Jealous dogs

Posted by Heidi11
Oct 1, 2010
Hi there,

I have a 6 month old Moodle pup who is very friendly. I also live with a housemate who has a 6 yr old Lab. Very well behaved, and gets along with most dogs ok.

Initially when we brought Lenny (my Moodle) home, Douglas (Lab) and his got along ok, Lenny was submissive and kept his distance from Doug.

Douglas is a very jealous dog and sooks when he doesn't get the attention. On the last 2 occasions we have had the two dogs together, Douglas has snapped at Lenny for no reason.
The only explanation we have is that Doug was jealous of Lenny.

So I have two questions:
1. How do I get the two dogs to get along without fear of Douglas biting Lenny? How do I integrate them together?
2. How do I get Lenny to stop jumping up at Douglas's face (which I think probably annoys Douglas).

Posted by kjd
Oct 1, 2010
Hi, Heidi,

I doubt Douglas is jealous of Lenny. You said Lenny jumps up at Douglas's face is this when he snaps? As far as Douglas is concerned, Lenny is an undisciplined brat and he is putting him in his place, teaching him manners. If Lenny gets too pushy, they may have a fight which will look terrible to you. One, probably Lenny, will end up on his back, while the other "humps" him (not sexual; even female dogs do this). They will have established who is who and there will be no more problems.

BTW, what is a Moodle (cross between a poodle and what)?

Posted by Heidi11
Oct 1, 2010
Generally it is when Josh (Douglas's owner) cuddles Lenny, as soon as Lenny is put on the floor with Doug and goes near him he'll snap.
There has only been one occassion when Doug snapped at Lenny when Lenny jumped at his face when he was sleeping - which is justified.

A Moodle is a Poodle x Maltese.

So do you suggest that we leave them (supervised) until they accertain who is boss? At what stage would we stop them if they do fight?

Thanks for your help,
Posted by KOPCaroline
Oct 2, 2010
Hey Heidi,

When you say Lenny is jumping at Doug's face, is he licking around Doug's mouth, or just jumping at him? Licking and pushing into another dogs face is a sign of submission, my flatmates dog does it to mine when they see each other in the morning, its a sign that the other dog is moreso alpha.

If Doug is snapping when Lenny gets attention from Josh, it is probably a hierarchy related problem, in that Doug thinks he's first after Josh, so when Josh shows Lenny attention, Doug questions it. Unfortunately, one way to help is have Josh pick Lenny up more often and cuddle him, while ignorning Doug. With the ignorning, Doug should learn its ok for Lenny to be paid attention to.

You can help re-establish the order in the house, if you're ok with Doug being dominant over Lenny, which will probably be easier now, by reiterating who's first between them. Obviously this idea is a bit contradictory to my suggestion above, but its about establishing hierarchy and desensitizing Doug to things he make not like so much. After all, you two (the owners) are alpha overall. Regardless, feed Doug first, give him toys first, say hi to him first when you get home (this mostly applies to his owner, Josh). It'll help him get confidence back.

Fights are bound to happen, even between very friendly dogs. Our two at my house have snips every now and then, but its nothing to worry over. Its much like sibling rivalry. If the two get along, the bad behaviour they show will be moreso warnings, not full on aggression. You can yell and "oi" or "hey" to break the fights up if it sounds like its getting too intense for your liking. Or spray them with water. You just want to get their attention on something else for the moment, it shouldnt come down to you prying them apart.

I hope this helps and that the snapping decreases