Nala and the case of the new puppy

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Sarafina's picture
Joined: 2015-07-12

Pet Profiles

Hi all, 

It's been a while since I've been on this forum as things have been a bit chaotic here for us. I'm here because we adopted a puppy this past Sunday, a 4 month old Lab/Pitbull mix (we think) and I'm not sure what to do. I can't tell whether or not these two are just not getting along or if they are trying to figure out the pecking order. 

- The puppy will take the bully stick right out of Nala's mouth (Nala just lets go) and when Nala does decide to go up to the puppy after, the puppy will growl and snap if Nala gets too close to the bully stick.

- The puppy will eat out of Nala's bowl and Nala just lets her. One time, while Nala is eating, the puppy started growling at her and Nala stopped eating and walked away. Now, Nala won't eat if the puppy is nearby. 

- Nala will randomly go up to the puppy and put her muzzle on the puppy's back/neck until the puppy reacts, which is usually snapping back attempting to bite Nala and the "fighting" starts. In addition to the muzzle, Nala also just goes up to the puppy and starts pawing at her. Sometimes after or during the "fighting", their tails will wag too. 

- When they're both tired from us training/playing with them, they are actually fine with each other and will actually sleep on the same couch

- When one of them comes into the room and doesn't see the other, they will walk around and look for the other

- When things are calm between them two, I've also seen them lick each other

Of course, with all of this, when things get too intense or if we're able to correct something in a timely matter, we do. They are both perfectly fine with us, just not each other. 

What do you guys think these behaviors are? Playing? Aggressive-ness? Dominance? If it is them trying to figure out the pecking order, what should we do and how long does it usually take?

Again, as usual with my posts, I apologize for the super long post and appreciate any responses I get. Thanks!