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Canine Behavior/Stress in older dog with new puppy


About two years ago we, I guess you could say adopted, a shih tzu puppy Destiny. We think she was about 7 months old. The people we got her from kept her locked in a bathroom all day. She had very little interaction with people let alone other dogs. When we got her we would take her to my dads who had two German Shepards, who have since past away, and she was great around them. Well about 6 months ago we got a 7 month old male yorkie Rocky.  We found out after we got him that he had kennel cough. About a week or so after we got him Destiny started coughing, gagging, throwing up and kept her tail down. She would also stay under my bed. We took her to the vet and they gave her an antibiotic. She was fine in about a week and hasn't had any issues since. Until today. We adopted a 7 week old German Shepard puppy Diesel a couple days ago. At first she was fine. She went about her life like there was nothing different. She didn't ignore him but she didn't go out of her way to acknowledge him. Today they were outside and he got ahold of her tail. I had to pry his mouth off her tail. Right after he let go she put her tail down and started gagging like before. She is back to hiding under my bed if he is out of his kennel.
Help please.

A seven week old puppy does not belong in a crate unless overnight and must be taken out DURING THE NIGHT to eliminate if you want him house trained, just as you would get up for a Human infant.  GSD is a handful of dog with lots of inherited problems, some behavioral.  "Adopted"....7 week old GSD......from where?  Under what circumstances?  I need you to answer a few questions:

1.  How is Destiny now, since you sent this question?
2.  Explain "I had to pry his mouth off her tail".....7 week old puppy should not be demonstrating any sort of aggression at all, let alone deliberately holding onto something a Human is attempting to remove.
3.  What did YOU do when Diesel would not let go?  Did you yell?  
4.  What are you doing NOW regarding Destiny's "denning" behavior (hiding under the bed).
5.  Why did you turn out a 7 week old puppy into the yard with another of your dogs?  This is not house training him and certainly not allowing any true "relationship" to develop under your supervision among your dogs.

"Gagging" and vomiting are not normal symptoms for "kennel cough"; this appears to be emotional.

Please answer the questions and offer any further info you can.  Use followup feature (found at the bottom of your answer).  Meanwhile: do nothing to entice Destiny out of her "den", you will be reinforcing her fear; instead of crating this neonate GSD, put him on house tab (lightweight leash) and keep him with you so the restraint will allow your other dog(s) to understand his "place" in their social hierarchy (low) and also keep him out of trouble (make the indoor leash long, you can use a training leash so long as it is not too heavy).  Observe this puppy's behavior: is he "mouthy", does he appear gregarious and eager to please or is he reserved, etc.  Conduct a temperament test:

Do this with the puppy alone in a room in your home and report the results, please.  You might have bitten off more than you can chew with this neonate GSD.

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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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