WHY does my dog DO that?!

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This post is sponsored by Just Right by Purina.

We have a puppy.

It’s been a LONG time since we’ve had a puppy. Our almost 10 year old puggies are NOT happy about the puppy. They’d like him to go away. And if I’m being honest, there are moments where I feel the same. But he’s super sweet, and he’s going to be an amazing dog one day. Not today, not tomorrow, but one day he’s going to hang the moon in this house.

For now though, we endure puppyhood. Bordeaux is 6 months and still all mouth, but getting better. Slightly. He’s considerably LARGER than our sweet puggies, and consequently EATS quite a bit more too (including poop – ewww). Which is why it’s been such a blessing to be a brand insider for Just Right by Purina. Not only do we get subscription personalized dog food for our growing beast, I get access to Purina experts which comes in handy because there were a few questions that even the Google couldn’t give me an decent answer to. So I tossed them to Dr. Gerardo Pérez-Camargo MRCVS. PhD. Global Pet Welfare and Behavior Manager. Surely, he could satisfy my inquiring pet-parent mind. Tell me if you haven’t wondered the same…

Q. We have two old dogs (pugs) and a new puppy (half-boxer, half-American Bulldog). One of the older dogs, the girl, is not in great health and has mobility issues. Instead of playing with the older male dog who likes to play with him (somewhat), the puppy is obsessed with the girl. He’s constantly standing over her, barking in her face, and pestering her in every possible way that he can. We allow her to nip at him to defend herself so she can try to keep alpha dog status, and we are constantly telling him to “leave it,” but I don’t know what else to do to train him that she is off-limits. Since he’s so much bigger, I’m afraid he’s going to hurt her with his extreme puppiness.

A: It is hard for puppies to understand that somebody might not want to play with them all the time.  It is also hard for senior dogs to put up with boisterous puppies.  For the puppy, it is all a game and the more you get involved the more attention he will enjoy.  It might be best to use a baby gate or divide the house in such a way that your girl pug can have some peace.  The baby gate still allows for visual contact and they can sniff one another, but makes it safer for her.  If you have time and patience, you can also teach your puppy how to interact in a gentle way with other dogs.  It will require a leash and treats, praising and treating your puppy when he is calm and ignoring him when he does not behave.

So that’s good stuff. But I had more questions. My girly girl Beni has a serious issue with anyone having fun.

Q. Why does my girl dog (pug) get mad when her littermate brother is playing? Instead of playing too, or trying to get the toy that he’s playing with, or the foot under the covers that he’s trying to pounce on, she attacks him – and rather viciously, I might add. It is the ONLY time she is ever aggressive and it is only to him. It’s as if she doesn’t want him to have any fun and she’s quite serious about it.

A: Dogs can have their own perspective and your girl pug might be thinking that her brother should be more serious and better behaved.  She might also be a bit jealous and want to have your undivided attention and is a bit annoyed by the competition.  

I completely cracked up on that one. “Annoyed” and “jealous” = nailed it. Dr. G knows his stuff.

I wasn’t done though. I really wanted an answer to this last one. Do your dogs do this?

Q. When my dogs are snuggling beside me on the bed or the sofa, why do they always have to put their bottoms towards my face? I’d much rather the other end.

A: Dogs – like people – can have several reasons for their behaviors; it’s not always easy to understand why they do what they do.  Some dogs prefer to rest their heads on an elevated pillow when they sleep, so try tempting them with a pillow to rest their head on.  Other dogs like to be scratched on their back at the base of their tails and will offer that end to us at every opportunity.  

And that makes perfect sense!  I’m always making sure I am within arms reach to get my back scratched by the hubs so… there you have it. We do the same thing! Doesn’t explain why I often wake up with Beni draped across my head, but I think it’s because she loves me so much. And she wants my pillow. Or as far away from that terror of a puppy as she can get.

What’s the strangest thing your dog does?

We are brand insiders for Just Right by Purina which provided the intellectual information for this post, as well as a steady supply of personalized dog food for our beast. All opinions are my own. I encourage you to learn more about this great dog food at JustRightPetFood.com.

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