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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last night Elphie and Skylar were playing in the garden, and DH was pottering around out there too when we heard Elphie cry out. I ran out and DH was holding her and reprimanding Skylar. Sky had flown full pelt into Elphie who was hiding in the bushes, which is her usual retreat when things get a bit heavy going. I immediately took Elphie and she was making a moaning sound. When I put her on the floor she was walking with a definite limp :eek: :eek: We watched her closely all evening and gradually she resumed to normal. Today she is running around like a mad thing again. Relief. Normally they play quite happily, but Sky does tend to get a bit full on at times. It is a tough call as to when to step in and when not to. Elphie can be just as mean to Sky sometimes and bites her face, ears etc. Sky does nothing to tell her off, and I thought she would. Elphie also eats Sky's food at the same time Sky does, and Sky does nothing!!! In the beginning Sky told her off, although only once, which was enough to stop Elphie for a while.
I very much think that Elphie is going to be the boss around Skylar...

Next week Elphie has her second jab and Skylar is being spayed. Not great timing, but it has to be now. We will just have to keep Elphie away from Sky.

We seem to be pulling Elphie off Sky when she gets a bit bitey and vice versa when Sky gets a bit over excited. Is this right? Should we always intervene or are we setting ourselves up for a fall? Also the food situation should we leave Sky to sort out Elphie. We have to pull Elphie off as she will end up HUGE!!! :eek:

Any suggestions from you multi dog owners would be great. :D

All in all though am loving have my two mad, but lovable girlies. :D :D
 

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When we brought Minnie-Moo home she was nine weeks old and much smaller than the other dogs so I did watch them closely, to make sure she wasn't accidentally hurt, but generally the other dogs were very gentle with her and she wasn't an overly bitey pup anyway.

I leave them to get on with things but keep an eye out - also I think puppies sometimes scream if they are worried rather than actually hurt. I remember the first day here Mins screamed horrendously and ran across the room, but I was there and watching and I know nothing happened, so I think it was just a "don't hurt me please" :) Gradually as she got bigger, I worried less
:)

On the subject of food, if it were me I would be making sure each dog was left in peace to eat. I wouldn't want a pup barging into my bowl and stealing my food. I taught Mins to "wait" for her own food from a very early age and then to wait until the other dog had finished eating and moved from their bowl, before she could approach. They "swap" bowls after they've finished but no-one is allowed to interrupt another eating :) Makes for a more harmonious household I feel!
 

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Hi Melanie, your girls sound lovely.

I must agree with Angela on both counts, I let my dogs sort out their own affairs, we can only hope to have the tiniest understanding of the complexities of their body language and doggy etiquette, and it makes for a more harmonious household if they all know where they stand.

I would step in of course if someone was getting hurt, but apart from that, we can sometimes confuse the issue if we step in, only understanding half of what has led up to the situation - often the dog being told off is the one who was in the right in the first place!

Feed times can be highly charged, particularly if the dogs feel that they are under threat of losing their dinner to another. It can lead to stress and eating too fast, and one day you may have a 'situation' on your hands.

My dogs eat in opposite corners of the kitchen and I stay in the room whilst this is all new, policing who finishes first and making sure they keep away from the bowls of the slower eaters. When all dogs have finished, they know they can check each others bowls which is something they seem to have to do :wink:

With new dogs, and I would suggest with Elphie, I used a light house line (or her lead) for this. While the dog is eating, I would either hold the end of the line or stand on it, when she has finished, you can then stop her from rushing over to steal Sky's dinner, speak to her calmly, tell her to sit and wait and good girlie maybe have a treat to give her at that stage. Once Sky has moved completely away from her bowl, you can give Elphie the release command 'OK!' and drop the house line. Elphie will soon learn that she is then free to check out Sky's bowl. You will need to do this every feed time, until you feel you don't need the line anymore and can do it using your voice and body to keep her away.

Eventually the dogs learn and just sort of hang around until they have all finished. The slow coach in our house is Bosun and the girls stand a respectful distance behind him sighing and tapping their nails until he finishes :roll: :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both for your very useful comments. I will definitely try the lead thing with Elphie if she gets any worse. I do stay in the room with them both whilst they are eating, and have just recently moved their bowls to opposite ends, which seems to be working out better. Sky had taken to just not eating and watching Elphie eat. Thankfully she has started to eat again. Phew. :D I have taught Elphie to sit and wait for her food, which is going ok. She does tend to stop eating and lunge towards Sky's bowl and I do pull her back and say NO. I think it is just a case of perserverance really.
I think it feels like quite a leap from one dog to two (bit like kids :D ) and we are just going through an adjustment period ourselves. Sure it will all be harmonious soon...hopefully. :D

Thanks again for the advice. :D :D
 
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