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Canine Behavior/Won't stop pestering


We have a 4 year old neutered hound which is very sweet and all was well until we recently decided to rescue an 18 month old  neutered rescue dog (I will refer him as the new dog) who is pestering this older hound. I always thought older dogs would teach younger dogs manners, but the hound is totally a push over. Only once in a while he may react when he has had enough, but very rarely. This new dog will do the following:
1) will obsessively pee on top of the hound's pee
2)will push the hound and bite him when we come home from work, the hound will howl in happiness and this seems to also increase the new dog's arousal levels, making him bite even more.
3) will push him away if there's food around
4)will pester and mount the hound when he's sleeping.

We are at our wit's end and don't know what to do to help poor hound. We have been trying to pet first, feed first the new dog to respect the hierarchy, but that's not working (this is what a trainer suggested). The trainer also told us to say "hey" every time the new dog is starting to pester the  hound,  and this initially really seemed to work, but of course, we can't be there 24/7 to prevent him, so he'll occasionally still be able to wake him up to mount him. I don't want to give this new dog away, any options? thank you for your time.

If you insist upon keeping the new addition, you need to do two things:
1.  Get rid of that trainer who knows little or nothing; do not follow his/her advice.  By treating the "new" dog as the "top dog" you are confusing the entire issue and making a mess of this situation.
2.  Find a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB) who can evaluate both your dogs individually and then observe them together and help you to put into place a behavior modification protocol that will serve to reduce the bullying behavior of the younger dog who is definitely attempting a rank opportunistic opportunity.

Find one by calling the veterinary college in your geographical area or from the following sites:

Without eyes on, I cannot ethically instruct you but the behavior of the new addition is not at all acceptable, nor is it fair to your resident dog.  Obsessive "peeing" on top of the "hound's pee" is not an abnormal behavior; "pushing and biting" your older dog when you return home is a sign of rank opportunism; pushing the older dog away from food is resource guarding and not acceptable; pestering and mounting the older dog is totally unacceptable (especially when he is asleep).

While you are waiting for your appointment, put a house tab on the younger dog (only when you are at home): this is a very lightweight leash that you can pick up easily without touching the dog himself.  Whenever you observe a behavior you do not want, without eye contact, without verbal communication, pick up the tab, put the younger dog behind a closed door (bathroom works if you have one immediately available, this must be within ten seconds), count to ten, open the door.  Repeat every single time the younger dog attempts to assert rank over your resident dog UNTIL YOU HAVE the expert, on site, opinion of a CAAB.  I suggest these dogs not be left alone together when you are not at home.

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Jill Connor, Ph.D.


I have spent my entire professional life rehabilitating the behavior of the domestic dog and I can answer any question regarding any behavior problem in any breed dog. I have answered more than 5,000 QUESTIONS on this site in the past (almost) eight years. If you are a caring, committed owner and need advice, I'm here for you. I am personally acquainted with my colleagues (Turid Rugaas, Ian Dunbar, etc.) who were members of an elite group in EGroups that I founded: K9Shrinks. THERE ARE NO QUICK FIXES for serious behavioral issues; not only is it unprofessional to offer same, it is also unethical. IF I ASK YOU SUBSEQUENT QUESTIONS, I NEED YOU TO INTERACT WITH ME. More information equals more credible answers and a more successful outcome. If you want ANSWERS THAT WORK, participate in any way I request. I'm quite committed to working on this site for YOUR benefit and the benefit of YOUR DOG. Help me in any way you can.


30 years of solving serious behavior problems in domestic dogs; expert in dog to human aggression; Internet columnist for for 5 years; former radio talk show host, WHPC.FM, Garden City, NY "Bite Back" (1995 through 2000). List owner, international animal behavior experts, Seminar leader: "Operant Conditioning and Learning"; "Aggression in The Domestic Dog"; "Solving Problem Behaviors" -- conducted for various training facilities on Long Island from 1993 through 2000. Former clinical director of "Behavioral Abnormalities" in conjunction with Mark Beckerman, DVM, Hempstead, New York.

Member, APDT (UK); Psychologists in Ethical Treatment with Animals

Harcourt Brace Learning Direct: "The Business of Dog Training" "The Fail Safe Dog: Brain Training, not Pain Training"

Ph.D., UC Berkeley

Past/Present Clients
Board of Directors: Northeast Dog Rescue Connection; The Dog Project; Sav-A-Dog Foundation; etc. Pro Bono counselor: Little Shelter Humane Society My practice is presently limited to forensics. I diagnose cause of dog bite, based upon testimony before the Court, for attorneys and insurance companies litigating dog bites, including fatal injuries. I also do pro bono work for bona fide rescue organizations, humane societies, et al, regarding such analysis in an effort to obtain release for dogs being held for death in municipal shelters in the US.

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