We have two dogs, a male 11-year-old and female 8-month-old, both border collie and Australian cattle dog mixes. My partner raised the male from a puppy, and we got the female when she was about two months old.
Lately, when the puppy tries to get attention from my partner, the adult dog will come over and aggressively bark and snap at the puppy. This happened occasionally before, but is becoming more and more frequent, and he seems to be getting more aggressive. She will yelp and cry, lie on her back, and shrink away.
What's odd to me is that the adult does not react this way when the puppy seeks attention from me, and I'm trying to understand why. We both generally treat the dogs the same, however there are a few differences:
- I usually give them their food in the morning as I'm up first, and my partner gives them their food in the evening
- I take them running a few times a week (occasionally together, but generally just one or the other since handling two is complicated)
- My partner does her work from the couch where the dogs can be with her, while I'm at a desk
The behavior is alarming to us, but we're wondering if this is something we should be concerned about, and how we can address it.