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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
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Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Why would a younger pomeranion dog tend to wish to dominate

Resolved Question:

Why would a younger pomeranion dog tend to wish to dominate sometimes with aggression, an elderly cocker spaniel making the spaniel become quite depressed
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I'd like to help with your concerns about Paris trying to behave in a dominant fashion with your older Cocker Spaniel.
Unfortunately the behavior that you are seeing is fairly normal. It's based upon natural selection and survival. Older pack members, or those that are sick, would be ostracized in a pack to stop infectious diseases from being passed or to prevent older, no longer productive members of the pack taking needed resources from productive members of the pack.
In a home environment with unlimited resources dogs tend to be less aggressive with other, older members, but in some cases natural instincts take over and we do see aggression. We also see more episodes of aggression when the older dog's position in the home is artificially supported by the people in the home. This stimulates the younger, stronger dog to physically assert his or her dominance to try and put what should be the submissive, lower rung on the dominance ladder dog back into place. When the older dog is continually allowed priority access to food, resting places, and attention from owners that only makes the relationship between the dogs more contentious.
By supporting the younger dog's place in the pack, allowing her access to food first, being brought in and outside first, getting attention first, and being given premium resting places, we may be able to restore the peace.
That doesn't mean your older fellow doesn't get attention or treats, it just means he gets them after the dominant dog. It also doesn't mean that the younger dog can bully your older fellow. You are ultimately the "top dog" in the pack and you don't need to allow bullying. Reward peaceful behavior when she is tolerant of or ignores the older pup. Until the situation is worked out it may be better to avoid aggression triggers, so it may be better to walk them separately, making sure she is walked first.
I do think that feeding them separately is best long term, and make sure she is always fed first.
I know that this is difficult to see, and our natural response is to support and protect the older dog, but it will be better for all to restore peace, and that means acknowledging the natural dominance order and supporting it.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
To help keep the peace you need to reinforce the younger, stonger
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 15918
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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