View Full Version : Poor Phoebe

06-22-2009, 07:00 AM
Dear little Phoebe who is now over 17yo is having a few problems with the "new" boys. Luke and Joey are just too rough. Most of the time Phoebe is just in the wrong place at the wrong time and gets body slammed into wall and furniture. Sometimes Luke thinks she might be worth playing with and jumps on her.

Phoebe, who is deaf and can only see vague shadows, is getting jumpy now. It's hard to keep them separated all the time and I am struggling trying to protect her. She just wants to be wherever I am and so does Luke.

Any suggestions?


06-22-2009, 07:40 AM
Have a look at this: http://www.clickertraining.tv/product.html?item=FREE-36 Different species (cat) but a similar problem with playful, rumbustious, youthful behavior but the same technique ie teaching behaviors that aren't the undesired behavior should work at your place. You could even reward being at least 2 feet away from Phoebe, walking away from her, ignoring her, being on the other side of you from her and generally avoiding her and being calm in her presence.

I needed to do similar stuff with Zac - only it was me getting the body slams! He is not only a naturally pretty hyper young dog but in his first home hyper behavior had been pretty consistently reinforced (and occasionally punished just to add some anxiety and confusion to the mix) so initially his default setting was "air borne":eek::eek::eek:. Now he acts just about comatose in my presence (because this is what gets him my attention) and when he sees me coming with the budgies' cage (which I put out on the table every morning) he heads happily for his crate and waits for my attention rather than knocking me and the cage and everything flying (all in fun or course!) which would be his 'natural' reaction.

Mia handled Zac in her own pretty similar way - she'd give the standard canine calming signals and if his hyperness continued she'd stalk off to her crate (which I set up as a creep so he couldn't get in) when he got "silly". When he was calm she'd come out and even play with him if he could keep a lid on it. He did learn to play nice with her too which meant that all their games consisted of her doing all the chasing and him doing all the running away.


06-22-2009, 09:01 AM
Oh Jenny,
That would be just horrible for Lady right now....she just sees shadows and is very jumpy. She over-reacts to anything that comes at her. She likes being close to the point of almost constantly touching. It makes me think that she's gone back to the new puppy stage where they haven't developed their sight yet and need to be touching or they're lost and confused.
This last few days Lady has been walking closer to walls and furniture to get her bearings.
I'm sorry that I don't have any ideas for you...
Jo-Ann & Lady

06-22-2009, 09:53 AM
Hi Jen,

I really don't have any good ideas either. I think the big issue is you have two and they are rough with each other and don't see being rough with Phoebe as an issue. Talos sometimes gets too rough with Moria, but she sees well and is so much larger that it is not much of an issue.


Squirt's Mom
06-22-2009, 11:27 AM
Hi Jenny,

I am so sorry the boys are giving Phoebe such a hard time. :( These younger pups just don't understand that seniors don't have the same energy or interest in playing that they do.

We have the same problems with Crys. She is so rambunctious and wants the others to play with her so badly she sometimes gets way too rough. Ruby will lay into her and has hurt her several times, once rather badly, but Crys STILL tries to engage her. Squirt and Goldie will also growl and jump at her trying to nip but they are so small compared to Crys, she can easily get away...and thinks that is a game, too.

I bought a clicker and tried to use it with Crys...she thinks that is the neatest sound she ever heard and want IT. I have really tried to follow the directions and suggestions, but nothing seems to work with her. Everything is a game, except for her muzzle.

I wish I had an answer for you, but I am looking for one myself. :rolleyes: Do your best to protect Phoebe until the boys figure it out. Hopefully the obedience classes will help.


Roxee's Dad
06-22-2009, 11:42 AM
Hi Jenny,

Sorry Phoebe is having to go thru this:( It may be too late to try this but when I bring a new pup into the house, weather it's going to be mine or a guest pup, I wait until I notice they want to do something that's a no-no, I use a high voice, not a scream but in an I mean it voice and use the sound eeeeeehhhhh! Kind of like trying to imitate the buzzard on a game show when you get the wrong answer.
The first time it's startles them and really gets their attn, now whenever say like LittleBit starts eyeing a rabbit to chase or gets to close to Roxee, I just say eeeeehhh in a normal voice and they stop immy in their tracks.

Hope you find something that works.

06-22-2009, 02:32 PM
Hi Jenny,

Do you have a (fenced in) garden where the boys can play? Because in that case I would concentrate on teaching them that rough play is only allowed outside. And that indoors they need to behave calmly.

As you may know (or not :D ) I am a huge believer of the "pack-leader" theory. And as the pack-leader, you decide what goes on inside the house (your domain, not theirs) So you can even stop them playing roughly together indoors. An other thing you can do is to let Luke know that you, as the pack-leader, do not appreciate it when he follows you around all the time (thus giving Phoebe more "rest"...) Being the pack-leader is all about your behaviour towards them and being consistent :) So it means not allowing Luke and Joe to play rough in the house (and not only when Phoebe is around), sending Luke away when he tries to follow you all the time (start some training with him so he knows how te be alone for a little while, this will help increase his independance) And all it will do, is show them (through your consistent behaviour), you are the pack-leader...and they will appreciate it immensely, once they understand the situation :)

Saskia and Yunah :)

06-22-2009, 02:33 PM
Hi Jen,

I am not sure if this will help in the interim (until they wear themselves out or get over being rough housers) but have you tried blocking off some areas? Using baby gates to signify this is Phoebe's space and this is your's you wild boys. With baby gates, they can see each other, but not get at each other.


06-22-2009, 04:53 PM
I have started keeping them separated during the day while I am at work. Phoebe gets to stay inside with her bed and part of the house and the boys one room with doggie door for outside.

If I made the boys sound wicked, they really are not just a bit boisterous. Luke does respond to correction but seems to have a short attention span and tries to do it again a short time later.

We are working on getting Luke and Joey to understand that the inside of the house is not a race track and Phoebe is not Luke's personal fluffy toy. Definitely a work in progress.

A few years ago Phoebe would have put these boys in their place herself but now in her senior years I am going to have to be the enforcer. She deserves a little peace and quiet at her age.


06-22-2009, 09:17 PM
Hi Jenny,

Poor little Phoebe. I can feel her pain. I brought two younger ones into the house after Friskie passed away and Snicky was lonely. Although we had our moments (including emergency)...you have a BIG age difference.

Phoebe is 17. She deserves her peace. If she were 13 or so, it may be a different story. I think it was a good idea to put her in a separate area while you are away.

The boys are not wicked. They are just pups. Pups will do what they will do. It is the age difference (ie pups in a go-cart and granny with a cane). :eek:

Adorable little Phoebe (and I love that photo by the way) deserves her precious moments of relaxation. Let them all be together when you are home. She needs to know that she is safe and protected. She will appreciate that.

Lots of hugs,
Heidi...the bichon herder