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Canine Behavior/New Adult Dog


A week ago I adopted a 3 yr old beagle from a rescue, and while I feel that she is adjusting well, my concern is my 7yr old basset/lab mix.   Since we have gotten the new dog, he has become withdrawn, and often goes into his crate in the kitchen instead of spending time with us.  he seems "sad", and then very clingy, and even on walks he drags behinds now.   He will more often than not leave the room when the new dog enters.  We have made sure they have separate beds and toys and bowls, etc, and outside (in the yard of leash), they are usually fine, but his tendency to leave to be alone is worrying me as he rarely did it in the past.  I know its only been a week, but should i be concerned that he will not accept her and will only withdraw more?   I really love the new dog too, but I don't want to ruin the quality of life of a dog I have had for 5 years and was very happy.  Please help!

Your older dog is making a social statement to your new addition:  "I am unavailable".  His "clinging" is being rewarded if you are giving him attention when he demonstrates it: ignore it, get up and walk away.  If he drags behind during walks, walk him separately from the other dog and, if possible, have someone walk the other dog parallel to you and your 7 yo Basset X.  Parallel walking helps dogs to habituate to one another more easily.

One week is no time at all but here's what you should do:  put your new dog on a modified Nothing In Life Is Free (NILIF):  this means, she must earn everything by "sitting" on command (video to teach this is at end of post):  being spoken to, petted, fed, taken out, brought back in.  Feed your older dog first and give him totally free attention, totally free.  You will be promoting him socially over the new dog and she will feel more secure.

You are most likely anthropomorphizing your older dog's behavior:  putting Human feelings and intentions to it.  Within a couple of months they should have worked it out between them but you must never reward his "clinging" and always insist that he is "first" in everything and does not have to earn your attention.

How to teach a dog to "sit" using positive reinforcement:

If your older dog is also feeling insecure and fearful, this is due to a lack of proper socialization to other dogs and is also part and parcel of bitch vs. dog; even a neutered dog will acquiesce to a spayed bitch.  Your beagle might be more confident in personality and may be a tad "pushy" with your older male; the NILIF regimen should change that.

Canine Behavior

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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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