2 dogs one House

Posted by Michelle1979
Nov 30, 2011
Hi I just downloaded the Secrets to Dog Training. I read the section on 2 dogs one house but I am not sure which of my dogs is top dog. I have a 3 year old female German Pinscher who is and always has been a resource guarder (with other dogs not people). And I got a 3 month old Miniture Pinscher at the end of October. She is also a resource guarder (with other dogs not people) so I don't feed them together. I feed Jade the German pinscher in the kitchen first. While she is eating I place Pixie the Min Pin in her crate to eat. Jade is always done first and then goes and checks out Pixie in her crate. Pixie growls at her but continues eating and eventually Jade walks away. When Pixie is done Jade always checks Pixie's create.
I have been treating Jade like she is the top dog because thats what make sence to me. And Pixie seems to follow Jade around. They play alot! and Jade is usually very careful of her little friend. Pixie gets hurt occasionally and lets out a high pitched cry. Jade and Pixie stop playing until Pixie is ready for more. Usually about 15 seconds later. They curl up together on the dog beds and clean eachothers ears and are generally very cute together. But we have a recipe for disaster because if we are sitting on the couch with Jade and Pixie approaches sometimes Jade will growl and lunge at Pixie. There has been no damage to our new little puppy but she is scared of Jade for a while after the tiff. We have had Pixie 4 weeks now and this has happened now 4 times. This recipe of people sitting on the couch with Jade and Pixie approaching has an ingredient that I am not aware of. Most times Pixie joins us and everything is fine. Just once a week it is not.
I am already feeding Jade first and greeting her first. Am I missing something or do I need to hire a behavioralist?
Posted by KOPCaroline
Dec 2, 2011
Hey Michelle,

It sounds to me like you've got a good grip on Jade being the dominant dog. There is always an adjustment period when a new animal/dog joins a house that already has a dog, and I'm pretty sure thats all that is going on here.

From the sounds of it, even after a little tiff between Jade and Pixie things seem to calm down quickly. Pixie is a young pup, so her lingering fear or anxiety is normal - especially with Jade being bigger and "boss dog". It sounds like they are sorting through their issues well, though, with minimal fighting and quick recoveries.

I like that you are feeding them seperately - it definitely sounds like a good idea, so I would continue with that!

The only thing I might advise is to kick both dogs off the couch when one of their snipping episodes happens - that way they both get the idea that fighting on the couch is not allowed. Leave them off the couch for at least half an hour or so afterward. Its probably best to train them now that they are only allowed on the couch if they've been invited - that is, if you tell them to get on. If they jump up on their own put them off again. This will help them both realize the couch belongs to neither of them - so they have to behave for it!

Hope this helps, it sounds like things are going normally so I wouldn't worry too much - just continue what you have been doing and I'm sure they will settle down
Posted by Michelle1979
Dec 2, 2011
Hi Caroline
They do seem to settle down very quickly after a tiff. We have noticed that Pixie waits for Jade to invite her into her space now when she is on the couch. She usually lets Pixie Know by a play bow or a play bark. Its very cute to see them play together.
We are going to work with the dogs on new couch rules. I have always let Jade onto the furniture so this will be knew for her. I will let you know how it goes! Thank you so much for the advice.