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Off Topic :
I could use some input re dog (pet) issues

Topic is Sleeping.

 WhatsRight (original poster member #35417) posted at 2:37 AM on Saturday, May 18th, 2024

For clarification, I use the term "puppy" to refer to all my dogs.

As you may remember, I have 5 dogs.

1) Jackie Chan, is the senior dog (black lab / jack russell) who is 15ish years old and basically eats / sleeps, and "grumpy growls" when the others go near her. Sight and hearing low. No real aggression. Has been an amazing dog. Has earned her rest.

2) Freckles, the 11-12 year old (jack russell / pug) also with hearing issues. Very stubborn, but basically agreeable.

3) April is the border collie / beagle mix - 3 years old. Fabulous dog when Maggie was with us. After her passing, has withdrawn. A total badass with all things scurrying in the back yard. Showing aggression /dominance toward Bella.

4) Bella is a 15 month old mini dachshund who has been a caregiver rather than a dog her entire life. For my H who recently passed away. She is now grieving, but also trying to learn to be a dog. Spends most of her time with the new pup - play scuffling. She can hold her own so far, but the pup is really growing.

5) Maddie is the new "dufus" pup…about 6 months old. Not housebroken.🙁 LOVES Bella. Has a huge heart. Just loves everybody - especially me. ❣️

I am not an owner of working/show dogs. But I have never had trouble before with dogs not getting along. I also have never had five dogs at once, while I’m trying to care for someone 24 seven. I guess I am overlooking, or being negligent in some areas.

Lots of potty accidents.

April’s dominant/aggressive behavior toward Bella. Even when just roughhousing a little bit in our den where we stay most of the time when we’re inside.

Today I was gone for about an hour, so I left the puppies outside playing. When I got home, I could hear Bella crying out, and as I ran to the backyard, April was pacing back-and-forth along the fence line (chain-link) and Bella was on the other side of the fence. Still don’t know how she did that. I was barely able to pull out the bottom of the chain-link fence so that she could come back in. There are never any marks on Bella, but I can see fear. And I am uncomfortable with the stance and expressions and intensity with which April plays. (When Bella "play fights" with Maddie, the new pup, they really get after it. And Bella is right in the mix. When April tries to get in the middle of it, her vocalizing sounds more like a serious growl - although her tail is (mostly) wagging. But Bella shows submission and sometimes rolls over on her back.) I won’t lie… I was extremely upset with April today and I popped her on her nose and yelled at her… Totally lost my shit.. I put her in a crate that I recently got for Maddie at night to help with potty training. Don’t worry, I have been chastised for, and told that the crate must never be a punishment.

I sent a text explaining the situation to the lady from whom I got our latest pup. The following was her response:


" Hey! Thanks for writing and asking.. even if it isn't a pup that came from us.

As for kenneling, I would crate all 3. That would help balance the power and hierarchy. With the huge changes in their lives recently, their little lives have been turned upside down.

I would use positive reinforcement for all... and let them out in pairs to help them build different friendships.

Incorporate toys, and only get those out during that playtime. (It will be a good icebreaker of they're nervous.)

As for the uneasy feeling that you're having, trust it!
Do not leave the dogs out when you leave... this could end up really bad! (They shouldn't be going under the fence.)

My dogs also act like guard dogs (pacing back and forth) when any dog is on the other side. It's in their DNA.

You have to treat them all equally... and YOU'RE THE BOSS. You have to correct the behavior and be calm.. no energy from you, says a lot to them. (Mom isn't happy.)

A routine is a must. Feed at the same time (in crate), potty together, crate separately...
When they earn it, they can do more... like all be out together.

The balance is off... they are smart and realize the absence of dad.

The biggest part:
April's breed says it all!!! That's her DNA! She is a boss and your protector.

April is trying to herd (control) Bella. Bella stayed with dad, now she's in big picture.. and near you.

Do not use the crate as a discipline tool (don't yell and put her in there. )

It is their safe place, ..give treats, meals, and lots of attention for going in

I would close the doors of the crates when not being used... and assign each crate to a dog. That is now their "bedroom."

For the record, I see a lot of wisdom in what she sent me. But I am not one who crates. So I have to admit that I’m resisting that part…that evidently very integral part… Of her suggestions.

I can’t say that I’m going to choose to follow whatever suggestions are given, but I know there are some really sharp dog owners out there, and I would love to hear your opinion if you have the time.

Thanks. I have a three day trip to Missouri planned in July, and a week long trip in Seattle Washington in September. Both to visit lifelong friends. I’m beginning to panic… For fear that I should not be leaving my dogs with anyone else while they are in "disarray".

Thanks for whatever input you may have.

"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy

posts: 8218   ·   registered: Apr. 23rd, 2012   ·   location: Southeast USA
id 8836934

Fantastic ( member #84663) posted at 3:21 AM on Saturday, May 18th, 2024

Hi there,
I only have experience of two dogs together, all newdoundlands, and I hate crates.

However if dogs are not good together, you need to consider to separate them when they are alone. That can be achieved with gates so they have individually enough personal space, especially if you are away for hours a crate is really a cruelty.

Keep us up to date

posts: 149   ·   registered: Mar. 28th, 2024
id 8836937

BearlyBreathing ( member #55075) posted at 5:40 AM on Saturday, May 18th, 2024

A crate can be a safe space, not a cage. Meaning the little ones will like the crates for the safety it brings, and they may be able to rest better there. And to be equal, have the older pups in another room or their own crates. My friends have dogs that love their crates and go there to hang out, so it is not a punishment.

(And yeah, not for hours upon hours but just when you run to the store and things like that. Or maybe overnight so everyone can rest easy.)

Five dogs is a lot and picturing them all with you is a pretty amusing picture :-) What is the dog equivalent of crazy cat lady :-) ?

Me: BS 57 (49 on d-day)Him: *who cares ;-) *. D-Day 8/15/2016 LTA. Kinda liking my new life :-)

**horrible typist, lots of edits to correct. :-/ **

posts: 6069   ·   registered: Sep. 10th, 2016   ·   location: Northern CA
id 8836952

tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 12:49 PM on Saturday, May 18th, 2024

I am fairly certain I have shared my thoughts on crates and 100%agree with the trainer. I had 3 Labs at once until Sept. The have their own crates. They go into them when home alone. For their safety and to keep them from being anxious. Once they have their established space they find it a space to rest. A spot to get away from the others if they don't want to be involved. Potty training goes much faster and they clearly communicate when they need to go out.
I also cannot agree more about not allowing them out when gone. People suck. They don't think twice to poison neighbor dogs that are barking. Dogs get confused when they get out and get anxious and run the risk of running away or getting hit.
Lastly Dachshunds are bred to burrow a mini getting under a fence is not surprising. We had neighbors that had one that was a total Houdini, and ended up getting hit by a car. So yeah please rethink that habit.
Lastly walking them all together can be great for bonding equalling the balance and help them bond.

Me: FBSHim: FWSKids: 23 & 27 Married for 32 years now, was 16 at the time.D-Day Sept 26 2008R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 20207   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8836966

 WhatsRight (original poster member #35417) posted at 4:38 PM on Saturday, May 18th, 2024

Thanks for all of this input.

Jackie Chan, the senior dog, sleeps on two cushioned flat dog beds put on top of each other, with a wool/fleece blanket, folded up on top. For cushioning for her sore joints. She loves it there and always stays there most of the days. She is never part of the drama, a simple parental low (half assed) growl when anyone gets close to her results in them walking in a different direction and everybody’s happy. I’m fairly certain that she would have no part of a crate. And I’m not all together certain that it wouldn’t be a little painful for her, to have to turn around in a confined space.

When I brought home the kennel that one of my family members loaned me, April went in it, but was not happy. Of course, I’m certain that my demeanor had something to do with that. 😏

However, Freckles, trained in a crate when she was young, basically has claimed the crate and doesn’t want to leave. I’m looking at her now across the room and the crate is sitting there with the door ajar, and she’s taking a nap. She hasn’t come out since April came out yesterday evening.

I feel certain that April would get used to it quickly when she sees that I am not angry with her. Even though one of the recliners in the room is "hers" and she spends all of her time that she is inside, on the recliner.

But I’m not sure what to do about the big hound pup, and Bella. I guess you all would say that it is ill advised to get a slightly larger crate and let them stay in there together. But they are inseparable. They both sleep with me on the couch. Most of the time on top of each other, or intertwined in someway. I envision them crying for each other all night long.

I feel that the mass confusion around here is basically my fault - because they have been insufficiently managed up until recently. That was unavoidable. I have already begun to turn that around.

My main concern right now is that April doesn’t seem "safe" to be with Bella when I’m not around. But I’m guessing you all would feel that having April in a crate and not crating Bella and Maddie would be counterproductive, even "unfair".

I have been spending lots of time with April today and giving her a lot of my attention. And she seems pleased with that. And if Bella is napping on the couch or walking across the room, April is unaffected. But when Maddie and Bella start their roughhousing, or when Bella moves to quickly…April goes on full alert. She nips at her back legs a little bit, but if Bella moves in a way that fires April up, that’s when the growl comes. Even with the tail wagging.

The suggestion about walking them together is awesome. Jackie would not be able to walk with us. There is no way she could keep up, and she tires so easily. And Freckles would tire too easily, too. But I know that Bella and Maddie would enjoy it, because I have taken them on short walks individually.
April is totally unimpressed with a leash, but I’m sure we could get there.

Maybe to start, I could get the three dogs walking together. Maybe if they can see that they are a "pack" on the walk, it would transfer over to playing in the backyard or playing in the den.

I’m definitely going to try to start implementing some things and hopefully by the time that I leave to go on a short trip, they will be in a better place.

Thanks again for your help.

"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy

posts: 8218   ·   registered: Apr. 23rd, 2012   ·   location: Southeast USA
id 8836976

tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 2:38 AM on Sunday, May 19th, 2024

I didn't mean to kennel your adult elderly dogs that have a routine and can be trusted in the home alone. I would not co kennel any dogs that you do not feel full 100000000% comfortable that they are safe together.

We have co-kenneled our big boy and girl that passed in September but only because we absolutely trusted they would be fine. We did this for convenience on a cross country trip and collapsible kennel that would contain them both. Honestly it was gigantic and we called it the lions cage. Lol. They were fi e together but avoided giving bones when they were alone.

[This message edited by tushnurse at 2:29 PM, Sunday, May 19th]

Me: FBSHim: FWSKids: 23 & 27 Married for 32 years now, was 16 at the time.D-Day Sept 26 2008R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 20207   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8837011

Fantastic ( member #84663) posted at 3:48 AM on Monday, May 20th, 2024

I have many reasons to hate crates, first because I saw videos of dogs getting badly hurt when they tried to escape, second because some people, with the excuse of "safety" for the dogs, lock them in there when they go 8 hours in the office plus 2 hours commuting time every day, so the poor animals stay in a cage 10 hours during the day and again all night and for me that is without doubt animal cruelty!

My dog had to stay 32 hours from Europe to the USA in the crate! Of course it was not a 32 hours flight but two flights and stupid customs rules made a 15 hours trip a real nightmare with many delays. So in my home the crate is there now without the door and never been used since.

Anyway to get my pup used to the crate I put her food and her water there and having bought the largest one that was available, I stayed inside there with my dog reading a book and keeping her company and gradually detaching myself for some minutes and every time making her time alone in there a big longer just for her to be able to withstand her move from Europe.

I guess at one point we will be moving back to Europe and either she becomes a service dog so she can travel with me or her trip back will be her next nightmare, poor baby!!

[This message edited by Fantastic at 3:51 AM, Monday, May 20th]

posts: 149   ·   registered: Mar. 28th, 2024
id 8837092

 WhatsRight (original poster member #35417) posted at 3:28 PM on Monday, May 20th, 2024

I wanted to ask a question.

I would be totally comfortable with Maddie and Bella in a crate together. Every moment that they are not outside playing or eating, they are curled up together on the couch. They eat out of the same bowl at the same time. Sometimes Maddie is at the foot of the couch and Bella is behind my knees. Sometimes they are just curled up nose to nose on the couch together.

When they play fight, it sounds rough. There are open mouths on throats. They will have each other on their backs. Back and forth. If I’m listening to the TV and can’t hear it because of their scuffling around, I will say something to them or touch one of them. They immediately stop what they’re doing and look up at me like I’m interfering in their activities. I love on each one of them for a couple of seconds, and they start right back at it. There is no hair raised, and no "off" looks in their eyes.

When April enters into that type of play with them, it becomes more like "two on one". And of course, I don’t allow that. Also, even though April’s‘s tail is wagging, she has a menacing look in her eye. But when she nips at Bellas back legs, It’s like with the very tips of the front of her teeth… Tiny nipping that could never hurt her.

My question is, do you think that I am underestimating the play between Bella and Maddie? There are many reasons that I feel that it is only play. Maddie will roll around on her back so Bella can have the top position every now and then. And then she is very gentle when Bella is on her back . And never once have I watched them play and gotten a funny feeling about Bella‘s safety or Maddie‘s temperament. What is different with April is that she sort of drops her head and it’s almost like stalking when she comes near Bella. She will gently nip her back legs, but there’s something in her face that I don’t like. And that growl of hers is just super crazy. And I guess it doesn’t help things that I have seen Bella chase down and rip from end to end little critters that scurry in our yard.

When Bella is still, April is not interested. So part of me wonders if it’s not the movement. Because Bella is super quick.

Oh well. I will continue to monitor them.

I need Cesar Millan to come to my house.

"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy

posts: 8218   ·   registered: Apr. 23rd, 2012   ·   location: Southeast USA
id 8837139

SackOfSorry ( member #83195) posted at 8:13 PM on Monday, May 20th, 2024

I would not be comfortable with 2 dogs in one crate unsupervised. I mean, I do have an enormous pop-up crate, and I have put 2 dogs in it at an obedience/rally trial when I'm sitting beside them waiting for our turns to compete. I'm right there. Even then, I ask someone I know to keep an eye when I go to the washroom.

When I was a child, my grandfather used to hunt with a fellow that had a kennel of redbones, black and tan coonhounds, Walkers, and a few bird dogs - German shorthaired pointers, Brittany spaniels. I remember that he kenneled 2 dogs together. I can't remember which 2 but I think one was a GSP, and they ripped each other apart. Even dogs that get along well have the odd temper tantrum and things can be ON in an instant. It's just not a chance worth taking, imo. I don't like to compare dogs to people but we all get mad at people we normally love, and while we're not usually physically violent because we're people with standards, it should never be forgotten that dogs are animals and they do not have ethics and morals and laws, kwim? Some females do suffer from same sex aggression, and it can get to the point where they really can't even live together. BTDT. I had to place a rescue dog into another home because she just could not tolerate or be tolerated by a female I had long-term. My loyalty was with my old dog, not the new rescue in that case.

I tend to use crates for younger dogs. Older dogs have usually earned their rights, and may be only crated when we're not home. Some of them can be trusted loose in the house, some can't. Currently, I have a 12 year old and a 3 year old. They are both crated while I'm at work - I'm gone for a total of 5 1/2 hours four times a week. The rest of the time they are loose, and they sleep with me. If I'm going shopping for a couple of hours, they can stay loose in the house now. Well, the 12 year old could for quite a while, it's relatively new for the 3 year old. I've been building him up for that. I keep a close eye on him because he's had obstruction surgery already. If he slips up, he'll be back to his crate when I'm not here to supervise.

Dogs/puppies having lots of potty accidents have not earned freedom rights for sure. The crates can really help with that.

The 2 young ones are kind of littermate bonding. They need times of the day where they are separated, they need to be worked with individually. Adding a new dog when a present dog isn't trained already isn't something I would have done. When I was breeding and doing rescue, it's not a situation I'd have placed a new dog/puppy into. Just being honest.

April is obviously a problem. I would be concerned because she can seriously hurt Bella if things keep escalating. Playing is fine. Rough play should not be tolerated, imo. Perhaps you would all benefit from visit a with a behaviourist.

I have had as many as ten big, working breed dogs in my house. That was when I was younger and more physically capable, and they ALL went to obedience classes with me. They all had Canine Good Citizen certificates, most later had obedience and/or rally titles. Basic obedience training is really a must, imo, especially for multi-dog homes. They need to understand basic rules and commands, they need to understand who their leader is, they need to learn to obey commands in the presence of other dogs, they need to learn that being around other dogs is not an automatic free-for-all.

Me - BW
DDay - May 4, 2013

And nothing's quite as sure as change. (The Mamas and the Papas)

posts: 123   ·   registered: Apr. 11th, 2023
id 8837183

 WhatsRight (original poster member #35417) posted at 9:46 PM on Monday, May 20th, 2024

To be clear, I wasn’t saying that I plan to put Bella and Maddie in the same crate. I was responding to tush’s comment about how I needed to feel 1,000,000% confident, which I’m assuming mostly meant you could never be that sure, and so I was just expressing that I was very confident in them not being the issue.

For the past couple of days I have let the dogs outside in the morning, and I have gone into the sunroom and watched through the windows there at how they behave. April goes one way sniffing and poking around, and April goes another. There haven’t been any situations that concern me.

But I do know that if Bella and Maddie go outside when April is there, and they are playing rough, that’s when April gets all hyped up. So I have stopped allowing Bella to go outside with the other dogs when they go outside for now.

I feel that April is the one to whom I need to give my attention. My dachshund is typically tough, but she is not an instigator and she is not the problem. Maddie Agnes Dufus is most certainly the problem, unless you count her puppy goofiness.

I appreciate the concern that all of you are showing. I got Maddie as a gift to April. After she lost her daddy. And Maddie has gone much farther in filling that void in her than I could ever have hoped for. I just didn’t count on April’s response.

We will figure it out. I will be certain not to leave Bella alone with April until I can feel better about the situation.

Just FYI, April always "stands down" whenever I chastise her for getting to rough. I have never had a problem with her before.


"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy

posts: 8218   ·   registered: Apr. 23rd, 2012   ·   location: Southeast USA
id 8837197

grubs ( member #77165) posted at 10:06 PM on Monday, May 20th, 2024

hat is different with April is that she sort of drops her head and it’s almost like stalking when she comes near Bella. She will gently nip her back legs, but there’s something in her face that I don’t like. And that growl of hers is just super crazy. And I guess it doesn’t help things that I have seen Bella chase down and rip from end to end little critters that scurry in our yard.

That sounds like classic border collie behavior from April. The growl and face is a sign that Bella is doing something she doesn't like and April is focused on getting Bella back in line. April sees Maddie as needing protection or her exclusive play buddy and Bella as an outsider. You have to redirect that for her. This will likely settle down as Maddie grows and the new order pecking order settles in.

I'd also be careful with excluding Bella from all outside time with other dogs. I agree with not having Bella, Maddie, and April out together especially for now, but think it would be better to rotate which of the three stays inside. That way relationships will still be formed between Bella and all the dogs while minimizing altercations.

posts: 1605   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
id 8837202

 WhatsRight (original poster member #35417) posted at 2:20 AM on Tuesday, May 21st, 2024

Oh yes… that’s a good idea to rotate who stays inside when everyone goes out to pee in the morning.

I knew I could find some really good ideas from this large group of puppy lovers!


"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy

posts: 8218   ·   registered: Apr. 23rd, 2012   ·   location: Southeast USA
id 8837226
Topic is Sleeping.
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