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Our 3 year old dog is protective of our younger dog

Foreverwalking

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Hi there!
I’m new to this forum and hope you could all shed some light on a situation we’re in….

we have a 3 year old staffy and she’s an absolute sweetheart, compliments wherever she goes! She’s so tolerant of the JRT we got nearly a year ago and they love to play as well as chill out together. As we’ve worked on his recall and focus training (no mean feat with a stubborn JRT!), he’s now a little angel off lead and has been for the last 2-3 weeks. This is where we’ve noticed a slight problem - if he’s given permission to say hello to other dogs (or they come bounding up to him), my staffy seems to want to break it up by shoving the other dog and grumbles at them.

I feel that she’s worried about her little buddy and wants to keep him safe, but I’d really like to understand a bit more about what’s going on and how we might help her to relax when he’s socialising with other dogs. I really look forward to hearing some thoughts and tips ☺️
 

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I LOVE the photos of the two of them together - partners in crime!

Some dogs do get termed the 'fun police', liking everyone to be nice and orderly. My only suggestion is that when the JRT is off lead, you keep the Staffie on lead but give her some treats or let her forage for them on the ground - maybe a bit of 'watch me' training or similar. Then JRT can socialise, and Staffie is also having a good time and is distracted from him.
 
I LOVE the photos of the two of them together - partners in crime!

Some dogs do get termed the 'fun police', liking everyone to be nice and orderly. My only suggestion is that when the JRT is off lead, you keep the Staffie on lead but give her some treats or let her forage for them on the ground - maybe a bit of 'watch me' training or similar. Then JRT can socialise, and Staffie is also having a good time and is distracted from him.

thank you so much for this idea, it’s definitely worth a try! She loves her ball so this morning she had that and was less interested in what he was doing.
 
Hi and welcome, really lovely picture! What are their names?
 
Hi and welcome, really lovely picture! What are their names?

Hi! They are Zoe and Teddy taking their photo is one of my hobbies now I have an empty nest they really are my babies and get all our attention lol
 
What lovely friends they are! It is a real joy to be with dogs who don't just live together, but are good friends too.

In terms of your Staffie's inclination to split her friend from other dogs, I would take a slightly different tack. Don't assume you know better than she does when it comes to dog body language. She's the expert.

That makes me suggest you could look maybe more critically at the JRT's relationship with unfamiliar dogs, both those he runs up to and those who run up to him. Are you sure the greetings are genuinely polite and respectful? Or is it rough housing and 'play'? How does it start and (more importantly) how does it end? Dogs do not have to make physical contact in order to make friends, any more than humans do. A lot of friendly communication can take place at a distance, if dogs are given the opportunity to do this, rather than being encouraged to play with or greet lots of dogs.

Your two dogs already have a healthy and happy friendship with each other and with you, and I reckon your clever Staffie knows that that's all they need to have.
 

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