Our new pup Zoey is a love but is showing dominance over our 6 year old Spaniel mix, Maggie. Maggie was a pound dog and had a rough early life. We've had her for 3 years and have never needed to correct her. Zoey is pushing her out of the way (Maggie is bigger), making her move and so on. Poor Maggie seems to want ME to make it stop and doesn't stand up for herself. Maggie and our Golden Retriever, Phoebe (deceased) did well together but she was pretty submissive too. Has anyone been through this?

You need to be a member of Doodle Kisses to add comments!

Join Doodle Kisses

Email me when people reply –


  • Going through it right now, except my GR is 14 years old and very arthritic. I do step in because Fozzy mounts him, and due to his arthitis, he is weak, and his legs go out from under him and he falls. Otherwise, Boomer does stand up for himself, but he cannot defend himself when he is jumped on. I may be wrong in doing this, but I feel I owe it to Boomer.
    • I don't think you're wrong at all. It's your house, your pack and you get to decide as the head of household =)
      Plus it's one thing for a healthy, physically able dog to be left to defend himself against a bratty pup...another for an arthritic weaker dog.

      Our 13 y.o. Cass is arthritic but still doing very well, except not as fast as she used to be and does have trouble with weak back legs. But she is and was a very strong alpha and Rosco does not mess with her. If he did I would not allow it.
  • I think most older adult dogs try to be tolerant of annoying, rude puppies (which they ALL are ;-)) early on but Maggie may start to tell her to 'knock if off' in a few weeks as Zoey gets bigger and less of a puppy. Is Maggie healthy? If so I would just make sure she has a place to 'get away' and hang out without Zoey's interference and not worry about it.

    You really can't control WHO is the boss dog among the dogs under just happens naturally. So it may be that Zoey is going to be higher on the totem pole or it may simply mean that she's just testing boundaries and teasing Maggie trying to get her to play.

    But if you feel like Maggie is incapable of escaping Zoey's constant harassing then you can teach Zoey a command that lets her know that continuing what she's doing will result in a time out or crate time. I like using "That's Enough" or "Enough" as the command word, but you can use whatever sounds natural to you and always follow through with separating Zoey from Maggie by crating her for a bit if she continues.
    • Thanks, Maggie is healthy and could defend herself if she tried. I do give her time "away" and extra attention. I guess they'll have to work it out. But it's hard to see. Maggie is very sweet and really did have a tough beginning in life!
      • But her tough beginning was years ago. Dogs live in the moment...Maggie is NOT thinking about her past at all. While past experiences can shape a dog's point of view and behavior...I think we hold dogs back if we dwell on the past and feel sorry for them, because they just don't do that. The past is over.

        RIGHT now she has a great life and that is what matters =)
This reply was deleted.