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D2006-28

Dear Daisy Dog

I have a 9-year-old border collie and a recently adopted 3-year-old Boston terrier. They get along fine together and with most dogs that visit.

However, my border collie acts depressed and almost fearful around the pit bull puppy my daughter adopted last weekend.

How can I help my usually “alpha” female border collie adjust to this new family member?

Daisy Responds

As I age, I become less tolerant of puppies that leap at my face and nip my legs. Your border collie may feel the same.

She also may feel that welcoming the new Boston terrier into the family was enough upheaval for the time being.

It’s important to remind her that she is still queen of the house — and your heart.

Give her extra attention and time alone with you. A new toy might help her feel special, too.

Ask visitors to make a fuss over your adult dogs as well as the new puppy.

To help your border collie establish her status with the puppy, let her continue to be the “alpha” dog.

When the puppy gets out of line, she will let him know by raising her lip, glaring or snapping at him. If his rowdy play escalates, she might even roll him onto the ground.

If she does, let her. Intervene only if she is about to hurt him.

In time, your border collie will accept the new puppy — just as I have accepted the two new cats that joined our family.

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