Dear Miss Behavin’: My six month old puppy and I just moved into a new house where we have roommates and even a new doggie roommate. Rosie is misbehaving more than usual lately and is pestering our roommate’s dog, Captain. How do I help Rosie with the transition?
Change is hard, for people and dogs. Though you understand the process of moving to a new home, Rosie is feeling confused and out of sorts. Be patient as she becomes more familiar with her new surroundings and settles into her new home.
As much as possible, try to keep the new routine the same as the old routine. It’s enough for Rosie to adjust to a new environment, so try to keep her day to day schedule as similar as possible to her schedule before the move. Feed and walk her at her usual times, and continue her favorite activities like some daily fetch in the yard, or a weekly trip to the beach or dog park. If she seems particularly stressed, try to carve out some extra time to spend with her doing something she enjoys. After all, she looks to you for everything from shelter to food to comfort.
In terms of her pestering Captain, it’s not uncommon or unreasonable for an adult dog to be disinterested in playing with a puppy. If Rosie is jumping on or nibbling on Captain and he is trying to avoid her, call Rosie to you and play with her yourself instead. Soon she will learn who to go to when she is feeling playful. Take Rosie and Captain for walks together if possible. Walks are a more neutral and calm activity than play and can help Cap feel more relaxed around the puppy. For safety, make sure that they are separated when they aren’t being actively supervised so that Captain doesn’t feel the need to behave defensively.