Puppy Dominance Problems Over Toys

Please help I have puppy dominance problems. My puppy is very dominant around food and toys.

We have Akia, 2 in Sept which we have owned since she was 3 months old. She is trained and is normally a very good dog. She is a Yorkie Pom mix hybrid.

Four months ago we adopted a Japanese Chin. She has a front leg not connected to shoulder which does not cause her any pain or stop her from puppy antics and playing puppy games with other dogs. Because of this leg, I have not taken her to puppy obedience training classes as she could not take the walking for an hour or stand for that long. She limps and uses it just for balance. She is shorter in her front, but I am not sure if that is how they are built.

Our problem started a few months ago, she has become the dominant one where treats and toys are concerned. Regular dog food she shares fine. Akia lets her take her treats and toys and does nothing. Sometimes she does try to keep them, Shiloh growls and Akia just gives up.

Akia is not afraid of her any other time, they play and roughhouse and tear through the house together. One is submissive to the other equally during play. Until one gets angry or hurt then play stops and resumes in a few minutes. They did the humping thing at first to see who was dominant, seemed they were happy as equals. Til this came up. I give them their treats when I am in the room, when I am there watching naughty girl leaves her alone. She will hog all of the toys and treats if I let them be together and watch. I can take the things away with no problem.

Until I took her she had been in a basement in a kennel with her 3 siblings all the time. Never potty trained or been outside, except two trips to their vet for physicals and shots. She had no socializing, but was very loving and grateful for affection. She does well with using puppy pads for peeing. No mistakes. Pooping is now always near the pad, not always on it. I just clean it up and say nothing. When I try to tell her good girl when I see her do either right, she looks at me like I am nuts-all she did was relieve herself.

I love both girls, but feel bad for the first one as it seems she defers to new one too often. I do not want to find a new home for our new puppy. She would be hard to place because of the deformed leg-she is spayed now and is up-to-date on vet reguirements. I know I cannot change their personalities, would not want to; but Shiloh can be taught to be less aggressive and to share , I need some suggestions and then I need to be patient and consistent.
Any support for me?


Our Response

Hi, you sound like a wonderful person taking on a small puppy with special needs and you firstly need to congratulate yourself for doing this.

It sounds like your little puppy has had a bad start in life and this always brings with it added complications. Living in a basement and having to tough it out with other dogs has made her unwilling to share. It’s similar with brothers and sisters – you know when your sister or friend had a toy – you didn’t want it until you saw your friend playing with it. Your puppy has been used to fighting for the right to keep her toys and not share them and this behavior has stuck.

It’s good that your puppy is not showing any aggressive behavior and is just a little possessive – believe me it could be much worst.

1. Start by re-directing your puppy’s attention – positive reinforcement will work best.

2. Keep your puppy on a small leash and use the Sit command.

3. Take one toy out of the toy box and give it to your older dog. When your puppy goes to grab it – keep your hand on the leash and use the sit command. If your puppy continues to pull on the leash say ‘No’ in a firm voice.

4. Wait for the exact moment that your puppy responds positively and give her lots of praise and a treat.

5. Practice regularly.

Hope this helps and good luck – and again it’s people like you who make such a difference by providing homes for dogs with extra needs. Pat on the back for you!!

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