Loki learns to play with older dog

I made a mistake when I introduced Loki back home to my sister’s dog. My sister has a hyperactive two-year-old pekapom who doesn’t really have manners. Hes a very ‘in your face’ dog, and generally annoys the crap out of other dogs. Needless to say, this only works with more submissive dogs. Though Loki is smaller in size, he certainly acts, barks, and thinks hes an adult dog.

I brought Loki home in his crate and set him on the ground. The first thing Mochi did was, you guessed it, walked right up to the crate and sniffed Loki through the bars. Loki was not happy, and he gave several high-pitched “BACK OFF” barks to warn Mochi. After he settled down, I took Loki out and allowed him to explore the new house. Poor thing was shaking from fear, but it didn’t take him long to get used to his new environment. After he got more comfortable, I allowed him and Mochi to get to know each other. They were snappy with each other initially, so it was critical that I monitor their behavior. For the most part, they seemed to know their boundaries.

I’ve been reading on dog body language to understand when their growls are for play, and when their growls are for real. It quickly became apparent when Loki stole Mochi’s new birthday toy. Mochi gave a “back off” growl, but Loki still doesn’t know his limits. Before you know it, Mochi attacked Loki and Loki fought back and actually bit him…causing Mochi to yelp out loud. In hindsight, I should have either praised Mochi when Loki took his toy (for not toy guarding), and given Mochi one of Loki’s toys so they can learn to share. I had waited too long.

I also noticed that Loki has no problem pottying back home here. My parents have a spacious yard with plenty of grass, and Loki actually pottys really well under these conditions. At my house in Berkeley, our backyard is basically a dirtyard with bits and pieces of grass. I don’t think he likes it very much. I gave Loki the opportunity to go off leash here, which really helped because Mochi was here to lead Loki the right way. The boys liked to stick together, and I didn’t have to worry about Loki running off.

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