Help! The Puppy Wants to Be Alpha

by Brooke
(USA)


I have a 5.5-year-old female Australian Shepherd / Bearded Collie mix from the Humane Society. I adopted her when she was 2. She was found on the streets, didn't know what toys were for, didn't know what a ball was. She has been through training, lots of chewing and times when it just seemed impossible to keep her. Eventually, she bonded with our cat. They would curl up together, touch nose to nose.

In 2019 my spouse died. In 2020 my 19-year-old cat died just a few days after the anniversary of my spouse. While taking a cat tree and food to the Humane Society I came upon a 6-month-old female puppy Miniature Aussie. I brought my older dog to see her. We felt the meeting went well so she has been living with us just about 6 months. The last few months have been rocky to say the least. She wants to be the Alpha and the older dog is not buying it!

The puppy starts growling at the older dog and it gets louder. I move her to the floor and the older dog who had started growling even louder than the puppy goes to tell her who is boss. So the fight ensues.

From the first day I made sure my older dog was treated as the Alpha, greeted first, fed first, played with first etc. When the aggression was getting too frequent and my older dog decided not to come in the bedroom any more I moved the puppy to a crate in the bedroom and made sure by leash that my older dog came up on the bed and then could sleep where she wanted. She now comes into the bedroom but prefers to sleep on the floor as while sleeping she has rolled of the bed several times. I have also moved the puppy to the floor while making sure the older dog is on the couch. The Vet has both on a Calm medication.

They do run and play together. The puppy, of course, is very fast and can get the ball before the older dog, who now chooses not to chase for it, even if I throw two balls at once.

I want what is best for both and I am beginning to think that the puppy may need to find a new home. I need suggestions pro and con. If anyone has suggestions on how to better handle this situation so that they are both with me and happy I would really appreciate your input. If you don't think they should be together I need to know that too.

Thanks

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