Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Today I am doing two posts.  First I wanted to tell you thank you for all your positive comments and support.  I had a long talk with myself and as I told a friend yesterday if I can raise three teenage daughters all at the same time (and one bathroom) I can raise three pugs all at the same time.  I just have to get a grip and be the parent.  Last night I worked hard on not letting them be in charge.

I was working on my granddaughters blanket and I let Stella lay beside me on the couch but Maggie and Gussie had to lay in the chair. My plan is to make Maggie understand STella is the dominant female BUT I am the one and only, in charge. Gussie was pretty mad about not being able to do what he wanted.  He kept jumping up on the couch and I kept putting him down and telling him No...finally he realized Mom was talking!!  Once I was done with the blanket and everything was cleared away, I let them come up but only after they SIT like I asked them to do.   I will not be offended if you let me know I am doing something wrong.

I think most of the problem is my fault and how I have always babied them.  It has always been a little battle in my heart but it sure has created some issues.  I agree with all of you about not sending one of the girls to live elsewhere.  That was never anything that I would have done.  The problem had not gotten to the point of that extreme.  I think the trainer was just telling me that was always an option.  I explained to her it was not.  I know we all have to unlearn some behaviors.  It will be just fine.

If you run across an article or someone you know who has went through similar things I would welcome any information.  I will let you all know how it is going, cos families need each other, and I will always consider you all my family.


  1. Hi Deb!
    I read your post yesterday and forgot to e-mail you. So...I better just post it here so I don't forget. :) We had the same trouble with Lily and her sisters Gracie and Mimi. It wasn't so much about me being dominant, but more of the fact that Lily had possession issues, mainly...I was a possession instead of her mama. Therefore, if anyone else want mama, they were taking "something" from her. What I have learned is that love is "multiplied not divided"...and I tell the girls, especially Lily that...whether they understand what I mean or not it makes ME feel better. Then...I basically try to think a step ahead of Lily and what might upset her or cause her to be a "bully"...Our relationships in the house have improved because I have learned when to "nip it in the bud" before it begins and to also "read" Lily's body language. Does Lily still have issues with dominance? Sure. But is it manageable? Oh my, YES. So...bottom line...read your babies body language. If you sense trouble will occur at specific times for specific reasons, then "nip it in the bud" before it develops into a fight.
    I hope this information helps because I have been in your shoes. There was a point in time about 2 years back that I considered finding Lily a new home where she might be happier. I had e-mailed a rescue group and was told she would be easy to adopt out. I had all her clothes and toys packed and then I looked at her and e-mailed the group back and reminded myself that I agreed in my heart when I adopted her that this was FOREVER. Yes...guilt stinks...but it was the BEST decision and has been ever since...especially with the loss of Gracie Lynn...Lily has really stepped up her game and been there for me. Basically, I find that if I can distract Lily from her sister when she starts what I call "The staring contest" then she settles down and all is well in the world.
    Much Love,
    Mama Mindy :)

  2. No we think you are doing the right thing. Firm but fair. You need to be the one in charge. Take it a day at a time and be consistent and I am sure you will see good results. Molly loved Pip from day one and Pip doted on Molly so we never had any real issues. I think we were just lucky. Onwards and upwards.
    Have a terrific Tuesday.
    Happy April Fools Day.
    Best wishes Molly

  3. Hi Deb! You're doing a great job. I'm happy to say that with our pack of 10, we don't have too many problems. I think our pack does understand that my husband and I are the pack leaders. But every so often one of them will get in someone's face and we have to break it up. I think right now for us it's a matter of learning what the triggers are and a way to avoid them. For instance, when John gets the lawn mower out to cut the "dog yard", I always close the doggie door so they don't run in front of the mower. But when he's done and I open the door, all H**L breaks out as they all try to get through the doggie door barking their heads off. Once they get out there, they're all in "frenzy mode" and will snap at each other. Not too long ago I had to take Pepper to the vet because she had scratches and bruises from the sudden release to the yard. And years ago when Amber was only about a year old, she hooked onto April with her teeth and wouldn't let go. April was our hairless Crested so she had to have quite a few stitches to repair the damage from Amber's teeth. Once they got back into the house, they were best friends again.

    Long story short, I no longer let them race through the doggie door because I know that's a trigger for trouble. So just think back to whenever there was a problem and try to remember what set it off. That's what you need to work on. With time and patience, you should see an improvement. All paws crossed here for success.


  4. I only can suggest a book by Katharina von der Leyen. Maybe you can buy it used at eBay or amazon. It's: Living with Pugs... but sometimes books can't solve the problems, I had to made the experience ...

  5. Hi Deb, we too are sorry we did not get a chance to respond yesterday, but were going to say some of the same things. We have certain times when there is tension. Hazel gets aggressive with Greta right after she (hazel) finishes eating and sometimes Bailey would join in picking on Greta. since Greta is usually the first one done we now pick her up and carry her outside or in the other room. It helps to dissipate most of the tension. We so agree with Mindy that you have to watch for the signs and try to as she said "nip it in the bud". Bailey can get grouchy, especially when he thinks his space is invaded or if he is snuggling to me he doesn't want to share. Although Greta has learned to avoid him at certain times, we try to watch for the signs that he is angry. You are not going to stop every confrontation, we just had one last night, but you're on the right track.
    much love
    Mom Linda & the kids

  6. I am sure you are doing the best for your pack that you can! My peep only has me, but I play with two other dogs during the day. In my first week here, the one dog bit my face when I was eating my lunch and I had to go to the dogtor. It was not a good situation. The one dog has fear aggression. My peep was worried and everyone had to be on high alert for awhile. We had to re-learn the pack order with a lot of peep help. I'm always fed last and always have to wait my turn. Good luck - I know it has to be soooooo hard!

  7. It sounds like you're doing just the right thing! We call it NILIF -- Nothing In Life Is Free. Pups have to listen to YOU and only get special treats (like sitting on the couch with you) when they do. It's a good way of reinforcing pack standings, and the human is the head of the pack!

    - Casey's Momma

  8. You keep hanging in there and DON'T EVER GIVE UP!! Patience, love and understanding. You're getting some excellent advice from others as we've been reading all the comments. We are ALWAYS here for you!

    Lily Belle & Muffin

  9. Yep, our thoughts too, hang on in there. COS.... well, not many dogs put up with living with rabbits and cats roaming around the house... Amie did, she lived with it eventually,, Freya would too, but Freya only has the cat to deal with now... we can still send him on over to sort your paws out if needed yer know.. lots and lots of love...

  10. Lots and lots of love from this end... COS, in the end, we are worth it mom X

  11. I know many of Hailey's problems are because I baby her too. It is so hard. Sometimes we just have to be the boss!

  12. Not nothing wrong just lots of lovies, that always makes life better, and beside sometimes us puppers just need to understand.

    That Mad Scots

  13. you will get through this and everything will get better! I agree with the teenage comparision if you can do that you can do this

    retro rover

  14. Blogville has heard your heart crys, and has formed a circle around you of love- with their suggestions,, and holding you up as you struggle to make the best decisions,