Where Did This Thing Come From?

The calls come in daily to our office. “Help – I have a new puppy. I bought my older dog a little sister/brother and my current dog”:

  • Hates it!
  • Is growling at it
  • Snarls and hides when it goes close
  • Wants nothing to do with the puppy
  • Snaps and growls when it goes near my other dogs’ food
  • Has pinned it to the ground and won’t let it up
  • Bitten the puppy and caused it injury
  • Mothers the puppy and now we can’t get close to the puppy
  • Plays so rough with the puppy that it hurts it

The expectations of humans are often mind boggling.

Why do we expect our pets to;

  • Just let another dog into the space they have inhabited happily where they were once comfortable, settled and peaceful
  • Expect them to share resources once their own – water bowl, food bowl bedding, humans
  • Tolerate a puppy where they have not had to put up with one before
  • Cope with another dog when they are already under socialised and struggling with the outside world as it is.

If you were told you were bringing home a toddler without any prior warning how prepared would you be? Would you have the patience of a saint, the energy of an ever-ready battery to chase it around all day or would you after 30 min be wanting a break, peace and quiet, time to yourself and for it to go back to wherever it came from!

Why do we expect our dogs to instantly tolerate a new addition without any prior preparation and training?