ok? If Holly is really running at Amber and growling, should I intervene? I don't think Holly has ever actually hurt Amber- I've never heard her yelp. I usually think that Holly's just maintaining her position as top dog and keeping Amber in order. Amber *does* show a lot more respect for Holly now than she did, so it's working. I just don't want the pup to get hurt, or to do the wrong thing by telling Holly off.

6th December 2006, 12:52 AM
She's just letting a puppy know her place. Growling is fine as well and never should be discouraged as that is a polite way for a dog to issue a warning. Very useful for us humans as we know we are dealing with an annoyed dog and to rectify the situation as needed. For a puppy, a growl is a caution -- if the puppy oversteps, she will likely get a kind of air snap or quick nip. Even if she yelps it is not a big deal -- this is how adults teach manners and it is good socialisation for a puppy who needs to learn polite behaviour to interact successfully when an adult with other dogs. The only worry is if a dog is actually aggressive. Tara has posted before with links to a really good book on how to recognise body language in dogs -- also there are basics on www.diamondsintheruff.com. If you can recognise basic stress and warning body language this will cue you to whether a dog is reaching a danger point. This is very rarely ever the case with an adult and puppy especially not with two that get along so well in most situations. Some adults will just walk away and ignore annoying behaviour, which also works as the puppy is left without the companionship it sought in the first place.

Holly is also no doubt a bit jealous and thus trying to keep Amber away from your lap -- again not anything to do with dominance, just being protective of her exalted position on your lap. :) This is why it can sometimes be dangerous to approach a dog you don't know (more especially for kids to approach who a dog will possibly view as impudent 'puppies' needing to be put in their place) when it is on a sofa or lap -- places dogs can be protective about and where they are are sometimes more likely to snap. :shock:

Jaspar incidentally is a very submissive dog with other adult dogs but if puppies annoy him, he'll snap at them! He never actually touches them, but he makes his annoyance clear. He has a low level of tolerance for puppies. Leo is more relaxed but he too is firm -- he has politeness lines that he doesn't appreciate being crossed.

Cathy T
6th December 2006, 02:50 AM
Can't add anything more to what Karlin has said!! I have occasional problems with my two and let them work it out. If it escalates I will intervene. I've learned to manage their issues rather than try to "fix" them. Dinnertime is a non-fixer, so they eat in their crates and everyone is happy.

6th December 2006, 07:46 AM
Karlin is right, I really wouldn't worry too much Lisa. Holly is only doing with Holly what an adult human would do with a child. We speak to warn the children, they growl to warn the puppies.

Maxx behaves like this with Charlie too sometimes. He will stand in the garden watching over him as he has a loony fit of the zoomies (Maxx is far too superior to do that now :lol: ) and then when he thinks Charlie's done enough, he will growl at him as he goes past. Charlie immediately puts the brakes on and calms down :shock:

I personally think that Charlie listens more to Maxx than he does to me :lol:

6th December 2006, 01:01 PM
We have the same with Busta at the moment, most of the time they are great and will play with each other, then he will just start staring at Ozzy and make a lunge for him, and they will start having a go at each other (Ozzy has only just started to have a go back), we seperate as soon as possible - we are keeping an eye on and get Bustas attention back and then praise him when he plays with him or has a toy - it does sound horrible sometime so not sure what the next stage is.

6th December 2006, 01:45 PM

I agree with Karlin, I was going through this quite alot when we brought Darby home, Dudley wanted nothing to do with him.

I know that your two have been playing together, but most likely Holly has had enough of Amber and is just letting her know.

Darby being a puppy with no manners yet, was taught by Dudley who is a very very good boy to back off. He would growl at Darby and Darby would still keep coming at him, my poor Dudley tolerated a lot from Darby but it will pass. My two now play together but really only when it suits Dudley if he is not in the mood then Darby has to wait.

I was worrying myself sick when this was going on in my house, but I let them sort it out on their own on the advise given here and that they did.

Now the two of them are friends and as I type this they are sitting side by side looking out the window watching for their next victim to enter the backyard. :yikes :yikes :yikes :yikes

That poor wee squirrel only wants to gather food for the winter, if it were left up to my two he would starve. :shock: :shock:

6th December 2006, 05:19 PM
Holly and Amber do that on Saturdays when we're all at the 'library' part of the bookshop. They sit and stare at everyone going past. Amber especially loves it- Holly's more likely to lose interest soon, but Amber must have been a cat in the former life. The jumps that pup can make!!! :D I think she'd be a natural at agility. Bloomin pup even managed to climb out of her pen, for pity's sake :yikes

And thanks for the reassurance, all. You've confirmed my own suspicions- just sometimes, I think Holly is *too* suspicious of Amber. Sometimes she'll lunge for Amber if Amber is just looking like she's going to approach which worries me- and then other times she'll tolerate Amber sneaking up to pinch the toy right from under Holly's nose :roll: Maybe this is what they mean when they say females are moody. Reminds me of boarding school. :lol: :lol: