Hey everyone!
As a few of you may know we adopted a 3 year old Cardi from someone a few months ago.
He has been doing great! He isn't very shy anymore, doesn't bark at people outside of our home (he is very protective, but not aggressive) and loves to go on walks and go on car rides.

He bares his teeth at our Cardi pup, though. Even if our pup just comes up to him he will grin aggressively. Even if our pup is doing nothing! He will even growl sometimes. I find this odd since he obviously likes our pup- if our pup whines or welps he will come running over to check him out, and always wants to be by his side when they both go places, even being protective of him?
Any ideas what this is? I know older dogs like to keep the younger ones in check but he'll lash out at the pup even if he hasn't done anything.

Also, our pup is about 8 months old but has not been fixed yet. I don't want to get him fixed yet since he isn't spraying or being aggressive and I want to let his chest drop a bit more (it is almost there!!). We are planning to fix him next month.
However, he is becoming verrryyy suspicious of new people. He used to just run up to them, tail ablaze, happy as ever to meet a new person!
Now, he barks, head down, staring at them... watching their every move.
He has been WELL socialized with babies, children, adults, every animal under the sun- so it worries me a bit. Is this just doggie puberty? Will he get better about it after the snip?

Thanks so much!

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My almost 8 month old started doing the same thing a couple of weeks ago. I've decided (hope) it's a phase, as I vaguely remember Chloe doing it when she was a puppy. I've been telling him "no" when he barks, and we're trying to find friendly people who will stop and socialize with us even if he is barking initially. Once the person talks to him he wiggles up and asks to be petted, so I feel hopeful we can get past this. He went to puppy kindergarten and never barked at any of the other people there, let them pick him up, rub his tummy, etc. I know kids at about 6 to 7 decide the world is a scary place for a while, so perhaps this is something similar.

As far as your older dog goes, I cannot help. When we had Chloe, she and Rufus would wrestle fiercely, with lots of growling and teeth showing, but that's the only time I remember it happening. They sounded like they were killing each other, but were clearly having the time of their lives.
1) Your older dog is doing what he's supposed to do. Older dogs are supposed to discipline the younger ones, and just because you and I can't see what the puppy is doing to be offensive doesn't mean the older dog is wrong. The puppy probably came too close (invading personal space) or told him that he was considering taking that bone or something like that. Don't correct the older boy; as the young one learns his manners the behavior will fade away.

2) Eight months is classic for a sudden increase in fearful behaviors. Just keep working with him as though he is still a baby and it'll go away.

Neutering him won't change anything; it's a classic mistake to attribute everything to being intact. Eight months is young for me to even consider neutering; I prefer to wait until they're over a year. But no, it won't solve this fear period, nor will it solve any humping or peeing. In SOME dogs it curbs the marking, but I've got a rescue here who was neutered at five months and he still has to pee fifty times every time we go for a walk, and when the girls here are in heat he marks.


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